Thursday, 28 April 2011

Alejandro Chaskielberg

I was just reading through the results for this years Sony World Photographic Awards and was struck by the dream like images created by this years winner Alejandro Chaskielberg.

His folio of images, called The High Tide and were taken over a period of  two years, while living with the population of a small Argentinian island. The images are all staged and exquisitely lit calling to mind the Photos of Pierre et Gilles mixed with touches of Gregory Crewson, Hollywood Technicolor and an allegorical take; a kin to the PreRaphaelites, while still retaining a sense of narrative found in the work of Sebastian Salgado.

The images are other worldly and immediately make you ask as a viewer "How did he do this?", obviously there is a good bit of post production but also a lot of fore thought and pre production evident in the choice of colours, the framing and the cinematic staging of each frame.

Here are a few more shots and you can find more here

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Fool's Gold

Apologies for the silence I'm just back again from a couple of weeks in the North of Ireland and spent my time shared between working and taking family friends on the tourist route. This involved crossing the Carrick-a-reed rope bridge, walking around Mussenden Temple at Downhill, walking the city walls up around Derry as well as going back to The Giant's Causeway.
It was while visiting the Giant's causeway and sitting down on the stones and watching the black blue waves rolling in over the stones that I was reminded of all things the album cover for the The Stone Roses debut album ( forgive me, I know the last time I was back it was Led Zep's Houses of the Holy!)
History has it that while doing a gig at Coleraine University The band took a trip up to see the Causeway. Guitarist John Squire was so struck by the colour of the water and rocks that he kept them in mind for a painting that was later used as the cover image for their debut album. The painting was called "Bye, Bye Badman" and is essentially the Causeway inspired image with lemon slices. The lemon slices were added to the composition later based on a story that Ian Brown had heard from a Parisian about how during the 1968 riots; protesters at the time used lemons as an antidote to the tear gas.

At the time that album was such a revelation! I remember taking my copy to friends houses and sitting in amazement, it affected the way that I dressed, and proved a fantastic introduction to the art of Jackson Pollock, (in fact for about 12 months very little escaped being paint splashed from clothes to instruments).
Things didn't get quite this bad but they came close!
What I loved as well about the covers and releases was that they were all printed on a really tactile card and contained a postcard or print of the sleeve art work which was a simple nice touch that just made you want to collect them all! A deluxe 20 year anniversary edition was released last year with reproductions of the sleeves, a book, heavy quality vinyl and 4 CDs, a bit over kill I think, but hey it is a classic album!

And now for no other reason than nostalgia here are a few more of the classic single covers, which have a strong yet restrained design allowing John Squire's artwork to be the focus but that never left you in any doubt that it was a Stone Roses release!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Arcade Fire Poster

I was just playing around with ways to use images this weekend and during my experimentation's I came up with this! These are some pics I took at the Arcade Fire gig at Saint John's in London, I didn't have enough cash on me to but on of their limited print that night so I thought I'd make my own. I might just go through my gig photos again and see if I can come up with some more gig souvenirs.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Birch Book sleeve pics

Damien up in 7eme Ciel Towers has just emailed me some photos of the Birch Book sleeve fresh from the printers press. Not one for direct sunlight he braved the almost summer conditions to take these pics and that makes them even more special.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Fairytales and Monsters

 I have been working on an illustration for the next big Arctic Circle event which will be called Fairytales and Monsters. Like the last one it is a paper cut, this time cut from a single A3 sheet, it is nearing completion and is starting to come together.

As the event is called Fairy tales and Monsters, it gave me a great opportunity to go back through the classics to garner references to include in the illustration. As I mentioned in a previous post I loved the silhouette illustrations by Jan Pienkowski, the beautiful fluidity in paintings by Arthur Rackham and Edmund  Dulac (see the above illustration). I have managed to squeeze in 25 fairytales and monsters, most from classic sources such as storybooks but a few cinematic references have crept in to, see how well you do and how many you can find! I'll keep you posted on the illustrations development in the mean time here is my starting sketch and a few pictures of how it is looking at the moment.

I have even been playing around with projecting the design on the walls as well. Here is a snap I took of the projection on the walls of the meeting room in my office, I think a more romantic environment could be found but I don't work in an enchanted castle!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

A Whale of a print!

Ok a couple of weeks a go I posted an illustration I did of a whale, well the obsession continues. I have been playing about with whales a bit and have come up with this…

I am thinking of producing these as a limited two colour screen print so stayed tuned and I'll keep you posted about when they are available, where and of course prices etc. Any preferences for the colours?

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Birch Book printed

Just got some snaps of the new Birch Book sleeve from the printers, not the best quality images but it's looking good.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Ta Daa!

Last week I was putting the finishing touches to a new identity that I've created for a French childrens' clothing company called Ta Daa. The company creates a wide range of clothes by taking old unwanted garments and and turning them in to fresh, new ones for children just like magic!  Well OK it's not really magic it's all done through a talented team and a lot of up-cycling. Up-cycling is (as defined by Wikipedia) "The process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value.", so not only has this been a really interesting project that has involved everything from naming, branding and application, but a really worthwhile one as well that takes a sometimes wasteful industry like fashion and makes it more sustainable.

I'm not going to go into the minutiae of how the logo came into existence except to say that it was based on the same principle that the company takes, which is turning one thing into something else.

An early application of the logo as a clothing label.
After a lot of experimenting and sketching shapes I came to the shape of the 'D'. There was something about it that reminded me of a pocket for a coat or a pair of jeans so it had some resonance already. Then from the D shape I set about creating the shape of the 'T'. Here's a small diagram to show how that came about.
This approach was use to create both the logo and the wordmark and gave way to creating a unique typeface for the brand. This typeface has no numerals at the moment and features a traditional character set, with a few variations to accomodate the French languague. The font is designed to be used as a title face and is obviously not created for use as body text. 

The logo has 3 colour ways, the main palette which is green and two other versions which are blue and pink. It also has a more playful aspect where the idea of transformation comes through again. By the simple addition of eyes and a set of standardized shapes I created three characters, a whale, a frog and a rabbit. These appear on sticker sheets, badges and colouring in pages and not only help promote the brand but keep little hands busy, giving Mummy and Daddy a few moments of respite!

The Ta Daa Characters on a sticker sheet…
…and as fridge magnets.
As I said at the start this has been a great project to have been involved in and I hope it goes from strength to strength, If you want to discover more just pop over to their website in the meantime I'll leave you with the frog…

Friday, 1 April 2011

Movie Title Montage

A Brief History of Title Design from Ian Albinson on Vimeo.

Just came across form a great site dedicated to Film titles called Art of the Title. I love a great title sequence so this site is a real treat, give them a click here, go on it's Friday!

Friday Photo

Darth Vader's kitchen, from the series We can be Heroes, Northern Ireland, 2008