Friday find: Gig flyer

Gig flyers have always been a playground for design experimentation, but they are usually not very representative of great typography. I think this one is a step up and I’ll tell you why…

I found this flyer for the Cape Town Folk ‘n Acoustic Music Festival at a coffee shop on my way to work this morning:

The Cape Town Folk 'n Acoustic Music Festival flyer

Gig flyers have always been a playground for design experimentation, but due to their low-fi tradition and the fact that they are probably often created by musicians rather than designers, they are usually not very representative of great typography.

I think this one is a step up and I’ll tell you why:

  1. The informal and somewhat zany geometric display type used for Folk ‘n Acoustic is anchored nicely by the graphic elements (banners, shapes, icons) around it.
  2. The visual hierarchy of information is presented well by the size and weight of the type; first what, then when and where, followed by who, and lastly the sponsors.
  3. The list of artists’ names vary in size and colour, yet the typographic colour (overall density) has been well preserved.
  4. The strong horisontal structure remains unbroken throughout.
  5. Sticking to just two colours (black and red) was a good choice, especially since the background is textured.
  6. Although it is quite text-heavy, there is enough white space for the design to breathe.

Looking at it a little more critically:

  1. I like the fact that designers are breaking free of the old use-no-more-than-two-fonts-per-design mantra, because it does work in many cases, but I have to question whether using five different fonts on the front of the flyer (plus two more on the back!) is necessary? Perhaps exploring a few different weights of a single typeface instead of using different font families would offer a more consistent result.
  2. I’m probably being pedantic here, but the misregistered effect used on music festival is redundent in context of the treatment across the rest of the layout.

MoMA’s in-house design studio

The Museum of Modern Art in New York City has a very productive in-house design team with a bulging portfolio of exhibition designs, advertising campaigns and other printed materials…

The Museum of Modern Art in New York City (MoMA) has an in-house design department very practically named The Department of Advertising and
Graphic Design
.

They are responsible for exhibition designs, advertising campaigns and any printed materials needed by the museum’s numerous departments including curatorial, education and visitor services.

If we learned anything from the career of Wim Crouwel it is that working for a museum provides fertile ground for typographic exploration. The MoMA team’s impressive portfolio suggests that this is indeed the case:

MoMA Department of Advertising and Graphic Design

MoMA Department of Advertising and Graphic Design

MoMA Department of Advertising and Graphic Design

MoMA Department of Advertising and Graphic Design

MoMA Department of Advertising and Graphic Design

MoMA Department of Advertising and Graphic Design

MoMA Department of Advertising and Graphic Design

MoMA Department of Advertising and Graphic Design

MoMA Department of Advertising and Graphic Design

MoMA Department of Advertising and Graphic Design

MoMA Department of Advertising and Graphic Design

MoMA Department of Advertising and Graphic Design

MoMA Department of Advertising and Graphic Design

MoMA Department of Advertising and Graphic Design

MoMA Department of Advertising and Graphic Design

MoMA Department of Advertising and Graphic Design

MoMA Department of Advertising and Graphic Design

MoMA Department of Advertising and Graphic Design

MoMA Department of Advertising and Graphic Design

MoMA Department of Advertising and Graphic Design

Industrious coffee and condensed type at Yourstruly

Yourstruly, located on Long Street in the heart of Cape Town’s city centre, is one of my favourite lunch time spots. One thing I enjoy about it is the DIY ethic…

Yourstruly, located on Long Street in the heart of Cape Town’s city centre, is one of my favourite lunch time spots.

One thing I enjoy about it is the DIY ethic: on any given day you can find owner Daniel Holland enthusiastically serving coffee and sandwiches through the hatch, but that’s not all – he also took care of all the graphic design himself, and his dad did the carpentry!

The graphic identity of Yourstruly is quite appropriately anchored by Trade Gothic, which Jason Santa Maria describes as an honest, dependable and industrious typeface with little flourish or fuss.

Next time you’re in Cape Town and find yourself in need of some good coffee and a strong dose of typography, you know where to go.

Yourstruly Cafe, Long Street, Cape Town

Yourstruly Cafe, Long Street, Cape Town

Yourstruly Cafe, Long Street, Cape Town

Yourstruly Cafe, Long Street, Cape Town

Yourstruly Cafe, Long Street, Cape Town

Yourstruly Cafe, Long Street, Cape Town

Yourstruly Cafe, Long Street, Cape Town

Find out a little more about Yourstruly and Daniel on Ilovecoffee.co.za.

Friday find: Architecture in Helsinki poster

Great gig poster designed by Curtis Lynn Jinkins from Austin, Texas. What I enjoy most about it is the interesting balance…

Great gig poster designed by Curtis Lynn Jinkins from Austin, Texas. What I enjoy most about it is the interesting balance: even though the abstract graphic dominates the majority of the space, the composition would be nothing without the carefully considered typography.

Architecture in Helsinki poster

Architecture in Helsinki poster

Keeping an eye on Colin Dunn and friends

You know that feeling of slight annoyance when you come across really nice design work on a bunch of different sites, and each time you check who did it, it ends up being the same person? Well, lately Colin Dunn has been that guy…

You know that feeling of slight annoyance when you come across really nice design work on a bunch of different sites, and each time you check who did it, it turns out to be the same person? Well, lately Colin Dunn has been that guy – and what makes it worse is he hasn’t even graduated college yet!

A student at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, one of his latest projects involved teaming up with classmate James Anderson to brand the MICA graphic design department:

The design work of Colin Dunn

The design work of Colin Dunn

The design work of Colin Dunn

A few more examples from Colin’s growing portfolio:

The design work of Colin Dunn

The design work of Colin Dunn

The design work of Colin Dunn

The design work of Colin Dunn

The design work of Colin Dunn

The design work of Colin Dunn

The design work of Colin Dunn

The design work of Colin Dunn

Also of interest is the Hand-Painted Signs of Baltimore set on Colin’s Flickr.

The typography of Water for Elephants

A fascinating example of how graphic design plays a vital role in movie production, yet goes virtually unnoticed amidst the drama!

My wife finally dragged me kicking and screaming to sit down and watch Water for Elephants with her on DVD. A tearjerking romantic drama was not at the top of my list of fun ways to spend a Saturday night, but I must admit it wasn’t that bad.

Throughout the film I was impressed by the attention to detail in the set design. It was clear that a lot of work went into the graphic design and the vintage circus typography.

Realising that I am probably not the only one whose attention was caught, I Googled the subject to see what others have said. I instantly hit gold – a write-up from Karen TenEyck, the graphic designer responsible! I recommend reading the article as it contains a lot of fascinating behind-the-scenes insight. Download it here a a PDF:

ADG Perspective Magazine Jun/Jul 2011, pages 34 – 41 (1.6MB).

Working with production designer Jack Fisk, art director David Crank and set decorator Jim Erickson, Karen produced a mammoth collection of posters, banners, signs, branding and packaging used to give the film that convincing 1930s atmosphere.

Another challenge for period films is that fonts made for the computer do not do justice to the hand-crafted look of the time, even if they are based on old styles. They are simply too perfect. Yet with the current trend of less and less prep time, I needed to find ways to shortcut the process and get the same effects. One of the ways I have been able to do this is by creating my own fonts based on the fifty-plus period lettering and advertising books I own. I am able to give these fonts the imperfect look of hand-drawn letters done with a lettering brush. Because they are turned into fonts that I can type with, it speeds up the process considerably down the line as decisions are made closer to filming. – Karen TenEyck

Take a look at some of Karen’s work in action:

Water for Elephants graphic design by Karen TenEyck

Water for Elephants graphic design by Karen TenEyck

Water for Elephants graphic design by Karen TenEyck

Water for Elephants graphic design by Karen TenEyck

Water for Elephants graphic design by Karen TenEyck

Finally, the film also has a very nice end title screen which was not designed by Karen, but by a Los Angeles studio called River Road Creative:

Water for Elephants end title

A peek inside the portfolio of Bruce Mackay

I became aware of Bruce Mackay’s unique illustration style a year ago when I saw a cool drawing he did of a skeleton drinking a beer. Needless to say I was instantly compelled to follow his work online and as it turns out he is a fellow Capetonian…

I became aware of Bruce Mackay’s unique illustration style a year ago when I saw a cool  drawing he did of a skeleton drinking a beer. Needless to say I was instantly compelled to follow his work online and as it turns out he is a fellow Capetonian. Browsing through his portfolio I came across some nice lettering and typographic pieces, take a look:

The work of Bruce Mackay

The work of Bruce Mackay

The work of Bruce Mackay

The work of Bruce Mackay

The work of Bruce Mackay

The work of Bruce Mackay

You can see a lot more killer stuff from Bruce on his blog, Flickr and Bēhance.

A heavy metal poster three generations in the making

A striking poster designed by Cincinnati based designer Tom Davie of studiotwentysix2.

A striking poster designed by Cincinnati based designer Tom Davie of studiotwentysix2. The description is quite entertaining too:

This poster is three generations in the making. My grandfather was thrifty and savvy enough to collect hundreds of pieces of discarded metal, my father was wise enough not to throw the rusted metal away, and yours truly, for picking through it, not getting tetanus, and visually arranging it.

Heavy Metal poster by Tom Davie

Fruita Blanch

I really enjoy the look of Catalonian family business Fruita Blanch. The new fresh minimal identity was designed by Barcelona based studio Atipus. They even developed a custom font used across the board. My favourite aspect is how the labels have been designed to reveal as much of the jar content as possible. Sometimes less really is more.

Fruita Blanch identity

Fruita Blanch identity

Fruita Blanch identity

Fruita Blanch identity

Fruita Blanch identity

Fruita Blanch identity

Fruita Blanch identity

Via: Identity Designed