As an editorial resident here at AIGA, I spend my time nosing around for interesting design-related goings on each week (so you don’t have to). Follow along all day, every day on Instagram @AIGAeyeondesign, Facebook, and Twitter @AIGAeyeondesign.
Hailing from Istanbul and based in New York, graphic designer Sabri Akin sure knows his way around poster design, as his portfolio attests. His latest poster series is perhaps his strongest yet, and was created as promotion for a short film called Dwell. “Dwell is a story of a girl who desperately tries to adapt herself to a timeless landscape,” Akin explains. “She takes different paths to understand the meaning of her existence in a particular territory.”
What’s striking about Akin’s graphics is their eschewal of cliché: no wistful headshots or hazy skies here, thanks all the same. Instead we get bold, blocky black type and a mixture of intriguing monochrome patterns and abstracted stills.
Montreal-based creative studio Wedge recently created new brand guidelines for a local coffee joint called Dispatch, which certainly owe a thing or two to the standards manuals of old. According to Wedge’s Justin Lortie, the designs are based on transportation visuals as a reference to the company’s first cold brew delivery truck. “We unified their various communications tools by aligning the font, colors and layout,” says Lortie. The original Dispatch branding and strategy were created by Tagteam Studio and Visual Ruckus.
There’s been a a heartwarming slew of design projects aiming to do good lately, and here’s another—a new art and design journal called Full Bleed from the Maryland Institute College of Art’s Publishing Culture course. According to the college, the publication “attempts to answer a seemingly simple question: what purpose can a cultural journal serve in the current global political environment?” The magazine features photo essays, poetry, and criticism, aiming to show the importance of the arts in telling untold stories and fostering empathy. The inaugural issue is based on the theme of migration, “and the conflicts—war, poverty, political violence—that have displaced millions of people across the globe.”
From one set of activist aims to another, over in London Town a new exhibition has just opened that shines a spotlight (candlelight?) on the campaigning work of Charles Dickens. Turns out that when he wasn’t writing the precursor to The Muppet Christmas Carol he was busying himself as a journalist that looked to highlight and ameliorate the capital’s poverty and injustices. The show, Restless Shadow, is held in Dickens’ former townhouse (now the Charles Dickens Museum), an impressive building with charmingly small furniture, reaffirming how tiny Victorian people actually were compared to us modern folk.
It’s interesting stuff, and we see previously unseen writings and artifacts from Dickens’ days as an investigative journalist—a discipline he described as a shadow “which may go into any place, by sunlight, moonlight, starlight, firelight, candlelight, and be in all homes, and all nooks and corners, and be supposed to be cognizant of everything, and go everywhere, without the least difficulty.”
Some more fabulous posters here, this time hailing all the way from sunny Spain. Barcelona-based club night Trill has commissioned a superb series of images from a range of local graphic artists to create a different design each month. The images draw inspiration from “the city of Barcelona—its art, its literature, its urbanism or any other distinctive feature,” and have so far been produced by Andreu Serra, Sergi Delgado, Cristian Malagón, Eme Rock and Joan Guasch. Magnifico!
The next leg of our brief Design Diary European Tour takes us to Venice—specifically to the Venice Biennale, where London-based studio Hato has created the visual identity for the Hong Kong pavilion with sound and performance artist Samson Young. Hato created the beautiful website design, where the exhibition Songs for Disaster Relief comes to life through some surreal 3D animations and 2D illustrations against a backdrop of lusciously lurid lime green.
Elsewhere at the Venice Biennale, the ever-brilliant Zak Group has worked with Frankfurt-based artist Anne Imhof and curator Susanne Pfeffer on the graphic design and art direction of the German Pavilion. The London-based agency created the first-ever monographic publication on Imhof’s work, as well as designing a website that will evolve throughout the exhibition’s tenure. “Our approach was to convey Faust through a photographic narrative of actions and gestures performed by core members of the artist’s team,” the studio explains.
“The cover of the cloth-bound publication bears the masthead Faust and an annotated diagram of the German Pavilion’s floor plan is screen-printed on the back. Interspersed within the image sequence are paintings by Imhof and conversations extracted from WhatsApp conversations between the artist and the performers. Titles are set in Their Bodoni, an ultra high-contrast typeface inspired by the work of Italian type designer and printer Giambattista Bodoni, and designed specifically for this project.” The photographs used in the campaign and publication were shot by Nadine Fraczkowski.