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.
I have to admit, I’ve got a bit of a crush on Italian publisher Yard Press, and who can blame me when they keep putting out books this great? Their latest title is Syxty Smile & Other Stories, which examines the work of alternative performance artist and director Antonio Syxty. Featuring images, drawings, and texts from his archive, the book looks to lift the lid on the underground den of loopiness and creativity that was Milan’s only basement theater, the OutOff, “a hotbed of experimentation in the late 1970s and early 1980s.” This volume traces 25 performances made between 1978 and 1982, and even though this documentation is in place, it still begs one very important question: did these performances even happen in the first place?
Over the years I’ve turned old T-shirts into ill-advised halter necks, a nest for a pet hedgehog, and simple household rags. Business card brand Moo has gone one step further, launching a new recycled business card called Cotton made out of—you guessed it—old T-shirts. “The offcuts from the T-shirts are upcycled into a really cool business card that both makes a statement and makes you feel good,” says Moo, which adds that the process they’re made by “resurrected an ancient papermaking technique.” Which is nice.
Maybe it’s the heat, maybe it’s global political turmoil, maybe we’re just a little bit overtired, but we’ve certainly been experiencing a few emotional states lately. Taking these one step further from a quick cry in the toilets and a slammed door, the London Design Biennale has chosen Emotional States as its theme for next year’s showcase at London’s Somerset House. Taking place this coming September, the show will present work by more than 40 countries. These design installations will “investigate the important relationship between design, strong emotional responses, and real social needs,” says Biennale director Dr. Christopher Turner. The works interrogate how design affects every aspect of our lives, including the emotional experiences we have every day.
On a less heavy note, we’re really digging this cute series of Riso prints by London-based graphic designer and illustrator Emma Fisher. Printed by the good people of Risotto studio, the project is a collaboration between Fisher and Kansas City based creative collective Special Edition Co.
Anyone who’s ever found themselves over on Fulham Road will surely have noticed the charming little tiled Michelin Man, resplendent in Art Deco styling on the side of Bibendum. The restaurant is something of a London institution and one largely unchanged since it was opened by Sir Terence Conran and Paul Hamlyn back in 1987. Recently though, things were shaken up with the appointment of chef Claude Bosi, and with him came a gorgeous new visual identity created by The Counter Press.
The architecture of the 1911 François Espinasse Art Deco and Art Nouveau building and its mashup of complex mosaics, ironwork, tiles, and stained glass windows formed the main visual inspiration for the new identity. The logotype draws on the beautiful tiled lettering that sits at the top of either side of the building. “We started by tracing these 3D letterforms but then adjusted and simplified them so that they would work better as a word mark, especially at small sizes,” says The Counter Press. “It’s more of a faithful interpretation rather than a straightforward reproduction. Instead of creating a logo and turning it into new signage, we took old signage that was already there and turned it into the new logo.” Naturally, Michelin Man is staying.
Another superb restaurant identity that caught our eye this week: Daily Dialogue’s excellent work for Academy of Fine Arts Munich’s KantineKiosk, the school’s in-house canteen and kiosk. The studio created a single design that unites the two places, and looks to appeal to both students of the academy and visitors. “The visual appearance of KantineKiosk creates a bridge between identity and individuality,” says Daily Dialogue. “We focused on creating an identity that depicts a high-quality standard and professional image, without forfeiting authenticity and credibility to the target group, consisting mainly of students. To align with this target group and integrate itself into the surroundings of the academy, KantineKiosk shouldn’t seem too posh and therefore expensive.”
The identity was inspired by the numerous scrawls and scribbles that have adorned the school’s walls over the years, with all visual elements defined and framed by a simple linear system and a single font used throughout. “Additional illustrations loosen the fixed structure and create lightness in the overall design,” says Daily Dialogue. “The logo system is based on the merging of both titles.”
Stuttgart-based designer Mark Bohle won us over with his dancing chimneys, and has continued to impress us ever since. His recent project is something of a mammoth one, creating 3,000 drawings in just four months, in collaboration with Barcelona-based illustrator Alessandro Apai. The project is titled My Flat is Your Flat, and sees the pairs many, many drawings used as raw material to build chairs, balls, and clothes.
“We are two humans producing images in a primitive way with the mechanical system of a factory,” says Bohle. The first leg of the project culminated in an exhibition in Barcelona, which formed a playground where people could interact with the drawings to feel the collaborative and interactive nature of the project. This is very much an ongoing thing, and one that we’d very much like to interact with ourselves, so keep an eye on the Tumblr (linked above) for updates on where these two nutters will be taking their mechanical processes next.