As an editor here at AIGA, I spend heaps of time on the internet scouring social media and websites for the choicest design news. You’re too busy with your life to do this each week, so I’ve brought all my findings here—consider it my weekly gift to you (you’re welcome). Follow along all day, every day on Instagram @AIGAeyeondesign, Facebook, and Twitter @AIGAeyeondesign.
Some excellent new work here shown off on an excellent new website, courtesy of London-based agency Rose and its 2017/18 campaign for the English National Opera. The Rose team worked with James Day, Sebastian Nevols, Eric Standley, Martin C. Herbst, Victoria Ling, and Steve Hoskins to create the look and feel for each ENO production image. “Jonathan Knowles’ beautiful photography for Aida, art directed by Rose, has just this week been nominated in this year’s AOP Awards,” creative director Simon Elliott tells us. Naturally our favorite of the series is the poster for The Marriage of Figaro—mostly in pink, with a cheeky little eye image. No idea why we dig that one so much.
Naturally we’ve been busy gearing up for our own inaugural conference, but that don’t mean we ain’t afraid to give a shoutout to our conference brothers and sisters, especially when their lineups look this good. As such, may we introduce you to SPAN 2017—Google’s design and tech conference taking place from September 14-15 in Pittsburgh (there’s another iteration the following month in Newcastle for our north easterly English pals). Among the speakers announced so far are the superb designer Elana Schlenker; artist Lenka Clayton, Luis von Ahn, co-founder and CEO of Duolingo; and “feminist makerspace” Prototype.
Berlin’s typography titan Erik Spiekermann is behind an ambitious new project to develop “post digital printing,” working with engineers in Hanover on a new laser-cutting printing technology. We’re told the new process “marries typography advances and the benefits of letterpress for commercial purposes,” printing up to eight pages per plate with “really black” type and “subtle shadows.” To show off the machine’s capabilities, the team has printed a book called Change is Good by Wired co-founder Louis Rossetto.
We’ve all seen pink elephants in the wee hours, but Trunk Studios animator Rok Predin has captured the experience in a lovely retro tribute to ’80s Sunday morning TV. The warped VHS animation shows Pok the elephant’s surreal endeavors to get honey from the beehive. “Everything in this piece, from character and layout design to the music and sound effects was aimed to evoke that distinct feeling of watching your favorite animated shows whilst eating your breakfast,” says Slovenia-born Predik. The music was composed by Sebastian Duh, with sound design by Barnaby Templer at Fonic. “The shorts have so much scope, Pok is such a great character and has endless potential for those classic simple set ups and fun pay offs, it would be great to find some support for them,” adds producer Richard Barnett.
Nashra Balagamwala is an experiential designer currently based in New York, originally hailing from Pakistan, who moved to the U.S. both to attend RISD and to avoid an arranged marriage. She recently got in touch with the worrying news that her visa is soon to expire, “at which point I will have to leave the country, otherwise I will be deported,” she told us. So she came up with a creative way to try and avoid that happening, in the form of the board game, Arranged.
“Arranged is a game that forces participants to confront the struggles of an Arranged Marriage and other South-Asian cultural norms such as skin whitening, secret boyfriends, and dowries,” Balagamwala explains. “The gameplay involves a matchmaker trying to get you married off to any and every boy she can find, while you try to run away from her, and a loveless marriage. You can do so by talking about having a career, gaining weight, being seen in the mall with boys, or several other things that most societies would consider normal, but are seen as disgraceful in South-Asian culture.”
She adds: “I am hopeful that publishing this game will be my way of not only avoiding an arranged marriage for myself, (via funds or a visa) but will also empower and motivate other South-Asian women to not be afraid of pursuing things like college, work, or love marriage.”
If your household is anything like mine, you’ll be more than familiar with the booming lols of comedians like Chris Gethard, Andrea Savage, and Amy Sedaris. Brooklyn-based agency And/Or is now more familiar with them than ever, having just created a new visual identity for the channel that hosts much of their comedy work, truTV. The agency developed and executed a rebrand across every platform including digital, print, OOH, and trade marketing materials, describing the work as a “flexible brand system that editors and producers can reconfigure to their needs, yet never feel boxed in by the brand.”
“Part of our task was to simplify the brand so that the network talent and programming took the lead,” says Kelli Miller, executive creative director at And/Or. “This required an extremely flexible system that allowed seasonal key art to shine while maintaining a coherent underpinning that kept everything connected under the truTV brand.” And/Or stripped down the brand itself to one color and two typefaces and built everything from the promo structures to the logo and tagline placement to be adaptable to individual shows.
The London studio of design and creative agency Mother has just created the identity and campaign for Sorry Not Sorry For Being Me, a new BBC series raising awareness around “self-identity and celebrating uniqueness” in young people. “The Sorry Not Sorry For Being Me season exemplified the channel’s vision to engage their audience with a meaningful and powerful message,” says Mother. “Our challenge was to create an identity that reflected this higher purpose. Working alongside the team at BBC Creative, we set out to create an identity that was a platform for self-expression.”
The series launched through an integrated campaign designed to enable the contributors and audience at the show’s heart to share their unique stories with the world. “It centered around a loud, proud, and personal expression of identity in contemporary culture,” Mother adds. “As well as uniting the show graphics, digital, and OOH [out-of-home] advertising, the identity was also designed to be used by our audience, who could create and share their own Sorry Not Sorry poster via a bespoke website, sparking conversation and encouraging others to follow suit.”
“The official brief is there is no brief,” says Scott Buschkuhl, creative director of NY studio Hinterland, of his beautiful new book design for The School of Visual Arts Senior Library. “The most important goal was to spotlight the students’ work and make it sing. Conceptually, the design of the Library expands on the Choose Your Own Adventure children’s book series. The goal of these books is to excite and entertain—as well as teach kids how to read—but at their core they contain an elemental truth: that life is made up of important choices with real consequences.”
The final design he created includes 352 projects from more than 2,000 submissions, grouped into 16 different sections, inspired by the “class of ’16” idea. Projects are arranged according to the content rather than category of the design. “There are a few ways to navigate the book,” Buschkuhl says. “The jacket doubles as a poster with a visual index of the students on one side and an alphabetical index on the other, with faculty or majors noted. And if you prefer to just flip through the pages, information in the gutter will lead you to additional work from that student.”