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No. 221: Labels O’ Love, a Zine from Nashville, Maribou State Artwork + More

Ding dong! The weekend is finally here, and what better way to kick it all off than with our weekly Design Diary, bringing together five projects that caught our eye this week.

For more along these lines (and so many others) follow along all day, every day on Instagram @AIGAeyeondesignFacebook, and Twitter @AIGAeyeondesign.

Label O’ Love, from O Street

Glasgow-based design agency O Street has been busy punning and archiving, with its new project Label O’ Love. The story goes: “One sunny day, we at O Street had something wonderful plopped into our laps: a big box filled with labels. Why’s that wonderful? Well, these labels are a glimpse into design’s industrious beauty of decades past: a commercial printer’s life work.”

Turns out one of the agency’s director’s relatives had operated a specialist label printing shop for decades, “working with a wide breathe of industries during Modernism’s heyday. From logos to ads to mechanical schematics, the collection is a goldmine of real-world design inspiration.” Now, the generous O Street dudes are sharing the labels to share the love on the @labelolove Instagram, one a day.

Eye 97

Eye magazine has done it again: hot on the heels of its ambitious 2017 project that saw it release 8,000 unique covers, we’re told issue 97 is the “biggest ever issue in the 28-year history of Eye.” Focusing on magazine design, featured publications range from indies to mass-market titles—The California Sunday Magazine, Germany’s ZEITmagazin, Spare Rib, and l’Obs all get a look in, while David Crowley “delights in the surrealist layouts and covers of Ty i Ja, an ambitious Polish magazine from the 1960s.” 

The cover’s pretty spesh, too: the Eye logo on each cover is foiled with one of six different materials, distributed randomly. Have a look at the Eye Before You Buy to tickle your mag taste buds.

Maribou State, Kingdoms In Colour album campaign by Alexander Brown

Alexander Brown has created the artwork and campaign imagery for Maribou State’s new Kingdoms In Colour album, released on Ninja Tune. The record is based around field recordings and samples from across the world, and the visual concept looks to reflect that idea of collage. The flowers on the sleeve aren’t just flowers; they’re hybrids made of botanical prints of real flowers from all over the world.

“The idea was to create a visual representation of how the music shows glimpses of the places they visited,” says Brown. “It was in part a play on the stories of Victorian explorers who would bring back animals such as the duck-billed platypus, which scientists initially thought were a hoax as they couldn’t imagine such creatures existing. These fantasy, mutant flowers seem to be from an intangible kingdom that you can never actually visit.”

Maribou State, Kingdoms In Colour album campaign by Alexander Brown

Here Design, Teatulia

London-based Here Design has created a rather lovely new brand identity for Bangladeshi tea brand Teatulia. The brand is a social enterprise that has, according to Here, transformed “3,000 acres of barren land into an organic tea garden.”

The agency looked to draw on Teatulia’s heritage and “unusual market position as a single-source tea garden” for the designs. Here worked with graphic designer Satyajit Ray to create the rich tea garden-inspired colors and Bengali script. “Geometric patterns in bold, vivid colors take center stage,” says Here, which adds that it found inspiration for the “jewel-like colors” in the clothing of local Bangladeshi women.

“Tea has played the role of the gentle sister to coffee’s macho big brother for too long,” says Here Design strategy partner Tess Wicksteed. “We wanted to work with Teatulia to change all that and show the world just how bold and vibrant tea can be.” 

Grant Gasser, Everyone is So Near, zine

Nashville-based graphic designer Grant Gasser sure loves to make a zine, and here’s his third, Everyone is So Near.  The publication “deals with the philosophy of solipsism and the horrifying yet liberating possibility of its validity,” he says. Printed on a risograph printer at Risology Club, the zine aims to “display the fear of the ephemeral nature of one’s work as a designer in a digital world.”

Gasser adds: “Given that fact I find myself constantly battling between absolutes trying to make sense of a confusing and uncertain world, as many of us do, I catch myself striving for security on either end of the spectrum.

“This is a vain goal that gives me a false sense of reality and self-actualization. This zine illustrates my goal to live perpetually in the gray, the space in between absolutes.”

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