Welcome, welcome to this week’s installment of Design Diary, your favorite roundup of some fab design projects from around the world.
December 14th, 2018
We’re big fans of indie zine publisher Nieves—so much so, in fact, that we’ve gone to visit their offices in Zurich. We also love the work of Geoff McFetridge, whose studio in L.A. we went to visit not two months later. The two work together often, and we’d venture to say that McFetridge—who won the Cooper Hewitt Design Award in 2016, and who has done all types of work for international brands, held solo gallery shows, and designed the interfaces for the film Her—is one of Nieves’ biggest name collaborators. Their latest book together is called Coming Back is Half the Trip, and it looks really serene and minimalist, full of spare line drawings with the occasional splash of orange and watercolor red. According to the publisher copy, the book “offers new approaches to cognition… McFetridge ventures on to the ledge of meaning, bringing us with him on a trip that we can sense, but struggle to verbalize.” No narrative to speak of, but the collection of drawings consist of studies for paintings and sculptures that were shown in a gallery exhibition in Copenhagen, giving us a look into his process.
“After the year we’ve had, it feels fitting to close out our coverage with an issue dedicated to investigating mental health—or, more accurately, mental exhaustion—and the deep desire to escape from it all,” writes Ellis Jones, editor-in-chief of Vice magazine in the editor’s letter for the latest issue. This one is themed “Burnout and Escapism,” and it explores the stress and mental health concerns that we all know can be worsened by the political and social climate, but in a very Vice-style twist, it also covers the drugs we use to escape from and lessen that stress.
Vice does a nice job with both of these topics, so you can expect thoughtful and vocal editorial content, but what what also interested us was the design of the issue. “We wanted the layouts to be free flowing and unrestrained,” Jones also notes, and so a loopy, melting display font shifts and distorts throughout the issue. Background shapes, bright colors, and busy images all give a hallucinating effect. The color combinations clash, setting a mood of tension and anxiety. There’s also a nice selection of original work throughout, from artists like Chris Maggio, Camilo Medina, Seba Cestaro, Makeba Rainey, and Maria Chimishkyan.
A new year of awards season is nigh, and we know the design community has a lot to say about the value of competition, the cost of awards, and the prestige of accolades. The TDK Awards let us know that they were opening up for 2019, with three slots for winners. One thing to note about this one is that it’s free to enter, with the stated mission of giving “people of all backgrounds a chance for global exposure and job opportunities round the world”—something we fully support. Another important thing to note is that this one’s for the recent grads: it’s only open to people who studied design in 2017 and 2018. If that’s you, there’s a great lineup of judges this year (including Jessica Walsh, Leta Sobierajski & Wade Jeffree, and Toby Johnston from Shift in Singapore) who will be pouring over applicants’ portfolios, and the deadline is January 6.
Busra Erkara, reputable magazine expert, and former deputy editor for Wayward Wild, let us know that she is back in Istanbul, where she’s been hard at work on a new, bilingual print magazine called Year Zero. As editor-in-chief, Erkara worked with creative director Baris Bilenser, art director Berk Cakmakci, and design studio Studio Yukiko, designers behind Sleek and Flaneur. The magazine’s title refers to an emerging group of creatives in Istanbul who have been producing work amidst Turkey’s economic turmoil and recent terrorist attacks. Yukiko’s design is striking as ever, with bold type and compositional spreads, and the magazine comes in both English and Turkish.
Fans of J.K. Rowling have been awaiting the release of the Fantastic Beasts sequel, set in the same magical universe as the whole Harry Potter franchise. The movie came out late last month, with a glinting metallic logo designed by Emily Oberman’s team at Pentagram. The logo contains a bit of magic itself, if you know where to look (and are truly a Rowling geek). Within the “Crimes of Grindelwald” wordmark “hides a series of shapes—a circle, a triangle, and the aforementioned wand—that when combined form the symbol for the Deathly Hallows, the trio of magical artifacts that make a wizard a master of death.” Less hidden is the “I” in “Crimes” which takes the form of the Elder Wand, the fire motif of some of the other letterforms.