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No. 226: Foraging for ’Shroom Design, Wrapped in a Web of Archives, a Book of Local L.A. Printers + More

We’re rounding off the year with our last 2018 installment of Design Diary, our weekly roundup of five design projects from around the world.

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

The Wild Mushroom Cookbook, designed and illustrated by Sofia Pusa

It’s not a bad work day when you get the brief to make something “psychedelic, magical, and elegant.” That’s the one Sofia Pusa received from Sami Tallberg, chef, forager, and “biohacker,” when asked to design his book Villisienikeittokirja (The Wild Mushroom Cookbook)

Alongside recipes, the book also contains an identification guide, an essential for any would-be forager who wants to avoid accidentally eating mushrooms of the psychedelic or poisonous variety. This part of the book is photographic and specific, which gave Pusa the freedom to go wild with her illustrations, so to speak. “In the book, the author talked a lot about the beefy texture of mushrooms so I decided to combine 3D techniques with vector graphics to create a more three-dimensional and meaty feel for the mushrooms,” she says.


Soundation rebrand, Kurppa Hosk

Kurppa Hosk out of Stockholm recently redesigned Soundation, an online platform for music production that’s been around for a little under a decade. With a good deal more features and services than when it first launched, Soundation wanted a visual identity and website redesign that reflected that maturation—which Kurppa Hosk has given them with a visual identity that’s both polished and effective in its simplicity.

The identity hinges on two interconnected rectangles in 45° angles, which are meant to signal precision. Applied across all channels, print materials, and collateral, it has quite a striking effect, all while communicating that Soundation is a platform that’s all grown up.


Kinstalle Bern archives, Astrom / Zimmer & Tereszkiewicz

Astrom / Zimmer kindly sent over an archive project it launched earlier this year in collaboration with data scientist Fabrice Tereszkiewicz for the Kunsthalle Bern in Switzerland. The digital representation of the contemporary art institution’s archives covers the 700 exhibitions, 5,000 artists, and 13 directors throughout its 100-year history, visualizing their various connections through a grid system of dots and interconnecting lines.

Hovering over the dots brings up the name and dates of a particular exhibition; clicking into the exhibition brings up another view with just the exhibition and a dot grid system of the works included. Clicking into the larger dots brings up photo documentation of the works, exhibition materials, correspondences, etc.

The smaller dots don’t yet have documentation attached, but the site promises that “the number of digitized documents… will grow progressively and create an ever more dense web of narratives.” It’s a clever approach to digital archiving, and one best experienced for yourself.

Kunstalle Bern online archive
Kunstalle Bern online archive

The Blue Room Theatre branding, Terms of Service

Designers Tim Meakins and Simran Singh from Perth, Australia recently formed the studio Terms of Service, which they kicked off with a bang—their first commission is the branding for independent arts institution The Blue Room Theatre. For nearly 30 years, the theater has been a major hub for Western Australia’s independent theater, putting on shows and programming throughout the year.

This year, photographer Duncan Wright photographed the shows for all of the seasons and festivals, and Terms of Service gave the photography center stage in its branding system. The system also uses the Dinamo typefaces Ginto Nord and Favorit and a bold and rotating color palette that “frames and adapts to [each] independent production’s own creative needs.” Pretty good first go at things for a new studio.

Printed at Pico, by Happening Studio

Pico Boulevard in Los Angelos has its fair share of landmarks, including Casa del Mar hotel, RAND corporation headquarters, McGabe’s Guitar Shop—and, nestled in with various retail shops—a slew of printers. Printed At Pico is a new book that collects what’s been printed at these local print shops.

The graphics and imagery have been collaged and “remixed” by people in the communities surrounding each printer. And readers of the book can take a “a quick survey (from Santa Monica to DTLA and back again) of L.A.’s diverse communities through typographic decisions made by necessities of commerce and culture within their neighborhoods.” There’s even a delightful companion website.

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