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No. 241: New Anthropocene-themed work from Leif Podhajsky, a Playful Take on the Bauhaus + More

Plus, a fun new app to make text more expressive, some brilliant Swiss posters for a concert series, and a fab new book about mid century Modernism. For more along these lines (and so many others) you can follow along all day, every day on Instagram @AIGAeyeondesignFacebook, and Twitter @AIGAeyeondesign.

Livity, Plays app

Livity has created a mobile animation app called Plays, which creative director James Hogwood describes as “an animated message designer” that “aims to inject more fun and creativity into your messages and social content.” The app is primarily aimed at creatives, says the agency, “but it’s accessible for anyone from Instagram and Whatsapp addicts through to brands looking for a powerful tool for social content.”

There are certainly a few similar apps out there, but the agency claims that this is new in terms of the flexibility it offers and “quality of output.” The app works by allowing users to first write their message, then choose your font, pick a text animation style, pick an animating background, color everything in, and import images from your camera roll. Levity adds, “you can pause any of your animations in any place, left/right/center align your text, pinch to scale anything, move stuff around the grid, layer things. And then export it square, portrait, or landscape to Instagram, your favorite messaging app or just your camera roll.”  You can have a peek at how it all works on the Plays Instagram.

Gianluca Alla, Neubad Bistrò posters

Gianluca Alla is a London-based graphic designer who’s previously worked at the likes of Studio Feixen and Fabrica. He works across animation, identities, posters, and publications, with a client list that includes UCB Benetton, Rolling Stone magazine, and Wired UK. A recent project that caught our eye is his work for Neubad Bistrò, an arts and cultural center in Lucerne, Switzerland. Mixing classic refined Swiss grids with a little typographic playfulness, the series of concert posters stands out both for its restraint and smart use of lettering.

Theo Inglis, Mid-Century Modern Graphic Design

Writer Theo Inglis—whose words have graced this very site—is soon to publish Mid-Century Modern Graphic Design, a guide to the mid-century graphic style across the world featuring book and record covers, typography, illustration, posters, advertising, and more. Among the designers featured are Paul Rand, Elaine Lustig Cohen, Leo Lionni, Rudolph de Harak, Abram Games, Ivan Chermayeff, Josef Albers, Corita Kent, Jim Flora, Ben Shahn, Helen Borten, and a ton more. There’s a wealth of images here, as you’d hope—including Saul Bass’ film posters and Miroslav Šašek’s children’s books, “alongside lesser-known gems,” as the publisher Batsford  puts it. The book is released on May 2.

Leif Podhajsky, Post Nature

A new show of prints by Leif Podhajsky explores the Anthropocene age—the era in which human activity has been the biggest influence on our environment. The works on show look to explore “a natural world in flux; investigating resonances between living and artificial systems and the future cross-pollination of digital and natural environments and their impact on us as human beings.” Through 16 new works, Podhajsky presents his “visions of a symbiotic nature which is hyper-connected to both the earth and machine technology.” The prints will be displayed alongside a new installation piece that examines the harmony between digital techniques and “organic feeling outcomes.” The show, entitled Post Nature, takes place at London’s The Print Space Gallery from April 11-May 10.

Aga Giecko: Bauhaus 100

Poland-born, London-based illustrator Aga Giecko uses playful shapes, bold lines, and bright colors to reinterpret the Bauhaus style to mark the schools centenary year with an exhibition of illustration inspired by the establishment. Naturally, she uses geometric shapes and primary colors, but also avoids pastiche by bringing in hand lettering and playful character design. The Aga Giecko: Bauhaus 100 exhibition runs until 11 May at Kuratiert, Berlin.

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