Marina Willers' new identity for the Opera Ballet Vlaanderen

Plus, the third issue of The Native magazine, The Rebel Issue, is a triple threat; cute “Not Now” desktop icons for filing for later; and Marie Mohanna’s Japan travel diary—an exercise in stillness. For more along these lines (and so many others) you can follow along all day, every day on Instagram @AIGAeyeondesignFacebook, and Twitter @AIGAeyeondesign.

Native magazine, issue 003 The Rebel
  1. The Native magazine issue 003

The Native, an online platform covering art and culture in the African community, is now also a magazine—and their third issue is already well underway. The theme this time around is Rebel, and it’s designed by Callum Stephenson Studio in collaboration with Noble People, a contemporary art platform for independent publishers. The issue features stories about artists both underground and established, and “highlights trends and unique perspectives on the frontier of emerging creatives from Africa.” It also includes in-depth interviews with musicians, Odunsi The Engine, Teni, and Santi, and all are cover stars on the issue’s three unique covers. It looks very nice indeed.

Stephanie Specht’s ‘Not Now’ Mac Desktop Folder Icons

2. Stephanie Specht’s “Not Now” Mac Desktop Folder Icons

We’re big fans of Antwerp designer Stephanie Specht—so much so that we visited her studio in 2015. Now we’ve got even more reason to love her: with her “Not Now” desktop folder icons she’s allowing us to trade in those banal blue desktop folders forever in favor of some more abstract renditions in mauve, clay, sky blue, and hunter green. Why not give your desktop the same color treatment as your Everlane wardrobe? Download them here €2.50.

Marie Mohanna, Thébaïde

3. Marie Mohanna, Thébaïde

Illustrator Marie Mohanna has returned from a solo trip to Japan, and now has this beautiful silkscreened book from Terry Bleu Editions to show for it. A collection of illustrated urban landscapes, Thébaïde, is “an invitation to travel and a silent contemplation of an extremely rich culture, where tradition, mystery and modernity blend together.” Really lovely stuff, and we love the colors.

Marina Willers’ new identity for the Opera Ballet Vlaanderen

4. Marina Willers’ new identity for the Opera Ballet Vlaanderen

Pentagram partner Marina Willer sent along her team’s latest project: an identity for the Opera Ballet Vlaanderen, the largest cultural institution in the Flanders region. The brand aims visually represent their mission statement, ‘Never the Same,’ and reflect a sense of movement and transformation that comes with the institution’s recent decision to merge its opera and ballet companies. The new identity revolves around the abbreviation of the name, OBV, which has been made into a clear and concise symbol for the Vlaanderen’ new phase. Willer and team also wanted to incorporate a sense of flexibility in the branding: “Deployed in a bold, confident manner and appear in large proportion, the three letters are always accompanied by the full name of the company—Opera Ballet Vlaanderen, allowing OBV to speak in a subtler tone if required,” the designer says.

Nontsikelelo Mutiti’s exhibition Everything is where it is expected

5. Nontsikelelo Mutiti’s exhibition Everything is where it is expected

We caught up with desigenr Nontsikelelo Mutiti’s in 2017 to talk about her book designs exploring black African identity, the aesthetics of hair braiding, Brooklyn police brutality, and more. Now we’ve just caught wind of an exhibition of her work put on by Printed Matter in New York. In Everything is where it is expected, Mutiti “looks to the hair braiding salons of the African diaspora as a communal space and meeting point; a place for discussion, hearsay, experimentation and visual spectacle, and one that can open up new paths for thinking about black histories and futures.” She will present prints, publications, artwork, and objects that explore braiding technique as a metaphor for identity, migration and global culture. It looks excellent.