Banana magazine issue five, spread

Plus, a callout to design grads for an exhibition in China, some cute popup designs, and an identity for an exhibition that celebrates contemporary craft in the UK. For more along these lines (and so many others) you can follow along all day, every day on Instagram @AIGAeyeondesignFacebook, and Twitter @AIGAeyeondesign.

  1. The Shape of Sound: 20 Designers, 100 Record Covers

Graphic designer Scott Lindberg is a lucky dude, boasting an incredible collection of ephemera, including some stunning record sleeves from the 1950s. “The music industry was just beginning to establish rules for how the LP format could (and should) be merchandised, which left quite a bit of room for experimentation with cover graphics,” says Lindberg. “A few record publishers were willing to give their designers the leeway to emote the music through sleeve graphics. In the era of hard-edge painting, Abstract Expressionism, and other Modernist art movements, non-representational abstraction provided an alternate way for designers of the period to communicate the feeling of the music, and use shape to describe sound.”

Some of the pieces from his collection are currently on show at Seattle gallery Non-Breaking Space in an exhibition entitled The Shape of Sound: 20 Designers, 100 Record Covers. “It is by no means a comprehensive study of abstract record sleeves, but simply provides a window of 100 examples through which we can view some of the solutions that 20 designers came up with to solve increasingly complex problems, resolving formal Modernist approaches with a need to connect with the consumer,” Lindberg adds. The show runs until July 18.

Studio Build, Useful/Beautiful exhibition identity

2. Studio Build, Useful/Beautiful: Why Craft Matters Exhibition Identity

Studio Build has created a new visual identity for the biennial exhibition, Useful/Beautiful: Why Craft Matters, orchestrated by charitable organization Harewood House Trust which is based in Leeds, England. The show features work by UK-based makers including Yinka Ilori, Anthony Burrill, Hiut Denim, Max Lamb, and Faye Toogood, and “aims to challenge perceptions, spark interest, and inspire debate about the role British craft can play in culture, identity, and society,” according to Build. The visual identity was created to be “unapologetic” and bold, demonstrating that “the world of contemporary craft is incredibly exciting,” says Build’s creative director and founder Michael C Place. Two bespoke typefaces were created, one that reflects the “Useful” of the show title, the other the “Beautiful” side. Studio Build worked closely with curator Hugo Macdonald and London-based exhibition designers Simon Jones Studio on the project.

Here </> There call for entries, designed by Tao Lin

3. Here </> There, Call for Entries

The School of International Art (SIA) and Today Art Museum in Beijing have put out a call for entries for recent graduates from Western art and design schools to be shown in a major exhibition entitled Here </> There this autumn. The show aims to highlight the art and design from schools in Western countries to Chinese audiences, demonstrating “how a design and artistic practice was formed through educational experience” according to one of the curators, Adrian Shaughnessy. The identity was designed by Tao Lin.

It’s free to submit, and the callout is open to any graduate from a non-Asian art and design school across various disciplines listed here, from architecture to graphic design, illustration, photography, and more. Submissions can be the result of internships, freelance, self-initiated work, or studio work. Studios may also submit work, as long as it adheres to the three-year post-graduation rule.  In the first instance, you can submit work here by uploading a digital file. Shaughnessy is co-curating the show with London-based design studio Regular Practice.

4.  Banana magazine, Issue Five

We’re longtime lovers of Banana, the magazine that shines a light on Asian-American creatives. Founded in 2015 by Vicki Ho and Kathleen Tso, the publication aims to challenge tired, often offensive stereotypes, and its newest issue looks blummin’ brilliant. Boasting a cover by Eric Hu, number five includes cannabis-infused Chinese recipes by Sous Weed, a look at Taipei’s burgeoning drag scene, and an exclusive collaboration with calligraphy artist Vincent Chong.

5. Projject, Mindstore identity

Based in Shenzhen, China, spatial design and brand strategy studio Projject, recently created the branding for the Mindstore pop-up at the Shenzhen Annual Design Conference.  The designs are inspired by the childhood memories of playing hide and seek, and juxtapose spatial elements, materials, and colors to “let the products communicate with their surroundings through physical and visible changes: covering, reflection, distortion and emergence,” says the agency. Audiences were encouraged to walk within the space and discover surprising hidden experiences. “Rather than a common, standard branding process, we created the visual design of as an extension of the spatial experience. The book design uses lively graphic components alongside cover cut-outs, intentional text bleeding, and playful image composition.