Abram Games poster

Plus, a rebrand for the Spanish National Postal Service and a beautiful new publication for a photography duo designed by Cologne-based design collective Oooz. For more along these lines (and so many others) you can follow along all day, every day on Instagram @AIGAeyeondesignFacebook, and Twitter @AIGAeyeondesign.

Theo Inglis, Mid-Century Modern Graphic Design

Writer and designer Theo Inglis is no stranger to Eye on Design—in fact, he’s penned pieces about little-known Beatles designer Gordon House and a celebration of Elaine Lustig Cohen for us in the past. Now, he’s published a full-fledged book on what would surely be his Mastermind subject: mid-century modern graphic design. Published by Batsford, the book offers an in-depth look at the innovative graphics of the post-war period across the work of artists and designers the world over, including book covers, record sleeves, posters, advertising, typography, and illustration. The impact of the period on designers today is laid bare; with bold, energetic layouts, experimental typography and popping color palettes. Among the designers featured in the book are Ray Eames, Paul Rand, Alex Steinweiss, Joseph Low, Alvin Lustig, Elaine Lustig Cohen, Leo Lionni, Rudolph de Harak, Abram Games, Tom Eckersley, Ivan Chermayeff, Josef Albers, Corita Kent, Jim Flora, Ben Shahn, Herbert Bayer, Saul Bass, and Helen Borten.

Artful Impact: The Posters of Abram Games, at The Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography (HMCT)

It’s a double whammy this week when it comes to mid-century modernism, but it would be remiss of us not to let our pals in Pasadena know about a comprehensive exhibition of the work of Abram Games. Entitled Artful Impact: The Posters of Abram Games and on show at The Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography (HMCT) at ArtCenter College of Design, the exhibition presents work spanning Games’ five-decade career, which included a stint as the official designer of war posters for Britain during World War II.

“As a graphic thinker and social observer, Games created designs that commanded attention and sparked reactions,” says the gallery. “His works were often direct and deceptively simple: striking images joined compelling slogans rendered mostly in hand-drawn display lettering, to capture the eye, the mind, and the heart. He followed tradition by using familiar objects, then embraced cutting-edge modernism by rendering them as simplified shapes or bold silhouettes that sometimes doubled as playful visual puns.” The show runs until July 28.

Booze House Tales logo by Gordon Reid/Middle Boop

Gordon Reid/Middle Boop, Booze House Tales Branding

Pub-rating apps are usually the preserve (or so we’d imagine) of the beardy real ale brigade—an altogether rather sweet, but also slightly humorless affair. Not so with Booze House Tales, an app hailing from London that rates pubs across the UK and beyond according to various criteria—some, your typical laddy fare (football screens, what beers/ciders they have on draught, pool and darts facilities, and so on), and others more wild rating systems, like how much you can actually remember about said pub (the phrase “one for the frog” crops up a fair bit, a variation on Cockney rhyming slang’s frog and toad, or “one for the road,” if our American readers are still following all this). In short, Booze House Tales is both informative and hilarious. With the app’s rapidly growing success and its forthcoming expansion to YouTube and other platforms, it needed a new look, and Gordon Reid, a.k.a Middle Boop, was drafted in to do the honors.

“Booze House Tales is a brand we at Middle Boop Studios have admired for a long time. We really felt they have found such a strong niche. People love a good booze house don’t they? And people love a good go on the Instagrams don’t they? But sometimes people who use the Instagrams don’t always know where to go for the best booze house you see, so why not merge those two together so that people who use the Instagrams can find the best booze houses from an expert who has been to all the booze houses in London? 

“Naturally we jumped at the change to get involved in this career defining project. We wanted to approach this with the care and consideration that it deserved. We not only owed it to the Booze House Tales creators, but to their legions of fans and followers. 

“We wanted Booze House Tales to be bright and vibrant to reflect their strong culture and brand pillars, the new look and feel needed to be punchy and become instantly recognizable. We wanted to move away from anything too much like a pub sign or resembling a bar to let the Booze House Tales brand really speak for itself. And we put a moon on top of it at low opacity for some reason, I don’t know.” 

The platform’s founder adds: “Booze House Tales is on a quest to find that perfect ‘one more for the frog’ boozer. The goal is to be one of the best drinking establishment bloggers on the globe, and the next plan is going to Eastern Europe to explore boozers there. With the branding I wanted something that was pretty bold and exciting. I want people to think ‘there goes Booze House Tales I must remember to thank him!’”

Summa, Spanish National Postal Service rebrand

Summa, a branding agency from Barcelona, Spain, recently completed a mammoth project: to create new branding for Correos, Spain’s national postal service. Taking on a brand with more than 350 years of history is no small task, and the designs had to adapt to the rapid changes in how we deal with courier and parcel services in the digital age. “Our task was to update the brand and position Correos as another player in the current industry, leaving behind the times where the brand expressed itself only in its fleet, facades, and mailboxes, and covering every outcome across physical and digital media,” says Summa.

The historical crown-based symbol was lightly retouched to give it “more oxygen between its lines” and “lighten its shapes” to turn it into a more flexible symbol. The new designs also retain the familiar bright yellow color palette, but introduce a new typeface created with Monotype specifically for the project. The font, named Cartero (Postman), “brings elegance and modernity, and reinforces the essential attributes of the new Correos,” says the agency. A new label system was also created to be modular and flexible across all communications. The team worked on a new system for art direction alongside Sara Riera and Mireia Ruiz. 

Oooz Design Club, Hocke by BAM Photographers magazine

Oooz is a multidisciplinary design club based in Cologne, Germany, and has recently designed a beautiful publication for BAM, a photography and direction duo.

The publication’s Hocke title refers to the fact that it’s a photographic exploration of the beaches of Muizenberg, South Africa. “Hocke” is German for squat, and Oooz says it’s seeing a lot of “revived 90s hip-hop,” tripes trending in fashion editorials. “The two photographers portrayed chilled car lovers, posing with a vintage Golf Mk1 and a Toyota Tazz on the beaches of Muizenberg, outside of Capetown,” the studio explains.

South African manufacturing plants were the last in the world to build these entry level cars up until the late 2000s, and both models are still hugely popular today, “greatly defining the streetscapes of the cities,” says Oooz. “All bare bones and boxy, these affordable cars are like blank canvases that can be driven as they are or pimped out and completely converted under the hood to challenge modern supercars for a race.”

BAM commissioned the designers to “transport this look and feeling into print design with a modern touch.”