Brunch Club, issue 01

Plus, a new magazine focused on elevating voices of queer people and a colorful personal project by designer and art director Elena Miska. For more along these lines (and so many others) you can follow along all day, every day on Instagram @AIGAeyeondesignFacebook, and Twitter @AIGAeyeondesign.

  1. DreamJams by Lovers 

If there’s anything more appealing than imagining slipping into some silky PJs while sitting in front of your computer in the middle of a work day, it’s imagining that those silk PJs are made by design collective Lovers. As if that isn’t dreamy enough, consider the fact that fashion designer Sadie Williams designed the pajamas (pure silk, with a winged shirt and super-wide bottoms) and graphic designer Braulio Amado created the pattern. And bringing in a whole new meaning of jam to the project is sound artist Kira Belin, who produced a “sonic artwork” from field recordings that comes with the purchase. The pajamas are ethically made in London, shaped for all genders, and “specifically designed to stimulate imaginative feelings.” We’re not totally sure how that last point will work, but they do look comfy. It’s also nice to see some self-initiated work from Lovers, whose client work we’ve long appreciated, and which has been exploring writing and experimental work via its platform PillowTalk.

2. Brunch Club magazine issue 01

When we talked to Hello Mr. founder Ryan Fitzgibbon back in 2017, his priorities for creating a growing queer community around his popular (sadly no longer printing) independent magazine were clear. Since then, Hello Mr. has launched a residency called The Issues, bringing Brunch Club in as its first magazine-in-residence. Founded by Colby Anderson and Ernest Macias with a mission “to help elevate the voices of queer people, especially those of color,” Brunch Club’s issue 00 was inserted into Hello Mr. issue 09.

After that formidable launch, the magazine has released issue 01, the first issue created outside of the residency. This issue focuses on identity and features RuPaul’s Drag Race star Valentina, as well as contributed work from artists, writers, and poets.

The Social Design Cookbook

3. Social Design Cookbook

In fall of 2018, a group of designers and researchers from Finland, Hungary, and the Netherlands took to the Finnish crowdfunding platform Mesenaatti to raise funds for a new publishing initiative—a guidebook to social cooperation in the design field. Its Social Design Cookbook was successfully funded and is now out in the world, following a launch in Budapest in July. The idea behind the book is to break down how to organize “successful and sustainable” social initiatives—i.e. formats like Critical Mass and PechaKucha nights—and figure out what has made them so successful in their local communities, and how that might be replicated in other contexts. The book also includes something called a Social Design Canvas, a design tool which can be used to study, analyze, and design new forms of social collaboration and cooperation. The team says the book is for anyone interested in “how formats of social cooperation can transform the lives of a huge number of citizens.”

4. Interplay by Elena Miska

Designer and art director Elena Miska sent over some eye-catching new work in the form of a photo series called Interplay. The project brings together the three disciplines she inhabits—art, design and fashion—and was an exercise in holistic creation. Miska did everything from fabricating the geometric set design to the styling, casting, and production.

“Normally, when I’m doing art direction for a campaign or an editorial, I come up with concepts to share with the client or publication, and also propose a team including a photographer, set designer, hair and makeup, and so on,” says Miska. “Then I brief them on what the concept and vision is so that they can do their jobs. For Interplay, I did the art direction, the fabrication of the blocks, set design, styling, casting, and production, and then collaborated with a photographer, hair stylist, and makeup artist to bring it all to life.”

5. Specht Studio’s UNESCO proposals

We’re interested in unearthing “rejected designs” on the site—both with our Rejected Designs series and by covering projects that recycle old ideas. Maybe it’s a bit of a trope in design to be fascinated with the work that never made it, but it’s also a nice peek inside of a process. Plus, there’s a lot of gems out there that go unseen because the client decided to go another direction.

Take, for example, Specht Studio’s proposals for the UNESCO’s upcoming “Futures of Education” project that we spotted on Instagram early last week. Launching in September 2019, the project looks at how education can be rethought to contribute to the global common good. UNESCO put out a call for a “distinctive visual” (something between logotype and typography) to represent the project across its various communication platforms. Full of enthusiasm for the project, designer Stephanie Specht sent in six proposals instead of just one, and was shortlisted in the top three studios before UNESCO eventually decided to go with a project that showed more language versatility with the type. 

We found the work to be great nonetheless, and an interesting look into how Specht was thinking about the proposals. In one idea, a grid is made out of custom letterforms spelling out FOE (Futures of Education). As a show of flexibility, each of the languages used in the project gets its own logo by shifting the “O.” In another proposal, Specht developed a system wherein the logo was made out of lines and a circle, with each language getting its own color—but flipped around, the shape resembles a person. Check them all out above.