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  • Korean alphabet won the gold medal in this year's Winter Olympics

    This month, from 9 to 25 February 2018 Pyeongchang County in South Korea hosts the impressive 2018 Winter Olympics

    Seoul-based industrial designer Lee Suk-woo designed the medals for the international multi-sport event and the Korean alphabet is the mere inspiration for the first South Korean Winter Olympic - and the second Olympics in the country overall after the 1988 Summer Olympics in the nation's capital, Seoul.

    Featuring diagonal ridges, which have been formed from extrusions of the country's 600-year-old alphabet Lee's medals are formed from extrusions of the letters of Hangeul -the Korean alphabet that dates back to the 15th century.

    To create the surface Lee digitally laid out letters from the alphabet in two vertical lines, and wrapped the text to form the edges of a disk. Rendering software was used to join the edges diagonally, creating ridges that warp from end to end, dictated by the curved and flat shapes of the character profiles. The alphabet can still be read around the medal rims.

    "The stems of Hangeul, the seeds of culture, are cut into a circular shape," said the designer. "The side of the medal show Hangeul – the seed – and the obverse shows the stem and the process."

    Per Dezeen Lee also looked to traditional aspects of Korean culture for the design of the medal ribbons and boxes.

    The ribbons will also be decorated with letters from the Hangeul alphabet.

    Hangeul, the Korean alphabet, refers to the series of letters that form syllables with which the Korean language is written. 

    The most unique aspect of Hangeul is that it was intentionally created by the government as a written means of expressing the Korean language. History states that King Sejong, who was the 4th king of the Joseon Dynasty, created Hangeul with the help of a team of scholars, making it the most significant invention in Korean history.

    Koreans take pride in their alphabet. They believe that Hangeul best demonstrates the creativity of Koreans during the past 5000 years of Korean civilization. 

    Koreans mark the 9th of every October as a national celebration to commemorate the creation of Hangeul. As the only national celebration for an alphabet in the world, this day reflects the uniqueness of an alphabet created and systematized by a government to reflect the unique sounds of a language.

    Hangeul is a series of creative and scientifically created characters. The alphabet was originally composed of 17 consonants and 11 vowels when it was first conceived however, now only 14 consonants and 10 vowels are used. Consonants and vowels are used to write words by crossing and addition. The easy and simple to learn alphabet is regarded the sole reason the illiteracy rate in Korea is virtually zero.

    The quality of Hangeul has been extensively studied and praised by experts worldwide. In 1989, UNESCO initiated the King Sejong Literacy Prize, which is awarded to an individual or group, which contributes to the crusade against illiteracy. 

    Lee Suk-woo also produced the Paralympic medals for the upcoming event -the Paralympics will take place from March 9 to 18.

    The Winter Games will be followed by the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

  • Bureau Mitte typographic posters for Deutscher Werkbund have substance

    Bureau Mitte, the multi-disciplinary design and craft studio which was established in 2011 by the graphic designers Anna Ranches and Helene Uhl and now provides strategy, identity and design solutions for commercial and cultural clients has grown and surrounded itself with a large network of partners.

    For their unconventional approach to design, their unusual business concept and their general support of the Frankfurt Rhine-Main region and the creative scene, Bureau Mitte was invited to become a member of the prestigious 'Deutscher Werkbund' (German Association of Craftsmen) in 2016. To celebrate and represent this interdisciplinary association, the Frankfurt design agency has developed two poster series which each feature three separate motifs.

    “Through content and the chosen design, two key terms from the mission statement of the Deutscher Werkbund are set in dialogue with each another” notes BM. “The »work« (»Werk«) is considered in relation to »value« (»Wert«), »education« (»Bildung«) in relation to »attitude« (»Haltung«) and »format« in relation to the term »design«. All these aspects stand for the substantive work done by the Deutscher Werkbund”.

    “The chosen design has a typographical focus and places the words themselves in the foreground, against a strongly saturated background” adds the design studio. “Series 1 converts the terms set at the top of the design into the terms set at the bottom via a multi-phasic process of transformation. Series 2 works with a contrasting display of the terms – which are featured across the letters shown in areal and in outlines”. The Deutscher Werkbund (German Association of Craftsmen) is a German association of artists, architects, designers, and industrialists, established in 1907.

    The Werkbund became an important element in the development of modern architecture and industrial design, particularly in the later creation of the Bauhaus school of design. Its initial purpose was to establish a partnership of product manufacturers with design professionals to improve the competitiveness of German companies in global markets. The Werkbund was less an artistic movement than a state-sponsored effort to integrate traditional crafts and industrial mass production techniques, to put Germany on a competitive footing with England and the United States.

    Its motto Vom Sofakissen zum Städtebau (from sofa cushions to city-building) indicates its range of interest.

    Check more here

  • Typography is the real star in Sugar for All’s line of wooden furniture

    “My focus is the development of concepts and communication strategies, branding and corporate design, typography, product and poster design” notes Funs Kurstjens aka Sugar for All. “I love to breathe new life into ideas and projects” he adds and his Type on Wood furnitures are his latest attempt to bring typography into the spotlight. “Type on wood is a communicative furniture concept. Massive wooden furniture is decorated by hand with mostly bold grotesque letters such as Helvetica and Futura. The feel of the heavy and robust commodities and the contrasting of typography invites the viewer to consciously deal with the communicative artifact. The small series of bench and stool was created in cooperation of SFA and wood etc” notes Kurstjens.

  • Leeds United reconsiders its new crest after major social media backlash

    “We conducted thorough research into the desire for a change to the crest to symbolise a new era for the club. However, we also appreciate the need to extend the consultation with supporters and we are committed to working with you to create an identity we can all be proud of” reads the latest statement of the renowned football club in the graphic design drama which exploded upon the release of Leeds United new crest.

    Inspired by the football club’s song Marching on Together the badge has been redesigned ahead of the club’s 100th anniversary in 2019. Hence the result of a six-month consultation period with over 10,000 people has disappointed many.

    “As we approach the centenary we asked what the future means to [fans],” says Leeds United. “It has become abundantly clear that the fans are ready to herald in a new era. It is also clear that the current crest represents a turbulent and largely unsuccessful period in the club’s history.”

    Per managing director Angus Kinnear the badge aims to reflect the idea of “strength in unity. Once we heard that there was a desire for change to help herald a new era for the club, it became of primary importance that the new crest clearly reflected who we are.”

    The badge retains the blue and yellow team colours, but ditches the white rose symbol and “unrecognisable” LUFC logotype seen previously, says the club. Instead, Leeds United is now written out in full, and the crest depicts a person placing their right hand on their chest.

    The hand symbol is known as the “Leeds Salute”, and is often done by fans on match days while singing the club’s song Marching on Together.

    Leeds United has not confirmed at the time of publishing whether it worked with any design consultancies on the rebrand reports DesignWeek. The new crest will be rolled out during the 2018-2019 football season.


  • Blaqk's fifth solo show captures the moment for Temporary Duplex

    "In the particular series of artworks we have used two different elements that co-complement and co-balance each other" notes artist duo Blaqk on their fifth solo show entitled Capturing the Moment which concludes the exhibition programme of Temporary Duplex. "The three pieces in the Lockers space create a balance and function in a supportive way, while the larger-scale mural in the Laundry space is linked with the canvas pieces, forming a single composition that for us, expresses notions such as movement, repetition along with the very moment of their creation" adds the renowned duo of their synergy with curator Andreas Fakis.

    "The exhibition Capturing the Moment consists of art pieces of the artist Duo that are being presented for the first time and belong in a new period, which acquires its key characteristics through the experiential experience of the creators themselves. A procedure that arises thanks to the non-segregation of personal and professional time; of calligraphy and geometry, from their other activities. The simplicity, the balance, the self containment, the complementarity and other notions of a more fluid sense that are embedded in Blaqk’s work, come to life in this way" adds Fakis. 

    Blaqk consist of Greg Papagrigoriou (1986, Athens) and Chris Tzaferos (1985, Chalcis). Since 2011, they have a presence in public space as a duo and have presented large scale pieces in Gdynia, Sicily, Valencia, Rome and Munich.

    Temporary Duplex is on through 11 February. More info here