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  • #TGIIF: The only Instagram account to follow this Friday is @mohammadrsharaf

    Visual artist and designer Mohammad Sharaf was born Iand raised in Kuwait. Now the New York based creative whose agenda is bringing to life “things that actually make sense” caused quite a stir with his installation “The Cemetery of Banned Books”.

    Consisting of 200 tombstones, decorated in the form of book covers and installed on a wasteland near the place where the Annual Book Fair of Kuwait takes place Sharaf created this cemetery in protest against state censorship.

    In Kuwait, more than 4,300 books are prohibited–both translated publications and works by local authors with iconic books such as “The Divine Comedy” by Dante Alighieri, “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez or the fairy tale “The Little Mermaid” by Hans Christian Andersen being among the censored titles.

    The census of books is handled by a committee at the Ministry of Information and Communications. The list includes literature that, according to officials, does not fit the Islamic society–secular and atheistic.

    Speaking to Euronews, artist Momhammed Sharaf said he had two goals when designing the cemetery.

    "The first was to shed light on the banned books," he said. "The second is to show people that we can say 'no' in a very peaceful way, without manifestations, and without writing in journals."

    "The secret behind the success of the attempt is that it did not disrupt the people's movement, and it did not ruin anything. It speaks for itself."

    The installation of Sharaf stood for four hours before it got demolished. The artist fears that he may be charged due to the illegal installation of objects.

    Check Sharaf's typographic activism and more here

    30Nov
  • How Roger Excoffon's Choc shocked the Big Apple

    Choc (French: "shock") is a display script typeface designed by Roger Excoffon in 1955. The typeface grew out of Excoffon's repeated and ultimately abandoned efforts to make a bold of his typeface Mistral

    In the 1980s, the prevailing opinion among designers was that, because of its lack of modernity, it was one of Excoffon's "tacky fonts that should only have been used for parodying the shop window of a provincial butcher, baker or hair salon". In the 1990s, Choc was distributed digitally with the graphics software CorelDraw under the name Staccato 555

    CorelDraw's widespread use in signmaking shops may have helped Choc in becoming widely used in signage. Because the letterforms evoke the forms of East Asian calligraphy (whether intentionally or not is unclear).

    Choc is especially often used in signs for Asian businesses. The New York Times wrote in 2018 that "Choc has become a typographical shorthand for Asian-themed restaurants" in New York City, where it is frequently seen.

    "It's a typeface that draws the eye with its inherent contradictions. It seems to have been drawn improvisationally with a brush, and yet it's so hefty it looks like it could slip off a wall. It's both delicate and emphatic, a casual paradox, like a Nerf weapon. Choc is far from the most popular typeface on the storefronts of New York, but it can still be found everywhere and in every borough. It's strewn on fabric awnings and etched in frosted glass. It gleams in bright magenta or platinum lighting. It's used for beauty salons, Mexican restaurants, laundromats, bagel shops, numerous sushi bars. It may be distorted, stacked vertically, or shoehorned into a cluster of other typefaces. But even here Choc remains clear and articulate, its voice deep and friendly, its accent foreign, perhaps, yet endearing. You've already seen it, probably repeatedly, like a stranger you recognize from your morning commute" reports NYT.

    Explore more of this typographic adventure here.

    27Nov
  • Blaqk are keeping it fresh with a mural installation and four paintings in Amsterdam

    Keep it Fresh projects is a group of creative people from different fields, with an extensive international network. 

    The renowned graphic design duo Blaqk, the collaboration between Greg Papagrigoriou and Chris Tzaferos (Simek), spent some days in Amsterdam bringing their creative genius to the Netherlands.

    Blaqk created a mural installation at KIF's “White Wall project”. Mixing Papagrigoriou Grigoris' organic forms and lines with Simek's geometric and systematic shapes, they created this harmonic configurable art piece.

    Also using a Graphics Interchange Format, they created a loop animation giving more complexity and dynamism to their piece on the digital sources, creating on that way, another language or perception of their body of work.

    The graphic designers and visual artists based in Athens, Greece, work by combining many graphic elements - calligraphic forms, letters, lines, geometric shapes, patterns, negative space and textures. 

    They work with murals, painting, graphic design among other things. Greg works mostly with calligraphy and sometimes with geometric forms and Simek with geometric shapes and lines.''

    Blaqk, created in March 2011, teamed up with Keep it Fresh, a community of creators who believe that "any art expression is a different world with immense possibilities, and creativity is a cataclysm for a common positivism and improvement of our environment". 

    KIF's mission is to form a worldwide community and network of creative people with a common passion for explore and push the boundaries, create, develop ideas, keep the minds and creativity fresh.

    Last but not least, Keep it Fresh released four original paintings done by Blaqk which you can check and purchase here


    Images @Keep It Fresh

    20Nov
  • #TGIIF: The only Instagram account to follow this Friday is @ashworthchris

    Chris Ashworth is more than inspired by Swiss design aesthetics. The English graphic designer known for being the executive global creative director for Getty Images and the art director of the magazine Ray Gun in 1997 even refers to his own style as "Swiss grit".

    One of the graphic radicals who deifned an era, Ashworth graduated from the York College of Arts & Technology in 1990 with a degree in graphic design. In collaboration with some friends, he opened a design studio called Orange, which created black and white, easily photocopiable flyers for local nightclubs.

    Characterized by hyper detail, barcodes, horizontal lines, and the use of multiple transparent layers the style is a huge hit amongst many.

    Discover all the reasons why in this week's TGIIF.


    Images | @ashworthchris

    02Nov
  • Dynamic typography roams wild in Honda's Civic latest W+K London campaign

    "We worked with Honda to encourage drivers to take a break from the norm in ‘Where Different Takes You’, a new pan-European campaign promoting the carmaker’s distinctive, sporty Civic" note Wieden+Kennedy London of their latest ultra typographic campaign for the Japanese brand. In the UK, one of the first markets to go live, the campaign is led by a 60” film, which sees dynamic typography create an unexpected path – pushing the boundaries of a Civic driver. The film conveys the distinctive spirit of the Civic and the brand’s values, while showcasing every sleek and sporty angle of the vehicle.

    Set to a slick voiceover from London rapper and artist Kojey Radical, the spot is directed by Mike Skrgatic and James Allen, who previously collaborated with Honda UK and W+K London on the award-winning Dream Makers film.

    'Where Different Takes You’ debuted in the UK on October 6 in cinemas and October 7 on TV and is supported by a national print and out-of-home campaign.


    Wieden+Kennedy London

     

    01Nov