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  • Get inspired with Marius Roosendaal’s distinct type experiments

    Fueled by curiosity Marius Roosendaal finds himself in a process of continuous iteration and experimentation as he is in a constant fascination by systems he searches for new and surprising connections. 

    Often with bold shapes and contrast, Roosendaal’s work is consistent and sophisticated as he aims to draw the viewer in using geometric plays, repetition and perspective, showing complexity within uncomplicated layouts.

    Currently the Design Director at AREA 17, New York Roosendaal is responsible for the creative output of interactive projects. His collection of type and lettering projects and explorations with techniques like stacking and extruding in various perspectives, such as isometric and axonometric - inspired by Takenobu Igarashi’s work- bring his bold, distinct aesthetic in the spotlight. Felling inspired already?

  • Documenta14’s no-rules visual identity is an experiment for four

    In this year's documenta14’s ground breaking visual identity which is provocative and intriguing, Vier5, Ludovic Balland, Laurenz Brunner & Julia Born, and Mevis & van Deursen are the four graphic design groups involved. It is worth noting that there was not one,  but four takes on the art venue’s identity, which this year had two parts, one in Athens and one in Kassel, with the second part of the exhibition already in full bloom.

    “While balancing two cities, two time-lines, and three languages is already complicated enough from a design perspective, curator Adam Szymczyk decided to add another layer of complexity to the event’s communications; inviting four studios to work on the design, and scrapping any notion of an overarching identity” reports AIGA’s Eye on Design. “They’ve been given no rules or guidelines from Szymczyk” adds the report on this very provocative experiment “that probes at the industry’s obsession with identity systems, and the way that identity is in thrall to marketing and branding”.

    “documenta’s true identity can be described as the sum of many different signs and meanings, as a process rather than a fixed reality” said Italian studio Leftloft which developed the previous documenta’s visual identity with this year’s venue taking the idea one step further.

    Check more on the four studios work which continue the investigation of “weakening the notion of an identity” here.

  • Enter Pouya Ahmadi’s black and white poetic newspaper with grace

    We are hardcore fans of Pouya Ahmadi, this award-winning graphic designer and art director based in Chicago who is having a great time bringing East and West together under his guidance.

    Working in the cultural and social field, collaborating with art/culture institutions and small businesses developing brand identities, printed matter, and publications Ahmadi’s newspaper for Festival of Poets Theatre is a beautiful, bold, black and white project which brings the words into the limelight.

    “Poets theater is a genre of porous borders, one that emerges about the same time, and involving many of the same artists, as performance art, performance poetry (“spoken word”), conceptual and “intermedia” art. But poets have long been playwrights, either primarily (Sophocles, Shakespeare) or as a platform for postmodern literary experimentation (the operas and page plays of Gertrude Stein, for example)” writes the Swiss-educated Chicago-based graphic designer, writer, and educator.


    Check more here

  • Johnson Witehira will bring Maori’s visual culture to the world

    Despite the continued progress made by Māori designers, New Zealand design culture is still largely homogeneous” reports Eye On Design’s Margaret Andersen before introducing us to the marvelous world of Johnson Witehira, a graphic designer and typographer “motivated to use his design practice to ‘actually change the visual landscape of New Zealand, and to create one that’s bicultural, rather than monocultural’”.

    An artist and designer of Tamahaki (Ngāti Hinekura), Ngā Puhi (Ngai-tū-te-auru), Ngāti Haua and New Zealand European descent Johnson Witehira graduated from the Whanganui School of Design in 2004, going on to complete his Masters in 2007. His interest in Māori art and design led him to Te Pūtahi-a-Toi (School of Maori Studies, Massey University) where he completed his doctorate in Māori design. In his research, Tārai Kōrero Toi: Articulating a Māori Design Language, Witehira developed a platform for contemporary Māori design practice through the exploration of traditional carving.

    Witehira’s work has a strong aesthetic that comes from combining traditional Maori form and pattern with ideas from graphic design and contemporary Western arts practice.

    Through his numerous projects he looks to develop indigenous and Maori design in the areas of typography, graphic, product, packaging and fashion design. He has also been involved in the development of Māori design education through teaching and the development of new Maori-centred design programmes.

    “In most attempts at Maori typeface design, designers have chosen to digitally revive painted and carved Maori type, or they have simply transposed Maori forms, such as the koru, onto alphabet characters. In contrast to these approaches, Whakarare is built from the ground up with the focus being on the creation of wholly new forms” writes Witehira on his Whakarare typeface.

    “Thus, while referencing Maori aesthetics and studies of Maori typographic preferences, each letter was created from hand-drawn originals. Maori typographic preferences seen in Whakarare include the use of high contrast between strokes, an emphasis on the vertical stress, and the use of an irregularly high x-height. The use of macrons to indicate long-vowels was also an important aspect of the typeface” he adds.

    Be a part of his heritage here

  • Swiss Typefaces presents TheW, Didot genre reinterpreted

    Having first emerged as a single font in the Lab (Swiss Typefaces’ testing field for new ideas) TheW is extending it’s success. TheW Clan RZA is the first style in an upcoming series of various TheW Clan (Headline fonts) with the monospaced font accompanied by TheW NYC (Regular and Italic), a slightly tamed-down pair with standard proportional spacing for greater readability.

    “TheW is an unique interpretation of the Didot genre. It revitalizes the conventional model with highly novel elements. Letters such as ‘C’, ‘O’ and ‘N’ follow the logic of a traditional Didot with straight serifs. Even the triangular top serif on the lowercase ‘l’ doesn’t deviate much from the historic rounded Didot. While the middle bar of ‘E’ is typically designed as a fine line with a triangular terminal, we transformed the black values of this letter part into a bare bold line. The ampersand (&) is designed completely outside a pen-derived logic of thick and thin strokes. It generates a contrast of its own, with an undogmatic weight distribution that simply works. ‘G’ is drawn in a rather brutalist fashion. Its pointed beard has just the right amount of black. The high center of ‘M’ is derived from monospaced typefaces and introduces a very special temper” writes ST.

    Initially developed for Sport&Style magazine under the creative direction of designers Régis Tosetti and Simon Palmieri the graphic design studio responded to their needs by creating a Didot variation that is very flexible — a conventional one would have been too mechanical.

    “The condensed proportion as well as most serif endings of the uppercase letters were retained. For the use in text, it was crucial to establish the right rhythm within the lowercase. The ‘e’ became asymmetrical, breaking the verticality of a traditional Didot. We kept the straight-line serifs at the bottom of the letters. For the top, however, we opted for triangular serifs. This further disrupts the linear effect of an old-school Didot. Some letters like ‘f’ were adjusted for greater readability. Simon and Régis asked for an italic, too, so we drew it. The outcome is a hybrid Didot-styled italic.

    As a typeface for text, one might expect that TheW NYC featured a ‘g’ with a more conventional weight distribution. We preferred to maintain the unique placement of the black as seen in the monospaced style, though. Once this design decision was made, this maverick ‘g’ allowed us to apply a similar treatment to the figures ‘3’ and ‘5’, among other glyphs. Some letters in TheW were shaped solely by playfully pursuing a certain black value. This playfulness was integrated into the design logic of the typeface”.

    Read more here