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  • Neo Neo returns with a playful brand identity for La Bâtie’s art fest

    From September 2 to 17, La Bâtie - Festival de Genève will plunge the city of Geneva into an artistic frenzy as contemporary theatre and dance shows, electronic DJ sets or rock concerts are all a part of this year’s flamboyant program. In sync with the festival’s artistic essence, Swiss studio Neo Neo created once again the identity of the festival and it’s weird and playful as ever.

    “We wanted to create lightness and absurdity. It was a simple idea but we thought let’s cover it with toothpaste, make it fresh. We wanted nonsense to be the concept,” says Xavier Erni co-founder of Neo Neo. “We wanted those big toothpaste traces to be a fresh pop culture emblem covering some cheap pictures disproportionately” he commented on the festival’s whimsical identity. As the toothpaste takes center stage for this year’s art fest, a custom made font sans serif font gave the message the clarity it demands.

    This is the second time Neo Neo proved their extraordinary craftsmanship. Last year’s childlike identity was communicated through a series of cartoon-like characters, bold typography and a red and white square repeat pattern. “What we, and the festival, like about the identity is that it’s simply really weird and absurd to have toothpaste as a main campaign motif for an artistic festival,” says Xavier.

    TEASER || LA BÂTIE 2016

  • How to brainstorm your way to rebrand Typotalks London 2017

    Βrian Liu loves rebranding. The graphic designer who is “produced in Taiwan and breathes in California” proves that with his latest project for Typotalks London 2017. “Design requires inspiration, knowledge networks” he writes. “For the first time since the 1960s, human centered design is high on the agenda: issues such as accessibility, inclusivity and mobility are once more taking center stage. And as society looks for solutions to social problems of all kinds, it is to design – and designers – that it increasingly turns”. Liu started of the project to design a typographic word mark/logo for TYPO London with brainstorming 30 ideas for the word mark/logo. “Most of these logos are base on the idea of assemble and dissemble. Some of them are expressing the idea of platforms, some of them represent gears (how type plays an important part in the society), and some of them are just playing with typography composition and different medias”. For more information click here.

  • Why Charles Williams’ stunning magazine covers matter

    “As a designer, I fall in and out of love (ok, lust) with many typefaces as I work, but as an illustrator who uses type as a vehicle for illustrative purposes, I pretty much exclusively like working with forms that allow me to explore my own visual ideas with as much freedom as possible” says Charles Williams. A skilful master at work he embraces “letterforms that will withstand being isometrically extruded, melted, exploded, humiliated”.

    Raised in Manchester, England, and now based in London, Charles’s work is rooted in drawing, geometric shapes, the continuous line, isometric grids, interconnected forms, and a surreal three-dimensional aesthetic. His work has graced magazine covers, ad campaigns, branding design, animation, and various exhibitions. With digital design dominating our culture, its is always inspiring and exciting to feature magazine covers that resemble typographic printable art. Charles Williams just draw the line to supremacy. This is a selection of his work curated by him on June 2016.

    Campaign Asia, Asia’s Top 1000 Brands 2016
    Campaign Asia wanted a bold, dynamic cover for their Top 1000 brands issue. They had a strong idea of what they wanted me to do stylistically, so I was able to get stuck into the design pretty quickly: isometric, interconnected, 3D, bright colours. Job’s a good’un.

    Lawn & Landscape, The Top 100 Issue
    For this cover I created some stripy type, which at the sketch stage was a reference to grass, but ended up being more abstract, with just the colourway referring to the subject.

    Science Magazine Signals in RNA
    Most complicated brief EVER. For this project, Science mag, a US publication, wanted me to communicate “some of the sequence features and base modifications that modulate the many and diverse functions of RNA”. I created a typographic rollercoaster with various events occurring along the type. I’m not going to attempt to break it down any further here as it is way complicated but you can read about it here. Good luck!

    Creative Review The Annual
    Best commission ever. And probably the only job that I would cancel a fully-paid-up stag do trip to Dublin for. Gan aiféala. CR gave me a fairly open brief - “something with depth”. As a compendium of so much creative work it made sense to attempt something simpler for the cover, so I included a sketch just using 3 strands interwoven to create an A. It was a double cover so I made the 3 strands feed through to the back to create another A. I’m so pleased CR picked this route as it presented an opportunity to work in new ways.”

    More info here

  • New York Times Magazine has reached new typographic heights

    In June social media was buzzing with images of another special edition of The New York Times Magazine. Titled the ‘High Life’ this issue is the magazine’s latest annual issue about New York and celebrates the height of the city therefore the issue has been designed so the pages turn upwards instead of left. “The dimensions of the magazine are 8.9375 inches by 10.875 inches… in its customary orientation, the magazine is 9,589.125 inches shorter than the 800-foot-tall highrises of Manhattan…” explains the editor Jake Silverman in his introduction. “To make up a small fraction of the difference, we rotated the entire issue (including the crossword and all the ads) 90 degrees, creating a magazine… with a 17.875-inch-tall dimension… this is as tall as it is possible for our magazine to be.”

    “Initially there was excitement but also some hesitation,” explains design director Gail Bichler, “mostly because in order to do it right we felt that the ads would need to be sideways as well. It was hard to understand what the format would look like without seeing a physical copy of it, so Matt made a mock-up, and once we showed that, the idea seemed more concrete and everyone got excited about it and got onboard.”

    The subject is perfectly suited to another of the magazine’s art director Matt Willey’s bespoke compressed sans serif typefaces. The format change enabled Matt Willey, lead designer of the issue, to create a series of vertically-oriented, poster-like spreads.

    “Matt drew the type which allowed him to elongate or shrink headlines to fit the layouts,” Bichler explains. “This was quite helpful since the space for the headlines varied with the page design and length of the display copy”.

    Bichler says that the NYT Magazine also created a virtual reality film “that allows readers to climb the spire of 1 World Trade Center with Jimmy Chin, the photographer and professional climber who shot the vertigo-inducing cover image”.

    For more typographic heights enter the issue here.

  • This typographic experiment will thrill the child in you

    Did you play with marbles when you were young? If so, Mark Richardson’s latest typographic experiment is an ultimate nostalgic trip. The founder of design studio Superfried has created a series of swirling letterforms which resemble the internal patterns found in traditional glass marbles.

    “Whilst developing a typographic style for a US client, this route was relegated from the process. Initially it started as 3D numbers – see 100 visual – with a slightly organic centre. This idea still had potential, so I took everything back to flat 2D and started to develop a complete set of numerals. It was here that the forms started to become more intricate and a reminiscence to the internal patterns of classic marbles emerged” writes Richardson.

    “The freedom of the paths allowed for experimentation across a variety of graphic styles. The first experiment formed the basis for my Max Richter – Dream 3 sleeve submission to Secret 7"s 2016. With Marbles now the designated name for the project it would be remiss not to experiment in C4D to create the style for real. Lastly experimentation with flat colour also led to interesting results”. For more game, check here.