Lovely to see young studio Supple Studio have launched a shiny new website showcasing some of their latest work — can’t wait to see more!
We caught up with Ross about the studio, and their latest project, ‘Hungry Worms’– a social book sharing initiative for those living with dementia.
“Being at home suffering from the widespread condition can be a pretty lonely experience so reading and getting absorbed by a good book is something that ends up being really important. Hungry Worms also helps raise awareness of the ever increasing condition by connecting those living with dementia directly to people in the local community in a meaningful way.”
“Book donations are made by the public at sharing hubs in a number of local coffee shops in London and the number is growing every month. Hungry Worms then uses existing networks of carers to bring donated books into peoples homes. Books are returned and borrowed again and it’s that journey of a book that was important to highlight.”
“Readers’ first experience of Hungry Worms is to get their own bookmark, featuring a series of characters representing all of the broad genres, such as comedy, thriller or a good old tear jerker.”
“The logotype represents a title of a book or a chapter heading and all typography is set in Plantin, the classic book typeface. The journey of the book is reinforced with a hole punch, each hole representing a reader.”
— Lovely stuff guys! Best of luck with the new venture – one to keep an eye on for sure!
La Tortillería is a creative company based in Monterrey, Mexico, with a passion for images and words with the exceptional ability of turning them into an exquisite reflection of an idea. Their forte is editorial design, but have a wide range of projects. On this interview Zita Arcq talks about the studio, the background, their process and projects.
1. First of all, can you tell us about the studio and the team behind La Tortillería?
La Tortillería started as two freelance graphic designers renting a space to do art and design work. The space was an old tortilla factory on San Pedro’s downtown, therefore the name. It was almost as if we didn’t decided it, we just called it that way when we said we were going to the studio, to go to “la tortillería” or the tortilla factory.
We started designing two magazines, it was a constant project, and every now and then we had other projects.
Eleven years later we’re a team of designers, copywriters, illustrators and photographers. We focus on combining design and functionality. And we design for others, not just to ourselves.
Belgium based design studio Toykyo launched their brand new website today. I love the Beatles influenced artwork they did for Dutch rapper Ares.
TOTEM, a new Manchester based creative company have designed and built an interactive ‘polymer zone’ to help develop the scientists and engineers of tomorrow, and to celebrate Victrex’s 21st birthday.
Some really fun illustrations and animations in the games here from TOTEM, who also made the exctellent Art Map Project. Looking forward to seeing what they come up with next.
Remember art school? Beer, lectures, procrastination, inspiration, late nights in the studio, pure creative freedom…
Dutch film and design trio From Form nailed the highs and lows of student life in a recent short for Rotterdam-based art academy Willem de Kooning. Briefed to create an online commercial that would motivate new students, From Form’s Jurjen Versteeg, Ashley Govers and Wouter Keijzer took a “lean and mean” approach with a punchy narrative and fresh, colourful set design. Whether you’re looking for inspiration or just fancy a quick trip back to your uni days, it’s worth a look.
“We’re following the creative process of a design student – from excitedly starting a project to postponing it a few days later, insecurities, working late, failing and starting over,” explains Versteeg. “The guiding voiceover in the film doubles as a role of a mentor and the students creative consciousness.”
The art academy hosts a variety of different courses, so the film needed to be as broad as possible. By focusing on the bare essentials of each course and cutting out any additional clutter, FromForm were able to highlight the complete spectrum of courses – from graphic design to fashion, digital programming, illustration and more – without diluting the overall message of motivation.
To capture the table-top shot running throughout the piece, the studio built a DIY rigging system hanging from the ceiling. The trio then shot the piece in two days on a Canon 5D Mark III with Magic Lantern (“So we could get the full raw potential of the camera”).
Their favourite part of the project? “We’re really happy how the final edit turned out,” says Versteeg. “But it’s always fun to smash a laptop when you get the chance!”
We probably don’t have to tell you that Erik Spiekermann is one of the best-known graphic designers in the world. He not only represents German typeface and corporate design like no other, but his work and the companies he has founded have had an huge influence on contemporary graphic design and probably most of our readers as designers. The visual biography Hello, I am Erik is the first comprehensive exploration of Erik’s career, his body of work, and his mindset.
The book includes an impressive list of contributions by Michael Bierut, Neville Brody, Mirko Borsche, Wally Olins, Stefan Sagmeister, Christian Schwartz, Erik van Blokland, and many others.
“The ability to reduce complex ideas to unforgettably simple forms is a remarkable gift. Erik can do it with typefaces, or images, or words and – seemingly – in any language. That is the mark of a great designer, and that is what Erik Spiekermann is.”
The book is available directly from Gestalten Books and comes highly recommended by the FFF team!
Handsome Frank have released a great little film interviewing Jean Julien while he fills a bare white room with illustrations.
Makeshift is part of a new breed of magazines passionate about their content, form, and community. A field guide to hidden creativity if you like. From homemade aircraft in Nigeria, drug smugglers in Mexico to Haitian communities pushing back against marginalisation, Makeshift uncovers creative solutions from the economic fringe.
Graphic design studio Rifle designed the magazine when it was launched in 2011 and now had the challenge or re-working their own designs to give Makeshift a new look and feel. Looks like they’ve done a damn fine job!
Roll up, roll up, it’s time for the second of our new Studio Series insights! This week we’re travelling to the capital of Russia, Moscow! for an insight into one of the countries most exciting up and coming studios, The Bakery!
We got on our imaginary EasyJet flight (also known as GMail) to chat to Ivan from the studio about why they do what they do, and what’s going on in Russia these days…
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How did the Bakery come together?
I was about to find a job in Moscow, but was feeling uninspired by the interviews I was going through. I didn’t feel any relation to their creative output and thought they were lagging behind.
Anna (my partner & wife) suggested we’d try to go on our own and establish a practice with different attitude towards work and studio culture. We wanted to do contemporary stuff, try new things, work with materials and print — things that are still not that popular in Russia.
Did you both have a bit of business knowledge before setting thing up?
We thought we did :) From what we’ve experienced at previous jobs we had some basic knowledge of how a studio operates, but when we started we had to sort lots of legal stuff, find a space, set up accounts and all of this was completely new to us. We also had to manage clients ourselves, take care of billing and payments, etc. There are lots of things I’d have done differently if I had the knowledge I have now.
How do you two split the business side against the creative side?
Luckily there are two of us, so Anna manages the business side, while I manage things related to design and we also contribute to each other’s duties. But still there are routine tasks I have to carry out on my own and they take a lot of time, so I try to work from home, either at breakfast or before I go to bed.
I recently caught up with fellow FFF’er Luke Tonge to find out about Issue 1 of new typography magazine The Recorder which he designed and art-directed this Summer. The mag itself is 120 pages of typographic goodness, with a stunning gold foil masthead that continues onto the back cover, multiple throw-out pages, spot colours and a very pleasing sewn binding. Contained within: Jamie Murphy of The Salvage Press, Design educator Harry Leeson, Illustrator David Doran, Pentagram’s Abbott Miller, The Herb Lubalin Study Center, Design legend Alan Kitching, Ghostsigns expert Sam Roberts, Design writer Angela Riechers, Ingo Italic and Bärbel Bold, Illustrator Neasden Control Centre, New York designer Jessica Svendsen and Type designer Gunnar Vilhjálmsson. Buy it online here, and read on to check out the interview and see how you can get a free copy courtesy of FFF…
Tell me a bit about the magazine & how you got involved?
Sure. Basically it’s a new revival of a very old magazine and its an absolute dream project. Type company Monotype first published ‘The Monotype Recorder‘ way back in 1902 and continued to do so sporadically for the next 90 or so years. It has incredible heritage with amongst others the amazing Beatrice Warde a former editor (appointed in 1927) and Eric Gill involved. As Monotype has been enjoying a public renaissance over the past couple of decades and moved into wider areas of type they put out a brief to reinvent the mag for a modern audience – not as a sales tool – but as a celebration of typography. I pitched in spring and over the past few months have been working very closely with Emma Tucker who is The Recorders editor (& unflappable mastermind), to put together the first (re)issue. It’s been quite a year for Monotype, they’ve added both Mark Boulton Design and Erik Spiekermann’s FontShop to their ranks, which cemented in my mind i’d made the right decision as they’re clearly a company as passionate about excellent typography now as in the days of Warde and Gill.
You’re no stranger to collaborating over distance, was this the case again with The Recorder as Monotype’s UK base is in London? How did it come together alongside your day-job?
It’s worked really smoothly for a number of reasons (and that isn’t always the case for distance projects as involved as a magazine relaunch) the biggest reason is how Monotype have been as a ‘client’ – they afforded me a huge amount of freedom to shape the magazine visually as I saw fit – and trusted me to find the balance of honouring their past while hopefully bringing the Recorder bang up to date. That ownership extended to spec’ing paper, determining the size and format, print finishing etc. Much credit has to go to Emma, she was a dream partner and we’ve developed a very complementary working relationship. As ever working at distance allows for a back and forth dialogue with big enough gaps to really digest and progress a design and our schedule allowed for that. The second big reason it worked as well as it did was because of the fine folk at LIFE Agency where I spend my days – they know i’m a magaholic AND a huge type nerd – so they understood this was a rare opportunity and a passion project I just couldn’t pass by, so they all generously supported me in going for it.
Our paths first met while you were out in Detroit working on that issue of Boat Mag, and I had just finished Issue 1 of Kinfolk, what is it about the magazine community that draws you back to it? Didn’t you fancy a break after Boat Mag?
I’ve always loved magazines and print, so for me they’ve always been the purest of canvas for design work – I love many aspects of digital but when it comes to consuming and owning a collection of stories or articles I just can’t get past the physicality and tactility of ink on paper. There’s so many words that come to mind when I think about printed magazines – craft, pace, artefact, feel, smell, substance, keepsake, etc – and they just don’t when I think about their digital counterparts. Boat was a great season for me and really opened my eyes to the indie magazine community – Jeremy Leslie aka Magculture, Steve at Stack, Dan at Magpile, Matt, Kuchar & Betty at Port, yourself at Kinfolk, Rosa at Cereal, Alec at Intern, Holly & Simon at Eye etc. There’s obviously loads more besides doing great work, but its a really open, unpretentious and enthusiastic microcosm to be a part of. Working in magazines is also a great opportunity to commission talented friends! I’m so stoked that in this relaunch issue we have brilliant illustrations by Neasden Control Centre and David Doran alongside great articles and photography, plus we were delighted to partner with the brilliant Mohawk Paper (shout out to Chris Harold for his help)
San Francisco’s Manual Creative launched their new website at the beginning of the month. It’s taken me this long to stop staring at it and post it on FFF, that’s how great it is!
Mark Bloom sent us an email about 3 recent projects that are worth a feature, including a new Identity for Landscape Architect Mark Tessier and an ad campaign concept to promote Beats by Dre’s ‘Win the Game Before the Game’ custom World Cup country inspired headphones (both in collaboration with Hype Type.
T-shirt company FCKH8′s F-Bombs for Feminism ad has been generating buzz and controversy in equal measure this week.
On one hand they’re accused of being an exploitative, opportunistic start up which aims to build their brand by capitalising on legitimate equality issues, such as feminism, LGBT rights and racism. While others argue that regardless of FCK8′s motives, the fact remains the issues they raise are valid and the means are justified in highlighting the ongoing struggle for equality.
So, a provocatively effective fight against inequality or cynical exploitation to sell t-shirts? Check out the video and decide for yourselves.
Welcome to the first in a new series of features in which we delve deeper into the business side of running a design studio.
Over the course of the series we’ll be hearing from a range of our favourite studios, some with years of history to others with six months. Why were they formed in the first place and how have they saved the ship from almost sinking. How do they gain their clients, and what happens when they lose them?