Wednesday, December 23, 2009

New York City 2009 Holiday Window Displays

Some people hate shopping during the holidays, the crowds, the headache of parking, the lines - but i love it. I love the hustle bustle, and i LOVE the decorations. It's amazing what these department stores can do with their design budget, my local Nordstrom for instance is full of paper made woodland creatures and the Anthropology is a poofy recycled textural dream.

Like last year, I wanted to share some imagery from the best of the best in holiday decorating greatness from New York City department stores.

Macy's 2009 recreates A Miracle on 34th StreetLord and Taylor's 2009 Crystal Encrusted Winter Wonderland

Bergdorf Goodman's 2009 Compendium of Curiosities (very Alice in Wonderland)
like to gaze at window design? check out another normal for lots of eye candy

Brandon Schaefer Movie Poster Redesign

I'm not sure how i stumbled upon the flickr collection of designer Brandon Schaefer, but I'm glad i did! I'm loving these redesigns of some of my favorite films (i admit it, the Annie Hall poster could be on post-it notes and i would probably still gravitate towards it) - all of them conceptually strong and in a clean geometric style reminiscent of russian constructivist or german modernist design.

Friday, December 18, 2009

New Illustrations from Mario Sughi

If you don't remember Mario from my previous posts you will as soon as you see his new work in the same unmistakable voice. It's all very sexy yet they seem somehow vacant, something that is really interesting considering the vibrant energetic color and lines. i love them.
i had to ask Mario how we (me) could get our hands on his work (being the season of giving and all) he pointed me to his page on Zazzle where you can grab some super affordable art, or for the more handmade versions you can find information on limited edition giclee prints from various galleries via his website. stateside check out The Shiny Squirrel and Little Paper Planes or see below.

ok - here are some more links in case you want to shop:
Sexy Art Gallery
London Art
New Irish Art

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Amazing Book Redesign from Mikey Burton

I don't know how exactly i stumbled upon this fantastic thesis project from designer/illustrator Mikey Burton but it blew me away. Since i'm making the finishing touches to my own semester's design work as we speak, i thought it only appropriate to share someone else's much more impressive accomplishments. enjoy!

What's your favorite? I think mine is Gatsby, could be that i love the book, could be how he manages to make such a complex design still feel delicate and romantic - i love it. Oh, and like to see the process behind the creation of these beauts? Check out Mikey's flickr page which has a number of preliminary tests and sketches, i love seeing how the ideas evolved.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Opening Titles for Up in the Air

Jason Reitman and Shadowplay are on a roll, with great title sequences that is, for what seems to be another fantastic film. On the day that Up In the Air was nominated for a number of Golden Globes including best director and best picture, i thought I'd share the new intro from the creative brains behind the opening of Juno and Thank You for Smoking.

My favorite part of the aesthetic is that so many can relate to it. I know those crop circles, i see them every time i make the cross country flight - huh - didn't know anyone else was paying attention. It's a great feeling to know they were and it's so beautiful, i'd love to incorporate it into a fabric pattern or something.

Reitman talks abotpiration and making of the sequence here, and Gareth Smith of Shadowplay is interviewed about it here.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Folger's Brings Home the Holiday's Year After Year

Inspired by my dear friend Sue who will be spending this Christmas away from home I wanted to post this classic Folger's Christmas commercial that ran, pretty much my entire life.

Peter Comes Home for Christmas

And then there is this new revitalized version which began running this year. I guess if it's not broke...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Jeff Scher Animates The Little Drummer Boy for Bob Dylan

Every now and then i see some work that blows me away and when researching the artist more i can't help but ask - have i been living under a rock?

I saw this new video for Bob Dylan's rendition of Christmas classic The Little Drummer Boy on Motionographer and was totally wowed by the dreamy surrealist take on animation, a painters perspective on animation, with all of the beautiful imperfections and personal translations built right in. I have this watercolor of Paris in the rain bought off the street while studying abroad with the people represented by impressionist streaks of oranges, purples and reds that immediately comes to mind.

i had to see more from animator Jeff Scher and felt like an excited child as i watched all of the work i could find by the artist.

No Time


L'eau Life

Milk of Amnesia

there is plenty more about Jeff out there go check out his website for more info about his paintings and animation.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Arnold Brings the Mystery of Old No 7 to Life for Jack Daniels

This whimsical, but slightly dark and reminiscent of a ghost story or an ancient tale being told throughout time (appropriately) is one of my favorite ads on the air at the moment. The story of the Old No.7 on the Jack Daniels facade.

Jack Daniel's "Label Story": "Old No. 7" from Brand New School on Vimeo.

the animation comes from Brand New School, another favorite design firm of mine, if you haven't watched their reel - go do that now!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Smallbean Benefit Concert - NYC

I've talked before about new Nonprofit Organization Smallbean who takes slightly out of date electronics to Africa to teach the locals and document for the world. For all you New Yorkers putting your out of date iPods to good use will be super easy this weekend, and you get live entertainment to boot!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Animation from Clem Stamation, Wax Stag

Wax Stag - And How from Clem Stamation on Vimeo.

i love the rich colors, geometric shapes and the deliberate movements - really well done. I've been needing a new piece of animation to drool over lately!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Ellen Von Unwerth Personifies for Absolut

With the help of Kate Beckinsale and Zooey Deschanel, photographer Ellen Von Unwerth brings classic cocktails to life for Absolut Vodka. I love the parallel between the Bloody Mary and the classic ghost story i was brave enough to test out in the bathroom mirror at a slumber party or two as a child.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Michelin Man Saves the Day

The classic tire brand and icon gets a bit of an attitude makeover in new animated commercial "Saddest Road". Michelin Man saves roadkill from what may have been the inevitable. I file this under creepy but somehow - still cute.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Dinner

here's to remembering all of the years sitting around the card table with my siblings at grandma's house, sneaking around the corner to hear what the adults are talking about, eating so many snacks there isn't any room for dinner, and classic cartoon holiday specials. Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Tilt Shift Makeover for Colorama

Tilt shift filming and stop motion animation are used to create a fantasy, miniature feel for Colorama. The aesthetic leaves the viewer wondering whether they are looking at some thing real, or is it a model? The question alone does a great job at engaging the audience, and personally - it reminds me of Mr. Rodgers and the land of make believe, the nostalgia alone draws me in.

Colorama - Makeover from Upper First on Vimeo.

project via Upper First

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Saturday Night Live Take a Cue From Mad Men

I caught some of last Saturday's SNL with January Jones (Betty Draper) as the host. I felt some of it fell short but this sketch of A Ladies Guide to Party Planning is everything ridiculous i love about housewives, cookbooks, and etiquette from the 50's and 60's.


Last night in class my typography teacher recommended this animated piece as a peak inside the creative process of logo design. Though it doesn't explain the process outright, by drawing comparisons between designs as they transform into each other some of the thought process is ultimately revealed. All trademarks are created by Chermayeff & Geismar.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Augmented Reality for Esquire from Barbarian Group and Psyop

really - now this is what I'm talking about! this seems like the wave of tehe future that the advertising industry has been speculating about for years now.

check out the video for a walk through - can't wait to see more of this!

credits go to the Barbarian Group and Psyop.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Flaming Lips Animated Fight Test from Ka-chew!

I'm missing LA today and thinking of driving and listening to the Flaming Lips with the windows down.

These animated videos are from director Sean Nadeau of Ka-Chew!

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Noir Alphabet

Photographer Julian Hibbard recently put out a book with a sultry take on the Alphabet. Noir A-Z is exactly what the name suggests, a dark and sexy pairing of imagery and letters, A-Z.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Harley Davidson Enlists a Pin Up Girl for Veterans

If you've been to YouTube at all today you've probably noticed the pin up girl inspired salute to the military from Harley Davison in the form of a banner ad. A trip to the Harley website offers more videos, photos, and even a contest for bike riding vets. I'm loving the retro pin up love on this veterans day.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Rock n' Roll Wouldn't Be the Same Without Whisky

Nice use of some bad ass logos, don't you think?

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Defenders

Some people very close to me have recently been affected by the vote against a law supporting gay marriage in Maine last week. The heartbreaking repeal seems unreal but at the same time like more of the same after similar results in California earlier this year.

This video says it all pretty well i think:

Friday, November 6, 2009

Sesame Street Turns 40

Yep, the lovable educational muppet show is 40 and still one of the turn to television programs for children. To celebrate here are some of my all time favorite segments.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

yU+co: Cirque du Freak Opening Titles

If you don't know yU+co chances are you do know their work. yU+co is a design company responsible for some of the most memorable title design in television and film, including Ugly Betty, Desperate Housewives, 27 Dresses and The Day the earth Stood Still, AND also happen to have one of the coolest websites it the biz.

Their latest project for Cirque du Freak combines some of my favorite things at the moment, animation, silhouette, and a cut paper aesthetic.

yU+co: Cirque du Freak // Main Titles from Steve Dilley Design // Archives on Vimeo.

check out this interview on Motionographer for more about the project and the process.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Animated Amazon Kindle Commercial

One of my favorite new commercials on air is this darling, colorful and whimsical stop motion animated commercial for Amazon Kindle. So cute, right? But did you know it was the winner of a commercial contest? That's right not even professionally produced, impressive - the song was even written and performed by the actress in the ad.

Here is some background info from the creator Angela Kohler:

"My boyfriend, Ithyle Griffiths, and I had just purchased Kindles and were doing a lot of traveling when we got the e-mail about the contest. We were constantly approached in airports with questions about them. The best thing about the Kindle was that we no longer had to each pack five books in our luggage, and could pick and choose what book to open every time we boarded a flight. We wanted our commercial to reflect all the different books you can carry around in one device. On a plane from Japan to Thailand, we brainstormed ideas and sketched out little stories that our character could fall into following different literary genres. We scribbled out pictures on napkins and made a flip-book, putting the little scenes in different orders. The day of the shoot, we gutted a pillow to make clouds and smoke (a last-minute addition) and did the commercial in one seven-hour take. Our friend Annie Little starred in the spot, Sharon Williams was in charge of the wardrobe, Rachel DeSimone did the hair and makeup and we all worked together moving the scene inch by inch between shots. After we assembled the 300 or so frames, Ithyle wrote some music to accompany the clip, and that same day Annie sent over some lyrics that just happened to fit perfectly. They recorded it together the next day. We are so thrilled to have won both prizes because it means our film resonates with both Amazon corporate and their customers. We are really looking forward to attending the Gen Art Film Festival, and having our video recognized at the event is definitely icing on the cake."

Monday, November 2, 2009

DJ Hero, Daft Punk, Z-Trip, Jay- Z and Eminem

Awesome! I think this game is genius, DJ Hero going on the Christmas list under the Beatles Rock Band (and I'm so not a gamer.)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Horror Film Trailer remix

'Tis the season for horror flicks, and in honor of the tradition I thought I'd share some remixed "horror" film trailers.

The first comes from JP at Pictures in a Row, who's that lurking in the dark alley? It's ....The Wrestler

And the Classic Trailer Park winner, The Shining Redux vs. The Original

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Wynn Las Vegas Design

One of the design highlights of my Vegas getaway (aside from my dear friend's wedding of course!) was my first look at the Wynn hotel and casino. Now, the structures are gorgeous as they are but i there were no expectations to prepare me for the whimsy inside the casino doors. My favorite treats were the room of floating parasols and the amazing lake of dreams.

Here's a tid bit from Roger Thomas, Executive of Wynn design about the Parasol installation:
“Very early on in the resort’s design and conception, Steve gave me an assignment: His initial inspiration was the 1932 Picasso painting Le Rêve, which is French for ‘the dream,’” Thomas remembers. “And so he asked me, ‘How do we convey the feeling of a dream?’ Parasols are among the images I find very dreamlike—I think of Chagall and of people floating in the sky, carrying mini parasols over their heads—so I liked the idea of this ballet of parasols that both turn slowly and move up and down slowly. I often think of guests sitting at Parasol Up; they look at the parasols, and when they look back a few minutes later, they think, Have they changed? Am I dreaming?”

“I came up with their design, the whimsical shapes and colors and embroideries, by closing myself up in a room and large sheets of paper, and I put on Vivaldi and just started drawing these fanciful shapes. They took more than a year to create, and we constructed them here, just outside of Las Vegas. Ultimately I’m thrilled that they’ve become such an iconic element of the resort; they were meant to be a heart of Wynn, with a sort of pulse and movement. One of my favorite things to do is to stand off to the side and watch the reactions of our guests—they always seem entranced, and that’s really fulfilling.”

Speaking of entranced, we took a peek at the Lake of Dreams but it was during the day. The glass body of what was still and tranquil, until a giant head sculpture emerged unexpectedly - we thought that was cool - but look what we missed!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Android iDon't Conversation

Gotta love a brand (or fan base) so quick to defend it's own.

Check out this new commercial directly attacking iPhone for Verizon Motorola Droid, and the iPhone response.

thanks for the heads up Dave!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pirate Radio

How good does this look? And what a great soundtrack, The Who, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones!

Susie and Jessie Create Bad Shoes

My dear friend Susie is getting married in Vegas this weekend, and to celebrate i want to share one of her music videos that i think absolutely belongs in the - wow i have such talented friends categories.

The video is for "Bad Shoes" by Dagger Lees, created by Directing/Editing/Writing Duo Susie and Jessie (Susie Morrell, Jessie Ward). Check it out and see below for a little background info from Sue on the concept and the creative process.

The Dagger Lees - Bad Shoes from jessie ward on Vimeo.

What came first the medium or the concept? Did you have the camera and want to experiment or did the inspiration for the look of the film come directly from the song/artist?

The whole thing was inspired by a dress! Donna, the lead singer, found this amazing vintage Victorian nightgown and from that they were inspired to make a video for their upcoming single that evoked a similar menacing, old time air. Well, I guess a nightgown isn't menacing but it's still a little decrepit and creepy! We like the idea of making videos that look vintage themselves and we all decided to make the film look like it was shot entirely on super8 (we both have our super8s and love them, but budget constraints - and practicality - make producing music vids on super8 basically impossible for us).

I love the use of the iconic villain from the silent era. Can you tell me a little about the story line and where it came from?

Once we had the visual motif in mind, we decided to cast each band member as a unique character. Donna was the little girl lost in a nightmare set in the forest. Grum (guitarist) was the pied piper villain. Benni (bass) was the living doll gone mad, breaking her dolls (possibly a little girl lost herself who never made it out of the woods). And Justin (drums) is the odd man in the background who digs graves and plays with clocks.

We came from the visual first - the characters, their individual locations in the woods, the props they held and their costumes, and from that formed the loose plot of a our girl waking up in the woods, disoriented and without her way, befriending a little boy who, unbeknownst to her, is actually in cahoots with the Bad Man in the Top Hat. [Oh, another tidbit, the little boy is Donna's real life son, Steven.]

The use of color or lack of it is obviously very deliberate - anything you want to say about that decision? (aside from the fact the red lips pop amazingly among the desaturated film!)

Thanks! Yes, originally, it was to be all black and white. Then we tried sepia. Then as we were playing with the footage, we watched Donna's singing parts in oversaturated color and thought she looked amazing and that it would be a shame to lose all that color. So a happy accident really! Some parts (like her being tied to the tree) were filmed during a wintry sunset and the sunlight was unbelievable. We decided a happy medium of the cold, old film look in some scenes and the overblown color in others was a little risk we wanted to take. Call it indecision, we think it adds another layer visually. It also adds a little more dreamlike, home movie meets nightmare quality to it. At least we like to think so.

What's in the box!?

A lamb's heart. They were out of pig that day. It was my job to go buy it. The things I do for our projects!

Compared to the other videos the two of you have created this one stands out in tone I think. Do you aim to be diverse or is your style more circumstantial? Is this a look you'd like to explore further?

The variation in tone from project to project is both circumstantial - the artists we've worked with so far and perhaps most importantly their non-existent budgets - as well as our completely all-over-the-place personal preferences. Clearly, we both LOVE silent movies, super8 films, nostalgia, vintage imagery, experimental cinema, abstraction. We are also interested in technology and using that to create interesting art, hence our dabbling in somewhat "techy" looking video effects on the Neosupervital vid, which suited that band's synth-pop style. I think it's a coincidence that the majority of bands we've made videos with so far are into making stuff look old, but it's a coincidence that suits our interests too. (And actually, ever since the Dagger Lee video, everyone seems to say they want a super8 looking video like that one!)

How do you and Jesse work together...does one of you tend to be more involved with the talent while the other with the camera for instance or is it a full on collaboration in all aspects?

Definitely a total collaboration. Jessie would have been more into the technical side of film school at NYU (she intended initially to become a cinematographer) while I was more interested in writing. Seems we've both ended up in the directing arena, but our two distinct jumping off points in studying film is probably the reason we both like to come up with the ideas, shoot, direct and edit simultaneously. I think we've both mixed nicely as well in that we both collaborate creatively on each project, while both manning the camera (I'm always trying to become more technically adept). It also helps that we're very close friends - I'm sure not many directors are able to share camera and directing duties, then sit in front of an editing suite for days on end without killing each other! We find it fun, if exhausting.

Check out more work from Susie and Jessie here

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dear Creatures Channels Girl Scouts of America

Los Angeles based Dear Creatures has just about the cutest fall look book I've ever seen. I love the girlscout meets golden books aesthetic, and the retro futurism combined with natural elements? amazing!

The images are all from photographer
Yudi Ela, better bookmark her right away, can't see what else she does!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Design Gives Extra Legs to NonProfit Smallbean

Today I'm proud to be affiliated (read acquaintances) with a brand spanking new nonprofit organization that is not only spreading the love around the world but looking damn good while doing it. Graphic Design friend and Classmate Sean Hewens is responsible for dreaming up and following through with the launch of Smallbean, an organization that takes slightly outdated iPods, digital cameras and other technological ephermera and sends it to communities around the world that dont have such high standards for the bigest, brightest, newest of the new - to be used as teaching aides and to document daily life.
The retro rabbit ear TV graphics for Smallbean scream vintage without being boxed in and the illustrated gadget pipeline by Michelle Morin is just darling. Don't you love the plane full of happy electronics snug in their seats?
Go over to Smallbean, play around the site, check out the rest of the graphics, and for crying out loud put your old iPod back to use by donating it to Smallbean!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Artists Inspired by Where the Wild Things Are

In celebration of today's premiere the of Spike Jonze directed Where the Wild Things Are feature film, Vice has asked 24 of their favorite artists to talk about, and show how the Wild Things has influenced them as artists. They have created a blog full of art, downloads and tons of Where the Wild Things Are goodies.

here are a few of the creations that jumped out at me but head over to the site for the full load.