Category: Lettering
  1. 15

    Aug 2014

    Paul Rand (1914 – 1996)

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    Paul Rand was an American graphic designer, and would have been 100 years old today. Best know for his corporate identity designs. Some of his well famous logo designs include IBM, UPS, Enron, Westinghouse, and ABC.

    Mr Rand pulled inspiration from multiple field including art, design, architecture, literature, and philosophy. By having such a vast pool of thought, by experimenting, and by confidently not being original, the work he produced was considered ground-breaking. He also understood the importance of humour in his work, the easiest way to make a client happy is to make them smile.

    Mr Rand’s work and words still resonate today. A brilliant place to find both is paul-rand.com. I will leave you with a couple of Mr Rand’s quotes, as one is just never enough.

    “Providing, meaning to a mass of unrelated needs, ideas, words and pictures – it is the designer’s job to select and fit this material together and make it interesting.”

    “Without aesthetic, design is either the humdrum repetition of familiar clichés or a wild scramble for novelty. Without the aesthetic, the computer is but a mindless speed machine, producing effects without substance. Form without relevant content, or content without meaningful form.”

    Happy birthday and thank you, Mr Rand.

  2. 5

    Aug 2014

    Guillaume Singelin

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    I was happily wasting my time on tumblr, when the incredible artwork of Guillaume Singelin showed up. He is a French comic book illustrator and author whom collaborated with Antoine Ozanam on King David (2008) and Pills (2010). He is also illustrating two ongoing series called The Grocery and Doggybags.

    His cute, yet lively, manga-infused style grabs and holds your attention. His work is skilfully drafted and beautifully rendered. You can see more of Mr Singelin’s artwork on his tumblr, and website.

  3. 31

    Jul 2014

    Olle Eksell (1918 – 2007)

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    Olle Eksell is a celebrated and distinguished Swedish graphic designer. He is most famous for his iconic Mazetti Cacao Eye design.

    He was born in 1918 in Kopparberg. Mr Eksell, knew from very young age that he wanted to become an advertising illustrator. Between 1930 to 1941, he studied illustration and graphic art in Stockholm. After graduating Mr Eksell found work at the Ervaco advertising agency in Sweden. After getting married however, decided to sail to America where he and his wife continued their studies at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles.

    Throughout his career he worked on advertising posters, logos, postcards and products. His avant-garde, yet timeless, approach garnered him membership to the AGI, countless awards, and an honorary Professorship from the Swedish Government.

    A great place to find out more about Olle Eksell is on the official website. The best place to see more of his work is in the beautiful book aptly titled, Olle Eksell: Swedish Graphic Designer.

  4. 16

    Jul 2014

    Eugène Grasset (1845 – 1917)

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    Alongside the Pre-Raphaelites, Art Nouveau is tied as my favourite art movement. I take every opportunity to see Art Nouveau exhibits, but to be honest, until recently I had never taken much note of Eugène Grasset. This is quite a large oversight, considering he has been called “The Father of Art Nouveau”.

    So who is this pioneering artist? Born 1845 (or possibly 1841) in Lausanne, Switzerland, Eugène Samuel Grasset was surrounded by creativity from a young age. His father was a cabinetmaker and sculptor, and little Eugène learnt to draw under the guise of Francois-Louis David Bocion. In 1861 he went to Zurich to study architecture at the polytechnical school. After which, in 1865, he took what would become an influential visit to Egypt. Throughout his twenties he devoted himself to painting and sculpture.

    At the age of 26 he arrived in Paris, influenced by his travels and a new found love for Japanese Art, Mr Grasset tried his hand at creating ceramics, tapestry, and jewellery. His decorative pieces were crafted from precious materials including ivory and gold. Much of this unique work is considered a cornerstone of Art Nouveau motifs.

    Mr Grasset would later gain recognition as an illustrator due to his contribution to the stories Le Petit Nab (1877) and Histoire de quatre fils Aymon (1883). Quickly moving on to applied arts he designed the facade of the Hôtel de Dumas in Paris, mosaics in Saint Etienne in Braire, and stained glass windows in the Orléans Cathedral. With a multitude of artistic ability to call upon Mr Grasset had a natural affinity to poster design. Fortunate, as French posters design was becoming very popular Stateside, so it was not long before he was contacted by various American companies. His successful commissions led to him illustrating the 1892 Christmas issue of Harper’s Magazine.

    Interesting footnote one of his images, The Wooly Horse, was so popular that Louis Comfort Tiffany was inspired to recreate it in stained glass.

    Mr Grasset spent much of his latter years teaching in various schools across Paris. Many of his students went on to become eminent artist themselves, unsurprisingly, a lot of them within the Art Nouveau movement. His versatility, instincts and ability not only influenced those whom he had taught, but also prominent artist like Alphonse Mucha, and left a stirring mark on the Arts and Artists that followed.

  5. 3

    Jul 2014

    Jon Contino

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    Jon Contino is an artist I have admired for a while. From New York, and influenced by New York, his style is instantly recognisable. Much of Mr Contino’s work revolves around typography. Combining traditional techniques with digital tools he has bridged the gap between traditional and modern.

    Mr Contino’s work is not the case of making something new look old, it is quite the opposite, taking the lost art of hand-drawn lettering and making it relevant in today’s market. He does it so well that he has become one of the most sought after designers. So much so it would probably be quicker to list all the clients and company he hasn’t worked with. But to give you an idea of how long his client list here are but a few:

    20th Century Fox, AIGA, AT&T, American Express, Coca-Cola, ESPN, Ford, Harley Davidson, Harper Collins, IBM, Jack Daniel’s, Jameson Whiskey, Kellogg’s, Random House, The Washington Post, Dockers, H&M, JCPenney, Lacoste, New Balance, Nike, Obey Clothing, and Victoria’s Secret.

    Not keeping busy enough producing client work, Mr Contino somehow found time to set up his own menswear’s company, Contino Brand and Co-Found CXXVI Clothing Company.

    To keep up-to-date with Jon Contino’s work, check out his website and follow him on twitter.

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