Name that tune…

Music has the power to evoke memories – be it a riff, a lyric, the sound of a certain instrument, or vocal, a song has the magical ability to conjure up a visual in the mind…transporting us back to a moment in time.

Combined with curiosity as to the creative process of other designers, and my love for music l feel totally captivated by Katrina McHugh´s project and subsequent book – “Pop Charts: 100 Iconic Song Lyrics Visualized”. With a artful mix of poetic understanding and visual positioning, Katrina draws us in to ponder on a song title – in all its playful beauty.

As an artist, author, creative director and co-founder of Flight Design Co . Katrina started her work while participating in “The 100 day project” – undertaking a daily practice of visual creativity. How inspiring that this path would organically lead to the development of “Pop Charts”.

l love the idea of dissecting a song and reflecting it in a visual capacity. Fun for the eye and uplifting for the spirit. The approach to weave elements of nature into the piece highly resonates – as l am a graphic designer who finds the natural world balm for the creative soul.

l warmly invite you to further explore the project, its thought-provoking origins of visual inspiration, and to happily discover the answers to the diagrams above – personal favourites of mine.

Wishing you plenty of joyful “name that tune” moments.

D is for…dream catching

Every journey begins with a new step. l find this statement exciting, it carries a heady sense of exploration, possibility, and promise. This carefully chosen note-book sits perfectly aligned with the origami wish-boat, instinctively named ´Dream Catcher´.

With a joyful feeling of renewed creative buoyancy…as the year unfolds, l wonder where my dreams will take me ?

l love the idea of catching my dreams (even dreams still to be realised) – with imagination, meaning, curiosity and insight as my fellow travellers. Naturally visualization (in its various forms) plays an integral and creative role – my daily tool at play.

Wishing you all sparkly dream catching.

Welcome to Flow – an exhilarating paper playground

l was introduced to the creative charms of Flow by artist friend Sandra Ondraschek, who on a trip to Edinburgh wrote, “I thought of you as I picked up a copy of ‘Flow’ (magazine) and wondered if we had talked about it?”. lt was early morning when l read her e-mail, yet l felt immediately compelled to discover this sparkling jewel for myself…

Pure delight swept over me as l set out on my journey and explored my first port of call – the Flow app. Smiling to myself, l read the editors note to the tapping sound of the typewriter – just lovely! The attention to each (imaginative) detail was a wonderful start to my design day!

Founded by Creative Directors, Irene Smit and Astrid van der Hulst, Dutch-based Flow magazine celebrates its fifth anniversary and l have a feeling it will continue to flow for many more years to come.

Published eight times a year and with a recent international launch, (English copy being published twice a year) Flow is a visual feast, offering inspiration, insights and solutions for paper lovers. A paper playground which brings enjoyment to me on a daily basis.

It’s pure joy to plan my agenda, write letters and cards utilising the various “Flow” items as a source of visual creativity.

Welcome to Flow, a gloriously vibrant hub of paper innovation, a positive energy field which lights up the path of inspirational creativity!

* Photograph credit: ‘Flow Book for Paper Lovers’ by Elizabeth Hitchman

 

Whistling the tune of ‘The Bookbirds’

Whether it be laying in the long summer grass, or curled up by a roaring fire during the winter months, reading a book is a favourite past-time of mine.  And so to discover ‘The Bookbirds’ was a moment of pure bliss.

Dutch artist Pia Drent artistically combines her marine biology background with her love for reading – paths which stem from being read to as a child, while growing up by the sea. l find it richly unique to tie these two elements together, in the form of mixed media illustrations.

Taking the vintage book as the canvas, watercolours, acrylics, and inks are applied to the aged paper, creating art that celebates the soothing fusion of nature & reading.

With the digital age in full swing, it clearly feels refreshing to hark back to nature and the nolstagic appearance of the printed word.

It’s an alluring tune, that which belongs to the voice of “The Bookbirds”.

Midnight magic

Upon recently discovering these exceptional lightboxes, l was immediately struck by their fairytale charm – radiating a glow that is original in concept and structure. Created by Deidra, owner of The Rekindled Page, these night lights celebrate all that is beautiful, within the repurposed, upcycled ethos, which is the creative basis of this inspiring platform of work.

Merging imagery and text from vintage dictionary prints, in-conjunction with exploration of re-purposing, the traditional lightbox has been perfectly transformed into a visually vibrant night light object with a twist, allowing the imagination to take flight, upon the silent arrival of the midnight hour…

Magical starry nights surely await…

Creativity flows easily on rainy days

It was on a wintry December morning, when l discovered this gem – A History of Graphic Design for Rainy Days. A smile beamed across my face, as l took a peek at the book online. How utterly invigorating to find such a book that takes the reader on a illustrative journey of Graphic Design! Overflowing with bright graphics and fun activities, this entertaining book demonstrates the humor and creativity that can be found in the visual world of graphic design.

The graphic design agency behind this masterpiece is Studio 3. An in-school agency that is located within the Graphic Design Department of Westerdals School of Communication in Oslo. l believe Studio 3 exists on the steadfast foundation of raw talent – hand-picked 3rd year graphic design students – truly inspirational to all graphic designers!


They say lightening only strikes once, and yet Studio 3 keeps on giving… in the form of another book – Hyperactivitypography from A to Z. A vintage styled journey celebrating the beauty of typography.

Glorious in form and activity structure.

Smile!

Let’s make some great art

In creative collaboration with Laurence King Publishing, talented illustrator Marion Deuchars has designed a book which fills my sketchbook heart with pure joy!

´Let’s Make Some Great Art´( Kritzeln Zeichen Kunst ) is a drawing playground for children and adults, which in my mind enables us to keep young at heart. This book allows the imagination to run wild – inviting the inner artist to simply have fun making art.

From playful fingerprints, to exploring the technique of artists like Jackson Pollock, l believe realising one’s own artistic expression can open up a whole new world – this book offers such a journey in creative abundance.

l warmly invite you to sharpen your pencil and make your mark…

© 2011 Marion Deuchars

Falling in love again…

l LOVE to travel, and so when l came across Love Travel Guides by Fiona Caulfield, my heart skipped a beat. Her ethos of embracing a city’s true essence by emerging oneself into the culture is a true reflection of how l also like to travel.

The first book ‘Love Bangolore’ was published on Valentines Day in 2007. Since then Fiona has added to the series with, Love Mumbai, Love Delhi, Love Goa, Love Bengaluru and, Love Jaipur, Rajasthan.

The authencity in which Fiona writes, magically entices me into another culture, and the hand-drawn illustrations, emphatically enrich the reading experience. l feel inspired and enraptured as l explore the hidden treasures of India.

With it’s luxurious design, and cloth packaging, these charming Love Travel Guides are truly created for the luxury vagabond who wishes to fall in love …

 

 

Storytelling reflected in embroidery

l came across this enchanting “labour of love” project rather recently, and was immediately bowled over by the intricate detail captured on canvas. Jillian Tamaki has spent the first two months of this year, busily working away on these dustjackets. Described as her “dream project”, the Penguin Threads Deluxe Classics project certainly pays homage to the beauty of embroidery, and in my mind takes book illustration to a raised level of creativity!

The exquisite attention to detail woven into the fabric creates a vivid impression. With it’s black and orange contrasting threads, along with construction and texture of the mane, the dust jacket for ‘Black Beauty’ by Anna Sewell is strikingly strong in character.

Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’, is charmingly depicted in soft colours, with brightly coloured woven braids of hair, and ‘The Secret Garden’ by Frances Hodges Burnett whimsically flows across the cover in tones of cerise pink and purples.

From a typography angle, one can clearly see that the embroidery of the book title, authors name, and pull-out quote from each book has also been taking into careful consideration. Each book cover perfectly reflects a style of typographic flair, allowing each woven thread to tell its own captivating story.

As a person who enjoys reading, l’m rather looking forward to the launch of the sculptural- embossed versions of these richly woven books in October 2011!