If you have ever had trouble finding the right application in your Apple mac dock then Alvin Kwan from Vancouver in Canada has the solution. Exploring the concept of 'less is more' he has reduced the most popular applications down to their bare minimal to produce a palette of icons that are still recognizable. If you would like to reduce the distraction in your dock then you can download the new palette from his site and then use the Candy Bar application to change them.
I love this contemporary identity for Mexican City bar Domestico created by Monterrey based Estudio Manifiesto Futura. They have clearly avoided all the obvious Mexican cantina cliches of sombreros and cactus to go with an identity based upon a pink colour scheme that emulates that of the Mexican social security application form! something that all Mexicans can relate to. The contrast of the pink and grey certainly gives the brand a sophisticated appeal whilst the three geometrical lines that represent the M in the name Domestico works as a graphic device and sets the trend for the minimalistic bottle labels. It's worth paying their website a visit as they have some very interesting work and they have kindly created it in both their native language and english.
As you can see from the brilliant photos the BCNMCR event is one worth attending and with only 2 more nights remaining I recommend you get yourself to Manchester. However, if you cannot make it then Konstruktive are delighted to bring you an interview with Dave Sedgwick the brains behind the BCNMCR event.
K: How did the the BCNMCR show come about?
D: The show came about after I visited Barcelona last September. I was over there on a working type holiday and went to see some of the agencies and started to talk to them about the idea of an event/exhibition back over in the UK. Before I knew it the ball started rolling and it just continued to roll ever since!
K: What was your involvement in the BCNMCR show?
D: The show was completely my idea 100%. I visited the agencies, I came up with the concept and I organised it, promoted it, did all the design for the identity/website etc and also acted as the organiser for the five agencies, so helping with travel and accommodation arrangements. BCNMCR is my baby and it's growing up into a toddler!
K: How easy / difficult was it to choose the agencies involved and how receptive were they?
D: They were all very receptive and very helpful. All have been a massive part of this first show and not only have I developed a good working relationship with them all through the exhibition, but i've also developed a great friendship now. I contacted a few agencies originally to go and see them about maybe freelancing and these are the only ones that got back to me! So they were the lucky ones! Just goes to show that it's worth replying to all emails! Interestingly however since the show started I found out that 4 of the 5 agencies are very closely related in terms of partners or friends which I was totally unaware of.
K: What is the BCNMCR hoping to achieve and how successful has it been so far?
D: Originally, selfishly it was hoping to achieve something purely for me! i wanted to meet with some other agencies in Spain but also put on a show here, something i've always wanted to do. But in reality it's achieved far more. It's allowed agencies to come to Manchester who would have maybe in the past gone mainly to London. It's also brought together a lot of the creatives in the North of England. On the launch night alone we had over 300 people at the show from various walks of life. Since the launch we have had over 800 people attend the show. The talks, which were held on the Friday 22nd Feb also were greatly received and each agency talked brilliantly about their work and their inspiration and styles.
K: What is the most rewarding aspect of being a curator?
D: Well the most rewarding aspect is probably to stand back on the Thursday 21st when it launched and finally realise that all the hard work and sleepless nights have been worthwhile. Seeing people taking photos and tweeting about the show etc has been great! People seem to genuinely appreciate the hard work it's taken to do this and also appreciate how good it was of the agencies to get involved. But also it's been rewarding to 'work' in some capacity with the likes of Hey, Mucho, LoSiento, Mayuscula and Lamosca. As i mentioned, it's also given me new friends in another country. Can't really ask for more!
K: You also contributed the letter C, what was your inspiration and how long did it take you?
D: I came up with the idea of asking the five agencies to design one letter and then I realised there was 6 letters in the title! So had to do one! I immediately wanted to do something that was heavily Manchester inspired, so started thinking about cotton and threads (with Manchester being at the heart of the textile revolution) I also wanted it to nod to Catalonia and so decided to do it in red and yellow. Then Hey sent through their work and it was red and yellow! So I had to ask if they would be happy to change the colours to red and blue so as not to clash with mine!! Plus i've also worked with Debbie Smyth a lot in the past, who works a lot in thread and so had always wanted to have a go at something similar. It took all in all about three days to do the letter C and about 2 days for the flag! But it took a lot of time to think of the best way to do it as I didn't want it to look shit!
K: Do you plan to curate any events with other cities in the future?
D: I certainly do. I'd like to keep the BCN link going and am already talking to a few people about that. Plus i'd love to do something with other cities, Berlin, Stockholm, New York etc. Always bringing it back to Manchester though. It's good to do something up here involving other cities and also I think people are really keen to share their work now more than ever. You never know. We could also start to take Manchester to other cities as well!
For information about the event visit the BCNMCR website or you can contact Dave Sedgwick at Design by Dave
These posters / invites were created by Experimental Jetset back in 2007/8 yet they would not look out of place alongside the great Swiss designers of the 50s/60s. Experimental Jetset, are a small, independent graphic design studio based in Amsterdam, made up of Marieke Stolk, Danny van den Dungen and Erwin Brinkers. These posters were created for performance artist Vanessa Beecroft and are all based on simple ideas but are executed perfectly. For a full description of the these posters and other great print work visit the archive section on their website.
Imagine finding a set of brand guidelines designed by the great Massimo Vignelli. Apparently this first edition designed in 1970 for Unimark was discovered in a locker under some gym clothes! The manual has been kindly made available by the collective efforts of Niko Skourtis, Jesse Reed, Hamish Smyth. To view the full set of guidelines and why wouldn't you?! headover to standardsmanual.com Thanks for sharing guys.
Loving this minimalist identity by Lo Siento for an exhibition gallery in Barcelona, Spain. The identity is based upon the abstract shape, representing space that has been taken from the form the typography created from the gallery name – The Private Space. The 400sq metres acts a meeting point for all lovers of the arts.
With a name like Mega Design you are immediately expecting something beyond good – fortunately this design consultancy based in Copenhagen in Denmark doesn't disappoint. With a plethora of good work that would easily fit into the themes of this site I have settled for the identity and packaging work that they have created for Skærtoft Mølle. The company is a small organic mill that mill their flour traditionally on a stone grinder. The reasons for respecting the craft of yesteryear is not one of romanticism, but purely it is the best method for producing the closest natural product possible. By milling in this way the grain retains every nutrient. Thus, it was natural for the identity and packaging to follow the natural, pure, stripped back craft of the mill. Great work.
Following on from my previous article regarding the fantastic Typographische Monatsblätter journal
there is now a dedicated resource that focuses on the periods from 1960 to 1990. The TM Research Archive is a website that was initiated by Louise Paradis and set up by ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne in order to provide a reference tool for both personal and educational purposes. It is interesting to see how cover design styles have changed over the different decades but for me the simplicity of the covers created in the early 60s and the geometric styles from the 50s really stand out. Be sure to bookmark this site as there will be a series of interviews with some of the outstanding designers that have contributed over the years.
Hans Neuburg (1904-1983) a designer and a writer was one of the key figures and publicists of the Swiss International style. He trained at the Zurich print publishers Orell Fussli and worked for various firms in Switzerland in late 1920s-1930s. In 1928 he was a copywriter at the Dalang advertising agency where he was at the forefront of industry advertising. Neuburg became an advertising specialist working and collaborating with many designers and photographers including Max Bill and Herbert Matter. From 1933 to 1937 he promoted and published his own newsletter Industrie-Werbung. His earliest example of industry advertising, working alongside Anton Stankowski was for the engineering company Sulzer (see above). Neuburg was given the job of designing all the advertising material for Sulzer's central heating and ventilation department and a range of forms and stationery. He wanted to produce a clean, contemporary and unified look by introducing a the word Sulzer as the logotype/trademark set in Akzidenz Grotesk.
Neuberg is probably most famous for his work on Neue Grafik magazine (1958-1965) where he was part of the editorial team alongside Richard Paul Lohse, Joseph Müller-Brockmann and Carlo Vivarelli. The magazine was to define the Swiss modernist style. During the 1960s he wrote a number of books notably - Publicity and Graphic Design in the Chemical Industry (1967) which has become the holy grail for designers and collectors of the Swiss style. For a fall account of this book and more of Hans Neuburg's work head over to designer books an amazing depository of rare books.