Monday, August 30, 2010


Another great find for my postcard collection:
"Art is a Guaranty of Sanity" by Louise Bourgeois 2000.

Got it while visiting Paris back in 2008. There was a Louise Bourgeois retrospective at the Centre Pompidou at the time. It was great!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Push Pin Graphic

Back to showing some of my all-time favorite things: I was going through my copy of The Push Pin Graphic and got inspired to show you some of this work.

Lets go back to the fifties. Those pre-computer days...

In 1954 Seymour Chwast, Milton Glaser and Ed Sorel started a full-time design and illustration studio in New York (Reynold Ruffins joined soon after). The name became Push Pin Studios thanks to an almanac (sort of brochure)- Push Pin Almanack, they had created previously as a way to attract freelance illustration assignments. And since it had already developed a modest reputation in the field among agencies, publishers and magazines, they decided to keep the name.

Remember that these were the pre-website days, so to promote the Push Pin Studios they decided to launch a new publication that would be more expansive and could reflect their point of view more clearly. They first named it the Monthly Graphic, but changed the name very soon after to the Push Pin Graphic, in part to avoid the 'monthly' deadline.

Over the years many artists joined and left the Push Pin Studios. John Alcorn, Paul Davis and James McMullan are some of them. Glaser left in 1975. And Chwast kept on running the Push Pin Graphic until 1980, when the cost of producing it became higher than the revenue it made from advertisers and from three thousand paid subscribers. Sad!

You can check out Seymour Chwast's website here.

So here is the book and some images I scanned from it. Enjoy!

Issue N. 36, 1962. The Thirties:

Seymour Chwast
You can really see here how Chwast's illustration style was influenced by German expressionist woodcuts! 

Issue N. 52, 1967. Three Posters
Chwast, Glaser and McMullan

Issue N. 53, 1967. Nutrition and Health:
For this Issue Seymour Chwast illustrated an excerpt from 'The Nuts Among the Berries' by Ronald M. Deutsch, about odd eating habits (...sounds like an interesting book!).
...and if this illustration reminds you a little too much of the ones from Serendipity 3, that may be because Calvin Holt (one of the restaurant co-founders) used to rent a loft, as studio space, together with Glaser back when they were students at Cooper Union. In fact, Glaser designed the Serendipity 3 logo!

... it stands to reason that Chwast might have also met Holt.

Look at this matchbox from Serendipity 3:

Issue N. 56, 1971. The Dark Side of Good People:
Seymour Chwast
Issue N. 57, 1972. Why People Keep Dogs:
Seymour Chwast
... and here are their 2 most famous posters:

Created by Seymour Chwast back in 1968, in protest of the Vietnam War. A total classic!
Created by Milton Glaser in 1966. The poster was commissioned to Glaser by Columbia Records art director John Berg. The poster was designed to be included on a Dylan greatest-hits album. Six million posters were printed. Now, why can't we get free posters like this anymore??

Among other graphic references, Glaser was inspired by a silhouette self portrait (a profile torn from a single piece of paper) by Marcel Duchamp, when creating this poster.
But if the Dylan poster isn't famous enough for you...
Milton Glaser also designed the I ♥ NY logo. Maybe now you can begin to understand how important he is in the design world...

These next posters were created by Paula Scher. She was not part of Push Pin Studios, but she did become an editor of the Push Pin Graphic in 1964. She is also married to Seymour Chwast and has been part of the New York design world since the early 70s. So I'm adding her here just because....

She is a partner at Pentagram (super famous design studio) and if you live or have lived in New York, you have seen her work: All the Shakespeare in the Park posters are created by her! [You can check out the short film at the end of this post to see more of her work]

Shakespeare in the Park posters from 1997 and 2001:
Here are 2 great short films created by Hillman Curtis as part of his Artist Series:

The first one showcases Milton Glaser, while the second one is about Paula Scher. They are both graphic design heros, so you should consider watching them. You might just learn something... ;)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Editorial Films

September is not yet here, but a new batch of Fashion Films is already emerging. Or should I say Editorial Films?... Since these short online videos are not created by brands, but by magazines (...or content sites such a NOWNESS).

The first film: Hide and Seek, is published by NOWNESS and created by director Zoé Cassavetes. It showcases Louis Vuitton's Summer pieces and its new Maison in London.

The second and third ones are instead created in collaboration with (and published through) DAZED Digital:

The Outsiders is a film directed by Sharif Hamza and is a extension of DAZED September collections issue. It features A/W10 collections by McQ and Givenchy (among others), styled by DAZED's Senior Menswear Editor, Robbie Spencer. You can follow this link to see the film and article on DAZED Digital. It is a pretty cool little film!

The last film was created by London-based designer Tamburlaine Gorst. As with the previous film, it features the designer's A/W10 collection. This was a hard one to find on Youtube, and I really can't understand why DAZED's Youtube Channel is so far behind with its uploads! (...this is me complaining!) So I am including a few screen shots, and you can follow this link to the DAZED Digital interview with Gorst and the film.

Wow these DAZED films are full of attitude!.... And I can't wait for Fashion Week season to see what will brands [online-wise] come up with this time around!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Jack Knows Best

Well, I am a big fan of the brand. Basically J.Crew is my weekday uniform! So I was reading through BOF that the brand is putting all this effort in revamping and pushing the menswear line. Well, if I was a 30 something guy, I'd be a loyal customer!

So what do brands now do when they want to create some buzz online??....They make a nice little video! We know that already right?

So here it is: Short and to the point. Just the way I like it! Kind of reminds me of the Kitsuné Maison ones where the models dress and undress with the season's collection...
I wonder how the 'Style Advice' service works. And more importantly, who is this Jack and why does he knows best??

Here is the Businessweek article if you care to read it.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

I ♥ Lima

I just got back from a few days escape to Lima. I love that city. So I try to go there every year. But if you don't really know much about it, let me start from the beginning- Most tourists pass by Lima on their way to Cuzco and Machu Picchu. But if you stay in Peru's capital, you might have 3 good reasons to do so:

1. The food: If you like seafood, then Lima is your personal paradise. There is a great Fusion Cusine culture down there, mixing typical Peruvian dishes/ingredients with Asian ones and so on. If you are there, you HAVE to try the Cebiche, the Causas and the Tiradito!

Lima was named the Culinary Capital of Latin America in the Cuarta Cumbre Internacional de Gastronomía Madrid Fusión back in 2006. So, ever since word got out, entire tours are created and trips are planned around the idea of food. Which pretty much means that you get there with restaurant reservations ready for both lunch and dinner. And trust me, by the 2nd day you might realize that it's impossible to eat that much! But the food is so good you just keep on going! Word of advise, plan on packing loose clothes :)

For lunch you might want to go to a Cebicheria: Pescados Capitales, La Mar and El Mercado are 3 great ones! My favorite restaurant is Rafael (just amazing food!), Astrid & Gastón is the most famous and Central is a new great one!

Cup mat from El Mercado. This is the new cebicheria owned by Rafael Osterling:
Office of Virgilio Martinez, chef and owner of Central:
Dessert time at Central:
2. Silver: Peru is a country rich in silver so there is a large industry of that- Platería. Think silver tea sets, flower vases, portraits and jewelry. Home-wise, I'm more on the Alessi side of things. But your mom, like mine, might be interested. Camusso is the most expensive manufacturer/brand, but Ilaria is the most modern one. The brand has been expanding throughout Peru and Latin America with a nice retail identity. Which is precisely what a jewelry brand should do. [My mom is a big fan by the way...]

3. Textiles: I heard the quality of cotton is great down there, but what interests me the most is Alpaca Wool. American designer Jonathan Adler produces his textile lines (rugs, cushions, throws) in Peru for example. So from the Mercado Indio to higher-end brands, you are sure to be surprised by color and quality!

Here are some pics from the Mercado Indio:
Little indian girls:
Flower power:
Picnic or beach anyone? Peru could be a really good place to produce this sort of thing. You just need a few good ideas and be ready to export!

Call me kitsch-crazy but I find this cushion cover so cute! There were tons of them with different Andes-inspired scenes:
I also found these little post cards.... I photographed them and only added the center, which is created with leftover fabric. I also think they are the cutest! And it is always nice to see things being created out of almost nothing. They make nice presents or souvenirs, don't they?

Kuna is my favorite brand in Peru. It specializes in creating Alpaca Wool products such as sweaters and scarves. In fact, most of my scarves come from there! They are produced in the region of Arequipa and the quality is really impressive. I also like their branding. Here is a little booklet that comes with every purchase: [It makes me want to hug and stroke an alpaca all day long!]
I also wanted to show how Kuna is using Bamboo now. The fabric is super soft. Sometimes they use it 100% (like in this picture), and other times they mix it with wool. A friend of mine who is obsessed with fabrics told me once that Bamboo isn't a very resistant material, so I'm wondering how is Kuna managing to do 100% Bamboo products. Maybe those scarves don't last that long...
...and recycling. I saw this all over Lima so I'm calling it a trend. That is, products created from leftover/excess fabric. Which is re-dyed and used again. Interesting right? [ ...and of course these products are also cheaper]
Finally, if you are in Lima and only have time to visit one store, make sure you go to Dédalo. It is close to what an American or European Concept Store would be. Except that it focuses on local brands and artisans. The outcome: A mix of unique products that you wouldn't find anywhere else!

Dédalo is located in an old mansion, so every room holds different types of objects from jewelry to home textiles, ceramics toys, etc. It also has a small Café on the backyard. Charming!

Here are some pics of things I found there (I wasn't really allowed to take pics inside):

Super Piggy!
Puro Corazón. A local brand of handbags and other textile accessories I found there. Created by Lima-based Colombian designer Carolina Restrepo. Check out the website:
[Pics taken from the brand's website]
Things I Bought:
Brooch by Vaçide Erda Zimic. Hand made fashion accessories created by Peruvian designer of the same name. Here again the designer uses recycled and reclaimed scrap fabrics like felt, cotton, alpaca, etc... to create her textile based products.

Recycled textiles: A trend I tell you!
Colorful Keychains with silver charms. Again, nice little presents right?! It is also typical of Peru to make huayruro keychains. The red seeds are said to bring money and good luck. These aren't exactly it, but I hope they bring good luck as well :)
Ups, I almost forgot!.... Last but not least: If you are in Lima don't forget to try a Pisco Sour. Pisco is the national drink and the cocktails made with it can be so good!


Monday, August 2, 2010

Big Active

I am currently migrating to my new MAC. Which can become a very time consuming activity. For me, it is just like moving to a new apartment. What with all the folders, and files, and music, and pictures, and bookmarks, and worse- random unclassifiable stuff!

I compulsively save anything that I think is cool and inspires me. The sad part is that once you have too many of these things, you completely forget about them after a second or two. Having my own blog became the perfect solution to this problem, to tell you the truth...

So while I was trying to make sense of older bookmarks, I have been rediscovering all these cool websites that became instant favorites, say, back in 2007-2008? I am also back at home for the summer, and my room is filled with the coolest collection of art and design books. Not to mention movies. When I'm away, I swear I miss my books so much! So while I'm here, I love to go through them again. So this month will be all about rediscovering!

First stop is Big Active. An Art Direction & Design Agency from London. They have a really good selection of illustrators, and some of their music projects are, well, the sort of CDs you probably thought were totally cool when you saw them. I did. And because I tend to be a bit obsessive about knowing who does the things that I like... well I did find this website, didn't I?

So here is some graphic entertainment for you:

Art Direction- Music:

Beck/ 'The Information':

DYI Album Covers concept with Sticker Sheets included. Images for stickers where created by 20 different artists. SO COOL!
CD Package with inserted sticker sheet:Deluxe boxed CD packaging featuring all 4 sticker sheets:
Vinyl Single:
Oh I wish this CD would've come out on 2009-2010. Because then its promotion would've surely included an animated online video with all the images from the stickers! That would've been something awesome... Would've :(


Goldfrapp/'Black Cherry':
...and yes, I LOVE collage! :)

[I would also include 'Seventh Tree', with amazing photography from Serge Leblon, but I'm trying to avoid making this post a Goldfrapp music catalogue. I do love all her albums though!]

Delays/ 'Everything's The Rush':

Album Cover:

Foldout Poster Booklet:
Collectors Box:
The artwork was created by Icelandic Illustrator Siggi Eggertsson. Isn't his work amazing? Here are a few more things from him:

'Colorful Dream':
I would LOVE to see this as a textile!

Animation- 'A Growing Pile of Work':
(Not too bad for self-promotion!)