When it comes to offline inspiration, my primary source of design research relies heavily on magazines. By day, I do everything from branding to retail to web design but my personal, off-the-job passion is editorial design and fashion magazine layouts are what excite me most. Yesterday, as I was idly flipping through the October 2011 issue of GQ, this beautiful type treatment that accompanied an interview of rapper-of-the-moment Rick Ross totally blew my mind. Reminiscent of vintage maps and banknotes but thoroughly modernized with the text Simple Lessons For Bosses, Dons and Bitches, it’s the perfect merging of old and new. I love it.
Though nearly the entire interior of my house, Wolfgang Manor is comprised of black and white, small dashes of red are scattered throughout to add a lively sense of energy. I tend to collage images into my Decor Notebook primarily by color since so many other components of my life are also color-driven including my books, clothing, and shoes. When people ask me for organizational tips, I always say that you have to develop an individualized system that works for you — color just happens to be my self-prescribed method to keep the madness in check.
Photographer Luke Copping came to me late last year with a new promotional idea. He wanted to present his top images not in a portfolio but instead in a magazine format. In the few years we’ve been working together on his branding, we’ve collaborated on a number of web and print promos but in Luke’s true style, it was time to push the envelope. You’ve probably noticed the trend of bloggers putting out their own magazines and this seemed like a natural transition for Luke as well. With on-demand self-publishing becoming an increasingly affordable option, photographers can self-promote in ways that seemed incredibly out of reach just a few short years ago.
Photographers know their work better than anyone and after Luke had selected his top images and mocked up a dummy issue, I started playing around with layouts and type-driven introductions for each themed series.
I’ve worked with a lot of photographers and my number one goal as a designer is to never overpower their work. I believe that less is more. Great photographers’ work stands on its own and the accompanying branding should accentuate it, not distract. Because of this, I kept the layouts and overall design fairly minimal.
The outcome was 58 page perfect-bound magazine with matte pages. I commend Luke for constantly being on the lookout for the next promotional vehicle to elevate his brand. It’s been great participating in the evolution from the creation of an identity to print and web promos to premium business cards and now, a print magazine.
P.S. You can read about Luke’s take on the project here.
My office is the cleanest and most organized it’s ever been. And now I’m ready to conquer the longest design to-do list I’ve ever had.
An inspirational poster, perhaps? You be the judge.
Switching things up with new colors: I picked up this trio of Face Stockholm polishes at a J. Crew store in Phoenix and am still enjoying making small changes from my normal beauty routine.
Every time I wear this textured silk bomber jacket by Quail, everyone wants to pet me.
I just happened to witness the funniest photo shoot ever that included very large hunting knives.
The current wallpapers on my desktop and laptop: Black and white and minimal.
My default everyday shoes: Minimarket zipper wedges. I love these so much that I’m on my third pair.
Isn’t this type great? I love discovering design inspiration in unlikely places.
We’ve got small Bavarian-inspired touches scattered throughout our home. I especially love this vintage piece from an old cuckoo clock in the kitchen nook.
One of my favorite outfits: a red plaid vintage skirt from Etsy paired with Cheap Monday patent wedges.
There’s a ramen place with really great branding on Water Street in Portland called Boke Bowl. It’s always packed but definitely worth visiting.
This is a little old but here’s a peek of what I packed for my Phoenix trip.
The design necessities: my Pantone notebook, Moleskine planner,pens and tea. Have a great weekend and I’ll see you back here to share a design project I just finished (and am super happy with) on Monday!
Karen Elson by Steven Meisel for Italian Vogue, 1997.
• 17 design pros share their best career advice.
• The handwritten trend on editorial and blog layouts is HUGE right now and Pugly Pixel has tracked down the best pencil and chalk brushes to achieve the look.
• Swissted is a project by Mike Joyce. By combining his love of punk rock and swiss modernism, he’s redesigned vintage punk, hardcore, and indie rock show flyers into typographic posters!
• This is what London looks like, nearly empty. Amazing.
• Twelve things you were not taught in school about creative thinking.
• You have to check out these cowboy boots, featuring the longest, pointiest toes ever.
• My favorite article of the week: You Say You Want a Devolution chronicles how, these days, “even as technological and scientific leaps have continued to revolutionize life, popular style has been stuck on repeat, consuming the past instead of creating the new.”
• How to splurge responsibly.
• The best movie posters of 2011. My favorite of the bunch is L’Armour Fou featuring Yves Saint Laurent.
• How to lead a creative life.
Today, I’m going to share my new favorite book with you, Pantone: The Twentieth Century in Color. What makes this book so amazing is that it covers the evolution of color in our society over the last 100 years, from 1900 onwards. Each decade receives its own chapter along with corresponding images of art, fashion and decor representative of particular palettes that were popular during that period.
Excerpts from Pantone: The 20th Century in Color.
From the swatches of 1930s The Wizard of Oz (Silver, Straw and Lion) to 1980s Miami Vice (Pink Mist, Lavendula and Radiant Orchid) to 1990s Grunge (Coffee Bean, Faded Denim and Earth Red), the cultural movements of America and the colors they helped influence are all painstakingly covered. Students of graphic and fashion design as well as lovers of color theory will adore this book.
During the last week of December while I was in Phoenix, my brother and I took a mini hike off the side of the road and walked down a rocky trail to a trio of large boulders for some photos. Even though there are a handful of housing developments scattered about, this area (about 40 minutes outside of downtown Phoenix) is still fairly wild and untouched. During our walks, it wasn’t uncommon to see coyotes and road runners. Luckily, we didn’t have any run-ins with wild animals while these photos were being taken. Still, my brother wasn’t fazed by asking me to climb up on massive rocks in 5 inch platform boots. He really didn’t care if I broke my neck as long as he got the shot he was after. That’s what siblings are for!
Lace Dress, Luxirare
Belt, Zana Bayne Leather
Leggings, Forever 21
AI for AI by Matiko Boots, Solestruck
All photos are by Carey Haider. More recent work can be viewed on his Tumblr.