Don't judge a book by its cover. Ever so often I'm disappointed when flipping through children's books at Fnac. Why make an attractive cover with a boring inside? Why? This book called Malmok is a nice exception: the blue foil letters and pelican illustration make the cover look pretty, but the illustrations inside are even better. The book was written by Sjoerd Kuyper for 7-8 year olds and tells the story of a bird called Malmok. It's very cute, but the visually-minded-me prefers looking at the penstrokes, colors and paper scraps by Dutch illustrator Annemarie van Haeringen. I simply love mixed media, strong colors and her very personal style.
Do you have a favorite illustrator?
A few of my favorite quotes from speakers at The Hive, the European blog conference, that I attended last weekend. As twitter was buzzing, I also added some interesting tweets, that spoke to me.
My overall highlights of the weekend in Berlin were the more personal conversations that I had with blogfriends, old and new. Sharing ideas & experiences with so many different people is empowering, inspiring and so much fun. Merci!
Quotes from: sisterMAG - Katrina Tan Conte - Tina Fussell - Marlous Snijder - Desiree Groenendal - Anne Ditmeyer
kilometers of handsewn orange+pink beehive garlands by Lauren Lou Bate /// photo of Betahaus staircase by The Hive /// handwritten words by me
The sweet cure
Eleven years ago, when working in fashion with lots of fabrics, I started sneezing. And I never stopped: I became "allergic". Allergic to dust, to synthetic perfumes, to dark chocolate, to alcohol, to eucalyptus... After a few years I started taking antihistamines, which keep me from sneezing all day long.
Last week I realized that I'm sneezing more since the pollen season started. Which makes me wonder whether I suffer from hay fever... Anyway, I don't want to complain (paper hankies are my best friends!), but maybe eating local honey will help me reduce the sneezing?
A happy coincidence: I met a beekeeper this weekend who was selling his honey at a brocante. His beehives are located at only 2km from our home, pretty local, right? I bought one of his jars and asked him if I could come and have a look next time he'll harvest honey. He agreed and I'm really looking forward to that. I wonder if his beehives are just as colorful as the ones we saw in Burgundy...
According to Ian Douglas, honey is not a cure for hay fever, but hey: eating honey every day sounds like a pretty sweet idea to me ;o) Do you think honey can be a cure for hay fever? And do you like honey?
Designing beautiful packaging for honey would be one of my dream assignments as a graphic designer. Honey inspires many fellow designers, so I started collecting lots of their designs on my honey bee bee pinterest board:
Orontas cycling supplies
Old world quality and modern thinking, that's what Orontas is all about. I spotted this window display in Stockholm, not far from the wonderful Stutterheim raincoats boutique (which I love). I was intrigued by the clever text:
To me, it looked like some kind of sustainable beauty or house cleaning brand. I had no idea that Orontas makes handcrafted cycling supplies. I would love for my ugly Embryolisse creme to come in one of these pretty tubes:
I must admit that I take very bad care of my bike. But cleaning with nice products makes it more fun, right?
Pick a card!
Swedish design is all about purity and function. And it seemed that most of the business cards I collected this weekend at Meet the Blogger in Stockholm, were just like that: pure & functional. But the best part: there are some really awesome people behind these cards!
Clockwise starting at Skandivis: Skandivis, Tastesheriff, Ruth Hannah, Swoon Worthy, Moltazdesign, Blogst, Obviously Linda Design, Svenska Blomsterbloggar, Makelemon8, La Maison d'Anna G., HausStylish, Scandinasian by Lendalia, Méchant Studio, Un Due Tre Ilaria, Chalkboard Living, VTwonen, Studio ToutPetit, Design & Splendours, C-more, TrendConnection.
Curious what my business card looked like? You can spot it on VTwonen and Mocca&me.
Sara Fanelli's Onion
As a belated xmas gift, I received this beautiful book by Sara Fanelli, called The Onion's Great Escape. It's the perfect read on this Blue Monday, supposed to be the most depressive day of the year.
I first discovered Sara Fanelli's illustrations through Joanna's blog Kavka Design ( a graphic designer & illustrator herself! ) and really love her colorful, detailed, quirky, graphic universe.
The book is filled with nice handwritten typography and many many questions, like:
After reading the book, you can pull out the Onion so that he can start a life of his own.
Here's how it works:
What do you think of Sara's work?
Een gelukkig nieuw jaar! Happy New Year!
It's one of my proudest projects: our family New Year's card. This year we're all posing with a wooden candle that was designed & handmade by my dad as a xmas gift. It's our 33rd card! View all our cards here!
My husband thought it was all a bit too cute:
Gift wrapping ideas for IKEA Family live
My new guest post at IKEA family live just went live. I'm sharing a few ideas about gift wrapping. Check it out here!
I'm obsessed with this video...
I have a confession to make. I secretly looooove cheesy music.
Taste in music is so personal and reveals so much about your age & social culture, don't you think? I grew up in the nineties during the big boom of music videos and developed a decent taste in music. But some pulp slipped through though.
I simply cannot resist a big beat, skilled dancers and cool visuals. And when it comes as good as this one... right in the middle between Robin S. and Mc Hammer...
Since I've found this video of Tensnake ft. Syron on Happy Mundane ( Jon's TGISunday videos are awesome! ) I cannot stop watching & singing along... watch it here:
And you? Do you have a secret love for any cheesy kind of music?
Type in Motion @ A Coruña
It's not a secret that I'm a lover of beautiful typography. When arriving in A Coruña during our stay in Galicia, the first thing that caught my eye was this huge poster of the Type in Motion exhibition. Of course I had to see this!
While this exhibition presented interesting music videos, short films, trailers, media facades & logos (amongst others), I had seen most of it before. It included short movies like the world famous Logorama, No Doubt's Hey Baby video, Studio Dumbar's Inholland identity video and tons of kinetic videos. My favorite was this French video by Arthur King: Le Sample ( with fun sound effects ).
The exhibition design was well done ( with titles shaped in colored seatbelt rope! ), good lighting, cool music videos. And an overdose of beautiful moving type. Nothing brand new, but being surrounded by beautiful type always feels good.
Type in Motion is a touring exhibition by the Design Museum in Zürich and represented in A Coruña by the Fundación Barrié and closed its doors last weekend. More info can be found here.
I always choose color & shape over pattern. But a bold graphic pattern every once in a while, does make me very happy. Like this wall decoration at the Center of World Cultures Zuiderpershuis in Antwerp, Belgium. Isn't it pretty? And you? Do you like patterns?
While I'm in Spain ( my first time! ) enjoying some time off, I would like to introduce you to my favorite Spanish design studio: Atipo. Atipo is a small design studio in Gijón founded in 2010 by Raúl García del Pomar & Ismael González. Their approach to design is a little unexpected: they freely mix typography, type design with photography & video in self initiated projects. The results are AMAZING.
These first images come the from the Cassanet booklet: an inspirational & humoristic overview of the font Cassannet. The font is free ( pay with a tweet or Fb / pay what you want ) just like the beautiful Bariol. Can't wait to use them once I'll be back in France!
I love Atipo's pure & clever designs, based on good forms, great kerning & visual humor. ¡Viva Atipo!
( copyright of these images by Atipo )
The Typography of Travel 3
Beautiful typography spotted on some of my travels:
Gelateria le Rocca Serra - Bonifacio, Corsica, France
Orchidee Blomster (flower shop) - Oslo, Norway
United Bakeries - Oslo, Norway
Up in Lyon - Lyon, France
Stetson Hats - Oslo, Norway
Troc 2nd hand store - Lyon, France
Eksjö Train Station - Eksjö, Sweden
French cheese shop - Oslo, Norway
Cap Corse - Corsica, France
To see more travel typography, click here for part 1 and part 2!
The Typography of Travel 2
Beautiful typography spotted on some of my travels:
Merci - Paris, France
Clas Ohlson - Oslo, Norway
Armurier Tourly (weapon shop) - Beauvais, France
Rougier & Plé (arts & crafts store) - Paris, France
Smile with your heart city campaign - Akureyri, Iceland
La Poste - Pierrefonds, France
Train shop - Paris, France
Muu milk - Vestmanneayar, Iceland
Etat Libre d'Orange - Paris France
To see more travel typography, click here for part 1!
Marimekko Helsinki map
Finland is placed very high on my places-I-want-to-visit wishlist. And not in the last place because of Marimekko. I remember my mother wearing a Marimekko shirt & skirt in the 80s. They were made with the softest jersey and had a timeless fit.
When in London I picked up a free copy of the Marimekko Helsinki map at the Marimekko store near Bond Street. I finally hang it on the wall last week because I really like it. It's a beautiful graphic drawing of Helsinki with a few pops of color:
The map takes you on a journey through the hometown of Marimekko: Helsinki. You can find the digital version of the map right here.
I paired the map with my Marimekko Räsymatto plate, Coca Cola & Comme des Garcons & Bomba energy drink bottles, a Chanel jewelry box and postcards by Julien Langendorff, Adrian Briscoe for Instilllife and Nathalie Gilles.
The Typography of Travel
Beautiful typography spotted on some of my travels:
City bikes - Odense, Denmark
The Circus Hostel - Berlin, Germany
Plissage, Place de la Principale - Avignon, France
Moc Hairdressers - Stockholm Sweden
Naked Architecture - Utrecht, The Netherlands
Kronans drugstore - Växjö, Sweden
Saville Row window stickers - London, UK
Moderna Museet - Stockholm, Sweden
William Richard Green at Selfridges - London, UK
Bzzz bzzz from The Hive
This weekend I attended The Hive in Berlin, a European Blog Conference with speakers like Freunde von Freunden, Design Mom, sisterMAG, Zilverblauw, Prêt-A-Voyager, Hauptstadtmutti, Fryd + Design, Lost in Cheeseland, My Paradissi and many more.
Besides the interesting & inspiring talks, it meant lots of pretzels, colorful frocks, many cameras, tons of tweets & pregnant bellies (I loved @Überlin's tweet: RT if you're at #hive12 and you're *not* pregnant!), lots of stairs (4th floor venue), so many smiling faces, enthusiastic conversations…
…and lots of cool business cards! As a graphic designer, I was curious to see what others came up with and it turned out to be quite a colorful bunch. In Germany the idea of handing out business cards on social events like The Hive didn't seem very common. Some German bloggers told me they were a little surprised that others would expect them to hand out their card. Above are a few of the cards I collected.
Clockwise starting at CIAO: Reisefreunde, Just Pretty Things, Zilverblauw, Currystrumpet, Stadtgarten, Kristi Fuoco, Sozialhelden, Fräulein Text, KleiderKreisel, One Bunting Away, Almalu's Place, I'm with Leila, Funkytime, Tante Taart An and Circus Edgar, Jillian in Italy, The Girl at the Laundromat, Mat & Mi, and in the middle the cute dia slide by Vlogaboo.
The week before The Hive I made a bunch of new fresh cards. To me, good design is all about simplicity, so I just used some vintage sticker paper from Studio Sapique, a hole puncher and the sturdiest printable paper I could find to make my cards. Here is what they look like:
Turn on the earth!
Tomorrow major landmarks around the world will turn of lights for Earth Hour. Many companies have announced they will "participate". Somehow attaching your name to Earth Hour seems so hypocritical. Many of these companies could do so much better on an environmental level. But hey, the goal (raising awareness of climate change & environmental issues facing the planet) trumps the means. So:
However, the quality of the design of the image galleries was just poor. And 99% of the photos and videos of the women exposed were just not aesthetic in any way. And yes I know that's not the purpose of porn... but still.
I don't especially have to relate 100% to the product or message my clients want to move forward, but it does make it more fun to work on. I'm not convinced that working on anything porn related would fit in with my ideas on design. But that was until I saw this app preview video: Geometric Porn.
Apple rejected the Geometric Porn iPhone app in february. Apple's App Store review policies have been very inconsistent in terms of defining porn, so where did this app cross Apple's line from art to "obscene content"? A commenter on Luciano Foglia’s video demo suggested a way to figure it out when the App would be accepted by Apple: keep submitting increasingly abstract versions until it gets accepted. Interesting!
(photos by Emilie Guelpa from Griottes)
The only thing missing in my opinion was a good documentary about his life and work, as I crossed many lost visitors not knowing who Jean Paul Goude is and what they were looking at. However there was a video showing brief impressions of his projects and some shorter videos like the hilarious "How to improve your body proportions by adding shoulder pads, 30cm heels and a dental bridge" from the 70's and of course some Grace Jones music videos.
Some of my favorites were the series of Naomi Campbell and Björk. The images are so well executed, with such eye for detail and love for proportions, the human body&identity, colors and aesthetics, it's almost overwhelming. If you haven't seen it already, go visit the exhibition, you won't regret it.
So Far, So Goude
Anyway Jean Paul Goude made an impression, in every sense, on our (and my) imagination. My interest in his work and life grew slowly after watching several documentaries and reading interviews about him and his work. Mr Goude is a very intelligent man with a great sense of humor and an exquisite eye and an even greater esthetic vision that I really relate to. That is why I absolutely want to & will visit his current exhibition at Les Arts Décoratifs in Paris: Goudemalion. Jean-Paul Goude une rétrospective / 11 November 2011 – 18 March 2012
What is almost just as cool about honey are the endless options for packaging designs. Designing anything "honey" is a graphic designers dream project. Or at least for me it is. Inspiration is everywhere: the hexagonal honeycombes, the bees themselves, the flying swarms, the honey's texture and it's rich colors... One of my alltime favorite honey designs is by Ah&Oh Studio for Babees.
This is why I am so excited about this amazing new short film series called Made by Hand. Their videos celebrate the people who make things by hand: sustainably, locally, and with a love for their craft. The inaugural film, in which they visit the Breuckelen Distilling Company, is excellent. Go watch it!
This is a couple
Earlier this week I stumbled upon two books by Miroslav Sasek, This is Paris and This is Venice. His children's books with illustrations from the 50's, 60's and 70's are very beautiful & detailed and fancy a witty sense of humour. As Mr. Sasek died in 1980 without leaving an heir, the copyright situation of his work is currently unclear. Royalties from reissues are being held in a special fund until the copyright owner has been identified.
Another gem created for children is the Dutch project Big Art for Little People. This is an audiovisual picture book which teaches young children (2-6 y/o) something about the formal language of the visual arts through short artistic movies. Watch one of the videos here. Or download part 1 or part 2 of the book in English.
And the last precious pick is by Guillemette Lanthiez (a French interior designer) who aspires to create a living form of architecture. She creates amazing ceiling mobiles for individuals or visual merchandising under the very poetic name of Les ailes s'en mêlent.
JOELIX featured on Bloesem
First we visited Denmark, then we traveled through Sweden and ended our journey in Oslo, Norway. Hope you enjoyed this little voyage! Thank you Irene!
P.S. Did you know there is a new Bloesem blog coming soon? B:Studio will be launched early july.
Besides art, of course I heart type!
Linda Lundgren did a great job with the styling for Scandinavian supermarkets Hemköp. It's the advertorial version of my MINImag!
Just a day before the shortest day of the year, I have some bright stuff to share. First of all some bright gifts from Pen Pencil Stencil (don't forget the news section for nice photos and ideas). Then get in the photo cabin and get your picture done! Have a playful afternoon and get out your Lego. Finally relax with this video of a scuba diving in a newly flooded meadow. Some bright and "interesting" thoughts on graphic design, especially for my fellow graphic designer collegues.
Merry christmas to all!
A colorful new year!
By the way i really appreciated the Parisian metro transmitting us their best wishes with a modified metro map billboard and some postcards. So much more fun than Dezeen's christmas card selection. But nothing beats Bembibre's calendar from Finland! I wish you all a very happy and colorful year!
This is spring
I'm very VAR
La ferme Capelude is very special to me and it’s for sale! Hidden in a valley of the Maures Hills, the farm is situated at 12km from Collobrières and Grimaud, on a terrain of 220000 square meters and fully equiped with guestrooms, studios and a swimmingpool. It has the typical provencal beauty complemented with original details which makes it an absolute rare pearl. Contact me for any further information!
Anyway, to go with the new publicity campaign of the region: I'm very VAR!
It just feels good
Dr. Katz Professional Therapist
Even though it's sixteen years old, I never saw Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands before. Besides the brilliant play of Johnny Depp and Dianne Wiest, I really adored the pastel-colored neighbourhood. As always Burtons work was a "visual orgasm", to speak with the Germans, who created this design portal. A must-see!