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Archive for the Graphic Design Category

Westvaco Inspirations

Posted by Jon








These fantastic spreads were designed by Bradbury Thompson for Westvaco Inspirations in the 1950s and early 60s.

Westvaco Inspirations was a graphic arts publication issued by the Westvaco Corporation, formerly named the West Virginia Pulp and Paper Company, with the objective of showing typography, photography, art work and other graphic inventiveness on papers manufactured at its mills. Because Westvaco Inspirations was intended to demonstrate printing processes and papers, its primary audience consisted of 35,000 designers, printers, teachers and students.

Thompson designed more than sixty issues of the magazine over eighteen years and utilized a variety of printing methods, including letterpress and offset lithography. Tons more great scans at Typogabor.

via Matthew Lyons

United Nations Stamps

Posted by Jon






Amy Henderson of AQ-V recently acquired a large collection of old United Nations stamps:

Because the UN is an international organization, its stamp must bear symbols that will be recognized universally. Besides the beauty of the design, the UN Design Committee must consider the political implications of any symbolism used. Naturally none of them can stand for anything contrary to the standards and principles of the United Nations, nor can they represent any one culture, religion, or race.

It was the Design Committee’s suggestion that the official five languages—Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish—should be used on as many of the stamps as possible. This was the origin of the “five-language border” which has become characteristic of UN stamps.

This set is the first post in a multi-part series, and I can’t wait to see the rest. In the meantime you can check out David McFarline’s flickr collection or previous posts for more stamp goodness.

via AQ-V

Futurefarmers

Posted by Scott









I had the pleasure of meeting fellow San Francisco artist Amy Franceschini yesterday. Amy is from the design studio Futurefamers, a group of people who create “platforms for sociability within new media spaces; internet, wireless devices and public space”. I remember being aware of — and influenced by — their work when I was starting out in design but this recent meeting prompted me to take a look at what they’re been up to in the years since.

As you can see, their output doesn’t exactly fall within the scope of your average design studio — although they did design the Twitter logo. This excerpt from Amy’s bio sums up the themes I find most interesting in the work “[she] creates formats for exchange and production that question and challenge the social, cultural and environmental systems that surround her. An overarching theme in her work is a perceived conflict between humans and nature.”

Aesthetically pleasing and challenging at the same time, really great to see people doing work like this.

Futurefarmers

Erik Nitsche Posters

Posted by Jon






Erik Nitsche is a favorite at ISO50 (see posts here, here, and here), and I was disappointed when the Flickr stream compiling his work went down (mainly because I missed the chance to check it out). Luckily, Matthew Lyons and Galerie 123 (where you can purchase some of his original prints) are here to lend a helping hand.

Galerie 123 via Matthew Lyons

Left School, Joined a Startup

Posted by Alex


You may have noticed I’ve been a little less prolific around here lately; finally I can tell you why. I’m very excited to say that as of last November, I dropped out of my MFA program and am a cofounder of Firespotter Labs, a startup funded by Google Ventures. As cool as the concept of “stealth mode” sounds to me, I am decidedly *not* used to *not* writing about what I’m doing. Finally my sneakiness is over! In this post I want to talk a little bit about what it’s been like working full time at a startup, as well what went into the decision to drop out of my design program five months away from graduation. I really couldn’t be happier.

Of course all this would be more interesting if you knew exactly what we were doing. I wrote our About Us the other day and it’s spectacularly vague, so if you want to find out a little more, there were nice articles in The New York Times and Techcrunch last week.
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