I love the graphic quality of these illustrations by local artist, Michael Bartalos. The above image is called Warionettes. And below, a letterpressed publication made in 2005 called 29 Degrees North (through San Francisco Center for the Book). Just look at the handlettering on the cover: beautiful. I'd like to see this piece close up.
I've got shorthand on the brain after seeing this stationery company called Shorthand Press (discovered via Poppytalk). I haven't seen shorthand since the 80s when my cousin was taking a class at the local community college. I remember seeing her homework and thinking, "They're teaching you to write crazy?" (I was like 8 or something).
On a side note: I watched Top Design last night. What a let down! I didn't feel any energy or chemistry anywhere. It was one hour of pure awkwardness. Todd Oldham sounded like a cue-card-reading robot programmed to speak in singsong. He sounded more tour guide than show host. I couldn't even get jazzed about the bickering between Brutus and Anthony Michael Hall. I think what will get me to keep watching the show is Kelly Wearstler's fashion sensibility. I can't wait to see her outfits in future shows. It's certainly more interesting than any of the rooms on this episode.
My favorite piece of advice from one of the top designers is, "You don't want to take away from a chinese wedding bed". I'll make a mental note of that.
When I learned of Marian Bantjes' work last year, it was like being connected with a creative kindred spirit. Marian is hands down, the reigning queen of ornament, handlettering, and general design awesomeness. My handlettering merely aspires to be like hers when it grows up, but she makes it look so effortless and fluid. And I love that you can sense emotion through her ornamentation and how the lettering is hidden in the ornamentation--you have to unlock or decode the message, in a way.
When it comes to creativity, I think it does pay to pay your dues. Every piece you create helps you figure out what your creative voice is and what you like or don't like. I know I've gone back and looked at some work I've created and thought, "Man, that is some serious crap!" My hall of shame includes my first studio project in arch school (that building was straight fugly), a wedding invitation I made with organza bows gone wild, a logo I designed for a humanitarian non-profit which they said was perfect in everyway except that "it looks like a swastika", and the list goes on. I think every creative individual, no matter how genius (not that I consider myself one in any way) you think they are will produce a dash of mediocrity and a dollop of ugly. Hey, no one's perfect.
Check out these posters by Iranian designer Reza Abedini. His sense of composition and color is wonderful. And they have the same spirit as American screenprinted gig posters, just a different language.
I actually like it when I can't read the language. I get to appreciate the graphic nature of the letterforms and rely solely on visual communication. Neat.