Category Archives: DESIGN

Updates and a couple of questions for you!

Today marks the end of my summer holidays so I thought it would be fitting to give a little facelift to my online presence -getting ready for the fall season so to speak. As far as the blog goes, I am quite happy with my WordPress arrangement so the only novelty here is the updated signature logo on the header.

I revamped the logo a couple of months ago, making it more similar in style to my actual handwriting (though still keeping it different from my proper signature, I really don’t think that 100% accurate signature logos should exist online!), so here it is in all its curlicued glory.

beige-paper-texture

The rest of the novelties here are more content-driven and here’s where the question to you reader come out: right now, I am posting only completed photography shoots that I think are portfolio worthy: the downside is that updates are rather slow to come by.
Starting from september, I am implementing a weekly posting schedule with the goal to post twice a week by the end of the year, so I would like to have some feedback on the type of non properly photographic updates.

What would you like to see me writing about?

A) Do it yourself/backstage posts (such as the making of costumes and props, but also more personal ones detailing what goes on in my mind during the process).
B) More technical aspects such as shooting and editing
(kind of like this post about shooting non caucasian people)
C) Lifestyle/object related post that deal with my materialistic cravings (such as this post about CMYK designer goodies) or with particular exhibitions/events I attended (like this Mi Art fair post)

Let me know what you think! 🙂

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Font face – Zapfino

I have been working on my second installment of anthropomorphic fonts for what seems to be ages. Finally, I was able to find the time to pull a weekender and finish writing, editing and assembling everything! So without further ado, here’s what I think Zapfino looks like, if it was a human!

The model I chose for this is lovely Roberta Pazzesque, who also assembled the outfit. What can I say… got to love a jack of all trades!

As per usual, click on the images to see them full size! 🙂

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Friday’s links

This image sums up pretty much what I’m going through these days, apart from the fact that despite the heat I’m not reduced to going topless. Photography posts are rare these days, due to a series of unplanned events… I’m relocating to another house, one that needs a load of work to be done in order to get it ready in time. Add to that the fact that early summer is hellishly busy at work and you get why my evenings are spent drawing maps on Illustrator and fighting with the Ikea catalogue (how can you arrange 700+ cds without making it look like a record store display?) rather than retouching skin and illuminating eyes. Hopefully I’ll be able to publish the second chapter of my Font portraits before the tsunami of boxes engulfs the computer… till then, here’s my picks of the week!

Schermata 06-2456464 alle 10.32.12Lexican
Being a bookworm, I love words…I am constantly in awe with how powerfully certain words can convey a concept, but also I’m fascinated by the unusual and the quirky: those words that have very specific meaning and are seldom read, let alone spoken. That’s why I got immediately hooked on Lexican, where you can find such gems as mesonoxian (of or related to midnight), slubberdegullion (a slovenly or worthless person) and my personal favourite, which will be used for whatever lair I inhabit till the day I croak: Growlery (a retreat for times of ill humour).

100 abandoned houses
Detroit has become sort of a poster case for the results of economical crisis: dwindling from 2 million people to less than 800.000 means that more than half of the city is abandoned, despite a core center that still flourishes. There have been several photography projects dedicated to this decaying city, though what I saw tended to be more on the atmospheric, gritty side. This website, on the other hand, does exactly what it says in the url, showcasing in an almost clinical way house after house.

Recovering the classics
A very nice crowdsourced project focused on public domain book, often plagued by poorly designed covers. Artists can submit their covers and users can download ebooks (or even print actual paperbacks) with the cover of choice. Apart from being quite a lovely collection of inspiring designs, I’m looking forward to add my take on a couple of these once I’m settled in my new home.

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Friday’s links, plus a couple of pics

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These two aren’t enough to prompt a whole post dedicated to them as I already shoot the outfit to death, butI couldn’t resist sneaking them in!

Model: Cleo Viper
Make up: Claudia Malavasi
Outfit: Christina Riminucci

Today’s link list is rather boring, if you don’t like reading articles online. I, on the other hand, have recently discovered the guilty pleasure of reading stuff on my cellphone while on the bus, so here’s my three picks of the week!

History of Emoticons and Emoji from Rhizome.
This very well written article is a must for every designer dealing with icons and pictograms.

Get into an isolation tank and out of your head from Ultraculture.
Having recently experienced a sensory deprivation pod (and having quite liked it!) I’m readying myself for take two -possibly in some big, comfy american version.

A short lesson in perspective by Lindsey Redding.
You get used to reading rants about the advertising word, how it’s a shallow and utterly soulless place ecc ecc. You nod your head, maybe sigh a bit if you’re reading it at 11pm during a computer break, then move on completely unchanged by the words. This article isn’t one of those and it’s even more sobering once you realise that the author died shortly after writing it.

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Friday’s links


The word of the day is Underpantones

South African creative agency Mark did a couple of packaging prototypes and what can I say… if they sold these I would already be sporting a Pantone 186C.


Post-Punk And New Wave Rock Stars Reimagined As Superheroes

Butcher Billy caught my eye some time ago with his brilliant Sid & Nancy revamped as Mario & Peach. His Behance gallery is filled with pop culture mashups that are just begging to be hanged somewhere, but this project in particular caught my eye. Siouxie as Wonder Woman and Billy Idol as Aquaman, what’s not to love.


Typefight

Two designers each week create a single letter illustration, then the results are pinned against eachother. Admittedly, it’s like mixing a wrestling match with watching grass grow as far as entertainment goes, but the letters are lovely.


Evolution of Type

Speaking of type, Andreas Scheiger and his projects, combining typography with antique methods of scientific illustrations and presentation, are making me want to rob a bank in order to buy a whole alphabet.


TV’s best fake sites

Eerily creepy compilation of all the fake websites that keep on popping up on tv series and movies… it’s strange how you can spot those that were created by an intern that was told “we need a new refill of coffee and a website mockup in five minutes, go!”

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Links of the week – video edition

I’m not spoiling anything, but shit gets serious around the 30″ mark.

I never grow old of hearing people poking fun at Comic Sans. It’s like a hobby that spans the whole world, uniting people through hatred of that squiggly, overused worm of a font.

Epic prop video… I’d love to own half of these babies, despite the fact that their only use might be paperweights or doorstoppers.

Piracy might have played a significant role in establishing a strong fanbase for several big-time series (such as Game of Thrones, which is the one this video deals with). More than that, some argue that the hard-core downloaders are also movie and tv series buffs that might be viewing the content through improper channels, but more than make it up by buying the dvds and merchandise (where a lot of the money is to be found)… I can only vouch for myself, but that sounds exactly like the modus operandi of most people I know. 😉

One of the newish tracks from Swede Mason, aptly named “The human condition” and made by splicing up legal notices from pharmaceutical advertising. It doesn’t have the ring of some of his past stuff (I still catch myself humming Jeremy Clarkson’s beatbox from time to time) but it wins at making you realise how hideously stereotipated most of the commercials in the field are.

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Friday Links

Everything is a remix

L’ultima parte del documentario di Kirby Ferguson sulla circolarità delle idee nella società: spaziando dalla musica ai film ai vari rami della pop culture odierna.

The Book cover archive

Un must per chiunque voglia vedere delle copertine fatte bene in modo veloce e in quantità considerevole, ci ho perso ore e continuo a darci sbirciatine ogni tanto.

Still Alive

Still Alive was firstly conceived as explanation of what abandoned factories make me feel when being inside: not dead places as the common sense wants to suggest, but silent witnesses just asking to be listened Archivio fotografico di Marcello Modica, con molti spunti interessanti per gli appassionati di archeologia industriale.

Manly men doing manly things

La mia webcomic preferita del momento: reinserirsi nel mondo del lavoro è dura per chi ha passato tutta la vita a prendere a craniate alieni, per fortuna c’è un’agenzia apposta.

Alien brain hemorrhage

Non ho la minima idea del sapore di un cocktail del genere: considerando gli ingredienti assolutamente sconclusionati che richiede deve fare veramente schifo, ma il nome è perfetto.

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Friday links

Chiamare il nuovo mac “Juggernaut” mi sa che ha portato rogna: prima del ponte l’ho dovuto portare al centro assistenza Apple per flash luminosi che nemmeno una sala di Pachinko sotto luce ultravioletta riuscirebbe a replicare -nel mentre, tre settimane di lavori si sono bellamente adagiate sul mio hard disk di backup, che ho dovuto nascondere dietro a una pila di libri perchè mi faceva venire ansia solo al pensiero. Per fortuna non ho programmato nulla per queste feste perchè ho già capito cosa finirò a fare. In attesa di poter ricominciare a editare, un po’ di link finiti nei miei preferiti questa settimana! 🙂

GRANDMOTHER TIPS = Tipografia + parenti + perle di saggezza internettiana. La tipografia un po’ vecchiotta, se devo proprio essere onesta, ma l’idea è carina… sembra che dopo il tormentone SuperMamika coinvolgere i parenti nei propri progetti sia il nuovo trend.

MOVIE TITLES = Tipografia + film noir + ore passate a leggere che titoli assurdi sono stati prodotti in passato. Se avessi una parete libera e un paio di settimane di tempo per scegliere gli accostamenti giusti, probabilmente appenderei mezzo sito al muro…

…a meno che non soccomba e dedichi lo spazio alla serie Old School Heroes di FABIAN CIRAOLO: retro-kitsch all’ennesima potenza, con una palette sui toni pastello che risulta più lisergica di tutti i pantone neon messi insieme. Molto ironici anche i suoi take su personaggi storici come Frida Kahlo, ma Skeletor è Skeletor. 😉

L’oggetto del desiderio slash frustrazione… è un anno intero che rompo le scatole a mio fratello perchè mi dia una mano a costruire un hidden switch per la luce. Finalmente lo trovo già fatto e pure ad un prezzo abbordabile… ed è sold out!

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Type hackers

Tre piccoli esempi di real life hacking e di ottimi trattamenti di testo.

Shopping Losts, progetto a distanza simile a Postsecret in cui vecchie liste della spesa vengono spedite e replicate in formato digitale come esercizio tipografico. Qualità solitamente buona, con qualche caduta ogni tanto.


Cardon Copy, progetto geniale di Cardon Webb (che probabilmente si è preso una bella rivincita sul nome poco brillante affibbiatogli dai genitori), prende classici annunci da bacheca e veste lo stesso testo a nuovo -tra l’altro in modo eccellente, adoro i suoi type treatments. Quello che ha in più rispetto al meccanismo di Shopping Losts, è che mr Webb poi sostituisce l’annuncio originario con il suo -e ammettiamolo, non è più interessante leggere la sua versione?

Il terzo è un baratto della tipologia che adoro: scambiare le proprie capacità in piccoli progetti che hanno immediato beneficio per tutti i coinvolti. Recuperato da SwissMiss… l’amico designer aveva bisogno di un taglio di capelli, il suo parrucchiere aveva un orrido cartello di apertura:everyone’s happy with a bargain.

Spero solo che il tizio tagli i capelli meglio di quanto sappia scrivere…

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CMYK

Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black.

Sono francamente importabili come colori, a meno che non si apprezzi il revival anni ’80…personalmente, mi limito all’ultimo della serie e tanto mi basta. Eppure, non posso fare a meno di essere attratta da qualsiasi gadget/oggetto d’arredamento/pirlata che sia a tema. La mia wishlist a riguardo è:

CMYK Wallet da MoMa store Un unico foglio di materiale iper resistente piegato a origami per formare un portafoglio e stampato con il retino da prova di stampa? I want!

CMYK Lamp da Meninos Unica pecca? Ho dei dubbi sulla qualità della luce che produce un paralume a 4 colori…

Ho già metà dello stock di Plastique (il suo “mela zeta” è sempre apprezzato da mac-addicts), ma questa ancora mi manca.

Questo invece è il mio prossimo do-it-yourself project. A quanto pare era un (pessimo, dato che nessuno si ricorda qual’è lo stampatore in questione!) tentativo di pubblicità… vediamo se riesco a produrre qualcosa di interessante con la prossima prova di stampa, invece di tagliarmi un polpastrello come mio solito!

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