I was meaning to post a book review as a follow up to the one I put up a while back, but we got busy, and didn’t have time to read as much as I would have liked (aside from the typical weekly haul of comic books). Luckily, the Christmas holidays rolled around again, and I was able to find some free time to lay on the couch with a stack of books. As usual, I got some good ones as gifts over the holidays, some arrived from the local library, and others finally found their way into my hands after gathering dust on the office shelf. Here is a recap of what I spent time with over the holidays and into January;
The Exhibit we recently designed for for the West Vancouver Museum opened this past weekend. From The Inside Out explores the legacy of several influential artists and architects by showcasing their extraordinary projects alongside artworks and photographs that capture their new forms of architecture and design.
Included in the exhibition are architectural projects by Ned Pratt, B.C. Binning, Fred Hollingsworth, Arthur Erickson, Bruno Freschi, and Zoltan Kiss, as well as works by Jack Shadbolt, Gordon Smith, Bill Reid, Len Norris, Egon Eppich, Wayne Ngan, Kawai Kanjiro, and Shoji Hamada, and furniture designed by Ned Pratt, Fred Hollingsworth, and Francisco Kripacz.
It runs throughout the summer until August 29th. Don’t miss out!
UPDATE: Now extended until September 19th, 2015!
photos courtesy of urbanpictures.com
I’m raving about Fonts at Nerd Nite Vancouver next Tuesday. Come join me at the Fox Cabaret for beers, and watch me get tongue-tied about my love for Letters! More info about my talk, 26 Letters = Unlimited Possibilities, along with ticket info, can be found here. Should be a lot of fun… hope you can make it!
The daily commute and pay parking was taking its toll, so we moved the office of our graphic design studio (again).
We found the perfect space in Vancouver’s historic Cedar Cottage neighbourhood on the corner of Commercial Street and East 20th. Built in 2013, the building was inspired by the newly restored 105 year old Gow Block building which is adjacent to us.
The neighbourhood hosts a variety of shops and services including the Commercial Street Café, The Tool Library, World Cycles, Style Council Hair and a great doggie spa (Loki would have loved it).
Our office is NEW and the perfect size (for us) complete with vaulted ceilings, lots of natural light and a rose bush right outside our window. We’re amazed at just how many people actually stop and smell the roses.
Come by for a visit. We always have treats on hand and time to chat, not to mention Adanac T-shirts for five bucks.
As some of you know by now, we’ve just moved our office (yes… again). There has been a flurry of packing and unpacking, reorganizing and purging, which has been exciting for Sue and painful for me. Amongst the 297 pounds of paper that we dropped off at the shredders yesterday, we uncovered a box of treasures; Left over ADANAC T-shirts! We originally printed up a bunch of these Ts to go with our self-promotional icon font project, way back when we were still in our first graphic design office on West 2nd. We were under the impression that they were all gone, and have been telling people who asked about them that they were out of luck.
Here is a list of what we uncovered;
Mosquito: 1 large, 4 medium
Sasquatch: 2 medium
Anti-Gravity: 1 large, 5 medium
Mosquito: 4 small, 1 medium
Sasquatch: 8 small, 7 medium
Anti-Gravity: 5 small, 4 medium
Icon Alphabet: 2 small
Let us know if your interested, only 5 bucks a pop. Sue is in full “purge” mode and motivated to get more stuff out of the office.
As a busy father of two frenetic girls, and a busy graphic design schedule, I don’t have much time to sit down with a good book. When I do, I usually trying to catch up on my pile of unread comic books. So when the Christmas holidays roll around, I try to soak up as many pages as possible. It is my goal to catch up on the books that piled up in the studio over the past year, as well as the gems that I acquire as X-mas gifts. A well designed book is always inspirational (even if it isn’t specifically about “design”).
Here is a quick rundown of what I caught up on over the holidays and into January;
It is the rainy season here in Vancouver. This past week has seen a huge amount of water drop from the sky. Whenever the rains are heavy, the manhole cover in front of my home rattles away loudly, sometimes even waking me up in the middle of the night. I have even stood on top of that slab of iron, feeling the power of the storm waters forcing their way upwards, threatening to push the metal circle from its setting.
All the rattling over the past few days reminded me of the artwork that Sue and I submitted for the Ironclad Art contest that the City of Vancouver ran many months ago, in order to find new artwork for the municipalities’ storm and sewer covers.
I know that plenty of professional graphic designers have issues surrounding the logistics and ethics involved with procuring design services via “contests”. Many designers won’t enter a contest just to issue a statement. Just look at the tempest in a teapot the federal government has stirred up with their Canada 150 Logo Design Contest.
Sue and I discussed the merits of entering the Ironclad Art contest, and we both came to the same conclusion… “Let’s go for it”. We were not all that busy in the studio at the time, and it sounded like fun. At least this “contest” had some form of limited design brief, and guidelines for what the City was looking for. The allure of having our design cast in metal and publicly displayed throughout the city for decades to come was very appealing. We knew our chances of being chosen were slim, but the opportunity to design something as esoteric as a manhole cover was to great to pass up.
Looking back on our designs months later with fresh eyes, I think they turned out really well. Although our submissions were not chosen to be produced, Sue’s squirrel design was short listed.
… and we were right, it was fun.
We have had the fortune of working on a few design projects with Chef William Robitaille, and Notturno is probably our favourite. The tiny Italian restaurant was open for a year or two in Gastown (a few blocks from our studio), and when Bill got involved, he took the initiative to revamp the menu, the space, and the branding.
Boasting Vancouver’s best bartender (known only as “H”) and Chef Robitaille’s ever evolving menu of Italian-inspired plates that highlight seasonal, market-fresh local fare, you can’t go wrong with whatever you order. The small space doesn’t have a typical kitchen… everything is expertly prepared to order right in front of you, behind the bar. Inspired by the region of the menu, we developed a custom wordmark (in the “tuscan” style) to serve as the foundation for the rebrand, capturing not only the flavour of the food, but the atmosphere of the elegantly rustic black-and-white room.
We held our 10four Christmas party at Notturno last holiday season, and Bill definitely treated us right. Notturno is like a well kept secret, but we felt it only fair to share the rebrand that we produced to quietly re-launch this Gastown gem for Foodies “in-the-know”.
We had an incredibly busy summer. One of the projects that kept us from hitting the beach was From Rationing To Ravishing, an exhibit that we developed for The Museum of Vancouver. Opened last month, From Rationing To Ravishing is the follow up show to the extremely popular Art Deco Chic exhibit that we designed for MOV back in 2012. Guest curated by the charismatic duo of Ivan Sayers and Claus Jahnke, the exhibit traces the shifting Vancouver fashion landscape from wartime austerity to girlish glamour throughout the 40s and 50s. We are fortunate to have a fantastic relationship with the Museum… they trusted us to develop all elements of the brand for the show; everything from the entire exhibit and accompanying graphics, to the exhibit catalogue, to the marketing materials.
There are over 80 garments on display, accompanied by many accessories and other period pieces. Highlights include: wartime wedding dresses (one made from a parachute!), Boeing Vancouver overalls, cocktail dresses, and fashions designed by renowned European couturiers, including Christian Dior, Cristóbal Balenciaga, and Elsa Schiaparelli.
You really should go check it out (open until at least March, 2015), but until you do, we’ve got more photos for you here.
Also; an article in the Georgia Straight, a post on Vancouver is Awesome, Youtube clip from Go! Vancouver, and a CBC Radio interview with Ivan Sayers.
It is with great sadness that I report the passing of our good friend and studiomate Loki.
When Sue and I started 10four back in 2002, there was never a doubt that Loki would play a role in our new graphic design studio. Being your own boss has a few perks, and one of them is being able to bring your dog with you to work. Having Loki around in our office has always conveyed the kind of work environment we want to promote, and the casual, easy going attitude we express. Our clients enjoyed seeing her in our space and often asked about her on the days she stayed home. Even the mailman was happy to see her.
Over the last 12 years, we’ve moved the design office for 10four 3 times (four if you count moving offices within the same studio space), and every time Loki has had a desk to curl up under and a pillow in the corner. Last week I took that pillow home from the office for the last time, and it broke my heart.
Loki was with us from the start, and she will be missed… very, very much.