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Faux Taxidermy and Anatomical Sculptures

Florals, Beads and Lace Embellish Whimsical Faux Taxidermy and Anatomical Sculptures

 

 

Based in Austria, Natalia Lubieniecka scours Vienna’s markets for antique objects, fabrics, and anatomical posters that eventually inform and meld into her peculiar sculptures. Whether it be a blush-colored heart enveloped in florals, a supine frog with exposed entrails, or a deceased bird covered in a lace bodice, her fantastical works speak to the fragile relationship between life and death.

The sculptor tells that her interest in organs and bodies began after a visit to Naturhistorische Museum Wien, where she encountered taxidermy of birds, insects, and other animals.

 

Her favorite piece, though, is her faux anatomical heart because it pushed her to expand her source material. “I think that human and animal anatomy has something magical about it. Each organ is responsible not only for the functioning of the body, but also for feelings, thoughts, and emotions, and these transport us to another magical dimension,” she said.

 

 

 

Extract published on Colossal, April 2020

Delicate paintings by Lee Me Kyeoung

Delicate Paintings by Lee Me Kyeoung detail the small convenience stores throughout South Korea

 

Peeking through peach blossoms or nestled into a snowy landscape, the tiny shops that Lee Me Kyeoungrenders are found across South Korea, from Mokpo to Jeju and Seoul to Gapyeong.

The artist already has spent decades speaking with the store owners and weaving their stories into her delicate paintings as part of her ongoing A Small Store series. Her most recent works encapsulate the experience of standing in front of the establishments by capturing every detail: the multicolored goods evenly stacked, advertisements posted in the windows, bikes parked out front, and the sloping tiled roofs.

 

Me Kyeoung’s work recently culminated in a book detailing the still-open locations for those interested in visiting the shops in person. The prolific artist also shares updates on future exhibitions, in addition to photographs of the original stores she visits, on Instagram.

 

 

This content is an abstract from This is Colossal, July 20, 2020. Grace Ebert

Dried Botanics pressed into delicate Fauna Compositions

England-based artist Helen Ahpornsiri presses delicate flowers and plants into wondrous artworks that depict the colorful diversity of the natural world

By foraging botanics from her garden, Ahpornsiri pieces the dried natural matter together in a manner that’s similar to constructing a jigsaw puzzle.

 

“I prefer to use fern and common wildflower species as I like the idea of giving something unassuming, or thought of as a weed, a new narrative—and they are relatively easy to grow!” she says. “The marine algae I use is foraged from beaches on the south coast of England.

 

I search for loose pieces of marine algae along strandlines and in rockpools, especially after stormy seas, to avoid being disruptive to the surrounding ecosystem.”

The artist’s collection features mammals and insects from across the animal kingdom—ranging from peacocks and bees to elephants—some of which are aligned with tiny pieces of gold leaf that reflect the sparkling color and vibrancy of the species she creates.

 

Upon close inspection, the flowers’ color appears faded from the drying process, similar to the way watercolors dry and bleed into their canvas. In one of the artist’s most recent pieces, a comet moth is mounted on black board, with its antenna crafted from a minuscule leaf that elegantly depicts the fragility of the insect’s anatomy.

 

 

This content is an abstract from an article published on ThisisColossal, May 2020

Modernist birdhouses

Modernist birdhouses shaped after Palm Springs’ mid-century architecture

Wood-maker Steve Hadeka presents this adorable collection of modernist birdhouses. Existing in many civilizations since antiquity, these man-made boxes provide animals a place to nest in.

 

Inspired by modernist architecture found in Palm Springs and some parts of Miami, these birdhouses could twin with your own house while giving a safe place for birds to nest.

 

Stylish and colorful, the modernist birdhouses are both cute and functional and are made in stainless steel, spray paint and wood. ‘The culmination of 8 years of research, development and prototypes, have led me to Palm Canyon: a sweet little nod to mid-century and modern architectural styles,’ comments Steve Hadeka on Etsy, where he sells the birdhouses.

‘This fully-functioning birdhouse is built to withstand the test of time and live in the elements. Though, many of my clients choose to display these birdhouses indoors, as an art piece.’

 

The modernist birdhouses have been created with North American nesting birds in mind: from nuthatches to wrens and finches, the houses provide the perfect size for these creatures. The paint job has been doing with vibrant colors that ensure will last, even when placed outdoors. Each miniature house includes two handy clean-out ports in the back, for optional season vacuuming. A handy mounting flange is included and install.

 

 

This content is an abstract from Designboom, May 27, 2020. Images courtesy of Steve Hadeka / pleasantranch

Supersized animals take over the city in fantastical images

As people across the world stay at home, artist vadim solovyov imagines our city streets inhabited by larger-than-life creatures in a somewhat dystopian reality. 

With St. Petersburg as the backdrop, all manner of giant animals is depicted taking over the urban environment. from a pigeon as big as a tower block to a monstrous octopus invading a bus, the images range between curiously surreal to mildly disconcerting.

 

Like many things during the COVID-19 pandemic the images take on a new meaning in the current climate. 

 

As mankind pauses from the usual grind, empty streets have seen the return of urban wildlife in different parts of the world. With Solovyov’s fantastically enormous animals, the compositions can’t help provoke thought on our environment.

The collection of creatures can be marvelled at on the artist’s Instagram, where each image is accompanied by a dystopian narration.

 

It was the ‘godknowswhat’ day of isolation. Giant ultra-raccoons began to return to the rivers of St. Petersburg. They quietly make their way through the deserted evening city to the quays and timidly rinse something in the water. Carefully. At least 20 seconds. One day the city will be alive again, filled with people, and the wool giants will have to go back to the forest. This is nature. But for now, we will stay at home. And ultra-raccoons will cautiously wander between our houses, gently lowering their huge paws on the empty avenues.”

 

 

This content is an abstract from DesignBoom, April 2020. All images courtesy of Vadim Solovyov

9 Standout Packaging Designs

This post is an extract of article published on Creativebloq.com, on March 16, 2020.

 

Packaging design surrounds us, wherever we are. Creating an eye-catching packaging design that suits the product, stands out on crowded shelves, and doesn’t cost a fortune to produce is a real challenge.

 

And now more than ever, there’s the concern of environmental impact. Increasingly, ‘excess’ packaging or non-eco-friendly materials will result in a backlash from potential customers. Throw in a challenging economic landscape for retailers, and it’s safe to say packaging design isn’t an easy job right now.

 

However, designers have risen to the challenge. In this post, we’ve rounded up standout examples of packaging designs to inspire you and guide your efforts.

01. Cameron’s Brewing

 

As the beer market grew, Cameron’s Brewing was in decline. It needed a brand-new identity that would grab attention, yet hold onto the existing consumer base. Cactus came up with a solution. First, it decided to ditch the bottles and house its beer in cans (for increased shelf presence), and then went for a new look that’s reminiscent of childhood scout and camp badges. 

 

Each beer style is now unified with a bright colour palette, a different one for each beer, and the iconography and stories highlight the unique products to ‘reinforce overall brand recognition‘. Beer naming was a crucial part of the story, adding personality. The modular design strategy works across its applications in apparel, advertising, digital and social media. 

02. Kololak House Wine

 

This stunning packaging was created by Backbone branding for fusion restaurant Kololak, in Armenia. Kololak means a round shape, or meatball, and the rounded design reflects that. The collection is made up of the restaurant’s house fruit wines, and each wine was given an individual identity that fits with the restaurant concept. This is centered on the rich Armenian tradition of socialising around the table

 

The branding team aimed to represent Armenian ethnic and folk art, in particular the Armenian miniature, manuscripts and calligraphy. The hand-drawn illustrations and calligraphy depict famous toasting quotes and the culture of feasting and wine serving. The bottles have round corks, aiming to unify the packaging and symbolising the ‘Kololak’.

03. Hardy

 

The packaging for this premium smoked salmon is made from raw micro-corrugated cardboard printed in UV colour.

 

Third-generation family business Hardy specialises in smoked salmon. The company turned to Portugal-based studio This is Pacifica to design stationery, packaging and a website that would communicate the premium quality of its product. “It’s a long-lasting process that can’t be rushed. From salting to smoking, each stage is executed to perfection. So we created the idea of Hardy ‘Smoked Masterpieces’,” explains creative director Pedro Mesquita.

 

The identity combines two main elements: an abstract salmon symbol, and a fun, sharp wordmark that could have been cut by a knife. “The packaging was treated as an extension of the brand,” says Mesquita, “and is entirely made of raw micro-corrugated cardboard printed in UV colour.”

04. Thomas Kosmala

 

Looking to break into European and global markets, emerging perfume brand Thomas Kosmala tasked Toronto-based agency Concrete with a complete brand overhaul. The new packaging marries classic with contemporary, unexpectedly wrapping a sophisticated custom typeface around the edges of the perfume box and over a subtle emboss.

 

“The brand needed to appeal to both Middle Eastern and Western audiences,” explains chief creative officer Diti Katona. “Sensuous, provocative and sometimes raw photography conveys the depth and richness of the scents, but is abstracted in the packaging to comply with the conservative sensibilities of the Middle Eastern market. A more explicit use of the imagery is employed in digital media, and it’s more subtle in print experiences,” Katona adds.

05. Stefano Sauces

 

Montreal-based agency Ig2 took an original approach to its branding of the first ready-to-eat products from well-known chef Stefano Faita and his partner Michele Forgione. Featuring a jovial, energetic caricature of Faita, the identity gives each sauce a unique typographic treatment – with nutritional and legal information presented in an unusual vertical fashion outside the shape.

 

“It was a major challenge to differentiate the brand in this type of category, where all brands merge into one,” says David Kessous, creative director at lg2. “The concept’s originality produced a real, appealing identity and packaging that leaps out.”

06. CS light bulbs

 

Everyday products such as light bulbs tend to lend themselves to fairly utilitarian packaging, but these, produced by Belarus electrical company CS, boast beautiful boxes that turn the product into an important part of the packaging design.

 

Designed by Angelina Pischikova, with line illustrations by Anna Orlovskaya, this amazing packaging uses detailed drawings of insects, and the bulbs themselves are paired with certain bugs depending on their shape and size.

 

Long, thin bulbs are stored in dragonfly boxes, while the coiled stripes of an energy saving bulb become the abdomen of a bumble bee.

07. Brandless

 

US company Brandless has taken minimalism to the extreme by trademarking white space in its range of food and home items. Co-designed with Brooklyn agency Red Antler, each product is made up of a single colour with the white box design dropped on top. The text in the boxes is effectively negative space, and is readable thanks to the colour underneath peeking through. 

 

Interestingly, the lack of identity means that the range can dodge a fee known as Brand Tax, which means Brandless is able to sell all the products at a standard price of $3.

08. Onuma Honey

 

This offering from Japanese studio Akaoni Design is a bee-utiful example of ‘less is more’ when it comes to packaging. It consists of a small jar, simple stickers and classic brown paper, with an array of sweet coloured stamps to finish it all off.

 

Art direction and design was taken care of by Motoki Koitabashi and it’s clear he knows what’s he doing when it comes to making a striking impact in the aisle.

09. Poilu paintbrushes

 

This excellent example of packaging design comes from Simon Laliberté and offers the function of assembling two paintbrushes together with only one cardboard piece, which is printed on both sides.

 

The natural hairs of some paintbrushes have been dyed to give the illusion of the moustache and beard combos. The font at the top of the handle is also noteworthy.

Branding the world’s first plastic-free supermarket aisle

To design the logo and accompanying campaign for Plastic Free Aisle, a new initiative from Dutch supermarket chain Ekoplaza.

Made Thought has created the logo and campaign for Plastic Free Aisle, an initiative launched in collaboration with environmental charity A Plastic Planet and Dutch supermarket chain Ekoplaza.

London-based studio Made Thought has collaborated with environmental campaign group A Plastic Planet to create the identity for the “world’s first plastic-free aisle”.

 

The studio has been commissioned to design the logo and accompanying campaign for Plastic Free Aisle, a new initiative from Dutch supermarket chain Ekoplaza.

Launching at the supermarket’s Amsterdam store, more than 700 food items and other goods with recyclable packaging are included in the aisle – all of which bear the “plastic free” mark.

 

Made Thought’s identity for the initiative aims to bring “much needed clarity and focus” to the growing issue of plastic pollution, says the studio.

The black and white, three-dimensional logotype is inspired by the aesthetic of propaganda, and will be used to help shoppers quickly identify plastic-free products as more items start to be packaged in compostable bio-materials that replicate the look of traditional plastic packaging.

 

The studio also created the mark with the idea that it is simple enough to be replicated in supermarkets all over the world.

Made Thought founding partner Ben Parker, says: “In taking on this challenging brief, we wanted to look beyond the overused lines about environmentalism and altruism. The brief was all about fashioning a new way of looking at plastic and its place in modern life.”

 

The second Plastic Free Aisle will open at Ekoplaza’s The Hague branch in June 2018, before rolling out across its 74 branches in the Netherlands by the end of this year.

This article is an extract of Aimée McLaughlin’s article published on Design Week.

7 great examples of branded content

What it is and how leading brands are using it well.

This article is an extract of Tom May’s article published on Creativebloq.com, on June 2018. Tom May is a freelance writer and editor specialising in design and technology. He was previously associate editor at Creative Bloq and deputy editor at net magazine, the world’s best-selling magazine for web designers.

 

 

We live in fast-changing times for branding, marketing and advertising. As more and more of us use recording devices that let you skip TV commercials, along with ad-blocking software online, how does a brand get its message across?

One increasingly popular strategy is to use branded content. From sponsored magazine articles to online webisodes, music videos to short films, this kind of content is so entertaining, informative and engaging that consumers are happy to view and share it of their own volition.

The marketing message may be upfront or almost invisible, but that’s not what’s important. It’s all about making people want to see it, rather than being forced or tricked into seeing it.

Here we look at some of the best examples of branded content in the 2010s so far.

01. Newspaper article: Netflix

 

With the number of people willing to pay for newspapers and magazines falling, old media needs to find new sources of revenue – online as well as in print. One way to boost income is to run sponsored articles, but matching the right marketing message with engaging and informing content can be a tricky business.

 

This New York Times article, Women Inmates: Why the Male Model Doesn’t Work, hits exactly the right note. Sponsored by Netflix’s hit prison drama Orange is the New Black, the longform read is fascinating, relevant and elegantly presented. Interactive images, a captivating video and strong journalistic content all add up to a great article that ticks all the boxes for both brand and reader.

02. Music video: Honda

 

OK Go is an alternative rock band from Chicago known for its funny and creative music videos. And its video for 2014’s I Won’t Let You Down, which debuted on NBC’s Today Show, put a whole new spin on product placement: https://youtu.be/u1ZB_rGFyeU

 

In it, the band members cavort around on Honda’s UNI-CUB self-balancing unicycles, which represented a massive PR coup for the company. Although there’s no actual mention of Honda, the video on YouTube – which has so far had over 38 million views – linked to an interactive website (now offline), allowing people to see behind-the-scenes footage, interviews, and information about the Honda UNI-CUB itself.

03. Print magazine: Net-a-Porter

 

As one door closes, another opens. And with traditional publishers reluctant to launch new magazines, companies are fast stepping in to fill the vacuum. One of the most critically and commercially successful to date has been fashion retailer Net-a-Porter’s magazine, Porter.

 

By combining access to the website’s audience data with global magazine market intelligence, the company has been able to target the magazine’s content with laser accuracy, and achieve a circulation of around 180,000, outselling many traditional fashion magazines and even coming within spitting distance of Vogue.

 

As well as making money from the cover price, Net-a-Porter has put a lot of effort into making sure the bi-monthly title also drives retail sales. For example, readers are able to scan a print issue with the Net-a-Porter app, and immediately arrive at the relevant purchase page, making for a seamless shopping experience.

 

Porter’s sister title The Edit is even more transparent about its brochure-like ambitions, with buttons in the free digital magazine taking readers to ‘shop the issue’.

04. Viral video: Dove

 

https://youtu.be/XpaOjMXyJGk

Dove’s Real Beauty campaign stems from research suggesting that only four per cent of women would describe themselves as beautiful. This short video highlights this gap between perception and reality in brilliant fashion.

 

A sketch artist creates two drawings of a series of women. One is based on their own description of how they look; the other based on a stranger’s description. The discrepancy between the two highlights powerfully how inaccurate women’s own views of their beauty are.

 

With over 114 million views in just one month, this ad became the most viral video ad of all time. While it says nothing about the qualities of the product itself, the campaign got the world talking, and Dove has been part of that conversation – boosting sales massively in the process.

05. Radio station: Pedigree

 

https://youtu.be/jEzkNQdCsl8

Content marketing isn’t just about print, TV and online: broadcast radio remains a powerful and popular medium, and fertile ground for branded content. But perhaps the most unlikely example comes in the form of a New Zealand radio station for dogs.

 

K9FM was based on advice from pet experts that people should leave the radio on when they leave the house, to keep their dog company. But rather than a normal radio station, Colenso BBDO Auckland thought, why not one tailored to dogs themselves?

 

The agency created hours of original content to play all day, every day on the channel, including discussions on topics like The Frisbee: Voodoo, Magic, Science?; a sports section called Fetch in the Park, and a thought for the day entitled Chew on This.

 

K9FM received more than 1,000 phone calls from dog owners during the first two weeks of broadcasting, and within the three months of the campaign, Pedigree dog food enjoyed a three-year sales high.

06. Short film: Procter & Gamble

 

https://youtu.be/XjJQBjWYDTs

The maker of Always, Procter & Gamble, wanted to place puberty’s profound impact on girls’ confidence into the media spotlight. So it commissioned this short documentary by filmmaker Lauren Greenfield, which approaches the topic via the phrase ‘like a girl’.

 

A series of interviews show that for young children, ‘like a girl’, means to do something well, whereas for teenagers and young women it means to do it ineffectively.

 

The fourth most viewed ad in 2014 on YouTube, the video was followed up by several positive #LikeAGirl videos featuring sporting and cultural role models offering proactive solutions. For example, a 2015 video featuring Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams, Unstoppable, encourages girls to smash limitations set on them by society, which are visually interpreted as boxes stamped with prescribed roles for girls.

07. Feature film: Lego

 

https://youtu.be/fZ_JOBCLF-I

You know you’ve succeeded at branded content when people are having so much fun, they don’t even notice they’re being marketed to.

 

The hilarious and surprisingly clever Lego Movie earned a worldwide total of over $469 million, all the while promoting Lego to a new global generation of kids.

 

It has been followed up so far by the Lego Batman Movie and Lego Ninjago Movie, with more in the pipeline – proving that when you get branded content right, everything really is awesome.

Luminous Portraits of Sliced Fruit

Each oil on canvas painting focuses exclusively on the edible subject.

Dennis Wojtkiewicz is Professor of Art at Bowling Green State University where he has taught painting and drawing since 1988. He received his M.F.A. degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 1981 and also studied at the Atelier Neo-Medici in France under the direction of Patrick Betaudier in 1978 and 1983.

 

Best known for his distinctive large-scale paintings of fruit and flowersin which the subject matter is encapsulated and transfixed by a heightened approach to realism.

 

His work has been shown in international art fairs in Bridgehampton, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Palm Beach, Santa Fe, Taipei and Toronto as well as in numerous galleries and exhibitions throughout the U.S. He is a past recipient of two Ohio Arts Council Individual Fellowships with paintings and drawings represented in major public, private and corporate collections.

 

He paints enormous portraits of sliced fruit, often scaling four feet across or more.

 

Each oil on canvas painting focuses exclusively on the edible subject, with dramatic backlit lighting seeming to light up the melons, citrus, apples, and kiwis. While Wojtkiewicz focuses on tiny details like individual segments of juice, striations, and the fuzzy skins, the realism is tempered by a slightly hazy, impressionistic finish.

 

You can see more of his paintings on his website.

 

Part of this content is based on an article by Laura Staugaitis, Editor & Contributing Writer at Colossal.