Design inspiration: our favourite projects from June

by decwells
Design inspiration: our favourite projects from June

From a collection of hip-hop stamps to recycled mezcal packaging, take a look at recent highlights from the design world.

Poster: Stamp Album: Hip Hop, Dorothy

Hip-hop and stamps don’t usually go hand in hand, but that’s what inspired design studio Dorothy’s latest collection of prints. The design team took some of the most influential hip-hop albums of the past 40 years — from the Beastie Boys to A Tribe Called Quest — and reimagined landmark titles into oversized postage stamps. Each entry has a graphic representing the album or signature track, release date, publication label, and how long it’s been running. On Missy Elliott’s 1997 album Supa Dupa Fly, the raindrop theme pays homage to the album’s lead single, The Rain. Dorothy’s collection has 42 covers for hip hop and design lovers.

Exhibition status: Goal Power! 1894-2022 Women’s Soccer, United States

Brighton Museum and Art Gallery’s latest women’s football exhibition traces the history of women’s football players from the late 20th century to the present. United Us, also based in Brighton, was responsible for the visual identity, which aims to showcase stories from the past and highlight opportunities for female players. Based on the concept of “power in games”, the design team said the visuals wanted to convey a sense of “motivation, progression and empowerment”. Perhaps the funniest part of the identity is the player card — a riff on collectible trading cards that traditionally feature male players. “We hope that visitors to the exhibition will feel the passion to support women’s football by creating this desire for something collectible and readily available in the men’s game,” explains United Us. The cards were featured in promotional materials and exhibitions – making historic players such as Joan Whalley the first British female footballer to appear in a national Nike ad campaign.

Packaging: Mezcal Vago Elote, Abraham Lule

Graphic designer and lettering artist Abraham Lule created the packaging for Mezcal Vago Elote, a mezcal with a special ingredient: corn. Featuring woodcut vignettes, the label aims to “add romance and a touch of nostalgia to the storytelling.” At the same time, the art direction is a nod to the Oaxaca wood carvings – reminiscent of fields where corn is grown with agave, a key ingredient in mezcal, the designers explained. The label is printed on paper made from recycled agave fiber, using residue from the mezcal distillation process. The pulp is then developed into paper by local artisans. As well as offering a more sustainable material approach, it also helps create a more evocative drinking experience – “the drinker can see the texture as they turn the bottle and explore the story,” the designers said.

Installation: Around the World, Georgia Lupi

Pentagram partner Georgia Lupi has created a new installation, “The Dining Table Around the World,” which aims to highlight the global impact of food production and consumption on the planet. Combining Lupi’s signature data visualization techniques with the lush surroundings of the New York Botanical Garden, the exhibit runs through September 11. The Around the World table is located in a reflecting pool, using the basin as a visual metaphor for the world – the installation represents the percentage (roughly half) of habitable land used for agriculture. The 100 partially submerged sculptures represent the major food groups and their respective carbon footprints. The design team customized the sculpture based on color, height and location, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization and the open-source research platform Our World in Data. “We have an opportunity to tell nuanced and complex human stories with data,” Lupi said. “The parameters we chose to represent in the sculpture allow us to provide visitors with multiple visual narratives to question and interrogate on their own terms.”

“Algorithmic Ceramics” project from FutureDeluxe and Modem

While many worry that technological advancements may displace creativity and replace traditional craftsmanship, what if the two could work together? Design studio FutureDeluxe and Modem have teamed up with ceramic artist Frew Gwatkin to create a series of jugs, plates and bowls that incorporate generative processes. Rather than adopting the traditional method of artisans working in pottery studios, FutureDeluxe has developed a set of “generative rules” to refine what it calls “raw digital materials”. Instead of imitating production tools such as wire-cutting machines, it cuts the design based on concepts such as mathematical noise. The designs were made in clay using a 3D printer. “During the design process, we discovered an emerging aesthetic perspective, systematic and intuitive, informed by algorithmic parameters, human taste, machine capabilities and the contingency of material production,” explained FutureDeluxe’s ​​design team.

Kurk rebrand, from being equal

Inspired by the concept of “liquid gold”, the London-based consultancy has renamed the liquid supplement Kurk (previously called Truth Origins) among equals. Kurk is a curcumin supplement, an ingredient in turmeric that the company says fights a range of problems from stress to insomnia. Due to the golden yellow color of the ingredient, Equals plays on the idea that the product is “healthy liquid gold”, featuring a gold color palette, liquid font and a water drop pattern. Equality founder Emily Jeffrey-Barrett explained that the tone was also intended to highlight the preciousness of the product.

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