The days of artists conspicuously sketching and painting on drawing pads or at an easel may be over. All the tools that one needs are available in a palm-sized iPhone; passersby don’t know if the person is text messaging or creating a digital masterpiece.
Artist Jorge Colombo, who used the Brushes app to create the first iPhone-illustrated cover for The New Yorker’s June 1 issue has done it again with the Manhattan skyline at night on its November 16 cover. Although Colombo arguably can be called “the father of iPhone art,” he has owned an iPhone only since February 2009 and started “finger painting” using the Brushes app after that. Thanks to Colombo and a few other pioneers, what just was a cool Internet Café “parlor trick” to amuse geeky friends a few months ago has become a serious art medium. This week’s Huffington Post is even featuring iPhone drawings submitted by readers. The variety of styles, nuances of colors, level of detail and sophistication are amazing to behold.
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London publishing house Weidenfeld & Nicolson (W&N) celebrated its 60th anniversary by issuing a specially designed, limited edition run of nine of its best-known titles, including Lolita, The Color Purple, The World According to Garp, and The Reader. To create the covers, W&N bypassed all the best known book designers and turned to of all places an advertising agency – Fallon.
Although not a typical assignment, Fallon embraced the task with enthusiasm. Mark Elwood, creative director of Fallon Design and partner at the agency, says that Fallon saw it as “a great opportunity to showcase the department’s passion for craft and design above and beyond traditional advertising briefs.” Fallon’s entire design department and all of its art directors were put to work on the job. Ultimately they presented 30-40 cover ideas, and W&N chose the concept by senior designer Monica Pirovano.
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Published by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Discoveries focuses a spotlight on the cutting-edge research conducted at the institution. Graphically, the magazine was designed to communicate Cedars-Sinai’s bold, innovative and conceptual thinking.
Over the years corporate magazines (once called “house organs”) have had a home-grown feel that have separated them from “real” consumer publications sold at newsstands. In fact, if they weren’t given out free, most people would not pay to get a copy. What do top-selling magazines do that inhouse publications often don’t? We asked Pentagram’s Kit Hinrichs, @Issue co-founder/design director, and designer of several mainstream magazines, including United Airlines’ Hemispheres, Coastal Living, Exhibitor, and Red Herring as well as publications for countless corporations, museums, cruise lines and institutions, including Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s Discoveries magazine, shown here.
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When people hear of a magazine called Meatpaper, they immediately conclude that it must be a recipe-laden publication for cooks or a trade magazine for those in the livestock and butchering business. Meatpaper is directed at neither. Actually, it is very hard to describe. Created by San Francisco-based Sasha Wizansky, whose background is fine art, graphic design and sculpture, the concept for Meatpaper started as an art project. About four years ago, Wizansky says she was struck by the realization that “everyone had a story to tell about their relationship to meat. I realized that a magazine would be a perfect way to explore this idea.”
Teaming with journalist/radio reporter Amy Standen, Wizansky self-produced what she describes as “the only magazine about the idea of meat – what we call the fleischgeist” — defined as “the spirit of the meat.” She says fleischgeist refers to “the growing cultural trend of meat consciousness, a new curiosity about not just what’s inside that hotdog, but how it got there, and what it means to be eating it.”
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As told by Delphine, the author
The adage “You can’t judge a book by its cover [jacket]” is only partly true. It’s not for lack of trying. The look of a book cover jacket is an important aspect of market positioning. It is what first catches the attention of retail buyers at major book fairs, reviewers and readers. It can persuade bookstores to display your book more prominently or, at least, give it more than “spine-out” (where only the spine title is visible) shelf space. It can also give readers a sense of the genre, subject and tone of the content. And, for the sake of truth in advertising, it shouldn’t over promise or under promise what the reader will find inside.
In the case of my book, “The Art of Gaman,” published by Ten Speed Press in 2005, coming up with the book title and cover jacket design proved as hard as developing the content for the book. The subject of “Art of Gaman” was fairly straightforward. It featured arts and crafts made by the 120,000 Japanese Americans who were forcibly removed from the West Coast after Pearl Harbor and imprisoned in internment camps for the duration of World War II. Since they were only given a week to settle their affairs and only allowed to take what they could carry, the objects they made in camp were largely fashioned from scrap and found materials. Tossed and forgotten in storage sheds and attics, most of the objects had never been shown in public until I started asking friends and family who had been in camp what they had saved.
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