Commissioned to redesign the façade of the Louis Vuitton’s flagship store in Tokyo’s Matsuya Ginza, architect Aoki Jun & Associates transformed what previously was a concrete block tower into a luminous pearl shimmering in the urban landscape. Inspired by the luxury retailer’s monogram and the city’s art deco architectural history, Jun turned Vuitton’s monogram into a repetitive geometric motif. The pattern was then pressed and perforated onto sheets of aluminum and coated with an exceptionally durable pearlized fluropolymer paint. The opal hue and three-dimensional pattern give the façade a plush quilted appearance that subtly changes with the light throughout the day. At night, LED lights placed behind the perforated reliefs of the façade make Vuitton’s monogram visible in the dark. Very classy, very cool.
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When you think of it, words get in the way of appreciating typography. You find yourself reading what’s said and paying scant attention to the characters from which the words are composed. In fact, idiosyncratic typefaces can be distracting and irritating if you are trying to read long passages. Type should affect the reader on a subliminal level, adding to the reader’s enjoyment, not stressing the eyes or competing for the reader’s attention. But as graphic forms, typefaces can be beautiful, elegant, whimsical, futuristic, historic, geometric, sculptural, and even funny, if you count Comic Sans. Used as a design element, quirky fonts can add a lot of spice to a page.
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Sometimes a design solution is so obvious that many designers miss it because they are too busy trying to make complex connection to the product attributes, uniqueness, emotional appeal, market positioning, yada yada yada. All the while an elegant solution is buzzing right before their eyes. Such is the case with the packaging for Babees Honey, created by Ah & Oh Studio in Poznan, Poland. The familiar black-and-yellow bands on the bumble bee instantly suggest the product’s original maker, and the handwritten logotype is drawn like a bee merrily flitting from blossom to blossom collecting nectar. Simple. Charming. Sophisticated. Geometric. What’s not to like?