December
20

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Last Updated: December 25, 2011

Tags: illustration

Topic: Animation

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TOPIC / Animation

season’s greetings from Disney

season’s greetings from Disney
1938 Disney Studio card with Dopey
For fans of classic Disney and hand-drawn animation, a digitzed collection of vintage holiday greetings from Walt Disney and his “Staff” may make you smile. Many of the vintage Christmas card designs tied in with the year’s big feature film (such as Alice in Wonderland in 1951, and Lady and the Tramp for 1955) and when unfolded revealed a calendar with an ever growing cast of characters. Sometimes the cards included a teaser for a project in production, like the card from 1950 adding in a promotion for Peter Pan. An early card from 1938 is heart-warming and depicts an appropriation of “The Night Before Christmas” in panels (the same poem was a theme for an earlier Silly Symphony). In 1939, Pinocchio was the inspiration for the season’s greetings.
walt disney staff calendar greeting card 1948Jimminy Cricket disney card c. 1947/48c. 1947 / 48
“...It’s time again to share this batch of wonderful Christmas cards from the Disney studio collected by Disney animator, Claire Weeks from 1938 through the mid-1950s. The designs on these cards are so much fun, it makes you wish the films themselves looked this cartoony.” —ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive
Alice in Wonderland Walt Disney 1951 Christmas card
1951 Disney / Alice in Wonderland calendar
teaser for Peter Pan / Disney christmas card 1950/51
c. 1950 / 51

Clair Weeks, an animator for the Disney studio, collected many of the illustrated cards throughout the years. Thanks to ASIFA and the family of Clair Weeks, some of them are shared online for all to enjoy. I wish I knew if a specific Disney artist was responsible for the card’s design each year. The front facing illustration for the 1951/1952 card looks like it might be based on concept art by Mary Blair, comparing this to a record album sleeve for The Little House (image directly below from flickr collection of Dan Goodsell).
Decca Record for The Little House, Mary Blair art
Mary Blair Little House Disney Christmas card 1952
Disney staff calendar 1952
c. 1951 / 52

(these vintage card scans and more Disney Studio Christmas cards via the ASIFA)

One card not included in the ASIFA round-up is the very first Disney Studio Christmas card from 1930 featuring Mickey Mouse. The illustration was done by Floyd Gottfredson. At auction, this card fetched $1,725. Interestingly, the second studio card from 1931 sold for significantly more money as did a 1932 card signed by Walt Disney himself.
first Walt Disney Season's Greetings card 1930
(image found via Vintage Disney Collectibles via Hake’s Americana)

How awesome it must’ve been to receive one of these cards in the mail. I hope the recipients appreciated them and saved them for their family.
 

December
19

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Last Updated: December 19, 2010

Tags: illustration

Topic: Illustration

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TOPIC / Illustration

new Year of the Rabbit stamps

new Year of the Rabbit stamps
Based on the Chinese Zodiac calendar, 2011 will be the Year of the Rabbit. Many countries annually honor the animal corresponding with the Lunar Chinese New Year on postage stamps. At the end of 2010, The Chunghwa Post (Taiwan / Republic of China) issued a “New Year’s Greeting Postage Stamps” set featuring cute rabbits.
year of rabbit 2010 /2011 Taiwan souvenir
taiwan china new year rabbit stamps
“...The designs find inspiration in modern art styles, such as action painting and pop art. The motif rabbits are depicted using black silhouettes that are adorned with orange and purple paint splatters, which create lively compositions. The backgrounds, which are yellow with random red splatters, cleverly make use of traditional Chinese ink-wash effects. The bright colors symbolize joy and convey high expectations about the Year of the Rabbit...” —Chunghwa Post
FDC Rabbit New Year 2011
I appreciate the thought put into the symbolism of the stamp designs. For example, the descriptive copy for the stamp with two kissing rabbits reads: “This pair of rabbits conveys the idea of “the treasuring of each other” and symbolizes a year of abundance.” The stamp with the little bunny looking up represents “achieving success in all one’s endeavors.”

The stamps are printed by the China Color Printing Co., Ltd. on phosphorescent stamp paper. the name of the designer was not indicated. They are graphically a little busy, but fun and festive.

(more info via The Chungwha Post)
 

December
04

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Last Updated: December 19, 2011

Tags: illustration

Topic: Illustration

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Alexander Girard gift wrapping paper

Alexander Girard gift wrapping paper
A couple of years back I sent beautiful holiday notecards with Alexander Girard’s Dove and Hand motif design. I’ve never received a more positive response for the uniqueness of these cards (the elongated shape helped).
girard-dove-and-hand-christmas-cards
Now there is a whole line of gift wrapping papers (sold 3 sheets a set) just in time for the holidays which are bringing back the beauitful work of Alexander Girard to a wider audience. The choices for gift wrap (available only in UK through Lagom?) are available in six different pattern styles: Dove & Hand (red), Dove & Hand (blueish green), Eden, Names, Retrospective, and Tablecloth.
Alexander Girard Dove & Hand (blueish green) holiday gift wrapping paper
Alexander Girard Eden gift wrap
Girard calligraphic Names gift wrap
Alexander Girard Retrospective gift wrap
Alexander Girard Tablecloth gift wrap

Incase you aren't familiar with the design and illustration work of Alexander Girard, here is a little background:
“Alexander Girard (1907 – 1993) is one of the greatest colorists, pattern makers,  environmental and exhibition designers of the 20th century. Hired by Herman Miller in 1952, Girard led the company’s textile division where he brought color and life to the modern furniture creations of George Nelson and Charles and Ray Eames. He's left his distinctive fingerprints on the world of avant-garde with his celebrated contributions to the New York La Fonda del Sol restaurant, Braniff International Airlines. Using folk art as his inspiration, Girard created whimsical and sophisticated designs that have urged each of us toward a more personal and expressive way of life.” —Lagom UK
 

November
26

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Last Updated: April 23, 2013

Tags: illustration

Topic: Illustration

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TOPIC / Illustration

illustrations by Joaquí­n Pertierra

illustrations by Joaquí­n Pertierra
Through the research of A Journey Round My Skull, I came across the unique style of Spanish illustrator, Joaquín Pertierra. His bold & iconic illustrations are showcased on both vintage book covers and record albums from the 1950s—1970s.


The above edition of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot (Esperando a Godot) is from 1969.

(more designs and illustrations via A Journey Round My Skull and El Enigma Pertierra)
 

October
11

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Last Updated: November 16, 2010

Tags: illustration

Topic: Illustration

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Chris Ware for The New Yorker, The Money Issue

Link: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/toc/2010/10/11/toc_20101004

Chris Ware for The New Yorker, The Money Issue


Chris Ware’s “Discovering America” editorial cartoon for The New Yorker sets a depressing mood for Columbus Day 2010. I only purchase The New Yorker magazine a few times a year, and it is usually on whim when I catch a Chris Ware illustration gracing the front cover.



He usually blends together wit with somber and beautiful color palettes. Should I cough up the money to see how this content transfers over to The New Yorker's newly released iPad app? (download on iTunes here)

“Money...it makes you crazy...A couple of nights ago Phil and I discovered our checking account was overdrawn...” —beginning excerpt from Chris Ware editorial cartoon




The pull-out comic strip tackles sensitive issues surrounding American families and the economic situation. Along with Chris Ware's illustrative commentary, the October 11th issue includes features written by Jonathan Franzen, Malcolm Gladwell, Philip Gourevitch, Jennifer Egan, and Zadie Smith.
 

September
09

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Last Updated: November 16, 2010

Tags: illustration

Topic: Packaging

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TOPIC / Packaging

vintage Dennison's packaging designs

vintage Dennison's packaging designs
At the flea market my eyes were immediately drawn to the faux book spines on a neatly lined up matchbox library. I thought the illustration with a white picket fence spanning across the spines was adorable. The mini boxes of office supplies are labeled with the following: Gummed Labels, Rubber Bands, Gummed Patches, Key Tags, Paper Clips, and Stamp Container. I was thrilled to discover that some of the boxes were filled with office supplies. My guess is that this set is from the time period of the 1940s-1960s.


The vendor asked if I was a collector of Dennison's and mentioned that some specifically collect designs produced by the brand. I had no idea who Dennison's was but I was immediately curious. The Dennison Manufacturing Company of Framingham, Massachusetts was founded in 1844 and eventually merged with Avery in 1990.


My preliminary searches did not provide too much history on the little stationery supply boxes and bookcases. But I did come across a few other variations of the same concept. So far I haven't spotted the same design twice, but I'll be paying more attention the next time I wander the flea market.


vintage Dennison's office supplies in a mini cabinet (via fresh vintage)


vintage Dennison's preserve labels (via bricolage-julier)


rare Dennison's miniature wood bookcase with train illustration (via etsy)

If anyone has any more information about the design of these cute, little office supply boxes, I'd greatly appreciate the expertise and comments.
 

July
07

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Last Updated: November 16, 2010

Tags: illustration

Topic: Animation

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TOPIC / Animation

new Blu animation: Big Bang Big Boom

Link: http://www.blublu.org/sito/video/bbbb.htm

new Blu animation: Big Bang Big Boom
When I first started watching the latest video creation from the infamous street artist Blu, my first reaction was this is cool but it doesn't blow me away like his earlier MUTO animation. But, as the animation progresses (almost 10 full minutes), I began to realize the complexity in how his illustrations are now interacting in their industrial environment in such a poetic way. The title of the piece says it all: "Big Bang Big Boom, A Short Unscientific Story about Evolution and His Consequences."
Direction and animation by Blu
Produced and distributed by Artish.it Music by Andrea Martignoni
 

June
25

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Last Updated: November 16, 2010

Tags: illustration

Topic: Illustration

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Stephen Doyle's dollar bill illustrations

Link: http://www.feltandwire.com/?p=9173

Stephen Doyle's dollar bill illustrations
Through The New York Times Sunday Book Review, I've rediscovered the striking illustration work of Stephen Doyle. He recently created a series of four beautifully defaced American dollar bills which accompany book reviews for money-related titles.


review of Hedge Funds and the Making of a New Elite


review of A Crash Course in the Future of Finance


review of The Rise and Fall of Bear Stearns


review of The Devil's Casino

These aren't Stephen Doyle's first appropriated money illustrations. Back in 2009, his "Let's dump the greenback" dollar bill appeared in Wired.



Maybe best of all is his 3-D sculptural bill for the cover of Wired magazine in March 2010.


(image via Felt and Wire's interview with Stephen Doyle)

This year Stephen Doyle won the National Design Award for Communication Design. Print magazine also included him and his wife Gael Towey in their feature on Design Couples.
 

June
23

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Last Updated: November 28, 2010

Tags: illustration

Topic: Book Design

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TOPIC / Book Design

Art of McSweeney's book and dust jacket

Link: http://astore.amazon.com/designrelated-20/detail/0811866238

Art of McSweeney's book and dust jacket
“This book is being published at a time when there are some rumblings about the dire future of the book, and of the printed book in particular...” —introduction by Dave Eggers
random inspiration from old books on the “McSweeney's reference shelf.”
 
McSweeney”s 1  c. 1998
Oddi Printing in Reykjavik, Iceland
“The Three-Piece Dust Jacket of Maps and Legends” (see post on Jordan Crane art for Michael Chabon)


I finally have a copy of the Art of McSweeney's book in hand (pub 6/23). The new monograph from Chronicle Books brings together the art and design across the McSweeney’s brands in a coffee-table book format. As a retrospective of the independent publisher's 11th or 12th anniversary, there is a focus on the cover designs for their books and Quarterly Concern journals through 2009, but there are also sections highlighting the illustrations for the Wolphin DVDs, and The Believer magazine. Aside from imagery ranging from sketches to finished product, commentary and interviews are intermixed throughout.

There is an emphasis on the production of McSweeney’s books which I appreciated reading more about. I remember hearing Dave Eggers talk about his choice of printing in Iceland, but this book now gives further insight into why. The text tries to make the case that high production quality is not always out of reach for small publishers with a limited budget. There is support for this idea in a printing specs chart that compares prices of a book with or without “bells & whistles.”
 

The book is by the Editors of McSweeney's. Brian McMullen and Michelle Quint are credited for much of the design and editing of the book.

excerpt from Acknowledgments section: “This book’s fold-out jacket—composed of numerous stories and drawings by Dave Eggers—was adapted from a design for McSweeney’s 23. The inside of the jacket, which was adapted from a poster designed by Alvaro Villanueva, is populated by dozens of Charles Burn’s portraits for The Believer. The symbols on the spine, which appeared in McSweeney’s 15, are Icelandic runes.”
 

June
21

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Last Updated: November 16, 2010

Tags: illustration

Topic: Illustration

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The New Yorker's "20 under 40" cover by Chris Ware

Link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/karenhorton/4722820214/sizes/l/in/photostr

The New Yorker's "20 under 40" cover by Chris Ware
Chris Ware's instantly recognizable illustration style graces the cover of The New Yorker once again. His new "Finish Line" cover is for the Summer Fiction issue which showcases The New Yorker's anticipated "20 under 40" list of writers.



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