Common Name is the fantastic New York design duo of Yoonjai Choi and Ken Meier. Perusing their engaging portfolio of cultural clients, I was particularly struck by the work for Artsy. Simple and elegant, the identity they created seems to frame the company’s name, a clever device for an “art discover tool.”

From the website: Artsy is an ambitious new art discovery tool, connecting users with an expansive database of works, spanning movements, styles, and time periods. Through partnerships with galleries and museums around the world, Artsy collects and organizes art using its proprietary Art Genome, a broad, ever-growing semantic database…

Dig this project and more at

May 22 / 2013
Author John
Comments No Comments


Great typographic play for the Flow Festival by Tsto, a design firm based out of Finland. A bit frivolous, perhaps hard to read? Maybe. I’d argue that the seemingly hazardous layouts and visually striking typography and color palette make a visual connection to music that is subconsciously more powerful than any clear type and image solution. It just speaks to the audience. As Tsto describes, “The Flow Festival identity builds from the idea of the festival as an urban tribe.” Can’t nobody argue with that?

See more fantastic work at

March 19 / 2013


Isn’t it great to stumble upon a website that you had tweeted, pinned, or blogged about light years ago? I think it is. It’s like rekindling an old friendship. I can’t remember the first time I saw the work of SouthSouthWest, but I was happy to find them again. This Australian branding and design agency seamlessly flows from one media to the next, from web to print to packaging. They have big clients, like Nike, and smaller clients, such as local screen printers, and plenty of cultural clients. But you get the sense that no matter how important, or how big the budget, these guys pour their heart and soul into each project. That’s why I was glad to see them again and, of course, happy to share.

It’s such a small web after all.

February 21 / 2013

Project Projects

I once asked if one color can define a brand. Of course that question was silly and rhetorical. Project Projects, and studio out of NYC that I greatly admire, proves that no colors are needed with the identity system they created for WORK Architecture Company.

Make sure you check out more of their design work at

January 28 / 2013

Loud Voices Together Are Heard

I love this video for the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC). A truly global project, the illustrations were created by Dan Matutina from the Phillipines, and Giant Ant studio, out of Vancouver, British Columbia. The video utilizes a graphic, hand-made quality to tell a few touching stories of NRDC’s environmental actions in the past, in order to gain interest in helping them move forward in the future.

Visit to learn more, and be sure to check out Matuni’s illustration portfolio at

January 21 / 2013
Author John
Category Illustration, Video
Comments No Comments

Ode To A Flower

A very short, but sweet, animated segment of Richard Feynman’s 1981 BBC interview, “The Pleasure of Finding Things out.” Fraser Davidson does a fantastic job of portraying the speaker’s point of view, using simple flat, geometric shapes and colors that demonstrate both the beauty of art – represented by the flower – in addition to his appreciation for Feynman’s take on the beauty of science. Feynman’s diagrams can be seen as beautiful in their own right, but imagine how much more interesting they could have been had an illustrator like Davidson lent a helping hand.

January 14 / 2013
Author John
Category Illustration, Video
Comments No Comments

Daniel Blackman

Dan Blackman’s portfolio is filled with really amazing work, but I was particularly drawn to his ongoing rebrand of the Pointer Brand of clothing. I love pointers, but I really like his blend of sans serif and serif fonts, with a sprinkling of script here and there. It’s immediately Americana, which make perfect sense because the entire line of clothing is made right here in the US of A. Simple rule work, halftone images, and black and white photography complete a unique system that is unified by a simple yellow color palette.

See more at

Ketchup and Mustard Update

Another great typographic solution by Jaime Van Wart of Ketchup and Mustard for Bida Manda, a Laotian restaurant located in downtown Raleigh. You can definitely see the influence of her stationery/wedding work, which seems to flow seamlessly into restaurant menus, signage, and even wallpaper. The elegant patterns create a nice background that complements the friendly type.

See more here.

Sean Fennessy

Some very American photography by Australian Sean Fennessy. By American, of course, I’m complimenting him — his body of work can easily be compared to the likes of Robert Frank, Robert Adams or other early photographers of the American West. It’s just stuff I’m easily attracted to, because it’s so damn good.

See more at

December 10 / 2012
Author John
Category Book, Photography, Website
Comments No Comments

Teacake Design

I didn’t pick from any one of Teacake’s projects because I felt a sampling of their clients really helps to show the variety and playfullness of the work as a whole. There is a sense of freedom and curiosity that permeates throughout. It’s really quite wonderful, something you don’t see in professional design portfolios too often.

See more at

November 28 / 2012