Visual Aid 2: Competition

To mark the recent release of Visual Aid: v. 2: You Can Never Know Enough Stuff, the people kind people at Draught Associates are giving away one of their brand new poster from the book.

Visual Aid 2 is the sequel to a book that hit our desk last Novemeber which we feel in love with the aesthetic of. Full of titbits and random information that you once new and have long forgotten, Visual Aid 2 is well designed using lots of flat vectors and bright hues presenting the content in a playful and inviting way.

This time round spreads from the book have been printed as poster in various sizes—very reminiscent of The Gurdian Wall Chart series. One lucky person can win their choosing of any one of the posters and choose the size from the selection available on the Visual Aid Shop.

To win, send your answer to the following question to win[at]formfiftyfive.com by 29th November 2009 and we’ll announce the winner on the following Monday.

Taking a leaf from the first Visual Aid; Who is taller Mr Stay Puft or King Kong?

Best of luck.

Orginally posted at FormFiftyFive.com

FormFiftyFive showcases the best in design and visual communications from around the world. I’m a regular contributor to FFF. For more juicy design goodness head over to www.formfiftyfive.com

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Boxed and Labelled—Book Review

Boxed and Labelled takes a fresh look at packaging design, illustrating how it has developed it’s own graphic language in today’s over crowded shelves. A solid body of work, showing off some of the best examples of contemporary packaging design. Documenting various aspects from physical packaging solutions through to label design.

With a plethora of poorly designed predecessors, chock-full of uninteresting packaging examples, I was apprehensive that this would be the case until seeing the sharp inviting cover of Boxed and Labelled. I’m pleased to say this is anything but dull, presenting outstanding examples of packaging nothing like the over designed examples included in some other publications. Instead, the book has a much more sophisticated, personal approach that speaks to customers in an intelligent way.

The book opens with a tone-setting essay discussing the history of packaging, the need to compete on the shelf and talk to the customer, leading on to discuss the ‘green’ issues that packaging designers must consider. Boxed and Labelled then neatly groups packaging examples into seven sections. As you dig deeper into the content every example is presented with such finesse, you get a real feeling for the packaging taking on a life of it’s own and aspiring to the qualities embodied by the product inside. It is easy to see that some of the examples are design classics in their own right, an object you would want to collect.

Captivated by the quality of the content, it is interesting to see the mixture of approaches to packaging design. From illustration to photography to purely typographic treatments, each solution captures its own narrative that draws you into meticulously studying the packaging and inevitably creating that want for the product it contains. Some of the examples take this a step further to create their very own persona, as beautifully demonstrated by Sarah Dery’s carrier bag design. Common throughout the work is the designers use of wit and intelligence, which seems to be a running trend in contemporary packaging design. The content has been compiled from sources worldwide using industry professionals and prototyped designs from students which was great to see.

Credit has to be given to Hans Baltzer and Floyd Schulze for the design and layout. A clean and minimal design reflects the considered approach given to the work on show. The images are of a good size, the curation of the work is sufficient and details of the designers and clients are a welcome addition. Printed on a thick coated stock allows the often vibrant packaging to be reproduced in all its glory. Occasionally full bleed images of an entire product range help to break up the pace of the book and come as a nice surprise. Finally the cover image by Hattomonkey for Molokoshka’s milk product range, hints at the caliber of the content.

Boxed and Labelled demonstrates the panache and aspirational qualities that have made contemporary packaging design desirable and iconic in its own right—take the Dorset Cereals as perfect example. Encompassing a wide range of packaging design aspects the book is a pleasure to read presenting packaging in an inviting and engaging way. Even if this subject isn’t your choice of tipple, Boxed and Labelled is bound to bring a smile to your face and realise a new appreciation for outstanding packaging design.

Boxed and Labelled is available from Amazon and all good local book stores now.

Words: Gil Cocker

Photography: Malcolm Menzies

Orginally posted at FormFiftyFive.com

FormFiftyFive showcases the best in design and visual communications from around the world. I’m a regular contributor to FFF. For more juicy design goodness head over to www.formfiftyfive.com

j j j

Christmas by Colour Cards

I’ve just found out that my entry for Christmas by Colour Cards has made it into the final twelve cards. Conceived by RAW—an agency in Manchester—last year to pick CMYK colours that reminiscent of Christmas, this year RAW asked users to chose their top three from the hundreds that made it on to last years poster and wrapping paper. Alongside entries from other FFF contributors, my entry, Bucks Fizz has been produced and is available to buy through the Christmas by Colour site with the other eleven winning colours.

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Threadless + Griffin = One Awesome Case

An interesting collaboration between tee production behemoth Threadless and iPod/iPhone protection specialists Griffin bringing together some of Threadless’s most popular designs to help protect your shiny new iPhone. A nice move on both parts that I’m sure will be well received by creatives worldwide wanting to personalise their shinnies.

Orginally posted at FormFiftyFive.com

FormFiftyFive showcases the best in design and visual communications from around the world. I’m a regular contributor to FFF. For more juicy design goodness head over to www.formfiftyfive.com

j j j

Proud Creative—LongLunch Talk

We’re big supports of LongLunch talks and this time round they’ve persuaded Proud Creative to give a talk on what inspires their work. Like usual, this LongLunch talk will be taking place at London’s Westbourne Studios, London W10 5JJ on Tuesday 24th November 2009. Tickets are available through the LongLunch site at a cost of £8/6 concessions. Doors at 7:00pm and the talk will begin at 7:30pm.

A little birdie told me there’s a good chance Proud and the guys behind LongLunch will be giving away a few goodies to a couple of lucky guests on the night. Best of luck to those who will be attending.

Orginally posted at FormFiftyFive.com

FormFiftyFive showcases the best in design and visual communications from around the world. I’m a regular contributor to FFF. For more juicy design goodness head over to www.formfiftyfive.com

j j j