Thursday, November 24, 2011


Patterns have always been used in design and the visual arts in general. Whether they are used to add visual appeal or detail, balance out the layout, express a brand, add order and organization or a hand-created element, patterns enhance the beauty and individuality to any piece. I see them in graphic design more and more as time passes, especially in ways that have been hand-created or that use the logo as the pattern element. They are shown as standing out or subtle, depending on the use and brand.

Patterns are a smart way to add punch to the second side of a piece or to an element that might otherwise be overlooked, like the belly band, wrapper or packaging. Patterns show that all parts of the design should be taken into account.

The idea of using them in a space for branding, rather than just on traditional identity elements, is also something I am seeing as a trend.

Below are some examples of ones I have collected recently.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Retro Advertising and Concert Posters

While working on an ongoing personal project involving some retro graphics, I came across some really inspiring examples. Some were what would be associated with retro advertising immediately. With script typefaces and divided space between the image and the copy, they were kind of what I was expecting to find.

They moved me in one direction with the idea to recreate graphics and a style that depended more on hand-drawn illustrations and fonts. Then I came across these examples from 1950s concert posters. I had of course seen examples before, but I never quite appreciated them in terms of being retro but still very different from the typical take on the design.

Most focused around early rock and roll and the African American movement of music into the mainstream. I love the bright colors (yellow, pink, lime green) in combination with black and white photography. The use of block sans serifs also struck me as fairly modern. In combination they make for an interesting grouping of information in a layout while still being dynamic and lively. The additional bursts and lines in some was also very expressive.

I was excited to find an old retro design aesthetic that I do not often seen replicated. With the advent of Mad Men, retro chic is back. Retro furniture, fashion and design are in groove right now and I find it refreshing to find an example that has not been replicated in popular culture with as much saturation. It keeps me thinking and passionate to find new inspiration!