New Scenes of Fantasy and Disaster on Traditional Blue Porcelain Dinner Plates by Calamityware 

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Look once you see your grandmother’s china, look twice and you see… Big Foot? Don Moyer, the graphic designer behind Calamityware (previously here and here), has designed several more white porcelain plates playfully poking the traditional blue Willow pattern design. On his plates, intricate patterns found on the outer edge trick the eye until one notices mysterious occurrences happening near the center. Pirate ships take over Victorian villages, swamp monsters grab for traditional Japanese pagodas, and erupting volcanoes threaten to overtake peaceful towns.

Two of Moyer’s newest plate designs, a group of savage zombie poodles and a soaring pterodactyl, are currently on Kickstarter. You can purchase these plates on Calamityware’s website, where you will also find some dishware crawling with ants and flies.

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Masterfully Designed LEGO Animals by Felix Jaensch 

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German artist Felix Jaensch has an uncanny ability to translate the ruffle of parrot feathers or the lumpy fur of orangutans into lifelike LEGO sculptures. He shares many of his original designs on Flickr and a few pieces including the red fox are available is DIY kits through MOC Nation. He’s also trying to get support on LEGO Ideas for his guinea pig design. (via Matt’s Brick Gallery)

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A Fascinating Film About the Last Day of Hot Metal Typesetting at the New York Times 

On July 2, 1978 the New York Times made a significant technological leap when they scuttled the last of 60 manually-operated linotype machines to usher in the era of digital and photographic typesetting. When working at 100% efficiency with an experienced operator the Linotype machines could produce 14 lines per minute cast on the spot from hot lead. That number would increase to 1,000 lines per minute the very next day using an array of computers and digital storage.

Typesetter Carl Schlesinger and filmmaker David Loeb Weiss documented the last day of hot metal typesetting in a film called Farewell — ETAOIN SHRDLU (the obscure title is poignantly explained in the film). This amazing behind-the-scenes view not only captures the laborious effort to create a single page of printed type, but also the the emotions and thoughts of several New York Times employees as they candidly discuss their feelings about transitioning to a new technology. One man decides he’s not ready for the digital age and plans to retire on the spot after 49 years, while others seem to transition smoothly into the new methods of production.

This historically significant documentary was digitized in 2015 and made available online in HD from Linotype: The Film, another documentary about linotype printing that includes portions of Farewell. While I’ve always been somewhat familiar with the history of typesetting and printing, I didn’t fully grasp the absurd mechanical complexity and scale required to print a newspaper before the digital age. Each newspaper page was cast in a 40 lb. block of lead!? A huge number of employees were deaf!? If you’re a graphic design or typography professor, here’s a great way to spend 30 minutes.

If you’re super interested, the New York Times TimesMachine has a complete high resolution scan of the final hot metal typeset newspaper made in the film. (via Reddit)

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Paint Splotch Embroidery by Olya Glagoleva and Lisa Smirnova 

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While working in the studio, paint is bound to drip, splatter, and brush up against an artist’s clothes, transforming a studio uniform into a chaotic collection of attractive mishaps. Designer Olya Glagoleva in collaboration with Russian artist Lisa Smirnova (previously) captured this look with an elegantly designed twist. All of the clothing included in their collection is embroidered in the style of Smirnova, with the markings of accidental paint drips and doodles adorning each of the jumpsuits, dresses, and smock-like blouses. The pieces are all one-of-a-kind, transforming the clothing into unique artworks that have taken nearly 100 hours to make. You can see more of Glagoleva’s designs with her line GO on her Instagram @go_with_olya, and more of Smirnova’s embroidery and illustrations on her own @lisa_smirnova. See more from this collection on Behance.

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Artist Liz West Captures a Rainbow Inside the Bristol Biennial 

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Liz West is no stranger to multi-colored environments, previously covering the floor of an historic UK church with dazzling reflective orbs. Her latest project, Our Colour, is located at this year’s Bristol Biennial and gives the audience the feeling of being dropped into the center of a rainbow by flooding a long hallway with a series of gel-filtered lights. The work changes from a deep violet to an ecstatic red, allowing one to traverse through an immersive collection of colors.

The installation was designed with a human’s psychological and emotional response to color in mind, as West consulted experts in human perception during the development of the work. While observing the audience’s reaction to the piece she has learned that often after traveling through the spectrum of colors they return to the color they find most comfortable—pausing a moment to absorb their favorite shade.

If slowly scrolling through this post isn’t enough to get the sensation that you are traveling through West’s rainbow-filled work, see the piece for yourself through September 10, 2016. (via Designboom)

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New Text Drawings Formed by Letters From Religious Texts by Meg Hitchcock 

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It’s been awhile since we’ve written about Meg Hitchcock‘s work (previously), first covering her practice in 2011 when she spent 135 hours gluing tens of thousands of individuals letters from the Koran to transcribe the Book of Revelation from the Christian New Testament. Hitchcock continues to produce religious-based text works that dissect the word of God, discouraging her audience from a literal reading by ignoring punctuation and spacing in the sentences she forms. Recently her text drawings have become a bit more figural, forming feet, scarves, and niqabs on paper with thousands of sourced letters.

“The labor-intensive aspect of my work is a meditation practice as well as an exploration of the various forms of devotion,” said Hitchcock in an artist statement. “A long history in evangelical Christianity formed my core beliefs about God and transcendence, but I later relinquished the Christian path. I now gravitate toward Eastern Mysticism, and am deeply moved by Islam. My work is a celebration of the diverse experiences of spirituality and the universal need for connection with something greater than oneself. In the end, the holy word of God may be nothing more than a sublime expression of our shared humanity.”

Hitchcock’s work is currently presented in the group exhibition “This is Not a Book” at the San Jose Institute for Contemporary Art through September 11, 2016. (via Booooooom)

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