Tuesday, August 10, 2010

GDBar is Officially Closed

Thanks to everyone for your comments and readership over the years. The archives will remain available. It has been a wonderful adventure.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

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Friday, October 30, 2009

Living Lichtenstein

What a great Halloween costume -- a woman transforms into a living version of a pop art comic strip character. Roy Lichtenstein come to life, CMYK and all.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Blik Wall Graphic Halloween Sale

Blik, one of the original makers of cheeky, non-committal wall graphics, is having a Halloween sale. Save 31% this week on all online orders by entering code SPOOKY at checkout. Discount does not apply to custom orders. Blik has come a long way since their first tiny collection and now has an expansive line of imaginative wall decals -- what can I say, I'm a sucker for the Super Mario Bros. [Thanks *g!]

Keep Calm: Grow Your Greens

This "Grow Your Greens" poster is part of a new collection by Keep Calm Gallery called Garden Organic -- three limited edition hand-screened prints are being sold to benefit the UK's leading organic growing charity. Whether you are in a position to actually grow your own greens or no, a typographic nudge towards eating more vegetables is always appreciated.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

El Vetica

Mike Monteiro's new El Vetica shirt for Mule Designs (where he is the Design Director) celebrates both typography and luchadors... and why not? What began as a type joke on Flickr (see here) progressed to version 2 after some comments from the community. Monteiro ultimately went with the opinion of Daring Fireball's Dave Gruber to create the final version (though not all agree with these changes). Always nice to watch evolution happen.

GDBar is Back!

Yes, I've returned from my year of technological burnout. For months, I was completely uninspired and creatively blocked. The causes and cures were many, but -- long story short -- I'm getting back on the horse. Things have shifted behind the scenes here at GDBar. First, I'm no longer in New York City and part of that uber-competitive design scene. Having spent the last five years working in virtual offices with the internet as my main playground, physical location starts to matter less. I'm now based in the US Midwest and enjoying that... for now. Second, from here on out I'll be posting when I find things that I enjoy, rather than commit to a daily post. If you're still reading this blog, I thank you. Also many thanks to those of you who have emailed and continued to browse the GDBar archives -- you guys are a part of what has brought me back. Here's to you, readers! Now, on with the posts!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Kenji Hirata

I'm enjoying the flow and colors within the work of Brooklyn artist Kenji Hirata. Hirata says that his art is "strongly inspired by nature, billboards and hand painted signage of Southeast Asia, and futurism" and that he's developed his own language of icons and symbols that mix to form different meanings. The different galleries on his website are well worth exploring -- for example, the vibrant dragon in gallery 10 is quite different than musical abstracts of gallery 5. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Graphic Designer vs. Client

A short YouTube gem called Graphic Designer vs. Client sums up the professional experience for many, sadly enough. Says the client needing a brochure for practically pennies and in the next seventeen minutes: "Are you going to do it Microsoft Word? I have a friend who says that it is all you need for really nice looking professional publications. In fact, he could give you some tips on layout, as he's done a course on interior design." NSFW, because the designer gives a series of honest and appropriately profane responses.

Oh, and there is also a sequel!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Thames and the Tube

Last month the River Thames was one of the details erased from the map of the London Underground in an attempt to make the 75-year-old info graphic less cluttered. After public outrage, the Thames will be restored to the map when the next version is printed in December. Thames-less tube maps may become collectible design oddities! In the meantime, Ian Baldwin muses on the history of the map and the significance of the change (and correction) over at Design Observer. [via Patrick Bell on Twitter]

Monday, October 12, 2009

Writing Machines on Flickr

The Writing Machines group on Flickr showcases photos of old typewriters and computers... some that capture these relics in unexpectedly beautiful ways. There are plenty of shots of typewriter key typography that too, Shown above: Typewriter front view by Pedro Fonseca photography

Thursday, April 09, 2009

GDBar Will Be Back Soon!

GDBar's extended hiatus will be ending soon as things revive behind the scenes. Thanks so much for continuing to comment and for sending emails during these months of silence. You, readers, have inspired me to fight burnout and take up the reigns again, and I really appreciate that. More coming soon!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Cool Hunter: Creative Office Space

Take a look at some of the world's most creative office environments—and, while you're at it, enter your own for consideration in the Cool Hunter's book on the subject!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Sans Serif Type Tee at Target

Randomly spotted at Target.com: a t-shirt showcasing sans serif typefaces. From the oh-so-cheesy product description: Dreaming of page layouts? This tee from Turn Nocturnal is the answer to your graphic-design dreams. The T-shirt line features the best of the sans-serif bunch, including Helvetica, Myriad, and Futura. Write on!

New Prints at Keep Calm

Some exciting developments over at Keep Calm, including the inclusion of cinema-inspired prints by London-based Richard Roberts and the launch of an accessories store for printed mugs and tea towels. The Keep Calm team has done a wonderful job expanding from their original "Keep Calm and Carry On" reproductions, growing in unexpected directions and working with different artists. As always, I look forward to what they do next!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Summer Vacation

GDBar is on summer vacation! Back after Labor Day—I hope everyone is having a contented and colorful summer!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Rosemary Laing

Fun for Friday: Check out the work of Australian photographer Rosemary Laing. From staged shots with flying brides to powerful landscapes (that are sometimes on fire!), her photos are full of tension and motion and clearly influenced by her training as a painter. Laing is also currently one of the artists showcased in the 2008 Biennale of Sydney. [via Artkrush]

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Obauhaus: Obama in Berlin

Meaningful Distraction showcases (and refutes any controversy surrounding) Barack Obama's campaign poster for his Berlin address, which pays cool tribute to the Bauhaus and is yet another nicely designed move by his creative team. The poster is available to download on the Obama site. [via The Daily Heller]

Photographs from Beijing

There are some wonderful photographs emerging from the current spotlight on Beijing and the upcoming Olympics. I noticed one (above right) in July's Vanity Fair, and the other (above left) popped up in my weekly Activate email. More than just another look at Beijing's architecture, these photos are studies in scale, capturing everyday people prepping for chaos against fascinating landscapes of texture.

ILT: Getting started with Letterpress

Benjamin Brundell has a nice post over at ILT called Letterpress From Scratch: "This article looks briefly at this resurgence of interest in letterpress, why you might like it and some help to begin enjoying this fascinating pastime."

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Controversy seems to follow infamous British street artist Banksy wherever he goes—and whoever he is. Rumors that the artist, who is known for his anti-establishment satirical style, was once a "nice middle-class schoolboy" are causing a surprising and somewhat ridiculous stir, and the mainstream media are gleefully crying "Banksy Revealed!" and conjuring up an art world Deep Throat. If you've never heard of Banksy, you can read up on Wikipedia or see some of his work on the official Banksy site—current hype and fuss aside, he's been doing some cool stuff for years.

Sushi vs. Gehry

"Japanese architect Kengo Kuma has criticised the architecture of Frank Gehry and other contemporary architects, and claimed they could learn a lot from how sushi is made." Kuma makes an interesting parallel between design and sushi, saying that success in both areas involves choosing the best seasonal materials and keeping things simple so that the journey isn't compromised by becoming too long or overly complex. Meanwhile, Gehry is being praised for his Serpentine Gallery Pavillion, the ninth in the gallery’s series of temporary architectural installations.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Keep Calm: The Scarlet Letter

Another great (and highly limited-edition) print from the Keep Calm crew: Douglas Wilson's hand letterpressed Scarlet Letter. Get one while you can!

Speak Up: Highlights from TypeCon 08

Over at Speak Up, Armin gives a nice rundown of some of the type-related oddities and panel topics that were the focus of last weekend's TypeCon 08 in Buffalo. A nice taste of links and video from what looked to be a fascinating event!

Monday, July 21, 2008

JSM: Shake it Like a Metaphorical Picture

Spurred by the looming demise of Polaroid film, Jason Santa Maria muses on the visual metaphor of a photograph.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Critter Quest: Our SF Zoo Project

Endless Fun for Friday: Critter Quest is a simple but highly engaging multimedia campaign being run by the San Francisco Zoo, in which people stand in front of zoo ads (running on local bus shelters) and photograph themselves against backgrounds of animal ears, tails, and wings. They then upload their photos to the project website, where their snaps could win a spot in upcoming SF Zoo print materials. The gallery is great—everyone is grinning!—and the project serves as a wonderful example of how designers can engage the public with fun yet simple ideas. [via Cool Hunter]

Pes: Western Spaghetti

Even More Fun for Friday: Stop-motion animator Pes has a new short film out called Western Spaghetti, in which a plate of spaghetti is created using everyday objects like bubble wrap (boiling water), pick-up sticks (pasta) and glitter (parmesan). Game Over, the Pes-created video game short, was previously featured here. [thanks *g!]

Creative Park Paper Craft

More Fun for Friday: Creative Park offers an almost endless array of paper craft projects with downloadable templates. Shown above: various plants, animals and paper airplanes from their list of origami templates—just download, print and fold! [via HOW]

Jellio Furniture

Fun for Friday: Modern design awaits at the end of a lovably ridiculous stroll down memory lane: Jellio creates fun furniture that resembles (and, in some cases, has the functionality of) 80s toys. My favorites: the Lite Brite table (which you can actually use to create your own design) and the Rubik's Cube table. There is old school candy, too—button benches and gummi lights! [via JS]

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Yellow Sticky Notes Animated Film

Animator Jeff Chiba Stearns created his Yellow Sticky Notes animated film after realizing that his Post-It To Do lists were consuming him. His personal career journey and major world events flow from one note to the next during this experimental personal project, created with a black ink pen and over 2300 yellow sticky notes.

Smashing Mag: Hiring Authors

Have something to say about web design? Smashing Magazine is hiring writers/bloggers/people who make top 10 lists. Bonus: enter their Guest Author contest and you might win a Macbook Air.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Helvetica Film Now Available on iTunes

Gary Hustwit's Helvetica documentary is now available to purchase from the iTunes store (note: the link will open iTunes). The digital download is only $9.99 and is currently the #1 documentary on iTunes! You can watch the trailer on iTunes as well (warning: doing so will likely inspire you to immediately click BUY NOW).


The guys behind Invisibleman describe the site as "a collaborative of like-minded artists who chronicle their creative works for the purpose of mutual inspiration and public exhibition." There really is a little bit of everything, including a simple, wonderful header animation! Worth a look, especially if you're in need of a casual creative boost.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Totoro Forest Project

Animators, comic book artist and illustrators from around the world are donating work in support of the Totoro Forest Project, an international charity effort to preserve the Sayama Forest sanctuary outside Tokyo (nicknamed "Totoro Forest" because it was location that inspired Hayao Miyazaki's beloved film My Neighbor Totoro). Miyazaki has been actively involved in preserving the land for over a decade, and established the Totoro Forest Foundation as an ongoing effort to save the forest from urban sprawl. How exciting that so many artists have donated work to support a forest that most have never seen! The gallery is extensive and full of wonderful things. Environmental gestures aside, it's quite a testament to how deeply Miyazaki is appreciated. Pixar will auction off the art in September. [via Drawn!]

Flavorpill Absinthe

I was bombarded by Flavorpill's Absinthe campaign in an email this morning, to the point where I clicked through and checked out the link (something I'm rarely inspired to do with banner advertising). I don't know whether it's the slightly dark humor, the orange, the clean type (it's refreshing that they abandoned all Moulin Rouge-style visual references) or what, but now I really want to try some absinthe...

Paul Antonson

The Village Voice's annual indie music festival SirenFest is this weekend at Coney Island, and this year features another energetic illustration by Paul Antonson. Antonson has done the Siren graphic for the last several years, and his site is full of other great stuff—don't miss his patterns! More info on SirenFest available here.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Threadless $25 Print Sale

Over at Threadless, their full selection of graphic prints are on sale for $25 through July 20th. Get them while you can!

Swiss Typography: Print to Web

Web designer Samantha Warren looks at how the International Typographic Style (or Swiss Style) is being translated into online design, theorizing that the move towards simpler web presentation as the reign of MySpace-style chaos fades is similar to the way clean, Swiss-style visuals were embraced after WWII. Interesting idea.
[via Speak Up]

Friday, July 11, 2008

Fleet Foxes: White Winter Hymnal

More Fun for Friday: Watch a stop-motion animation natural world spring to life then fade away in the Fleet Foxes White Winter Hymnal video, directed by Sean Pecknold. [via Motionographer]

Markku Lahdesmaki

Fun for Friday: lose yourself in the wonderful photography of Markku Lahdesmaki. Shown above: one of his intriguing shots from the Chinese space program museum. Don't miss the animals of Portfolio 2! [via Coudal Partners]

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Taschen: History of Advertising

New from Taschen: The History of Advertising. The book is divided into sections by decades and showcases major campaigns throughout history since the first ad agency was created in 1842.

Handwritten Typographers

Handwritten Typographers satisfies any curiosity you might have had about the personal scrawl of people who eat, sleep and breathe type, such as Erik Spiekermann and Marian Bantjes. [Thanks, Chad!]

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Veer: Kernie

The Veer summer sidekick is a robot named Kernie. Print out your own robot and document his adventures: "Pose him next to badly kerned signs, project him building-high, or sink him waist deep in mustard at the family BBQ. You could even take him on your next scuba/skydive/Euro vacation." The most creative Kernie photo wins $200 to spend on Veer merchandise. Contest ends September 15th.

Edward Bawden

BibliOdyssey showcases the diverse work of British illustrator Edward Bawden (1903-1989). "In a sixty year career, Bawden produced numerous book and poster illustrations, ceramic, wallpaper, patterned paper and metal garden furniture designs, woodblock, linocut and lithographic prints as well as a sizeable body of watercolour and gouache paintings. He travelled extensively and taught printing and design at a range of institutions." His varied landscapes and "subtly humorous" sketches of people are especially interesting—worth a look!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Buckminster Fuller at the Whitney

The Whitney's highly anticipated Buckminster Fuller Exhibition is open now and runs through September 21st. "The results of more than five decades of Fuller's integrated approach toward the design and technology of housing, transportation, cartography, and communication are displayed here, much of it for the first time."

Movie Posters on Flickr

Michael Heilemann has a nice collection of movie posters on Flickr that includes some wonderful alternate/additional versions of posters that have become iconic. Viewing the set as a slideshow sends you leaping between decades (ex. Logan's Run to The Birds to Burn After Reading) and provides the opportunity to examine a selective history of movie poster design. [via Jason Santa Maria]

Monday, July 07, 2008

The Daily Heller Email

Steven Heller's Daily Heller email blast launches today (on Heller's birthday, no less). Heller has been blogging for over a year, but now he's teamed with PRINT magazine to deliver a daily weekday design-related email. "Steve Heller is the one human being through which all information about graphic design, past, present, and future, is required to flow. Checking in with him once a day is the least that the rest of us lesser mortals can do."—Michael Bierut

Friday, July 04, 2008

Art of the Title

Fun for Friday: Kick off your holiday weekend with a few movie title sequences from Art of the Title. Like the ever-growing and more Euro/Indie focused SubmarineChannel Film Titles project (previously featured here), Art of the Title is a growing treasure trove of big screen type and graphic treatments. Shown above: stills from the title sequences of Iron Man (Kyle Cooper), The Incredibles (Pixar), Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (ReelFX) and We're Here To Help (Firehorse, who deserve big props for animating tax forms into a thing of beauty!). [Thanks, Kevin!]

Thursday, July 03, 2008


CarType defines itself as "A comprehensive collection of emblems, car company histories and logos, reviews of typographical and graphical applications, design features and just about anything that is car related." Even if you aren't a car nut, there are some interesting posts—for example, the icons shown above are the five new emblems from GM that will be used on vehicles to identify the energy power source. Some discussion has begun about whether individual companies should be developing these icons or if instead there should be a global standard set of images. [via Arun]

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Coca-Cola: Beijing 2008

There are some wonderful graphics and bits of flash happening in the Beijing 2008 section of the Coca-Cola website. The colorful koi, above, can be snapped up in the downloads section as a free desktop wallpaper. Also fun: the design-your-own-bottle contest. [via How About Orange]

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

EW's 25 Perfect Movie Posters

Entertainment Weekly has some questionable picks for their 25 Perfect Movie Posters (since 1983), which is meant to showcase ideal examples of film art. There are many fine candidates in the pack, like the posters shown above, but "perfect" is a strong word... The Showgirls poster? Really? [via Speak Up]

Monday, June 30, 2008

Walmart Rebrands

Brand New has mixed feelings about the new Walmart logo, and showcases their brand through the years (including a "frontier font" version during the 60s).