Los Angeles Street Art X Design Festival

I’ll be participating in the AIGA Los Angeles Street Art X Design Festival which takes place on November 12, 2016.

It’s a one-night-only celebration of visual design and graffiti.

The theme of the evening is LA neighborhoods and the canvases are up-cycled wooden hexagons.

All hexagons will be auctioned with proceeds benefiting the local chapter of AIGA: The Professional Association for Design and supporting the development of initiatives including student scholarships, street artist entrepreneurship programs, and ongoing design-focused events and programming.

The event is at The Container Yard which is located in Downtown LA at the Arts District: 800 E 4th St., Los Angeles, CA 90013.

The pressure is now on to create something special.

AIGA Los Angeles Design Evolution series kicks off

AIGA Los Angeles is just about to start a new design series called ‘Design Evolution’ which I designed the promotional graphics for.

Design Evolution engages speakers and audiences from across the professional design spectrum to investigate the future of design. Future, though a broad term, here means the unknown, speculative status of a rapidly evolving profession with multiple possible evolutionary trajectories. Drawing the thoughts, perspective, and insights of individuals from the corporate, academic, and studio worlds, including designers at a variety of points in their individual careers, Design Evolution seeks not answers to but discussion about directions in which the craft and concept of design may grow, contract, or morph in the coming years and decades.

For more information and to register click here.

Does a European design aesthetic still exist?

Hardly a week goes by without being approached by a design agency or recruiter asking for a designer with a ‘European design aesthetic’. Generally I aways reply, ‘yes that’s me’, I’m from Europe and I get what your after, but what exactly defines a European design aesthetic and does it still really exist?

I remember working at big design agencies in London who always had walls full of design books, these books were often divided into world regions or had dedicated books for each part of the world (London, Tokyo, New York, etc). Flicking through these books at the time you could clearly see a difference between European and American design.

European design tended to be more understated and cleaner, with minimal type usage and illustrations, mostly using Sans Serif typefaces. By contrast the American designs were type heavy, often using copywriting led communication with photography and serif typefaces. Not any better or any worse, just an overall heavier appearance. I do remember preferring the majority of European designs I saw.

That’s what I remember from design books some 15 years ago, but is it still like that?

Having worked in Los Angeles for the last 4 years and collaborated with designers from the US and other parts of the world on a daily basis I really don’t see that much of a difference anymore, with the exception of FMCG packaging which mostly feels dated in the US. I think the explosion of US based tech companies and the fact almost all brands have a global reach, along with our reliance on the digital space to expose brands I now believe the playing field has very much leveled. We are essentially seeing similar graphic design styles around the world.

Simplicity of communication is proving the most successful form of communication in what is an ever-increasingly congested world.

Don’t get me wrong, European design has always had a certain level of prestige in America, whether it be cars, furniture or packaging. But I now suspect those requests that come in from agencies asking for a ‘European design aesthetic’ are really just asking for ‘a great graphic designer’, and being from Europe does not automatically mean you’ll get that, there are amazing designers all over the world.

So my advise, which is pretty obvious, look at their portfolio and choose designers based on experience and their ‘own design aesthetic’. If that aesthetic works for your client then your good to go.

New website launched with full screen capabilities

I’m delighted to announce my new website is up and running. I had the previous one for about two years and while I liked the design it did not showcase my work at high resolution and images did not scale to fill the screen. This is especially important these days now so many of us are using super hires retina screens.

In addition to the design overhaul I have also included more work, explained my areas of expertise in more detail and repositioned my professional services to put branding at the heart.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the new website and the big images, who said size doesn’t matter?

Contemporary luxury brand in West Hollywood

Trying to stand-out within the real estate world is not easy, especially in Los Angeles where competition is fierce. But with the collaboration of the forward thinking owners of The Sunset Team in West Hollywood we have managed to do just that.

For this project I created print collateral, signage and advertising that feels unique and contemporary within the Los Angeles real estate market. This has helped The Sunset Team gain excellent market recognition and a sense of exclusivity while promoting the cutting edge luxury homes they develop and sell in the Hollywood Hills and West Hollywood.

Premium packaging for a premium product

It’s been a long time in the making but the packaging I designed and produced for CuttinEdge Lab has finally launched. The brief was quite simple, make the packaging as premium looking as the product it houses, those products being CELShield and CELWrap protection films for electronic devices. I also wanted to ensure there was strong stand out in a product category that is flooded with competitors.

Choosing screen and body protectors for our precious smartphones and gadgets can be a confusing and daunting prospect, shops are crammed full of options. The challenge was to communicate an awful lot of information while still having an elegant design and one that customers would gravitate towards. The use of a metallic foil board underneath the rich black, tinted to a rich copper and powder blue with splashes of spot UV works really well in the flesh.

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