Every now and then, not too often, we share with you a boardgame from our probably-too-large collection. We pick them entirely for designery reasons, not for how much fun the game brings us (for instance our all time favorite game, Mousquetaires du Roy, has typography that burns your eyes out). This time it’s a game Skull that R got for his birthday last week from our friends.
It’s seemingly a simple bidding game whose only components are six sets of token (no board, so I guess it’s more of a token-game?), each set including three flower tokens and one skull token. The illustrations are quite lovely, unified but different across the sets so that each skull relates (vaguely or not) to a different culture. There is a lot of careful ornamentation, detail and a tasteful use of color.
Contents the box.
Viking (?) set, immediately picked by a Vikings fan in our group (hi, Z).
A Mexican set, possibly the prettiest in the game.
The backs with their ornaments. See what I mean about the color?
All the flowers in the game, as behooves the springtime that’s arrived.
I’m still not sure we played the game right the one time we managed to try it so far but it sure is one of the better designed among the ones we own.
Last week we showed you a lovely Animalium book and promised that there are two. As you might already know or at least expect, the other one deals with the exciting world of plants and is called Botanicum. Having already enjoyed the one about animals, we were delighted to get the second part for last Christmas.
Just like the one about animals, Botanicum presents various families and groups of plants with gorgeous illustrations reminiscent of old encyclopedias. It’s both decorative and inspiring scientific interest.
Elaeis guineensis (says Google Translate).
Palms and cycads. (We love the little ideas, e.g. how one-color illustrations begin to form an ornamental pattern while in full color they are informative.)
Trees. The pattern again and also this typeface works really well in this design.
Today we want to share with you the first one of two lovely books from our bookshelf. We got it a little bit by accident and really loved it. It’s illustrated by Katie Scott and called Animalium because, you know, it’s about animals. (Also, we got it in Polish so look at the margins for the translation of the spreads’ titles but you can easily get in it English.)
The book recreates a natural history museum and present all sorts of animals in an educational (and lovely) way. On the cover you can even see a golden hotstamped ticket (in the top right-hand corner), which says “Animal Museum Ticket” (it says “Welcome to the Museum / Admit All” in the original version but I like the Polish version better, I think? by a narrow margin) and this little detail sets the tone for the whole book.
Welcome to Animalium. Introduction
Inside you will find illustrations and descriptions of all kinds of creatures from across the whole animal kingdom, arranged according to clear criteria. There are so many things to love about the book:
- Illustrations. They are obviously inspired by old scientific encyclopedic etchings, only more colorful and partly modernized
- Title typeface, a pretty one by Hipopotam Studio
- Lushness. The book is just full of gorgeous details and, as the ticket on the cover suggests, has a certain luxurious quality to it (also because it’s really big, format-wise)
- No age limit. It can be exciting both for kids and adults. Our son loved Animalium even if he was technically too little for books
- Educational value, no duh
Cnidaria (admittedly, not a word I knew before)
Natural environment: woods
In case you want it, here’s a 3-day promo link for free shipping in our Society6 store.
In the middle of winter (well, hopefully, at the end of it), we’re sharing a vaguely spring design we did last year. We created a catalog for an exhibition called Planting Seeds that happened in the Łaźnia Art Center. This was an event by Irwin group from Slovenia.
The exhibition was promoted with the photo of the artists who were, well, planting seeds and we needed to use it on the cover. At first, we planned to cut it into four parts, with different covers having different parts of the photo but it was necessary to use the whole photo in the end. So we arranged it in such a way that you can combine two covers to see all of it.
Inside we used a bright pink color for one language version of the text and as a strong visual element. As a decorative motif we created a grid of dots to symbolize seeds and used them throughout the publication.
Title page with dots and pink.
Close-up of the contents pages.
Introduction to the catalog.
As Irwin art is rather conceptual the catalog contains more texts than images so it was important to find a good layout for the articles.
Catalogs – always one of the best kinds of job.
As a gift for friends we created two illustrations, presenting their patron saints. Saint Catherine of Siena was a 14th century nun and philosopher, a visionary, proclaimed a Doctor of the Church and a patron of Italy. Her attributes include a lily, a book, stigmata and a crown of thorns. Saint Gregory the Great was a pope of the Roman Church, also a Doctor of the Church, reformer and philosopher. He’s traditionally presented with a book and a papal crown, sometimes with a dove.
We drew inspiration from the classic representations of these saints, especially those rather austere ones approaching icons, but we modernized them with monoline drawings and a more decorative color palette.
In what has become a bit of a tradition, this year again we celebrate St. Valentine’s by sharing the poster we did for Experyment Science Center. The poster is an invitation for an adults’ evening where, among other attractions, experts try to explain love in scientific terms. This year’s theme included the chemistry of love and how different chemicals are responsible for the emotions that we feel.
In what has become a trademark for this series we again chose to illustrate a lovely lady but this time we focused on perfume and the love compound and not so much on her science-related look. We chose intense color scale with hot pinks offset by aquas.
So please enjoy your St. Valentine’s Day tomorrow, whether celebrating it with your loved ones or just doing something fun for yourselves. We are convinced that any holiday is worth celebrating, whether in its spirit or differently – that’s up to you.
You might remember our previous posts of literary primers by Jennifer Adams with art by Alison Oliver. Or if you don’t, here’s Dracula and here’s the gem of Pride and Prejudice. As we were visiting our friends, Z&A, we spotted on their bookshelf another book from the series: this time a weather primer based on Bronte’s Wuthering Heights. So, of course, we immediately borrowed it (thanks guys!) to share it with you.
This primer introduces weather-related adjectives with rather idyllic scenes from around Wuthering Heights.
A short introduction.
The doctor travelling through the mists.
Sometimes “sunny” is a word you need to teach your child.
But these days this feels like a more useful description.