Today we’re sharing a classic from our library, Saul Bass’s Henri’s Walk to Paris. You probably know Saul Bass from either his logo designs, movie posters or his iconic title sequences he created with his wife, Elaine. Those sequences remain a lasting legacy and have been revered, pastiched and parodied. As can be expected, we’re huge fans of Bass and of his bon mot “Design is thinking made visual.” It sure should be.
The book we’re showing today is a slightly less known work: Bass’s only children’s book. Bass’s illustration style, well-known from his posters, is quite recognizable with its vivid, flat colors and cutout shapes. This style is also quite remarkable for how it seems to anticipate the prevalent style of today’s vector illustrations with their, you guessed it, flat colors and geometric shapes.
But Henri’s Walk is truly a designer’s work, rather than just an illustrator’s (lovely as the illustrations are). It makes a smart use of page layout and typography in a way which is intriguing and playful (see e.g. the ingenious ideas on how not to show the characters’ faces to make the story more general). Both images and the text itself tells a story that delights and makes you wonder. And, of course, the colors are simply gorgeous.
Henri’s little house in his little town. The town of Reboul seems lovely.
The park with five trees and one squirrel.
Most of the people of Reboul plus one cow.
Controversial as it might be (providing you care about any of the following: literature, music, Bob Dylan, Nobel Prize, songwriting, Sweden), at re:design we are very, very happy that Bob Dylan got awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. We’ve been Dylan fans pretty much forever (well, a half of us more than the other half, probably) and this win feels like Christmas come early (without gifts but still).
To celebrate this fact we have created a tribute poster depicting various iconic looks of Dylan. Sure, we could’ve (and will, eventually) celebrated his words because they are gorgeous but this was fairly short-notice, as we’d never expected such news, and also, well, fun. Enjoy.
Sorry! We’re working on a special tribute piece but it’s taking a bit longer than planned (mostly because of a different project with a hands-on client involvement, renovations and our son’s cold). It will be up this week. Pinky promise, cross my heart!
Every now and then our son goes through book phases when he gets very excited about looking through picture books. We’ve got a ton of those books but not all of them are great to look at. And so to celebrate J’s birthday we filled one of the not-so-pretty books with custom illustrations showing J and some of his toys.
It was a fairly quick side project but it was a lot of fun and it got a semi-appreciative audience because J was quite excited to recognize the toys he’s playing with in the pictures.
From sketch to page. (A form of J’s name is a homophone with the Polish word for a hedgehog and so we have all sorts of toy hedgehogs at home.)
An underwater page with various bath toys.
Nothing is more fun than IKEA rats.
Fun in the playground.
Taking advantage of probably one of the last sunny, warm weekends of the year we went on another spontateous family trip to the zoo. It was quite a lovely afternoon and we enjoyed the sight of the animals – so much so that we decided to share with you some of the memories as illustrations of animals (rather than working on the originally planned post; nothing beats pictures of animals anyways, as is universally acknowledged).
Last week we shared a bit of our identity for an event celebrating Andrzej Bobkowski. As promised, today comes the rest of the design, including the poster which was the base for other materials.
This time it took us two attempts to get the design right: the first poster was not dynamic enough and didn’t include enough allusions to books. Pretty much all it had was biking and various places where Bobkowski lived. But when it got scraped we kept the paper biker (though a more dynamic one) and set him on an obstacle course built of books. The books also created space to place all the additional information (and as you can see there was quite a lot of it). We added diagonal elements parallel to the books to make the composition more integrated and more dynamic, and combined it with a simple, narrow letter.
Paper Bobkowski on his paper bike, scaling the world of literature.
Once we had the poster we applied similar solutions to the design of the folder. At first, one side of the folder was supposed to repeat the poster but there was too much text for that so both sides include descriptions of planned events (such as literary workshops and games for kids).
The cover of the folder.
Bobkowski’s archival photo.
One of our latest projects is the identity for an event by the Museum of Emigration on Andrzej Bobkowski, a Polish migrant, writer and cyclist. We will show you all of the identity (probably) next week but today we’re starting with its most current element: the design of the city biking game that took place on Saturday.
Because Bobkowski was an avid cyclist who wrote passionately about biking, the Museum decided to get people involved in his life story through a game played on bikes. In four points in the city competitors could complete tasks related to Bobkowski’s art and life. We had to design posters with relevant information and sheets with various tasks.
All info posters for the game (with biographical facts and quotes).
Origami instructions. Bobkowski moved to Guatemala and sold model planes so the contestants had to create their own (paper) planes.
Various tasks on A4 sheets.
A quote from Bobkowski’s writings.