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(First of all, this post is so late – sorry about that. Our son is back to preschool and this means back to the onslaught of all sorts of cold viruses like you wouldn’t believe. But we’re powering through.)

A long time ago we started Project Doolittle: both a tribute to the Pixies’ great album and an experiment in tangible type. By the time we finished the project, that is designed all 15 covers for all the songs, it is (already a bit past) the 30th anniversary of the release of Doolittle so the project becomes even more of a celebration of this record.

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Each cover is a different attempt at tangible typography: letters made of various materials, crafted by hand, sometimes designed by us and sometimes based on existing typefaces. We didn’t mainly focus on the connection between the material and the song, going more for an impressionistic, poetic if you will, relation between them (though in some cases the connection is more obvious than in others). We wanted to experiment with 3D typography to see how much using actual, physical objects rather than a computer adds to typographic designs.

This project started as one of our very first forays into handmade type and in the period between its beginning and ending we managed to do quite a few such projects (including a PhD thesis) but we are happy that we chose to return to this series and finished it because it’s one of those string-free projects that are very fun to work at. Hope you enjoy it as well.

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As the summer season is slowly approaching, we’re sharing today a very summery book we designed last year for the Museum of Gdańsk. It is a catalog for an exhibition showing postcards and photographs of beaches in Gdańsk before 1939: some of them still exist while others no longer serve as recreational beaches. The catalog included most of the photos shown on the exhibition but we could present them in any way we wanted.

The visual material was very rich and quite exciting once you really delved into it (all the old swimwear!) but in its mass seemed a bit monotonous so we decided to make it more modern. We created a sunny, cheerful color palette to color the photographs and added illustrative, geometric elements: stripes, waves, birds etc.

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On  the cover we used varnished stripes on an old photo that the Museum wanted to use. The stripes – inspired by old swimsuits – are the main visual motif organizing the entire layout, including its geometry.

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Beginning of a chapter.

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Page numbering close-up.

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Sometimes we chose fragments of photographs to use.

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While the sheer amount of photographs to edit made it an intense publication to work on, we’re very happy with the final results.

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In a follow-up for our posts about the Dior exhibition in Paris and the marvellous Dior illustrator Mats Gustafson, let us share the most impressive Christmas gift we got this year: this amazing album of Gustafson’s illustrations for Dior.

Under the most unpretentious title you find dozens of beautiful large-format illustrations created for numerous collections in Gustafson’s signature style: minimalist and charming. He uses watercolors, cut papers and thoroughly impresses us with his talent for capturing fabrics in all their varieties. The dresses and accessories live on the pages. The album is simply a great pleasure to look through and captures well the, strictly speaking unnecessary (but how important!), beauty of fashion and even illustration.

The book out of the sleeve.

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Dior’s portrait.

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A very Dior-ish, high couture Didoni in the introduction. Other than that, the book uses Gustafson’s handwriting.

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Layers.

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Stripes.

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With a handwriting like this you don’t need fonts.

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