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16-04-11-redesign-bears

We are working on a huge project that we will share next week – and I’d like to say we’re finishing it but no, it’s just “working” for now – so in the meantime please enjoy this random illustration of bears from our archive. Because bears. And cuddling.

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If you’ve been following us for a while you might have noticed that we are huge fans of Marianna Oklejak, an illustrator whose style mixes freshness of children’s drawings and adult humor. Every now and then we share her work and time has come to show you our newest acquisition (well, we got it for Christmas but it still counts as new).

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This is a special book in that Oklejak is for a change not illustrating someone else’s work but doing that whole illustrator-as-author thing. And she’s great at it! She draws inspiration from Polish folk art and reinterprets its motifs.

Polish folk art is quite rich and can be visually exciting. Every region had its motifs, color schemes and ornaments, as well as unique techniques of decorating things. This tradition withered to a large extent when people got more interested in the “modern”, industrial design. Folk art got relegated to decorating tourist souvenirs and became viewed as embarrassing. But it’s been having a sort of renaissance now that many designers, particularly interior designers and such, began to draw inspiration from the traditional motifs in a modern way (which also gets trashy sometimes, but often it works amazingly).

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Oklejak’s book uses folk motifs as elements of her fun compositions but adds an educational element. The spread above simply shows various types of local headgear (and only the one with peacock feathers is at all recognizable these days).

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This awesome spread uses stripes from traditional skirts as elements of a landscape full of fields (which is also a typical Polish landscape so that works great).

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Two different folk dance spreads! Do they play Polish folk? (Hopefully not, it’s not great.)

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Traditional lace tablecloths as autumn clouds.

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And paper doilies as snowflakes.

We’re happy that the book has already won an Ibby award because in addition to the fairly obvious educational value it has so much more: a sort of quirky atmosphere that manages to combine tradition with a more modern feel and to celebrate local identity.

 

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Eli, no! is a delightful little book by Katie Kirk. We found it a long time ago online when it was still waiting to be published and waited impatiently for the book that we could buy. It’s a story of a dog named Eli and all the things he does that make his owners scream the title of the book and it will ring quite true to any dog owners out there.

The book is illustrated in a simple vector style with bold colors and unobtrusive typography, which results in a fun, modern look. But its greatest appeal lies in how each spread reflects an observation of some typical dog behavior – and how well these are translated into the book medium.

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(Is this the Louvre in the background? That would be quite awesome. But it’s certainly an awesome squirrel.)

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The next two are possibly my favorite spreads, one with food, one with letters:

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And a heartwarming conclusion (spoiler, I guess):

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So, did you have a good St Valentine’s Day? We had some tiny colorful cake, it was pretty good but we’re all for conventional, they-may-even-be-sappy holiday celebrations. We get if it’s not your thing, though.

Anyway, our Valentine-related project this year was a poster for Experyment Science Centre. Like last year, they prepared an evening of activities for adults, explaining love phenomena in scientific terms. We decided to create a poster that would form a series with the last one so once again we started with a romantic lady, this time surrounded by particles. Then we followed the client’s suggestion (which was a very good one) to add an android that would refer to the theme of the lecture and so the whole illustration got a sort of retro sci-fi character, which we’re very happy with.

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We had a different post in work but it turns out it’s our fifth anniversary with the blog and so we thought we’d take a moment to thank you for dropping by, reading, liking and commenting. We appreciate every single sign of interest. In fact, that’s what keeps us going, particularly now that our five-month-old has increasing demands on our time. But the blog is such an important part of our routine that we do and will make time for it as well. As a matter of fact, we have quite a few interesting side projects going that we will be sharing later this year, not to mention work stuff and all the books from our bookshelf that we want to praise.

So, not to bore you: thanks for your visits and keep coming back!

And in case you’re new(er) here, here’s a handy list of our favorite entertainments posts that we did during these five years.

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Winter is not always a great time for outdoorsy activities (call us lazy but we’re not that into freezing) but instead it helps creative behaviors at home – such as cooking. But instead of showing you food we’re eating (so much chocolate!), today we’re simply sharing a food-related illustration we designed a while ago for Experyment Science Center in Gdynia.

The illustration advertised a family workshop in molecular cuisine and so it invited all sorts of fun with combining scientific and culinary elements: and they are actually fairly close. It also needed a child or children and somehow the subject inspired us to think of Ratatouille (which is simply awesome, no question there).

This time we made a sketch decent enough to share (our regular sketches are maybe not so much indecent as really messy):

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And the final design looked like this (we’re showing you the version with just the title “Experyment in the Kitchen” and not the whole text):

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We hope you feel inspired to cook something experimental this week.

A (long) while ago we started one of our favorite series of just-for-fun designs with 15 posters that condensed TV shows into three icons so that you could guess or not what the given show was. It looked like this:

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and you can find the original post here.

In the meantime we have watched some more TV and designed (for now) three more posters to guess. This time it’s for three real classics and, to be precise, we only watched two of these recently (and we really hope you know us well enough by now to know which we did not spend hours and hours watching, not since we were ten anyway). So, for your guessing pleasure (answers underneath, should you need them):

1.

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2.

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3.

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As with all the previous posters, you can buy your own copy in our stores here and here. We’ll be also adding other things (like phone cases and stuff later).

And here are the answers (even though you probably know by now):

1. Friday Night Lights

2. Baywatch

3. Gilmore Girls

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