I come across designers, studios, and firms all the time that make my jaw drop with love, lust, and envy. As someone who is a “self-taught” designer (as in, I don’t have a degree in design or art), looking at, analyzing, and admiring other people’s work has been one of the most fun and most educational aspects of teaching myself design. More often then not these creatives don’t get the attention they deserve, so I’m gathering them here with this regular roundup of educational inspiration. Enjoy!
Gabriele Wilson Design
Gabriele Wilson/ New York, NY/ graphic design
Most of Gabriele Wilson’s studio work embodies a super modern personality or a super vintage personality. The studio’s identity for Buttermilk Channel Restaurant (see Choice Work below) exudes old school charm with watercolor map illustrations and serif typography. But the rebranding of Jason shampoo products uses a pastel, welcoming color scheme and san serif typography to bring the old packaging up to speed, while staying true to the product’s original roots.
Choice Work: Buttermilk Channel Restaurant identity
Cedric Hohnstadt Illustration, LLC
Cedric Hohnstadt/ Bloomington, MN/ illustration
I just love Cedric’s playful illustration and the characters that are produced by it. I’ve always been partial to VeggieTales, and it’s interesting how he shows us his illustrations that eventually became products.
Choice Work: VeggieTales costume
San Francisco, CA/ graphic design & art direction
Manual’s portfolio is as diverse as it’s client list, showing off expertise in typography, photography, and color. Besides the Choice Work that I’m in love with (our road signs are ugly and I wish these were the new ones!), I also love the identity for Loveland Aleworks, which uses custom typography to bring the brewery to life.
Choice Work: redesign of the US road signage system for Icon Magazine
Jefferson Cheng Design & Illustration
Jefferson Cheng/ San Francisco, CA/ illustration & design
Here’s a strong exmaple of modern, almost Swiss design in certain ways, and great use of color. One or two of Jefferson Cheng’s pieces break that mold, and it’s interesting to see how they do that, since the majority of his work has a distinct personality.
Choice Work: Wedding invitation
Florence, Italy/ graphic design
If you’ve worked for IL-Intelligence in Lifestyle’s design department, chances are I will automatically love you and envy you on so many levels. Francesco Muzzi is no exception, AND his work has been featured in Wired Italia - so the previous sentiment goes double for it. The Choice Work infographic for issue 08.09 is one of the best infographics I’ve ever seen.
Choice Work: infographics for Wired Italia
Above photos, first to last: Gabriele Wilson Design, Cedric Hohnstadt Illustration, LLC, Manual Creative, Jefferson Cheng Design & Illustration, Francesco Muzzi