Graphic Coolness: Blue Note Records @75

branding, design history, typography, iconic design, blue note records, graphic design, art direction, homage

This year, the world-wide favorite jazz label, Blue Note Records, records its 75th anniversary. With ongoing music concerts throughout the year, its 75th not only presented an opportunity to hear great recordings and tributes, but to revisit those fabulous album covers.

The iconic Blue Note album covers are a favorite of mine: The 5000 series from the early 50s and 1500 series from the mid-to-late 50s in particular. From the illustrative nature of the earlier to the photographic leanings of the latter, they encapsulate a sound and create an atmosphere – late nights, dark clubs, smoke-filled air.

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First Flickers of Television: A Massive Cultural Shift

On 30 april 1939, RCA's first television broadcast across the New York metropolitan area changed storytelling and culture forever. The RCA brand became synonymous with home entertainment. test pattern

The Radio Corporation of America (RCA) introduced television to the American public 75 years ago on 30 april 1939. The first experimental broadcast went out in the New York metropolitan area. It was the opening of the World’s Fair in Flushing, Queens.

That transmission shifted the act of storytelling from aural interpretation to visual, and would change the way information was received for decades to come. Television became a principal source of entertainment, but it also linked people to the rest of the world, and helped to develop a sense of community.

Viewing that first television broadcast through Marshall McLuhan’s tetrad, here’s what we lost/gained:

  • What does the medium enhance? Visual storytelling, communal experiences, world-view comes into homes
  • What does the medium make obsolete? Radio theater, pure aural interpretation, abstract thinking and comprehension
  • What does the medium retrieve that had been obsolesced earlier? Real-world images, celebrities and entertainment
  • What does the medium flip into when pushed to extremes? Less imaginative minds, less conversation.

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Namaste 2014

While researching mehndi designs and patterns, I was intrigued by their beauty, along with their celebratory association and otherworldly application. Then I stumbled upon this font. Serendipity drove the concept for this year’s greeting.

A cheerful and transformative new year to all.

giampietro holiday greetings, holiday greetings, ornamental fonts,

Posters for the holiday party decorations were an offshoot of the greeting card.

giampietro holiday greetings, holiday greetings, ornamental fonts, holiday posters

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The Irresistible Rise of the Alternative Poster: Four Series

It’s great to see that the poster form is alive and thriving. Specifically, the alternative poster – it’s ubiquitous. Designers are rethinking tv show campaigns and film posters in a myriad of ways, and creating powerful visual imagery for storytelling. For some, the outcomes remain a passion project, while other designers have parlayed their passion into income streams.

Recently I came across four noteworthy series.

posters, typography, re-imagined campaigns, passion as product

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Spotted at ICFF 2013

The show seemed somewhat smaller this year than last, with even less furniture, and more lifestyle items. Lighting, tile, wall coverings and rug products were in abundance, along with silicone and stone designs. This year’s show appeared to have much more energy than that of 2012. Perhaps a good sign for the industry and economy.

Below are snaps of textures and giveaway bags which caught my eye.

ICFF 2013, industrial design, design trends

Images: © 2013 Janet Giampietro
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