July 28, 2009

Olle Eksell (オーレ・エクセル)

I bought this book at Kinokuniya (紀伊国屋書店) in Tokyo a couple years ago. This beautiful book documents a life's work of Olle Eksell's lovely graphic design works. The works found inside are expressive, playful, at times satirical, and packed full of incredible colors. There’s beautiful designs for book jackets, posters, packaging, textiles and more. Olle Eksell (オーレ・エクセル) was one of the most respected, inspiring and distinguished Swedish graphic designers, and author of countless articles and books on the relationship between corporate economics and design. One of his popular books, Design= Ekonomi, is widely used as a textbook in many art and design classes. But it's his whimsical, gorgeous graphic design that is, for me, a collection well worth having. His drawings and forms are so happy, always modern and peculiar....this book is a true fest for the eyes, and is another one of my favorite getaway books.

Sadly, Olle Eksell passed away April, 2007, but what a legacy he left behind.

July 27, 2009

Happy Wedding! (愉快な結婚式!)

I saw this video this weekend on Today Show and just love it!

Instead of the usual formality of the Mendelssohn and Wagner pairing of march and chorus introducing the wedding participants, Jill and Kevin decided to go with a more modern, upbeat, and downright unconventional pop dance track by Chris Brown, with the song Forever. For five minutes, the wedding party danced, entertained, and amused friends and family gathered to see Jill marry Kevin. And after a huge round of appreciative applause, the two turned to the pastor...
How fun it is! I wish I had a wedding like that!

Maybe most of you saw this already, but I still want to post it, this video makes me Happy! Hope this will also help you beat the Monday Blues!

July 21, 2009

Creative Suite Pillows(デザイナーにピッタリなプレゼントCreative Suite クッション)

{image from My Suite Stuff}

If you don't use computers often, or if you are not in the creative field, you probably don't know how to appreciate these pillows. But for those in the creative space, these pillows will make one smile. These are the application icons people in the creative field can't live without--- Adobe Creative Suite. The price is $15 a pop and there are 6 designs in total. If you purchase the whole collection, it's $80, that's a suite deal!

Due to an extremely high number of orders and the fact that these pillows are 100% hand-made, it takes 7-9 weeks to ship. It was 2-5 weeks two months ago when I first heard about them, it seems they are getting popular .

Some people might say since they have been dealing with Creative Suite long enough everyday at work, they don't want to see it anymore while they are relaxing or sleeping. Well, I understand that, but I still think these are very unique and interesting design.

July 17, 2009

Peace and quiet: Shinzō Maeda (前田真三)

Look carefully. These are photos, not paintings. These photos are taken by Shinzo Maeda (前田真三), his photos are beautiful enough to fool you into thinking they are paintings. Shinzo Maeda is a Japanese photographer famous for landscape photographs and movies. He was born in 1922 in Hachioji City on the outskirts of Tokyo into a large family whose father worked in the forest industry. Before he became a full time photographer he was what we called a salaryman (サラリーマン) employed by Nichimen Co., Ltd.( a clothing manufacturer), and worked there for 17 years. In 1965 he quit Nichimen to pursue photography full time. By 1967 he launched his own photo agency called Tankei Photo Agency Co., Ltd. in Tokyo. This led to a long and successful career as a landscape photographer. His personal style of landscape photography won him a number of major awards in his lifetime, including the top prize of the Japan Photographers Association. When he died in 1998 he had published forty six photography books in Japan, eight in other countries, as well as produced films. His son Akira Maeda (前田晃) is also an accomplished landscape photographer who continues in his father's tradition.

Shinzo Maeda is said to be one of the big names in Japanese landscape photography. He doesn't seem to be that well known in Europe or the US. I came across his photos through these postcards I bought 20 years ago and was transfixed by them. Just these small printouts are still quite breathtaking. His photos have a very high quality with great sense for colors, composition and detail often mixed with a great amount of quietness and peacefulness. And in this quiet, peaceful way, I see the landscape change. Shinzo Maeda took his photos not only with his lens but with his heart; he shown people not only what he saw but what he felt through the eyes of his heart.

Thanks to Shinzo Maeda, the town Biei's(美瑛) beauty is widely known. He liked this town so much that he moved to Biei later in his life to take pictures. Takushinkan Gallery (拓真館) in Biei, Hokkaido(北海道 美瑛), a photo art gallery dedicated to Shinzo Maeda, which opened in 1987 still continues to this day.

I like to flip through his postcards or books especially when I need a break or an escape. His photos can always calm me down and take me to a quiet peaceful world. I'd been to Hokkaido but never Biei. I would like to go there and see what he saw someday soon.

July 16, 2009

Sara Midda (サラ・ミッダ)

I purchased these books about 15 years ago. I found them in a bookstore and fell in love with Sara Midda's beautiful watercolor and calligraphy right away. These are lovely and inspiring books, full of evocative and quirky watercolor sketches. I especially enjoyed the pages that visually display information in intriguing ways - color schemes for each month, dozens of styles of house numbers, whimsical little garden people, harmonized beautiful calligraphy, and the collection of sugar papers. These are the books I run to on the weekends, or when I need something to refresh my mind. It is a lush, beautiful escape from hectic urban life. These are the books to read on a sunny summer afternoon with ice tea and homemade cookies; or, curl up with a blanket, have a cup of hot chocolate and enjoy these beautiful books in a cozy winter night.

If you want to make a delightful dream of dry air and warm sunshine. Try these. Really, these books cheer me up and make me happy.

Sushi Please! (寿司ください!)

Issey Miyake's "Pleats Please" gets a Sushi high-fashion makeover in these savory print ads. These ads took a totally different approach than the traditional clothing ads, they are using a sushi motif. They are showing the texture of the cloth while remaining faithful to the shape of sushi. Watching them one can feel the delicateness of the Sushi because of the quality of the clothes.

These ads are created by Taku Satoh Design Office(佐藤卓デザイン事務所).

July 15, 2009

Lobster Rolls Weekend (ロブスターロールの週末)

{Long Branch, NJ}

{Long Branch, NJ}

We spent 2 weekends in a row on the Jersey Shore, from Long Branch and Belmar to Point Pleasant Beach. The Pier Village in Long Branch was pretty nice, we were pleasantly surprised by the great restaurants and shops.

Avon-By-The-Sea near Belmar doesn't have as many fancy restaurants and shops as Long Branch, but the boardwalk wasn't crowded. It's one of New Jersey's relaxing respites.

{Interesting Sign in Point Pleasant Beach}

On the other hand, Point Pleasant Beach Boardwalk was totally packed. We couldn't even get through the crowd, it's not the place for us. I think Manhattan on the weekends probably has less people.

But we did find good restaurants in Point Pleasant Beach---not on the boardwalk, just a little bit off, near the inlet. The one we tried 2 weeks ago was Spike's Fish Market & Restaurant. The food was really tasty and fresh!

{Lobster Roll from Red's Restaurant}

We also had lobster rolls both days this weekend. One was from Red's Lobster Pot, it's also in Point Pleasant Beach. Both the lobster roll and the shrimp burrito were delicious!

On Sunday we had a second one from Red Hook Lobster Pound at the Brooklyn Flea Market. We saw a long line waiting for this lobster roll a couple of weeks ago, the line was so long that we didn't want to wait. This Sunday, we got up early and went to Dumbo to enjoy a quiet, sunny morning. Around 12pm, we went for this lobster roll. There was no line at all!

Between the 2 Lobster Rolls, I like the latter one more. It was loaded with big chunks of lobster mixed in with a little mayonnaise and topped with chopped green onions. The bread was lightly buttered and toasted on the grill (J said it's like the Boston Style Hot Dog Buns). It's very simple and absolutely delicious! Green Onion + Mayo + Lobster = Perfect Combination! I personally would like them to put more mayo though....

I also like Red Hook Lobster Pound's Logo. It's simple and bold.

Dumbo park on Sunday morning was really nice and quiet, only of few people. We like our neighborhood more and more.