Monday, August 30, 2010

Exciting & Fresh Paper - Tres Tintas Barcelona

Tres Tintas of Barcelona, dates back to a family dinner in 2004, when the father of the founders Jaime, Mitos and Daniel Bermejo, came up with an idea that would be the key to all that happened since that time: to create something new. They decided to offer customers simpler and innovative products. One year later, Tres Tintas was created.

Tres Tintas believes that as designers, they must think differently in order to achieve something new. Tres Tintas gives traditional wallpaper a new dimension and transforms it into signature wallpaper, with concept-based collections with a common general idea. Since the beginning, Tres Tintas has been committed to working with well-known artists in their respective lines of work (illustration, fashion or graphic design) whom had never faced the white paper. Tres Tintas Barcelona continues to discover new and gifted people and also encourages designers to design painted paper and fabrics. They offer contemporary painted paper and design fabrics and accessories for the home.
But “something new” did not mean to break away from everything, as a result, they went back 30-years– to take a run-up – and they started from the first Spanish paint paper pop collection, created by their father. The boys restyled it aesthetically and technically in order to adapt it to modern times, and called it Revival.

For the second collection Déjà Vu, they bet on the talent of young designers, unconnected with the paint paper world: Enric Jardí, Sophie Leblanc, Izqui, Julieta Hernández and Marta Álvarez.

All City Papers was the third collection, by Tres Tintas, which was created by the studio Inocuo The Sign (Javi Gutiérrez, David Fernández and Txema Algualcil), that brought urban art closer to the painted paper world.

Mariscal came after that, and he was immediately up to his old tricks: the faces, chairs, letters and Californian palm trees of the 9 selvas de Mariscal designed Tres Tintas left no one indifferent.

And now comes the brand new collection Wall-à-porter. This collection transfers the women’s fashion world onto the painted paper. Renowned designers such as La Casita de Wendy and Txell Miras, amongst others, participated in creating this collection. But this time it goes beyond painted paper. Thanks to that experienced group of fashion designers, they dared to take their first steps into the textile design world. The result was some exquisite printed fabrics that marked the beginning of a new phase.

Their vision is a matter of principles. Their proposals are an expression medium which developing as a key aesthetic point. Thanks to the evolution of decorative arts and contemporary concepts such as design, the services they offer and products are also a way to communicate and understand the needs of the society, defining new environments and manners to understand people’s habits.

The intention of Tres Tintas Barcelona is to discover new gifted people but also to encourage designers to design painted paper and fabrics. Because they do not only offer painted paper; they are turning into a design production company and enter the world of home fabrics and accessories. And always with a contemporary vocation.

Tres Tintas feels an ethic responsibility as well. As a design-related company, they are responsible for preserving the creative culture. As far as their projects are concerned, they particularly support the development of designs created in Barcelona. Their cultural heritage is aimed at co-operating with regional educational institutions and associations. The business view is based on a sustainable development that creates values for the next generations. They feel that they must act with responsibility and respect, as far as environmental values are concerned. Moreover, they must be socially responsible, which implies to focus on the well-being of their employees, and demand such responsibility to both collaborators and suppliers.

Tres Tintas are innovative but not iconoclastic. As a result,they hire authentic and experienced artists that know how to interpret with a creative manner the basic ideas that are given to them. They make the most of the sensibility of the designers because they also encourage young, carefree and rather innovative spirits; and that’s why they give their collaborator complete freedom of expression.

Environmentally they are also responsible. Their painted paper has the Finland clean woods certificate which means that the raw material of their painted paper products comes from woods exploited for that purpose. Moreover, all of their painted papers are made with special inks, called water inks, which allow them to recycle the painted paper after removing it from walls. However... in order to achieve this, use recycle-friendly glues.

To find out more about Tres Tintas and where to purchase their product, please visit

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

House Industries - a clear message

Known throughout the world as a prolific type foundry, House Industries has made a considerable impact on the world of design. House Industries fonts scream from billboards, wish happy whatever from tens of thousands of greeting cards, serve as the basis for consumer product logos and add elements of style to a wide range of mainstream media. In their illustrious career, House artists have mastered a large cross-section of design disciplines. Their typography deftly melds cultural, musical and graphic elements. From early forays into distressed digital alphabets to sophisticated type and lettering systems, House Industries’ work transcends graphic conventions and reaches out to a broad audience. What ultimately shines in the House Industries oeuvre is what always conquers mediocrity: a genuine love for their subject matter. Be it hot rods, classically relevant lettering or Swiss Modernism, House continues to provide typographic optimism in this age of the lowest aesthetic common denominator

The House aesthetic has always been an unconscious one. Although a couple of us have fancy college art degrees, we’ve always considered ourselves blue-collar designers. The fact is, we were attracted to design before we knew what it really was. Exposure to graphic design came through assorted American sub-cultural phenomena from the past few decades, such as the hardcore music scene, skateboarding and video games. It also didn’t hurt to have pinstriping dads who built hot rods and older brothers who collected Mad magazine. Not surprisingly, mimicking Santa Cruz deck graphics was incredibly formative, as were the countless hours spent perfecting the interlocking letter forms of Priest and Maiden logos on notebook covers and jean jackets. We absorbed the lettering that surrounded us, even though it would be years until we were schooled enough to recognize that the Thrasher masthead was a stylized rendition of Banco.

As we became more formally educated about graphic design, our heroes appeared to be conspicuously absent from the history books. Where was Al Jaffee and Don Martin who illustrated serials for Mad or Norm Saunders who painstakingly painted many of the Wacky Packages stickers? Their work was not irrelevant or disposable; as far as we were concerned it represented real design. It wasn’t overly clever “design for designers;” it was honest commercial art accessible to everyday people, like us.
 Naturally, House draws from areas of interest that introduced us to the world of unsophisticated graphic design. We prefer to create our own projects rather than to try to please art directors who insist that they want us to do our thing. More often than not, potential clients just want us to rehash our own stuff. Typefaces, textiles and other products allow us to produce the kind of design and illustration that work for hire really doesn’t give us the chance to do.

 The font collections, in particular, provide an opportunity for House to draw attention to all of the under-appreciated art genres that made such an impact on us during our impressionable years. Beyond the vacuum of the latest inward-looking graphic design annuals are commercial art trades that are still insufficiently chronicled (if at all) by historians. Each House Industries project attempts to administer an art history lesson of sorts, and to share our appreciation for these influential design eras and practices. We also do our best to give credit where credit is due, often collaborating with the original artists who inspired us.

Invariably, “retro” is brought up when discussing our work. We’ve never been very fond of the “R” word; it’s thoughtlessly used to describe anything that references popular cultural imagery from the past few decades. Oddly, digital fonts based on early twentieth century metal type are appreciated as “typographic revival,” while fonts reminiscent of hand-lettered Fillmore concert posters are dismissed as “retro.” Go figure.

Truthfully, it is craft that is at the heart of everything we do. When a situation calls for an elaborately detailed painting or a quickly executed brush and ink illustration, that’s what we do. Sure, we could run a photo through a few computer filters or scan and auto-trace some found lettering, but it seems to us more direct and efficient to create artwork by traditional means. Not only is the hands-on approach more fulfilling for the artist, it generates loads of self-indulgent original artwork to hang around the office. (Besides, as we learned from Ed Roth, plastering our faces on everything does wonders for self-promotion.) Ultimately, we think that preserving characteristic production techniques while drawing from personal interests gives the unique flavor that makes the House Aesthetic one of a kind.

To find out more about House Industries or where to purchase their items, please visit

Monday, August 23, 2010

Danish artist Axel Salto

Axel Salto was a Danish artist born in 1889. He was quite possibly the most important designer of ceramic art in Denmark. Salto achieved a powerful expressiveness by exploiting form and surface. He interpreted motives from the plant world and created pieces with surface structures that rippled with dynamic energy and dramatic lines.

Salto worked in three main styles; budding, sprouting and living stone. He never abandoned his experiment with unusually rich glazes and evocative organic forms. Salto used Chinese and classic glazes such as the “solfatara” and “sung”, to clothe his organic creations.

For most of his career, Salto worked at Royal Copenhagen. This legendary manufacturer produced Salto’s designs from the 1930’s until after his death in 1961.

Salto’s artistic skills are also shown in graphic designs – he did illustrations for books, jewellery and textiles. He met Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse in Paris in 1916; a meeting that inspired him to launch an art paper called "Klingen" - together with e.g. Poul Henningsen - that made him one of the forerunners of Danish modernism. His breakthrough as a ceramist came after a successful contribution for the Paris World Exhibition in 1925 for which he designed a number of stoneware pieces for the Danish manufacturer Bing & Grondahl. He also won numerous awards throughout the years including the Grand Prix at the Milan Triennale 1951. 
Salto is internationally esteemed for his organically shaped and ornamented stoneware. His surface textures seem to ripple or bubble with life... life that has been magnified for emphasis and glorious decorative effect.

Friday, August 20, 2010

A little bit of PuroPapel for your weekend!

Catalina Rojas is the founder and owner of PuroPapel. After studying at the Rhode Island School of Design, Catalina relocated to South Florida to be closer to her family.  She now lives and works from her home studio in Key Biscayne. PuroPapel = ORIGIN Spanish Puro ’po-rõ, literally pure; absolute, complete. Papel pap-pel, a sheet of paper with something written or drawn on it.

PuroPapel is a young company born of the desire to help our customers bring together friends, family, loved ones and co-workers, with witty and appropriate messages. Their bespoken stationery products are created to fit the occasion and convey the sentiment of their customers.  The aim of PuroPapel is to deliver your news, greetings, invitations and thank-you notes through the magic of handcrafted one-of-a-kind custom products.  They firmly believe in detail and precision. This idea of this coupled with a daring design will create an exquisite and unique experience.

Owner Catalina, is known for her handcrafted one-of-a-kind custom paper collections. She is a designer with a unique balance of creative and technical expertise, coupled with a strong background in print. She has a stunning eye for color and form, and her contagious "joie de vivre" have made her a household name. She believes that it is "very important that my clients feel that they have input into the creative process" with her custom work. Achieving a good working relationship ensures a smooth design development and happy clients.

In today's society, our frantic, fast-paced lives, handwritten correspondence is often replaced with an e-mail, e-card or worse, text message. I for one, strongly believe that we should not forget the importance of taking the time to personalize a letter, invitation or announcement. Catalina agrees, it is her "mission is to preserve the art of handwritten correspondence".

To find out more about PuroPapel and where to purchase their product, please visit

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Bladon Conner = Southern man, furniture maker, photographer :)

Bladon Conner is a Chicago furniture maker and designer, originally hailing from Southern Mississippi where he was educated in architecture. After a number of years in the corporate architecture setting, he took a chance on the hands-on world of furniture building.

Bladon got his start blending vintage furniture with photography – using his graphic images as veneers over discarded modern furniture. He continued his furniture education while remaking pieces for retail at Scout, Haus, and Post27. In the process he learned a variety of skills which allowed him to enter the world of custom furniture. The majority of his work these days is custom, often still using reclaimed materials but challenging them in unconventional ways.

Whether using photos or not, he creates pieces that explore the relationship between material and graphics, the boundary between 3-d and 2-d, form and surface. In this exploration he uses both conceptual and real tensions as spring boards for ideas. In his photography, it is the play between the crisp organization of architecture versus the chaos of graffiti art – which might wind up as cabinet doors or a lampshade. With materials it is, for example, the “interplay” of fire and wood, using a blowtorch to blacken and open the grain in some reclaimed floor boards – to then be used as a table top.

It’s the search for where these tensions and contradicting themes overlap, where they can exist in balance, that helps guide his process. The more contradicting, the harder the solution – but the more exciting the result.

He got his start with photography, and only began building furniture to explore the idea of using photographic veneers. Thus he has a large library of images available for purchase. These can be ordered as prints with sizes from 8x10 up to 30x40. Blandon also offers these drymounted, clearcoated, and framed with an aluminum edge. Additionally, these are images available for use in his furniture, such as the 'Frame' table, which is super cool!

As far as his photography, his most widely photographed cities are New York, Chicago, New Orleans, Buenos Aires, Barcelona, London, and Rome, as well as a variety of other locations throughout Italy, Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, and the South of France.

To find out more about Bladon or where to purchase his amazing product, please visit