A few pints after work around Liverpool Street and a stroll from Bishopsgate to Whitechapel, you could quite unwittingly stumble through ‘Alphabet’ street and be overcome by childhood nostalgia.
Occasional lights appear in windows of the terraced housing above the mishmash of signs of the local shops whose shutters are down for the evening. But rather than fading into sleeply night-time, the street is alive with colour, the once grey shutters sprayed over with lower-case alphabet letters in all sizes and colours. The street adopts a rather vivid cartoon-like quality; the typography may be out of context and more at home in a young child’s reading book but there is a feeling of finesse and style that makes the work of the artist, Ben Eine, specifically distinctive.
His star has risen speedily since his early multiple arrests for vandalising property. President Obama was given an Eine painting as a gift from Samantha Cameron in the last month; the prime minitster’s wife a bizzare benefactor of this ‘hoodie art’ (as so called by the Daily Mail) particularly given her husband’s predisposition towards ‘hoodies’.
The work is not the run-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night-and-spray-over-a-stencil-graffiti to which many Londoners are accustomed. The process of obtaining permission from the council and working with the local shops took around a year, the letters themselves about an hour each. The result of this random project? A set of happy shopkeepers and excited passers by; a refreshing breath of creative air next to the imposing city skyscrapers.
Eine’s website shows a personal affinity with the warm, cuddly fairytale programmes of the past and is even a little disconcerting – what with the assorted Care Bears and My Little Ponies jumping out on each page. He is an artist perpetually trying to recreate the delight associated with early childhood and it seems to hold some bearing judging by squeals of delight or smiles seen on the faces of passers by. He’s not just about letters though – some of his more stylised work, canvasses and screen prints can be seen in his website’s gallery. A few of these have light socio-political irony in the vein of one of his old friends, Banksy.
I’d also recommend having a look at artofthestate.co.uk, which is where I first discovered Eine’s alphabet. It provides an excellent collection of urban photography spanning both graffiti and architecture and covers a range of London artists.
I mentioned Counter Print a while back. Since then they’ve opened a ‘new’ online store which I’m super excited about – Counter Objects. Whereas Counter Print specialises in the sale of hard-to-find and out of print books, magazines and journals, Counter Objects focus is more on the product design tip – smashing.
Make sure you head on over and especially check out their growing poster collection. All very well priced.
I’ve just started working on a new website for the various boys. The concept is hush hush for now but trust, it’ll be something a bit different, nice and creative – like the label itself. Make sure you get subscribed to the mailing list.
I don’t really have to say anything… the work above speaks for itself, the detail is CRAZY. Martijn van Dam, plenty more where this came from on his Behance folio.
We love Dieter Rams on this Blog. Spotted this poster on the Design Museum Shop. Its part of a collection of materials produced to celebrate the ‘Less and More’ exhibition currently on. The poster in question details Dieter Ram’s ’10 Principles’ for good design. There is also a book to accompany the exhibition, which is more than 800 pages deep and looks amazing.
Great motion work by Bonsajo. Love this sort of thing, great use of shapes, colour and music. Really need to learn some After Effects…
Spotted this was on at Kemistry Gallery (Shoreditch) and thought I’d share. I’ve not been yet but looking to check it out in the next couple of weeks, as its next to the Studio it would be rude not too.
The exhibition is “Inspired by the collation and sorting of random data sources, Danish design polymaths Nan Na Hvass and Sofie Hannibal are reinterpreting information and expressing it by way of wooden sculptures, hand-benched silkscreen prints and offset posters.” If the poster above is any indication then we’re going to be in for a real treat.
Its running from the 14th January through to the 27th February. Kemistry is open weekdays from 11–6 and Saturday from 11–4, and its free. For a more detailed write up see the Kemistry Website.
Mark Weaver is a Designer and Illustrator based in the US of A. Above is a collection of some of his prints from his Make Something Cool Every Day series, these are also available to buy. A continual influence for me, Mark has worked with clients such as The New York Times, WIRED Magazine, GOOD Magazine, Dell and American Airlines…