i have mentioned my love of wes anderson (and symmetry and color) before. i've also mentioned my love of beautiful books. so, let's pull it all together now. take a look at this awesome five minute video of the books displayed in wes anderson movies, created by luis azevedo. the film also has a really interesting essay on the influence and symbolism of books in wes andersen films. here's a little peak:

"In the work of Wes Anderson, books and art in general have a strong connection with memory. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) begins with a homonymous book, as does Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009). The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) begins and ends with a book. Moonrise Kingdom (2012) ends with a painting of a place which no longer exists. These movies have a clear message: books preserve stories, for they exist within them and live on through them."

more here.

via swissmiss


i love this series i shared a few months back called like knows like. the latest video - about beth cavener - is out and it's a beauty.

"Cavener wants to pry at those uncomfortable, awkward edges between animal and human. Entangled in their own internal and external struggles, the figures express frustration for the human tendency towards cruelty and lack of understanding."


i have shared the work of jacob t. swinney before. but i honestly cannot get enough. he is a constant source of inspiration for me. 

today i'm sharing a video he did on spike jonze and what he calls "the aesthetics of whimsy." it is a gorgeous lesson in film and chock-full of visual inspiration.

from swinnney: "Despite the fact that the look of his films often takes a back seat to bizarre stories and quirky characters, Spike Jonze has crafted a uniquely whimsical visual style over the course of his four feature films. Making the most out of simple elements such as lens flares, floating camera movement, centered framing, and wide-angle close-ups, Jonze creates an atmosphere that appears to be lifted straight from the pages of a fairytale storybook. His camera is fascinated with the mundane; intently exploring fabrics and materials, finding beauty and significance in the obscure and unnoticed. Dust particles floating in a beam of sunlight become hypnotic. The delicate plaster of marionettes feels as lifelike as human flesh. The matted fur wrapped around a child strikes us with an overwhelming sense of marvel and nostalgia.

In his first two films, Being John Malkovich (1999) and Adaptation (2002), Jonze used a much more subdued sense of whimsy to express the playfully dark atmospheres. His two most recent works, Where the Wild Things Are (2009) and Her (2013), are saturated with the whimsy aesthetic, mirroring the wonderment and childlike fascinations associated with the films. Jonze utilizes the aesthetic in order to stitch together worlds suitable for his equally whimsical characters."


i've shared the work of jacob t. swinney over here before. i try not to share too much from the same person but i just can't contain myself. i want to share nearly everything he does. his work is a constant source of inspiration for me. 

today i'm sharing a video from a series he did that digs into the aesthetic and style of different film makers and artists. this one is about sofia coppola and it's a truly stunning study. it's all about the dreamscapes she uses throughout many of her films.

from him: "What defines the Sofia Coppola aesthetic? Is it the sublime use of soft and natural lighting? Is it the subtle pastels of the color pallet? Maybe the handheld camera that dizzily floats around the characters? All of these visual characteristics work together harmoniously to create Coppola's distinct dreamlike atmosphere. However, the aesthetic reaches far beyond the idea of a visual trademark--Coppola's atmosphere seems to mirror the inner workings of her characters. As Charlotte ponders a fully-realized life in Lost in Translation, the camera stutters around her in a circular motion. She is washed away, her clothing blending into the matching surroundings. In The Bling Ring, the silhouetted bandits streak across the glittery horizon as they chase their gaudy and tainted desires. In Marie Antoinette, the fanciful nature shots portray a longing for freedom and self-fulfillment." 

and my favorite line: "Coppola crafts these dreamscapes to show us not only who her characters are, but who they want to be."


awesome music video for son lux's song "change is everything" made of only school supplies. director nathan johnson says of using foam boards, pins, and thread: “i love the idea of something ordinary and mundane transformed into something beautiful and lifelike.” indeed!

via good


remember this post about why we are attracted to certain images? well, here is part two: a master class from wes anderson, appropriately called centered, compiled by kogonada. when i am in need of design inspiration, wes anderson is often the answer. wes anderson movies and looking at the costume design of cirque du soleil productions. works every time!

more here.

p.s. part three of this master class is just to watch all of the grand budapest hotel.


great commentary on branding from ije nwokorie of design indaba. nice insights on the importance of authenticity and transparency in branding. and it's just 5 minutes! take a look.

via david airey


a little mid-week inspiration for you! here’s a short film featuring successful creatives sharing their perspectives on fear and creativity. as one of them says, “no longer can you follow a road map to success… we’re defining our own paths and we’re making it up as we go along.” and as we define our own paths, fear and uncertainty will inevitably accompany us. it's a matter of letting the fear and uncertainty sit with the drive and creativity and helping move you forward.

i like this piece a lot because i think on some level we all know everyone else (no matter how successful) is also just figuring it out as they go along, but a reminder is always nice. take a look below.

more here.

via design taxi



today i'm talking about makers, a digital and video storytelling platform that hopes to be the largest ever catalog of stories about women. launched in 2012, they feature original interviews with amazing women from different fields. i wanted to share because i think this project is beautifully done and critically important - for the ladies and the guys - but also because makers is a great lesson in how to do video right. read on for more on why makers is doing video design well and how they can be doing user experience design better.

looking good: the videos are short and they feed into each other, which is great for keeping attention. the site is very searchable - an area where so many (actually, most!) content focused sites fail. it is focused and well organized.

but here's the thing: every video - which is typically between one and five minutes - is branded with makers at the beginning and the end. this is great from a branding perspective but not from a functionality perspective. the problem is that because the videos are so short (and every featured person has a few videos) you usually end up watching a couple of videos. but after 4 videos, the makers intro and outro gets pretty annoying, and add onto that a 30 second ad every other video and you've got a recipe for pushing people away.

so, long story short...

dear makers people: i love the initiative and the site, i think it is intelligently designed and packed full of inspiration, wisdom and brilliant women. but you should replace the intro and outro situation with simple overlay branding and have your developer friends find a way for the videos to more seamlessly flow in and out of each other. that way we can ensure that as many people as possible watch as many of these videos as possible.

dear readers/bosses: spend some time on this site. look at how they treat video design-wise and in terms of functionally. also, you should probably watch *allofthevideos* - you’ll leave inspired and engaged.

see how makers is making its mark here.



i wanted to share nature is speaking, a beautifully designed campaign by conservation international. they feature videos like the one shown above, narrated by a celebrity and about an element of nature. the focus of the campaign is that #natureisspeaking and we should be listening. the narration and music are *alittlemuch* for my taste but the design of this whole operation is beautiful.

take a look, and look out for:

  • the beautiful filming of the videos and the great use of video throughout the site (in the background of this section and this section, for example).
  • the design of the site: i love that having the images/videos take up the whole screen forces focus and simplicity. and the use of the images of the other videos at the bottom as a navigation is beautifully done.
  • nice use of social media throughout the site.

but... in addition to not loving the melodramatic tone i mentioned above, i think they could do a better job of making it clear what they want us to do about all of this. they have a nicely designed action page, but at the end of the video they miss an opportunity to drive us all towards something specific. also, they ask you to share/hashtag/the usual but the main push is to sign up for their email newsletter. that’s fine, harrison ford, but what happens when i sign up? what are you gonna send me? i think that context is important for people to feel like they’re taking action. the closest they get to this is on the pledge page - but it’s still pretty vague.

definitely one to check out though! the videos are truly stunning. more here.


i really appreciate companies that are able to showcase the essence of their brand identity in a way you would not expect. you could say, for example, that ikea is a furniture company. but they're really a company that helps their customers do more with less. so, why not apply that concept to their advertising as well?

more from the agency, thjnk hamburg, here. and more from the producer, i made this, here.



if you have three minutes today take a look at this short film about the story behind the 'keep calm and carry on' poster. it's always interesting to think about where iconic images like this one come from, or in this case, from where they re-emerge. so, why has it stuck? maybe it's the simplicity, how easily adaptable it is, or the fact that it conveys a very specific tone in just five words. i'm not sure. either way, i think it's a great lesson in branding. and also, i think ten years of these mugs/posters/pillows is enough. sheesh.

learn more here.