Food for thought‘[...] do not think that good design can make a poor product good, whether the product be a machine, a building, a promotional brochure or a business man. But [...] good design can materially help make a good product reach its full potential. In short, [...] good design is good business.’
Thomas J. Watson Jr., IBM CEO

Munro — by Jules Feiffer

November 23, 2008, 12:12 PM

After last week’s proof that blogging has its rewards, here’s yet another proof: Mr. Valentín wrote me after watching “The Bear That Wasn’t” about another old time gem, Munro, a short animation made by Jules Feiffer, one of the great cartoonists and winner of the Pullitzer Prize. You can read more about Jules Feiffer on Mr. Valentín’s blog entry.

Munro won an Oscar in 1961.

(thank you Valentín)



Munkee bizznis

October 6, 2008, 12:23 PM

Marjolaine Roller has some great illustrations and especially very cool monkeys. Take a look for yourself :)





September 4, 2008, 11:53 AM

A priceless one from Savage Chickens. No other words are necessary :D




"Dark Odors"

, 11:38 AM

Joel Sundberg created these fascinating characters, called “Dark Odors”. A bit creepy, but funny nevertheless. They do remind me a lot of the “Jojo In The Stars” (you can view the short animation here).

Larger image here



Conversations with Paul Rand

September 2, 2008, 11:14 AM

Always inspiring. Still hard to understand. But, God’s permit, we’ll have a lifetime ahead of re-reading and re-watching until we’ll come to understand Mr. Rand. Dying trying is not that bad either. After all, there’s more than just one way to reach Rome, right?

Description from YouTube: A short film by Preston McLanahan interviewing Paul Rand, the great American Modernist designer. Filmed in 1996, shortly before his death he talks about his process, art, aesthetics, and design in general. A very inspirational video and soon to be released on DVD.

Here is the link, embedding has been disabled, unfortunately:

(via Swiss Legacy)



Fude Pen — no way back

August 30, 2008, 3:14 PM

This post has been updated, check the bottom.

Last year I had the pleasure of playing with a “brush pen”. The beauty of its lines blew me away. Writing and drawing with it was such a pleasure! Drawing type, logos, sketches, everything looked different from a normal pen, free, vibrant, ever-changing in thickness, ranging from hairline-thin to broad, thick brush strokes. And everything without the hassle of dipping it in ink every three or four strokes. Just cap it back and put it in your pocket. I had to have such a wonderful tool.


Fude pen from Jlist

Several weeks of searching on the web only brought me frustration. Sure you could find it easily. But finding someone that would ship it to Romania was a different story. After a few months, a colleague told me she was going to Tokyo. You can easily guess my plea :) She brought me some brush pens—thank you Delia—and I was finally able to enjoy drawing with them every day (another friend brought back from Paris a big Corto Maltese poster, one could not ask for a better subject to copy and practice the brush pen). But the pleasure would’ve soon ended, since you can’t refill them (there are other refillable brush pens, a little more expensive, but the problem is the ink, you have to use special ink since other types would dry and make the brush tip useless).

Fortunately, last weekend I showed the brush pen to my sensei and he told me its real name: fude pen (“foo-day” pen). Searching again on the web, this time with the proper name, gave me the much expected results: someone that would ship fude pens to Romania. So here you are, JList ships almost everywhere in the world a lot of Japanese merchandise, fude pens included. Be sure to check out the wide variety of fude pens. I’d recommend the bold line one, the others I still have to test (the shipment’s on the way, can’t wait).

So, if you’re an illustrator, any kind of designer or artist, or just an asian-caligraphy enthusiast, the fude pen is a must have—no other drawing tool will ever compare (ok, fineliners excepted) :)

(foto taken from wikimedia commons)

Later update (Oct 2009):
I’ve found a much better and practical fude pen at MUJI (it’s called a calligraphy pen on their site, but with just one ‘l’), you can buy it online here. I bought myself half a dozen last time I went to London, they last at least two years without drying and they’re the best ones I’ve had so far (the tip is made of synthetic hair, not soft rubber).

Calligraphy pen from MUJI Online

Another later update (Jul 2012):

You can now find a wide range of ‘fude’ or brush pens shipped internationally by Cult Pens. Still, the Muji pen remains my favourite, as its brush acts more like a real hair brush, not a syntetic one. And they last for years (if you don’t use them daily, of course). My only gripe is they don’t come in other colours (red at least).



The Missing Piece Meets The Big O

August 3, 2008, 3:50 PM

Touching and thought provoking story by Shel Siverstein. Admire it here.


(thank you Estera)



Ratatouille art

May 25, 2008, 12:46 PM

Great posters for Ratatouille by Eric Tan. Reminding of Paul Rand or Cassandre‘s Dubonnet posters. Btw, Cassandre was the one that made the Yves Saint Laurent logo. You can view some of his work here.



and here’s one concept drawing from the The Art of Ratatouille book:



Nocturna – la nuit magique

May 16, 2008, 3:06 AM

Ever felt that you just got lucky at some point? I sure did when I found this poster by accident on Google images, digging for some cheap stock photos.


Nocturna is a wonderfully animated motion picture, a 2007 spanish and french co-production (as it seems). What caught my eye from the begining were the beautiful colours, reminding me of one of my favourite french illustrators, Bengal. Then came the unusually drawn characters, the cartoonish-Dark-City-like town, the enchanting light present in all the screens I could see. It looked like the kind of movie that catches your imagination from the very begining, making you feel like a kid again.

And it sure is worth it. While its story might not compare to masterpieces like Tekkon Kinkreet or Spirited Away, its magical feel, honesty and ingenuity sure make up for it. The scenery is gorgeous (early storyboards and art direction made by Enrique Fernandez), the characters are hilarious and truly fascinating (you’ll just have to see for yourself, I won’t give them away), the music is magical, everything building up to form an enchanting universe where you can let your imagination roam for a long time.


Did I mention its superb soundtrack?

You can find some more information on Catsuka (french website)



Tiny realms

May 9, 2008, 1:33 AM

Beautiful illustrations from Alexander Jansson. They truly tell stories.



(thanks Gina for the tip)