Tuesday, January 31, 2012

5 year old analyzes logos

Cincinnati, Ohio-based identity designer Adam Ladd asked his 5-year-old daughter her impressions on some popular logos. Watch it here.
Unbearably cute (and perceptive!) and for some reason made me cry. :-)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Contemporary Days: The Designs of Lucienne & Robin Day

Am still deep in textile work this wknd.
Found this film by Design Onscreen on Vimeo:
Contemporary Days: The Designs of Lucienne & Robin Day.
(Was played at the IDS on Friday night)
Really great.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Good design for the masses

"I like the idea that people might not be able to afford a painting for the wall but can have a fabulous pair of curtains."

Lucienne Day

Inspiration for Textile designs

I've been working on some textile patterns the last couple days.
Can't show any sketches cuz the project is secret for now but can show you some of my inspiration.

Calyx by the incredible Lucienne Day
A big hit at the Festival of Britain 1951.
The abstracted flowers were inspired by Paul Klee.

Perpetua also by Lucinenne Day
So great.

By Terence Conran (yep Sir Terence) + David Whitehead 1950
Am off to Zab's launch at MADE.
Please note I posted the incorrect time in last post.
It is today 3-6pm.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Cozy snowy day in Toronto

One of my fave Toronto cafes: Luna cafe at 181 Dovercourt Rd. (at Argyle)
Is it not cozy looking?
Taken on serene walk back home from the Y.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What a lovely night

Salon night with some of my favourite designs gals
Lynda, Kim, Janet, Jennifer, Donna + Colleen


What a lovely night it was.
ps. Donna brought that great bouquet from a shoot earlier in the day. :-)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

This is tomorrow

Creative Morning Two!
Looking forward the danishes + coffee...

Zab + The Parkdale Wallpaper Company

My friend Zab who has long worked as a typographer + graphic designer has recently started an exciting new venture: The Parkdale Wallpaper Company.

Her new company produces gorgeous custom wallpaper designs - many with a strong typography vibe to them - which will appeal to design nerds everywhere.

Recently Zab created a custom skin for her iphone with her new company logo on it.
How great eh?
The "5" design gives you an idea of what the wallpaper will look like...
but to see it in person.... you'll have to come to Zab's launch.

Zab is launching her line during Toronto Design week
Sat January 28th
1-3 pm
867 Dundas Street West
See you there.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

"Work is the process of turning ideas into objects or acts"

(In other words... Get it outta your head and onto the paper)

Friday, January 13, 2012

It's been a full week....

Looking for Geek?

copyright Alanna Cavanagh 2012

If you are.... I've got the person for you.
Robyn Harrison is my Go to Geek for all my tech issues.
She specializes in Apple Computers and can do everything from setting up your printer to installing a new hard drive to giving you private lessons on any Apple product. She's also friendly, affordable and does housecalls.
Highly recommended.

ps. Robyn is also a talented photographer which you will see from her website. :-)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

If ya wanna know what's on my mind... check my Pinterest boards

I'm working on a bunch of illustration assignments this week so won't have much time to blog.
In the meantime if you wanna know what juicy things I'm thinking about you can always check out my Pinterest boards!
Here are a few faves this week.

Pinned onto "Books to Order":

The new tome on Alexander Girard by Todd Oldman.
Girard is best known for the bold colourful textiles that he created for Herman Miller - and he has long been a Total Mentor. Todd Oldman is a Mentor too. :-)

Pinned onto "Inspiration":

These adorable Stag + Hedgehog lampshades by UK based Lush Designs.
(Discovered thru Living Etc magazine)
Lush design = Marie Rodgers + Maria Livings. They seem like my kind o'women! Hilarious.

Pinned onto "Funny Writing":

Yep two.
I find this to be quite true...

See you in Pinland!

Images from weekend

Liz + Steve who I don't get to see near enuf!

Fun party at Ghislaine's new house (Quite SIGH worthy)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Sketch: Semiotics professor

Spotted at the Manulife Centre Dec 31st 2011.
Looked very french.

Monday, January 2, 2012

A Few Favourites of 2011

1. Favourite tool: My new iPhone.


2. Favourite Shop/ Rebrand: The Bay!

With CEO Bonnie Brooks at the helm (plus her staff - including the fabulous Arren Williams - yes editorial bias here!) the store has become the epitome of "Cozy Canadiana cool".
I just love all the new products inspired by the iconic striped blanket.

A new book on the Hudson's Bay Co book published by the very styley publisher Assouline.

A cute tee created in collaboration with Shared.

*The Bay's new Bannock restaurant + Foodwares market are also fantastic.*

This is the dining area in the new Foodwares market.
Love that Wall mural.
Again very Cozy Canadiana Cool.

3. Favourite new Style icon :
Rooney Mara

Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander in the Girl with the Dragon tattoo.

Very kick ass.
I predict she will inspire the return of short hair.

4. Favourite novel: A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan.

5. Favourite design book: Fornasetti by Patrick Mauries

6. Favourite New Social media gizmo: Pinterest!

A fabulous way to categorize all the great stuff that comes flooding at us on a daily basis.
Their Alexa Rating is now at 209. (!!)
hmm might need to buy some stock when it goes public.... :-)
If you haven't discovered it yet check it out here.

I had lots more faves... will post in the weeks to come.
Happy New Year Everybody.

Inspiration: Unzipped

Over the holidays I rewatched one of my favourite docs: Unzipped.
The doc follows designer Isaac Mizrahi as he plans his fall 1994 collection.
Directed by Douglas Keeve.

Very inspirational + a great peek inside the creative process.

Isaac Mizrahi drawing + deeply focused. I LOVE this photo.

In his Manhattan apt kvetching to a friend and freaking out re: his upcoming show. (Classic creative person!) Decor note: Love the salon wall!

One of my favourite people in the doc is Issac's producer Nina Santisi. (Above in headset) She is so grounded, organized + supportive - ie. what every zany creative person needs! When Issac's show is a success she is the first person he calls. Significant.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Photos from Xmas in Chicago

Off we go.
I love Porter Airline's branding which was created by former Wallpaper editor Tyler Brulé and his firm WINKREATIVE. Who knew you could make a raccoon look sophisticated?

The exterior of our hotel: The James. I loved their graphic + interior design as well!
(Ofcourse that's why I picked it!!)
Look at that great sideways sign. :-) Very welcoming.

Gorgeous lobby. :-)

(my bed at home feels very small now....)

Loved this cozy reading /dining nook + this unique liquor cabinet based on an old steamer trunk.

Chicago skyline!

The famous Marina City also known as the corn cob buildings. :-)
Designed in 1959 by architect Bertrand Goldberg.

First dinner = Chicago Deep dish pizza. Boy was it deep...

The "Chicago Picasso" in Daley plaza.

Chicago is jam packed with incredible public art. This is due to the fact that the city passed a law stipulating that 1.33% of the cost of constructing a building must be devoted to original artwork.
As a result a walk in the Loop area = bumping into incredible pieces by Picasso, Chagall, Miro + Calder. (!!)

The Four Seasons mosaic by Marc Chagall in Chase Tower Plaza.
Dedicated in 1974.

Some close ups.

Christmas eve dinner at mk.

5 stars!
They made the most fabulous cocktails and the decor was to die for.

Here is my cocktail called Holiday Smash .
(My company at the table was smashing too - Groan!)

Thanks so much to fellow blogger Heather Retke for recommending mk + many other great spots.

A trip to Millennium Park

Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate aka the Bean.

Frank Gehry's amazing Pritzker bandshell.

A trip to the Chicago Institute of Art

Love love this piece by Toulouse Latrec - especially that ghostly women' face.

Ofcourse many folk lining up to photograph the Institute' most famous piece: A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by George Seurat.

*Curmudgeon Note*: When I witness scenes like this it always makes me think that John Ruskin would be rolling in his grave! The Victorian Art critic despised the camera and feared that the invention of it would lead to people focusing on capturing the moment for the FUTURE rather than LOOKING at what was in front of them in the PRESENT.
I heartily agree.

This was my favourite piece in the Institute's collection:
Green and White my Ellsworth Kelly. Love.

Perfect ending to trip:
Cozy flight home with red wine + latest issue of Canadian House + Home.
Loved this interview with Jenna Lyons of J. Crew (Total mentor!!) written by the lovely Catherine Sweeney. Thanks Kim. xo