Defining the image of Los Angeles are the iconic plethora of palms trees cresting above the urban landscape. Design group Common Studio have made it their mission to bring us closer to these elegant giants through a new project called Know Your Palms. On trees in the Los Angeles neighborhood aptly named Palms (near Culver City), trees are posted with these informative flyers that indicate if the tree is a Queen, Date or Fan Palm, and then has a tear-off with details on it’s defining factors.
In an interesting take on the standard pendant light, An/Aesthetic has designed a series of Hide Leather Light fixtures that substitute the traditional metal sconce with one crafted of tan leather. As a material that is both durable and easy to form into a variety of shapes, the idea is not only impressively intuitive, but also results in a handsome product. This leads me to ponder what other applications leather could be used.
After discovering the iPhone app Mextures and its amazing capabilities, I sought out the mastermind who created this impressive tool. Upon further investigation I discovered that it was developed by photographer Merek Davis, who actually has a quite extensive portfolio of beautiful photographs. A wide range of portraits and landscapes, Merek’s style digitally enhances the photographs with filters and lighting effects that give them a surreal atmosphere and in some cases the essence of a real painting. The photo above of the Swiss Alps is my new desktop background.
Artist Todd McLellan explores the intricacies of retro and modern daily items in his series entitled Things Come Apart. By dismantling the objects and laying them out in 2D form, we get an detailed look into all the pieces that make up the whole, giving us an intimate understanding of their engineering and fabrication. He then artfully rearranges them in a 3D extrusion sculpture, presenting his interpretation of how the object could portrayed in exploded form. [TheFoxIsBlack]
Though thoughtful and enjoyed by most, I’ve always considered greetings cards to be just a formality that anyone can simply buy, sign the name and consider it a gift. Not to say they are worthless, I just think a little more thought and creativity could be applied. However, some greeting cards are much more elaborate than your standard Hallmark one with a cute picture and witty message. Here we find the Banner Cards from Fifi Du Vie, normal cardstock accompanied with a crafty mini banner attached to the front that you might actually keep as decoration instead of just throwing away in a week. [SwissMiss]
There is something special about salvaged building materials, like old beams, flooring, doors etc… that have such great character from their years of wear and use. They possess an aesthetic that is impossible to replicate, and have a certain striking aura that I have come to greatly appreciate. Luckily, many of these materials are in good enough condition to be re-purposed into new pieces of furniture like the ones you see above from MFEO Furniture. Wire spools and an old parquet floor that have been turn into some very sharp looking tables; spectacular pieces from some very innovative designers. [LAImYours]
Wood & Faulk out of Portland Oregon is renowned for finely crafted leather goods ranging from bags to belts to camera straps. Self proclaimed “designer, builder and tinkerer”, Wood & Faulk founder Matt Smith decided to compile all of his passion projects into one blog and offer his goods for sale. One of their newest products caught my eye because of it’s simplicity and handsome aesthetic, the leather coaster. It functions well and looks really nice on a raw wood table.
Big fan of the newly released typeface Mission Gothic from Lost Type Co-op, a sans serif family in five weights and italics. “A year in the making, Mission Gothic is a collaboration between Trevor Baum and James T. Edmondson inspired by the hand-painted signage and lettering found in the Mission District during Field Trip SF.” I greatly admire how they designed a font on some old hand painted signage they stumbled onto in the Mission, now that’s some authentic inspiration. Like the other fonts in their collection, these can be donwloaded by naming your own price (which means you could do it for $0), but the quality of their design are worth every dollar you are willing to pay.
While recently perusing the Melrose Trading Post (the wonderful weekly swap meet at Fairfax High School, corner of Fairfax and Melrose), I stumbled upon a very impressive furniture maker. Starting out of a small garage in West Hollywood and now expanding to a larger workshop in Downtown Los Angeles, Westin Mitchell Design Group has a very handsome collection of furniture pieces that embrace the classic Americana style. Their mission statement is something that we at Fairfax By Night will wholeheartedly approve: “In an age when nearly everything Americans buy is made in China, Westin Mitchel Design Group is proud to hand craft all of our pieces at home in America. Utilizing reclaimed steel and wood, as well as vintage industrial parts, WMDG is recycling America while helping build its economy.” The rustic aesthetic and pragmatic design of their furniture masterfully achieves a vintage look, and is nicely complimented salvaged materials, giving their furniture much more character than pieces you can find at modern furniture stores.
Poster-makers the Old Try design and hand press a magnificent collection of prints inspired by the Southern states that they call home. Now, I am delighted to saythat they have released a new design that us Western folk can embrace, the Go West Young Man poster. In collaboration with Western style outfitters Buffalo Jackson, the message of the poster embraces the pioneering and adventurous spirit that define the Western half of the United States. Knew I had to. Get out there. West. For a summer, at least. Breathe in the mountain air. Leave my cares back in Mississippi and drive up into Wyoming. Time away from everyone I knew and everything that I was. Up to the mountain. She helped me gain perspective. To see clearly. To witness a bit of God’s green Earth west of the River. Go West, young man, Go West and grow up with the country.
Like the great french and dutch masters, contemporary artist Jeremy Mann incorporates many of the principles of impressionism in his vivid portrayals of street scenes and cityscapes. By composing his pieces in a more rough sketch-like form, the urban landscapes he paints are given much more life and realistic atmosphere than those that are more detailed. Cities are living breathing organisms that aren’t rigid like outdoor landscapes, so their natural movement and ever changing nature are best captured by the impressionist style. It allows the viewer to experience the city in its true form, even allowing for their own interpretation of details and subtleties that have been intentionally left out. [TheFoxIsBlack]
Photographer Grant Harder has an impeccable talent for turning moments of his everyday life into compelling photographs. His work is eloquently self-described as: “Portraits and details that subtly bring context to narrative, Grant’s images evoke a quiet and often quirky authenticity. By placing himself in situations that allow for something interesting to happen, he artfully captures the genuine moments of life in-between the ones we are aware of.” These 3 wonderful photographs above are snapshots of his experiences in the wilderness, that together convey create a well rounded visual narrative of his adventure.