summer of love at the mfa boston.

“One pill makes you larger And one pill makes you small And the ones that mother gives you Don’t do anything at all Go ask Alice When she’s ten feet tall”
– Jefferson Airplane, White Rabbit

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of visiting “The Summer of Love: Photography and Graphic Design” exhibit, currently showing at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. The exhibit, on view until October 22, celebrates the 50th anniversary of the iconic Summer of Love in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. Visitor’s can take in more than 120 posters, album covers and photographs that center around the artists, albums and performances of an iconic moment in culture and music.

As a student of graphic design, I was particularly interested in the trends that emerged at this time around typography. Throughout the exhibit, visitors can see a trend in type which mimics the movement of lava lamps and sets reverberating colors in contrast on both album covers and concert posters. This effect is used deliberately and forces readers to engage more closely with the art in order to read words on the page. As a web designer, I know the effort that is spent in today’s digital media to ensure contrast and legibility standards so it struck me that 50 years ago the design trends of the moment encouraged just the opposite.

The MFA and their contributors generously allow visitors to use photography throughout the exhibit, and encourage sharing via social media (#SummerOfLove). I took a handful of photos while there which I’ve shared below. Enjoy!

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bits of inspiration – #100.

Valentine’s Day is coming up next week and if you don’t have any special plans (or even if you do) you should check out the Handmade Valentine Exchange project. The exchange encourages people from all over the world to participate in creating and sending handmade valentines to strangers across the globe. The project was started by photographer and art director, Julia Parris, in 2011 and has been going strong since. I love a good craft project and I also really love the nostalgia of creating and receiving valentines like grade-school children (an aside: do kids still do this?). This would be a perfect girls’ night or snow day activity. Some of my favorite featured valentines are below. Enjoy!

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refinery29 graphic artists & the women’s march.

header image by Hanna Barczyk

This Saturday, women in cities all over the country will march in protest of hate, intolerance and acts of violence on the inaugural weekend of the 45th president. While I will personally be participating in the Boston march, the largest and most prominent of these demonstrations will occur on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.. Inspired by the Women’s March, Refinery29’s creative department has created a series of graphic compositions which speak to the spirit and mission of these demonstrations. I’ve shared just a few of my favorites below but I highly recommend checking out the entire body of work here.

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Marylou Faure


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Lauren-Rolwing


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Anna Sudit


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Alex Marino


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Bailey Sullivan

bits of inspiration – #97.

I have this reoccurring issue where every time I try to do my holiday shopping for friends and family, all I can seem to find are gifts that I would like to receive. I was searching the internet this week for some unconventional subscription services that might make good presents and came across Papirmass, a subscription model which delivers exclusive art prints by up-and-coming artists to its subscribers. I love how this business seeks to lift up its artists while simulataneously enriching the homes of its subsribers. If I didn’t already own more art than can fit on the walls of my apartment I would absolutely be enrolling myself in this service.

Papirmass also hosts a blog on its website where you can see more work from artists and read about new features to the subscription service. Below I’ve included some of my favorite pieces from Papirmass’ December featured artists, Matt Harrison Clough. You can read an interview with the artist here.

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image courtesy of Papirmass and Matt Harrison Clough


mattharrison4image courtesy of Papirmass and Matt Harrison Clough


mattharrison3image courtesy of Papirmass and Matt Harrison Clough


mattharrison2image courtesy of Papirmass and Matt Harrison Clough

bits of inspiration – #89.

Like all designers, typography holds a special place in my heart. And as I’ve mentioned on this blog before, I love a good infographic. Since first seeing it back in June of this year, I’ve found myself re-searching for this Fontsmith infographic on typography terms again and again. For all the type nerds out there, here’s a good one to save to your bookmarks or print for your desk.

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how common is your birthday?

Ever wondered how many people share your birthday? Andy Kriebel, the self-described “Tableau Zen Master”, recently combined data from the New York Times and  blogger, Matt Stiles, to create an interactive chart all about birthdays. The heat map below uses a color spectrum to illustrate just how common each birthday really is. While I was a little disappointed to know that my own birthday in July is not all that rare, I found this chart really interesting and a great example of data visualization. Hope you enjoy!

 

Most Common Birthdays

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bits of inspiration – #37.

This is definitely the most beautiful website dedicated to bears. I highly recommend that everyone take some time to navigate around National Geographic’s “A Bear’s-Eye View of Yellowstone” page. Really well crafted imagery, video and navigation all throughout this site – plus a chance to see the world through the eyes of a bear!

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