Category Archives: Graphic Design

Absolutely Absolut


The old maxim “If it ain’t broke, don’t change it” holds true for Absolut vodka. Since 1980, the vodka manufacturer has been running essentially the same print advertising campaign where the ads in the campaign make sly reference to Absolut’s distinctive stubby neck and see-through label bottle with tongue-in-cheek variations to the two word tagline.

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Beautiful Communication




DDB Worldwide, Singapore’s new double-take print ads of Breast Cancer Foundation of Singapore suggest that perhaps women should focus on health and have their breasts checked rather than obsess about their big butts, pimples and bad hair days. As breast cancer can strike at any age (just under 7% of all breast cancer cases occur in women under 40 years old.), women of every age should be aware of their personal risk factors for breast cancer.

Created at Republic Studios, illustrator Andy Yang Soo painted a model’s body with Kryolan body paint and Daler Rowney Expression angled brushes and sponges while photographer Allan Ng took the attention-grabbing photographs.

Commented illustrator Andy Yang: “Interesting project I was involved in recently. Painting on a LIVE MODEL, graphic style! Interesting paint that doesn’t dry but the challenge is to paint on contoured body skin. It’s tricky but once you get the hang of it, it’s ok. Sketch and idea was confirmed on paper with the creative team. 3 day schedule locked down at Republic Studios because each piece took about half day to complete which includes touch ups on the body paint and photography. This job was really smooth sailing because the creative team really knew what they wanted. Special thanks to the team at DDB Singapore, Republic Studios and the model. This is one of those jobs that you need a team to pull off.”

Organization of Illustrators Council – Singapore Illustrators and Illustration


Sagmeister and the Making of “Here For Good”

The Pacific – Intro | Opening Credits | Director’s Cut

Directed by Steve Fuller who commented that this was the animatic that got his design company the HBO job.

Carrier bags in Singapore, 1950s-’80s

Caught this at the National Museum of Singapore, more than just paper, glue and string… this was a virtual trip down memory lane of ‘cheena’ looking letter-press printed paperbags with their red and white twine carrier handles.

But whether paper or plastic, we certainly were no strangers to carrier bags; it was a common form of ‘convenient’ packaging and an alternative to the rattan basket.

The exhibition showcases 60 paper and plastic bags in the National Museum’s collection.

Together with contextual photos, the display highlights different uses of the ubiquitous carrier bag; its role as a mobile advertisement, and also shed light on the paper bag business in Singapore – a much forgotten trade that is still surviving today.

It runs from 19 December 2009 to 18 April 2010.

Museum exhibition panel - darn cool design

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NYP School of Design visits Yuji Kimura exhibition

The last week of February saw numerous visits by Nanyang Polytechnic’s School of Design visual communication students and academic staff to the Japan Creative Centre at Nassim Road. While the Year 3 design students made their own way to the Yuji Kimura exhibition, a busload of visual com Year 1 and 2 students had a grand day of an outing, as testified by the photographs below.

Visual com students making their way to the Japan Creative Centre

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The Making of Yuji Kimura – Margins and Memories

Yuji Kimura has put his hand to multitudes of magazines and literary publications over the years and is, without doubt, a shining gem in the field of editorial design. There is simply no other person that has the presence or influence that Kimura commands. His methodology is steeped in an intimacy that is all-pervasive.

The Japanese Hot Designers Series is a series of exhibitions showcasing the work of outstanding contemporary Japanese designers. Held at the Japan Creative Centre in Singapore, a new type of culture and information centre which showcases Japan’s “now” including the latest in pop culture and cutting‐edge technology, the series aim to introduce key players of the Japanese design scene in a variety of fields such as fashion, product design and lifestyle goods.

About Yuji Kimura

Born  1947  in  Hokkaido,  Japan.  Art  director  and  designer.  After  graduating  from  Musashino  Art  University,  College  of  Art  and Design, ten  years  working  in  Tamotsu  Ejima’s  design  studio.  In  1982,  he goes  solo  and  founds  the  Kimura  Design  Office.  In  1987,  Esquire Japan,  with  Kimura  on  board  from  day  one  as  art  director,  bursts on the scene marking an epoch in the history of Japanese editorial and design work.

Esquire Japan proves to be an unparalleled influence on designers during that period and goes on to become the handbook for top quality magazine production. Kimura  also  works  in  the  book  design  field,  and,  in  2002,  receives  the  Kodansha  Publications  Cultural  Award.  Based  on  his  editorial  and  design  work  for  the  fortnightly  newspaper  insert  in  The  Asahi  Shimbun,  The  Asahi  Shimbun  GLOBE, beginning in 2008, Kimura is chosen by the Tokyo Art Directors Club as receipient of the 2009 ADC Award.

“What kind of a game is “an exhibition”, I wonder?

An exhibition where you just lay out a whole bunch of work to recreate the past is not something I am into. After toying round with a variety of ideas, I decided to view the JCC facility as a “bookcase”, and play the game of “how do I line things up”. It’s not just books and magazines in my bookcase at home, there are all sorts of things lined up there. There’s a bromide of an actress, a plaster cast of my teeth, etchings, a shoe (I bought several pars in Paris, but I put on a little weight and now they don’t fit, so they have become “objet d’art”), a “cast” of my head made out of wet-wipes, assorted tools and bits and pieces… the list goes on. I arrived at the idea of bringing the private life of my bookcase, which I don’t show to anyone else, into the exhibition space. In so doing, I was finally able to come up with a “rulebook” that would allow me to concentrate on playing the game of putting together an exhibition.”

Yuji Kimura

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COMBO – 2 times looped

Imagination has no limits.

Logos with Hidden Messages

While we’re on the subject of logos, here’s another article from Richworks about those cheeky semiotically infused logos. Clients always love these; besides making them look intellectually smart, it also means they are getting more bang for their buck.  And THAT they like!


Just as Man did evolve; so too did logos. Check out this interesting article by Richworks.


Semiotics is the study of relationships between signs and what they represent or “signify”.

The word “Semiotics” comes from the Greek word semeiotikos, which means an interpreter of signs. Signing is vital to human existence because it underlies all forms of communication.


In the study of semiotics, something defined as a ‘text’ (such as a printed advertisement, an animated cartoon or a radio news bulletin) is in itself a complex sign containing other signs.

Semiotics plays a very important part in visual communications, semiotic analysis entails identifying the signs within the text and the codes within which these signs have meaning.


What do we mean by signs? Well, we, as a species are driven by a desire to make meanings: above all, we are surely Homo significans - meaning-makers. Distinctively, we make meanings through our creation and through the interpretation of ‘signs’

Indeed, according to the philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce, “We think only in signs”.

Signs are important because they can mean something other than themselves. They are however dependent for their meaning on the contexts in which they are read and understood.

Signs take the form of:

• Words

• Images

• Sounds

• Odours

• Flavours

• Acts

• Objects

But such things have no intrinsic meaning and become signs only when we invest them with meaning.

The Notion of Subtext

To signify what we want to signify without being too explicit in the signified, we use a subtext. The famous semiotician Umberto Eco says people recognise subtext and operate within the subtext.

Consider the example of an environment:

Signifier – a building

Subtext – a religious building eg: a Hindu temple

When we communicate the subtext, it then tells us how to behave appropriately in response.

Welcome to the amazing world of pop-up books!

"Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland" by Robert Sabuda features amazing pop-up illustration.

When you open this special book all the characters and the background instantly pop up. Almost if as the world in the book suddenly turns into the real thing. Pop-up books do always surprise you and can lead you to a nostalgic and wonderful dream. Today I will take you to the world of pop-up books!

Read more at PingMag…

Tom Hingston Studio: Visualising Music


Apologies if you're not that much into insects! The great "Mezzanine" album cover by Massive Attack from back in 1998. Art direction and design: Tom Hingston Studio, photography: Nick Knight.




If you ask graphic designers how they got into graphics in the first place, a lot of them will tell you about their favourite album covers or something else visually related to music. Enter London-based Tom Hingston: For over ten years, he has been designing quite a lot for music, from flyers for the legendary Blue Note club to Massive Attack’s covers. PingMag asks Tom about visualising sounds.

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More Movie Logo Intros

Ridley Scott’s super logo…

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, one of the largest and most popular parades in the United States, is a true New York experience that is magical for both children and adults. An annual parade presented by the departmental store Macy’s; the three-hour event is held in The Big Apple, New York City.



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By Sara Wilson

Absolut is the third largest international spirits brand in the world, shipping to 125 different markets, and is known throughout the world as being a premium vodka. But this is largely due to more than 20 years of creative marketing.

With the recent launches of Absolut Generations and Absolut Next Generation, the brand is paying tribute to art — one very essential value that has helped define the brand for nearly two decades and began with Andy Warhol.

In 1985, Andy Warhol admired the Absolut bottle so much that he was inspired to create one of his own. Dramatic and colorful, his creation became known as “ABSOLUT WARHOL.” It also signified the beginning of a beautiful relationship between Absolut and more than 600 artists, each one attempting to capture the spirit and essence of the brand. Inspired by Warhol’s original creation, ABSOLUT ART exhibitions recently appeared in Paris, New York and Stockholm. Meanwhile, the vodka brand has become nearly synonymous with art.


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Vintage VW Beetle Ads

The legendary VW ad campaign of the 1960’s by New York’s Doyle Dane Bernbach – How many brilliant ways can you sell a car?


1960 Volkswagen Beetle Spare Parts original vintage advertisement. There are 5,008 parts in a Volkswagen Beetle. Each authorized dealer has them all in stock or on call.

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Cool Packs 2


Designer: Mats Ottdal of Oslo, Norway does great cool design work – illustrations, sketches, typography, packaging design. Check him out!


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