Sponsor // Mighty Deals

If you’re looking to spread some Christmas cheer around, either through holiday cards, flyers, T-shirts, ads or various websites, then you’ll want to jingle all the way with this offer. This Mighty Deal is a collection of 7 deals in one! In fact, you’re not just getting a ton of Christmas-themed resources at once, you’re also getting $880-worth of awesomeness for a mere $19!  Included are Christmas related icons, illustrations and typographic designs.



Mighty Deals


A Huge thanks to Mighty Deals for sponsoring this week’s RSS Feed!  Interested in sponsoring the Grain Edit Feed? Visit our sponsorship page for more info.


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2013 book gift guide
Recently Received Books
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Louise Rosenkrands AKA Miss Lotion

Miss Lotion via #grainedit

Denmark-based Miss Lotion creates character driven work where whimsical universes are inhabited by weird and curious beings.




Miss Lotion via #grainedit


Miss Lotion via #grainedit


Miss Lotion via #grainedit

A few of her prints are available in her Society6 shop.


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Book Gift Guide
Blex Bolex
Recent Books

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Last Minute Gift Ideas

Invisible Creature via #grainedit

Stack and Scare! by Invisible Creature

If you’re looking for last minute gift ideas, check out our Gift Guide on Luvocracy. Here’s a few items from the guide.


grain edit gift guide

Expo67 poster by Ernst Roch


studio arhoj

Umami Mart travel mug


iPhone cable


Binchotan toothbrush

Also catch us on Wanelo and Canopy.

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2013 book gift guide
Recently Received Books
From the Grain Edit Shop

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Design Faves

This post is brought to you by Design Faves. The image above is by Tycho AKA ISO50

As designers, we are constantly seeking new sources of inspiration and often that means looking beyond our discipline. For some of us, this might mean a glance at the latest items in our Pinterest feed, while others will find inspiration in travels or an enlightening book. To add to that list, our friends recently launched Design Faves – a curated collection of art and design work. With frequent updates, the site features posts on architecture, photography, fashion, furniture as well as illustration and graphic design. Included below is a small sampling of what the site has to offer.



Akureyri by Siggi Eggertsson

Soe Cup Series by Hanna Kruse

Sci-fi illustrations by Alphonse de Neuville and Édouard Riou

Futuristic Motorola ads by Charles Schridde

Illustrations by Heisuke Kitazawa

 Yugoslavian Monuments photographed by Jan Kempenaers

Pierre Cardin’s Bubble House 

Michael Pecirno Billboard project

Lamps by Frederica Bubani 

Retro cartoon posters by Tom Whalen 

Posters by La Boca



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Book Gift Guide
Blex Bolex
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Eight Hour Day Interview

Eight Hour Day Interview via #grainedit #designinprocess

Eight Hour day is the online home and moniker of Katie Kirk and Nathan Strandberg, a husband and wife design duo based out of Minneapolis. Their client list includes The New York Times, Chronicle Books, Williams Sonoma, Random House, among others. Driven by their belief that process and collaboration should be as exciting and fun as the end result, they create work that is honest, smart and succinct. In today’s interview, the 2nd part of our ongoing design in process series, Katie shares some of the challenges of working with a significant other, her workflow for a recent project and much more.


Let’s start off with a little bit about your background. Where are you from? When and how did you become interested in design?
(Katie) I originally hail from the great state of Wisconsin — the land of cheese, beer and the Packers. I have always loved art, so when it came time for school I wanted to pursue an art career. My (we’ll call him “practical”) father talked me into trying graphic design instead. I attended the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis for Design Communications, and from the very first class I fell in love. I really enjoyed the challenge of working within the parameters that are often part of the equation with design. It was a good fit.


What was your first design gig?
(Katie)My first gig was for a small design shop in Minneapolis called rED Design. Sadly, they were affected by the dot-bomb of the early 2000s and ended up shutting their doors. Shortly after that I started at another Minneapolis studio, Design Guys. I really consider that to be my first real job. I learned a ton about design, process and business there — it also introduced me to some of my best friends to this day.

Eight Hour Day Interview via #grainedit #designinprocess

What are some of the challenges you face as a couple working together? Do you tend to work independently, or do you have a strong collaborative focus?

I think our biggest challenge in working together is always trying to keep our business life balanced with our personal life. We absolutely love what we do, but it’s still a job. We try to set hard boundaries around the beginning and end of the workday, so it’s not a constant in our life.

Although Nate and I focus on our own specialties at times, our process is very collaborative. We are always checking in and talking back and forth. Our branding projects are particularly collaborative.


Eight Hour Day Interview via #grainedit #designinprocess

Do you maintain side projects or do you always work as a team?
We often have our own little side projects, whether it’s Nate working on some lettering or me working on an art print. But even then, we check in with each other all the time, to get opinions and feedback and conversation.

Could you walk us through one of your projects? Please describe your workflow, including your tools, from pen and paper to software and devices.
Yep. Let’s look at the branding and stationery system we created for Linda Engler’s Minneapolis interior design studio.

Eight Hour Day Interview via #grainedit #designinprocess

At the start of our branding projects, we often ask our clients to answer some business-related questions and to send us examples of work they’ve seen and liked. This helps us get inside their heads, and we feel it’s important to start this visual dialogue early. The inspiration pieces Linda sent us involved a lot of patterns and colors, a mixture of classic and modern styling. You can also see that she was speaking to us in her language — interior design.

Eight Hour Day Interview via #grainedit #designinprocess

Eight Hour Day Interview via #grainedit #designinprocess


Using that information, we moved on to mood boards. We typically do three boards that span a range of styles, each with their own distinct identity. We’ll spend a couple of days researching and scanning our favorite inspiration sites, going over our personal inspiration folders, and you know, digging through the rest of the Internet. It’s as fun as it is exhausting—I often have crazy dreams those nights because of it. We then go through the inspiration that caught our attention, discuss, add, eliminate and ultimately sort it into our three proposed directions. We create the mood boards using Adobe InDesign and send PDFs to the client. I think a good mood board is as much about each individual image as it is the whole overall look.

Eight Hour Day Interview via #grainedit #designinprocess

The mood-board portion of the process can be a bit abstract at times. I often feel like the more creative and visual the client is, the more they “get it.” But with all our clients and projects, the mood boards are an important phase. It’s where we listen and see and hear what they’re responding to — and sometimes even more importantly, what they hate. After the first round, we’ll revise the chosen board and move on to start the concepts. You can see that we revised the Engler Studio board to bring the bolder patterns together with the larger areas of color. It also pulls in more white space and modern typography.

Eight Hour Day Interview via #grainedit #designinprocess

Eight Hour Day Interview via #grainedit #designinprocess

Eight Hour Day Interview via #grainedit #designinprocess

During the concept round, we start playing with typography, patterns and logo design. Most of the time, we use Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop for concepts. Early on, we create a first-round brand board to share with the client. As you can see, our first round wasn’t quite there yet—it lacked some of the depth and dimension that was incorporated in the final work. The revised board is brighter and bolder, with a more constant equation. The client loved it.

All along, we knew that we wanted to create a brand for Engler Studio that highlighted and celebrated its interior design skills, as well as its individual design personality. The main element of the brand is a graphic combination of patterns that overlap each other; they represent the images and colors you might find on an interior designer’s inspiration board, and also nod to the play of patterns, colors, light and shadows in a beautifully designed room. The patterns can be assembled in various combinations, depending on mood, usage, and need.

Eight Hour Day Interview via #grainedit #designinprocess

Eight Hour Day Interview via #grainedit #designinprocess

From there, we moved onto the stationery system. During that executional part of the process, we’ll often sketch layout ideas in our sketchbooks.


And finally, the finished identity. We often create final files for the printer using Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator or InDesign. This was a two-color job that included an embossed detail and duplexed business cards. As you can see, the “E” detail in the logomark was changed to a simpler, more representational “E,” like a Greek key, which ultimately holds up better against the bold patterns.

How has your process evolved since you first started designing?
I think it’s always evolving, with every project. Sometimes it depends on the client; what works for some doesn’t work for others. Sometimes you figure out a better approach as you go. We almost always learn something new along the way.

Eight Hour Day Interview via #grainedit #designinprocess

Are you a creature of habit or do you like to try new technologies, applications, and features?
Hmmm … that’s a good question. I feel like, sadly, with each year I’m more of a creature of habit — but I mostly blame that on just not having the time to dig in and learn new things. That said, we try to keep up with changing treands and stay abreast of what’s happening in the worlds of design and technology.

Analytical tools are now ubiquitous, and because of this designers are often asked to back up their work with data and research. With this in mind, how much of your work is based on intuition — and what role should intuition play in design today?
Super interesting question. Honestly, I think intuition has a lot to do with our work, but where do you draw the line? As designers, we’re constantly looking, searching and evaluating the world around us: what’s working, what isn’t, how things could be better. During our initial mood-board and concept phases, these are the questions we always ask ourselves, directly or indirectly. Asking the right questions isn’t the same as relying on hard numbers, but I don’t feel like they are any less important. Plus, I feel if hard numbers, data spreadsheets and focus groups ran the world of design, I think it would be a pretty sad and boring place.

Eight Hour Day Interview via #grainedit #designinprocess

What are your passions and interests outside of design and why?
Let’s see… I love movies and their ability to transport, connect and alter you emotionally. I love baking too. It feels creative in a different way than I’m used to — plus it has a delicious outcome. I think if I hadn’t gone into design I probably would have been a baker.


We would like to thank Nate and Katie for taking time to share with us. You can see more of their work at eighthourday.com.

This interview is part of the #designinprocess series brought to you by Adobe. Read all of the interviews here and follow along on Twitter and Pinterest at #designinprocess and #newcreatives.


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Mike Cina Interview
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Willem Sandberg: Portrait of An Artist

Willem Sandberg via #grainedit

I’m looking forward to the upcoming US release of Willem Sandberg: portrait of An Artist – a new new book from the Dutch publisher Valiz.

From the Publisher:
“After the Second World War, Willem Sandberg (NL, 1897–1984) transformed the Amsterdam Stedelijk museum into a dynamic centre for modern and innovative art and culture. He did this with exceptional creativity and in close collaboration with artists and architects. Sandberg had distinct ideas about heading up a museum for modern and contemporary art, about the importance of art, about dealing with artists and about his work as typographic designer, but also about social responsibility and community.

This book is based on interviews with Sandberg (from 1971 and 1981) and offers first-hand insight into questions such as: what does the task of museum director entail; how does art criticism work; what is the essence of being an artist; what does the ideal museum architecture look like; and what is the role of art and the museum in society?”

Pre-order a copy at Amazon.


Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we use personally and believe will add value to our readers.


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2013 Gift Guide: New & Recent Books

map the world

If you’re looking for holiday gift ideas, here are a few suggestions. We’ve compiled our favorite books from the past year into one giant list. Included are titles focused on editorial design, typography, identity work and brainstorming.

map the world

A Map of the World: The World According to Illustrators and Storytellers
By Antonis Antoniou, R. Klanten, S. Ehmann, H. Hellige / Published by Gestalten
224 pages / 9.6″x13″

A Map of the World is a compelling collection of work by a new generation of original and sought-after designers, illustrators, and mapmakers. This work showcases specific regions, characterizes local scenes, generates moods, and tells stories beyond sheer navigation. From accurate and surprisingly detailed representations to personal, naïve, and modernistic interpretations, the featured projects from around the world range from maps and atlases inspired by classic forms to cartographic experiments and editorial illustrations.

Available at AmazonGestalten and your local book shop.


kern and burn

Kern and Burn: Conversations With Design Entrepreneurs
By Tim Hoover and Jessica Karle Heltzel

Kern and Burn: Conversations With Design Entrepreneurs is a beautiful two-color book that features candid conversations with 30 leading designers who have founded startups, channeled personal passions into self-made careers and taken risks to do what they love.

Available at www.kernandburnbook.com

Gerald Cinamon

Gerald Cinamon: Graphic Design
Designed by SEA
132 Pages / 170×220 mm

Gerald Cinamon is an American designer who, at an early age, moved to the UK where he would eventually become the chief designer for all paperback typography at Penguin. Heavily influenced by Swiss design, he created book jackets and posters that were bold and iconic – something unique and forward-thinking for book publishing in the 1960s.

Available here.


Logo for London via grain edit

A Logo for London
By David Lawrence / Published by Laurence King
176 pages / 9.9″x8.7″

The London Transport bar and circle – also known as the bulls-eye or roundel – is an icon of commercial design. Over the last century it has come to represent not only London’s transport network but also the city itself. This book charts the history and development of the symbol from the early 20th century to the present day, and explores its use across the company’s many activities, as well as its wide-ranging cultural influence.

Available at AmazonLaurence King and your local book shop.

FHK Henrion Book by Unit Editions via Grain Edit

FHK:  The Complete Designer
By Adrian Shaughnessy / Published by Unit Editions
540 Pages

In the first comprehensive monograph of FHK Henrion, Adrian Shaugnessy highlights the work of this highly underrated designer. Originally trained in textiles, Henrion would later go on to become a skilled poster artist, a noted design educator and quite possibly the father of modern corporate identity in Europe.

Available at Unit Editions


the modern magazine

The Modern Magazine: Visual Journalism in the Digital Era
By Jeremy Leslie / Published by Laurence King
240 pages / 11″x8″

The last ten years of magazine publishing have been a period of rapid innovation, providing a vital record of the era’s diverse visual trends. The Modern Magazine features the best editorial design, looking in particular at how magazines have adapted to respond to digital media.

Available at AmazonLaurence King or your local book shop.


30 Years of Swiss Design via #grainedit


30 Years of Swiss Typographic Discourse in the Typografische Monatsblatter
Edited by École cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL), Louise Paradis with Roland Früh and François Rappo
276 pages / English

30 Years of Swiss Typographic Discourse in the Typografische Monatsblätterexamines the years 1960–90, that correspond to a period of transition in which many factors such as technology, socio-political contexts and aesthetic ideologies profoundly affected and transformed the fields of typography and graphic design. The book includes a large number of works from well -known and lesser -known designers such as Emil Ruder, Helmut Schmid, Wolfgang Weingart, Hans-Rudolf Lutz, Jost Hochuli and many others.

Available at Amazon, Lars Muller Publishers and your local shop.


The Art of Getting Started
By Lee Crutchey / Published by Perigree
160 Pages / English

The Art of Getting Started is a hands-on guide that offers engaging and empowering challenges and activities to get over those artistic blocks and jumpstart your creativity. Whether it’s perfectionism, procrastination, or plain old fear that’s holding you back, get ready to get inspired.

Available at Amazon, Penguin Books and your local book shop.




Designing News: Changing the World of Editorial Design and Information Graphics
By Francesco Franchi / Published by  Gestalten
240 Pages / 12″x7.6″ / English

In Designing News, award-winning editorial and infographics designer Francesco Franchi conveys his vision for the future of the news and media industries. He evaluates the fundamental changes that are taking place in our digital age in terms of consumer expectations and the way media is being used. The book then outlines the challenges that result and proposes strategies for traditional publishing houses, broadcasting companies, journalists, and designers to address them.

Available at Amazon, Gestalten and your local book shop.



Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space
By Dominic Walliman Ben Newman / Published by Flying Eye Books
64 Pages / 11.5″ x 11.4″ / English

Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space explores topics such as gravity, extraterrestrial life, time, and many other fascinating subjects that will take you and your children on a journey to the very frontiers of space!

Available at Amazon, Flying Eye Books and your local book shop.


Shadow Type Book via grain edit

Shadow Type: Classic Three-Dimensional Lettering
By Steven Heller and Louise Fili / Published by Princeton Architectural Press
352 Pages / 6.75″x9.7″

Introduced in metal type as early as 1815, shadow typefaces were a form of early experimentation among type founders. In the late nineteenth century, the form was adopted in wood type for use in posters and has been embraced ever since by designers looking for ways to communicate a sense of monumentality, a feeling of confidence, or a simple feeling of optimism. Shadow Type presents a broad spectrum of examples: advertising, shop signs, billboards, posters, and type-specimen books featuring the most popular, rare, and (nearly) forgotten dimensional letters from Europe and the United States.

Available at AmazonPA Press and your local book shop.

Italo Lupi via #grainedit

Graphic Autobiography
By Italo Lupi
376 Pages / Text in English and Italian

Graphic autobiography by Italo Lupi is a complex, comprehensive book on the work of the architect and master of graphics, images and design who, over the course of his career, worked with some of the biggest names in publishing, fashion, design and architecture.

Available at Edizioni Corraini


Swiss Book Design via #grainedit

1946, 1947, 1948 The Missing Years of the Most  Beautiful Swiss Books
Edited by Roland Früh Corina Neuenschwander
168 Pages / 9″x12″ / English, French, Italian german

Available at Amazon, Ram Publications and your local book shop



Irma Boom Biography via #grainedit

Irma Boom: The Architecture of the Book
Published by Lecturis
800 Pages / English

Irma Boom has become one of the most widely renowned and laureated book designers in the world today. Her often ingenious solutions to individual book productions have gained her international fame and her work is now collected by many leading museums such as the MoMa in New York. Besides book designs she also creates corporate identities, postage stamps and posters. The Special Collections of the University of Amsterdam Library honoured Irma Boom with a major retrospective exhibition of her work, now traveling to Paris. To accompany this exhibition she produced an exceptional catalogue; this miniature book contains a complete overview of her work, now re-printed in a slightly bigger version and with more pages.

Available at Amazon and your local book shop.

stefan kanchev via grain edit

Stefan Kanchev: Logo Book
By  Magdalina Stancheva
208 Pages

From Magdalina Stancheva comes a book on the father of Bulgarian graphic design, Stefan Kanchev. Featured are hundred of sketches, photos and logos from a master craftsman whose work adorned the largest and well-known institutions in Southeastern Europe.

Available at Reforma

Josef Muller-Brockmann Posters via #grainedit

Josef Muller-Brockmann: Poster Collection 25
Edited by the Museum of Design Zurich
96 Pages / Text in English and German

This book presents selected posters by Müller-Brockmann and places them in the context of their own time while also examining the validity of his solutions from today’s point of view.

Available  at Amazon, Lars Muller, and your local bookshop.

Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we use personally and believe will add value to our readers.



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From the Grain Edit Shop

Moderne Werbe und Gebrauchs Grafik via #graineditshop

Moderne Werbe und Gebrauchs Grafik by Hans Neuburg

For those of you that missed the preview, the shop is now live and open to the public.  Here’s a few of the items you’ll find inside.


Firmen Image by Anton Stankowski via #grainedit


Firmen Image by Anton Stankowski via #grainedit

Firmen-Image by Anton Stankowski via #graineditshop

Firmen-Image by Anton Stankowski via #graineditshop

 Firmen-Image by Anton Stankowski


Handbuch der Feder via #graineditshop

Handbuch der Feder via #graineditshop

 Handbuch der Feder 

Jacqueline Casey Posters via #graineditshop

 Jacqueline S. Casey – Posters – Thirty Years of Design at MIT (Signed)

Thomas by Mary Harris via #graineditshop

Thomas by Mary Harris

Caratteri Nebiolo via #graineditshop

Caratteri Nebiolo

Was ich Sah by Alan Fletcher via #graineditshop

Was ich Sah by Alan Fletcher 




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It’s time to Move

Its Time to Move via #grainedit

Set during the political uprising in Cairo, Egypt, during 2011, It’s Time to Move marries Peter Wieben’s text and pencil and gouache illustrations with documentary photography by Dominic Nahr. Part fiction and part truth, the resulting work explores the fears, hopes and unique observations of a small pocket of witnesses living through these extraordinary times.


Its Time to Move via #grainedit

Its Time to Move via #grainedit


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Elana Schlenker
Jonny Holmes / Bodoni
Recently Received

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