21st November 2016 - No Comments!

We Got It From Here, Thank You for Your Service by A Tribe Called Quest

They are back! And we needed them!

A dirty artwork as if it was done by a kid that makes me feel that they say thank you to the very organized chaos (that we can call society) and then a kid (let's try millennials here) occupied the scene with a crayon drawing on top assuming its position of consciousness that is much needed. A bit like they did 18 years ago with the hip-hop movement and the world, once again they're back with an epic album that is much needed if we think about how's the world today.

And what we need is what A Tribe Called Quest always gave us: good vibes and PMA. Right now (or ever), I would say that we don't need more gangster rap and white collar gangsters. 2016, a year where love is leaving us and anti-migration politics are becoming stronger in stronger, with this album ATCQ rage against the toxic mentality that is conquering the western world. I grew up with people that say how much they love music but kinda hate philosophy classes. Well, this album is just one more example of how philosophy and music can be just one thing. And how great minds can make us thing through their lyrics. Hit play and let this album repeat and resonate in your mind. It will help you wake up from the numbness the social media brought us into.


20th November 2016 - No Comments!

David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell

I know, I know... it's the third Gladwell's book that I'm reviewing, but I can't help myself. They're just so easy to read and feed you with so much relevant information to better understand how we perceive people and society that every time I start one of his books I feel that everybody should be aware of the things is talking about.

In this one, David and Goliath: underdogs, misfits, and the art of battling giants, Gladwell addresses how disadvantages can actually bring better outputs than when you think you have everything you need to accomplish your goals. Needless to say, that his first story is about David and Goliath and what made David the winner in this, apparently, uneven battle. Gladwell has the great habit of giving you inputs and knowledge through stories, and from story to story, he keeps adding up and referencing back what we've learned until that point of the book. That makes incredibly easy to understand the different points of view about a story that you know. This book made think about decisions I've made so far and situations that I felt were not worth to try, simply because I put the pressure of thinking that I was not able enough to do something.

There will always be someone with better skills than you, but that doesn't mean that you can't be better than him. It's about knowing how to do something out of nothing and many times, how to use creativity in order to solve a problem through the lack of assets.

Making something out of nothing seems impossible, but it can actually achieve better results than what you think.

8th November 2016 - No Comments!

Before the Flood

Last weekend I watched something that should be mandatory for everybody.

Before the flood can be the last wake up call for Humanity and its sinful behavior.

The need of living a sustainable life has been addressed for decades but its being ignored by the mainstream media. We’ve seen the floods, we’ve heard about the new high-temperature records, we saw people starving and without clean water, and in most, if not all of those cases, we’ve just kept scrolling or changed the TV channel as if it was nothing that could affect us.

The truth is that it currently is a major problem for every human being.

Please do everybody a favor, watch this, spread the word and make some changes in your life. I know it’s a 1h35min long but if we think that Globally, people spend more than 50 minutes a day across Facebook’s suite of apps (not including WhatsApp), and the return you get from that is mainly gossip and perhaps bits of relevant information, you can surely fit in this in your schedule and wake up to serious problems that can and WILL affect all of our lives.

You may think that my tone of voice is a bit too drastic but we are approaching and creating a reality for our planet that I don’t want my grandkids to be part of.

Watching this documentary is not enough. We need to take action, therefore I’m pointing out few things that you need to have a look to help you reevaluate your lifestyle:

  1. Know your footprint on the planet;
  2. Cut the meat as much as possible. I felt many benefits on my health by doing this;
  3. It's not hard to improve your lifestyle to be more sustainable. There are a bunch of apps to help you with that;
  4. If possible, cycle to work. Personally, I save an average of +4h a week on commute while doing some sports. It's true that today I've cycled with 2ºC, but that only means that my morning coffee will taste even better.

So pretty please, with sugar on top, spread the word about this.

Ignoring this issue may be ignoring a future.

31st October 2016 - No Comments!

Herb Lubalin: Typographer

I'm not sure when was the first time that I've heard about Herb Lubalin. I'm positive that it wasn't at Uni because I'm sure that as a type afficionado I wouldn't forget his name. What I do remember is the familiar feeling I had when I first saw his work knowing that he was the responsible for it.

This book is one of the best ways to be familiar with him from a personal to a professional level. Unit Editions did a great work (again) in producing a book that allows more information than what we thought could be available making absolute justice to the content through the way this book was beautifully designed. There are many things to be said about Herb Lubalin, but you will read far more interesting stuff about him than in this post. If this post made you google Herb Lubalin... job done.

Regards to being a great typographer, Herb once said: "I'm terrible because I don't follow the rules". Well, the truth is that his work set a new standard contributed to projects like Gastrotypographicalassemblage.

Please have a look at this book, or at least at his work. Because if I had to pick a favourite, that would be him.

14th October 2016 - No Comments!

Yes Lawd! by NxWorries

After Anderson .Paak released his album Malibu earlier this year, the R&B artist didn’t stop to surprise anybody who felt that this kind of music needed some refreshment and novelty into it. His collaboration with the producer Knxwledge gave birth to this brilliant album.

I guess, there's no need to over explain the artwork, but it's safe to say that looking at an old wall with different layers of paint on top of it can represent that maturity these 2 artists have and how far back they can go to get inspiration from. The X, is already present in Knxwledge, but in this case, can not only represent both artists connection but also a kiss instead of a hug. Which I definitely imagine that being a case when I listen to Livvin or What More Can I Say.

16th September 2016 - No Comments!

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

“This doesn’t feel right. I don’t know what it is but this is still not it.” How many times have you heard this? And in the end, how many times you end up agreeing on changing the direction of something based on such vague feedback? Well, that’s what this book is about. Blink, the art of thinking without thinking takes you through a journey of many stories from a fake greek sculpture to murderers in Brooklyn (hint: they were cops and also good people).

A book that makes you think why you shouldn’t always rationalise every step you take and how your snap judgement can even save your life.

This is a great book if you’re curious about the human mind and the way it works when we make a quick judgement/decision. You can practice having a better snap judgement, the same way you craft your other skills [like calligraphy!]. Getting into a stream of self-consciousness and self-awareness can help you to make quick (and many times) better judgements in your (not only) design decisions.

Overthinking and building decks after decks to try to sell an idea or a visual is not always the answer if in every deck you’re just rationalising everything.

Gladwell gives a great example. It’s easier to make a face recognition exercise and identify someone you saw last year than it is to describe with words how does that person looks like. Because that’s when the right and the left side of the brain clash and that’s when rationalising tricks you.

To sum up, don’t be mad if someone with more experience tells you: “Sorry, I don’t know why, but I’m not feeling it… I don’t think this is right, but I’m not sure why.”

There’s a big chance that they are right with their judgement. But the more you practice your craft and your relationship with the people you deal with, the easier it will get to feel what they feel and be a bit more open to vague and, apparently, unhelpful replies.

28th August 2016 - No Comments!

Steinweiss: The Inventor of the Modern Cover

As a graphic designer, when looking at record covers is pretty obvious what the word cover means: an artwork that will give you the first hint on what you're about to listen. But obviously, it has never been like that. The vinyl cover was exactly what the word cover means: to protect something against loss, damage or accident.

It was while at Columbia Records in 1938 that Alex Steinweiss, as the art director suggested an artwork for every new music release of the company. They were brave enough to take the risk and give a try at Steinweiss' suggestion leading to an 800% increase in sales in that year.

When looking at older music collections, I can't help but notice, and question myself, why most of the Jazz albums have such a modernist approach where constructivism, Bauhaus or De Stijl influences are inescapable.

Nowadays it seems hard to make a new invention, but there was nothing new about what Steinweiss did back then if you think about a music poster.

They already existed, Steinweiss just asked himself: What if I put a poster on the cover of the vinyl?

In many situations we find ourselves dealing with impossible cases and most of the times we just need to reframe our problem and bring new questions to the table.

With great success and a huge worldwide impact, that was Steinweiss did.

30th June 2016 - No Comments!

Trans Day of Revenge by G.L.O.S.S.

It's an awesome feeling when something as raw as G.L.O.S.S. (an acronym for “Girls Living Outside Society’s Shit") can still freshen up things in the punk-hardcore music.

Powerful lyrics, screaming their heart out with tight riffs and loose guitar solos that remind me the freedom of Black Flag compositions.

The artwork couldn't be more raw. Enough with the old b/w photocopy or the collages inspired by Vivienne Westwood. Punk hardcore explores a lot of doubts, most of them are addressed in our adolescence. Their artwork reminds me the old drawings in the corner of the page of your history school book. It was your inner rebel being expressed with rough words, scribbles and drawings. And for that, I love this album cover. Check them out!

30th June 2016 - No Comments!

What they don’t teach you at Harvard Business School by Mark McCormack

As one of the most powerful man in sport, Mark H. McCormack gives us great insights on people, sales and negotiation and running a business. This book has 3 parts and you will soon realise that you don't have to damage other people's goals to give priority to yours.

Establishing a dialogue, defining milestones and objectives throughout an exercise based on experience and intuition, this book will help you to better understand that make decisions based on your gut is far from being wrong. There's no such thing has a right procedure that you can take and use but there's a way to understand which things are involved in the business world and how can you define your own way of finding solutions and raise the appropriate questions.

What they don't teach you at Harvard Business School is something that you will learn with your life experience and this book will definitely open your eyes on how to manage expectations and be successful in your business.

Hint: Being successful shouldn't be about getting rich, it has a closer relation to what drives you and how helpful your business can be to people. If you do that right and avoid being sloppy with your billing, money will come in.

I understand that if you're a designer is not easy to feel motivated to read this book, but designers are only needed because there are many people who don't design and it's great when you understand how to deal with them and their problems.

Laughter is the most potent, constructive force for diffusing business tension: so be the one who controls it.

30th May 2016 - No Comments!

Paradise by White Lungs

This month was hard to pick. Radiohead just released a new album and probably there’s already way too many people talking about it. That’s why I picked another great album from a lesser known band: White Lung.

With extremely hot and exciting riffs and Mish Way’s unique voice Paradise will definitely give you enough energy to get through those busy days of work.

Their cover is a really clever form of decoupage where the lack of uniformity turns this cover something worth to rediscover every time you listen to them. Working with pop elements that you can easily find in magazines or posters, reassembled in a very D.I.Y. and raw aesthetic, giving you the punk elements that inspired covers like God Save the Queen.

Surely an album to make your blood pumping.