April 25, 2011
Since I first started going to Milano in the mid 1970’s, I’ve always wanted to be there for the April furniture fair. The definitive event for modern furniture and accessories design. So the Salone di Mobile’s 50th anniversary was to be the year (plus – I wanted to make sure my son was still making it to class in Florence).
I have a family of special friends in Milano who I’ve known for over 30 years now. And one, Giovanna, conveniently works for MDF Italia, one of the strongest contemporary furniture lines going in Milano. She held my hand into the enormous venue complex and wound me up for a smart day of touring. What a phenomenon. The exhibit grounds alone takes you aback. It said to me, “You have entered design mecca. You may be advancing out there wherever you live…but you’re only toying with Milano.”
I started the day full of energy and amazement. Five buildings later (there are over 20), I was crawling…and wondering if the world still needed yet another chair design. And did they need my designs. But that’s why it’s in Milano. A city where it’s about what’s next, trend-creation, homage to craftsmanship, tradition and tradition-busting.
What goes on outside the exposition grounds in Milan center city (called Fuori Salone) is as exciting if not more so. One of the most inspired collections of inventive pieces was at Spazio Rossana Orlandi. Rossana is an long-time Milano design trend follower and retailer with an impeccable eye. A store only possible here in mecca.
January 25, 2011
While visiting my family in Houston over the holidays I came across these stencils by local graffiti artists Coolidge and Walrus. These artists were clearly influenced by the great Banksy who is and has been making great strides to legitimize street art around the world.
It was fun finding these little pieces of art on abandoned, dilapidated buildings in less developed parts of the city. It’s nice to see the street art culture in Houston bring awareness to these inner-city areas with a light-hearted and playful message.
- Lauren English
March 8, 2010
BARRIO LOGAN DESCUBIERTO is a visual celebration of the working waterfront Hispanic neighborhood in San Diego, called Barrio Logan. The 88 page book is a graphic expose of the visual richness and unique creative energy of the community, featuring details of murals, typography, sign painters, activists art and general community visual richness.
The book is designed by the team here at MG, led by Lauren English, many who have been active in the promotion and celebration of the community and it’s passionate and active creative members. The book contains a listing our neighborhood discoveries of cool, including artists, restaurants, activists, cafes, place we as designers have discovered and wanted to turn others onto.
While many work so feverishly to be wealthy, then build a fence around the property and never come in contact with the real world, the Barrio stands for the opposite. It’s a place where people share their feelings, their color, and eccentricities. The pathway to riches very much depends on how you define the riches. – RM
Preview the complete book at http://www.miriellografico.com/mg/barriobook/. The book is available from that link for about $68. That’s the publishers price, but they do a decent job. (We’ll even customize it with tipped-in found objects from the streets if you want to bring it in.)
August 4, 2009
It can be refreshing when a business is flat-out honest about it’s limitations and what it can and can’t do well. Especially when being frank and honest helps make that business wildly successful when most everyone else around them is floundering or bankrupt.
Michael O’Leary President of RyanAir, the European low price air carrier, doesn’t hold back or play nice with his customers, quite the contrary actually. He has made a brand personality out of delivering on the bare minimum people want from air travel; cheap, on-time and no lost luggage. Expect to get lip or up-charged for just about anything else you ask for, including using their in-air bathroom.
Here’s a complete article from the New York Times on what makes the RyanAir brand tick. And it’s not their customer service, attention to detail, or added value. It’s their no frills, bare minimum basics at a cheap price that seem to be the mantra of the current economy. Stay tuned.
April 6, 2009
After finishing our BLURB book on Barrio Logan a few months, tracking self-publishing has been on my radar. While “vanity press” was once the last resort for struggling writers, it seems like it could become the new “test ground” for print publishers. With the publishing model under financial strain (what other business model allows retailers to send back their unsold units for refund and destruction) they can now cherry pick the selected “draft” publications with the potential for a more mass distribution, without having to pre-fund traditional royalties, production costs, etc.
My friend Troy Viss just sent me to Magcloud.com , an on-line self-publishing magazine site. I just ordered a sample copy of a cool design form the Philippines. If the quality is decent we’ll experiment with the model. At .20 a pages it’s affordable and a new tool that when matched with quality creative can help move opinion and spawn ideas. All part of the “Creativity is the New Currency” mantra we’re chanting here at MG.- Ron
The images above are pages from a few Magcloud magazines.
January 15, 2009
If a picture is worth a thousand words than a logo must be worth a few hundred thousand then, no? We just finished a little book called A Logo is Not a Brand that features a host of Miriello Grafico logos. And it shows how a logo functions like the front cover of a book, a set-up for all that’s to come, while the brand is the full story inside the book. It seems to help the confused and brand-forlorned.
The little 44 page book that could is available on mighty blurb.com.
October 16, 2008
TOP Magazine from Ukrania Splashes Bordello Bar, Miriello Grafico and Dubai’s Al Rostamani . . . (but what did they say??)
The editor of Top Estate magazine from the Ukraine is Lubov Franchuk., a sharp and professional editor of one of the leading life style magazine in the region. He just sent us a copy of the latest edition which features a wide selection of highly creative architecture and design from far flung places. The Miriello Grafico office is in between a spread on the Bordello Bar from London and Al Rostamani’s latest real estate mega development in Dubai. Rich visuals throughout, and absolutely no idea what the stories might be about.
Share in the confusion at Top Estate’s website : http://www.top-estate.com.ua
July 26, 2008
Here’s what the AIGA website says about the 2008 365 Show which includes the Miriello Grafico new identity system (proudly):
“After careful and considered review of more than 4,700 entries, the jury of “365: AIGA Annual Design Competitions 29” selected a group of 255 examples of outstanding design produced in 2007.
The jury’s selections will be mounted as a public exhibition scheduled to open at the AIGA National Design Center in New York on December 10. The exhibit will travel across the country to AIGA chapters and student groups during 2009. In addition, selections become part of the AIGA Design Archives, a searchable visual database of exemplary design, are documented in 365: AIGA Year In Design 29, an annual print publication and the physical artifacts join the AIGA Design Archives at the Denver Art Museum.”
May 1, 2008
Whenever I start to think corporate branding is complex it helps me to spend time with my friends at Nissan Design America. Think of what it’s like trying to design what the world will want to drive three years from now while simultaneously navigating though a juggernaut of financial constraints, global approvals, huge lead times, world wide supply chains and fickle buyers. Corporate branding just got easier.
We spent the morning with Doug Wilson, Moria Hill and Brenda Parkin, members of the design and interiors team at Nissan. For several years now we’ve made it a point to get the hell out of our own minds and little design worlds and cross-pollinate together. This meeting was here at Miriello Grafico, set-up to give Brenda some initial reaction to preliminary car interiors packages – finishes, materials and forms. It’s really about branding in many ways- what’s the story behind the car and what are the design cues that bring the story to life. The difference for Nissan Design America though is that they’re designing from a design brief the size of an encyclopedia. It’s impressive to watch the reverse engineering of an automotive brand experience – using both a crystal ball and sketch pad.