We love design; it’s what we do and it drives us to nurture the partnerships we have with our clients. We believe that listening is critical, process is key, collaboration is vital, and that design is a valuable contribution to the world of business, art, and culture. The 21xdesign blog features anything from discussing recent projects, exploring antique books we love, to the technologies that drive our profession.
The word ‘propaganda’ has such a negative connotation that people wouldn’t dare use the word to describe what Walt Disney was doing back in the late 50’s. However, that’s exactly what his book Our Friend the Atom was: propaganda. Released shortly after the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, Our Friend the Atom attempted to show the beneficial side of the atom as opposed to the destructive nature of them. The book is beautifully illustrated by the Disney Studios staff and art directed by Paul Hartley. With the help of German physicist and USC professor Heinz Haber, Our Friend the Atom showcases various scientists and theories around the atom and how we came to gain as much knowledge about them as we had at the time.read more
Prosper Mérimée was a French dramatist, historian, archeologist, and short story writer known for his love of mysticism, history, and the unusual. His most popular novella was Carmen which was later adapted into the famous opera Carmen by Georges Bizet. However, it isn’t Carmen we’re talking about today; it’s this gorgeous book called Lokis. Written in 1869 Lokis is a horror fantasy novella and one of the last stories Mérimée would write.read more
No Man’s Land is a book written and illustrated by the highly regarded French illustrator Blexbolex and printed by Nobrow Press. What makes this book so fascinating are the beautiful, albeit at times disturbing, illustrations captured by Nobrow’s printing process. Nobrow utilizes spot color printing, which is not too common process used only by a handful of printers worldwide. Spot color is a technique used in offset printing and is any color generated by an ink, pure or mixed, that is printed using a single run. More and more publishers these days are using digital printing processes since it’s typically cheaper, faster and the quality has improved tremendously over recent years. The beauty in this book is the simple harmony between the illustration and the complimentary printing style.read more
The eclectic designer Paul Davis art directed the magazine “Normal” back in 1986. It was billed as “A Quarterly of Arts and Ideas”. Instead of following a strict format to be applied throughout the magazine, he instead decided to let each story dictate how it would be designed — a beautiful case of form following content. So each of the twelve or more stories has a unique typographical approach – right down to the page numbers. The magazine got mixed reviews initially. Davis said at the time: ”I work with young designers who are terrific...read more
This beautiful book was created by Charles Knowles when he was just 17 years old. Unfortunately, he suffered throughout his short life with an incurable disease, chronic nephritis. During his three years at the Putney School in Vermont his creativity blossomed. He selected eight of his favorite psalms, set all the type by hand, and cut wood engravings to illustrate each passage. He selected different colors of paper and ink for each illustration and printed 10 signed and numbered prints on a hand press. Tragically, less than a year later at...read more
When bookstores were commonplace, we would spend hours just wandering from one to another. Discovering a beautifully illustrated book or a unique magazine was always such a thrill (and remains so today) especially if we could make it part of our collection.
With the digital age and its accompanying distractions taking over our lives, I rarely get the time to browse the collection of books and magazines we have gathered over the years. There never seems to be enough time! When we were organizing the studio recently, it dawned on me that our book collection might be of interest to others. Maybe it would be interesting to take a look at what we have and show some items in this blog. This might be a new lease on life for these books and magazines that have lived a quiet shelf life for too long.
Everyone here at 21xdesign is thrilled with the activity buzzing around one of our newest collaborations with Philadelphia publisher, Paul Dry Books. The book is called City Abandoned: Charting the Loss of Civic Institutions in Philadelphia, by photographer and author, Vincent Feldman.
The recent book signing and official launch of City Abandoned was a great success with a presentation by Vincent Feldman, along with Paul Dry at the Print Center in Philadelphia. To date this project has received several outstanding reviews, including The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Wall Street Journal, who commended the book for its ability to help preserve architecture that would otherwise be lost in the City of Brotherly Love.read more
The Irish Memorial is celebrating its 10 year anniversary. We just launched a new website http://www.irishmemorial.org/,where you can see and learn about the Memorial and the history it depicts. I cannot believe that it has been 10 years since the Irish Memorial opened. It was such an honor for us to be part of the team that created the Memorial. Time has developed the Memorial park with mature plantings and trees that compliment the largeness of the sculpture which commands center stage. With every visit, there are always visitors taking...read more
Do you love design & typography? Do you browse the web, book stores, galleries etc to search for the latest inspiration? Know the difference between an em and en space? Do you know your way around WordPress (this is a must actually) and like to code? Do you know the difference between a parent and a child theme? Do you know how to set up a local dev site, and like solving complex problems? Well, if your answer to these questions is a resounding yes, then we have a great opportunity for the right person to join our team of designers to...read more
We are pleased to announce that our latest website project, FNBGames.com, has gone live!
Beyonder is the new table-top role playing game, from Flying Nightbear. We have been working on various material:read more