A VISUAL LIFE | Creative Direction + Design

Category: Design

TYPE-RIGHTER // modern love

I mentioned in an earlier post how I kept seeing the word LOVE everywhere, which gave me the idea to use this as a theme for a project. Making a start on this concept has stalled with the usual restraints we all have with work, family, friends and life admin. I’ve also been working on other business and product developments, which I’m still yet to finalise and launch. So I thought I’d keep adding to the LOVE series here in the meantime since I’m still coming across examples.

This window decal at Ziggy’s Barber Salon in Darlinghurst is fun but also supporting the LGBT community using the symbolic rainbow colours. Metal 3D letters highlighted with moody lighting and placed artfully on the wall at Gowings Bar in the city is also a stylish design. Two different treatments but these signs are still popping up to ‘show me love’ and it’s also a nice reminder for us all to believe that ‘you’ve got the love’.

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TYPE-RIGHTER // vintage pub art

Pubs in Australia are part of the suburban landscape and iconic to our culture. It’s a shame that so many are disappearing and being redeveloped into high rise apartment blocks due to the land size and good locations. Luckily there are some that are bought and revamped but it’s a fine balance of keeping the heritage while bringing them to the modern age. The architectural styles of the buildings can vary like Federation or Art Deco but I also find the signage used at the time interesting.

Vintage posters and beer branded signs were commonly displayed because the breweries had major influence over pubs by controlling the choice of beers they sold. Tooth & Co dominated in Sydney and eventually bought out Resch’s, which led to them owning the majority of city pubs. Tooth’s branding is still seen around such as this painted mural at Terminus Hotel in Pyrmont. Posters advertising beer brands were also popular and can still be spotted in older areas like The Rocks. I particularly like this Victoria Bitter one at the Royal Hotel in Bondi as the surfer represents the beach area and the graphic style is reflective of the era.

TYPE-RIGHTER // retro meets exotic

Stanbuli is a modern Turkish restaurant in Enmore established by the Porteno team and chef Ibrahim Kasif. Delicious food is obviously the focus but the architecture and history that abounds in this space is intriguing. Classic interiors with beautiful details such as lights, signs and eclectic photos salvaged from ancient marketplaces in Istanbul.

However it’s the juxtaposition of the famous exterior that adds even more interest. The heritage-listed pastel facade shows the shop was previously the Marie-Louise Salon. Locals say it was left in a time warp with hair products, newspapers and hand written appointment cards. The former owners were George and Nola Mezher, who later opened a soup kitchen in Pitt Street for the homeless after they won the lottery. Their philosophy was that everyone should have a great dining experience and their old salon also pays homage to food.

In this age where so many historic places are being lost to developers, it’s a relief this iconic spot has been left intact and lovingly restored. The vintage typography of the former salon signage complements the retro lines and colours of the shopfront. While the current restaurant logo on the door hints at the exotic fusion that awaits inside.

TYPE-RIGHTER // message in a tile

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The design trends of all things genuine and handcrafted has also seen the resurgence of the traditional art of signwriting. I love historic shop fronts with faded hand-painted signs or gold leaf typography, but they are fast disappearing. Another clever signage method is using tiles to mosaic the message which gives a fun and whimsical result. There’s not many around so I’m on the hunt…

STREETSCAPES // central park

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The redevelopment of Broadway has brought many architectural gems into this once forgotten part of the city. Central Park epitomises this modern change in a breathtaking environment thanks to a massive collaboration between renowned firms. The United Kingdom’s Foster + Partners, Ateliers Jean Nouvel from France worked alongside Australia’s most acclaimed architects including PTW Architects, Johnson Pilton Walker, Tzannes Associates and Tonkin Zulaikaha Greer. The buildings comprise of apartments, offices and a shopping precinct but it’s the way that it’s interspersed with public artwork and weekend markets that creates a community.

The success also lies within the extensive landscaping of parks and terraces as a result of the partnership of talented landscape architects, Sydney’s Turf Design and Jeppe Aagaard Andersen from Copenhagen. The environmental design uses an on-site trigeneration system for power, heating and cooling while rainwater is also captured. This sustainable approach follows through to the green rooftops and solar powered public spaces. With plenty of seating, walking and cycling paths this is a place that not only residents but the entire city can enjoy.

MASTERSTROKE // poster posers

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The simplicity of a striking image or a written passage can portray so much on something as simple as a poster. With all the exposure we have to so many digital platforms it’s nice to see how the beauty of a printed image on paper still stands out on the street. Whether it’s to capture our attention or convey a message or to just be an artwork on it’s own.

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