A VISUAL LIFE | Creative Direction + Design

Tag: signage

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.

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HOUSE CALL // warehouse wishlist

As you can probably tell I have a love for architecture. Who knows, if I hadn’t become a graphic designer I might have been an architect? I’ve always loved Mid Century Modern design and I still aspire to owning one of those iconic houses one day. Art Deco is another era I adore and my apartment building is testament to this. Looking through all the interior references I’ve collected I’ve worked out that I’m also partial to the bohemian beach shack style.

Polar opposite to all these styles is my love for that urban industrial look. I’d be so happy to take on any of these warehouses to renovate. These factories in the inner west have elements of the period features that I’ve mentioned. My wishlist would be exposed brick, timber rafters and concrete floors. An open plan space with a designated studio would be ideal. The plan was to move beach-side but I could be tempted…

TYPE-RIGHTER // presence

As a graphic designer I have a love for typography and I’m fascinated with the process of creating type. Typographers can have creativity but the successful ones also need the technical knowledge and finesse to make it work. Sydney illustrator and artist Gemma O’Brien has become famous for her font-based artworks and large-scale picturesque murals. She also uses the pseudonym Mrs Eaves for her social media and has had many commercial successes. Respected and recognised for her work, she has presented many talks on typography at design seminars worldwide. Her works predominantly mix lettering with illustrative elements to create visual illusions between the written word and intricate line patterns.

This weekend she had created two large hand-painted installations on the gallery walls at China Heights for her show Presence. The word JOY is almost illegible even though the letters are bold but it is delicately intertwined with flowing lines and botanical references. The other wall is blank except for black script with the phrase Desire Seeks Mystery as a simple statement. These may seem conceptual but the message reflects her personal view of feeling good in an age of global uncertainty. Only on show for three days before being painted over forever, the limited time gives the pieces an energy and performance art effect due to their temporary nature.

STREETSCAPES // the rocks

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Being a local in Sydney you can sometimes take the beauty of the city for granted. When I recently spent a day playing tourist it opened my eyes again. The Rocks has heritage elements everywhere with sandstone walls chiselled by convicts and cobbled laneways once frequented by settlers, sailors and soldiers. You can picture what life must have been like over 200 years ago by exploring the heritage buildings and some of the oldest pubs in Australia.

This historic precinct is a colourful mix of the past and present, with plenty to see and do. Food festivals are held here regularly, but new bars and restaurants are adding to the cultural scene. While the weekly markets, art galleries and museums have always made it a creative hub. It’s a great spot to wander around, make discoveries and have a history lesson while having fun along the way.

 

INSTA-JAM // 2016 countdown

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I know it’s like wishing time away but I think we all agree that 2016 has been a very interesting year that has been punctuated by loss and turmoil. Now that the end of the year is counting down, I’m looking forward to a new year of hope and beauty. I’m sharing some moments from my Instagram as a reminder of brighter times and moving into the future. Wishing you all a peaceful, fun holiday break and may 2017 shine!

MASTERSTROKE // mural love

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Melbourne is renowned for street art but Sydney is evolving and the artform is gaining momentum here too. I love making discoveries when I walk down an alleyway or drive through a side street (yes I am that person who stops to take a photo!).

Respected graffiti artist Phibs painted the facade of this warehouse in Stanmore. He is one of the city’s most prolific and established graffiti and street artists, also making a name for himself within the fine arts world. His strong, distinctive style suits this packaging service’s premises which is run by St Vincent de Paul Society and provides employment for people with a disability. The biggest surprise was in Potts Point with this striking black and white drawing of a woman in a room. The tiling angled to a vanishing point is perfect since it’s in an alley so the perspective works with the actual street location. Then there’s the charm of this abandoned corner shop in Botany which has had a simple revamp with a childlike painting of a tree landscape. I’m unsure whether this was done by the owners or locals, but it puts a smile on your face and cheers up an otherwise bland wall.

Large scale murals are commanding but sometimes it’s the mystery of the artist and the concept of the piece which is just as intriguing. A simple quote by Henri Matisse sums it up “creativity takes courage”.

 

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