Friday, 30 July 2010

Fashionista Focus

Sydney Design 2010 is just around the corner with a packed program which has wishing we didn't have to work. We love making books, so were quick to reserve our spot for the talk at Berta next Monday evening and are busy slotting in dates for the other cool stuff on offer. There is a fashion focus at the Powerhouse Museum which is showcasing the work of Bruno Benini in Creating the look: Benini and Fashion Photography and running several workshops that give insight into the museum's fashion archives. Once inspired, eager photographers can upload their own fashion snaps to the Sydney Design Flickr Group Straight Up: On the streets in Sydney. As we know anything goes in the world of fashion. Will this project become the Man Repeller down under?

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Cycle hype

With green being the new black, bikes surely must be the new cars. While bicycles are synonymous with Amsterdam and Le Tour de France, their mainstream popularity is gaining momentum further south. In Sydney the push bike is being welcomed back with dedicated bike lanes and a dazzling array of snazzy new models. Jellybean Bikes will be sure to have you standing out in a crowd and Clarence Street Cyclery has a new store catering to women's needs. Or why not eat as you cycle with a Ride On Dinner?

Paris launched the hugely successful VĂ©lib’ project a couple of years ago giving Parisians and tourists alike access to some 20,000 bikes for a small fee. It's been so popular that the city is extending the program, and other urban jungles including London are on track to kerb congestion and reduce pollution.

For the design savvy there are eye-catching new models including the Bendable Bike which can snake around a lamp post and lock itself and the International Bike which conveniently packs down for travel without excess baggage. We've been pleased to see so many super sexy new styles as designers take up the two-wheeled challenge. For more inspiration see Monocle's video report on their website or head to Biomega's website to see what they've come up with.

With all these tales of bikes, we were reminded of the general wonderfulness of Les Tripletts des Belleville.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

This is: Abstract | Enews

Alun Leach-Jones

In an age of electronic communication, we were thrilled to receive an old-school type-written letter from our client Alun Leach-Jones. We worked together to produce his new book which documents his amazing artistic career. We loved the letter so much we wanted to share it:

"Twenty months ago I decided to start work on putting together the material for a new, and as it turned out, a big book dealing with forty years of work as a painter and sculptor.

Bringing together in an objective way all the complex elements of my creative history seemed a truly formidable task. At this point I met and started work with This is Ikon. Naturally I had some ideas on what the prospective book should look like, how the work could be presented in a manner not only helpful to me but also to the general public. Very quickly I realised that my ideas were over deterministic, narrow in their scope and reflected certain views around my own perceptions of my work and history that were not helpful, and could well stand in the way of producing a really good book.

Creative director Kate Dennis in a most perceptive, persuasive, objective and clever way presented imaginative and strikingly fresh ideas as to how we might proceed. It was obvious straight away that her ideas would reflect and reinforce the seriousness of my work and its long history.

Kate presented a classic understated, sophisticated reading of the narrative of my work, laying everything out in a clear and subtle design, free of fashion and tricky over-design. A most difficult thing to do. It was everything that I had hoped for. After much talk, much editing, and constant adjustments I started to grasp just how far we had advanced since we had started the project. Kate's understanding of how the book could look, important though this was, was not as important to me as her understanding and grasp of what I was trying to say and do in my work.

The whole book as it had developed gradually revealed to me what I had hoped for, but could not articulate. In a sense Kate and her team had made a book that to some degree revealed me to myself."

Click on this link to our website to see more of the book.

This is: Up our alley

As the Biennale of Sydney starts to wrap up, the Art Gallery of New South Wales brings to town some of the world's most famous artists in a must-see show, Paths to Abstraction. Featuring bold and vibrant works by Mondrian, Seurat, Malevich, Kadinsky and some 40 others, the paintings on display are just as exciting today as what they must have been at the time. Our appetite is whetted everytime we whiz past a bus stop feauturing an advert for the show. But to truly appreciate their stunning beauty, a trip to the Art Gallery is a must.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

This is: Quite Beautiful

Originally installed at the Sydney Opera House, Choi Jeong Hwa's work Hubble Bubble (above) for the Biennale of Sydney had to move to Cockatoo Island for fear it would blow away. Now that it is firmly secured on the isle, this extraordinary vision in green is not only playful, but a truly beautiful thing to experience. Be quick to wander through, the Biennale of Sydney ends soon.

Melbourne Art Fair

Just as the Biennale of Sydney winds up, the Melbourne Art Fair kicks off. Running from 4 to 8 August it's a showcase of the country's best and brightest talent. Melbourne Art Fair features a range of events including free lectures and commissioned exhibitions. This year artist Jon Campbell will reveal his Melbourne Art Foundation 2010 commission, a large-scale work that the Foundation will gift to an Australian public art institution.

Monday, 19 July 2010

This is: Iconic

Wolda is an online award scheme promoting excellence in visual communication with a focus on logo design. As a comprehensive collection of international logos ranked by the votes of participants, this site offers an informative overview of current opinion and trends in branding identities. Time will tell which will become icons of the future, but for now 'City of Melbourne' makes the grade sitting proudly in the top 10. Take a peak, it's a productive way to procrastinate.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Magazines are in vogue

The current Vogue Living hit the stands a few weeks ago and with extra pages and a bold new look, we've really enjoyed the read. An interview with Li Edelkoort was a great refresher for us after having been lucky enough to catch her recent Taking Flight presentation in Sydney. We weren't lucky enough to also make it to Milan in May, so receiving a free DVD wrap up of the furniture fair with the issue was a bonus.

Still talking more things magazines, photographer Steven Meisel has been reinventing the face of Vogue Italia for twenty years. See a snapshot of his astounding work here It is cool to compare his cover lineup with the Wallpaper's custom cover project. For the August 2010 issue, readers had the chance to design their own cover with intriguing results.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

This is: Geometric

Hailing from Germany, but based in East London, the Kapitza sisters are a design duo with a flair for pattern. Their bold designs have been brought together in the simply titled book Geometric featuring hundreds of pattern fonts. We love the bold use of colour and the array of endless possibilities. Inspirational!

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

The man in black is back

We're excited to report that following a sell-out season around the country, Tex Perkins and the Tennessee Four are returning to the Concert Hall in September. We're still amazed by how electrifying Tex was as he channeled the spirit of Johnny Cash in a mesmerising performance. We're getting ready to walk the line. Image courtesy of the Sydney Opera House.

Monday, 12 July 2010

This is: Inspirational

We take our hat off (365 times) to the success of another smart idea. While we've been recently grumbling about a limited winter wardrobe, we must remember the brainchild behind The Uniform Project 2009/10 managed to wear one black dress every day for a year. Reinvented daily with vintage, hand-made, or hand-me-down accessories, the seasonal transformation puts us to shame. The purpose was to raise money for the Akanksha Foundation who work to help educate and cloth Indian children. Savvy execution and inspirational style have so far raised over $100,000 for a great cause.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Design Folio strike gold

We're pleased to shout out our congratulations across the pacific to our client Design Folio. They recently scored Gold with the second issue in the 2010 Pride in Print Awards. The judges were very impressed noting the use of "sumptuous and beautiful layout with rich colours and a good use of alternative stocks." Click here to see inside the winning issue.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Get your skates on

We really miss summer here at This is Ikon, but thankfully there is joy to be had in winter. Carriage Works at Eveleigh present the coolest festival in town with Winter Wonderland running throughout July. The entertainment line-up features a terrific music program offering something for everyone, from country to disco and a raft of cool new bands. Along with the now regular Finders Keepers market, other market stalls will be selling Alpine foods (we're intrigued) alongside the main draw card, ice-skating. Book now to ensure a fun time this winter.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010


M.J. Bale launched its flagship store in Woollahra this week. Brimming with style, Kelvin Ho's interiors are a smart match for Matt Jensen's tailoring and the whole experience it set to be a surefire hit with fans of the brand. We are in no doubt Jensen is on track to realise his mission to see more sharply dressed men on Sydney's streets.

Hot on the heels of our work to support the Black Dog Institute (through the Woman's Anthology 2010 launch exhibition), we were thrilled to discover the men were rallying to further the same good cause. M.J. Bale ran a silent auction for a custom suit package, with guests raising over $2,500 for the charity.

Expect a spike in the number of well-dressed men around town.

Friday, 2 July 2010

This is: Obsessive

Thanks to Inside Out, we stumbled upon this terrific little blog called A Collection Day 2010. We love the quirky collections and the compositions they create. So clever and such commitment! We're all curious. What will tomorrow bring?