Shawna X

Shawna X

With bright neon colors and lush gradients, Shawna X crafts illustrations that illuminate today’s hottest political issues. In her recent exhibition, Alone Together, she focused on matters that have heightened post-election, such as discrimination, climate change, and sexism. The title of the series is shown most clearly in the mural above. Here she conveys a growing disconnect amongst the American public. Shawna explains, “We allow ourselves to stay within our comfort zones—our pools—but we don’t reach out to the other side for more open dialogue and understanding. We’re either thriving or dying. We’re both awake and ignorant. We’re isolated yet we’re next to one another.”

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Triangle Studio

Triangle

Triangle Studio strives to design with “rational strategy and emotional harmony” in mind. This mentality helps them create clean and balanced compositions that shine with vivid colors and playful patterns. Based in Seoul, they craft packaging, branding, and editorial work for an array of clients. In addition to their professional projects, the studio releases a quarterly publication called Try Angle Papers. Here they experiment with different techniques, including marbling and papermaking, to create unique notebooks, posters, and postcards.

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Marylou Faure

Marylou Faure

Specializing in character design, Marylou Faure creates colorful worlds filled with fearless fashionistas, tattooed hipsters, and adorable animals. These quirky and emotive characters have led to collaborations with Google and Glow to create stickers for their messaging apps. The success of the stickers inspired her to launch a set of her own titled, The Feels. Here she proves her whimsical approach to illustration is a perfect match for the medium. Her hungry hamburgers and flirtatious pairs of underwear would make anyone respond with an enthusiastic, “LOL”.

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Glasfurd & Walker

Glasfurd & Walker

Glasfurd & Walker crafts memorable brands that burst with personality. Based in Vancouver, they collaborate with an array of Canadian businesses including salons, retail shops, and dining establishments. I am especially impressed with their identity system for Park, a restaurant and distillery inspired by its unique location in the Banff national forest. As an ode to its surroundings, the system features bold typography and retro color schemes reminiscent of WPA posters of the past. This is further reinforced in the packaging for a line of liquors that features illustrations of the area’s beautiful mountain ranges. For visiting campers, the studio designed a plethora of souvenirs including, mugs, pocketknives, merit badges, and matchboxes. These elements come together to create a whimsical brand that celebrates the town’s rustic lifestyle.

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Brandon Land

Brandon Land

Flipping through Brandon Land’s portfolio, I can’t help but smile at the clever nature of his work. He often creates logos that feature optical illusions and double meanings. I’m particularly impressed with his emblem for the fundraiser Run for Lungs, in which a pair of sneakers resembles a set of lungs. This wit is also present in his personal work and satiric illustrations for Super Deluxe. Referencing politics, pop culture, and sports, these drawings serve as social critiques that shed humor on today’s hot topics.

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Jose Mendez

Jose Mendez

Jose Mendez’s gangly characters and bright berry color palettes are hard to ignore. His wavy strokes and letterforms derive from his love for graffiti, while his skilled use of contrast stems from his studies in graphic design and animation. Utilizing these signature elements, his illustrations dissect human behavior and explore themes such as consumerism, subcultures, and sexuality. While investigating these topics, Mendez finds himself often drawing food. These illustrations have caught the attention of international culinary publications and led to collaborations with Lucky PeachNoblerot, and Eat Magazine. Today, Mendez bring his unique aesthetic to an array of clients including, the BBC, Converse, and The New York Times.

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Elliot Kruszynski

Elliot Kruszynski

Elliot Kruszynski’s illustrations fill me with delight. Using simple shapes, he crafts lively scenes in which everyone, even inanimate objects, proudly sport large toothy grins and are consistently excited. Even when tough situations arise, his characters take them in stride and still find joy. This is often reflected in their amplified expressions that are hilariously relatable and almost emoji-like. Kruszynski’s skill for capturing life’s ups and downs has led to collaborations with a variety of clients including, Anorak Magazine, The Telegraph, and Vice.

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Opisso Studio

Opisso Studio

Opisso Studio crafts impressive identity and branding work for brands and institutions throughout Spain. Often using geometric forms and bright colors, they create memorable logos, custom typefaces, and striking illustrations. I especially love their logo for Asobal, a Spanish handball association. Using simple flat shapes, they crafted a charming handball player who looks focused and ready for battle.

In addition to their identity work, they often create graphics for some of Spain’s most respected museums. While working with The Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, the studio employed a range of typographic styles to convey the spirit of each program. For the museum’s ongoing education series, which encourages experimentation and provides activities for families, Opisso created a robust typeface with playful sensibilities. The letterforms’ modularity expresses the program’s structured curriculum, while the striped patterns and neon colors portray its child-friendly components. In stark contrast, a more somber look was implemented for a retrospective focused on the concept of a “siege” by applying large domineering signage on red and black walls.

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Rico Greb

Rico Greb

Rico Greb is a German designer who often crafts album covers and posters for bands and music festivals. Employing flat shapes and inviting colors, he creates geometric illustrations filled with subtle nuances. A deep look into his compositions reveals minute details that expose hidden characters and telling symbolism. As faces, landscapes, and other images emerge, so does the full story of each piece. Greb’s affection for geometry can also be seen in his collage work, in which he uses mirroring techniques for a heightened effect. These dynamic arrangements are often vibrant and kaleidoscope-like.

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Savvy Studio

Savvy Studio

Savvy is a design, branding, and architectural studio based in New York and Mexico. While working with a global clientele, they craft sleek and timeless designs that highlight the unique characteristics of each product. This can easily be seen in their work for Index, an art book fair focused on independent publishers. For the event, Savvy crafted a brochure inspired by the range of styles and materials employed within contemporary publications. Featuring a variety of paper sizes and a vibrant flier, the piece encouraged curiosity and exploration. The finished pamphlet was an informative and striking piece of art.

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