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Mar 13, 2013
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Creative Cluster

I come across designers, studios, and firms all the time that make my jaw drop with love, lust, and envy. As someone who is a “self-taught” designer (as in, I don’t have a degree in design or art), looking at, analyzing, and admiring other people’s work has been one of the most fun and most educational aspects of teaching myself design. More often then not these creatives don’t get the attention they deserve, so I’m gathering them here with this regular roundup of educational inspiration. Enjoy!

Brave the Woods

Brad Woodard/ Boston, MA/ design & illustration

I know why I immediately liked Brad and Brave the Woods - his bio says he began at Column Five Media, one of my first beloved design firms, and contributed to Visual News, another one of my favorite places to find news and inspiration. His work is wicked playful, colorful, and shows serious design chops without taking itself too seriously.

Choice Work: Little Backpacker for We Uplift

Brigada Creativa

Barcelona, Spain/ design & iconography

It seems like everything Brigada Creativa does has an element of iconography, whether it’s the main element or an underlying element that creates the framework of a more elaborate piece. Since they know how to do iconography well, the other works reflect that expertise. The studio’s icons are classic with a bit of a edge, and larger projects like 1ª Propuesta are full of vibrant colors and bold accents.

Choice Work: Life Calendar: Cómo ha ido el día?

Craig & Karl

Craig Redman & Karl Maier/ New York & London/ graphic design

Who says you have to be working in the same studio in order to collaborate? Craig and Karl take it even further by having The Pond in between them, but it doesn’t impede on their consistently vivd work. They do everything from illustration to identity to art direction, and all with a style reminiscent of pop art comics using bold colors, heady outlines, strong typography, an some of the best examples of flat design you can find.

Choice Work: character design for Rooftop Cinema in Melbourne

Kyle Miller Creative

Kyle Miller/ Los Angeles, CA/ graphic design

Everything in Kyle Miller’s collection of work has a distinct attitude with heavy use of typography that’s often crisp and/or hand written. He definitely lets words do the talking, while having colors, iconography, and images as accents to beautiful typography. I also really like the vintage feel of some of his infographics.

Choice Work: graphic design for Lancaster Brewing Co. tee shirts

Proud Creative

London/ identity & graphic design

Proud Creative is well-established for many reasons - its impressive portfolio of branding, identity, print, digital, and other designs is only one part of its success. The other comes from its approach to the design process which focuses on simplicity, evoking position communication, and figuring out how intangible property fits in to our lives (an idea they call “brand ergonomics”).

Choice Work: identity for luxury jewelry-smith Guy & Max

Above photos, first to last: Brave the Woods, Brigada Creativa, Craig & Karl, Kyle Miller Creative, Proud Creative

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