February 1, 2012
Kenneth Cole, Awearness
On his “Awearness” blog, the fashion designer Kenneth Cole shares about his involvement in social causes, specifically what he refers to as the “four socially aware pillars of discussion: Social Rights, Well-Being, Political Landscape and Hard Times.” In 2007, he approached Melcher Media to publish a book that would convey some of the most poignant stories from individuals who have devoted their time to social causes.
We wanted the look and feel of the book to mirror the earnest call to action of Cole and his Awearness partners and to express the passion the contributors have for their causes. At the same time, we wanted to pair these insightful personal stories with the surprising statistical facts.
Teaming up with Kenneth Cole’s creative team, Melcher Media, and illustrator Andy Pressman, we art directed and designed the book to feel dynamic and relevant, using bold typography and clean page layouts to draw the reader’s attention from one poignant story to the next. Pictographs alert readers to sidebars and data; and photography is used to balance the typographic features and add a personal face to the issues. We created a fluid design that balances type, graphics, and photography, but respects the reader’s desire to engage directly with the activists’ words.
For more about Awearness, visit the blog at http://awearnessblog.com/.
LIFE Books, James Bond
50 Years of James Bond is the definitive dossier on all things Bond, timed to the 50th anniversary of the popular film series and the release of Bond’s latest adventure, “Skyfall,” in 2012. LIFE and its photographers have followed Bond over the years, documenting many of the films and actors on set, from Sean Connery, the series’ most famous Bond, to its current star, Daniel Craig. Our design for the book is inspired by the films’ famous iconography, with typography influenced by the series’ original period—the sixties—as well as the posters and title sequences of the films.
Since 2009, Li’l Robin has worked with LIFE Books to design several of the publisher’s titles. The books tell stories through images, often pulling photography from the extensive Time & Life picture collection. Each book maintains the iconic LIFE brand but creates a unique setting for the subject. The design elements are carefully coordinated to establish a framework that makes the images the focus, bringing the brilliant photography to “life.”
eDesign, Issue 3
Issue 3 of eDesign focused on the development of a standard vocabulary for interactive design, an emerging field at the time. The issue included a roundup of educational programs for interactive design, including a cover story about Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Design, a leader in the field.
Introduced in 2002, eDesign was a pioneering publication that anticipated the evolution of design from print to digital media. Li’l Robin’s Anke Stohlmann was the magazine’s founding art director, establishing a strong brand and graphic system for the bi-monthly publication. Conceived for an audience of interactive designers, eDesign was a must-have printed piece for a community married to the digital realm. According to Howard Cadel, eDesign’s publisher (at RC Publications), “The biggest challenge (was) the difficulty in showing on a printed page material that is better presented interactively.”
Our solution was to design the magazine as a two-dimensional translation of web aesthetics, with crystal clear navigation and distinctive icons identifying sections. Colorful illustrations adorned the cover and feature well, giving the reader additional entry points into each story. Sidebars accommodated different levels of readers’ expertise. The magazine’s innovative design was honored with Gold and Silver medals from the Society for Publication Designers.
SVA IxD, 20 Lessons in IxD
Designed for the School of Visual Arts in New York, 20 Lessons in Interaction Design: Stories from SVA’s MFA Interaction Design Alumni asks grads from the school’s influential IxD program to share what they’ve learned since graduating. Li’l Robin collaborated on the project with Liz Danzico, the founding chairperson of SVA MFA Interaction Design, and the illustrator Brian Rea. Instead of developing a traditional marketing brochure, Liz wanted to create a special publication that gave readers a look at the design thinking of the program’s graduates.
LIFE Books, George Harrison
Published in 2011, Remembering George Harrison: 10 Years Later commemorated the tenth anniversary of the death of the “quiet” Beatle. The book’s subdued design conveys the soulfulness of the musician and helps create an intimate portrait of his life. Read More