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36S-WhiteRakia-Bottle1_2048x2048

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I’m loving the understated beauty of this design for 36 Short, which is a type of Balkan spirit called Rakia. It is designed by the guys at Studio Band and I spoke to Creative Director Chris Cooper, about what went into the creation of the label design:

“We were approached by two brothers, Jon and Con Lioulios. The brothers were extremely passionate about taking their late fathers Rakia recipe, that had been passed down through their family for generations, from a tiny non commercial still operating in their shed to a brand and product that introduced the widely unknown spirit to the rapidly growing boutique, small batch spirits industry. After several weeks of research we wanted to develop a brand that removed itself from tradition and convention to allow the product to become more palatable and engaging to a relatively broad audience. Being that 36 Short was somewhat of a contemporary take on an age old recipe we felt it was extremely important to create a brand that reflected that, we wanted to avoid the trap of creating a brand that looked like it was designed for a different era, it needed to be honest. 36 Short is currently being launched to the public with huge interest, not only locally but also nationally and it is quickly becoming a stand out product within a highly competitive market.

So mission accomplished! And for all you type nerds out there, the sans font used is
Walsheim Bold from Grilli Type and the monotype font on the front and back label is Apercu Mono from Colophon, both excellent type foundaries. Studio Band are about to launch an update to their website, so keep an eye out for that in the not too distant future (in the meantime, there’s already some great work to look at on their current site). And if you want more information on 36 Short itself, there will me an extensive post on the product and producers on The Source, Adelaide food and wine website in the next day or so.

frame_birdcage_logo

Another inclusion into the plethora of great Adelaide graphic design practitioners comes in the form of local lads (three brothers in fact) Frame Creative. There’s lots to love on show on their website with some particularly beautiful typography treatments for starters (I’m a big fan of on that Birdcage logotype above) and some very attractive indeed website and online solutions to boot. I’m particularly interested in seeing their publication ‘Krass’ which I’ve just ordered a copy of, it looks pretty fab from what I’ve seen and I’m a sucker for any locally made publication. I look forward to seeing more updates on their site in the future.

The city of Adelaide (much to many residents shame) isn’t really renowned for it it’s architectural excellence or forward looking development projects – ‘change’ and ‘progress’ seem to be dirty words to the powers that be around these parts – it’s surprising then that the following project has made it through to approval. The Rundle Lantern will be contructed from 748 square panels, each with a LED light system on it, on the corner of Rundle and Pultney streets, where on the moment stands the fascade of a particularly ugly parking station. The piece was conceived by local design firm Fusion as a cultural canvas to showcase colourful interactive and moving imagery at night and as a unique art form during the day. Fusion were the only non-architectural firm to pitch, their concept requires no major re-building, landscaping or form. Beautiful in it’s simplicity, Fusion states “our vision was to add beauty to people’s lives without affecting the environment, to work with current structures, and to put Adelaide on the global map. If the concept picture is anything to go by, mission accomplished. The Rundle Lantern should go into operation later this year. You can read more about it and Fusion’s other great projects here.

This years Australian Graphic Design Awards Have been announced and will be presented in my good ol’ hometown of Adelaide. They’ve taken an interesting and some might say, controversial approach in their call for entries promotion – here is how the awards website describes the concept:

It has been said that the only people who bag Adelaide are those who have never been there and those who have never left. When the Victorian Premier, John Brumby, dropped his famous “backwater” comment about Adelaide, blog sites lit up with all manner of interstate opinion about our little town. Nine of the most popular opinions were taken directly from these blog sites, posted by real people, and given to Adelaide artists to interpret. Yes, we know that Adelaide can be a little weird, but that’s what makes the place interesting. We also enjoy having a laugh at ourselves.

It’s true, Adelaide seems to be the butt of jokes for the rest of the nation, especially those darn eastern states highbrows! 🙂 What the denizens of Melbourne and Sydney often fail to realise is no matter how much you keep telling everyone how cultured and sophisticated your town is in comparison, it doesn’t actually make it so. In Adelaide, we just tend to get on with things and leave the bravado to those with the insecurity problems! We can take it, how about the rest of you guys?

Anyway, the promotion for the awards came to members by way of one of nine A1 posters created by Adelaide artists, shown here with the ‘quote’ they based the artwork on. All the images were taken from the AGDA site and are of course © to the respective creators.

Daniel Noone
“Ah Adelaide, ya gotta love it, like a boring relative. A quaint little stop over on way to Perth. Full of Church’s, Fish’n Chip shops and Lesbians.” Posted by: Brad of Syd

I’m sure this poster looks great and lush at full size, it seems a very Advertising Awards solution which may not be a bad thing, it reminds me of something they might have done a few years ago, though the days when an image like this would truly shock anyone are long past.

Sam Barratt and Chris Edser
“No problems with Adelaide. I go there whenever I need Torana or Cortina parts.” Posted by: Bobby Bling of Bris Vegas

This is probably my favourite of all the posters and the most difficult of all the quotes to illustrate. Sam and Chris have run with it and created a wonderful, leftfield concept incorporating imaginary creatures that are ‘unique’ to Adelaide, unpretentious and fun.

Samantha Jarrett and Mash
“Adelaide is like that pathetic friend you can’t get rid of. Sure you go to his house ‘cause he’s got a ping pong table, but he’s a loser and a bit weird!” Posted by: Boxed Head of Ballarat

A great photo and really captures that ‘not quite right’ quality of the quote and an ‘otherness’ that Adelaide seems to embody to the rest of the country. No surprise that Mash are involved with the concept, as they seem to be becoming masters of portraying a uniquely Adelaidean off-kilter design aesthetic, ie: their work doesn’t look like it could come from anywhere else.

Danny Snell
“LOL … you must be kidding! Beautiful, peaceful Adelaide? That’s why it’s got the nickname “The Murder Capital” of Australia! SA’s you are pathetic bogans!” Posted by: Samantha Jones of Melbourne

Danny Snell is one of the best illustrators in Australia, and he doesn’t disappoint here. You don’t often get to see his work on such a large scale, so this must look fantastic at A1.

Benzo
“Cost of living is low, drug supplies are high.” Posted by: Wildcoug of Adelaide

Interesting style and nice inclusion of the eponymous Adelaide icons, the frog cake, Farmers Union Iced Coffee and Pale Ale. I really hate the shadow silhouette around the edge of the artwork though.

Nahum Ziersc
“The city that always sleeps.” Posted by: Ron of Sydney

My least favourite of all the concepts, this style of illustration just does nothing for me, and I’m not sure I see the connection between the quote and the artwork – I’m probably in the minority there though!

Fontaine Anderson
“Adelaide is like an annoying small dog that yaps, barks, jumps around and makes alot of noise about nothing, trying to be like a big dog.” Posted by: Vic of Melbourne

I love Fontaine’s artwork, but there’s something about this that doesn’t quite gel for me. There’s obviously a lot of work gone into it, maybe it comes across better viewing it at full size.

John Engelhardt
“Thought people in Adelaide were living proof Tasmanians could swim.” Posted by: The Swanny from Sydney

John Engelhardt is quickly becoming one of my favourite illustrators and pulls off a blinder with this fantastic single colour illustration. I would say he had the hardest quote to illustrate and executes it beautifully. I want him to design my full back tattoo when I finally become senile/pathetic enough to actually get one.

Timothy Ide
“It’s pretty much a small going nowhere town with a lot of dark seedy murders/child mollestations/rock spiders/ etc etc not the sort of town one would move to in a hurry. It has nothing going for it and is boring and gossipy. Turn the clock back to the 80s is what this boring town is all about. Who wants to go there? Delta Goodrem’s mother lives there and Lleyton and he’s a mindless jerk. Who else? A few nobody celebs might call Adelaide home. Why is anyone’s guess.” Posted by: Vic lover of Vic

There’s always been something a bit creepy about Timothy Ide’s work, so he seems the perfect choice to illustrate probably the most controversial of the quotes, he falls just short of crossing the line. If any of these pieces are likely to raise an uproar, this one’s it.

So there you have it, at the very least, some nice illustrations and a pretty interesting concept. Kudos to Voice as well for their ‘boots ‘n all’ logo for the event, at first I thought it looked too ‘alchohol promtion’ but it has since grown on me.

If this has picqued you’re interest in the Awards, you can get all the details at the AGDA website. It’s always an interesting event, despite there being too many categories, too many awards, too many judges, too self inclusive and too damn expensive to enter – but that’s another article! 🙂


When I was a wee young ‘un growing up, my Saturday mornings from first light to noon were filled with watching cartoons. From watching the antics of my favourite ‘Looney Tunes’ I dreamed of one day working in animation and being able myself to bring these wild creations to life. Well, my life took a different path of course, but through these years I’ve maintained my love for the medium and my repect for any practitioneers of it. You think it’s tough working as a design studio in Adelaide, then try running your own animation business. One group of talented individuals who have are The People’s Republic of Animation. With a healthy mix of commercial and self initiated projects, they’ve built an impressive portfolio of work that has garnered a great deal of national and international attention. Producer Hugh Nguyen was gratious enough to answer some questions about his work, even though he was enroute to Shanghai to promote one of The People’s Republic of Animation’s Short Films.

Chris Bowden: When did you first decide to become a get into animatior. Was there the proverbial ‘pivotal moment’?

Hugh Nguyen: Can’t think of a time when I wanted to get into animation. My two best friends and I were intersted in it and when we were 14 started making animation experiments with clay models, drawings and a super 8 camera. It just evolved into what it is today. From then I was always interested in making animation. there was a moment when i knew for sure I was going to do this fulltime. By uni, we had set up a studio to work out of and had some commissioned work coming through the door. Meanwhile, I was studying Business Information Systems and had work placements at IT companies as part of my course which I found absolutely BORING compared to what we were doing at the studio. at that point I saw what it was like on both sides and decided to go with animation. I could start seeing how i could make a living out of it. For the reaminder of my course, all i could think about was getting out and making more animation.

CB: Who are what inspires you at the moment?

HN: That’s a hard one. a lot of people do i guess. In animation, there are the aussies who have won/been nominated for Oscars – Adam Elliot, Anthony Lucas and sejong park. I’m always inspired by Pixar and Miyazaki who consistently make great films and never compromise on story or quality. In business, guys like Steve Jobs who continues to be innovative and drive great ideas that change the way we live and do things. In terms of humanity, guys like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet who are now using their enormous wealth to make a positive difference and set the bar for the rest of the world’s wealthy, and Al Gore who shows that you can make an even bigger difference without having totake the highest office in the most powerful country in the world.

CB: Which of the projects that you have worked on in the past are you most proud of and why?

HN: Hmmm, i’m proud of a lot of the work we’ve done. but the ones I’m particularly proud of are:

1. Sweet & Sour – first Australian/China animated co-production
2. Carnivore Reflux – a very successful short film we made that we self financed
3. Errorism: a comedy of terrors – a short format series that was first rejected for its controversial subject matter, but ultimately got off the ground because it was a great idea

CB: What do you do to keep yourself motivated?

HN: Well I’ve always wanted to see us making long format TV series and feature films. so as long as we haven’t made one yet, that’s enough motivation for me. but generally, seeing the stuff we work on and working with the great people we have at PRA and beyond gets me out of bed every morning.

CB: How do you approach a new project? How do you overcome the ‘dreaded blank page’ (or screen)?

HN: LOL. i’m not really on the “idea generation” side, but as a producer I do help refine ideas into “projects”. I work with great people that ensure that i am never short of a good idea!

CB: What are some of the unique challenges you’ve come up against plying your craft in a small town like Adelaide (and
finding work!) ?

HN: there’s not a whole lot of demand for animation in town! this has made us look beyond our borders and try to win friends and work in faraway places. Of course the animators and artists face creative challenges everyday that I take for granted how great they are at solving. keeping a balance between risky projects and service work while keeping a business together is also quite challenging. but rewarding!

CB: What project and, or client that you haven’t worked on would you love to?

HN: I’d love to do a beverage ad! they’re fantastic and have a lot of money behind them! any will do! i’d like to make a TV series for Cartoon Network, Disney or Nickelodeon too!

CB: What music have you been listening to lately?

HN: Pot luck as to what is on at the studio! there was a lot of folk/rock from the mid to late 60s the other day. I think it’s because our creative director (who puts on a lot of the music) has been reading a book on Laurel Canyon. My housemate is listening to a lot of Tripod at the moment, and it’s kind of inescapable at home!

My thanks, once again to Hugh for taking the time to answer some questions and enlighten us on some of the great work that The People’s Republic of Animation are doing. You can see more of their work here at their website.