At Aquí, we take our cuppa Joe very seriously. Rest assured, because the same applies when it comes to design. As avid coffee drinkers, we often ask, “How do you like your coffee?” And as a creative boutique, we like to ask, “How do you like your design?” Joe is a blog segment where we - #TeamAquí - share our design inspirations.
In Maria’s recent list of saved posts on Instagram, one that stood out from the numerous sourdough-related posts was a design from MamboMambo (@allomambo), a branding agency based in Quebec City, Canada. The design that caught Maria’s attention was Le Fonds Mille et UN. We could not figure out what it was about as it was all written in French. After a bit of research, we found out that it was a project funding initiative for young people in Canada, which is something that we would not have guessed. After visiting the one-pager website, it was obvious that UI UX Design was one of the agency’s strong suits. We say that because we see a good balance in aesthetic and functionality through the interface, which is the holy grail in the world of UX. The illustration is simple, yet it focuses a lot on movement which is what gives it energy. Pairing it with primary colours is what gives it a snazzy look overall, but nothing too over the top. Any display font would have made the brand identity look a lot more decorative than it needed to be, which is why having a sans-serif typeface to even it out seemed to make a lot of sense. It is hard to find a word that fully describes the visual identity of this initiative, but it is definitely somewhere along the lines of vibrant, clean and youthful.
Henn Kim is an illustrator from South Korea that Evelyn has been following. She is behind the cover art for Sally Rooney’s 2018 Bestseller, Normal People, and have recently created a new set of illustrations to celebrate the BBC Three series. There is always a dark catch to Kim’s drawings that evoke a sense of melancholy when you have digested its meaning. “It really makes you think,” Maria says. Arguably a surrealist, the artist often uses common objects and everyday situations to express complex feelings, which makes looking at her art a very personal and almost intrusive experience.
“Channelling my feelings of depression and translating them into works of art – this process has now become part of my self-care system,” said the artist in an interview with South China Morning Post.
Kim’s drawing style is described as minimal, simply using clean lines and the colour black for contrast, which oddly enough, makes her illustrations therapeutic to look at. There is beauty in her ability to interpret strong and intense feelings in a way that is cathartic for others. In a way, it has created a space for healing through the comfort of knowing “you are not alone”.
"Drawing might be the same thing as seeing a shrink or talking with friends for other people. In the end, my suffering and sadness become my art,” Kim said in an interview with BBC.
Awhile ago, when Nella was still studying in Melbourne, Dodgy Roger, founder of Dodgy Paper, was invited to join one her lectures and talk about his company. Dodgy Paper makes recycled handmade paper out of used paper scraps. “Making your own paper is not something new, but he gets really experimental with it. There was once he blended a phone and made paper pulp out of it,” Nella said. It was at the time that she pulled out a guide (that she made for school) and showed us how easy it was to make paper.
“With each batch, I don’t intend to have a specific outcome - I just let it turn out how it does. Every sheet has a story. Every sheet is an artwork.” — Dodgy Roger
Dodgy Roger, the one who is always in a yellow bucket hat and raincoat, is highlighting the fact that we do not actually need to cut more trees to produce fresh paper. He also thinks that creativity is important, and has been supportive of artists who use Dodgy Paper (his art) to make art. Roger had invited artists, creatives and makers to create works on Dodgy Paper and held an exhibition to showcase their artworks.
“Any kind of creativity is important, or else you’d just be doing the same thing everyday. Thinking creatively allows you to have fun and enjoy all kinds of aspects of your life.” — Dodgy Roger
Once in awhile, Yu Ting finds herself craving for some soulful content on the internet - something real, something genuine. Does it really exist?
Rachel Nguyen (aka That’s Chic) is a Youtuber who first started out as a blogger. How do we describe her? Honest, passionate, free-spirited and spontaneous. She is more than a fashion blogger, vlogger, or influencer; she is herself - a special friend to most maybe. Watching her content makes you feel close to her, because she lets you in on her deepest thoughts and is unafraid to share her perspective with you. She has a distinct style when it comes to creative direction, one that feels organic and fitting in the moment.
“Great style to me is how you carry yourself in life – it’s everything from the way you hold a surfboard to the way you repurpose a scarf. It’s being cool and calm in all your actions,” Rachel said in an interview with The Style Line.
Rachel is always looking to reinvent herself, constantly finding new creative inspirations and outlets to stimulate her creative mind. Sometimes, she takes you on a 7-day solo road trip where she does a lot of introspection. Other times, she talks to you from home and and lets in on her personal struggles. There are times where you would have a good laugh with her, but there are also times where you might break down with her. And that is the proof of an unexplainable and powerful connection that she has created with her audience. So if you are looking to nourish your soul or seek inspiration, Rachel’s Youtube channel might just be the place.
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