The gorgeous production design for the Queen’s Gambit

We just finished watching The Queen’s Gambit in Netflix and I was so impressed by the cinematography, costumes, sets and the overall impeccable production design and styling. The last time a series’ art direction and design made such an impression on me was when I watched Mad Men.

The show is situated in the 1950s and ’60s as the story’s fictional heroine Elizabeth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy) — a brilliant yet self-destructive chess prodigy raised in an orphanage — rises to international fame.

The show’s production designer Uli Hanisch is behind the sets, whether it’s the orphanage, or the traditional mid-century-modern home, or the glamorous chess-tournament events hosted in Las Vegas, Paris and Mexico City. Everything is palette-matched and perfect. Special mention will have to go to the full-pattern and colourful wallpapers inside the Wheatley home.

It is interesting that, while the story spans the globe, most of The Queen’s Gambit was shot in Berlin, even the Aztec Hotel chess tournament which is supposedly based in Mexico City.

Designed by Gabriele Binder, costumes for The Queen’s Gambit reflect the growing sophistication and self-assurance of the main character, often incorporating structural lines and black-and-white patterns, taking inspiration by chess colours, while paying homage to Pierre Cardin, Courrèges and the Mod style of the era.

A very interesting (virtual) exhibition of the costumes included in the series is presented in “The Queen and The Crown” by the Brooklyn Museum.

Choice

Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.

– Roy T. Bennett

The typographic portraits of John Mavroudis

“Trump Words” cover for The Nation magazine
Trump Covid-19 poster

John Mavroudis is one of the most influential contemporary illustrators. He was born in California (from a Greek father and an American mother) and gained international reputation for the cover of TIME magazine, featuring Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, created by her powerful quotes. Using the same method, he previously created the portrait of US President Donald Trump for The Nation.

He is also the designer who created the posters for the 60th anniversary of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival this year.

Aerial Photography Awards 2020

Skyggnisvatn by Sebastian Muller

Thousands of photographers from 65 countries submitted their work for the first  Aerial Photography Awards. The jury selected 106 winning photos across 22 categories, including Abstract, Architecture, Constructions, Daily life, Landscapes, Sports, Travel, and Wildlife.

Belgian photographer Sebastien Nagy won the title of Aerial Photographer of the Year for his strong showing in the competition. His photo of a Santorini hotel won first place in the Hotels category.

“Chromata” by Sebastien Nagy, 1st place, Hotels
The Frame by Bachir Moukarzel
Spanish rainbow by Sebastien Nagy
Rise by Ben Moore

Creativity from the US elections

Illustrated by Johanna Goodman

My Instagram feed these past days and weeks has once again seen a creativity explosion concerning the US election. From the very start, my favourite illustrators, letterers and designers, have been super supportive of the Biden campaign, creating posters for awareness and encouraging people to vote.

I have gathered here a small selection of work from all stages of the election: voting awareness and early voting, election day, anticipation for the results and finally, enormous joy and relief for the final verdict!
A new era begins for America.
Enjoy!

Illustrated by Mary Kate McDevitt
Illustrated by Mary Kate McDevitt
By the New Yorker Magazine
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V O T E .

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By Christoph Niemann
Illustration by Frederic Forest
Illustration by John Bond
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B Y E B Y E 👋🏻

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Illustrations by Shepard Fairey
Illustrations by Zoe Ingram (left) and Adam JK (right)
Illustration by Lisa Congdon
Illustration by Debbie Millman

‘I don’t wanna go!’
And last but not least, watch this prophetic clip from a 2017 “Comedy Central” sketch, which perfectly captures exactly what’s happening in the White House right now. ‘Trump’ throwing an epic tantrum at primary school is so beautifully done!

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