• 10.7.15   Roof Studio Constructs the American Dream with American Express

    As we leave behind a record recession for the American economy, there is huge opportunity for growth. The economic contraction forced many businesses to become leaner and focus on necessities, making for work that is more efficient and focused. But recent employment numbers and economic growth the last couple years means that part of our history is mostly over. For business owners, now is the opportunity to start expanding again, using the lessons learned from the downturn. American Express Business wants to be the one to enable the next period of growth and tapped Roof Studios to help them spread their message through a series of print ads and a video that visualizes their hopes for their customers.  The imagery depicts a composition that reflects an American Express credit card but set up as the composite pieces of a miniature model construction. It’s a visual metaphor for how working with a company like American Express can help create the pieces necessary to bring a business to the next level. That combination of ideas presented a visual challenge that Roof dove right into. “Our favorite part of this project was definitely the animation. We wanted to find the perfect mix with simplicity and dynamism,” says Guto Terni of Roof Studios. “It was a challenge to find the right blend of dynamism with just a card rotating. In the end we were really happy with the result.” The metaphor is brought to life in the animations as the pieces combine themselves and get to work. A tractor digs, a desk comes together as a work surface. We see the construction of the American business take shape in real time, which is exactly what American Express is trying to illustrate.  Creating images entirely from scratch, like the CGI that roof did in the project, means that there are infinite possibilities. A collaborative spirit is crucial to making a process with pure potential turn into something focused and beautiful (like what Roof did). “The client was on board for all of it. It was great working with the team at Ogilvy. They were very collaborative in this process from beginning to end,” says the team at Roof. “That's what we are about.“ The collaborative process that Roof found with their creative compatriots made for a project that was both exciting and successful.
  • 10.9.15   Kai & Sunny Remember Gavin Clark Through His Own Work

    Part of what makes Kai & Sunny’s work so visceral is the hand drawn process of creating the imagery. Each line and dot is carefully applied next to the last in a meticulous process that begins to reveal an image over time. It takes incredible focus but eventually the composition is uncovered like a new being. Gavin Clark, the celebrated English singer-songwriter, passed away earlier this year and like any active artist was working to the end. That left some work unfinished, and they’ve been brought together in the upcoming album entitled “Evangelist.” The EP was finished by his friends and long time collaborators Pablo and James, known as TOYDRUM, as a way to honor their friend and fellow artist. They asked Kai & Sunny, who were also friends with Gavin, to provide the artwork for a record that is poised to be a haunting self-eulogy for those who so profoundly feel his loss. "We wanted the imagery and concept to be very rough and low-fi but with a high end packaging finish," explain Kai & Sunny who used Gavin's image and style as the inspiration for the project. Working off of photographs, Kai and Sunny applied their techniques to create the whole feel of the album artwork. The most notable convergence of photographs with Kai & Sunny’s style comes in the image for “Whirlwind of Rubbish,” a single off the record. The horizontal lines, iconic to Kai & Sunny’s work, skate across the image like a blast of wind while Gavin stands in its midst with his jacket gripped against his body. The image is most obviously a metaphor for the whirlwind he’s being subjected to in the theme of the song but also like a shade looking back to us from the other side of a veil. We see him now, separated from us by passing beyond life, speaking again through his music. It is a fitting image of a life creatively lived and a reminder to those who miss him. Watch for Evangelist to be released on December 11 of this year.
  • 10.7.15   Joey L's Lavazza Calendar: A Study in Sustainability

    It was an epic, forty day, non-stop shoot through Brazil, Peru, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico, that made Joey L’s calendar for Italian espresso brand Lavazza possible. For the uninitiated, the calendar is a big deal. Joey is the latest addition to a roster of photographers that includes Steve McCurry, Martin Schoeller, Annie Leibovitz, Erwin Olaf, David LaChapelle, and Helmut Newton, among others that have created these monumental projects. The whirlwind Lenten length shoot is an inherent part of capturing this depth in a project, and earned through the international recognition that the annual calendar commands.  This year the theme is “From Father to Son,” a continuation of last year’s theme, focusing on vertically responsible and sustainable food practices in a world economy that extends beyond coffee. Lavazza’s ongoing partnership with Slow Food, a company that makes small, sustainable farming more widely available in the world market, fills out the calendar so that the images touch on the entire universe of food and how families come together to put beautiful food on the table. At one point, Joey got to photograph oyster farmers who have their own small operation in the shadow of Brazil’s factory farming, but with the help of Slow Food and Lavazza they’ve been able to find the customers they need. “In that region in Brazil there are a lot of huge companies that oyster farm in a factory type setting. But Slow Flood comes in and they see a family run business doing it in a more sustainable way,” explains Joey. “And instead of getting the products from the factory, they open up a supply chain directly with these family run places to a restaurant or a supermarket in Italy or Paris.” It is an operation of access, and it’s changing the lives for these farmers while changing the quality of food being made available to the world. This is a serious issue as our relationship with food becomes ever more distant from the source. But as Joey L tells it, the Lavazza calendar this year is bringing a face to this heritage and encapsulating the value of the tradition. “Our Calendar is focusing on the future generation of agriculturalists,” says Joey. “Every single shot is a group shot in a way, even if the parent, or the grandmother or grandfather is in the background somewhere. For me it was always approaching it as a group shot first. Collaborating together. It always started with trying to show two people. It shows the passing of generations. Showing people together.” These farmers are hands on, keeping the human element connected with the food from beginning to end guaranteeing more sustainable practices and universal experiences. To tell such an important story required the crazy schedule that Joey L and his team embarked on, all forty days through all those countries, meeting those people, and having a few cups of coffee in between. “Our only break was maybe sitting in the van for 12 hours. It was a really daunting challenge holistically it was non-stop. It was the craziest thing I’ve ever done commercially,” says Joey. “It was a dream assignment, to be honest.” 
  • 10.6.15   Stephen Wilkes Opens "Remnants"

    As the world braced for Hurricane Sandy in 2012, we knew it was going to be big but few knew that the devastation would reach far enough into the future to affect communities to this day. The largest Atlantic hurricane on record hit every east coast state of the United States, affecting 24 states in all and costing $75 billion dollars, a figure that continues to rise as the days go on even all these years later. Immediately after the storm, Stephen Wilkes strapped on his camera to help communicate to the world the breadth and depth of the damage for those who weren’t able to understand it. With boots on the ground and shots from the air, Stephen captures the devastation from every possible angle, creating a visual time capsule of the storm’s effects. Stephen does work like this because he finds his skills as a photographer go a long way towards making these stories digestible to the larger population. “I’ve often found that there is great power in telling difficult stories in a beautiful way,” says Stephen. “There are moments in journalism when the media captures the visual details of a disaster, yet sometimes misses the true scale of devastation.”  There are millions of factors that make a storm like Sandy happen, but the global warming and rising temperatures of our oceans are some of the largest contributors to the severity of the storm. A higher water line meant deeper flooding and greater damage. Stephen hopes that showing the inevitable impact of human activity in the world can lead to change in how we interact with our environment. “It’s my hope that these images serve as a wakeup call — whether that call is about global warming, infrastructure, or just the recognition that the world is changing, it’s a reminder that we need to take special care of our fragile world.” Stephen Wilkes’ “Remnants” is on view at Monroe Gallery of Photography in Santa Fe, New Mexico through November 22.
  • 10.5.15   Vault49 and GE Show You How the Brain Works

    The human brain is one of the world’s great mysteries. Perhaps that’s a species centric way to look at it, but why not focus our wonder on the piece of our nervous system that makes us who we are? It’s one of the most exciting areas of biological study with breakthroughs coming one after another as we dig to a deeper understanding of our human condition. General Electric, the company best known for home appliances, is one of the companies on the cutting edge of brain research and they’re really quite proud of their work. So they linked up with Vault49 to help spread the word about what they’re up to. “Together with Vayner Media, we interviewed six GE scientists, asking them to explain how the brain acts differently when exposed to various challenges and emotions,” says Jonathan Kenyon of Vault49. They took what they learned and communicated the ideas and lessons into a series of videos that explain these complex sciences to the layman. Whether looking at the way the brain physically changes when it’s learning, by examining the brain chemistry of a drummer, to figuring out what makes an introvert’s brain different, everything was set up to give a crash course in neurosciences that were engaging and educational. “We created six pieces of captivating content that lit up GE’s social media feeds with interesting and surprising ways to tell their stories,” says Jonathan. In the environment of social media it’s crucial to use time effectively, so Vault49 took Vayner Media’s scripts and infused them with visual heft and storytelling magic. Even though GE has been around for more than a century they’re happy getting outside help to show off their work. They’re busy making headway in these groundbreaking areas, so it’s up to Vault49 to bring those discoveries to the public so that we can understand them. “GE has so much going on beneath the corporate surface that can only be grasped by meeting their people and understanding the passions that fuel them,” says Jonathan. “Their process felt equally as creative as our own, and with awe-inspiring results.” With each group focusing on their individual creations we get to experience, learn, and watch as this new ground is being uncovered.
  • 10.5.15   Dina Calabro Brings Fall to Life with Elle Bulgaria

    We don’t have to tell you that Autumn is upon us, and although you could take with that a dose of sadness leaving behind the warm weather and summer sun, Dina Calabro is ready to change your mind. She’s teamed up with Elle Bulgaria for her latest editorial that demands that you chase autumn with a dash of energy and your best cheer. The story turns it up with some of the season’s most beautiful fashions. Layers are the name of the game as the temperature drops, and there’s no better reason to get excited. The textured and effortless hair that Dina created is fresh and graceful, while remaining bold in its natural feel. The sophisticated texture and light energy reflects what we love so much about fall: the closeness and heat it inspires. As nature starts to wind down for a long winter sleep now’s the perfect time to kick it up and inject a bit of life into your style, and Dina's work shows us exactly how to make that possible. Check Dina Calabro’s full portfolio to see all of her newest projects.
  • 10.2.15   Donald Trump's Stratospheric Ambitions by Stan Chow and Jamie Chung for The New York Times Magazine

    Donald Trump has captivated the political sphere as we've watched this real-estate-mogul-turned-reality-TV-star turn into something that looks like a politician. His rise has been quick and high but almost two months into this strange story his future seems unknown. The New York Times Magazine needed to encapsulate the entire essence of this remarkable story in a visual metaphor for this week's issue. They came up with a balloon and in a bit of artistic serendipity had illustrator Stan Chow and photographer Jamie Chung collaborate on the final image, but not directly. The first step was to get Stan's take on Donald Trump. Stan has an unofficial policy that he won't immortalize anyone in portrait unless he likes them, and he doesn't like Donald Trump. But considering the man has become a national phenomenon (and international phenomenon, as Stan is from the UK), it was just a matter of time before Stan had to put pen to paper. Fitting the image on the balloon presented a challenge, but with a bunch of testing, and communication with the magazine’s Deputy Art Director Jason Sfetko, they were able to get a perfect fit. For Stan, this project was liberating and inspiring because his work is usually needed in 2D. “It gave me more ideas of what I can do in the future,” Stan says. “I’ve never thought out of the box like that, and to actually see that done makes me think about more possibilities of how I can actually use my work.” Once they solved how Stan's illustration was going to fit on the balloon the challenge went to Jaime Chung to capture the final image. The problem with these balloons, as Jamie tells it, was buoyancy. Helium is a finite resource and so providers have to mix it with other gasses that are not as strong. The illustration decal on the balloon affected the helium's ability to hold the balloon aloft with added weight so Jamie had to simulate the floating. It ended up being to their benefit because it offered the control Jamie needed to show off the balloon’s major asset. “It’s kind of really about showcasing the illustration,” Jamie explains. “I’m just trying to give it a little more dimensionality.” “It’s funny how such subtle things can change the meaning of something,” says Gail Bichler, Design Director of The New York Times Magazine, discussing how they framed the balloon for the cover. “We tried a lot of different positions, whether it would be cropped off the page, or sinking down a little bit, or rising up… All these things have a subtle meaning, so we experimented a lot.” They finally arrived at the image on the cover that Gail says they chose because it’s pretty open to interpretation. What do you see?
B&A Instafeed
  • @stephenwilkes
    likes 147 // comments
  • Life can be anything, you just have to decide what to do with what
    likes 58 // comments
  • tfw it
    likes 61 // comments 1
  • .@jasonmadarastudio
    likes 35 // comments
  • No matter where you are, make a home there. Animation by @found_studio and @bannecker.
    likes 82 // comments 4
  • @joeyldotcom is showing teasers of his upcoming @lavazzaofficial calendar over on his Instagram. Check it!
    likes 46 // comments 2
  • Keep beating. Paper craft by @kylejbean.
    likes 94 // comments
  • Two things about balloons: they rise, and then they... P💥P. The full story on this incredible cover by @stan_chow and @jamiechungphoto coming later this week. Stay tuned!
    likes 96 // comments 1
  • Hey Barbie! Over here! Over here! GIF by @jamiechungphoto, recently seen on the homepage of @nytimes.
    likes 36 // comments 2
  • Duck, duck, goose? CGI by @the_operators.
    likes 98 // comments 1
  • Happy First Day of Fall! Chris and Sarah Rhoads of @wearetherhoads keep it fresh and fun even as the weather gets cooler. 😎 #fall
    likes 64 // comments
  • @arsthanea helps usher in the new 11 Bit Studios game "This War of Mine: The Little Ones" with this teaser showing that kids will always be kids, even in war.
    likes 43 // comments
  • @platon
    likes 57 // comments
  • Celebrate every win like a touchdown! GIF by @madebyradio.
    likes 92 // comments
  • It was @megan_massacre
    likes 62 // comments 1
  • Did you see that four of our illustrators have created work for @chipotlemexicangrill this season? Take a bite out of @davehomerdraws, @inkymole, @mrahayes, or Harriet Russell!
    likes 31 // comments
  • The veritable @bhopdaalien is our #ManCrushMonday, photographed here by @steven_laxton. #mcm
    likes 41 // comments 2
  • Walking out of the office on #friday like this illustration by @yukoart. #tgif
    likes 83 // comments 1
  • Sometimes you
    likes 56 // comments
  • Our #WomanCrushWednesday is @jessiann_gravel with her hubby @chico_lachowski in @tomcorbettnyc
    likes 77 // comments
  • The days are already starting to get shorter, but rather than mourn the summer we can delight in seeing the world change around us. @stephenwilkes shows us that change so efficiently in this Day To Night photograph from Yosemite.
    likes 57 // comments
  • How to make the Tuesday after Labor Day work. This piece by @kylejbean is very much the way. #morning #goodmorning #coffee #morningmotivation
    likes 92 // comments 6
  • This weekend we celebrate the hard working men and women of the United States. @dobenatwork
    likes 48 // comments 1
  • Wondering what our #WhaleCrushWednesday is? This wonderous white whale whistfully winding in the wake of his wader. Illustrated by @chrisbuzelli
    likes 137 // comments 1
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