Staff Favorites: 5 tumblrs We’re Following
Today’s edition of staff favorites comes from yours truly, Brian Fichtner, helmsman of The Ghostly Store. In the never-ending search for awesome and inspiring design, art, and clothing, I come across countless tumblr blogs, many of which I bookmark and return to when I’m in need of inspiration. tumblr, like Pinterest to follow, has allowed millions to become self-proclaimed curators of virtually any theme under the sky. Spend some time tumbling down the rabbit hole that is the tumblr ecosphere and you’ll soon realize that some are a great deal better at this pastime than others. Starting with today’s post, we’ll try to keep up with a semi-regular spotlight on some of the best tumblrs we’ve come across. If you’ve got some of your own to share, feel free to add links in the comment section.
Bibliothèque: Designs for Dieter Rams & Vitsœ
The following post was contributed by Rob Fissmer: friend of Ghostly, Vitsœ ambassador, and unabashed Dieter Rams enthusiast.
The Ghostly Store’s sale of the Bibliothèque designed, Vitsœ produced ‘Dieter Rams 10 Principles for Good Design’ poster makes me really happy, as it brings together two companies I admire greatly. (Full disclosure: I work for Vitsœ!)
In February of 2010 I was able to catch the UK installment of the 'Less and More - The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams' exhibition at London’s Design Museum. Vitsoe had quite a big presence in the show, and I was lucky to have Vitsœ’s managing director Mark Adams walk me through the entire sequence of the exhibit. Mark has worked directly with Dieter Rams since the 1980s, and continues to do so to this day, so it was a real treat to have him share insight into certain eras of Rams’ output, in addition to stories about specific items as relayed directly to him by Rams. I spent quite a bit of time with each and every one of the over 200 products in the exhibition that were designed by Rams over a 60 year span.
It was here where I can say my budding Dieter Rams fanboyism really kicked into overdrive, but it was also where I first became exposed to the work of Bibliothèque, designers of the exhibition’s graphics. Upon entering the show I was immediately in awe of the giant screens they had created and inserted into Vitsœ’s 606 Universal Shelving System, spanning the entire 50 feet of the upper floor gallery entrance. They had taken graphical elements from both Braun’s and Vitsœ’s visual language over the years and scaled them up, printed, or routed out certain elements in order to create a procession aligned with the various phases of Rams’ output presented within the gallery. I found myself spending equal amounts of time marveling at both theirs and Rams’ work.
The A to Z of Ghostly Art & Design Influences: Jon Wozencroft of Touch
Today we’re kicking off a new series for the blog, entitled The A to Z of Ghostly Art & Design Influences. If you’ve ever wondered who has influenced the art and design direction of Ghostly, here’s an opportunity to check out our bookshelves, so-to-speak. Our hope is to highlight the work of people who’ve inspired us over the years. Sometimes we’ll do an interview, sometimes we’ll simply share a few jaw dropping images for your delight. We won’t proceed in any particular order, but we’ll try to share these influences with some degree of regularity. First up in A to Z: Touch.
Touch has existed for its 30 years of life somewhere outside the realm of classification. A record label in the eyes of many, Touch has nurtured the careers of musical artists like Fennesz, Bioshphere, Philip Jeck, and Hildur Gudnadottir with an ambivalence towards trends.
Jon Wozencroft, its helmsmen and photographer, is an inspiration not only for his non-linear approach to media and art, but for his sheer love of quality. His lens, in many ways, has created the way we see contemporary Western art music. For Ghostly, coming into early contact with the music and packaging of Touch was a signifier that art and music can share equal footing. For our first installment of A to Z, Ghostly’s founder Sam Valenti asked Wozencroft a few questions about identity, photography, and the state of the industry today.
[GI] Touch is very up front in not being a record label. How would you define Touch as an idea?
[JW] We try to resist defining Touch, which in some respects is part of the problem of achieving recognition… It’s not a question of being vague or elusive—we prefer to trust the chemistry of our artists’ work and our long-term narrative about independent activity to do that—but let’s deal first with the “record label” situation.
Designing the Audio Dock Air: An Interview with John Sundermeyer
Last year, we met Los Angeles-based industrial designer John Sundermeyer through a mutual friend. Call it kismet, but as it turns out, John was just wrapping up his first design commission for Audyssey, whose home audio products we’d recently developed an attachment to. John’s design was none other than the Audio Dock Air, which we launched in the store earlier this year.
As the founder of Pull Creative, a design agency specializing in user experience, and original author of one of our favorite water bottles, we knew John would have some interesting things to say about the creation of the Audio Dock Air, so we passed along some design-junkie-type questions and John helped illuminate his process for us.
[GI] Why are you a designer?
[JS] I’ve always been a designer. Meaning, I’ve always thought and acted like a designer, so I learned the necessary skills to make it a profession. I’ve always liked making things, but I was even more interested in the ideas and drawing. I grew up in Ann Arbor and was influenced by Detroit and the auto industry. My best friend and I would spend hours drawing cars, systems for mag-lev vehicles and buildings.
I eventually got into woodworking and wooden boat restoration; initially I would sketch-up paint schemes for boats and eventually entire boats. During this time I was influenced a lot by the Mid-West’s industrial past while I was growing up. I helped out at a relative’s workshop on the restoration of antique and classic boats and aircraft. Everything was about preserving the machine’s originality; we’d go to extremes to ensure that every detail was kept intact. So early on, I was fascinated by these machines that had been so well designed that they were worthy of painstaking resurrection 50 or 70 years after they were built.
At Home with Rob Fissmer of Vitsœ
Ghostly fan and GMS subscriber Rob Fissmer studied architecture at RISD and later went on to work at one of the world’s most influential design stores, Moss, where he was also responsible for compiling our MG/M1 collaboration. Following his time at Moss, Fissmer settled into a position as the head of North American operations for Vitsœ, the UK company which produces the iconic 606 Universal Shelving System designed by Dieter Rams.
It’s a little known fact that we are devout admirers of everything Dieter Rams related. In an age of overabundance, both digital and physical, Rams’ designs speak volumes to the practice of living better, with less. Amazingly, Rams even managed to imbue his humble shelving system with this sensibility.
Fissmer recently re-located with his wife Elise Loehnen to Venice Beach, CA, where they have set up a unique "Vitsœ apartment" prominently featuring an array of 606 compositions. As a former DJ and lifelong vinyl collector, one could say that he is an ideal use-case for the system, which is not only flexible and movable, but perfectly suited for vinyl storage.
We asked Rob to some share some of his insights on Rams, eclectic possessions, and organizing your vinyl by color. His answers after the jump.
The Rollbahn: Introduced by Scott Hansen
We heard Scott Hansen (aka ISO50, aka Tycho) was a fan of the Rollbahn notebook. Since Scott also happens to have an astute eye when it comes to product design, we asked him to give us his impressions on our latest store addition.
"I gained access to my Rollbahn via a birthday gift in February of this year. I was immediately reminded of the Lufthansa branding and the associated line of Rimowa luggage. The size is just right for serious work and the elastic band gives it that old-world Moleskine feel. I tore through a good portion of mine transcribing train schedules on the recent Tycho European tour, for which the grid was particularly well suited.
The cover text translates to: ‘Far travels make you wise. Propellers are rotating. The plane gains height. Travelling means living.’ - (via @lemontonic21)
But travelling can sometimes be as simple as exploring a part of town or outlying area that you seldom visit. I personally find that discoveries made close to home are often the most profound.”
An Interview with Jacob Höglund of Sunpocket
Last summer, a friend was found sporting a pair of racing green sunglasses during lunch. They were pretty awesome looking. And then he took them off and folded them into the palm of his hand. We were blown away. At the table, we picked them up and just couldn’t put them down. The conversation continued and we barely paid attention because of a pair of sunglasses. Within days, we tracked down the only store in Manhattan to stock them and bought our very own pair.
It turns out the sunglasses also came with a story. Originally a French company, Sunpocket had only recently been relaunched by a Swedish entrepreneur named Jacob Höglund (pictured above with his father), after he discovered an old pair in his parents’ cottage.
Jacob was kind enough to answer a few questions about what’s been happening with Sunpocket since he reintroduced it to the world a couple years ago.
[GI] When did you have the realization that you wanted to take a chance on relaunching the brand and how did your friends/family react?
[JH] When I found my father’s original Sunpockets in our ski cottage in Norway a few years ago, I just loved the product right away. It also brought back tons of memories from my childhood, as I was brought up in a crazy ski family that spent every weekend and holiday on skis.