Bare walls might have something appealing about them, but buy hanging up a few carefully chosen prints or posters you can easily add a lot of personality and style to your home. Need some inspiration? Here's a list of 5 very talented young designers who sell their inspiring contemporary work online.
(This post's cover image: 'Day 237' from the series A Poster A Day, by Alex Proba)
1) Kristina Krogh
A young graphic designer (she graduated from the Graphic Arts Institute of Denmark in 2011) from Copenhagen. Her geometric designs are all about contrasting materials and colours. She is particularly fascinated by unexpected combinations – like the combination of exclusive and cheap materials, such as marble and wood, cork or paper; the combo of cold and warm surfaces, of hard and soft textures, of light and dark backgrounds. As an independent designer she has launched a small line of products (mostly paper goods but also Christmas decorations) and a selection of beautiful graphic prints. Our favourite is the geometric ‘Levels’ print in beige and copper that’s shown here (shiny metallic foil on high quality beige paper). She sells her work in a limited number of copies (all numbered) on her website www.kkrogh.dk and ships it worldwide. (Image: Kristina Krogh)
2) Alex Proba
Alex Proba was born and raised in Germany and moved to New York in 2011, where she now works as an Art Director at Kickstarter. She has an impressive curriculum as a graphic designer and product designer, working for online and offline branding projects and in architecture and graphic studio’s in Berlin, Eindhoven and New York. Her work includes a large number of commissioned designs but it’s her free work that appeals most to us. That is: we love the designs (yes, all of them!) she created for her ‘A Poster A Day’ project: in 2013 and 2014 Alex Proba spent 30 minutes every day (ok, almost every day) to work on a poster – every day she made a new one. She explained (in an interview on Sight Unseen) that the strict 30-minute deadline was the only way to make the project work: she included the poster moment in her daily routine, right before going to bed. In her posters Alex combines manipulated found imagery and newly designed patterns. In 2013 she used her own life as a source of inspiration, in 2014 she let herself be inspired by the lives of others: people could tell her about their day on her website or on Instagram and make a suggestion for a poster, at the end of the day she would pick one of those stories and start designing. She has made 546 posters so far; you can admire them on alexproba.com. A selection of the posters is for sale in her online shop. (Image: Day 362 by Alex Proba)
3) Federico Babina
Babina is an Italian architect and illustrator (who lives in Barcelona). His passion for architecture inspired him to make a series of illustrations that together form an ‘archibet’: 26 designs in which one of the letters of the alphabet is made to playfully resemble a building (in the style) of a famous architect, covering names from Alvar Aalto (The Riola church) to Zaha Hadid (the library and the learning centre of Vienna), from Dudok to Niemeyer, from Barragán to Frank Lloyd Wright… The series is like a colourful imaginary town and shows off the great diversity in architectural forms and styles. And Babina didn’t stop after finishing the alphabet: he also made other series with titles like Archimachine, Archilife, Archiquote… You can buy prints of a selection of his illustrations online, in different formats and finishes, at http://society6.com/federicobabina. Also, in February Luster will launch a little book with 26 detachable postcards, one for each Archibet illustration. Stay tuned by following us on Facebook or by subscribing to our newsletter. (Image: 'Niemeyer', from the Archibet series by Federico Babina)
4) Seventy Tree
This is the nom de plume of the British illustrator Kerry Layton. She makes charming, whimsical illustrations that are equally loved by adults and children. Geometric forms and playful creatures are recurring elements in her work, including posters, smaller prints, postcards and occasional pieces of home wear. Kerry designs with a pen and pencil and also on the computer, and she prefers black and white and soft pastel tones. Her cute prints are available in on- and offline shops in several countries and also in her own online shop seventytree.bigcartel.com.
5) Paper Collective
This isn’t one designer or illustrator but, as its name suggests, a collective of artists and designers that sells inspiring graphic prints and makes contributions to several good causes for each poster sold. Every collection is linked to a particular cause, and a minimum of 15% of the profits per poster is donated. On the conveniently arranged website www.paper-collective.com (that’s managed by a team in Copenhagen) you can click on every poster to find out more about the design and the designer, and you will also learn to which good cause that particular poster is linked. The project isn’t cheesy and it’s not for open sandals and woolly socks types – the designers that are part of the collective are from all over the world and they all have a classy, mostly minimalist, fresh and contemporary style. The selection of posters on the website changes regularly, as every poster is available in a limited number of copies. Picking a favourite is hard, but right now we would go for the Twin Circles poster by Nynne Rosenvinge, as shown above. Buying it means contributing for the fight agains multiple sclerosis by supporting the Danish organisation Sclerose foreningen.
___ Tekst: Hadewijch Ceulemans