Robert L. Peters

13 May 2014

Occidental Habitué

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Shenzhen, China

I’m happy to be participating in The Look of Silk, (The First Session of Cross Strait Silk Culture and Creativity Forum and International Silk Creative Design Expo) sponsored by China Tong Yuan Co., Ltd., Shenzhen China Silk Park, and the Taiwan Cultural and Creative Industry Association.

The Look of Silk plans to “keep alive the spirit of traditional Chinese culture and the international role played by silk in the past, while creating a brand image and market orientation for Chinese silk” by means of innovative creative activities.

As one of “eight internationally renowned designers” I was invited to design a pattern for silk scarves, participate in the 5-day event in Shenzhen, and to give a keynote address earlier today. The title of my silk pattern design (135mm x 135mm) is Occidental Habitué. A design team from Taiwan has developed 80 different silk products using our designs, “creating a systematically multicultural design integrating multiple aspects.”

My design is shown above (click here for a larger view)…

Occidental Habitué

Thousands of icons, images, and visual impressions cross our consciousness daily, weaving rich cultural narratives and imbuing meaningful memories. As travellers, émigrés, and nomads in a shrinking world we wrap ourselves in layers of sensuous, intertwined experience.

My concept involves the creation of an intentionally layered, quirky, and semi-random collage, providing unexpected juxtapositions that draw in the viewer and then reward curiosity with serendipitous surprises of simultaneity. Ancient meets modern, complex collides with simple, small bests large.

Luminous color acts as a background for layered, multidirectional, copyright-free imagery from earlier eras — visual ephemera, linear diagrams, Victorian etchings, old prints, ornaments, printers’ spot illustrations, ad cuts, and clip art — from ancient cave paintings to art deco elements, from flora and fauna to whimsical human inventions.

As if floating above this nuanced visual composition, a repeating directional diamond pattern of contemporary symbols and info-graphic icons (from The Noun Project, an online “visual language” resource of icons created by a global community) lends added dimension, with icons varying in color in a top-to-bottom gradation, complementary to the hue of the background.

A symbol of the globe glows in the fabric’s center.

© 2014 Robert L. Peters


11 May 2014

Here in Barcelona, it’s the architects who built the buildings that made the city iconic who are the objects of admiration, not a bunch of half-witted monarchs.

Julie Burchill


30 April 2014

You cannot point an accusing finger without leaving three directed at yourself.

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—Igbo (Nigeria) proverb

(Thanks to Chaz Maviyane-Davies for the truism).


29 April 2014

Whatever You Are, Be a Good One

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(reposted from Brain Pickings)

Whatever You Are, Be a Good One is an impossibly charming compendium of 100 wise and timeless thoughts from some of history’s greatest minds, hand-lettered by illustrator Lisa Congdon. The common thread underpinning these quotes — which include such beloved luminaries as Albert CamusSimone de BeauvoirHenry JamesAnne Lamott, Søren Kierkegaard, and Leo Tolstoy himself — is Congdon’s own sensibility about what it means to live with kindness and integrity, to cherish beauty and ultimately to be a good human being.

See more here.


27 April 2014

Today is World Communication Design Day…

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And of course it’s a day that I can’t help but think of our dear, recently-departed friend and colleague… Guy A. Schockaert.

Competition stimulates, cooperation reinforces, and solidarity unites.


23 April 2014

Maxim/Dictum… now as a poster.

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Winnipeg, Canada

Maxim/Dictum, the manifesto we developed at Circle several decades ago (to reflect “our collective attitude to life, work, and play”) is now available in the form of a poster. We’ve donated this special edition to the GDC Foundation, with proceeds helping to build a sustainable fund for Canadian designers in need, and to provide scholarships and professional grants in our field.

Like it? Buy it online, here.


15 April 2014

Introducing… Saki Mafundikwa

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ZIVA

Harare, Zimbabwe

I feel privileged to call Saki Mafundikwa my friend. I’d like to introduce him and his current initiative with ZIVA to those of you who visit my blog.

Saki is a typographer, graphic designer, photographer, filmmaker, author of Afrikan Alphabets (the first book on Afrikan typography), a recent TED presenter (great talk!) and yes, an old-school farmer. After a long sojourn through the world of design and media in the United States, Saki returned to his native country where, amidst social and political upheavals, he managed to found and recently expand ZIVA into a program that galvanizes intrinsic design values.

The Zimbabwe Institute of Vigital Arts, or ZIVA, was started by Saki Mafundikwa in 1999 as the first school of digital design, new media, and visual communication in Zimbabwe. Since its birth, ZIVA has produced a plethora of award-winning students and inspired design practitioners.

ZIVA has recently started an Indeigogo campaign with a fundraising goal of USD $100,000. These funds will be allocated to changing HP laptops to powerful desktop computers, changing Photoshop CS2 to the most current Adobe Suite software, updating technical design manuals to the latest on the market, to expanding faculty, and last but definitely not least, to providing full scholarships to deserving and talented young designers.

How can you help? Please share the campaign link (or this post) and/or consider donating to this worthwhile cause. Saki and I both “thank you in advance…” from the bottom of our hearts.


8 April 2014

People will stare. Make it worth their while.

Harry Winston (1896-1978)


1 April 2014

Think.

Think

Thanks Chaz.


30 March 2014

There is hope in honest error; none in the icy perfection of the mere stylist.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928)


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