Stamps, forever…

image credit: USPS

A few years back I made the mistake of not purchasing more of the Charles + Ray Eames stamps. True story: I went to a dozen of post offices in Los Angeles and the verdict was the same everywhere – they were completely sold out. Couldn’t even order them online. So this time, when the Pioneers of American Industrial Design collection came out, I bought, A LOT. And unlike the Eames ones, these are forever stamps, yes! Featuring twelve of American’s most influential industrial designers, the full sheet also showcases the “Airflow” fan designed by Robert Heller. I have been a collector of Russel Wright’s dinnerware for a very long time, so you can imagine how delighted I was to see his flatware design as one of the stamps. To quote Wright, “Good design is for everyone.”™ – I only wish the United States Postal Service will come out with more design-related stamps. Is anyone out there with me on this one?

image credit: Core77

I remember not wanting to use the last two stamps on the bottom – the Aluminum Group Chair and the Molded Plywood Chair. So no doubt they were my favorites. Yours?

Psst! If you would like to purchase the Charles + Eames stamps, check out the Eames Office!


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Pulp Lamp

I’m a big fan of paper-mache. I can’t think of another medium like it. It requires a sculptural sense, patience and a tactile tolerance for all things slimy and gooey. Paper Mache is not just for kids. On the contrary, in the hands of a talented designer and artist such as Enrique Romero, the sky’s the limit. Or at least the ceiling is.

The Pulp Lamp embraces the handmade, unique qualities of paper-mache. Translucent, sculptural and made only of a paste of recycled newspaper, this lighting collection offers functional objects of art. The application of the building process, working with paper paste, creates a series of layers of varied thickness and texture. This medium is perfect for lighting, as the finished object has a handmade individual form, and the transfer of light through the dried paper is absolutely beautiful. Enrique explores object scale in the design of his Pulp Lamp fixtures and by doing so, he creates a dynamic product; one that begs you to touch, and experience three dimensionally.

Spanish born Enrique Romero is a multi-diciplinary industrial designer, who speaks five languages, and has an affinity for detail. Talented and prolific, he is working with Pantone on color development, as well as developing his own design work. Creating lighting, packaging, exhibits, and even an interesting design for a scooter, his work is varied and distinct.

Kind-of makes you want to get your hands dirty doesn’t it? Nothing like finding inspiration in the simple things. Fill your balloon, and get to it.

Images found at Enrique Romero‘s website and subject found here.

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Design As Art

Recently, I picked up a new addition of Design As Art, by Bruno Munari. First published in 1971, it is a design classic worthy of this reintroduction. Munari felt design had become the most significant visual art of his time. I find his way of thinking is still relevant in the critical design thinking process.

Munari shared the Bauhaus ideal that art and life should be fused back together. The designer’s job was to respond to the needs of the time and visual quality should be part of everyone’s ordinary experience. Only when the objects we use and the places we inhabit have become works of art will life be in balance.


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Pioneers of American Industrial Design Stamps

Now here’s something to get excited about. In July 2011, 12 commemorative postage stamps will be published by the United States Postal Service, that feature pioneering Industrial Design from the 1930’s to the 1960’s, in the USA.  Below is an excerpt from the USPS, describing the objects and designers that will be featured on the stamp collection. I for one, intend to stock up. Happy stamping.


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The Art of Rebellion

Confederate Motorcycles.  Tough. Lean. Fast. True.  
And gorgeous works of art.


Confederate B120 Wraith

I hear Brad Pitt has been seen racing around town on one of these Confederate bad boys…

Confederate Motorcycles are gorgeous, functional sculpture.  Equally at home on display in ones living room, or on the street. Each handcrafted bike is a minimalist architectural expression of the machine within.  I love these bikes.  I find strength and clarity in the proportion and lines of each object, placement carefully considered, and meticulous connection resolved. 

Ok.  So I used to ride a little.  Bainbridge Island, where the single lane roads were sparsely travelled and the ocean views of Puget Sound were wide open.  But I never rode anything like one of these handsome bikes.  Nevertheless, I get it.  As a designer, I absolutely understand. What can I say?  The entire Confederate vibe, short of the price tag, is attractive. Each element, from the power of the machine, signature custom made helmet and leather jacket are sophisticated, well appointed, and scream…  well, they speak to me. 

Hellcat C3X132

"The core Confederate Ethos or Philosophy;  taking away all covers.  There is nothing to hide behind.   Eliminate the possibility for anything other than transparent, pure, complete, total, straightforward, honesty, which is what the Hellcat is all about".

Confederate P120 Fighter

"Confederate’s inspiration for the P120 Fighter was the outlaw motorcycle clubs of the ‘60s. Outlaw motorcycling being born from WWII fighter pilots, it follows that Confederate would look to aircraft for some of the P120 Fighter’s inspiration".

The Belvedere Helmet is designed by Les Ateliers Ruby of Paris and is lined in soft leather.  It is a contemporary classic reminiscent of retro, even historic forms.  The elegant visor rotates down to cover the whole face, like a pivoting windscreen.  Absolutely gorgeous!

"Based on a vintage 1949 Buco café style jacket… we sought design and development of one motorcycle jacket that would contextually and strategically express our brand and motorcycle values, respectively".

Based in Birmingham, Alabama, Confederate is living a genuine process founded in handcraft.  It is evident in everything they do, from the American made motorcycles, to the handmade clothing and accessories.  Even these beautiful letterpress posters are made one at a time, by hand. Realizing these investments of time, skill and labor have a cost, I admire the determination to do it right.  One at a time.

To me, this philosophy is what life is all about.  To live each moment with purpose, integrity, and challenge, pushing the limits, and always with the wind in my hair.

All images courtesy of

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