Toronto Blue Jays logo: 1977 – 1996

Here’s one for the proud Canadians. When growing up in the 80s I was inevitably into baseball. And being from Canada you had the choice of 2 teams unless you decided to be a jerk and cheer for an American team. That was a joke, simmer down. Ha!

Along with most of the kids, my favorite team was the mighty Toronto Blue Jays. I cheered my ass off for the boys in blue, and even got to see them win back-to-back World Series in ’92 and ’93. When Joe Carter hit that 3-run homer in the bottom of the 9th to win the Series in 1993 you could hear our whole country scream. What a wild night.

But I digress. This post is for that Jays logo above. Created the year I was born and lasted throughout my childhood, to me, this is the one and only identity the Blue Jays will ever need. They redesigned the logo 2 or 3 times over the last 15 years, none of which can possibly hold a candle to this one. Simple, elegant, and comprised of pretty basic shapes. Prints beautifully and looks good from afar. You can’t beat that. The current logo doesn’t even have a maple leaf in there. For shame.

So this one is for you, Jays logo of old. Canada will always love you.

Album art of Boris

It’s no secret that I like my metal, so I wanted to post a little something outside of the regular Signalnoise content stream. If you’ve been into metal for any length of time you may have crossed path with the Japanese 3-piece drone, sludge, psychedelic rock outfit Boris. These guys have quite a history and seem to put out 100 records a year.

Now I’m the first to say, Boris is certainly an acquired taste. I was introduced to them by my friend Ryan Grant some time ago, at which point I had the “what the hell is this?” look on my face. Noisy, confusing, fuzzy. Made no sense to me back then. But I never stopped giving them a chance and eventually I came around. Now they’re one of my favorite bands, nothing sounds quite like them, and I dig that.

But let’s get back to design. I have to give Boris some huge respect for their album artwork and band identity. They never seem to sit still on a design or theme, constantly re-inventing their look and logo every time they release something. When you hear rumbles of a new Boris album, you never know what you’re going to get. Crazy generative artwork, a beautiful painting, a sombre photograph, hand-drawn something-or-other. Yet it all works, somehow. Coming up with new and wildly different artwork just CAN’T be an easy task. You gotta respect that.

And look at those Boris logos. All different, all awesome. The albums above are just a handful of their releases.

So here’s to you, Boris. Keep building your walls of sound. Visit their Myspace for some musical samples, and check them out on Twitter.

Design shots from Barcelona

No Parking. I saw this sign everywhere, love the colors.

Saw this on a napkin at a small bar. Look at that Dachshund. Proud.

Fantastic sign made of wooden triangles and blocks for a Japanese restaurant.

Not sure what this sign was for, a bank maybe, but I love that bear. So good.

Spotted this intricate thing on a Gaudi building at Park Güell. Pretty metal.

Drawing in the museum at Sagrada Família by Josep Maria Subirach. Beautiful, love his linework.

The Correos logo is awesome. I think they're a post office or courier.

Badass sugar packet courtesy of Lufthansa Airlines. Great type.

We flew Condor over the Atlantic. Love their logo.

When I’m in a different part of the world I tend to keep my eyes open for cool design-related stuff. Signs, logos, packages or whatever. Each city I visit tends to have vastly different aesthetics then what I’m accustomed to in Canada, and Barcelona didn’t disappoint.

Here are a few quick snaps I took with my iPhone and camera as we walked around the city after I finished my duties at OFFF. Some great examples of design and typography, I even liked their “No Parking” signs.

I’m busy gathering photos and writing my OFFF Barcelona recap post. Had a great time, stay tuned for that one soon.

The art of Neil Stevens, Crayonfire

Some great work coming out of England, courtesy of Neil Stevens AKA Crayonfire. Really enjoying the vintage feel combined with modern technique. Great stuff.

Vintage record jackets

Here are a few hand-picked vintage record jackets. These were all plucked from Project Thirty-Three, which was a task in itself since their supply of amazing images goes on and on. Huge source of great stuff.

Amazing what was created in order to give these records their visual identity. Some are symbolic of sound/instruments, some are straight up illustration, and others are design experiments of Swiss flavor. Most of which have a limited color palette with amazing results.

Check out the wealth of images at Project Thirty-Three. You won’t be sorry.

Vintage matchbook covers

Here are some vintage matchbook covers grabbed from this mighty Flickr set. I love everything about these. Solid design made through obvious limitations in printing quality. These guys did what they had to in order to make their brands stand out in the world of matches. I especially love the texture on these blown-up scans and slight blurriness and overlap of the ink. The real deal.

At least, I think these are all matchbook covers. Not sure why that rooster is talking about soup. That’s all kinds of confusing.

Beware of this Flickr set, man. Serious time waster.

Phantom City Creative

Here are some killer poster designs by Phantom City Creative, comprised of Justin Erickson and Paige Reynolds. I just recently happened upon their work, one of those random internet stumbles that led me to their portfolio. Sure glad it happened, can’t get enough of the diversity these 2 pump out, as well as their excellent choice of films. Man, great stuff. And what a surprise to see they are from Toronto, Canada. Rockin’ it on this side of the border! Yeah!

I’m so happy to see the “design underground” creating movie posters the way they should be done. I’ve bitched plenty about the generic stuff Hollywood pumps out these days … just can’t touch stuff like this. Great to see. Give Phantom a follow on Twitter.

Buck Rogers lunchbox, 1979

Here’s one for Mom and Dad. Remember this thing?

When I first started kindergarten back in 1981 my parents bought me my first lunchbox, good ol’ Buck Rogers. But since the show was on TV in the late 70s I was too young to even know anything about pop culture. I had no idea who Buck was when I was a kid other then what dad told me about the show. But here is where blind kid-like enthusiasm comes in. The lunchbox had a dude aiming a laser gun, hot girl, a robot, a spaceship and a real cool logo … everything a kid needs. Seeing the show was irrelevant, I still knew I had the coolest lunch in the class.

The round, cut-out portrait of Buck still makes me laugh. Maybe Gil Gerard had it written into his contract that all merchandise needed his headshot included. So good.

Mom packed my sandwich and juice in this thing everyday. I can still remember the sound that latch made when you closed it up and the rattle of the handle when I carried it to school. Good times.

And it’s sure no mystery where I get my inspiration from these days. This lunchbox has all the elements I love (and mimic) today. This shots were borrowed from this Vintage Tin Lunchboxes Flickr set.