Designer Desire: Ryohei Yanagihara

Mosaic of Ryohei Yanagihara designs | H is for Home

It’s taken us a whole 5 years to revisit the work of graphic designer and animator Ryohei Yanagihara (1931-2015) – 柳原良平 in Japanese. His most famous work was his Uncle Torys character for Suntory Whisky. The other main brand for whom he produced work was shipping company, Mitsui O.S.K Lines. They even have a virtual museum and shop on their website dedicated to his work.

He also illustrated several children’s books including The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Babies Onomatopoeia.

It goes without saying that you’ll mainly pick up examples of his work in Japan. However, you can occasionally find his designs popping up internationally on sites such as Amazon and eBay.

Ryohei Yanagihara portraitcredit

Here’s a selection of Yanagihara’s animations from YouTube

Additional image credits:

Flickr | Pinterest

Designer Desire: Sean Sims

Mosaic of Sean Sims designs | H is for Home

This week, we’re drawing your attention to the fantastic work of Teeside-born and Brighton-based Sean Sims. We first mentioned him in our Tuesday Huesday series way back in 2012 and he’s produced lots more great designs in the years since then.

His work ranges from children’s book illustrations, aircraft in-flight meal snack boxes, posters, greetings cards, gift wrap, magazine covers… even a jigsaw puzzle! Last autumn, he designed one of the 44 Snowdogs that were auctioned off on behalf of The Martlets Hospice.

His style is immediately recognisable – with hints of Alain Greé, Miroslav Sasek and Kenneth Townsend. No wonder we love his work!

You can get a range of his designs in his own webshop or on Not on the High Street.

Portrait of Sean Sims painting his Snowdogcredit

Image credits: Agency Rush | King & Mcgaw | Yellow House

Designer Desire: Tammis Keefe

Mosaic of Tammis Keefe designs | H is for Home

Today’s Designer Desire choice is someone we’ve written about in the past. Tammis Keefe (1913-1960) was a prolific, mid century designer whose output was primarily in the textile sphere. Handkerchiefs, scarves, place mats, cocktail napkins, tablecloths and tea towels can all be found sporting her playful illustrations. There are hundreds of different designs in existence.

Her work is highly collectable was included in a 2000 exhibition at the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York entitled A Woman’s Hand: Designing Textiles in America, 1945-1969. She’s also included in the book, Collecting Handkerchiefs.

There are always examples of her work available for sale online – mainly from the USA – on eBay and Etsy. Seeing as they weigh next to nothing, overseas postage shouldn’t add too much to the price of the item.

Portrait of Tammis Keefecredit

Image credits:

Etsy | Flickr

Designer Desire: David Gentleman

Mosaic of David Gentleman designs | H is for Home

We watched a fantastic programme on television last week, all about the history of the postage stamp and stamp collecting. It was through this that I was reintroduced to the designs of David Gentleman. I say reintroduced because I had many of his designs stuck in my stamp album way back in the 1970s.

Now that the internet has been invented, it has been much quicker and easier for me to go in search of more examples of his wonderful work. Between 1962 & 2000, he designed 103 different stamps for the Post Office – for a long time, his was the most prolific output for them. He designed posters for London Transport, the National Trust, Imperial War Museum and the Public Records Office. He also designed book covers & illustrations for publishers including Penguin and Faber as well as for his own travel books.

Portrait of David Gentlemancredit

Between his postage stamp output and his 100-metre long mural on the Northern Line platform of Charing Cross Underground Station – David Gentleman is probably one of the most widely viewed designers in the world! You can find a more extensive study and interview of the designer here.

Additional image credits:

Postal Museum | Tate

Designer Desire: Celestino Piatti

Mosaic of Celestino Piatti designs | H is for Home

We’ve long had a soft spot for the illustrations of Celestino Piatti (1922-2007). He was a Swiss designer best known for his children’s book illustrations and poster and postage stamp designs.

For years, we’ve been hoping to happen across a pristine 1st edition 1965 copy of his Animal ABC in a charity shop somewhere. It doesn’t look like it’s going to happen any time soon – thankfully, you can get new copies online.

Celestino Piatti

Much of his work has distinctive thick, rough, black outlines with bright ‘colouring in’ – almost child-like but incredibly beautiful. He had a few motifs which he kept returning to again & again; owls, the sun with a face and cockerels.

Additional image credits

Artnet | Invaluable | Pinterest | Poster Gallery

Designer Desire: Al & Lena Eklund

Mosaic of Al & Lena Eklund designs | H is for Home

Al & Lena Eklund are Swedish product designers. Much of their work has a Pop Art feel with it’s bold patterns and bright, contrasting colours. Their designs can be found on lots of different homewares such as trays and coasters, thermometers, oven gloves, egg cosies and storage tins.

Information about the couple was more or less non-existent until in 2012, when a Swedish blogger by the name of Helena Viale seized the initiative and went hunting for some primary research material – she wrote Al a letter!

Al & Lena Eklund
Al & Lena Eklund

Apparently, they met at Beckmans College of Design (which Lens’a mother, Göta Trägårdh, co-founded) and soon after leaving began designing textitles for STOBO – Al’s Ornito is featured in our mosaic above. The couple are much more well known however, for their designs on paper, metal and plastic which they produced in collaboration with Laurids Lønborg (known as ‘Sunny’ to his friends). The email reply went on to say that Lønborg was less artistic than the Eklunds, but was an astute businessman and negotiator with suppliers and distributors.

Lønborg also worked with Gunnar Flørning on the wooden figures of animals… but enough about him, this post is about the Eklunds – perhaps he’ll be the subject of another of our Designer Desire posts!

The Eklunds emigrated to New York for a time in the 1970s where they worked on textile and wallpaper designs. Lena passed away in 2007 after a short illness at the age of 72.

Additional image credits:

Etsy | Flickr