GDF – S2 – 2011

Conduct research / Evaluate the nature of design in a specific industry context

Skateboard Art and design

by Mike Svoboda

Skateboarding is a mass field for graphic design. Being madly in love with the art myself, i thought this was a perfect opportunity to get more knowledge and understanding of history behind the design graphically, the legends, creators, processing, manufacturing, the whole movement and direction in which its moving. Its a passion, a sector i would love to pursue.

From home made banana boards to intricate dye cut boards

Haroshi, a Japanese artist taking skateboard design to a whole new level. Using the actually skate deck material to create sculptors.

Whats Next For Cigarette Packaging

by Mike Svoboda

Here are some examples of cigarette packaging from back in the day. Simple affective, whats next in the design of cigarettes who knows!

Ukrainian designer R. J. Reynolds created a cigarette pack that resembles a coffin to remind people that smoking leads to a rapid death. This package design is meant to alarm smokers that each cigarette takes away 5 minutes life. Mr. Reynolds stated: “Daily people are dying throughout the world of diseases caused by smoking. This package concept shows how close this problem is to us. As every day each smoker carries this problem in his/her pocket. They carry death”. However, this attempt to reduce the amount of smoking has got some mixed reviews. Some people say that the package is so cool; it makes them want to smoke even more.


Wang XYW 3838

So, they decided to make a cell phone that not only looks like a pack of cigarettes, but also holds real cigarettes in the back! The Wang XYW 3838 phone runs on dual band GSM, takes micro SD cards, plays MP3, has a colour screen and a VGA camera on the side. The price of this pack of cigarettes/cell phone is about $175 and right now they are only available in Taiwan. Who knew recycled cigarette packs could be so useful?

The Marlboro 508 complete with flip-top box and storage for actual cigarettes also including an MP3/MP4 player. One interesting feature is a 1.3-megapixel camera that’s hidden in the side of the cigarette pack for your spy shots.




Information can be beautiful

by Mike Svoboda

The visual imagery in information design can be beautiful to the eye. The examples and designers shown here, in my opinion captivate and lure me in to the data and information.

New York Times Movie Revenue Graph [Edward Tufte]

The Ebb and Flow of Movies is an interesting graphic with a lot of detailed information, inspired by a seismogram reading, it gives a beautiful earthly feel plotting something boring such as revenue.



Timelines [David McCandless]

This timeline with a sense of space represents all the time travel plots from TV and film. Squeezing everything into neat and uniform paths. Instead, curvy and chaotic lines took over as the trajectories of time, with colour representing the method of time travel. The visualizations show that you don’t have to use a traditional straight-X-Y-axis graph to create a picture that makes sense.



Eigenfactor [Moritz Stefaner]

A new aesthetics of data visualization is emerging. The universal image of the tree has transformed from a natural form that was used as a mythical image, to a visual metaphor, a symbol, a dynamic organizing structure for information, and finally, an algorithm that generates lifelike trees in virtual space.

Human Trafficking [Taulant Bushi]

A striking poster which examines global human trafficking. It depicts each country’s level of involvement (from Very High to Very Low) as either a country of destination or origin. While this poster is aimed to be aesthetically pleasing, its primary purpose is to display information clearly. All research data came from sources such as the UN and a few other organizations that maintain databases of numbers regarding abuse towards women and children. The project concentrates on the smuggling of people from one country to another – mainly illegally. In many cases these people are forced to do work that is illegal, such as prostitution or child labour. All of the text on either side of the circular design covers detailed information made available for each country. The idea of the poster is that the closer the viewer gets to it, more detailed information is revealed, such as numbers of children of a specific country being involved in



­­­­­Crayola Century [Stephen Van Morley]

Crayola’s crayon chronology tracks their standard box, from its humble eight color beginnings in 1903 to the present day’s 120. By the year 2050, there’ll be 330 different crayons


by Mike Svoboda

The rebranding of stolichnaya is to further increase the brand’s presence, while still staying true to Stolichnaya’s ability to reach consumers with underlying themes of desire and intrigue. Stoli’s newly designed bottle caps are among one of the many changes made to increase the brand’s relevance among a new generation of vodka drinkers who seek premium quality. All changes, such as the new bottle tops to the holographic ink and updated label weave together to tell a story rich with the brand’s Russian heritage but still provocative enough to evoke a sense of excitement for consumers.


Stoli Gold’s new packaging is designed to highlight its multi-award winning status and quality. The label features the iconic Stolichnaya logo above the black and gold scripted reference to the 500 year old production methods. The rebranded vodka will be available in key markets including Israel, Lebanon, Austria, Jordan, Canada, Turkey and the US as well as key travel retail markets.


The Stolichnaya website was the digital side of their new rebranding campaign. It’s objective was a showcase of their expansive line of vodkas and their new bottle packaging. It also contains a timeline of some major events since Stolichnaya’s inception. Extra effort was put towards making the iconic objects of Russian life become a focus for each time period.


The limited edition Stolichnaya 4 Elements Vodka, designed exclusively for travel retail by the Russian artist and sculptor Yuri Gorbachev (a nephew of the former Soviet Union leader). The unique limited edition label, depicting the four elements, was promoted with an eye-catching circular bar, light boxes and branded merchandise in arrivals through out Europe’s many airports. Gorbachev’s eye-catching design for original Stoli Red and the theatre of creating cocktails in-store capture’s the imagination of the public and well received around the world. Stolichnaya is steeped in rich Russian heritage over 100 years old and respected as a pioneering quality vodka brand.




Stoli is believed to be the first vodka in space (care of the joint Russian-US space mission in 1975).


Thrasher Magazine

by Mike Svoboda

Thrasher the longest running skateboard magazine, for nearly 30 years founded in 1981. Before E-Books, or the growth of the web finding a previously released issue was almost impossible. Graphic Design has been essential to every era of publishing history and now a profession in the midst of enormous change. A superficial argument would state that Graphic Design has been diminished by the web, but in fact it has been enhanced. Thrasher has kept in step with the web and has the most viewed web site in the skateboarding magazine industry. The on-line publishing revolution has given opportunities including a way to reach people with on-demand video clips, news, products, and product of advertisers. A positive development that has enriched the business.

The first issue released in January 1981 born on paper has since mutated into a glowing screen of eternal information.

Continuing to celebrate its 30th anniversary in the name of nostalgia, Thrasher put online a few copies of  original comics made ​​in the 80s. In the first period of activity because the magazine commissioned some well-known illustrators of the time a comic book miniseries based on skateboarding. Absurd stories, illustrated by characters in a workmanlike manner. Some numbers are available and just recently on ‘ online store of Thrasher, the same price which came out in the ’80’s.

Along the years not only did Thrasher magazine publish comics, it branched into the music scene coming out with several compilations from classic cassette tapes to CD and now a whole on-line store and gallery of anything thrasher.