Making Of The Blueprint 3 Album Cover

When I  first saw the album artwork, I thought, “meh its cool, but anyone can do three transparent lines atop a photograph”. I then opened the cd and flipped thru the folds, and noticed something much different.

I knew the basics of how it was done, but minor details were unknown to me, until now.


Jay-Z just does it.

Now, I understand I mainly write a design blog so hear me out. If you’re not a fan of Jay-Z or even hip hop, simply turn the volume down, This video is basically motion photography. With plenty of amazing still motion shots, he includes iconic design pieces in Auto, Interior, and Fashion this video blew me away.

Vibe magazine spoke with director Sam Brown and he stated “He gave me a very loose brief, and made it clear that we should be progressive with the video. All the imagery was thought up by me and was a response to the track itself. For those interested, the idea is actually about a funeral for old imagery and ideas, hence all the gothic and oppressive stuff. I was also trying to contradict the excess of hip-hop videos by making something brutally simple and claustrophobic.”

So far I cant seem to move on to the next one, because I keep rewinding this one.

Best Of 2000-2009 Continued

Best Hip Hop Track – 99 Problems.

There were a TON of great artists, and tracks that came out, but none I heard as much as this one.

Best Music Video – The White Stripes “Fell In Love With A Girl”

Best Advertisement – “Stork”

This one makes you reflect fully at what you’re doing every day.

Best piece of furniture – “Mademoiselle chair” by Philippe Starck for Kartel using Missoni fabric.

Best Time Piece – Titanic DNA watch by Romain Jerome

For a cool $300,000 you can own a part of the Titanic, and take a glimpse at it when you feel like giving someone the time.

Best House – James May’s Lego Home

C’mon, Its made of my favorite building material. Unfortunately it was demolished shortly afterwards.

And that sums up my 2000-2009 most valuables… it was on a whim but fun to think back at all the crazy stuff thats been done. heres to the next 10 years…

BEST OF 2000-2009

I’m going to try do this off the top of my head, some of my favorite moments, products or anything from this past decade.

Best Shoes: Visvim FBT

I own these elk beauties, and have not had a pair of shoes I’ve been so excited about since.

Best T-Shirt company: We Are False

Le Messie and Amanda False have always had the smartest tee designs in the game, and they are just so perfectly consistent with their style.

Best Artist – Kaws

Kaws has always pushed the boundaries of his artwork, and put it in mediums unthought of at the time. I own two of his books, and have looked up to him for a long time.

Best Art Show: Launchpad

I have to toot my own horn once or twice here. I curated Launchpad in 2004 with the much needed help of Recon. Launchpad brought a different feel to Toronto as far as show casing street level artwork. Introducing artists such as Stash, Sam Flores, Mars, and Colin Miller and labels such as Recon (with 100 free and numbered t-shirts) to this city in a space as amazing as Public (now Fluff and Klaxson Howl) this show set the bar, and that bar has yet to be met.

Best Designer: Bryan Espiritu

As far what I’ve seen in the past 10 years, there are a ton of fantastic designers out there pushing the limitations of motion, graphics and any kind of digital imagery. I’ve been following Bryan for a while and had the chance to sit and talk with him this summer. That was just after his release of Fully Whollys (below) which blew my mind. The style, the thought, and the lack of limitations is amazing.  Now that he’s posted a portfolio on his blog, The Legends League I was able to see a versatile side of him which locked him into this position.

Best Automobile: BMW Gina. The video below will speak for itself

Best Photographer: Matt Barnes

I had the chance to work with Matt this year, and helped him win an award. This is far from the reason I’m putting him into this “best of”. When you see his work, you see such style, and character and an amazing sense of story telling. He’s by far one of the greats of our generation, and at only 27 years old, he’s got a long way to go.

To be continued…