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Origen México by Blok

Opinion by Richard Baird

A new book on Mexican culture designed by Canadian studio Blok

Origen México is a encyclopaedic collection of cultural reference points from Mexico, and an expression of love for its land and identity, edited by Ámbar Editores and Paola Gonzalez Vargas. Written in Spanish it covers things such as, Barro negro pottery; the black clay pottery of Oaxaca, Barrancas del Cobre; the six canyons in the Sierra Madre Occidental and individuals such as pioneering filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón. In its breadth the book has a temporality; a relationship with time. One idea, place, person, piece of pottery or art directly or indirectly informs the another. Layers are built. The present is founded on, but would ultimately find it hard to recognise, all of the past, except that which immediately proceeded it. This is expressed through the materiality of the book, designed by Canadian studio Blok, using a light copy paper and show-through, the relationships and continuity formed with a consistent image treatment and the codifying visual language of consistent type, layout and an encyclopaedic format.

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Ascari by Blok Design

Opinion by Richard Baird

Logotype, menus, signage and package design by Blok for Italian resteruant Ascari

Ascari is an Italian restaurant which two locations, one on Queens Street East and another newly opened establishment on King St West. Toronto, Canada. It is named after the proprietor’s hero, Formula 1 legend, Alberto Ascari, (who was also known for his love of food). To reflect both the passion for good simple food and racing, design studio Blok developed an identity that brings together the visual cues and photography of 1950’s motor sport with a modern use of colour–the striking blue of Alberto Ascari’s helmet–and the outlines and solid fill logotype. These link coasters, business cards, signage and menus.

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Center for the Study of Political Graphics by Blok

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Visual identity and poster design by Canadian studio Blok for The Center for the Study of Political Graphics

The Center for the Study of Political Graphics (CSPG) explores the enduring power and immediacy of the political poster in the fight against inequality, their capacity to acknowledge and bring to light the injustices and atrocities of the world, and through their archival, keep alive the stories, voices and controversies that they have come to represent.

CSPG worked with Canadian studio Blok to develop a graphic identity that would honour the role the centre serves as a chronicler and catalyst, reflect its position as a participant in the fight for human rights, leave space to frame and connect the graphic and bring to light the diversity of their political poster archive.

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