Monday, 30 August 2010

Swedish summer escape destination

Among all the things I love most in life - I love Swedish summer! Summer days in Sweden are long and warm and charming... Most of  Swedes spend at least part of  their summer in traditional log cabins located along the vast coast line or on the shores of a tranqil lakes. The one that belongs to F.'s familly is probably the most luxourus place on earth if, just like me,  you consider luxury a perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the large city far from civilisation. During the long summer days we experience the midnight sun, savour the natural silence and enjoy the relaxing sound of water lapping on the shore. Just a familly and friends spending time together, sailing, swimming, sunbathing on the rocks, sitting around the table, chating, cooking, eating, playing games, reading... Oh dear I miss Swedish summer!

Stockholm-based Sommarnöjen is a company with the tagline of “Small house. Great architects.” Here are few examples of their works. More can be found on

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Be positive!

One thing is driving me crazy... but you know what... I'm trying to be positive, not to loose control... at least over this weekend.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Made in Poland - INGLOT Cosmetics

With today blog I want to start a series MADE IN POLAND about Polish brands and products that I miss the most while my travelling and living abroad. About brands with Polish origins that are expanding on the international markets and Polish brands with a great potential to once become successful abroad.
Just like Polish make-up brand INGLOT Cosmetics. I never leave the Warsaw Frederik Chopin airport without INGLOT’s nail enamels (my favourite no 082) and a bunch of sleeks lip glosses packed in a funny lab-like vials or samplers. And they smell really good! Nail treatment products is a must too. And there’s probably not even one Polish woman without INGLOT eye shadows. INGLOT has one of the most extensive color ranges of  make-up cosmetic  in the world and can easly compete with such known brands as MAC cosmetics. When being on a budget you can fill up your MAC eyeshadow palette with INGLOT pans.
What I find important is INGLOT products are high quality, safe, not tasted on animals and reasonably priced (really good value). What's more, all of them are produced in the European Union and over 95% of them in INGLOT’s own manufacturing facilities in Poland - they are all Fair Trade products than.

INGLOT store in NY; Photo: Tom McCavera
INGLOT is a Polish-based cosmetics company established 20 years ago with over 250 stores in Europe, Canada, Australia, Dubai, and Asia. Last year INGLOT opened their first store in New York City’s Times Square.
INGLOT offers a rainbow of hues of lipsticks and gloss, shadows, blushes, cover-up, mascara and pencils that are mesmerizing. Probably INGLOT’s flagship product is the “Freedom System”, a collection of more than three billion color combinations, allowing happy clients to assemble a palette of their own color preferences. This encurages mixing and matching and customizing to your make-up preferences, including palette sizes and shapes, choosing between round, rectangular or square pans in a compact. It's a Make-up Heaven!


Monday, 23 August 2010

BoConcept's Cool Cup competition - 3 Polish winners!

3 out of 6 new and promissing BoConcept designers that won the Cool 'Collectors item' cup competition are Polish. The competition to become the next BoConcept designer terminated last December. 6 winning cups has been chosen by the BoConcept jury from the total 13.554 cup designs uploaded to the competition on the website.
3 out of 6 promising new designers are Polish: Katarzyna Pastuszak, Marta Wołyniec and Daria Wawrzkiewicz. 3 others are: Fabián Ortiz (Columbia), Marry Schroers (USA), Lucie Válková (Czech Republic). 6 elected cups were put into production and will be available next month in BoConcept Stores all over the world.

Designers were inspired by (from the left in the photo):
Katarzyna Pastuszak: the beautiful pattern of the Iris flower
Fabián Ortiz: pixels
Marta Wołyniec: folk art and patterns of the Łowicz region
Marry Schroers: a peacock
Lucie Válková: 'The New Year's Eve mood. A night spent with friends, hot chocolate, board games and champagne gave me the perfect motivation for my design!'
Daria Wawrzkiewicz: 'Drops of violet from very dark to very light, fading. In this case violet brings a feeling of warmth. Joy of life - moment of delight.'


Saturday, 21 August 2010

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

EURO 2012 Tournament Identity

Euro 2012, the European Football Championship, will be hosted by Poland and Ukraine from 8 June to 1 July 2012. Obviously, as Polish I’m enthusiastic about such a big event being co-organised in my country. However I’m also very emotional about the tournament’s logo design and its brand identification.
Official logo and brand identity were created by Portuguese agency Brandia Central.

The following is excerpted from the UEFA website.
Visual identity
The purpose of the logo is to give UEFA EURO 2012™ a personality of its own, with the visual identity to be applied across a range of promotional applications from tickets to web banners. The objective is to help promote the tournament – one of the world’s biggest sporting events – by providing an easily recognisable identity with a flavour of the host nations. The logo takes its visual lead from ‘wycinanka’, the traditional art of paper cutting practised in rural areas of Poland and Ukraine, as a tribute to the fauna and flora of the region.

EURO bloom
The ‘bloom’ logo has a flower representing each of the co-host nations and a central ball symbolising the emotion and passion of the competition, while the stem denotes the structural aspect of the competition, UEFA and European football. Nature has inspired other features of the visual identity, with woodland green, sun yellow, aqua blue, sky blue and blackberry purple being the crucial tones of the palette of colours to figure in official tournament branding.

Uniting ethos
The event slogan, meanwhile, is ‘Creating History Together’. The staging of the UEFA European Championship finals in Poland and Ukraine, a first for Central and Eastern Europe, will have a place in the history books, with everyone involved in UEFA EURO 2012™ – organisers, host countries, host cities, players and fans – contributing to another exciting chapter of European football.

On a Cannes Lions International site I found this project’s applications for this year Cannes Lion Award . We read there:

Description of how you arrived at the final design:
The starting point was blending Wycinanki, a common art form in both hosting countries, and football. The result is an identity which is original, genuine and has a powerful message: Make football grow in every way.

Indication of how successful the outcome was in the market:
Success in the market: - The work that was developed so far for the logo and visual identity of the UEFA EURO 2012 is very bold and represents a major breakthrough in these type of events. Many top design publications and personalities have shown an interest in what we did and gave us praise for it. Both host countries and UEFA are very excited about the brand and people around the world, football fans and others, have embraced it.

In the host countries though, the logo design has got lots of criticism. In Ukraine they say, it brings up an association with the “chupa-chups” lollipops. Polish fans are complaining about the colours of the “Polish flower”. They say it is necessary to swap the colours on it, because on the Polish flag white goes first and red is after it. It is also not enough Polish as this form of Wycinanki incorporated into logo has Ukrainian origins.

To me, incorporating Wycinanki (Papercuts) into logo design was a good direction and really great idea. But its interpretation is too much literal. It could look much more sophisticated. In present form the logo looks more like an illustration and it’s too detailed.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Inspired by Sweden

Camomile field was first to welcome me in my first Swedish summer morning. Swedish countryside always charms me. As well as Swedish delightful interior design. Balanced and natural, conscious, proud, minimalistic, standing-out yet fitting so well... luminous. But delightful. I had a month vacation from blogging but now I’m back from Europe, with new images and new ideas in my head to share. I always feel inspired by nature, it’s simplicity, peace and perfection. And probably for that reason Swedish design is one of my favourite. There is more Scandinavian design to come up next…