Category Archives: Culture & Media

Funny Heartbeat

Kisses

In the past couple of years, few bands have really stuck & made a lasting impression - Kisses are one of those bands. The Los Angeles locals have a sound so consistent and unique that we can’t help but fall in love with them. Their music oscillates between the perfect hammock-swinging soundtrack and the penultimate middle-school slow dance tune. It’s the perfect blend of in-the-moment euphoria and nostalgic-bliss. 

Their latest offering, the first single from their upcoming sophomore album, is Funny Heartbeat. This song epitomizes what the Kisses sound is all about: the swaying melody is paramount, the breaks are shimmering, the instrument variation is tropical to the core & the lyrics  flow from the heart of a young romantic, falling in love with his piano teacher. The tune oozes a romp on the beach or an underwater embrace in the pool. Check it out below. 

*Shameless plug: Funny Heartbeat is the opening track on the latest episode of our podcast, Hill House Radio. If you like this song, you’ll love episode #26. Get at it!

With this as the initial offering from the album, we couldn’t be more excited. The album is slated to be released this fall, and even though we’re loving summer 2012, we can NOT wait for fall to arrive and bring us the latest offering from Kisses. 

BONUS ! Just saw this video for their brilliant cover of Johnny & Mary by Robert Palmer, that they shot in Rio De Janeiro. Love the cinematography here – and it’s incredibly cute how touristy they are.

New Work: Broken Homme

One of our favorite photographers right now has to be the team behind Broken Homme – so we were super proud to do their new website. Broken Homme is actually a leather boot company, and their style is on-point and so sultry – and we’re not just talking about the photos. Their boot collection, dropping this Fall, is shaping up to be one of the finest lines of footwear we’ve seen in a hot minute.

When we heard they were in need of a kick-ass website to show off their collection, friends & happenings, we sprung at the opportunity to pull out all the web magic we know and create something fresh, clean and stylish. What we ended up with is a website that really builds off the clarity & attention-grabbing nature of full-screen background websites.

Utilizing Video clips and Photo Slideshows (which the boys shot & edited) as the backdrop to the site, we created something that grabs your attention and reels you in. With this as the main focus, we worked hard to keep all the text out of your face, and created a system where text is almost invisible until you hover over it, and decide to read about what you’re seeing.

We’re super stoked with the results and are very proud to share the work we’ve been doing with you. And above all, we’re super pleased to have gotten a chance to collaborate with the Broken Homme team – we know they’re headed for big things, and opportunities like this are a dime-a-dozen.

Check out the site in it’s full glory here: www.brokenhomme.com

New Work: Pull The Stops Out!

MATERIAL issue 3 Berlin Launcha

Our favorite artist-run magazine, MATERIAL Press, is hosting their Issue 3 Launch Party in Berlin next week (August 11th) – the event features 2 live performances (by Stephanie Taylor & Alice Könitz and David Raymond Conroy)  and a unique installation by Natalie Häusler, all happening at Motto Berlin. To spread the good word, MATERIAL wanted to create a fun, unique, event site, so they asked Humble Giants to help create it.

We decided to play with the typography (Fortescue), colors & ideas of Issue 3 – while presenting information specific to the event. Issue 3 features a first for MATERIAL – color! The banana yellow is amazing on print, so we decided to recreate that on the web. We then tackled presenting the various bits of information needed by playing with the idea of concatenation (which is the crux of Issue 3). 

The main title text, is actually the main menu – revealing brief bits of info about each event on roll over. The pop-ups keep the user on the press release site, while playing with the idea of chaining words & events together. Each event/pop-up layers over the other, and the interplay is continuously changed as a user plays with the menu & clicks around. The function helps a user get lost in the environment – a call back to both the event, and the idea behind Issue 3. 

Putting together this minimalist 1-page site was a huge challenge, but a lot of fun as well. We put together the site in record time (essentially over the weekend) but were still able to create something unique, relative & engaging. The response has been great – but most importantly, we’re really happy with the outcome.

Check out the site for yourself – we dare you not to get tangled in the web!
Visit Pull the Stops Out, Come On!  

MATERIAL issue 3 Berlin Launcha

MATERIAL issue 3 Berlin Launcha

New Work: GNARLY Clothes Website

Gnarly

This past week we launched yet another epic website for a truly inventive clothing brand: Gnarly Clothes. We’ve gotten the chance to work with Gnarly several times over the last 3 years – most notably on many of their finest pieces. So, when they needed a new website that stayed true to that raw-dog style, they asked us to help them out & we were more than happy to help.

One of the biggest challenges (and opportunities) with the Gnarly site was they needed something that functioned better than their old – all images & pop-ups – website, but that maintained a raw, off-the-cuff, quality to it. Most web design now-a-days is ultra-clean, minimal & life-less – this makes sense because most websites need users to focus on the CONTENT, rather than the design. But with Gnarly, we wanted to scrap all that and take a heavy-handed approach. Things weren’t going to be clean, they shouldn’t be minimal and dammit if they weren’t going to scream personality. 

We began by completely re-thinking how to design a website. We approached it with a print designer / collage artist perspective – where content was merely a thing we used, and by no means the “focus”. We wanted every page to feel unified, but completely unique. Layouts would be smeared and re-done on the fly, but the overall layout would remain. 

When it came time to actually put the thing together, we focused on using the best new technologies, while giving them an off-kilter/dirty aesthetic. The entire website is built on the WordPress platform, and uses absolutely zero Javascript/Flash. This gives the entire site a usability that was unthinkable for their old site. It also allows us to randomize items much faster and efficiently. 

We’re very proud of what we’ve created for Gnarly, and we feel it’s a very unique piece of web design that most designers would never get to create. It’s fast, responsive & built with the latest tech in mind. But it’s also raw, unrefined & aesthetically chaotic. This website is one of the rare cases where we got to create something that truly merges the strengths of our client, with our own strengths – and we couldn’t be happier with the outcome.

So check out the site, and see what happens when you truly start from the ground up.
www.gnarlyclothes.com  

Gnarly

Gnarly

Gnarly

Gnarly

GET DOWN OC

GD June21 Final web

One of our favorite party nights, GET DOWN OC!, has made a triumphant return after a year long hiatus. This week (TONIGHT in fact) is the 2nd installment of the re-energized party night, and we’re so excited! 

From 2010-2011 GET DOWN OC was one of the premier party nights in Downtown Santa Ana, rivaling the might and prowess of the Crosby (one of SoCal’s most known club nights). When it got shut down last fall, it was a terrible blow to all of us who looked forward to getting faced on thursday nights. Not to mention, the lineups & special guests always crushed – to say the least it was a crushing blow to social events in the OC area. 

This week features a stellar local DJ lineup, but the party maestro, Mikey Jazzwell, has so many epic guests up his sleeve that this new iteration of GET DOWN OC will certainly be the most epic to date. 

We’ve also been blessed with the opportunity to Art Direct for GET DOWN OC. From flyers, to the website & branding, we will be crafting a visual identity to match the meditation like stillness, amidst a sweaty mess, that is GET DOWN OC. 

So grab your dancing shoes, and come join us! Every Thursday night from 9-2! And trust us when we say that this is NOT a party to be missed. 

New Work: WAAR Website & Store

Screen Shot 2012 06 15 at 7 41 54 AM

We recently got the pleasure & privilege to work with the fine gents over at We Are Runts (WAAR). The boys at WAAR are alumnus of the infamous COMUNE label & also main players in founding the subsequent CHAPTER brand. Now onto their own venture – the guys are doing some extremely beautiful work using salvaged Army/Military apparel & fabrics. 

When they needed a full fledged website to showcase their brand and sell product online – they turned to us to help them out, and we were more than pleased to oblige. Working with their Art Director (Mike Q – also of Chapter/Comune fame), we helped construct a design & website that focuses heavily on the visual language of the brand, while also giving plenty of room for the fantastic apparel to shine. 

We were able to incorporate everything they wanted into 1 portal for their customers. The site features a blog, informational pages about the brand & it’s collections, and a store section with sellable product. We even customized the look of their Tumblr to match the new site, gave it a custom domain, and incorporated it so that every part of the WAAR experience is unified – giving the site & social media portals, a more polished & thoughtful feel. 

To say we’re proud of the work we’ve done here would be an understatement. As our latest project, we, naturally, also feel it’s one of our strongest to date. The technologies we were able to utilize and build off of provided the WAAR guys with a truly forward looking website that will grow seamlessly as they expand their apparel line. 

We can’t wait to see how WAAR grows as a brand, and we’re very happy to be a part of the creative team that brought WAAR to the online world. 

Check out the site & beautiful clothing these guys are making: 
www.wearerunts.com

Screen Shot 2012 06 15 at 7 42 21 AMScreen Shot 2012 06 15 at 7 42 11 AMScreen Shot 2012 06 15 at 7 42 31 AMScreen Shot 2012 06 15 at 7 42 46 AMScreen Shot 2012 06 15 at 7 43 15 AM

Pantone Unveils 336 New Colors?!

The almighty gods of color, Pantone, have unleashed a treasure trove of new colors on the world (or well, on art directors & print designers) today.

In one of it’s biggest expansions since June 2011 (when they added 175 colors for home & fashion use), Pantone brings to the table a bunch of new shades for it’s popular Pantone Plus Series. The new colors are a beautiful mix of undertones, mid tones, pastels and vibrant hues. With this new addition, the Pantone Plus Series has a whopping 1, 677 colors.

From Pantone:

Pantone is committed to continually deliver essential color inspiration and innovation to creatives and color professionals. Designers consistently demand more colors to differentiate their work and stand out in a crowded marketplace. Pantone created the 336 New Colors with this in mind, expanding all color ranges to offer designers greater creative freedom.

And while it may not seem like a big deal – “i mean, it’s just colors, who CARES?” – this kind of visual color expansion reminds us that color, design & the general creative practice, is always growing. These may not be “new” colors, but bringing them to the designers toolkit means we’ll see these awesome new colors, with new names to boot, springing up in design work from the biggest agencies, to the smallest bedroom studios. And as designers ourselves, we’re thrilled to try out some of these new shades.

Invisible Monsters Remix!

Chuck Palahniuk – The man, the myth, the legend. Whether or not you explicitly know his work, you know his work. Being the author of such classics as Fight Club, Choke, Survivor, Snuff, etc… His literary work has a deep basis in film, and video culture, and as a consequence, many of his books have become movies, and many more of his books are slated to become movies.

This cross-media nature to Chuck’s work, makes this new endeavor all the more exciting. His SMASH hit – and our favorite book of his – Invisible Monsters, is slated to be re-released as a “REMIX” edition come this june. From the press release:

“Injected with new material and special design elements, Invisible MonstersRemix fulfills Chuck Palahniuk’s original vision for his 1999 novel, turning a daring satire on beauty and the fashion industry into an even more wildly unique reading experience. Laced in are new chapters of memoir and further scenes with the book’s characters. Readers will jump between chapters, reread the book to understand the dissolve between fiction and fact, and decipher the playful book design.”

Remix culture has had a slow creep over the last 15-20 years, and with the introduction of new tools, that allow for faster, better and more reliable creative output, it’s hard to believe this creep has any boundaries. And we’re super excited to see that remixing has finally landed on non-digital shores.

We can not wait to check out this incredible concept, and see if it flys or falls flat. Either way, it’s the dawning of a new era, and we’re excited!

Find out more & check out Chucks’ tour dates here: Chuck Palahniuk

TAVIK: Visionaries Return

TAVIK Clothing and Humble Giants have had a great working relationship over the last 3 years; as the creative team behind the TAVIK brand, we’ve designed soft goods, tee graphics, advertising creative, catalog layout, and more recently, a beautiful line video & stoic photo shoot.

Our work with TAVIK shines a light on what we do best: translating a brands vision across different mediums and languages. Whether we’re designing a new set of tees, or creating advertising, or concepting new initiatives, our focus has always been on telling TAVIK’s story, in TAVIKs language. Through grueling work deadlines to creative breakthroughs, we’ve forged a consistent voice for TAVIK that is helping them reap rewards in the ever-growing, and changing, clothing industry.

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CBB on IFC

Our favorite comedy podcast HAS to be the wonderful & charming, Comedy Bang Bang, and now it’s going to have it’s own TV show! A bold move on the part of CBB, and a big gamble on the part of IFC, the clip below shows that the gamble is definitely going to pay off.

With a constant flow of great guests, off-beat special guests, word games and irreverence, CBB is helping define the new era of audio-only “talk” shows — a genre MANY said was dead. Harkening back to what we all think of as “radio” shows, or “stories”, where lack of visual cues becomes a tool in the artists tool belt – CBB takes the audience on a ride every episode. Beyond an off-mic sound guy, CBB tricks and plays with the listener in a way that very few programs (radio or television) have ever been allowed to. They put the onus squarely on the listener, to sort truth from fiction, reality from improvisation.

With the IFC Show on their roster now too, they may just be re-defining TV Sketch/Talk shows as well. But, let’s not forget the ground-breaking work put in by shows like ‘That Mitchell & Webb Look’ and ‘Portlandia’. We’re very very excited to actually watch a real episode and see how they structure the show for a 30-minute segment, replete with actual commercial breaks. And not to mention the visual aspect! But from the above clip, it seems like CBB has decided to embrace the change, and find ways to translate their audio-hijinx, into video-hijinx. If they can keep it up beyond this 8minute clip, we’re in for a seriously wild ride.

So set your TiVo’s (CBB! comes to IFC in June 2012) and get ready to laugh your ass off. OH! and they’ve got Reggie Watts as the band leader?! ?uestlove can eat it. (jk, we love him too).

Hill House Radio

Many of you may already be aware of our latest self-produced endeavor, Hill House Radio, but for those of you who haven’t, or aren’t quite sure what it is, we’d like to formally introduce you all.

Hill House Radio (HHR) is a bi-weekly (once every 2 weeks) music podcast that the Humble Giants team has been working on, and releasing, since the beginning of 2012 (first episodes released on 1/2/2012 to be exact!). HHR is our attempt to engage with culture and be a content provider. The podcast doesn’t look to revolutionize music or how you listen to music – rather, our goal is to provide a solid 1-hr long playlist to our friends, partners and fans. These are tunes that we, at Humble Giants, listen to, work to and play to – and we thought sharing these would be a great way to give you all a glimpse into our aural world.

We also happen to think these playlists represent some of the best that the music world has to offer, and has offered. HHR isn’t just about current/trending music, it’s about GOOD music. So whether that means a brand new tune from Tanlines (like in the just released, episode #17), a massive classic (like Nightshift from Commodores, episode #16) or a brilliant new remix of a beloved tune (like the Hannes Fischer remix of 93′ Til Infinity, episode #10), we craft every episode with a mind towards flow, not popularity.

As we say on the HHR website:

“Our musical guide is the tap in our foot — blind to borders and eras. So sit back, subscribe and enjoy some great tunes with us. Whether you’re at work, at the gym, mixing a cocktail or just professionally chilling, HHR will have something for you. And if you’re a music buff, a n00b or still listening to Toni Braxton, HHR will probably have something for you too.”

Hill House Radio Website
Link to Subscribe (via iTunes) to HHR

Nike FlyKnit

It’s unsurprising to hear that Nike has put out a new shoe, or some fancy new material for shoe making. But whats even more exciting than that is when Nike takes that next big step and straight up changes the Paradigm of how we, as a culture, think about shoes, and moreover, fitness apparel.

I’ve previously read that internally, Nike has a challenge to switch Paradigms like this every 10 years. You saw it with their Nike+ technology, and the integration of iPods directly into their product lines. They’ve done this time and time again, sometimes with amazingly powerful results, and sometimes to little fanfare and a sullen disappearance.

But this time, Nike has outdone itself – which is no small feat in and of itself.
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David ‘F**K IT’ Choe

I never write blog posts. I don’t even read them – and I can tell you someone else who won’t be reading this.
David Choe.

He won’t be reading this, because most of all he doesn’t care. That’s the most amazing thing about him. He doesn’t care at all. I don’t even think he cares that his .25 % of facebook stock he received for a painting at their original offices in California will make him around 200 million dollars.

The important thing about Choe is that he’s interesting. He’s a really talented artist, but he paints really quickly, in a dirty, wild manner. I imagine its more fun to watch in process than it looks good.

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New Work: Yana Tutunik Artist Site

Recently we got the privilege of working with one of our most favorite artists, Yana Tutunik. Her work spans across many mediums, seamlessly moving from collage to illustration – sculpture to video – performance to writing.

She asked us to build her a website, and we were thrilled at the possibilities. After an initial design that functioned almost as a piece of art itself, we went back to the drawing board to put together something Yana could actually use to promote herself. Of importance to Yana was the idea of sequencing and being able to see multiple works at once. Devising a plan to create horizontal rows of her work, we ended up with a simply beautiful horizontal scrolling website. We even customized it a bit – re-mapping the vertical mouse/pad scroll to a horizontal movement. This seamlessness allows users to literally flow through her work, seeing all relevant works together – bringing the narrative to life.

Please check out Yana Tutunik’s beautiful work here: www.yanatutunik.com

Tom Hanks Rap. YES.

In this internet era, there are many things that get passed about – especially videos. And when it comes to videos, there’s literally everything you can imagine: pandas sneezing, people getting hurt, people doing really weird things with their faces, people ranting, etc.. etc… But the undisputed king of viral videos HAS to be old celebrity videos.

For some reason the video below has yet to do major footwork around the internet, but holy crap – is it deserving of some SERIOUS air time. It’s Tom Hanks and Dan Akroyd, from the movie Dragnet, performing a rap about how they’re policemen and how badly they wanna lock up these bad guys.

I mean, i don’t think much needs to be said here. this literally speaks for itself (notice how long the verses are!). Tom Hanks Dan Akroyd rapping and dancing (btw this was choreographed by Paula fucking Abdul). Speechless.