Every American state has a globally known company that has become a symbol of that state. Just think of Facebook, Amazon or Coca-Cola, but also smaller, lesser-known companies such as Regions, Coors or Cabela’s. Seattle-based designer Keith Fleck created The Corporate States of America by combining a passion for logos and geography.
For each American state, Keith looked for the best-known company and started working on the logos, transforming them into the logos of the states. In practice, the yellow M of McDonald’s becomes the symbol of Illinois, Oregon appears above the Nike swoosh in the brand’s classic bold font, and the purple and orange of the FedEx logo divide the word Tennessee into two.
About the research and work Keith Fleck commented: “It was challenging because some states have many familiar and iconic brands, whereas in other states I had to dig a little deeper to find local celebrated companies.”
There must be a stargate, hidden between some stacks in the middle of the sea, which leads to extraterrestrial landscapes, where people live perpetually backlit, objects do not have the color with which we remember them on earth and the sky is a mystery, as before an apocalypse. This alternative plan is painted by MarieLarrivé, a French painter and illustrator who has experimented with narrative languages, animating characters immersed in tall and threatening plants, while watching volcanoes erupt from afar, and fiery sunsets.
The acrylics and watercolors with irregular fields recall Hopper’s stillness, with a different symbolic sense of nature, more endangered, more mysterious. The nature described by Marie Larrivé has secrets that she seems to share only with the characters in her illustrations, in an atmosphere of suspension and ambush in which the figures are isolated and suspicious.
Noir-Soleil, the artist’s latest animated movie, also uses the mystery and disquiet of the landscape to tell a family story in which there are voluntary narrative gaps that a father and daughter do not share with each other, creating a tension that is as unreal as it is unjustified. The Gulf of Naples and the stacks contrast with a sea that looks like primordial soup, blue, then pink and atomic green. The nature Marie Larrivé describes has secrets, but her drawings are beautiful.
For the 30th anniversary of the iconic Shadow 6000 silhouette, Saucony Originals has collaborated with street artist EricsOne who has created an artwork in one of the most lively and modern areas of Milan.
A mural covering an area of 80 square metres, overlooking Corso Garibaldi, was inaugurated on 4 September. The artist used vibrant colours to represent the values of authenticity and creativity that have always characterised Saucony.
EricsOne has been a leading figure on the Italian art scene for over twenty years, working as a freelance urban artist and illustrator. Thanks to his unique and immediately recognisable style, he was chosen by the American brand to put pen to paper and transform the soul of Saucony and the essence of the Shadow 6000 into a high-impact image.
We had a chat with EricsOne and Fabio Tambosi, Saucony’s Chief Marketing Officer, to talk about the collaboration, art and the link between artists and the brand.
Let’s start by talking about your path, but also about your colourful, geometric and super recognisable style. How long did it take you to develop it, what influenced you and what advice would you give to those who are trying to find their own style?
Hi Collater.al, nice to be here with you. Well, since I was a child I have always been fond of comics and illustration in general, my father used to paint futurist style pictures in his spare time and I think this unconsciously influenced me a lot, my painting is a connection between the world of graffiti, Max Atom’s cartoons (power puff girls) and the elegance of the cubist and futurist universe of which I am particularly in love with (Picasso, De pero, Kandinsky and many others); the influences could also recall the style of the Bahuaus art movement. My work is extremely precise and clean, it impacts with shapes and colour connections that are sometimes very pop, sometimes desaturated, as if there was a vintage filter in front of it, this makes my style always remain fresh, but at the same time conservative of that slightly 70s taste, I listen to a lot of jazz and funk when I create and it helps me a lot, above all it is good for my “Flow”. The advice I give to all creatives is to always stay focused on your own path, keep the focus on your strengths and let them shine.
During your career, you have worked with different companies and brands and now with Saucony. What is the secret to staying true to your own style while still meeting the customer’s demands?
Of course, there are always small compromises, but the key to being a good artist is to convey your true potential to the client.
It’s great when a collaboration starts from the brand’s trust in the originality of the artist, as in the case of Saucony, with whom there was a connection right from the start. So you have to trust the artists and let yourself be drawn into their world, into their studio, which is what I always ask of my collaborators.
For this project, I looked for a meeting point between my style, the brand and the public, which plays an important role, especially for works that are not exhibited in an art gallery. That’s why we used a universal language in the work, which brings us back to the colourful world of cartoons (a language that is always fresh and contemporary). My son and I have been watching a lot of cartoons lately, and I think they strongly influenced me for the combination with Saucony.
In addition to the brand, however, you must always bear in mind that the work is also made for the public, for those who pass through that street. How does this influence the work and what was the first feedback you received?
The feeling I had these days working in Garibaldi was very positive. All the people who have stopped to look at the wall have grasped the originality and uniqueness of the project. Some people may not recognise the character, but the colours pierce the wall, attract attention and make everyone curious. The secret to not missing opportunities like these is to always try to follow your instincts, bringing the brand as close as possible to your vision.
You created a mural for Saucony during Design Week. What is the idea behind what you represented?
I was informed about the event that will present the whole operation, which will include guests from the world of Italian and international rap, so I tried to give a hip hop slant to the work (a language that is widely used today in the world of communication). I decided, together with my team, to give life to a huge b-boy resting his Saucony on a Ghetto Blaster in order to meet the brand’s requirements as much as possible by putting the trainer in the foreground. By doing this we were able to enhance my style and at the same time communicate the product. Once the work on the wall was finished, I had the most incredible sensation, as if suddenly a mega Toy had appeared in the heart of Corso Garibaldi, like the Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters but more colourful.
After more than 18 years of experience, this spring you became Saucony’s Chief Marketing Officer. In a world that seems to be moving faster and faster, especially when it comes to fashion and streetwear, what is the key to always be original and up-to-date?
Originality comes from staying truly connected to our brand heritage and values, while making sure we are listening to the voice of the consumer. At Saucony, we exist to empower the human spirit, with every stride, on every run, and in every community. Community is key, and for over 123 years the Saucony brand has been fueled with love and energy; now we are further energized to continue to share that passion with the sneaker culture community. Streetwear is always a huge inspiration when it comes to fashion; walking down a busy street in any community can always inspire us to find both who and what is original. And it’s always authentic.
For the design week you decided to involve EricsOne, what attracted you to him and what do Saucony and EricsOne have in common?
We are excited and proud to work in partnership with EricsOne; he is an incredible storyteller and creator who embodies our brand values for self-expression, reflected in his work with the Shadow 6000 iconic sneaker.
It was important to us to work with an artist who has the power to inspire our community by bringing joy and optimism as a celebration and invitation to always be your best own best-version.
In recent years we have noticed how brands are increasingly inclined to collaborate with artists, designers, musicians and creatives of all kinds, as if people were no longer satisfied with a product or a collection, but needed something more, or different. Do you think that this trend is a positive thing that can lead the brand to be known by a new audience, or do you think that the involvement of different targets in the long run may turn out to be an obstacle?
A collaboration can be a very powerful statement of shared values. With two creative minds coming together for one joint vision, it can act as a catalyst to unleash untapped potential, innovation and design. Our name Saucony is derived from the word “saconk,” a Native American word which translated means “where two rivers run together,” representing unity and collective creativity. As we continue to evolve as a brand, we see collaborations becoming a platform that can humanize our stories with a more personal and emotional connection to the brand. At its core, collaborations symbolize the intersection of shared values between two worlds.
Two weeks ago Sony released the most anticipated teaser trailer in recent years, that of the third installment of the Spider-Man saga starring Tom Holland. The incredible hype surrounding the film is something never seen before. The teaser of Spider-Man: No Way Home, this is the full title of the film coming out on December, was the most viewed ever in the first 24 hours with 355.5 million views.
A limitless amount of theories and speculation are being unleashed around the film, and apparently, the shockwave of this incredible and immense attention could be one of the reasons for another incredible record involving the “Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man”.
The American auction house Heritage Auctions, which deals with numismatic collections, comics, fine arts, music, history and sports has auctioned off the comic book Marvel ‘Amazing Fantasy N. 15, the issue in which we see the first appearance of Peter Parker/Spider-Man and in which we are told the origins of the character.
Marvel ‘Amazing Fantasy N. 15 released in 1962, written by Stan Lee and Steve Dikto with magnificent illustrations by Jack Kirby and selling for 12 cents on the dollar at the time, was beaten by Heritage Auctions at a final price of $3.6 million becoming the most expensive comic book ever sold.
Archaeological fascination or just a need to preserve the memory of torn cities, surviving in collective memory and in a few faded illustrations. This is The Disappointed Tourist work and archive by artist EllenHarvey, who has created over 220 drawings of lost architecture since 2019, now on display in the exhibition ‘The Tourists’, at Turner Contemporary in Margate, England.
The monochrome works preserve the style of tourist postcards, while at the same time harking back to the Romanticpainting of the early 1800s that elevated ruins into a tool for understanding the present. All the buildings are still represented in their moment of splendor in every type of era. In fact, Harvey has included among others the former Luna Park in Coney Island, the Wembley Stadium, the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo; the famous Joiners Army, LGBTQ+ pubs in London but also monuments devastated by conflicts such as the Temple of Bel in Palmyra (destroyed in Syria by ISIS in 2015) and the Castle of Hiroshima (demolished by the atomic bomb in 1945).
Due to similarity in subjects, in the exhibition The Disappointed Tourist is associated with two artworks by the great English landscape painter J.M.W. Turner: View of the Forum, Rome, with a Rainbow (1819) and The New Moon (circa 1840). The decay of the two works is different, however; if the landscapes of Turner’s paintings are more distant in memory, Harvey’s memories are less so. One can still walk the streets along which those sites stood, seeing the remains in some cases, increasing the sense of nostalgia for a past that needs to be imprinted.