Friday, December 5, 2008

Tile Mosaics

I've always been intrigued by the sweet Art Nouveau tile floor of the Hotel Tassel in Brussels, designed by Architect Victor Horta. I recently came across SICIS, an Italian tile supplier with an incredible gallery of beautiful mosaics. If you have some time, I highly recommend taking a look at their website gallery. They have a showroom in New York and one in Milan.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

House Industries

Check out these beautifully simple specimens of House Industries Letters & Ligatures show at the Subliminal Gallery in LA. The show opened on November 8th and will be up until December 5th. It is an "exhibition of prints, patterns, installations and sculptures based on House Industries’ 15-year excursion into the alphabetical world." I ran across these photos on the House Industries blog, so I can't take credit for them. I only wish I could go to the show.

These installations are perfect examples of how sometimes the simplest (an least expensive) materials combined with fabulous typography can make for excellent displays!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Technology is racing at a break-neck speed when it comes to innovations of light products. The most versatile, marketable, economical and environmentally respectful product designs will be the winners. The uses of these products are innumerable. Some of the applications are a bit eccentric, but they can be used commercially, especially for Signage. I'm not talking about the cheesy "We're Open" signs. I'm talking about more appropriate and less trite applications. Below is one of my designs which uses Flexible LED Tube to simulate Neon. With the flexible tubes, the corners and overall look is clean and sharp. By using LED technology the overall cost savings and longevity far exceeds traditional Neon. The only downside is that LEDs are not as bright as exposed Neon.

Friday, October 31, 2008


Utilizing different textures and materials can really make a sign stand out. Whether the texture is applied to the substrate/mounting surface, the letters themselves, or as a decorative element, it can really add depth and character to a sign or signage system. Here are a few examples and links that I've compiled.

It's great to see sign examples that not only consider the sign letters themselves, but the substrates they are mounted to. I love the sign for The Getty Center. The live wall behind the pinned-off letters is great. Sometimes the substrate can offer a nice contrast in surface to make the sign really stand out.

Here is a fun, permanent shade structure that I designed to accommodate retail signage at 701 Eden Street in Baltimore. Not only does it provide shade, it also adds texture and a simple mounting detail for entrance signs.

I also really like the creativity behind this art exhibition entrance. It was for Royal College of Art Summer Show in 2007. The 2008 show entrance is also amazing and larger than life, literally.

Here is another example of how I've used texture to my advantage with my designs. The number 3 is a level indicator for a painted concrete wall in a parking garage elevator lobby at Harbor East in Baltimore. I selected a bright wall color for the plain concrete block wall and designed a sleek cut-out brushed aluminum number that is pinned off of the wall surface. The contrast really makes the number pop.

Using an architectural metal mesh material or custom perforated metal can also add texture to your designs. There are many sites that sell this material including Banker+Wire and Cambridge Architectural Metal.

Here are 40'+ painted perforated metal banners that I designed for tenants at Harbor East. This gave the more permanent anchor tenants a presence along Fleet Street. Most of the traffic flow travels along Fleet. Even though these anchors didn't have storefronts along the main street, they had an opportunity to advertise their location in the project. The perforated metal provides a lightness and translucency that is unique and eye-catching.

You can also use the perforated metal as a letter face. This allows the letter to be a solid color during the day, but light up internally at night. I used this technique for the two signs below.

You can also add texture to your designs as a decorative element. At Maple Lawn in Columbia, MD, I was inspired by all of the maple trees they intended on planting in the community. It was a perfect opportunity to incorporate the maple leaf motif in my signage. The cut out leaf pattern of various maple leaves painted to match the sign frame was a subtle detail that really made the sign system unique. The maple leaf brackets for the sign panels on all directional and way-finding signs pulled the theme together.

I hope that these examples inspire textural creativity in your designs. Feel free to post comments or inquiries about my posts. It's always nice to get other opinions that could be both helpful and inspirational!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Colors I Love...

Lately, I've had sort of an obsession with deep teal. I love all colors, but I'm really digging that blueish green color. There is just something about it. Even the appliances that are on the sales floor are sporting this shiny new color. My cousin, Sarah, says that it is the new 'avocado'.Colors of everyday random objects can inspire new color palettes for your designs. Here are some other colors that I'm liking this year...

Purple Plum & Berry
Saffron Yellow & Fire Orange
Emerald & Olive Green
Colbalt & Teal Blue

Light & Shadow

Recently, I've seen a few sign projects that harness visible light and manipulate light waves in order to produce unique effects. Below are some examples that use modern materials, shadows and projected light to enhance their design. Some of the materials, including Litracon and Corian Illumination Series, I'd love to use in future projects. The last four images are SEGD award winners.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Colored Glass

I have to admit, I am attracted to most things that are colorful and shiny. Glittering glass sculptures with their radiant color and reflected light can be especially inspiring. I've recently used tinted glass for Landmark Theatres entrance canopy, here in Baltimore. BHA Architects designed the canopy structure and coordinated the fabrication. Their original design had called for a clear glass canopy that matched the rest of the canopies along the building's facade. In order to make the Movie Theater entrance more pronounced, I suggested using a tinted glass in my entrance signage design.

Here are some other examples of how tinted glass can be used to enhance an experience. Below are some photos of the Hudson Hotel in New York City, designed by Philip Starke. As well as some other examples I came across online. I apologize, but for the life of me, I can't remember where I found them.

Ready to Launch...

This is my first official post for Prisco Design, LLC. I intend to publish print & environmental graphic design inspiration on a weekly basis. I don't feel that there are enough blogs or websites that highlight environmental graphics and creative signage systems. Hopefully, this blog can provide inspiration to others like me who feel that exceptional environmental design deserves more of a web presence. I may also squeeze in some of my own pieces for shameless self promotion! Enjoy!