Art and design inspiration from around the world – CreativeRoots

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Ruta Maya Dark packaging design

Posted by rod - 07.03.2014

Ruta Maya Dark packaging design

The Ruta Maya Dark Packaging design was created by DeRouen & Co in collaboration with  MADHouse.

“Ruta Maya Dark is a blend of new and old world. With a traditional German Schwarzbier, or dark lager, Hops & Grain Brewing pairs Ruta Maya dark roast coffee, sourced from Chiapas, Mexico. This unique, sensational beer carries distinct coffee and cocoa notes as well as a rich, smokey flavor.

Our contemporary translation of this beers’ Mayan and German roots through type and color palette results in a distinctive can that portrays the richness of the style. When approaching the design, we reinterpreted traditional Mayan stamp motifs plus jaguar mask imagery and combined that with Ruta Maya’s logo typography. This imagery can then be broken apart and used as graphics for supporting promotional materials.” via thedieline

Ruta Maya Dark packaging design

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Mayan inspired chocolate packaging

Posted by rod - 05.07.2013

New York design agency Hagopian Ink produced 500 Mexican chili chocolate labels to celebrate the fact that the world didn’t end 21/12/2012. The self promo marked the day by sending their Mayan inspired chocolate to clients, colleagues, friends, and family and to celebrate a prosperous new era.

via fpo

Mayan inspired chocolate packaging1 Mayan inspired chocolate packaging1Mayan inspired chocolate packaging1 Mayan inspired chocolate packaging1

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Mayan Advent Calendar

Posted by rod - 15.03.2013

Mayan Advent CalendarMayan Advent CalendarMayan Advent Calendar

Last year a lot of people thought the world would go under or some kind of apocalypse would happen on the 21st of December. GS Design took the hype of mayan prediction to their advantage and created their own Mayan advent calendar to promot themselves. The calendar was designed in the form of an Mayan pyramid and featured 20 doors, one for each day, that gave apocalyptic advice. via fpo

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MUYAL biodegradable body care packaging

Posted by rod - 11.01.2013

MUYAL biodegradable body care packagingMUYAL biodegradable body care packagingMUYAL biodegradable body care packagingMuyalMUYAL biodegradable body care packaging

MUYAL is a range of body-care products that harmonises human development and ecological improvements. All its ingredients are locally and ethnically sourced. In the Maya world MUYAL (cloud) was a symbol of spiritual renovation-the inspiration for the type and logo design. The packaging design was created by Frida Larios who also last year wrote a fantastic guest post on creativeroots.org “From Old to New Maya Language” check it out.

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Asertec insurance broker ad

Posted by rod - 13.01.2012

Asertec insurance broker car advertismentasertec insurance broker bicycle advertisementasertec insurance broker house advertisement

“Protect yourself for the most probable disasters of 2012″ Asertec insurance broker commissioned Ecuadorian advertising agency Iconic to create a series of adverts to promote their business. The ad plays with the Mayan calendar concept that apparently great change (misfortune) will happen in 2012. If any miss fortune comes over you, you can be sure that Asertec will be there for you.

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From Old To New Maya Language

Posted by FridaLarios - 12.10.2011

Introduction

The native Mayas lived in the Mesoamerican region (Central America) from about b.C. 1000 to 1500 a.C. Their intelligent and beautiful written language is quite unknown to the western world, even to Central Americans, because it remained undeciphered for centuries. The Maya scribes had a very privileged position in the socio-political system and were multi-talented — they were artists, sculptors, and calligraphers, and were also believed to be astronomers, mathematicians, historians and royal book-keepers.

Original Maya hieroglyphs were both pictographic and syllabographic. My New Maya Language is a redesign of certain pictograms that communicate concepts and even sentences. My work parallels the principle of the Chinese-concept script where primary root pictograms can be combined to generate compound pictograms that signify a more complex idea. For example, ‘Stone’ + ‘Fire’ combined equal the ‘Lavastone’ New Maya Language ideograph.

The ‘Maya Language’ section of this book excerpt introduces a basic understanding of how the Maya writing system works.

The ‘New Maya Language’ section aids in the integral understanding of an archaeological site. My case study, ‘Joya de Cerén’ UNESCO World Heritage Archaeological Site in El Salvador in Central America, is about common citizen’s way of living, about their eating habits, social relations, architecture and agriculture — very unlike the majestic religious temples usually found in the region. Because the Maya written language was not totally democratic, my New Maya Language can help surpass language barriers and literacy disadvantages while at the same time enhance users experience and learning in public locations; or simply be appreciated as an art form.

By reviving and celebrating the Maya cultural and visual identity, the New Maya Language can inspire present and future generations and bring new life to the sacred stones.

From old to new Maya language

Illustration referenced from the Foundation For Mesoamerican Studies website

From old to new Maya language

Illustration based on Coe and Van Stone (2001, p. 10)

 

Original Maya hieroglyphs
The Maya writing system

The Maya writing system is one of the most beautiful and intelligent of dead languages–it was only recently understood– in the 1950s, and is still in the process of being deciphered. Unfortunately, when the Spanish conquered the region they burnt most of the screen folds (books), unable to destroy stones and temples.

The Maya could express everything in writing. Their writing is logo-syllabic, which means that one symbol can be composed by syllables (arranged mostly in a consonant-vowel- consonant order) and logograms, just syllables or just logograms — extremely complex indeed and comparable to logographic Japanese writing and Chinese classic ideographic script.

A great part of the nearly 2000 deciphered hieroglyphs are polyvalent (multiple meanings for a single hieroglyph) so the context of the word becomes crucial.

Most of the time half of the story is dedicated to say when a certain event occurred since their calendar system was one of the most important disciplines culturally and politically; it is as exact as any millenary civilisation would have got to measure time.

Which language did the Maya speak? Different dialects were spoken throughout such a vast region. The most generalised idiom was Yukatek Maya, named by some authors as Classic Maya, although some texts are written in Ch’olan, more characteristic of the southern populations of Mesoamerica. These languages evolved into one that was mainly for reading and writing, rather than for everyday speaking.

The Maya script could have been invented solely syllabically, which has lead people to think that it was an elitist language available only to a privileged class. They could have had several reasons in allowing this to happen: the preservation of the ideographic meaning’s cultural value and the assurance of its survival through selective use. Nevertheless, the variables in this written language’s system left ground for creativity, allowing it to be used to please the artist’s eye rather than fit a rigid rule. Its flexibility allowed the scribes to free their imagination while still caring about legibility—any designer’s dream!

From old to new Maya language

Photography by Alexandre Tokovinine©

This vase from the Dumbarton Oaks collection in Washington DC clearly shows how the royal book keeper, who is looking into a mirror being held by a subordinate, had an aristocratic position in Maya society. To show this they wore a distinctive head dress with a water-lilly thrust and what is probably a brush pen, depicted in blue.

 

From old to new Maya language

Illustration based on drawing by Alexandre Tokovinine©

Polyvalence

Maya hieroglyphs have multiple meanings making reading them a complex task. For example, the hieroglyph illustrated above has four different translations.

 

From old to new Maya language

Illustration by Coe and Kerr (1997, p. 54) provide another instance where the word for jaguar BALAM is written alternatively.

Conflation

The representation / spelling of a symbol can change depending on the composition of different pictographic affixes, suffixes and infixes. For example, the BALAM–jaguar– hieroglyph illustrated on the right has six different ways of being spelled.

 

New Maya Language
The Process

The Mesoamerican natives created their writing system in a very practical manner with specific subject matters applications. They wrote about their gods, rituals, politics, relationships, time and its measurement, and relevant events in history.

This allowed me to create a basic classification, that divides the vocabulary of the Maya hieroglyphs into eleven categories.

The colour code represents how the different subhieroglyphs (affixes, suffixes and infixes) within a hieroglyph belong to one of the twelve different subject matters’ categories.

Contemporary textbooks present the hieroglyphs as on-site illustration scans that are successful in reflecting the ancestral artist’s materials (stone, clay, paper, etc.) peculiarities. Thus, a visual communicator’s perspective helped me identify that through consistent computerised vector drawings of the hieroglyphs would strengthen readability and recognition, and aid learning in a contemporary context. They were consistently coded with different line weights, drawn one-by-one in Adobe Illustrator software. The stroked line hieroglyphs could as a result be colour-coded.

The unique colour and keyline codings can help anybody interested in understanding this written language, travelling to any of the archaeological sites in Mesoamerica, or be used as a teaching guide for children.

The vocabulary presented in the New Maya Language section interprets the archaeological site’s content and is an example of how my system works. The system can be of course taken forward to infinite applications as long as the site, public or private space’s content is related to the
Maya civilisation.

A universal language

The visual codes we sometimes believe to be familiar can certainly be interpreted in different ways. Here is an example: What do different people read upon looking at a skull icon? That depends on the context. If it was positioned within a flag it could be read as pirates on board.

Another very common pictographic international code is for example the toilet signs represented by a man and a woman’s icon. In the same way my pictography uses canons that a contemporary audience can recognise.

From old to new Maya language

Illustration by Frida Larios©

 

From old to new Maya language

Illustration by Frida Larios©

New Maya Skull

 

From old to new Maya language

Illustration by Frida Larios©

Colour Code

Each theme has an assigned colour. The colour helps comprehend the action that hieroglyph has in the Maya writing world.

 

The New Maya Language, just like the original Maya script, reads from left-to-right and top-to-bottom–like other western written languages.

From-old-to-new-maya-language

Illustration by Frida Larios©. Photo of King Ubah Kawil's stella's hieroglyphic inscription at Copán archaeological site in Honduras.

The columns are read in pairs of hieroglyphs–like shown in the above illustration.

 

From old to new Maya language

Illustration by Frida Larios©

The set of twenty-three New Maya Language hieroglyphs tell the story of the UNESCO World Heritage archaeological site studied–Joya de Cerén in El Salvador.

 

Writing through the artist’s feeling
tz’ak: total

Tz’ak is a Maya word meaning whole, complete. The curious thing about this word is its logographic spelling. According to different variants found on sites and specific research presented on ‘On the Paired Variants of TZ’AK’ by David Stuart at Harvard’s Peabody Museum, it seems like a word is syllabographically corrected spelled, however, logographically it was substituted by a metaphor or the ‘feeling’ of the word by the artist.

In this sense the word is represented by the sum of two parts that in the Maya spiritual and physical world where perceived to be either complementary or opposing, one could not exist without the other. The TZ’AK syllabogram is substituted by a semantic illustration of what the meaning of the word, whole complete, stands for according to the scribe’s perception.

The Maya hieroglyphic language was seriously performed by its scribes, they respected their Gods and their kings vision when it came to writing, nonetheless, it seems in this specific case they were looking for a little artistic freedom and flexibility.

tz’ak – whole

The New Maya Language is an apt parallel to this type of subjective graphic language variations. The system depicts the sum of one, two, three or more parts or logo-legos (like I call them) that are strong individually but become even more meaningful conjugated as a whole. Just like ancient Maya artists, my intention is to express the ways of life practiced by our Maya ancestors.

From old to new Maya language

Illustration based on On The Paired Variants of TZ’AK. David Stuart, Peabody Museum, Harvard University.

From old to new Maya language

Illustration by Frida Larios©

New Maya Night

 

From old to new Maya language

Illustration by Frida Larios©

New Maya Rain

 

frida From old to new Maya language

This is a guest post from the book New Maya Language by Frida Larios, for CreativeRoots.

Frida Larios holds a bachelors degree in graphic design from University College Falmouth and a masters of arts in communication design from Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design. She was a Visiting and Associate Lecturer at the London College of Fashion and Camberwell College of Arts while living in England for nearly a decade. Originally from San Salvador, she now lives in the San Francisco bay area. Her New Maya Language has been exhibited, published and awarded worldwide. Frida was recently named Ambassador for INDIGO – International Indigenous Design Network by ICOGRADA.

From-Old-To-New-Maya-Language-References

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YWFT Pello a font with a Mexican twist

Posted by rod - 17.06.2011

YWFT Pello Mexican inspired geometric fontYWFT Pello Mexican inspired geometric font

YWFT Pello is a font influenced by Mexican (Aztec) culture and modern geometric style. At first you might think of the tonalpohualli and want to take a trip to Teotihuacán. Though after a while (and perhaps a quick sacrifice to Quetzalcoatl for good measure) you should begin to see the geometric, modern style that lurks within the angles of this incredible new YouWorkForThem exclusive. YWFT Pello comes in three weights (light, regular and bold and contains 265 glyp designs. Designed by Jackkrit Anantakul

Do you know of any other fonts that are influenced by our countries cultures and history?

 

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Kahlua “Delicioso”

Posted by rod - 10.11.2010

Kahlua goes back to its roots with it’s latest advertising campaign, “Delicioso.” The campaign focuses on Kahlua origins –the hart of Veracruz, Mexico and emphasizes it’s rich heritage. Created by TBWA\Chiat\Day in New York

Explore more art and design inspired by Central America, Mexico

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New Maya Language Redesigning an Ancient Script

Posted by rod - 27.09.2010

Designed by Frida Larios

The Maya was a civilisation of indigenous natives that populated Central America from around 1500 BC who invented the concept of number zero and whose calendric measurements are the most accurate in the history of the civilised world. They created and used one of the most beautiful and intelligent logographic languages, still quite unknown to western hemispheres. The Maya scribes had a very privileged position in the socio-political system and were multi-talented“ they were artists, sculptors, and calligraphers, and were also believed to be astronomers, mathematicians, historians and royal book keepers.

Original Maya hieroglyphs were both ideographic and syllabographic. The research proposes a unique interpretation of the original Maya hieroglyphs with the aim of applying them to contemporary visual communications by designing symbols and pictograms that can be used in signage across archaeological and public sites in Central America. My New Maya Language is a redesign of certain ideographs that communicate concepts and even sentences. My work parallels the principle of the Chinese-concept script where primary root or Lego-like pictograms can be combined to generate compound pictograms that signify a more complex idea. For example, Stone +Fire combined equal the Lavastone New Maya Language ideogram.

The first image shows the set of narrative glyphs developed as my Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design in London master’s thesis case study for Joya de Cerén, an UNESCO World Heritage Archaeological Site in El Salvador in Central America. Its content is about common citizen’s way of living, about their eating habits, social relations, architecture and agriculture very unlike the majestic religious temples usually found in the region. Because the Maya written language was not democratic, this system can help surpass language barriers and literacy disadvantages while at the same time enhance users experience and learning in public locations, or simply be appreciated as an art form.

The rest of images shown are live examples of how the proposal has been taken forward to different areas of communication, such as corporate, information and product design. The 100-page hand-bound book, translated in four languages: English, Spanish, Maya, and visually, compiles and decodes the project. via indigodesignnetwork and robertlpeters

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Désiré Charnay’s Mexico illustrations

Posted by rod - 13.09.2010

Désiré Charnay has created an impressive series of illustrations in 1885 from his travels to Mexico. More images here.

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Cerveceria Hacienda Beer

Posted by rod - 01.07.2010

How cool are these beer labels for Cerveceria Hacienda, Mexico. The brewery launched 3 beers Hidalgo Stout, Catrina Red Ale and Jaguar Pale Ale. To reflect the beer’s origin, culture and individuality Andrew Rose got involved to design and illustrate these awesome labels. via Dieline

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Jose Cuervo 200th anniversary label

Posted by rod - 25.06.2010

Stockholm Designer Cesar Gomez created a Atztec inspired Jose Cuervo label for the 200th anniversary of the Mexican independence.

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Mexican Bohemia Beer

Posted by rod - 18.06.2010

The Mexican Bohemia Beer was recently redesigned by the international design agency Design Bridge. An ever growing demand for Super Premium beers meant that Bohemia had to reposition its brand.

“Bohemia” is a historical region in central Europe, stretching across two-thirds of the Czech Republic today. Design Bridge created a typeface called Bohemia Bastarda ‘to reflect the Czech influence in Bohemia’s heritage’.

The Bohemia icon portrays Cuauhtemoc, the last Aztec emperor wearing his eagle head outfit. The Nahua-speaking Aztecs dominated the Valley of Mexico in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, hence the link to Mexico.
via popsop

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Aztec toy god’s by Tixinda

Posted by rod - 21.05.2010

TLALOC
I am the rain that drop by drop awakens the seed,
With my thunderbolts and lightning I give light to the night or day
I raise my voice with my storms and thunder, but fear me not…
For I am the God that joyfully nourishes Earth.

CHALCHIUHTLICUE
I dance to the rhythm of the currents I allow to freely flow,
I am your guide when you navigate and my hands provide you with new life,
I am so wealthy that for my own reflection I have huge Mirrors,
For I am the Goddess of lakes, rivers and all their reflections.

EHECATL
I am breath, breeze, I am a creator;
I enjoy playing with the clouds and moving the sun.
With my huge beak I blow gentle caresses through the wind
And with my conch Shell on my chest I offer you the music from deep within me.

XILONEN
I am a fertile and voluble Goddess,
I am a girl, a woman, I am your protector.
To lie upon the leaves is my delight,
My wide smile with big teeth
Is your support and satisfaction

XOCHIPILLI
I am the God of youth and play
I enjoy music, dance and amusement
I love life, butterflies and the warm beams from the sun.
I am the flower that blossoms from water, but beware…
If you attention wanders for one second, I’ll strike your heart with an arrow!

designed by tixinda

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D’Aristi Xtabentun – Mayan Liqueur

Posted by rod - 06.05.2010

Xtabentun Honey Liqueur has a long history in the Yucatan region, Mexico, originating with the Mayan production of honey made from the Xtabentun flower. D’Aristi Xtabentun evolved from liquor produced by the Mayans with the Spaniards’ addition of native anis flavor. Packaged in vibrant, stucco, hand-crafted decanters with wooden caps, this liqueur has a delicate flavor and aroma, as natural and exotic as its homeland of sun and history in the Yucatan.” images via beveragewarehouse, drinkupny and travel.webshots

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iDRINX inspired by the aztec’s

Posted by rod - 01.04.2010

iDRINK is an Australian drinks company. It was established to bring to Australia and the world, premium beverages that embrace the flavours of the world’s most exotic locations. The company markets itself as being Latino, incorporating images of Che Guevara, iconic Cuban cars and The Statue of Christ the Redeemer into their marketing material. Their logo features symbolism that derives from the Azted culture in Central America.

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Mayan Magic Chocolate making kit

Posted by rod - 26.03.2010

Who doesn’t want a Mayan Magic Chocolate making kit. I do. The team behind Mayan Magic chocolate created a lovely designed packaging that holds everything for a great chocolate experience. They have used the Galactic Butterfly or also called Hun Nab Ku for their logo to represent their brand. For more info check out their website.

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Mayan Chocolate Mold

Posted by rod - 20.03.2010

So cool, for $32 you can buy yourself a Mayan glyph tablet chocolate mold at chef rubber. If you don’t fancy mixing your own chocolate you can buy the chocolate bars at the Guatemalan chocolaterie Danta Chocolate.

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