Viva makes his debut as a reviewer of children’s books for the New York Times.
“With Sea Change, a graphic novel in the truest sense, author and designer Frank Viva blurs the lines between written word and illustration. The book was inspired by childhood memories, and as Mark Medley finds out, it’s a new turn for a man whose creativity appears boundless.”
Photograph of Viva by Jorge Colombo.
Frank Viva, Toronto-based author and frequent cover artist for The New Yorker, is one of the three artists commissioned by the public works art project known as Artcards for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York.
MTA Arts & Design serves the over 8.7 million people who ride MTA subways daily and strives to create meaningful connections among neighbourhoods, and people. The Artcards are posted in subway cars and remain up for the year.
Frank toys with the idea of a “Sightseeing MTA,” the title for the piece. “In my mind, the changing views that are framed by the windows, transform the city’s trains into a kind of moving art gallery,” he says. The interior of the illustrated train is populated with a mob of Frank’s characteristically asymmetrical and diverse citizenry.
Frank Viva is one of 30 artists participating in a project commissioned by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Art of Saving a Life is a collection of art and stories intended to draw attention to the fact that one in five children today do not have access to the life-saving vaccines they need. Frank captures a rare event known as “Days of Tranquility” when warring parties call a temporary truce during a conflict to allow humanitarian assistance into communities.
“I was drawn to the subject matter because of the term ‘Days of Tranquility’. It is at once poetic and idealistic – and underscores the hopeful truth that humanity and tolerance can shine through even during the ugliest of times.”
– Frank Viva
When Le Creuset came to us six years ago, they recognized Viva & Co.’s award-winning track record of marketing luxury brands. Today, we design, write and produce everything from entire environments to consumer ads, POP displays, direct mail solutions and catalogues. Most recently, we redesigned and built the Canadian website and created the worldwide launch materials and packaging for their new line of stainless steel cookware.
Frank’s tenth cover for The New Yorker is on newsstands this week. This one, called “Asleep at the Wheel,” is for the annual technology issue and focuses on the lead story about a system of self-driving cars under development at Google. More here on The New Yorker’s online Culture Desk.
“I love all that carnie signage. Always have. Things like ‘13 Flavors,’ the pink flossy script, and all of the kitsch—it’s fun,” says Frank Viva, about this week’s cover. Read more about this cover on the Culture page over at The New Yorker.
Last year we were asked to provide strategy and design for the inaugural year of the 1 Billion Rising initiative – a call to action by the team at V-Day based on the staggering statistic that “1 in 3 women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime.” It was a remarkable success – there hundreds of risings across the globe and over a million page views on February 14th alone. This year, in addition to design, we were asked to provide a hosting and programming strategy that could handle the wildly fluctuating load. We were also tasked with finding a smart way for V-Day activists around the world to share their struggles on the site. The solution had to provide a intuitive backend with a set of permissions that allowed head office to review and edit before posting; resources for planning successful public events and a private space for organizers to share ideas and resources. The first stage of the site is now up. We will be working throughout the summer to add planned functionality to meet the official launch target in mid-September. Once again, Viva & Co. is proud to be associated with this important cause.
Office Specialty hired Viva & Co. to relaunch their storied 125-year-old brand with a new logo, identity system, tagline, website, movie, brochure, advertising campaign – and just about anything else you can think of. Our research began in their archive and only ended after in-depth interviews with senior management, dealers and a worldwide network of clients. We could talk at length about the insights we gathered during the process, but perhaps the entire exercise is best summed up in a tweet that a senior officer at OS sent out: “I would like to give a shout out to Viva & Co. They are design rock stars! They are doing awesome creative work for us!” See more on our OS project page.