Tag Archives: real estate

A Note to Our Readers

This blog has grown a lot since we started it in May 2011, and we wanted to thank all our readers who have kept us going!  You should “Like” us on Facebook, and take a peek at our redesigned website (we have to admit, it’s rather impressive).

We welcome your comments and feedback on our portfolio, website redesign, and blog posts.


The Real Estate Arts team

Live, Work, Create

Here we go … the continuation of our December REA APPROVED excursions.

Chip & Brittany found some awesome things to “Approve,” so check out the rest on our REA APPROVED blog here.

Music to My Eyes: the Art of Music Posters

By Jess Wertheim, REA Intern


I’m a sucker for posters—I just can’t get enough of them.  It’s rare that I walk down the streets of New York without pausing to look at a poster.  The truth is, not everyone has an appreciation for posters, an appreciation for the art, the typography, the idea, the message, and time that goes into making a poster. It’s not just an ad or a sign.  Poster design is an art.

Ever wonder what happened to the art of poster ads?  The vivid, bold colored graphics of abstract images or the drawing of the everyday person depicted in everyday activity.  Many of today’s ads are filled with celebrity faces and bodies,

chiseled and primed, digitally enhanced, defect-free, touched-up and packaged. Got Milk? Need a camera? If it’s good enough for Christie Brinkley and Ashton Kutcher, it must be worth buying.  Even the fictional Geico caveman has achieved celebrity.

One type of poster art that always catches my eye is the music poster.  Whether a simple or intricate design, music posters have evolved without simply relying on the celebrity image.

The following are a few of the many influential and memorable music poster artists:


Jules Cheret: Jules Cheret is a very well-known graphic design poster artist from the 1800’s.  He is recognized for his famous three stone process, which gave printers the ability to produce all colors. His work often featured a single, attractive, elegant woman dancing in order to depict the ambiance of the belle époque.  His art actually enticed people to come to see the shows.  In 1884, Cheret organized the first ever group exhibition of posters and in 1886 published the first book on poster art.  In 1890, Cheret was awarded the Legion of Honour by the French government, a reflection of the advancements in art he had made.

Stanley Mouse: Turning to more recent history, Stanley Mouse is a poster artist most famous for his Grateful Dead Posters that he created alongside Alton Kelley.  They teamed up as well to create posters for The Family Dog, the group that organizes live concerts at the Avalon Ballroom.  Mouse and Kelley would often work alongside one another (one was left-handed, the other right-handed).  Rock-and-roll music was in the foreground and background of the political and cultural revolution of the ‘60s era; and music was a catalyst that brought people and protests together.  The Mouse-Kelley art captured that mood and spirit.


“Kelley had the unique ability to translate the music being played into these amazing images that captured the spirit of who we were and what the music was all about,” said the Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart.


Bonnie MacLean: In the late ‘60s, poster artist Bonnie MacLean obtained her inspiration from the shows at the Fillmore where she collected tickets, handed out programs, and counted money.  In addition, she also did the hand lettering on the chalkboard for upcoming shows, which eventually led to her poster creations.  MacLean often depicted women in a deep stare in combination with 60’s style lettering. Her bright colors and wavy typography are reminiscent of the times.

Wes Wilson: Around that same time, Wes Wilson helped establish the psychedelic rock poster.  His art is directed at and made for a specific audience: those that are familiar with the psychedelic experience.  Wilson’s style, particularly the exaggerated hand lettering, developed as a result of his personal familiarity with the psychedelic experience.  The influential typography that Wilson used was originated from the Vienna Secessionist lettering.


Jim Pollock: More recently, Jim Pollock first began making pen and ink posters for the band Phish when they were an unknown small group at the University of Vermont.  He has maintained a close relationship with the band, and has continued making posters for them as well as other bands.  He is known for his brightly colored linoleum cuts.

Tripp Shealy: Today, Tripp Shealy is a fairly well known poster artist in the live music scene from Boulder, Colorado. His prints tend to be reminiscent of the ‘60’s: geometrical, colorful, and trippy.

As Wayne Coyne, the lead singer of the Flaming Lips, said, “Rock posters have hypnotic powers. Maybe it’s the different dimensions of the lettering, or maybe it’s the colors the artists use, or maybe it’s because of some strange, unintentional miracle in their design, but I’ve believed in them and have wanted to leap (into their world) and infuse myself with them.”

FAO Schwarz

About the location: Central Park, Fifth Avenue Fashion, spectacular art, thriving culture, endless shopping, unbelievable dining and lively nightlife – this is Pure New York City. Amid the whirl of excitement you will find the GM Building, and located at its base the legendary FAO Schwarz store, a timeless beloved destination loved by adults and children alike.  

How REA approached the design & video process: Our challenge was to create a customizable campaign that targeted individual world-class retailers, giving them the ability to envision their brands in the space. While touring the location, we noticed how the FAO Schwarz building exterior mimicked a showcase from the outside—like something you might find in a fine jewelry store. We also discovered that the location was truly unparalleled and a brand would be showcased here like no other. Thus the idea of “the perfect showcase” was born.

Milford Hotel

What REA produced: Video, website, email campaign.

About the retail location:  The Milford retail provides two retail spaces that can be divided – the first with three levels on 44th St; the second with the ground floor on 45th Street.  Every year, $4.9B is spent in Times Square – nearly half of which is retail spending.  This is no surprise, seeing as shoppers and tourists flock to Times Square as the ideal location to find the biggest and the best stores in New York City.

51K people pass by the Milford every day.  The Milford is located in the heart of the Theater District, near restaurant row and the Port Authority Bus Terminal, surrounded by NYC gems like Madison Square Garden, MoMA, Carnegie Hall, the Garment District, and Central Park.

The 1,300-room Milford Hotel itself was once the largest hotel in NYC when it opened in 1928, and remains one of the biggest and most well-known in the city today.

How REA approached the design & video process:  Our design process began simply by standing on the shoulders of the Hotel’s new brand identity.  We then came up with the idea of having each floor convey a different NYC neighborhood.  We infused this youthful and curious energy into the website design and short film we produced.

589 Fifth Avenue

What REA produced: Branding, video, brochure and packaging.

About the retail location: 589 Fifth Avenue is located on the premier southeast corner of Fifth Ave and 48th St. Fifth Avenue is the most prominent stage for retail in New York City – with several hundred thousand shoppers and tourists buying and browsing on a daily basis.

The sheer amount of foot traffic that Fifth Avenue attracts provides countless opportunities for potential customers to see and experience this location.  Fifth Ave is already the stage for the biggest names in retail, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Abercrombie & Fitch, H&M, Aldo, Urban Outfitters, etc.  This is a chance to build a must-see store that is more than just retail—it’s a destination on the world’s most desired avenue.

How REA approached the design & video process: Our approach was a combination of two strong ideas. The first was to encompass the power of Fifth Avenue and its worldwide appeal, which we expressed by “putting you brand center stage.”  The second was to introduce “TH!NK” and challenge potential tenants to consider all the location manifests and provides. The result was a fast-paced, heart-pounding journey into the power of 589 Fifth Avenue.

Architecture Inspired by Nature

Biomimicry, efficiency and ecology

“The shell of an abalone is twice as strong as the toughest man-made ceramic.” Michael Pawlyn

Biomimicry is the study of nature to develop sustainable solutions based off features found in natural designs.  Or, simply put by biomimicry innovator Janine Benyus, it is “innovation inspired by nature.”  A basic and common form of biomimicry is velcro, which was inspired in 1941, when engineer George de Mestral studied the burrs that got stuck to his dog’s fur.

Although the term ‘biomimicry’ is relatively new (1982), inventors, artists and engineers have often turned to natural solutions for human problems.  Perhaps the best example of early biomimicry is Leonardo da Vinci, whose sketches for a “flying machine” were largely based off his observations of birds in flight.  Centuries later, the Wright brothers also observed pigeons to help develop the first plane.

Here is a list of the most recent and innovative examples of biomimicry implementation.

Pier Luigi Nervi’s Palazzetto dello Sport, an indoor arena in Rome, was built for the 1960 Summer Olympics.  According to Michael Pawlyn, “It is a masterpiece of efficiency inspired by giant Amazon water lilies.”

The Eden Project, located in Cornwall, U.K., is the world’s largest greenhouse designed by architect Nicholas Grimshaw.  Several artificial biomes, including a tropical, Mediterranean, and uncovered outdoor biome, contain plants collected from all over the world. A ‘biome’ in the original sense is defined as an ecosystem or a community of plants and animals that live in similar conditions.  The design was inspired by the mathematical foundation of all plant growth — phyllotaxis — with the “opposing spirals” that are found in pine cones and pineapples.

A shopping and office center called Eastgate Centre in Harare, Zimbabwe became the first of its kind to revolutionize natural cooling in buildings.  Architect Mick Pearce studied cooling chimneys and tunnels of termite dens, which are able to maintain a steady temperature of 87 degrees while outside the temperature ranges from low 30s to well over 100 degrees.  The Eastgate Centre uses 90% less energy to heat and cool than traditional buildings do — because the building is able to draw in cool air at night to lower the temperature of floor slabs.  These then retain coolness during the day and reduce the need for AC.