Colossal’s 2020 Gift Guide of Creative Experiences
December 1, 2020

Colossal hasn’t shared a gift guide in a few years—2020 is full of surprises—but we’ve prepared our new list with two principles in mind: the desire to support small businesses and reduce giving items that’ll be forgotten in the closet or tossed after a year. Instead, we’ve curated a collection of subscription boxes and kits centered around doing, whether that’s through learning a new craft, doodling, or kneading a loaf of bread.
Check out our picks below, and for similarly thoughtful options, head to Colossal’s Bookshop for a collection of craft- and art-centered titles. More Continue reading

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‘The Joy of Type Design’: These Massive Alphabetic Prints Were Created Using Just Four Shapes
November 30, 2020

Using the Brico System for letterpress printing requires thinking of every possible combination from A to Z. The simple method involves just four shapes to create typographic forms and geometric renderings, and it founded a recent collaboration between artist and printmaker Anthony Burill, designer and printer Thomas Mayo, and Oli Bently, who helms the Leeds-based studio Split and the People Powered Press, a non-profit printer that’s the largest letterpress operation of its kind in the world. More Continue reading

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Adventurous Snails Find Themselves Thrust Into ‘The Slimelight’ in a Quirky New Book
November 17, 2020

Snails, they’re just like us! Teeming with cinematic photos, a new book pulls back the curtains on the slimy critter’s vibrant social lives, as they slip out of their shells for shopping, shenanigans, and a night on the town. Snail World: Life in the Slimelight chronicles the quirky adventures and nostalgic miniature scenes occupied by the tiny creatures, which Illinois-based duo Aleia Murawski and Sam Copeland (previously) have arranged for years. More Continue reading

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Smell Like A Million Books With Powell’s Books New Fragrance ‘Eau de Bookstore’

Waft this new scent for hints of wood, violet, and… musty paperback? Powell’s Books, the beloved independent shop in Portland, recently announced a limited-edition perfume that smells just like its seemingly endless rows of new and used titles. “This scent contains the lives of countless heroes and heroines. Apply to the pulse points when seeking sensory succor or a brush with immortality,” Powell’s says about the forthcoming release.
Termed an “Eau de bookstore,” the unisex fragrance was spurred by customers saying they missed the aroma of the shop during the ongoing pandemic. More Continue reading

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Textural Sculptures by Artist Jessica Drenk Use Junk Mail, Book Pages, and Q-Tips to Explore Materiality
October 22, 2020

Montana-born artist Jessica Drenk (previously) employs simple materials, like shopping flyers and standard No. 2 pencils, to create organic sculptures that are chaotic and arresting explorations of the substances themselves. Bundled Q-tips spread across a site-specific installation like the roots of a tree, a carved section of plywood reveals concentric patterns, and strips of junk mail are plastered together in long waves.
While Drenk’s latest series, titled Transmutations, is diverse and ranges from wall pieces to cavernous sculptures, each artwork explores materiality and how disparate shapes and textures combine to create forms that are new both physically and conceptually. More Continue reading

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A Curious Whale Explores Dry Land in Quirky, Melancholic Illustrations by Xuan Loc Xuan
October 19, 2020

In a whimsical narrative by Xuan Loc Xuan, an adventurous whale named Lucille traverses a bustling urban center, densely populated forest, and other dry-land locales on her search for a new home. The Ho Chi Minh City-based illustrator renders the marine mammal in a range of playful and melancholic scenes, either resting on a bed of flowers or trapped alone in a city as the sun sets. Titled The Whale Gets Stuck, the vivid series chronciles the whale’s journey that’s ripe with nostalgia and longing for her ocean home, a tale Xuan tells in her book Babà la balena in città, which is printed in Italian. More Continue reading

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