Lee’s paint mix set is a beautiful work in itself

 

Design by Aaron-Harper Lee, 2015 MFA graduate of the School of Graphic Design at Academy of Art University

Design by Aaron-Harper Lee, 2015 MFA graduate of the School of Graphic Design at Academy of Art University

An accomplished set of painting implements designed by Graphic Design graduate Aaron-Harper Lee is endorsed on PackagingoftheWorld.com as one of the site’s highest-rated examples of student design. The Ambrose & Harper Powder Mix project is suffused with the endearing presence of Lee’s grandfather Ambrose, who guided the artist along her own path, leading to her 2015 MFA degree from the Academy of Art University.

Design by Aaron-Harper Lee

Design by Aaron-Harper Lee

Lee freely acknowledges her debt. “My grandfather Ambrose is the source of my inspiration as a designer and for this product—his presence in my life as an artisan, teacher and beloved community member has strongly influenced what I value in this world. Each handcrafted component of this product is made from reclaimed wood, fabric or leather, staying true to the principle of tradition—passing heirlooms from one generation to the next,” says Lee, who completed the concept for Tom McNulty’s Package Design 2 course.

Design by Aaron-Harper Lee

Design by Aaron-Harper Lee

She wasn’t kidding about the kit being handcrafted: Every piece is carefully managed in form, palette and tactile quality, expressing a uniformity of vision that is painterly in and of itself. The austere wooden box each item is packed in sets off the understated sophistication of each wrapper, tag and carton to bring the whole set alive with an early-20th-century flavor.

Design by Aaron-Harper Lee

Design by Aaron-Harper Lee

“With the niche market of craftsmen in mind, I branded a line of sustainable paint motivated by principles of legacy and tradition,” says Lee. “The craft of painting is resurrected as an artistic ritual and mindful practice. Starting with compressed blocks of eco-friendly paint powder, the compact package includes all materials and tools needed to hand-mix your own paint, creating the perfect tints in small batches—just add water. With Ambrose & Harper, preparation of the paint becomes as much a part of the process as the painting itself.”

Design by Aaron-Harper Lee

Design by Aaron-Harper Lee

Lee’s attention to detail is confident and thorough, with every surface embodying a bit of history or artfully conveyed technical information. Each element is edition-numbered and clearly individual. The evergreen silhouette logo works fluidly as leather embossment, as a printed logo, or even as a laser woodcut, all while retaining an iconic presence that is crucial to establishing a brand.

Design by Aaron-Harper Lee

Design by Aaron-Harper Lee

Above and below are samples of the impressive iterative process Aaron-Harper engaged in to arrive at her final conception of the paint set. Her explorations of form, rhythm and typography are strong clues that she has a vital imagination for expansive aesthetic possibilities.

Graphic explorations by Aaron-Harper Lee

Graphic explorations by Aaron-Harper Lee

Resources
• For more work by Aaron-Harper Lee, see her portfolio and her personal design site Ahlchemy.

Posted: Thursday, September 17th, 2015
Filed under: Alumni News, Student Work
Tagged: Tags: , ,