beneath the surface blog

  1. White-Onyx-Stone-Block

    Working with Backlit Onyx Panels: From Opaque to Translucent

    The process of creating a piece of backlit onyx is one of transformation. From raw material extracted from the earth, onyx material undergoes a series of changes in making it to a final installation, illuminated in its glory. The characteristics of the stone shift at every step in the production process, making the upfront selection […]

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  2. Backlit-Food-Meal

    Throwback Thanksgiving: Possibilities on Your Plate

    This Thanksgiving, we’re throwing it back to an original blost post we wrote for the 2011 holiday. As time passes the team here tends to do stranger and stranger lighting experiments with our foods (backlit PB&J, anyone?), but our fascination with lighting and texture certainly hasn’t changed. Original post: With Turkey Day just hours away, […]

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  3. Back to Basics #6: Color

    Don’t get us wrong, we love a clean, minimalistic space; it can be very calming and clarifying. But sometimes, all the sleek surfaces and white walls can start to seem….how should we put it?… visually sterile? Sometimes lacking punch, personality, and intrigue, the absence of color can start to become boring, leaving us longing for […]

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  4. Back to Basics #5: Contrast

    Opposing elements that contradict and enhance one another can create intense forces, manifesting a tangible tension within. Allowing the design itself to come alive with palpable energy, the pairing of opposites generates an inherent push and pull, impacting both perception of the design and associated experiences. Take a look at the below examples which have […]

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  5. Select Your Scribble

    The world of design is brimming with new developments in up-and-coming technology, product launches, and the next big ideas. Take the Scribble pen, for example. Any Photoshop devotee would be thrilled that the “eyedropper” tool has come to life, meaning that you can use the pen to grab a color from any real-life object and […]

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  6. Back to Basics #4: Texture

    Ever read a sign that says “DO NOT TOUCH” and immediately have an urge to feel the forbidden object? The phrase almost becomes a challenge, rather than a prohibition. It’s so tough to resist! That’s because tactile experiences are so essential to our being; we’re hardwired to touch and feel everything around us, forming understanding […]

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  7. Back to Basics #3: Mass

    Mass. We’re surrounded by it. We inhabit it. It impacts our space, and it shapes our experiences both physically and physiologically. It has the power to be obtrusive and boisterous, or minimalistic and stoic. Here are a few examples that masterfully manipulate mass, emphasizing bold, unapologetic, and vastly different creative perspectives. Image compiled by GPI […]

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  8. Back to Basics #2: Repetition

    The act of doing something over and over isn’t always a good idea. Especially when it comes to doing some things in particular – like stealing your co-worker’s lunch out of the fridge, for example – it is probably not good to make a habit out of it. But in some cases, repetition can be […]

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  9. Back to Basics #1: Form

    Submersed in creation day in and day out, it’s easy to become immune to the fundamental concepts at the core of design. Becoming so ingrained in our being, their simple existence registers involuntarily – like we’re running on auto-pilot – and we can overlook their individual relevance in the visual realization of an idea. Overexposure […]

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  10. From the Field: Backlit Onyx Feature Wall Installation in Ottawa

    Last winter, the GPI Design team was commissioned to engineer one very unique feature wall in the lobby of 150 Elgin Street in Ottawa, Ontario. Within the main lobby of this 21-story office complex, the designers at NEUF Architect(e)s and ownership at Morguard Investments imagined a glowing onyx wall to dazzle visitors and tenants. Intended […]

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  11. Pareidolia

    We like to consider our projects works of art, especially when it comes to selecting and perfecting the surface (or face) of the backlit project. There are truly endless arrays of translucent surfaces that we can implement into our backlit systems, and each will “speak” differently to every client. No one has the same interpretation. […]

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  12. Crain’s Cleveland Magazine Features GPI: Local Firm with Global Reach

    “Look cool? It’s by design” GPI Design was honored with a front cover spotlight in this week’s issue of Crain’s Cleveland Magazine. The Crain’s reporters spent time speaking with our founder and director, Thomas Lawrence, about the roots of our company and where we are headed. Read the full story here >

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  13. For a Peek at Our Process, Join GPI on Instagram

    We just started experimenting with our new Instagram account! Our design team is sharing images of our process that provide a peek into our day-to-day life here at GPI.   If you are on Instagram you can catch those glimpses by following @gpidesign. So far we are enjoying this app for its ability to collapse […]

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