Two days ago I was asked to do a quick gig poster at the last minute. Years ago, I made fake gig posters as a student. Eventually, I learned that they’re not a great representation of what design can do and should be about. However, they’re fun, and if you don’t take them too seriously, than you can really enjoy them.
If I have a “style”, then fuck, I have a style. I’d like to think I just have a certain way of doing things. This certainly is not a classic gig poster, but it’s how I like it. Hopefully I’ll get to do some more of these in the future. It’s a fun little challenge.
Yeah, I went there. I’ll be going many places, actually.
I’ve want a little series on here since I ended the quotes.
For now the series will be called Fuck That. Negative? Only slightly. The negativity of the image is to grab attention, and the tone will then be less negative in comparison. Hopefully. The topics will be worrying trends, annoying occurrences, and general design related things that make me sad or embarrassed.
Hand lettering is a trend, and that can not be argued. Well, perhaps it’s a movement, or even a plague. It’s sweeping across the design industry and now covers blogs, portfolios, and even client work. There are certainly masters, and those whose job it is to hand letter. There are those that are so adept at it, that they’ve virtually narrowed their services to that very specific kind of work.
That is great. My issue is mostly how hand lettering is often protected from criticism, and praised almost unanimously. The fact is that hand lettering looks really, really hard. It looks vintage, and like a craft. Especially to those who have little design knowledge. Designers don’t always want to criticize another designer for doing something they worked hard on, especially if it has that “crafted” nature to it.
The issue is that it seems apparent that instead of asking if it’s a proper solution, it’s just being done because of its aesthetics. Instead of asking whether or not hand lettering is even appropriate, designers see it and praise the skill, curves, weight, and craft. Fuck that.
The next time you encounter hand lettering, instead of tweeting it or blogging about it, think about whether someone chose to do it because it worked, or because they thought it looked cool.
I adore Wes Anderson, and his films, to an alarming degree. Many people know this. Many people also know the style or aesthetics I’m drawn to. Adam Torpin alerted me when he saw the above posters. I now own them, and shall soon have them framed.
All it can take is an email. Or effort, or drive, or the will to do it.
If there is someone who inspires you, gives you goosebumps, makes you feel happy, and generally kicks ass, then you need to meet them. Do what you need to do. Shake that hand. Tell them thank you, and tell them thank you again.
Yesterday I was lucky enough to meet Aaron Draplin. He thinks he’s a regular guy, but to many of us he’s a symbol of what we all should be and should believe in.
I was also lucky enough to have him thank me at the start of his presentation. All I did was send an email, but I’m glad I sent it.
A few years ago I sent Stefan Sagmeister a letter. I think I’ll do that again.
Reach out folks. Reach out.
Also, I am now a lifelong believer in the DDC.
Inspired by the film Bad Santa. Delivered by Billy Bob Thornton in the original scene, and today in-person by Donovan Beery.
Now that I have my sweet job at a real design studio, Eleven19, I don’t have to worry about doing the kind of work that would get me hired. What does that mean? It means I can do more fun little icons, random logo redesigns, and all sorts of other things that “don’t matter” but are just for fun.
Also, Aaron Draplin (one of my design heroes) will be speaking in Omaha in one week for AIGA Nebraska. Emailing your heroes and telling them you’d love for them to come speak where you live is totally worth it.
The last time there was a mention of Tegan and Sara on here, there was a black and white photo. Well look at that, it happens again. Although last time it was a picture of the adorable Tegan, where as this time it’s just a boring photo I took.
Monday is the real start of the week, despite what people who say Sunday think. They’re just wrong.
The Monday that is tomorrow is the start of something new. The previous post had a “hint” image in it. In that image there were eleven lines, followed by nineteen lines.
Tomorrow, I start my new job at Eleven19. Oh, I’m so fucking clever.
I’m nervous, but those nerves are just my excitement telling me that good things are going to happen.
As for the Tegan and Sara reference, come on.
In the very near future, there will be a bit of change in my days. If you do not know, the clue is above. If that doesn’t help than you’ll have to just wait a day or so.
The majority of the time I feel nervous in my life, it’s due to excitement. This is most certainly one of those times.
Gentlemen to bed! For we leave at first light…on Monday.
Something looking “safe” varies massively from person to person, based on what they’re used to seeing. The past is safe, because we now know how to react to it and how to prevent certain things from occurring that we did not enjoy.
The unknown is not safe. In a way, neither is the future.
In terms of design, this could mean that someone who only designs gig posters finds that style incredibly safe. Even if they’re then designing something for someone who does not want a gig poster, their instinct is to play it safe, which means you get that style that some people would consider not safe, or extreme.
Safe has nothing to do with minimalism, legibility, or white space. It’s completely tied to past experience, comfort level, and expectations.
To someone who has only ever asked for work in the style of David Carson, getting work from Massimo Vignelli would not be safe for them, as it’s a foreign concept.
Lesson: Fuck safety. Don’t be afraid to make yourself uncomfortable.
You may or may not have noticed that this page looks different than it once did. It stayed one way for a long time, so there is that. However, it was time for a change. Nothing major, but I feel that this blog will just live better in this space. Especially as I might try and not worry about having an image to accompany each post. If there is one, great. If not, oh well.
I like the idea of words taking up just as much visual space as images do. However, when there are images, they’ll be bigger than before. Be happy for that if you’re really into images, or specifically big images.
Exciting things are happening. Taking some steps in a slightly new direction is always exciting.
Also, I believe I’m getting a new desk. Hopefully this desk. This potential excites me. Also, Secret Pint, the name of my inevitable music/design blog is slowly becoming a reality. The hope is that that will cause me to write more “personal” things on here. Which really just means posting more, because all things on here should relate to me specifically. Hopefully anyone reading can handle that.
Klaus is one of the best characters in the best film, ever. People should get together and watch that film together, and others just like it.
Sometimes you just need to throw something out there and stop tinkering with it.
Eighteen tracks that are guaranteed to make you sway in your seat, clap your hands, bob your head, and make you smile.
Why would I not post about football/soccer? Especially when it’s about design and the sport.
Its far from final, but a schedule of sorts never hurt anyone who didn’t attempt to follow it.
The plan exists, it just hasn’t been written down.
We all know that beautifully plain is rather special.
Once again, no subtractions, just one addition.
Before an advertisement showed up on the sidebar of Facebook urging you to become a graphic designer and attend an online university. Before it was cool, hip, or trendy. Before it became about selling yourself instead of ideas. Before dressing like a graphic designer existed.
It feels like we’ve been here before. Function and form. Clarity and vagueness. This and that.
In thirty minutes, Erik Spiekermann shows how easy it is to clearly communicate. Even when it’s to the entire world.
It’s hard to accept and sad to realize, but design is definitely at that point.
The legend Wim Crouwel finally makes it on the blog.
No Earth Liberation Front here. Just some trees. Move along.
They’re just mountains. No symbolism. I promise.
Just like that, there were icons.
Stop complaining and feel flattered.
If you know a great designer, then you know how insane they are/can be.
No subtractions, just two additions.