As we sweep away the confetti and pour the first Monday cup of coffee, combing through all the accumulated unread emails and holiday e-cards, let’s take a minute to focus all this kinetic energy toward the blank slate ahead and all its twinkling promise.
There’s a quote that circulates the design sphere that dates back to the 1700s when the Shaker community (a small religious group founded in 18th century England) were inventing small, simple, and durable furniture, along with the circular saw, the washing machine, and the flat broom. I’ve carried this quote with me as my own personal career, design, and lifestyle philosophy, but to be honest, I haven’t always adhered to it. That is, until 2015, which certainly felt like a year-long Spring cleaning of my closets (thanks, KonMari!) and social life (un-friending can be a cleansing ritual in itself, try it!). So when it came to the annual regrouping and prioritizing what kinds of work I want to make in 2016, I went back to the moleskins of my college years and found the Shaker philosophy, which rang especially poignant after the lessons we learned from the Apple Watch and 2015 UX projects.
Happy 2016. Let’s make wonderful things, and let’s make sure they are necessary. Let them be useful. And let’s never hesitate to make them beautiful–Outstanding, even.
Jean-Michel Basquiat is arguably one of the most influential artists of the Neo-Expressionist art movement of the 1970s and 1980s, and certainly one of the most significant artists of his generation. Known for his loose and rough graphic style of painting, Basquiat went from an obscure New York City graffiti artist to art superstar almost overnight. He’s a personal favorite of mine and the following is a brief overview of his life and career.
Los Angeles is well known for diversity, whether that be racial, cultural, or in the workforce–more specifically, the creative industry. Think Disney, Dreamworks, Paramount, Universal — LA is a hub for creativity. Aside from larger corporations, there is a significant amount of smaller design studios, firms, ad agencies, and creative companies that make up LA’s rich art, culture, and creative scene.
LA Design Festival is a collaborative citywide convention, where design-related events (that can be product design, architecture, graphic design, etc.) take place and are hosted by design/creative firms and open to the public (for some events, ticket purchases/RSVP are required). This year, there are studio tours and open houses, house tours (McKinley House, Venice House, etc.), pop-ups, and more! The LA Design Festival takes place from May 28th until June 14. To check out the events schedule, visit:
I came across this inspiring little video shortly after the New Year and it completely blew me away. It features an excerpt from an interview featuring Ira Glass, the host and producer of the wonderful radio show “This American Life” on NPR. In the interview, Glass offers up some sound advice for someone starting out in broadcast journalism, but his words will resonate with anyone working in a creative field. As a graphic designer, this short video hit me pretty hard and it perfectly encapsulates how I feel towards my own work. Oh, and the motion graphics and typography are pretty slick, too!
Another large creative event is coming up, and it’s taking place at the MOCA Geffen (Little Tokyo, Los Angeles) on January 29th – February 1st.
The 3rd annual Printed Matter’s LA Art Book Fair is a large event that many graphic designers attend to view and purchase inspiring, creative work. The fair kicks off on Thursday, January 29 (Preview Night — tickets required) and opens up to the public starting Friday, January 30. The fair continues until February 1.
Growing up in the US while constantly being exposed to the East-Asia’s “culture of cute” was a clash of two opposite worlds. In America, businesses are more focused on making their products look “cool” or “slick” to sell. A well known example is Apple – their products are designed to be minimalist, straight-forward, and reflect “cool” for Western culture. Overseas in Eastern-Asia such as Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, many products focus on “cute” and “colorful” to appeal to the general public. Continue reading
With the invention of motion-picture cameras, a new age of inspiration and creativity was born. Though film began in the 1890s, cinema became a large hit in the 1920s, largely to escape the harsh realities of the Great Depression (cinema was a cheap form of entertainment). It was also the time when sound was added to film, making it a lot more appealing to the mass. To market the film, posters were designed and created for the public to see. Continue reading
Many people get confused when it comes to picking a font or typeface mostly because they lack understanding and knowledge of typography. As a designer, I have dealt with clients who love display fonts, usually the free ones that you find on dafont. Now, I don’t have any problem with display fonts. They are called display fonts for a reason and aren’t used as if they were DIN or Baskerville; however, there are still a set of rules that you should follow. I have listed the attributes that I believe make a “good” typeface below. Continue reading
A while back, we mentioned the One Show Young Ones student award show as a good way to exercise your advertising brain. If you’re looking to get into the creative game, the D&AD New Blood awards are also a great chance to show off your work. Although submissions opened in February, you can submit up until March 19th – just be wary of the different time zone. Check out the briefs here, and good luck to everyone chasing a Pencil!
We live in an environment overloaded with information. Our environment is supposed to keep us informed through signs and instructions. However, the way most information is presented is messy. The signs that are supposed to help us end up confusing us, and the signs that are clear usually end up looking ugly. Continue reading
There are two briefs this year. The first is for Organic, a fashion brand by John Patrick. The second is an open call for saving the arts. The brief says you can choose (or create) any brand or cause that fits the bill. You can download both creative briefs here.