Crispin Porter + Bogusky Launches Awesome New Site

June 30, 2009

Advertising hot shop Crispin Porter + Bogusky just launched a beta version of their new site and it is best summed up as twittertubefeed. Never short of great ideas, the folks at CP+B have turned the standard company portfolio site into a full fledged web 2.0 news aggregation/video hub. The genius part is that all the news is about CP+B. Well played CP+B. Well played.


Ed Fella and The Cranbrook ‘Style’

January 14, 2009

Ed Fella, detail from his Cranbrook Thesis Project, 1987

There isn’t many an art school whose name, when mentioned, brings to mind a specific style of graphic design. Most student work reflects the prevailing trends of the day. Cranbrook, however, is one of those rare schools with a name that is synonymous with a design ‘style.’ The graphic design work of many Cranbrook alums often treads the line between art and pure experimentation. The reason for this is due to Cranbrook’s approach to teaching, which, according to Meggs, “has long emphasized experimentation while rejecting a uniform philosophy or methodology.” I think it could also be attributed to the work of graphic design legend, Cranbrook alum, and CalArts professor, Ed Fella. His work has had a tremendous impact on not only his students, but on an entire “generation” of designers. His typographic experimentation, which could possibly be traced back to Dadaism, was a precursor to the deconstructed type now synonymous with the early to mid 90s (David Carson).

While I’ve never been big on the whole 90s aesthetic, Ed Fella’s whimsical work has inspired me since I first came across it, back in college. There’s a kind of intimacy in his work that you don’t (and probably shouldn’t) find too often in graphic design.

Phil Lubliner, Bingo, 2004

There are a couple designers working today who I’d say come out of the same tradition of typographic experimentation, and whose work I find equally enjoyable. Fellow Brooklynite and Pratt grad, Phil Lubliner’s work has a quality all its own. Alex Trochut’s work has the same whimsical quality but in digital. Lastly, and the inspiration behind this entire post, is the work of Cranbrook alum, Matthew Gavin Walsh. His site is essentially a blog, but a blog like no other, because it is made up entirely of his doodles, illustrations, and random musings. The Ed Fella influence is apparent, but Walsh’s brain is operating on it’s own wavelength. Just a quick scroll down the page and you’ll get an idea of what I’m talking about. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable experience.


Chicken Soup

December 4, 2008

Since an early age, I’ve been waking up at the crack of dawn. I come from a long line of early risers. My mother was a schoolteacher who woke up every morning around 5. My grandmother lives in England, and honestly, I don’t know her sleeping habits but whenever she visited during the holidays, she’d be up just as early as my mother, sipping her morning tea. Before I moved to America, I lived with my great grandmother in Jamaica. I don’t remember much about those times, but I do know Mama didn’t take no mess, and she probably had us all up before the cock even waddled its way out the chicken coop. The point I’m trying to make here is I get up early.

When I worked full-time, my days began with the typical morning routine, followed by a few minutes on the computer, checking email and reading the latest headlines. Rarely was there time to sit and recharge my senses, as your Yogi might say. These days are a little different. My predisposition to waking up early, coupled with the fact that I now work at a tiny workspace in the corner of my room, allows my mornings almost infinite possibilities. Some mornings I wake up, immediately walk to my lonely acoustic guitar and awkwardly, though passionately, finger my way through my paltry repertoire of nineties pop songs. Other mornings, I walk straight to my desk and resume working on whatever project I had been tinkering with the night before. And then there are mornings like these. The mornings you wake up and you’re so inspired you want to call radio stations. Well, not really.

Anyway, some mornings you get up feeling like TODAY I WILL DO SOMETHING GOOD. Those mornings pretty much anything you come across has the potential to inspire. Combine that with a healthy blog-reading habit and you’ve got the recipe for a Chicken Soup For The Soul kind of day. If you’ve ever read any of those books, you know that nothing inspires people more than other people’s stories. Well, this morning while browsing Design Observer (I read other blogs but Design Observer is just so good!), I came across this interview with designer, Carin Goldberg, from Success Secrets of the Graphic Design Superstars, a blog whose namesake pretty much sums up its content. Goldberg is one of my favorite designers. She’s designed hundreds of book covers, some of which I have here on my bookshelf (love these!). Her work is so inspiring to me because it appears to come from a deep understanding of design history, as well as a highly conceptual thought process. Not only that, she does what I want to do: work with writers. Every time I look at her work, I get that warm feeling inside about the possibilities of my career as a designer. Yeah, it’s being sentimental, but as the poet Beau Sia once championed, “WHAT’S WRONG WITH SENTIMENTAL?”

Get some chicken soup here
Go see Carin Goldberg’s work here

We Should Do It All

November 14, 2008

The name alone is brilliant, but this Brooklyn based design firm more than lives up to its moniker. This multidisciplinary studio run by Jared Seaver, Jonathan Jackson, and Sarah Nelson does it all, and then some. More importantly, they’re having a good time doing it. They recently redesigned their portfolio site and, as expected, it’s top-notch.