friday blinks – 8/24/12

24 Aug

FRIDAYBLINKS One can steal ideas, but no one can steal execution or passion. 8/24/2012 // PMS 113 // quote by Tim Ferriss

Here is a list of sites we’ve come across throughout the past couple weeks that we think are worth sharing. We call it friday blinks.

2012 Type Trends
See what’s happening in the world of type this year.
(via Creative Bloq/twitter)

This modular type builder allows you to construct, share, download and use actual fonts that you have made, using their palette of shapes and tools. Pretty awesome.
(via Creative Bloq/twitter)

The Setup
Interviews of various creative people asking what they use to get their jobs done. Unique behind-the-screen look.
(via Tina Roth Eisenberg/twitter)

Love the Box with Timothy Goodman
An illustrated guide on how to research, deconstruct, personalize “the box,” then go forth.
(via Print Magazine/twitter) (via Timothy Goodman/twitter)

Look/See Sun God Special Edition Sunglasses

Portland-based designer Adam Garcia collaborates with high-end eye wear maker Look/See to create some killer sunglasses with tons of small details that make these specs highly desirable…at least to me.
(via Adam Garcia/twitter)

friday blinks – 8/17/12

17 Aug

FRIDAYBLINKS The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life. 8/17/2012 // PMS 112 // quote by Jessica Hische

Here is a list of sites we’ve come across throughout the past couple weeks that we think are worth sharing. We call it friday blinks.

Cardboard Bicycle

Israeli Inventor Izhar Gafni challenges himself to create a complete, fully-functioning bicycle almost completely out of cardboard.
(via Timbuktu Magazine/twitter)

Jack Hughes’ scotch sipping, cigarette smoking illustrations
Lodon-based illustrator and designer Jack Hughes draws with a TON of style and grace. The subtle colors, shading, and beautiful textures make these illustrations even more alluring. Wonderful work, Jack.
(via It’s Nice That/twitter) (via Jack Hughes/twitter)

RJD2 AMA on Reddit
RJD2 is one of my all-time favorite DJs/producers/beat makers and although his career is based in the music industry, the create process is something that is essential in producing his music. The creative process is so different for some many people and you can find inspiration in just about anything and music is definitely a go-to source of inspiration for me. My friend Chris described AMAs as “celebrities, cool people, people with crazy jobs, people who have been through interesting circumstances come in and basically answer questions asked by the community.” The quote below was taken from RJD2’s AMA (link above):

“creative process often starts w/ sheer boredom, and resources. no planning. just doing. do do do. then throw away 90% of what you did. then do more. repeat process. then, you either have a good song or piece of shit. trash POS. release good song. easy as that.”

I realize this isn’t a music blog, but quotes like the one above is why I love RJD2’s style, music, and take on his work.
(via Chris Gustin)

20 Best iPhone apps for designers
The folks over at Creative Bloq have compiled a list of 20 sweet iPhone apps for designers, from time-management and typeface-finding to color palette collecting and simple and stout checklists.
(via Creative Bloq/twitter)

Dr. Seuss’ early advertising work
Interesting how Dr. Seuss’ style transfers pretty seamlessly into advertising.
(via Design Taxi/twitter)

friday blinks – 8/10/12

10 Aug

FRIDAYBLINKS The function of design is letting design function. 8/10/2012 // PMS 111 // quote by Micha Commeren

Here is a list of sites we’ve come across throughout the past couple weeks that we think are worth sharing. We call it friday blinks.

Mars Wallpapers
Tymn Armstrong, an earthling designer, made some desktop wallpapers from the high-res panoramic photos that NASA released earlier this week, which were taken by their newly-landed rover, Curiosity. Thanks dude!
(via Tymn Armstrong/twitter)

Loyola community service site
Designed by Philadelphia-based designer Justin LaFontaine for the Philly-based 160over90 ad agency for Loyola University Maryland. Slick stuff.
(via 160over90/twitter) (via Justin LaFontaine/twitter)

Geometry Daily
No homework needed, just simple geometric shapes, every day.
(via Nate Navasca/twitter)

Jeff Rogers interview with The Great Discontent
The Great Discontent completes another great interview; this time with NYC-based designer, letterer, and maker Jeff Rogers. I felt a warmth run over me (no I didn’t pee myself) after reading his interview. He’s obviously proven that hard work and wanting to continually do better will get you around. Awesome body of work and wonderful advice, Mr. Frogers. Thank you.
(via Jeff Rogers/twitter)

Water Light Graffiti

Created and by the team at the French-based agency Digitalarti at the ArtLab studio. The ‘Water Light Graffiti’ surface is made out of thousands of LEDs illuminated by the contact of water. You can use anything from a paintbrush, a squirt gun, your fingers or anything else that is damp to make the lights light up. Sweet idea.
(via Creative Bloq/twitter)

friday blinks – 7/27/12

27 Jul

FRIDAYBLINKS Good design is all about making other designers feel like idiots because that idea wasn’t theirs. 7/27/2012 // PMS 109 // quote by Frank Chimero

Here is a list of sites we’ve come across throughout the past couple weeks that we think are worth sharing. We call it friday blinks.

Constructivism Colabo
In 1923, the poet Vladimir Mayakovsky joined forces with painter, photographer, and designer Alexander Rodchenko to start a two-man commercial design business. The rest is history. Together, they created some of the most visually-captivating and memorable ads to date. The style that they created is still influencing today’s “punch-you-in-the-face” style of advertising.
(via Steven Heller/twitter)

The Chicago Neighborhoods Project
Go Media interviewed Chicago-based designer Steve Shanabruch, the creator of this sweet project, which is to brand each Chicago neighborhood one at a time. Good stuff.
(via GoMedia/twitter/blog) (via Steve Shanabruch/twitter)

Foundry Collective’s new website
Not only is their new site extremely crisp and clean, their identity work is so damn good.
(via Luke Bott/twitter) (via Foundry Collective/twitter)

FontFont interviews Frank Chimero
A fantastic interview with Brooklyn, NY-based designer Frank Chimero, where he explains his choice of FF Quadraat for his book and website, Shape of Design, as well as his thoughts on Kickstarter-based projects, why he wrote the book, and his explanation behind using a non-traditional text typeface for the book.
(via Frank Chimero/twitter) (via FontFont/twitter)

Make your work matter
James Victore wants to give you a hard-on (through design, that is) and encourages us all to make work that is a gift to your clients and the world.
(via Chris Streger/twitter) (via James Victore/twitter)

friday blinks – 7/20/12

20 Jul

FRIDAYBLINKS A healthy creative process should be able to give a coherent rationale to a client as to why you designed what you designed. 7/20/2012 // PMS 108 // quote by Von Glitschka

Here is a list of sites we’ve come across throughout the past couple weeks that we think are worth sharing. We call it friday blinks.

A Beast Every Week
Organized by Seattle, WA-based designer and illustrator Ellis Latham-Brown, this collection of beasts were created by some of the best designers and illustrators in the game. Check them out and be afraid…be very afraid.
(via Susan Locascio)

Making trash beautiful
Four dudes (Russian maybe?) paint, letter, and draw on people’s trash and they do a killer job of it.
(via Dylan Moore)

The most impatient book ever

An anthology by the best Latin American authors, printed with light- and air-sensitive inks that will completely disappear two months after it’s opened. You better not be a slow reader like me. The reasoning behind it is to get the names and stories by these up-and-coming authors out there in the public eye. It
seemed to work. They got lots of press and people wanting this first edition. The
producers of this book plan on making more of these types of books in the future.
(via Matt Griffin/twitter)

Zippo etching

etched zippos by Jon Contino
New York-based Jon Contino hand-etched some really awesome Zippo lighters over the past year. Click photo above for full size.
(via Jon Contino/twitter)

Yume Ume branding by 160over90
160over90, a Philly-based agency does a knock-up job on the branding of a Japanese kitchen based out of Gainesville, FL. Punny copy and clever illustrations.
(via 160over90/twitter)

In other news…
The chatter is all over the twitter machine…Charlotte, NC-based designer, illustrator and creative director Matt Stevens has a new website. It’s pretty great.

WMC Fest 2012 – day two

19 Jul

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m going to try to sum up my experience by transcribing my notes from the speakers I was able to watch, hear, and experience in hopes that it makes sense and inspires you as much as it did for me. Day two…go!

Brian Andrew Jasinski, Cleveland-based artist, illustrator, and designer at his one-man agency, Grey Cardigan
Talk Title: Designing Beyond the Desk

You are a designer even when you are outside of the work chair
The audience goes with you as you connect with them and earn their trust
Understanding and learning your client and becoming an ambassador for them with design
Designers can tell stories without words
Find what you love doing and find out how to use it
It’s easy to be passionate about your own work, but you have to have self-discipline to control/art-direct your own work
Keep pushing yourself to a new place

Brian’s belief is to be a design ambassador; step out from behind your computer often and get out there to talk with people about design. Make a connection with people, earn their trust, and push yourself.

Julia Kuo, Cleveland, OH-based illustrator and designer
Talk Title: All I want to do is make cute things

How to make cute things:
1. Eyes
2. Cute mouth
3. Any shape and it will be cute
Is part of The Nimbus Factory as a side project
Illustrated the book New to Cleveland: A Guide to (re)Discovering the City, which started from the 100 Days in Cleveland blog

Julia’s blog, 100 Days in Cleveland, opened up an opportunity for her. Do something you enjoy, share with others, and maybe something will come out of it. Also, drawing cute things doesn’t hurt either.

Matt Stevens, Charlotte, NC-based designer, illustrator, and art director
Talk Title: *subject to change without notice

No plan, just do it
Do it for your own reasons, see opportunities and jump
Might not work out
Immerse yourself into something
Fight to do the kind of work you want to do
Figure out what’s important to you
You make your own momentum

I’m a big fan of Matt and his work. He takes his work very seriously and it shows. Figure out what you love to do and do what you need to do to do it.
You create your own driving force. Matt’s a true example of how hard work, several side projects, and talent can give you the flexibility of doing what you love to do.

Tuesday Bassen, New York City-based illustrator and designer
Talk Title: Don’t Be An Asshole

Being awesome isn’t enough sometimes
Don’t pee in the design pool
Make your own community instead of waiting around
Draw for yourself
There are no specific avenues to do your work

Tuesday’s talk pretty much sums it up; be nice to others, make a community of like-minded people, and see where your work leads you.

Friends of Type, Brooklyn, NY & San Francisco-based designers, illustrator, typographers, Aaron Carambula, Erik Marinovich, Dennis Payongayong, and Jason Wong
Talk Title: Good, Bad & Ugly

If you have an idea, do it
Find inspiration anywhere
Keep it fun and light and fresh
Have adventures
Don’t be afraid to fuck up

The Friends of Type might have been the happiest people at WMC Fest. You can tell they feed off one another, love to create, and can turn a simple idea into something magical.

Jennifer Daniel, Brooklyn, NY-based designer and illustrator
Talk Title: Untitled

Surround yourself with creative friends and competitive settings

Jennifer works for the Man, and she’s ok with that. She’s figured out how to work really hard, be herself, and get a photo of Lady GaGa’s butt in a world-renowned, weekly business magazine. Well done, Jennifer.

James White, Nova Scotia, Canada-based illustrator, designer, and owner of Signalnoise
Talk Title: Design Renegade

Draw all of the time
Being different just isn’t enough anymore
Get off the path and get out in the woods
Infuse fun into your work, be kid-focused and passionate
Do what you’re passionate about and the passion will show in your work
Play: do it just to do it
Boy Scout and Lego icons – inspiration
Playing around can earn you work
You never know where your work will end up if you don’t pull it out there
No baloney [in your work], just the stuff that needs to be there
Do stuff and see where it goes
Pick online communities that work for you and use them well and often
You don’t need clients in order to do work
Do lots of research for your personal projects

James is a 30-something year old kid who is full of energy…or is it maple syrup, I’m not sure. He loves Legos, trading cards, and 8-bit video games. But don’t be fooled by his kid-like mentality. James loves to try new things and allows his passions to shine through in his work. Sometimes, if you do the work and get the work out there, the right people will see it and it will turn into something much more than an exercise.

Kate Bingaman Burt, Portland, OR-based
Talk Title: 8 Days a Week

Collecting is important to the research, but be sure to make connections
Curations: study, ask questions, and seek to find new meanings
Use collected images to guide the process
Share with others
Work hard
Elevate the mundane
Automated projects: create framework and structure
Zines: constraint to creations
Turn thoughtfully looking into thoughtfully making

Kate is an explosion of enthusiasm. She is constantly working, moving, sharing, and making. Each one of Kate’s projects might seem crazy and unplanned, but actually there is a pretty strict structure under all of the hand drawings. Structure and constraints can sometimes be a creativity-killer, but if used wisely, they can give you even more freedom.

That’s it for the speakers. I just wanted to say again how pleased I was with this conference. I haven’t felt this re-energized in a really long time and I owe it to the WMC Fest team, all of the speakers, the featured designers, the bands, and all of the wonderful people I met over the weekend.

WMC Fest 2012 – day one

18 Jul

I’m going to try to sum up my experience by transcribing my notes from the speakers I was able to watch, hear, and experience in hopes that it makes sense and inspires you as much as it did for me. I am bummed I wasn’t able to hear all of the speakers present this year, but I hope to look them up via their respective websites/social sites. Here we go.

Austin Kleon, Austin, TX-based writer, artist, author, and speaker
Talk Title: Writing: The Secret Weapon of Any Career

Nothing is original
All writing is collage, recombining words
Read, read, read: Good reading leads to good writing, read what you love
Write in your books: create arguments in the margins
Keep a swipe file: what to take and use for later (small notebook, phone,
camera, etc.)

Always carry paper and writing utensil
Artists need pockets, they also need curiosity, kindness, and stamina
Step away from the computer screen: It’s too easy to hit the delete key
“In the digital age, don’t forget to use your digits!”—Lynda Barry
Keep a daily routine: Schedule it, make a calendar, and keep a log book
Write something you want to read
Write to satisfy 1 person (not yourself)
After you write something, put it away and read it again later
Practice in public: blog, twitter, whatever…just share

Austin’s presentation made me want to read, sketch, and write more, oh and buy shirts with 2 front pockets. I really want to write more and better now.

Mike Kubinski, Cleveland, OH-based founder and designer at C.L.E. Clothing
Talk Title: Home Grown

Big on civic pride
Build a brand and build an audience
Get your friends to be your marketing team
Print yourself, print on-demand, and keep inventory low
Get involved with your local scene
People embraced the brand because “the location inspires them”
Make crazy designs that are alternatives to the “big guy shops”
All money goes back into the company
Hire a manager
Pitch in to other local artists/designers, create a community
Wanted to become the “city’s giftshop”

Mike is big on civic pride and has built a successful business on that model.
Be true to your roots and be proud of where you live and work.

Nate UteschFort Wayne, IN-based designer, artist, art director, musician, and founder/curator/designer of Ferocious Quarterly
Talk Title: Let’s be more of who we are. Together. All at once.

Collaboration is compromising
Give up and work together
If you don’t think something is possible, it won’t happen
Create, because it’s who you are and want to be
Motivate others

Through Ferocious Quarterly, Nate has worked with some of the best illustrators, designers, and writers in the biz. A project is so much more rewarding when done with others. Nate has so much energy and I could tell he would be awesome to work with. No wonder Ferocious Quarterly is so well-respected in the industry.

Rachael Novak, Cleveland, OH-based illustrator and designer
Talk Title: Side Hustle

Hone your craft and capitalize on it
Trial and error, find out what sells
Broaden work and keep it relevant
Be kind to yourself
Be a first-rate “you”
Post and share, show off your personality
Take on small projects, an exercise might turn into something big
Don’t share absolutely everything you do
Show off “play” in your work
Work by hand
Work without a goal in mind

Rachael’s big things are to concentrate on your craft, enjoy the work you do, share, but not too much, and have fun doing what you do. Do your 9 to 5, but dig into something you enjoy on the side.

Johnny CupcakesBoston, MA-based entrepreneur and founder of
Johnny Cupcakes
Talk Title: Coming soon!

You need to make sacrifices to be happy doing what you are doing
Approach the right people and use the people you do know as a resource
Internships and volunteering: learn from others’ mistakes
Focus on your work now, play later
Put 110% into your business
Try to find a balance and find time to do something you love
Sage is the O’Doul’s of marijuana
Strange concepts are good
Create an experience for your customer, may need to spend more money to do so
Packaging is VERY important: if it doesn’t get thrown away, it’s good, acts as a mini billboard
Make product memorable and customers will act as your marketing team
Build a community
Build a positive team and learn how to delegate tasks
You don’t have to use traditional advertising
Don’t rush: first impressions are everything
Hand-written notes are powerful
Frequent sales = frequent fails, makes you appear less-attractive as a business

A businessman and entrepreneur at heart, Johnny truly is a people-person. He’s concentrated on the quality of his products, had fun with his business, and turned it into a really successful brand. He is deeply connected to his customers, which helps create such a great experience for everyone involved.

I will be highlighting the speakers I saw on day two on tomorrow’s post.
Stay tuned.

WMC Fest 2012 overview

17 Jul

As I mentioned in a previous post, I attended this year’s Weapons of Mass Creation Fest in Cleveland, OH. Throw out all of your preconceptions of your traditional, stuffy conference folks. This conference boasted of 20 speakers, 20 featured designers, and over 30 bands and it was like something I’ve never experienced…in a really good way. WMC Fest was founded by designer and illustrator Jeff Finley, partner of Go Media, a Cleveland-based, full-service agency. Jeff and his team have planned, organized, and executed an amazing experience for designers, writers, and creators in a centralized, mid-west environment that is Cleveland, Ohio.

This year’s activities were broken up into three venues; the Reinberger Auditorium, Saigon Plaza, and iLTHY Workshop. Fortunately for the organizers and the attendees, these three separate buildings are in close proximity to one other.

The Reinberger Auditorium boasts of a intimate setting for the speakers to give their talk, which at times may have been more intimate than the speakers would want. For several of the presentations, people spilled onto the stage while they did their talk. It kind of gave that punk rock show feel, which I thought was cool.

Saigon Plaza housed the 30+ bands for the weekend on two stages (inside and outside), as well as the pre-fest mixer, and a breakdance competition. Because of the heat that weekend, it made for a rather warm setting. Only after the sun went down, could you slip outside, enjoy several drinks, and escape the heat.

The iLTHY Workshop allowed 20 designers to showcase some of their work in the Art & Design Show gallery. Also inside the iLTHY space were many other designers selling their prints, T-shirts, books, pennants, and stickers.

Overall, Weapons of Mass Creation 3 was extremely fun and rewarding. I met some really great people and got to hear designers who I’ve admired for quite some time speak and had the opportunity to talk with them after their presentation on a one-on-one level. It’s events like this that transform (in my head, at least) well-known design superstars into normal, everyday people, just like you and I. We all do the same thing; create for a living. If we can connect at that personal level and leave the pretentiousness at the door, our community will continue to get  better and stronger. I’d like to thank everyone who had a hand in this year’s fest. It was a huge success and I hope to make it next year.

I will be making 2 more WMC Fest-related posts in the next few days, highlighting the speakers of this year’s event. Stay tuned.

friday blinks – 7/13/12

13 Jul

FRIDAYBLINKS A good designer may not have all the answers, but he knows which questions to ask. 7/13/2012 // PMS 107 // quote by RUDY DUKE

Here is a list of sites we’ve come across throughout the past couple weeks that we think are worth sharing. We call it friday blinks.

The Great Discontent interview with Aaron Draplin
Take the afternoon off, read, and go kick some ass. Serious motivation jammed in this interview.
(via Print Mafia/twitter)

Mike Rohde: The Sketchnoter

Mike Rohde shares his “sketchnoting” technique; a great way to reference and remember your notes. Don’t take boring notes anymore. Also, a bonus of Mike’s book cover process.
(via United Pixelworkers/twitter) (via Mike Rohde/twitter)

The best all-over camo printed shirts ever

Very clever and simple idea.
(via Printmaking Journal/twitter)

Font Bomb
Blow up any website. No hackers needed.
(via Mike Metz/twitter)

Designed Space
Gives you a peek into some of the world’s coolest agencies and their spaces, going from larger shops all the way down to a two-person team.
(via David Sizemore/twitter)

And in other news…
Over the past week, I have rolled over 9,000 all-time views. I’m sure most of them are by me and Russian spam bots, but I think they are really observant, design-savvy people who happen to live in Russia. I’ll take what I can get, so thanks for the views,  Lyubochka, Pankrati, and Svyatoslav.

Also, be on the look out for a 2- or 3-post wrap up of WMC Fest next week.