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Jeff Staple

22 Mar

Jeff Staple is a creative director, designer, and founder of NYC-based Staple Design Studio, which isn’t just a creative agency. It’s a multi-faceted beast of a company that also houses clothing lines, apparel collections, a retail store, an art gallery, and a magazine. It would be an understatement to say that Jeff is a busy guy. He’s been doing his thing for 15 years now, day in, day out and it seems like he is quite comfortable wearing many different hats. Just watch these videos and you’ll see why he’s so successful. He’s super bright, talented, and very driven. Jeff seems like a great motivator and I can’t wait to hear him give a lecture tomorrow at Virginia Tech with NYC-based designer and illustrator Sophia Chang. The lecture is called Creativity vs. Commerce: Getting In and Staying In, sponsored by Virginia Tech’s AIGA chapter and the Virginia Tech Student Hip-Hop Organization. If you are near by, you really should come and check them out. It’s bound to be great.

Jeff and Sophia, thank you so much for making a trip all the way to Virginia Tech to talk to us and our community. It’s really inspirational to know that people out there willing to take time out of their busy lives to talk with the Tech students and other local creatives.

The Heads of State

18 Aug

The Heads of State, the bearded duo, Jason Kernevich and Dustin Summers, based out of Philadelphia are design and illustrator heroes who bridge the gap between vintage and modern.  Their work is ironic, clever, witty, and both conceptually and visually spot on.  Their love for vintage typography, history, and culture (typographic beauts like their Great Gatsby business card poster,  city posters; and Civil War reconstruction prints, to name a few) adds a layer of richness to their work.  Their client and award list continues to lengthen and their studio space adds to their overall cool factor (a hanging grid of clipboards makes even the least desirable project do-able).  Their work is primarily print based and heavily inspired by the printmaking process.  While they don’t get their hands as dirty anymore with the actual printing, they have used a lot of talented printers who help deliver some spectacular work.  It is great that in our digital world they still make their own as nearly exclusive print designers and have places like The New York Times asking them personally to do work.

Adam Senatori

16 Aug

Adam Senatori is a vintage-obsessed designer, illustrator, and photographer based in Madison, Wisconsin. He trys to emulate the processes and craftsmanship of the designers and artists from yesteryear into his work, as you can tell. Adam’s work looks like it could have been done in the 1950s.

He’s been working as a one-man design team he calls Adam Senatori Creative since 2004. According to all of the photos of himself, he never smiles. Not even if you tickle him. Adam may be a design/photographer robot who requires a wheel of cheese 3 times a day. Even if he does smile and not consume that much cheese, he has an amazing eye for detail and is able to capture the old and worn look with a new twist.

Check Adam’s illustrations out on dribbble or his photographs on flickr. Great stuff, Adam!

(via Erica Mason/twitter)

Mikey Burton

30 Jun

Mikey Burton is a beard-growing, bear-obsessed graphic designer, illustrator, and letterpress enthusiast based in Philadelphia, PA. His style varies quite a bit; from ultra clean illustrations and crisp type to wonderfully gritty, letterpress pieces.

Mikey has done work for The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Wired Magazine, Arnold Worldwide, House of Blues, MTV2, Comedy Central, and Yahoo just to name a few. His impressive body of work shows how versatile he is and show’s that he can do pretty much everything. An illustrated glass-top table for Facebook’s f8 conference? Sure! Awesome posters for Wilco? No problem. How about an incredibly smart and (I’d think) inexpensive brand identity for a creative and strategic brand studio? Yup.

Mikey recently started a side-project of sorts called Freelance Ain’t Free. Maybe side-project isn’t the correct word. More like mantra, a movement, or a way of life for designers (hell, anyone for that matter).

Oh, and he also likes bears…a lot. He says they are “so cute and lovable, but probably the most dangerous animals ever.” Check out his Beasts of Burton collection. It’s kickass.

Jacqui Oakley

9 Jun

Jacqui Oakley is a Toronto, Canada-based illustrator who’s style is incredibly beautiful and colorful. She specializes in hand-lettering and portraiture and has a thing for patterns and textures. Her work has a wonderful personality and is quite unique and makes my eyes feel like they are on vacation on a tropical island. A lot of illustrators have moved on to using the computer almost exclusively, but not Jacqui. She says she “typically inks her work and paints with good old-fashioned oil or acrylic and elbow grease.” She does admit to occasionally doing the color (or colour) work digitally.

Jacqui recently worked with the designers from Poly for the album art for an Ontario-based band Two Crown King. The center piece of the album art is an absolutely stunning long-maned lion. Just. Plain. Amazing.

See more of Jacqui’s work on dribbble. Thanks for the inspiration!

(via Evan Stremke/twitter)

Tymn Armstrong

2 Jun

Tymn Armstrong is a graphic designer, illustrator, art director, copywriter, and typographer, but he prefers to simply be called “a designer.” He has recently been hired by San Francisco-based Space Dog Books as an art director and designer, handling their in-house branding and book design. It seems that Space Dog’s books would be a must-have for any parent with young children. I might have to pick up an iPad after all.

Tymn’s style is illustration-heavy which can make an orthodontist look cool or help many businesses represent themselves in a very smart way. Not only are the marks he designs solid, there is tons of thought behind them. You can tell Tymn does lots of research and thinking in the concepting process. I also love the fact that he shares select pages from his sketchbook.

Congrats on the new job and thanks for the inspiration, Tymn!

(via Jon Ashcroft/twitter)

Michael Jeter

27 May

Michael Jeter is a full-bearded San Francisco, CA-based graphic designer, illustrator, animator, and art director currently working for I Shot Him. He is also the co-creator and curator of the Black Harbor, an “online art and design magazine featuring prominent young designers, illustrators, photographers, film-makers, and dreamers.” I’d say that’s an understatement. The work they feature is super top-notch and very impressive, sometimes showing process, others just straight-up bad ass illustration work.

Michael’s work definitely fits in the same “super bad ass illustration” category. Technical, detailed, sometimes dark and creepy, and others which have a vintage feel with tons of texture. His Sexy, Sex, Sex posters that were featured in O.K. Periodical’s body issue are truly hilarious and awesome.

Fantastic stuff, Michael!

(via Evan Stremke/twitter)

Alonzo Felix

24 May

Alonzo Felix is a Baton Rouge, LA-based graphic designer, illustrator, and typographer with a glorious voice. As his song hints, he owns and runs his own design studio which I find intriguing, but intimidating since I like the constant connection with other creative people. It seems like Alonzo has tons of self-motivation. He’s been working on a sketchbook project with a “Boys and Girls” theme, which is a “loose exploration of thoughts about relationships through quick typographic drawings in pencil.” When he has filled up the sketchbook, his and other sketchbooks from artists around the world will go on an exhibition tour around major U.S. cities starting in February of 2012. Check out the tour dates and more about the project here.

Almost all of his work centers around wonderful hand-created type, many featuring beautiful flourishes and details. One of those examples is Alonzo’s contribution to the Lost Type Co-op; an old-school circus-inspired typeface he calls Tightrope. This typeface was his way to pay homage to the old type on posters and train cars that promoted the different circus troupes from years past.

Thanks for the inspiration, Alonzo!

(via Lost Type Co-op/twitter)

Joe Geis

23 May

Joe Geis is a NYC-based graphic designer, who currently works for Myspace as a design strategist. I’m guessing that has to deal with a fair amount of research, concepting, and mass quantities of caffeine. It sounds like doing that type of work would be a lot of fun, and definitely keep you on the forefront of what’s happening on the interwebs and in design. Of course, I could be horribly wrong and Joe might hate what he does.

He also is the co-Founder and creative director of Formatic Clothing. Having a clothing company of my own, I really dig the designs and concepts behind Formatic. It’s like the ‘do it now and see what happens’ approach. Big, bold, but personal.

What really stands out to me about Joe’s work is the typography. Even if he’s not using a super clean typeface, it’s simple and effective. He seems to have a knack for branding; whether it would be for a singer/band, record label, or for a clothing company.

Great stuff, Joe! Thanks for the inspiration and for following on twitter.

Dana Tanamachi

20 May

Dana Tanamachi is a graphic designer, custom chalk letterer and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. According to her website, she enjoys crafting, reading, walking, and listening to Country music from the 1990s. Based on that, I picture Dana bobbing her head, listening to Achy Breaky Heart on her yellow Sony Walkman while chalk dust flies all over the place.

She got her start in NYC working at SpotCo designing posters for Broadway shows, but now works at Louise Fili, with previously featured designer, John Passafiume.

Her preferred medium is chalk, which is so bad ass. It would be my favorite too, if my illustration and hand-made typography was as good as her’s. I understand that chalk is meant to be temporary, but I was wondering if anyone who wanted a more permanent sign has sealed over her work so it wouldn’t get smudged/ruined? I know I would if I were them.

Beautiful work, Dana!

(via John Passafiume/twitter)