Wednesday 14 December 2011

Fall 2011 Work

Yesterday, we had our finals. For the occasion, I made a book compiling my work and process for the semester. Click it to view full-screen (one page is still not showing on issuu... trying to get that worked out)

Friday 2 December 2011


I'm currently working on a series of three illuminated webpages on what I consider to be the digital Holy Trinity: Google, Facebook, and Youtube. These are the three most visited websites worldwide with millions and millions users that use visit these pages daily, almost religiously.

We go to religion to answer our questions, to show us how to live, and to connect with our fellow man/woman; these motivations seem quite similar to what compels us to visit these sites. Just as in the Holy Trinity, these three sites are the same but different; they each have their own purpose, but are all very much interconnected.

To create these borders, I allowed myself to only use the decorative elements present on each site's homepage. As techniques, I only used duplication, reflection, and rotation (by 90 degree increments only).

The issue for me now is giving a purpose for these borders that goes beyond the parallel drawn between religion and digital ritual. Initially, I was thinking about typesetting each site's mission statement in latin, but it seemed too simple. The content of these sites is often quite mundane, and there is something interesting about meticulously illuminating something like, "omg, I love your hair in this pic," but I also want to focus on the power of these institutions...

Any thoughts?
Youtube illuminated border
Youtube illuminated border detail
Facebook illuminated border detail
Google illuminated border detail

Saturday 30 July 2011

Saturday 23 July 2011

Too Ostentatious?

This is the same text set in another cut of the same typeface (Poetica) both inspired by Arrighi's script. This one obviously has a ton of ligatures, alternate glyphs, endings, swash capitals, etc. Is it too much? Too fancy? Thanks for your input. Below is the original I typeset yesterday (Centaur).

Brothers Grimm

Here is the first version I feel comfortable showing. You will have to trust that it is the last of many many experiments. Choosing the typography (the simple typography on top) was one of the more challenging parts. I looked at book cover archives from the 20s as well as the work of London-based designer David Pearson. I tried out about 20 different classic serifs in different weights and degrees of capitalization. I eventually settled on Centaur (designed by bruce rogers in the early 1900s--the italic was based on Arrighi's calligraphy... which i LOVE!!)
I'm targeting these books to an adult audience (the original Grimm fairytales are not without their share of violence, death, sex, and tragic endings), but I still want to communicate the whimsical, folkloristic nature of this type of narrative.
I've been looking at monograms a lot in the past few days and decided a kind of monogram might be the way to go to add a decorative element. The custom of monograms is typical of the time in which these books were first published and it allows me to add some dynamism to an otherwise very static (intentionally) layout.
Anyway, enough talk. As always, comments and opinions are very welcome.

Friday 22 July 2011


I've been thinking about what books to make jackets for... I think it's very important to be familiar with the content of the book before attempting to design the cover, but there are very few authors who's books I've read three of. I think Jane Austen, David Sedaris, and J.K.Rowling might be the only ones. None of those really appealed to me. So I was thinking, may I bend the rules and do three books of fairytales:
  • New Fairy Tales :: Hans Christian Anderson (the little mermaid, the snow queen, the ugly duckling, etc)
  • Stories of Fairy Tales from Bygone Eras :: Charles Perrault  (little red riding hood, puss in boots, bluebeard, etc)
  • Children's and Household Tales :: Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm (cinderella, sleeping beauty, snow white, etc)
May I cheat and do that?

Tuesday 19 July 2011

PSA Posters on Chronic Dehydration

My three finished PSA posters on the importance of staying hydrated. A little bit on the right is getting cut out of the column... you can click to enlarge / see the whole poster.

Sunday 17 July 2011

Good ol' Dihydrogen Monoxide

Upon additional research, I've learned that the chronic dehydration problem in the US of A is further exacerbated by how overmedicated the American population is. We have a headache, we pop a painkiller; we feel sad, we take some Prozac; we get wrinkles, we inject some Botox... Though there is a certainly place and a need for medication (serious depression for example is more than just being a little sad, and requires meds), one cannot deny America is particularly pill happy.

That said, overmedication can make dehydration even more dangerous: when we are dehydrated, our body goes through a variety of crisis management processes that can manifest themselves as headaches, asthma, high blood pressure, weight gain, depression, mood swings, etc. These all happen for a reason, but by taking meds, we are tricking our bodies into not feeling the pain that would normally alert us that something is wrong. Therefore, we are getting more and more dehydrated.

Back to design: so, I'm going to package and advertise water as if it were a pharmaceutical product (using water's lesser known name: Dihydrogen Monoxide) and make a PSA campaign around that. At first, I wanted to use Helvetica, since it's so anonymous and utilitarian looking... but I'm so sick of seeing Helvetica, so I finally settled on DIN. I am having a passionate love affair with DIN in this period. 

the label, for example, would look something like this--oh, and the kerning was fixed since this version... it's pretty horrible here.

Chopsticks Magazine Cover

I know this is not related to class, but I was just honored to win the Chopsticks NY magazine cover design competition; which means I will be joining two other designers as the cover artist for 2012. This is my proposal for the New Year's cover. Visually, it's inspired by the format of the postcards that are traditionally sent at the new year in Japan. I made a woodblock print (2 plates/colors) because it not only references a medium that was often used in traditional Japanese arts, but also reproducibility and seriality.
This cover is up against two others, both really beautiful; the magazine wants the internet to decide who gets the first cover of the year. If you want to go to the site and vote, click here, you don't have to vote for me (though I would definitely love to win). Sorry for the digression, back to school work now.

you can click to enlarge
this is one of the two wood plates I made

NY Winter Survival Kit

Here is the finished survival kit, made from three thrift shop items.
I love the typefaces I used, and they are both free: Lobster and Franchise Bold

Saturday 16 July 2011

Chronic Dehydration

So, between 75 and 80% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. We've all heard that we have to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day, but we we don't necessarily realize is that being dehydrated can cause or exacerbate a variety of conditions; including:
  • Depression
  • Constipation
  • Asthma and Allergies
  • Joint Pain
  • Heartburn
  • Hypertension
  • Kidney damage
  • Weight gain (with it's negative cholesterol effects)
  • Premature aging
Drinking enough water (not soda, tea, or coffee, but plain water) is the single most important thing we can do to for our health.

This is what I want to do my PSA posters on. I finally found a topic... it certainly took long enough. Now, I have to find some sort of design direction/concept for the posters. 

Monday 11 July 2011

Packaging & Identity

I went to the two Goodwill stores and finally decided on these three items:

  • a mug
  • socks
  • a set of two small hand warmers
It was a rainy day, so I guess I was in the mood for comfort and warmth.
I'm thinking of making a kit of some sort... something kind of funny to survive long New York City winters. Here are my glamorous three objects:

I stumbled upon the identity for a London-based supermarket designed by Unreal studio. I love how simple, effective, and utilitarian the design is. delicious.

Wednesday 29 June 2011

Bucket List Poster

Here is the poster I presented in class last night. I would have put it up sooner, but I was working on it till the very end.

Saturday 25 June 2011

Five Year Bucket List

I've been thinking about this assignment and these are the main observations I've made:

  • how to organize a decent amount of information on a big page
  • how to reference plans, desires, directions, etc
  • how to do something that's somewhat analytical, but also personal
The concept I would like to explore for this is maps. Maps organize a great deal of information and reference direction and roads. Antique maps, in particular have gorgeous typography illustrating what the map is about, who made it, why, etc... I think this could be an interesting metaphor for my bucket list poster.

Tuesday 21 June 2011

Italian Referendum

This pattern is about the recent vote the Italian people had to abrogate 3 laws. This is a particularly important time for Italians... to be able to repeal a law, 50% of the voting population plus 1 have to vote. Italy is run by Berlusconi who announced he would not vote and urged other citizens to do the same (one of the laws up to be repealed allowed him to not be prosecuted for crimes while in office). For the first time since 1995 enough italians voted and enough voted against these 3 laws. Lots of the youth, aided by social networking sites, was informed (despite the clouding of the Berlusconi-owned media) and voted.

In my opinion, this is a great time for Italy, the population of what the EU considered the most politically corrupt country of the union is saying NO, we will not take this any longer.

Another thing that bears mentioning is that these referendums are generally blind to political inclinations... right wing and left wing alike voted against these laws

Monday 20 June 2011

Online Flirting, Oh La La

Et voila, a pattern on the article about flirting online... so easy to do and so easy to get caught

6 Degrees of Empathy

The article (From Hitler to Mother Teresa: 6 Degrees of Empathyis about a book that deals with the nature of evil and human cruelty. The author argues that it's all a question of empathy or lack thereof.

Sunday 19 June 2011

You Go Girl!

Pattern in response to the article about a middle aged woman who got fed up with her body and faced her weight problems head on. She's now a role model in her community and 40 pounds lighter

Getting Closer

I figured out that what was bothering me about the pattern thing is that the patterns themselves weren't enough to express the articles and fulfill the assignment (since typography is an essential element)... Adding the type over the pattern felt contrived and took away from all the work it's taking to actually make these patterns... so, I'm going to make the type an actual part of the pattern, then the pattern itself becomes the complete visual response the the article. Here is the new golf pattern:

Saturday 18 June 2011

Another Pattern

This draft is abut the article on legacy golfer Mark Turnesa. I tried to reference golf and geneology.

My First Attempt

I think I'm going to go with the patterns with the screenprinted type. It's something totally new to me, so I figured I'd give it a try. The article I'm starting with is a new addition, one I didn't put into the initial three: it's about Japan and how 7 more people have dangerously high radiation levels in their bodies.

I sampled various traditional Japanese patterns and manipulated two of them
I deconstructed the first, so it would look like flowers flying away or dying and redrew the second so it would subtly contain a radiation symbol. it's not very clear yet, I'm going to redraw it so it's a little less subtle. Anyway, here is my attempt:

Again, this will just be a sort of expressive canvas on which I am planning to make a typographic composition. I think I will keep the type in the entire series uniform in terms of color, maybe just white, but I will try to make it expressive.

Does this direction have potential?

Winning Articles

Here are 9 articles I chose and 3 that are tied for 10th place.

+ Digital Flirting: Easy to Do, Easy to Get Caught.
Technology creates new rules for romance--and may push infidelity 
+ Italian Voters Come Out to Overturn Laws and Deliver a Rebuke to Berlusconi
A recent referendum (first to reach quorum since the mid 1990s) allowed Italians to say no to a nuclear program, no to privatizing water supply, and no to legal immunity to Berlusconi.
+ Thieves Found Citigroup Site an Easy Entry do Data
Hackers broke into the citigroup website and acquired the (partial) credit card information of many. Many security breaches have their origin in Western Europe.
+ Healthier Mother Pushes for Healthier City
Louisville is a very overweight city, this woman decided to face her weight problem head on and is helping others to do so. You go, girl.
+ Glass's Players Warm Up For a Festival in August
Philip Glass recently interviewed talks about the upcoming debut of his 9th symphony and his return to the minimalist feeling and surging rhythms and arpeggios of his youth.
+ On College Applications, a Question of Race, or Races, Can Perplex
Incredible peak on college applications of students who identify as muliracial. What are the implications and what are the resulting strategies students are starting to employ to make themselves more appealing to competitive schools.
+ Grandson Continues Family's U.S. Open Tradition
Marc Tunesa will be the 46th Tunesa to participate in the U.S. Open. A golf legacy as impressive as the U.S. Open itself.
+ National Design Hidden in Plain Sight
Colonial architecture and design. Elevating and humbling buildings at the same time.
+ From Hitler to Mother Teresa: 6 Degrees of Empathy
An autism expert peers into the nature of human cruelty, and sees neurological disability.

And the three battling for number 10 in the series:
+ Adoptions Rise by Same-Sex Couples, Despite Legal Barriers
Title is fairly self explanatory.
+ Her $16.000 Town House, Now Available for Just $1.879 Million More
A homesteader holds on for 45 years as her neighborhood is gentrified.
+ A Defect That May Lead to a Masterpiece
How stereo blindness can be an asset for 2-D artists.

The Treacherous Tuesday Times Trial

Not the best synonym for "challange," but the only one that starts with T.

My apologies for this brief hiatus I was forced to take... I had some freelance work on a crazy deadline and I couldn't turn it down. Anyway, the bun was in the oven, so to speak, and I've been reading the Tuesday Times thinking about this assignment and what would be the best way to create a set of 10 design pieces that are each a different exploration, but also work as a coherent whole (and are still somewhat relevant to the world of news/media is some way or another). Here are my thoughts:

Foldable Poster/Mailer
It would give me a chance to work on larger typographic experiments (within the limits of my printer). This is the direction most closely tied to the newspaper I would print them on newsprint, so it would have that materiality and color, the would be meant to be folded (so you would just get a somewhat abridged image of the article when it's folded, but you would have to open to get the whole picture--like a paper), and because it's a mailer it's meant to have a sort of experience then throw away type of feel--like a newspaper... and it gets mailed... like a paper CONS: making 10 of these in a weekend scares the shorts off me (yes, I'm wearing shorts... and I still have shorts on my mind).

Who hasn't, at one point or another, imagined their life was a musical? I know I have... more often than I care to admit. So, what if the day's events could be made into Broadway posters and all bound in a playbill? I'm talking over the top, old broadway looking posters. CONS: too gimmiky? be honest... I won't cry, I might just break out into a soulful ballad.

One of the parts of this assignment that sounded the most fascinating to me is the fact that through our choice of article, we will identify patterns and extract our interests. Likewise, by seeing more and more of our work together, we will be looking for patterns in an attempt to define our own design voice. So, how about taking the assignment quite literally and making 10 different textile patterns each inspired by a different article? CONS: Incorporating typography. Definite con... I could make some relatively simple type compositions and overlay them (like screen-prints) over my repeated patterns.

I welcome any and all advice/direction with this decision. Thank you guys.

Tuesday 14 June 2011

DWELL: New Layout

Changed the concept a little... still going with the theme of seeing and invisible furniture.
I tweaked the old concept too, made the type lighter. I'm not sure which I'll go with just yet. The type is definitely better than the heavier one, thanks for the tip, Olga

Monday 13 June 2011

OUT: Layout

I made the type white and adjusted the weight and leading to make it look lighter

Sunday 12 June 2011

DWELL: Layout

I'm still struggling with this one... it looks so... blah


This is what what I've got so far... bad? I tried to activate the edges of the page more and play with the type of the subhead a little.

Saturday 11 June 2011

REAL SIMPLE: Subhead Type Iterations

Working on the subhead and trying to tie it all together...
I tried a few typefaces...

I'm concerned "on a budget" doesn't read as part of the subhead