February 23, 2007

Talent out the wazoo

Since the subject of type in motion has been on my mind a lot lately, I feel the need to point out a killer piece of work that I found via Design Observer. This class project was created by Jarratt Moody, a student at Savannah College of Art and Design, which reminds me—students who produce work this good piss me off. I don't know how long Jarratt has been has been designing for, but his resumé doesn't cite any experience prior to 2004, so I assume it hasn't been long. No student work should be this good. Granted, I haven't been designing much longer then he has, so I should probably shut up and create something genius to feel worthwhile again.

February 19, 2007

On being creative in a vacuum

Today I had my first real designer tantrum. I've often played the part, casting stacks of paper to the floor, smashing mock-ups and yelling "how can I be expected to create genius ideas when...(insert rub here)." But never has such an outburst been genuine. To see how I crossed the threshold into the realm of the temperamental artists, I have to take a step back.

My first job in design was at Hinge Incorporated, a corporate branding firm based out of Washington DC. With four creatives, we were a small outfit big on corporate culture. The creative jam sessions; the company field trips; the weekly traffic meetings; the homework assignments; the studio open houses; the food eating competitions; and best of all, the simulated designer tantrums, kept us sane and thinking creatively.

Flash forward to present day. I'm the lone graphic designer working for a small print brokerage named dbp | chicago based out of—you guessed it—Chicago. While this position rarely keeps me in the office past 6:00, and challenges me less then Hinge ever did, I find my stress level has actually increased rather then subsided. Why is this? Shouldn't my stress level be in direct relation to the external pressure placed on me?

Along with the late hours that are no more, and the all-seeing art director who doesn't exist to criticize my work, my current job lacks the corporate culture that made my experience at Hinge so enriching. The gap between then and now becomes particularly clear when I recall the simulated tantrums that made working at Hinge so exciting. The only rule that governed these outbursts was not to erupt while our marketing head was cold calling. At my current job, such a display of mock volatility would be received with puzzled expressions. Perhaps the office manager would even toss on her HR hat and call me out for bad behavior. Needless to say, a creative person can only last so long in this carefully controlled environment before things go haywire.

That's why I lost it today (for real this time) when a sales rep asked me to convert a Word document into a print ready 3 color PDF—"and, um, I need it now." I obliged, but not without copious amounts of heavy sighs and audible swearing, followed by a livid demeanor for the remainder of the day. While this was far less dramatic than many tantrums I've staged in the past, I nevertheless felt embarrased for behaving so immaturely before onlooking coworkers.

Perhaps, the job of advocating culture in my office rests on my shoulders. Everybody says I'm the creative thinker of the bunch. I could be the go-to guy for good vibes; the man in demand for corporate shenanigans—also available for organizing retreats and brainstorm meetings. After all, who is more unprofessional, a designer who throws fake tantrums suffused with humor every so often, or one who throws the real thing somewhat less often?

February 11, 2007

Thank you for perfect typography

Even though this has been written about on several other blogs, I'd like to give kudos to Shadowplay Studio for creating one of the most typographically perfect opening sequences I've seen in a long time in Jason Reitman's comedy, Thank You for Smoking. With smooth transitions, vibrant colors, and fabulously executed type they cleverly weaved together a sequence rich with vintage iconography that nearly upstages the very movie it opens.

Another often talked about opening sequence that I'd like to throw in for good measure is that of David Fincher's thriller, Panic Room. This is a case where, for better or worse, the opening does indeed upstage the movie. If you haven't seen it, or just haven't seen it in a while, you should give it a viewing.

February 5, 2007

Baby mooner update

I just received word that the little hellions are on their way. My brother Josh and sister in law Trish are snapping on the shackles of parenthood today and I couldn't be happier for them. All I can say is be warned—the cycle of deviance is coming full circle. Anyone who's known my brother Josh since his formative years knows that up until his twenties he had a close relationship with trouble. All signs point to him as the genetic origin of the mooning incident explained in the previous post. As the very soon-to-be uncle, I'm tickled by the idea that the brother who used to pin me down and dangle loogies mere inches from my face will soon have to endure the fruit of his own loins. Go buy yourself some Advil right now brother. I'll reimburse you for it.

Josh and Trish, I know that you will be incredible parents. Don't worry, Ethan and Hailey won't be the deviants that I've painted them to be. I love you and will see you and the little angels soon.

February 2, 2007

Baby mooner

My brother Josh, and his lovely wife Trish are having twins. The whole family is waiting with bated breath for the arrival of our newest family members, Ethan and Hailey. From the looks of the latest sonogram, at least one of them is going to be a hell-raiser.

This image, taken January 19, revealed one of the babies in the taboo act of mooning the camera. Not just a quick shot of the rear, this flagrant disrespect for authority was done with gusto. Pictured below are both ass-cheeks clearly stripped bare and pressed to the camera lens. The identity of the delinquent can't be verified due to image distortion common to sonograms, but it is safe to say that both babies will be taken into custody and interrogated shortly after their birth.