Skip navigation

So, today I decided to put together a list of my favorite designers. I am starting another poster series based on their works and how they directly impact my work. This list has everyone I consider an influence not only in my design but in my day to day life. Let me know if you think I am missing someone and I will gladly take them into consideration. Thanks.

Andy Warhol – Everyone knows Warhol of course because of his influence in the pop art era but more importantly to me, because of his ‘Exploding Plastic Inevitable’ Series as well as his film work.

Art Chantry – Chantry’ logo design has probably brought him more popularity than his other work but his album covers and music posters are what I am drawn to the most.

David Carson – Known for his type design but also should be praised for his work with the Ray Gun magazine and his first book, “End of Print.”

Jonathan Ive – Ive is an Industrial Designer for Apple and most people do not realize he designed products we use everyday; PowerBook G4, MacBook, unibody MacBook Pro, iPod, iPhone, and iPad.

Josef Muller Brockmann -Now here is a man who has influenced us in many ways, through architecture, design, history of art and photography.

Milton Glaser -From his ‘I Heart NY’ logo to his ‘Bob Dylan’ poster he has had one of the most creative/influential minds in contemporary illustration and design.

Neville Brody – Brody has brought together magazine, graphic design and typography and is well known for works in magazines such as ‘Face,’ ‘Aerna’ and my favorite is his role in the FUSE project.

Paul Rand -Such a likable guy! Logos are his specialty and he played a huge role in Swiss Design which has been a huge influence on me.

Paula Scher -Scher’s list of clients is enormous and her reputation exceeds her as a very influential in branding and identity projects.

Roy Lichtenstein -Another awesome pop art painter and sculptor. Known mainly for his animations which were basically abstract parodies.

Saul Bass – All designers should know this name, because surely they have seen his work, whether in film, logo or movie posters.

Seymour Chwast -Founder of ‘Push Pin’ he is most know for his posters, book and magazine covers and packaging design.

Stefan Sagmeister -This Grammy winner may be controversial but his work is like no other and when I see his work I immediately know who was responsible.

Tibor Kalman – If you have never looked at a ‘Colors’ publication, you need to.

Last but not least – My favorite Illustrator – Ralph Steadman = AMAZING!!!

Here are a couple of pictures I found on stock exchange a really great stock photography site that’s actually free. (check it out at http://www.sxc.hu)

Anyways with a couple of minutes in photoshop you can really change a picture and give it a whole new meaning.

In this picture of a man, whom I call Cowboy, all I really did is play with the highlights and the dark areas, make a few areas pop, like the eyes and add a background. One of the easiest ways to change a picture in my opinion is to adjust the eyes, it is the first thing I usually am drawn to, and usually in the center of the image. By playing with the dodge and burn tools you can really make this type area pop.

Once again, started with the eyes and worked around the picture a little and made it have a completely different feeling. From sweet to sinister in less than 5 minutes.

This season our NSL kickball team wanted to spruce up our uniforms a little, so I designed a new logo.

Family friends Robert and Carl Ladd have been in the Landscaping business for some time now, they recently decided to venture out on their own and asked me for some help. Here is the logo we decided to go with.

Let me know what you think.

Recently I have graduated from The University of Tennessee, where I got a degree in graphic design. Since I got got my diploma “license”, I have moved back home to Nashville Tennessee and I have started taking steps to becoming a “professional graphic designer”. It can be very confusing and many questions arise as you start your career, especially if you are seeking freelance work or even where to begin looking for work.

One of the biggest problems I have found is where to apply, I know how to apply and feel like my portfolio as well as my web site are ready to present to the rest of the world, now how do I find clients or in some cases how do I find work?

So far I have looked on every job search .com I can find and have found several things. First you can not limit yourself, for example I recently moved home so I was only searching for jobs in or around Nashville. Now I realize if I really want to succeed as a designer I can not limit my future to Nashville alone. And since then I have found thousands of jobs in hundreds of cities and applied to many. If you want to do well you can not ever limit yourself in any way shape or form. Second, I have found that I have to be open to doing new things, in school I learned a little bit about all types of design. My favorites in school were print and typography. But, it is 2009 and web is the fastest growing type of design and everyone is looking for web designers. It seems like most “design” jobs no days are web designer jobs. This also grightened me at first but now I see it as just another thing I am going to have to know, since we are responsible for everything as designers. Thirdly, do not be afraid to send out multiple resumes, at first I was only appliying to one place at a time, now I am sending out multiple resumes a day.

How do you know what your applying for, any job that you think might be the perfect job might end up being awful and an awful job might turn out being the best experience of your life. Right now I am looking for experience and I want to find the perfect job but if it takes a few awful ones to get there I am willing. I guess what I am getting at is how do I know exactly what I am applying for, if I apply for a job at “averagejoedesign” am I going to get the same work as “kingsofdesign”? Its very unclear to me, maybe there are questions I can ask when I am interviewing that will clear these questions up.

Contacts might be the most helpful thing I have found, everyone wants to help, and everyone if they can will try. I have found that if I tell someone that I am looking for work as a graphic designer, they will a: give me a friends name and number to call or b: actually take a copy to a friend for me. People are for the most part willing to help, especially if you let them know your looking, you can not be stubborn or try and do it on your own. And maybe one day you can help them out and return the favor.

THE MOST DISCOURAGING THEME: it seems like everywhere and anyone I talk to is looking for someone with more experience, but how am I supposed to get any experience if no one will hire me? When I see ads online or contact a company and tell them I am a designer out of college and looking for a career, they ask how many years experience do you have. It seems like you can not get a job without at least “2” years experience. 2 seems to be the common number of years everyone wants. But what if I am as good as a person with 30 years experience, faster at accomplishing a task, cheaper, all these questions are bothersome and often times discouraging. I am simply going to stick it out and keep trying, keep applying, keep designing. How is someone at a young age, who is more than likely more willing to work harder and faster supposed to get a decent design job?

I have always enjoyed working with my hands and that is why I love typography so much. Not digital but hand rendered typography. Ever since I used to sit and watch my grandfather, an architect, draw perfect lines and build blue prints from scratch I have wanted to do something similar. There is something to putting your pen to paper and making marks that dont erase that I really love. Here are a few examples of some work I have been doing for fun.

handmade-hand-drawn-53

handmade-hand-drawn-33

I have also been thinking about mixing hand rendered typography with print pieces and all the directions you can go with that combination, so far it has just been book covers for me but, posters, flyers, logos, anything and everything that has type can be combined with something else.

book-design-11

book-design-21

book-design-61

When I started thinking about Culture, Politics, and Graphic Design I automaically go back to Maud Lavins book, Clean New World.

Our culture is dominated by the visual. Everything we see has the power to attract an audience or not. Yet most writing on design reflects a narrow preoccupation with products, biographies, and design influences. Maud Lavin approaches design from the broader field of visual culture criticism, asking challenging questions about about who really has a voice in the culture and what unseen influences affect the look of things designers produce. Lavin shows how design fits into larger questions of power, democracy, and communication. Many corporate clients instruct designers to convey order and clarity in order to give their companies the look of a clean new world. But since designers cannot clean up messy reality, Lavin shows, they often end up simply veiling it.

A perfect example of all this is Sheppard Ferry and his contribution to the Obama/Biden campaign.The way he was able to but images and words together was not just powerfu but memorable, so people associated with his work and many say he is one of the largest atrubutes to  Obamas success.

obamathumbnail


Lacking the power to influence the content of their commercial work, many designers work simultaneously on other, more fulfilling projects. Lavin is especially interested in the graphic designer’s role in shaping cultural norms. She examines the anti-Nazi propaganda of John Heartfield, the modernist utopian design of Kurt Schwitters and the neue ring werbegestalter, the alternative images of women by studio ringl + pit, the activist work of such contemporary designers as Marlene McCarty and Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, and the Internet innovations of David Steuer and others. Throughout the book, Lavin asks how designers can expand the pleasure, democracy, and vitality of communication.

Here is another article that is very relatiev to this discusion.

By LESLIE CHESS FELLER




<!—-> <!—-> <!—->Spin is in. With everything from Pepsi-Cola to politicians being packaged for public consumption, Maud Lavin, who teaches art history and visual culture at the Art Institute of Chicago, argues that the visual language speaks louder than words. In ”Clean New World,” she discusses the divergent voices of graphic artists whose images have shaped society. Although meticulously researched and illustrated, Lavin’s very scholarly analysis requires a dedicated reader. Her collection of essays begins with the anti-Nazi photomontages of John Heartfield, an intellectual hero to 1980’s artists like the group Gran Fury, the visual arts affiliate of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (Act Up). She also explores the representation of women by female artists and the role visual propaganda played in polarizing the abortion debate. Lavin’s essays pose interesting questions, but too often the answers are buried in academic verbiage. Some nuggets are worth digging out. In 1993, the Barbie Liberation Organization switched the voice boxes on 300 Barbie and G.I. Joe dolls. With a pamphlet denouncing sexism and violence in the toy industry in every box, the dolls were put back in stores in time for Christmas. The rewired Barbies now bellowed ”Eat lead, Cobra!” while the G.I. Joes trilled, ”Let’s go shopping!”

David Josef Tamargo says:

Chaz Maviyane-Davies eloquently illustrates a consciousness of reinforced fear in current American culture. The United States of America, a nation which once resorted to terrorist activities and tea parties to gain its independence has come a long way; unfortunately the Homeland Security color-coded terrorism threat advisory scale proves just how equally far in the forgotten past FDR’s four freedoms speech and the lessons of our founding fathers may be to American citizens today.

more of Davies work on cultural identity and use of color

Next i wanted to explore the cultural use of color. I had no idea how important color really is, and what kind of impact it can make. First i checked the basic definition of culture use of color at wikipedia and was amazed at the information i found, color actually has rich symbolism and a unique psychology.

In art, color symbolism refers to the use of color as a symbol throughout culture. Color psychology refers to investigating the effect of color on human behavior and feeling, distinct from photo therapy (the use of ultraviolet light to cure infantile jaundice).

Color symbolism and color psychology are culturally constructed linkages that vary with time, place, and culture. In fact one color may perform very different symbolic or psychological functions at the same place. Color symbolism is a contentious area of study dependent upon a large body of anecdotal evidence but not supported by data from well designed scientific studies.

There is a distinct definition of every color and what it implies, means and casts on art. For example i had no idea that the color grey came with so many implementations, Elegance, humility, respect, reverence, stability, subtlety, wisdom, old age, anachronism, boredom, decay, decrepitude, dullness, dust, entanglement, pollution, urban sprawl, strong emotions, balance, neutrality, mourning, formality, March.

Two blogs that help with comprehending cultureal uses of color are color meanings and color symbolism, which really gets into the psychy of major countries and the true connotations of color within those countries. A great designer to look at to help understand cultural uses of color would be Chaz Maviyane-Davies who has made a lasting impression on me personally as well as the world, with his design work ranging from culture, health, environment, society, politics, and global concerns.