There's nothing like a trip to New York City to recharge the creative muse. Walking the streets, riding the subway, visiting the museums—all are pulsing with energy, humanity and creativity. I am always amazed at the street art: pasted, plastered, stenciled, for free, and vulnerable to the elements of time and other graffiti artists.
A delightful enigma, bold street art and an urban collage.
The skull phone.
Why can't we have surprises like this in our Metro system?
In front of Smithsonian's Cooper Hewitt Museum on the upper east side.
By Andy Warhol, when he was a darn good graphic designer, or "commercial artist".
Medical marijuana is legal in California, but I never stopped to think
about how it would play out in print. The "clinic" ads in the San Diego Reader (their City Paper) are relegated to the back, sandwiched between used cars and "escort" services. Many rely on bad stock images of cross-armed doctors and nurses with de rigueur stethoscopes draped around their shoulders. Did we mention "medical"? Others get right to the point: leather-clad dominatrixes hoist hukkas to their pursed lips. And for the hippy set, "Green Hope Collective" is set against a rainforest backdrop, smiling faces and a green leaf logo. Go Green! The above ad was the best design-wise, although I am unsure about the headline. Maybe it should have said "Smell Cheese". For anyone (myself included) who thinks our pot policies are Draconian, these awful advertising spreads made me smile. Say "CHEESE!"
Puppies, pie and polka dots. Who doesn't love 'em? I don't sew much, but browsing around a fabric store always makes me happy. I was especially drawn to these spotted bolts of cotton.
"Paris in the Spring" is one of a few phrases that elicit immediate happiness (or jealousy). In May, I had the good fortune to accompany my mother to the City of Light. Graphic design abounds, gigantic posters are plastered to the New York-like subway walls, and street art has a sophisticated and elegant tone, much like the celebrated French culture.
Groovy graffiti: "Regarde le ciel" (Look at the Sky)
Subway poster for an Indie and electronic film festival.
Quirky shop selling medical models.
And what trip to Paris would be complete without a visit to the flea market? Long ago discovered by tourists (which drove up the prices) there are still treasures and antiques to find.
While NY's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum is undergoing renovations, their exhibitions have been forced to other locales. This summer brought me and my "Design Divas" to the designer's dream: Graphic Design: Now in Production, a "pop up" show on Governor's Island in New York. I was at first puzzled by the title. Was the show not finished? Well, yes, the graphic design show is very much in transition. The once clear definition between content maker and content messenger has blown apart, and no one knows where it will lead.
"The rise of user-generated content, alternative methods of printing and distribution, and the wide dissemination of creative software, have opened up new opportunities for design." --Cooper-Hewitt
So why did this statement fill me with dread? My fears about our industry are not new. I watched as photo typesetters, color separators, photographers and illustrators had their professions either dry up or downgrade. Graphic designers somehow managed to sidestep the story. But no longer. Crowdsourcing, templates, easy-to-use software enable anyone to dive in to design, opening up "new opportunities".
The exhibit may not have put my fears to rest, but it did prove graphic designers are not pushovers. By exploiting the new possibilities, we see designers making products, producing brilliant motion sequences for TV and film, exploring their own stories through print and digital media. Designers are thinkers. Designers are creators. We are the magic makers.
Interactive twitter feed poster display. Viewers could tweet messages that would appear on the revolving screen.
The exhibit featured the best of the best, including books, screenprinting, wallpaper, type, logo and product design and commentary.
From Brazil, an opening collage sequence to Capitu, by Lobo
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Appropriated imagery serves as the base
art for clever signage at the Louvre.
Simple, sublime signage in San Diego
Only New York City can get away with a posh shop called "Acne". It sure caught
my attention, but not enough to shop.
From a New York City lamp post. High contrast halftone with added type.
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