08.31.2014

We’re back from a fabulous vacation in Europe where we got to spend some time relaxing and brainstorming with friends across the continent, including folks from fabulous design studios like Norm, Tuba, Studio Uleshka, Hammer, Fontseek, great artists and curators like Shirana Shahbazi and Tirdad Zolghadr and the team at the Museum für Gestaltung in Zurich, our great pal Lars from Slanted, the team at MoreTrax, and lots of other folks. Many thanks to all of our hosts and friends new and old!

A few projects were released while we were gone, but the most notable is Somebody – an app created by Miranda July with our pal Thea Lorentzen and sponsored by Miu Miu, available in the iTunes store as a free download (iOS only).

We handled a bunch of the font production for the app, helping to extend Thea’s two great headline fonts to handle multi-lingual support, as well as providing the text typefaces used within the app itself.

When you send your friend a message through Somebody, it goes — not to your friend — but to the Somebody user nearest your friend. This person (probably a stranger) delivers the message verbally, acting as your stand-in. The app launched at the Venice Film Festival along with a short companion film, part of Miu Miu’s Women’s Tales series.

Since Somebody is brand new, early adapters are integral to its creation – the most high-tech part of the app is not in the phone, it’s in the users who dare to deliver a message to stranger. “I see this as far-reaching public art project, inciting performance and conversation about the value of inefficiency and risk,” says July.

Somebody works best with a critical mass of users in a given area; colleges, workplaces, parties and concerts can become Somebody hotspots simply by designating themselves as one (details on somebodyapp.com).

Official Somebody hotspots so far include Los Angeles County Museum of Art (with a presentation by Ms. July on Sept. 11), The New Museum (presentation on Oct. 9), Yerba Buena Center for The Arts (San Francisco), Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), and Museo Jumex (Mexico City.) Museum-goers are invited to send and deliver messages in these spaces where there are likely to be other users.

Half-app / half-human, Somebody twists our love of avatars and outsourcing —every relationship becomes a three-way. The antithesis of the utilitarian efficiency that tech promises, here, finally, is an app that makes us nervous, giddy, and alert to the people around us.

“When you can’t be there… Somebody can.”

Visit somebodyapp.com for movie, media kit and details.

Some other big news:

Join VCFA at Meet-Ups in Portland, Seattle and Brooklyn!

VCFA Graphic Design MFA faculty and staff are hitting the road in September and we’re hosting several gatherings for alumni, faculty, students and prospective students. These gatherings are a chance to get together with VCFAers to talk about your craft, share memories, have fun and meet new friends.

Please join us for one (or more!) of these informal meet-ups:

Portland, OR
Friday, September 12 at 6:00 pm
Deschutes Brewery
210 Nw 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97209
(503) 296-4906

In attendance:
Academic Dean and GD faculty member Matt Monk
Graphic Design Faculty Yoon Soo Lee
Director of Student Recruitment Ann Cardinal ’07 W

Register for the Portland Meet-Up

Seattle, WA
Monday, September 15th at 7:00 pm
The board room and faculty/staff lounge
7th Floor, Main Campus Building
Cornish College of the Arts
1000 Lenora St., Seattle WA 98121

In attendance:
Academic Dean and GD faculty member Matt Monk
Graphic Design Faculty Yoon Soo Lee
Graphic Design Faculty Natalia Ilyin
Director of Student Recruitment Ann Cardinal ’07 W

Register for the Seattle Meet-Up