Total Armageddon

March 30, 2019

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I am thrilled to announce that my newest book Total Armageddon is out now via Slanted Publishers.

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When the Slanted editorial team asked me if I might be interested in editing a book that pulled the best writing from the first 32 issues of their magazine, I leaped at the chance. I invited some of my favorite design writers to contribute, as well, because I wanted Total Armageddon to be much more than just an anthology. I wanted it to stand as a mile marker in design theory, and I think it does just that.

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Some of the best writing from the past decade-plus related to design is included, notably Randy Nakamura’s “On Equilibrium and Sottsass”, Natalia Ilyin’s “On Shooting Butterflies”, Kenneth FitzGerald’s “Singing the Surface” and Mr. Keedy’s “The Global Style”.

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Total Armageddon is available here. I hope that you like it.

The Thing & Visual Strategies for the Apocalypse

March 15, 2019

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I am very excited to announce that I have two brand-new booklets that just came out: The Thing and Visual Strategies for the Apocalypse.

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The Thing is about the problematics of design, designers, and design history. It is an 88-page zine that examines thorny aspects of design, designers, and design history.

Also, The Thing glows in the dark.

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Topics within:
– Vikings
– Netflix binge-watching as a metaphor for lived experience
– Problematic relationships with objects
– Earthquakes which turned into literal firestorms which claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people
– Japanese graphic design history
– Picking locks
– Secrets behind how to edit
– Nostalgia
– Guilt and Shame

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You can see a microsite that I designed for The Thing here: http://thing.wordshape.com

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Visual Strategies for the Apocalypse is about overcoming what I term “Creative Constipation™”. It is a 112-page booklet with contributions from leading designers and design educators like Matthew Scott Barnes, Natalia Ilyin, Nikki Juen, Yoon Soo Lee, Matthew Monk, David Peacock, Michael Scaringe, and Lorena Howard-Sheridan, along with James Hultquist-Todd of JTD Type, James Edmondson of Oh No Type Co, visual artist Griffin McPartland, Adolf Loos and the late Koichi Sato.

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Topics within:

– The relationship between Big Tech and child labor
– The even more complicated relationship between Fast Fashion and Thor, God of Thunder
– Space, time and selfishness
– Contrast, cropping and partying
– Chance processes
– Imitation, flattery, history and desktop publishing
– Collage as strategy
– The function of drawing
– Ornament and making shit up

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More info about Visual Strategies for the Apocalypse is here in the micro-site that I designed for it: http://apocalypse.wordshape.com

Feature in IDEA/アイデア #385

March 12, 2019

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I have a 32-page feature in the latest issue of IDEA magazine, Japan’s oldest and best graphic design magazine.

An excerpt from the essay that I wrote for the feature:

In Oregon, I discovered that graphic design was the formalized version of what I had been doing for the previous decade-plus making zines and went back to school to study graphic design, which I had previously called “layout”. I worked at a few design firms, and then was hired at small studio called Plazm where they had a massive collection of copies of IDEA, this very same magazine that you are holding in your hands. IDEA in the early 2000s was insane. Each issue was made with more love than any American graphic design magazine or book at that time—there were different papers, printing techniques, a lot of really weird content, tipped-in books, and posters folded in to the magazine. Seeing IDEA gave me an expanded notion of what graphic design could be, something that was very much missing from American design culture at that time.

It made me kind of hate American graphic design.

This magazine that you have in front of you changed my life. I am going to state this rather unequivocally: if I had not found IDEA, I think that my life would be very, very different, and I am quite sure that it would be an unsatisfactory version compared to the life that I have now.

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I mean what I wrote in IDEA #385. Being actually featured was something that I considered a total pipe dream for years, even having written for the magazine, designing many of the things I wrote, collaborating on curatorial and editorial projects with the former editor-in-chief Kiyonori Muroga, and maintaining friendships with the cast of characters that make IDEA happen four times a year for over a decade.

I am incredibly honored to be featured in the pages of IDEA. It was an invitation to the very last known dream that I have had of my career to date, and one that I dreamed of for twenty years.

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I would like to thank IDEA’s editor-in-chief Madoka Nishi for asking me to be included, and for allowing me to design and write the feature.

It is a very rare thing when one gets to curate their own content and to be trusted to do the right thing.

Randy Nakamura did a bang-up job of editing my essay, as he has always done, and Emma Okubo provided a faithful and accurate translation of my writing.

Martin Holtkamp shot beautiful portrait photography, something easier said than done.

Jeremy Lanig, Carly Diaz, David L. Reamer, Koichi Tomimura, Michael Holmes, Matthew Scott Barnes, Anthony Pagani, Mark/Naoki Rogers, Lars Harmsen, Hannah Smith, and Satoshi Aoyagi all provided amazing photography of assorted projects.

My dear VCFA alumni and friends Laura Rossi Garcia and Chad Miller graciously allowed their thesis work at VCFA’s MFA in Graphic Design program to be included, as well. (Their work meets at the critical juncture of feminism and hardcore—one of my favorite junctures.)

This feature, titled “Locality & Fracture” explains my practice that spans design research, design education, a commercial and cultural studio practice, and foray into type design exceedingly well. I am happy with how it turned out. I think you very well might enjoy reading it.

You can procure a copy here: http://wordshape.com/idea-385-locality/

Apparently I have to make up some new dreams now.

Total Armageddon

January 21, 2019

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I recently edited a new book titled Total Armageddon for Slanted Publishers. It is a book about design. And culture. And complexity, notably how we, as a global civilization, deal with science fiction, taste, social media, the cities we live in, aesthetics, PowerPoint, burkas, authenticity, monuments, HIV, screens, representation, Big Tech, full-contact sports, and other thorny topics.

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This book is full of essays culled from the first 32 issues of Slanted as well as new writing and writing from elsewhere, the leading international design journal, alongside a number of writings from elsewhere, all specifically chosen for this book. They include essays written by the most vital and vibrant global voices in writing on design and culture today from Europe, Asia, Africa, the Americas, and the Middle East. Writers like Natalia Ilyin, Randy Nakamura, Steven Heller, Piotr Rypson, Silas Munro, Gerry Leonidas, Yoon Soo Lee, Kenneth FitzGerald, Kiyonori Muroga, and a host of others.

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In a world that feels like it is bursting at the seams due to overpopulation, climate change, economic downturns, strife, selfies, discord, and all-out war, we need somewhere to turn. Our mobile devices tell us that the Apocalypse is just around the corner … perhaps we just need to look the future in the face by examining the present and all of it’s designed faults, fractures, beauties, luminosity, issues, complexities, and cracked screens.

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Welcome, friends, to the end of the world.

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Publisher: Slanted Publishers
Editor: Ian Lynam
Release: March 2019
Volume: 400 Pages
Dimensions: 16 × 24 cm
Language: English
Printing: LE-UV offset + white (Vogl)
Paper: Holmen BOOK Extra 2.0 (Holmen Paper)
Cover material: Invercote G Metalprint (Iggesund Paperboard)
Typefaces: Beatrice (Sharp Type) and Edit Serif (Atlas Font Foundry)

Total Armageddon is available for preorder via Kickstarter now.

PechaKucka Night Tokyo

January 21, 2019

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I was so happy to present at PechaKucka Night Tokyo—the very last one at SuperDeluxe in its current location.

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Giant thanks to Brian Scott Peterson for both the invitation and the amazing photos, Astrid and Mark for the warm welcome onstage, and to everyone who presented.

The Universal Moment

January 14, 2019

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Wandered across this project from 2011 today—the design for the debut album by The Universal Moment.

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TUM is a Tokyo-based band that is fronted by two brothers who are incredibly nice people.

Glot

December 21, 2018

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We recently launched a micro-site for Glot, a ten-member flared terminal sans serif family of typefaces based on a mix of proportions of Roman square capitals and hyper-readable sans serifs. Read the story of Glot here!

Taiwan Poster Design Association biennial

November 13, 2018

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I have some work in this upcoming exhibition and the resultant catalog:

The Annual Poster Exhibition of TPDA Member, Designer Submission Invitation, Awarded Entries of International Taiwan Postar 2018 “Love. Peace”
The exhibition begins on Dec. 15, 2018 (Sat.) to Dec. 25, 2018 (Tue.) in Taiwan Academia Industry Consortium K² Square, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
The ceremony starts on Dec. 15, 2018 (Sat.) 2:00PM

Organizer: Taiwan Poster Design Association
The co-organizer: Kun Shan University Department of Visual Communication Design-Print Media Lab
Official Website: TPDA www.taiwanposter.com

Houston lecture

October 5, 2018

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I will be lecturing in Houston, Texas at the University of Houston’s Katherine G. McGovern College of the Arts on Tuesday, October 16, 2018 at 1 pm. Free!

 

 

Inform interview

September 20, 2018

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I was interviewed a while ago by the inimitable Ella Gold for Inform, the CalArts design blog.

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