That’s Entertainment!

February 8, 2016

That's Entertainment by Ian_Lynam

I just returned home after my lecture tour of the U.S. East Coast. The turnouts at VCFA, University of Hartford, Rutgers, Temple, and York College were great. Many thanks to the Dont Rhine, Luis Jacob, the VCFA Visual Art program, Matthew Monk, Jenn Renko, Jason Cheshire, Deb Kline, the Connecticut Art Directors Club, Jason Alejandro, Dermot McCormack, Troy Patterson and Mel Rodgers. What a swell bunch of folks for setting this all up! (Giant thanks to Evan Mast for letting me stink up his couch in NYC, as well.)

That's Entertainment by Ian_Lynam

My exhibition “That’s Entertainment!” had a great response in York, Pennsylvania at Marketview Arts. All exhibition photography by Troy Patterson.

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Identity for Matt Treyvaud

January 23, 2016

Matt Treyvaud identity

We recently finished up designing the visual identity for Matt Treyvaud, our compatriot over at Néojaponisme and one of the best writers and translators out there!

East Coast lecture tour & “That’s Entertainment.” exhibition

January 13, 2016


I will be giving a five-date lecture tour of the Northeast U.S. in two weeks, as well as debuting a new exhibition at York College of Pennsylvania called “That’s Entertainment.” that is a synthesis of my work as a designer and design critic. I wrote a new essay-as-website which forms the backbone of the exhibition. You can read it here, as well as download PDF versions of the posters that comprise the exhibition.

At the exhibition itself, an unnumbered edition of 100 of the posters in the exhibition will be given away for free. There are 32 posters, so that means that 3,200 posters will be given away.

Montpelier, VT:
Lecture: “There’s Chocolate in my Peanut Butter.”
January 27, 10AM
VCFA Noble Hall
36 College St.
Montpelier, VT 05602

Hartford, CT:
Lecture: “Tokyo, we have a problem.”
presented by the Connecticut Art Directors Club
Friday, January 29th, 7PM
University of Hartford
Koopman Commons in the Renée Samuels Center

Rutgers, NJ:
The Winners & Losers of History – The Emergence of Japanese Graphic Design
February 1st, 6pm-8pm
Rutgers University
Mason Gross School of the Arts
Civic Square Building, Room 218C
33 Livingston Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Philadelphia, PA:
Lecture: “There’s Chocolate in my Peanut Butter.”
February 3, 2016. Time TBA.
Tyler School of Art, Temple University

York, PA:
Lecture: “There’s Chocolate in my Peanut Butter.”
February 4, 2016 at 7:00pm
DeMeester Recital Hall in Wolf Hall
York College of Pennsylvania

That’s Entertainment!: An Exhibition
February 5 – March 19, 2016
Opening: February 5, 2016 at 5:00pm
Coni Wolf Gallery at Marketview Arts
37 W Philadelphia St.
York, Pennsylvania 17401

All of the lectures are open to the public.


December 1, 2015


I just published a Japanese version of my essay on the Olympics logo design competition. You can read it here.

Sohei Nishino’s “Cities” project

November 30, 2015


We’ve been working with Ivan Vartanian and the team at Goliga over the past year on the website for the traveling exhibition “Cities” by Sohei Nishino. Having taken place in Amsterdam, London, Paris, and now Tokyo, the exhibition features giant collaged photographic works by Mr. Nishino which represent weeks of photographing each city, then collaging individual photos into one giant work.

We created an integrated panel viewer system and Stripe-based e-commerce checkout system so that website users can select ten separate panels from the exhibition and purchase them online.

Critique of the Tokyo Olympic Design Competition

November 26, 2015


I just wrote a pretty scathing critique of the 2020 Olympic logo competition. You can read it here.

VCFA posters

November 23, 2015


Dave Peacock and I made this series of six 2-color Risograph posters for the recent AIGA National Conference.


slanted #28

November 13, 2015


I have an essay in Slanted #28, which just came out. The theme for this issue is New York.


The cover is very shiny.


The table of contents.


My essay, titled “Escape from New York”.


And the end of my essay, still titled “Escape From New York”.

lecture at general assembly

November 12, 2015


Evidence of my lecture in Chi-Chi Bello‘s class at General Assembly this week.

the download

November 1, 2015


It’s been a crazy couple of weeks.


I attended the AIGA National Conference in New Orleans with my fellow VCFA faculty member Tasheka Arceneaux-Sutton and our VP of Enrollment David Markow. It was great to catch up with so many colleagues, heroes, heroines, and just good old friends.


Faculty member Dave Peacock and I designed a set of six Risograph-printed A3 mini-posters for the event which we gave away in droves, along with sketchbooks that I designed in collaboration with faculty member and former Co-Chair Silas Munro.

We had our October 2015 residency at VCFA where we hosted amazing guest designers/critics Ian Albinson of Art of the Title, CalArts’ Gail Swanlund and David Schatz and Sereina Rothenburger of the Swiss design studio Hammer, as well as the incredibly insightful writer and critic Tim Wynne-Jones.

It was a really terrific residency—stupefyingly good lectures, terrific community interaction, eye-opening critiques, and so much more. Six really amazing designers graduated, and I was honored to be asked to give their graduation address, which was a very intentionally strange speech that will make its way online at some point in some form.

I wound up speaking *a lot* at residency—I gave the convocation address which was in the form of a choose-your-own-adventure story where the faculty, staff and student body had to choose fight or flight when faced with reanimated Modernists, fake Postmodernists, and traveling the time/space continuum. This was combined with a bit of staged aggressive violence aimed my way by my dear friend and fellow faculty member Nikki Juen which freaked the shit out of everyone. It was, in short, fun and amazing. (I just published a transcription of the speech here.)


I also gave a lecture and workshop to our eleven incoming students about documentation, inducting them into the world of making design for yourself, not just for clients. The results were fabulous—our new students are the nicest folks and they came up with some really intriguing, seductive ways of capturing documentation of their first week at VCFA.


Ed, Chad, Mike, Todd, Amelia, Ashley, Paulina, Matt, Tim, Pierre, and Marisa, I am SO PUMPED to be working with you all! Thank you for being so generous with your time and for becoming part of our community!

So, after an insane trip home that had me traversing Burlington, Boston, and Los Angeles in order to get back to Tokyo, I got a day of rest, then…


I flew to Vilnius, Lithuania via Istanbul to give a presentation at the Made in Japan conference.

It was really, really great—I was so honored to be invited to speak and to meet so many amazing creative people from all over the globe. A giant round of thanks to the Made in Japan crew!

I’ve put together a highly visual transcription of my presentation here on Medium. It’s creeping close to 1,000 reads, which is pretty damn amazing.


We just launched a new identity and website for Arts Excursions Unlimited, a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania public arts program spearheaded by my dear friend and collaborator Edith Abeyta.

About Arts Excursions Unlimited:

Arts Excursions Unlimited (AEU) was the result of a year long residency at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Hazelwood under the Office of Public Art’s Artist in the Public Realm program. Artist, Edith Abeyta worked with Hazelwood residents to develop a public art project. After one on one conversations, group discussions, numerous meetings, and at least 12 moon cycles an arts excursion program was born. AEU provides free monthly arts and cultural visits to various locations throughout the Pittsburgh region. We focus on family outings so our participants range in age from 2-82. Our aim is to foster communal arts experiences as well as personal growth and greater connections to the neighborhood, city, state, country, and world. We believe direct interactions with the arts makes for a better understanding of the self and the spaces we inhabit.


For their identity, we crafted a hybrid travel agency/space agency theme centered around the arts. I’m really happy with how it turned out—a hearty sprinkling of vintage NASA, multicultural representation, and inviting pop colors and typography.


YACHT has been continuing their barrage of interesting projects as of late, all using the two families of typefaces that we designed for them. Follow the amazing slew of projects that accompany the release of I Thought The Future Would Be Cooler here and see their new video here.


And for the near-final piece of news for now, Ben Barnett and I released our new band Fully Clothed’s debut LP via Bandcamp. 9 songs. Less than two minutes long in total.

And as always, I have been writing and making a ton of content for the VCFA blog, Perpetual Beta. Check out interviews with Johnny Linnert of PechaKucha, Polish designer Edgar Bak, and so much more!

Finally, I will be lecturing in Chi Chi Bello‘s class on General Assembly on Wednesday—very exciting!