10.30.2014

Tokyo vs. Karlsruhe

I’m trying something new in my Computer Imaging 2 class at Temple University Japan—a collaboration with another school on another continent. We’re calling it “Ping Pong: Tokyo vs. Karlsruhe”. HfG Karlsruhe faculty member Sereina Rothenberger (of Hammer!) and I have come up with a potentially interesting way of getting our students to engage with typography and teaching—namely, by making project a project assignment for one another.

Here is the text we have supplied to our respective students:

You must make a project brief and supply it to the student/student(s) of the other university.
You get to make up the project.
The only parameters are:
– Your project must contain type & image
– Your project must relate to your immediate locale—where
you are currently geolocated.
– The project must be printed
– You must introduce yourselves to one another and present the project to one another in a designed format after reviewing
with the faculty in your institution.
Ian and Sereina will be doing their utmost to get the work published in a number of international graphic design publications, so the pressure is on, baby! Make it look delicious!

The soundtrack

Tokyo:
– Hifana: Hanabeam
– Halcali: Endless Summer
– Nitro Microphone Underground:
Still Shinin’ All Day

Karlsruhe:
– Kraftwerk: Trans Europa
Express
– Rödelheim Hartreim Projekt:
Wenn es nicht hart ist
– Richard Wagner: Walkürenritt

Now, Sereina and I just have to cool our heels and wait for the results! (Not really—we’re proactive teachers—we’ll be coaching and cajoling and keeping the tissue box handy for the inevitable transPacific tears.)

In other news, the new modular anchor logo I designed for YACHT makes a new appearance on sunglesses here

…and here.

Iggy font

We just released Iggy, a set of two fonts (outline and fill) created in collaboration with Australia-based lifelong skateboarder, artist and animator Darin Bendall.

Darin Bendall and Ian Lynam font Iggy

Iggy is a set of fonts perfect for that punky, skatery vibe. Both fonts have 4 complete sets of stylistic alternates for letters and numbers, European language support galore, evoke the late 80s heyday of skateboarding and hardcore punk rock and thrash.

10.21.2014

Just returned from a week in Vermont at Vermont College of Fine Arts where we had yet another amazing week of presentations, lectures, and critiques. Our visiting critics this time around were Chris Ro from Hongik University in Seoul, Yunim Kim from Kookmin Univesity in Seoul, and Eddie Opara, one of the partners in Pentagram’s New York office. Pictured above are our twelve new MFA graduates – check out their MFA exhibition here.

Hunger Mountain

We also clandestinely launched the redesigned responsive website for Hunger Mountain, VCFA’s literary journal designed in collaboration with Silas Munro.

In other news, Néojaponisme launched some new content.

09.16.2014

Ride the Lightning Tokyo

I’ll be speaking next week at Ride the Lightning, AQ‘s design and development presentation series in Tokyo. Check it out on Facebook or join via Doorkeeper!

09.01.2014

Los Logos 7 by DGV

We have some work in the latest edition of the Los Logos series, the best-selling graphic design books of all time, nominally Los Logos Number 7, available now from Die Gestalten Verlag.

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

07.26.2014

Our office will be closed for the month of August, as we will be taking a much-needed vacation. The studio’s office will reopen on September 1st.

07.26.2014

TaDa! Opening Celebration
Saturday, August 9, 2014
7pm
116 Pleasant Street, Easthampton, MA

http://www.tadashow.com/

25 conceptual graphic designers from Vermont College of Fine Arts’ graduate program visualize “TaDa!” as graphic design using varied media, sizes, dimensionality, and styles.

The Masters of Graphic Design program at Vermont College of Fine Arts is less concerned with what graphic design should be and instead has embraced the idea of what graphic design could be. The students, faculty and alumni of the program have made a practice of using graphic design processes to produce what, at first glance, may not look like graphic design product.

In this exhibition, graphic design communicates through a visual medium. Graphic designers work on the screen, in print, and multi-dimensionally, with light and sound and intangibles and make incursions into territory traditionally occupied by other arts. The media of the works in this show range from embroidered pillowcases, to video, to painted wooden shapes, to upcycled car parts, to trash. The designers’ intend variously to heal, to challenge, and to create social change as well as to explore traditional design barriers and create communicative form. Two of the designers in the show, Christine Valerio and Rachael Hatley, have received national recognition for their community design projects. Troy Patterson received a Design Ignites Change Awards Program. Others have been exhibited in art shows across the country and written for design publications. The work that VCFA designers do is expanding the reach of design practice.

TaDa! is unique in that these works are not graphic design as fine art, but graphic design as a vehicle of communication. In the tradition of the VCFA educational model, each designer has used vigorous training in design — typography and visual hierarchy and color theory and design history —to “conjoin the visual with language and intention.” (Sondra Graff)

Emily Claire Coats says of her own work, “See This | Not This is a work of graphic design as it incorporates a variety of graphic elements, designed together to elicit participation from others and communicate between them. Because the finished work will reflect a collaborative effort and place a focus on the process of creating the piece, it may fall under the category of conditional design (where the process is the goal). However, the finished piece, including the additions of participants, is designed to create a visual conversation that explores the nuances of revealing oneself to others.” TaDa! recontextualizes preconceived notions of graphic design by shifts in form, content and thinking.

Leslie Tane, VCFA GD 10.2013, is a curator, designer, educator, and writer living in Easthampton, Massachusetts. After more than 20 years of design practice she currently works as a contributing writer for Beautiful/Decay and in the Art Discovery Center of the George Vincent Walker Smith Museum in Springfield, MA. Her design project Curatorial 365 is scheduled to be exhibited at Hosmer Gallery in Northampton, MA in 2015.

07.25.2014

I recently participated in the XD24 International Design lecture roundtable and workshop at Hongik University, initiated by faculty member and amazing host Chris Ro.

I did my usual song and dance – this time about socioeconomic foundations and graphic design foundations.

Included were discussions of Fordism and Modernism,

as well as a suggestion as to socioeconomic order in the startup 2.0 age,

and a definition of graphic design in the startup 2.0 age.

The lecture was half-dystopian / half-utopian, as I see how most people see this Post-PostModern age as being. The other speakers were my fellow VCFA faculty Yoon Soo Lee and Ziddi Msangi, as well as Apple type designer Min Bon. The roundtable was moderated by Jiwon Lee, one of my favorite, favorite human beings.

Kwong Nayoung and Kkong Mira (above) provided amazing translation into English AND Japanese. Jungwook Kim provided general assistance.

The lecture was preceded by a workshop about oppositionality as a base methodology for constant engagement (and thus actual creativity and innovation) in graphic design.

Students were asked to create a visual kit-of-parts that was comprised of 25 formal elements (color, pattern, form, image, texture, type, and lettering) based on three speculative potential future vocations unreliant on the laws of physics.

They made weird stuff.

And they made interesting stuff.

But most of all, they made a lot of stuff, and they (including faculty member Chris Ro) stuck around for an extra six hours to ensure that everyone got a full critique. (Bonus: Chris and I bought pizza and beer for everyone.)

And then they mimicked the supernatural beings in Michael Jackson’s Thriller, with Chris being the Gloved One. It was, in short, awesome.

 

07.20.2014

CalArts Magazine

I just got a nice writeup in the new issue of CalArts Magazine in a feature about Graphic Design Department alumni. It was good to be featured alongside some of my favorite compañeros and compañeras like Mark Kulakoff, Caroline Oh, Jon Sueda, Geoff McFetridge, Brian Roettinger, Hillary Greenbaum, and Andrea Tinnes. The issue’s design by Cassandra Chae and Jin Son is amazing, as well!

07.17.2014

Kimbo plug-in for Adobe Illustrator

We just released a new/old piece of software today. It is called Kimbo. It is a plug-in for Adobe Illustrator CS6 and CC. You should check it out here.

Kimbo does magical, magical things with vectors – both in creating new shapes not natively in Illustrator and for assembling vector objects based on symmetry, abstraction and ornament.

Kimbo plug-in polar mesh effect

Kimbo is super versatile – check out the user manual to see how extensive it really is.