Archives for posts with tag: Graphic Design

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This past month I got to make one of my longtime dreams come true by curating an art show. The idea came from research that I did in Adam Garcia’s Design Thinking class this term. The class was focused on making design work that is participatory, and using user-generated content in our projects.

Art supply stores always have boards and scrap papers sitting in front of their pen displays, full of marks, drawings and words anonymously contributed by passerby. I collected these over the course of several months and scanned, archived and printed them all in an art show in Food for Thought gallery on Portland State campus.

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One of my favorite parts of this project was picking the names for each piece, which I chose based on words found in the pieces themselves. All of them were printed at 100% of their original size, except for the title piece, Test, which was printed at 800%. Here are some of the illustration boards:

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Hello
2012
Pen on illustration board

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Just a frakes in the crowd
2012
Pen on illustration board

 

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Caroline
2012
Pen on illustration board

The full online archive is up at http://unsigned-project.tumblr.com/, check it out!

Today in my design business class we visited the Official Manufacturing Co. in SE Portland. We’ve spent the term grilling different design and art business owners, trying to learn from them. The guys at OMFGCO were very encouraging. We asked them about setting up the physical studio and they said that it wasn’t until after they did all of the design for Spirit of 77 that they set up their studio space, and before that they had their office in Jeremy’s house. But Jeremy had worked with Ace Hotel for years and Fritz had worked with Stumptown Coffee, so when they started OMFGCO they were able to get clients based on that.

Their studio space is full of reclaimed signs and cool stuff, like the wall above which is covered with signs that they found from a Chinese place that went out of business. It reminds me of a highschool shop class, teacher’s lounge and design studio.

While we were asking them about what kind of advice they had for students just starting out, they said that no one really knows what they are doing but they figure it out as they go along. They said it’s a good idea to figure out what you can do and what you can’t, accept your weaknesses and strengths and if there is something you want to do but you don’t have the skills don’t let it stop you because there are probably people in your community that do have those skills.

Jeremy talked about the importance of taking good care of the people you work with, be it interns, employees or clients, because at the end of the day it’s about relationships and those relationships could grow into something amazing. He also encouraged us to work with the people that we want to, even if it means going to our favorite restaurant, taking their menu, redesigning it and handing it back to them. He said not to expect to get paid what we are worth in the beginning, because he didn’t but he did great work that ended up being priceless in terms of bringing in bigger clients.

Their kitchen… The cabinets say ‘Fine’ ‘You So Fine’ and ‘You So Fine, Guurrl’

I thought it was cool too that they talked about what motivates people- we’re taking a business class but a lot of what motivates people isn’t necessarily money, it’s other things, like the people that they are working with, how creative they are able to be on projects and how much they believe in what they are doing. He also said for us business people that starting a business is surprisingly easy, it’s the reality of keeping income coming in enough to keep it going that’s the hard part. My favorite quote was when we were asking them what they had in the beginning and they said that they began with nothing: “All you need is a laptop, your brain, and optimism.” Thanks guys!

-EHT 03/14/12