21@59

I’ve been making mixtapes since I was fourteen and my long-suffering Mom bought me my first cassette deck. I still make a mixtape every year on my birthday-a type of musical diary always named tracks@age. It’s fun to go back and see what I liked long ago and far away.

Ozymandias

I’ve always enjoyed designing posters for bands. The ephemeral nature of the event assures a level of freedom you don’t have with other projects, and it is uplifting to work with young and exuberant artists. Most of my show work is pro bono for bands under the radar (i.e., stone-broke

The Perfect Portfolio

Things they don’t teach you in art school: The cardinal rule of first meetings with potential clients-bring goodies. The strongest portfolio in the world pales besides a tin of freshly baked blueberry muffins or biscotti. Simple cooking is a lost art, and many have forgotten how much better real food

Walking on the Moon

 
Hard Case Crime is reprinting classic noir with covers by my favourite illustrator, Robert McGuiness. I love his low BMI women, with impossibly long legs. This lady, based on the size of her head, would be around nine feet tall, and gravity would crumple her-unless, like Sting, she was “walking

If Wozzeck drank beer…

Wowzers! Found the coolest beer graphic on a recent foraging trip to the local beer store. It’s like sitting in a Berlin café, dodging Brownshirts and drinking German Expressionism! I feel like Wozzeck. Or Joel Grey in Cabaret. 

Super-8 is great

This is my favourite piece of film. Low fi, messy, confusing, distorted by feedback-and brimming with creativity. Just like life!
We’re all Andy’s kids. Thanks for changing everything.

Who(m)

One of my myriad pet peeves is the misuse of “who” and “whom”. (This ranks slightly below using a clerk instead of a bunny to knot running shoes. The horror! The horror!)
In the Atlantic, Megan Garber writes “whom” is fading out of use, and will be “mostly gone in 50

The Alchemical Thief

The title sequence for “It Takes A Thief” (1971) remains one of my favourites. Unicase fonts, Don Grusin’s definitive 70s soundtrack, and graphics I still plunder.
So much of good design is knowing from whom to steal. It does takes a thief-but a discerning one!!
Designers were sampling long before musicians started

What do Lady Gaga and William Butler Yeats have in common?

First, the creepy part: this book is about computational linguistics, a new science using powerful computer programs to crunch words into dehumanized abstract spreadsheets.
Now, the warm and fuzzy part: The Secret Life of Pronouns, by social psychologist and author James Pennebaker, is written for laypersons and does a superb job

Symbionese Literary Army (SLA)

A new manuscript just popped into my inbox! There is nothing more exciting than picking up a new draft and grabbing a first read to get a feel for the potential design. The symbiosis between author and designer is unlike any other type of client relationship, and I’ve been really