Jun 3, 2013

Social / Political Poster

Another one of those mandatory posts about RMIT work, in case anyone still reads this.

I had to design a social poster as a follow up to the post card I designed, I chose to go with a different cause/area with the poster instead of following on with concepts. I chose a political poster about the importance (subjective) of voting for a Labor government in Australia, especially when faced against Tony Abbott and Clive Palmer; as the current political climate is.

My first concepts and drafts were both including Palmer and Abbott; but this raised a lot of compositional problems. I guess my final result would be one poster for each, but for the one I am submitting it's related to Palmer; who is probably a worst case scenario for an Australian elect. Picking the worst of two evils I guess?

I feel the need to provide a strong rationale for my design, first I'll start with a conceptual side:
I designed a poster which tackles one of the most mundane, simple and what I personally consider to be one of the most problematic areas of campaigning. I have intentionally designed a bare bones, stripped back (I guess 'utilitarian') design, this is for a reason. Form follows function. I have seen more designs I can count which use some form of communication which is not clear cut. I didn't want to design something that people stand around it and see it and then go "oh I guess that's a statement on [x]...". This is not something to be noticed in the background, it has no undertones, it says one thing and it says it clear. It's not meant to be salvaged and kept for some kind of ongoing collection of "art/design", it's meant to be plastered by the thousands to get a message across.

I think puns and conceptual renderings which make people have to think to get the message across have their place, in a country with one of the lowest voting education ratings of all first world countries; political posters that aren't clear cut have obviously failed. I think Michael Beirut says it best in Helvetica. PERIOD. (Although I didn't use Helvetica there's still a point)

Point in tact: Australia was built on a working class population, Australia lives on a working class population and backbone. There are less billionaires in Australia than I can count on my hand, so how does a mining magnate make the best decisions for the majority of Australia when they need his help as Prime Minister? He doesn't.

Now I need to rationalize the technical side of my poster. Unfortunately I don't have a chance to ask Clive Palmer to take 5 minutes out of his busy wage dropping/cake eating day to let me take a photo which would be used against his favour. The photo I used looks pretty average at A3 size, even bitmapped (which would have been done regardless to emphasize the and simplify the poster) but it was the highest resolution photo that was suitable. I tried to limit colours, I have everything set in black and white, apart from the "VOTE LABOR" line in the Labor Logo's red. And the logo is in it's red, white and blue.

Research and concept:
I don't really have any applicable concepting as everything I have done up until now was scrapped when it changed and didn't work. I presented all previous versions in class anyway, I don't think they add anything to the final piece.

I had to find three posters which I thought were good. I think the ones I have found are pretty good and they are also directly linked to my cause, I think there are better posters out there but I wanted to limit myself to ones that support my cause and methodology for this.

I found a bunch of War and Post-War era American Labor posters and I chose two, along with one about Blackouts in World War II. I was meant to write a paragraph on each but I think everything I like about them can be summed up across the board in a little paragraph and what I've said in my own rationale.

There is minimal but strong imagery. Everything is clearly to the point, and the point it's self is so obvious that you couldn't miss it if you tired. There is no process to get to a result, the result is given to you. PERIOD.


May 26, 2013

An Interview with Adam R. Garcia

This is only being put up as reference for an assignment. There are some excluded questions which aren't relevant to that assignment, the full interview will be available when "The Others" is released later this year. A big thanks again to Adam for taking the time to get these questions to me on such short notice.

Adam R. Garcia // ThePressure

- Kind of general questions about you and the industry--
1) How did you start out? Did you know what a Graphic Designer was from the beginning or did you find the profession along the way?
I didn't know what a graphic designer was until high school. My background before that was in comics and role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons. I've always had a love of storytelling, image-making and performance, and in a way design and art have become a merger of those things. After getting into hip-hop in the Twin Cities, dancing, writing graffiti and rapping, graphic design kind of become the energy that continued that momentum for me. 

2) What educational qualifications do you hold?
I have my Bachelors in Fine Arts from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Before that I spent some time at the Art Institutes Int'l of Minnesota as well as taking a few courses (in Creative Writing) at the University of Minnesota.

3) What in your career has influenced you; or perhaps been a "game changer"? Any specific projects, places you've worked, collaborations etc?
Starting to work with musicians in Minneapolis was a game changer for me. I used to work at a CD manufacturing plant in the early 2000s, and designed hundreds of albums for independent musicians as my first job. That taught me how to convey an idea or theme and tell a story through packaging. MCAD was the next "game changer" for me. It taught a different way of thinking. Then at 160over90, the agency, which taught me how to think from a big picture perspective, present my work and communicate with clients. And then working in product design AND global brand design at Nike. Everyday was an evolution of thought and ideas.

4) How do you see your role in the industry and how do you think the role of a Graphic Designer is changing? How do you feel about the changes?
I think that there are many new opportunities with the web, and the sheer amount of visibility we have to different facets of creation. If we want to make products, we can. Throw events? Absolutely. Start a business? Of course. I think that mediums don't bind us anymore, and we can use design thinking to create whole new platforms for engagement, and we are doing more and more of that. Design is now seen as an imperative part of business practice, and that is incredibly empowering.

5) What do you think are the key attributes for a Graphic Designer? Be that attributes as a person and/or attributes as far as skills/abilities when you leave college going into the industry.
I like how Adrian Shaughnessy puts it in "How to Be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul..." He says that the main attributes are Communication Skills, Cultural Awareness and Integrity. The communication skills are vital. We communicate for a living as designers. We must be able to articulate ideas and themes to clients, to collaborators and to audiences, both verbally and visually. Cultural awareness is the result of the curiosity that drives us. It's what keeps us up on trends, ahead of the game, on top of news and makes us "experts" on what's happening in the world. We are watchers and listeners, and with critical design thinking and the right lens, that will make us visionaries. And Integrity is a point-of-view, an ethos and a voice that enables you to not only do the right thing from a design standpoint, but do the RIGHT THINGS in your life to be happy and do the best for your community, clients and the world around you.
-- Collaboration questions --
6) You worked with Nike and along side a shoe designer by the name of Nate VanHook to create the Air Yeezy II; how did that project come about?
I was working in Nike Sportswear Footwear as a graphic designer for shoes. My role at the time was to create storytelling pieces around color, graphics and materials for footwear at a pinnacle level. Because I had a background in music packaging and at record labels on top of my branding background, they thought that I would be a good fit to work with Nate and Kanye's team on the graphic voice and direction for the shoe. It was a fun process, but it took more than a year to get it out!

7) How did you find working with a different kind of designer? (a shoe/footwear designer)
I love collaborating in all its forms. Nate is a good friend, so that only made it more fun. 

8) How was the workflow on such a diverse collaboration different to if you were doing standard Graphic Design? The workflow is so different that it's hard to explain. Designing a pair of shoes and getting it to market takes months, if not years. From the initial idea, to creating CADs, working with creating a prototype, and more prototypes, then talking with factories, sourcing materials. Getting back the initial samples and doing rounds and rounds of revisions takes a long time. To put it in perspective, right now at Nike they're working on Spring/Summer 2015. To make a print piece could take a few weeks. It's a totally different experience.

May 13, 2013

Equal Rights for All Australians

For an assignment I have to collate process and research/foundation. The assignment was to create an "AvantCard" or post-card-sized design which had a strong relativity to a social/political issue. I finally settled on the idea of equal rights in Australia; based around the very famous and now global statement of "All men are created equal".

Strangely a lot of people I have spoken to thought that the word "men" in that quote made the idea of equality irrelevant. I guess I should clear that up. The line is most commonly attributed to Thomas Jefferson and his involvement in the Declaration of Independence; however the phrase has been used many times beforehand. It is suggested he 'borrowed' it from his Italian friend Philip Mazzei. Regardless of the history, the idea of "all MEN are created equal" refers to men not as a gender, but as a race; mankind.

Before landing at this final concept I also thought about the following quite seriously:
- A variation of a shop window "We're Open/Closed" sign relating to Tony Abbott's stance on "Boat People".
- Faces of Tony Abbott and Clive Palmer crossed out to support the need for a Labour government in Australia.
- An infographic related design
- A message for the idea of government being a voice of the people, not a personal infliction.

concept 1 boat people
concept 2 voice of the people
polaroid concept

Here are some resources I used (there aren't really many):
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_men_are_created_equal
- http://australia.gov.au/directories/contact-parliament
- www.avantcard.com.au

Finally, where I landed in the end... The idea of implementing photo montage seemed a bit hard/irrelevant to most of my other ideas. The other strong contender for the final result was the one about a need for Labour government in Australia, but when I thought of this I was already set to work on the current design so I decided to stick with it.

The idea of the card is something people can pick up and read. It gives them a chance to think. From there they can write their own message and send it to their local MP to show their support.

I thought about a lot of ways to show the diversity between every day people. The most accessible in a controlled environment was of course, my peers. I thought about doing the portraits with a polaroid camera, but that would have cost me about $40 in film and every shot used/taken would have cost around $2. It also bought up the issue of whitespace for the polaroid frames. Despite it being a cool idea I don't think it really added anything to the concept or design so out came my trusty 7D and I persuaded some people at RMIT to let me take their photo.

raw photos
edited photos

I consciously tried to keep my design minimal. I used one typeface and two weights (apart from the quotation marks). This was to support the idea of equality. I tried to make everything uniform but still slightly unique. All the photos were taken really quickly to make them look more authentic instead of some kind of generic set of people you couldn't tell apart.
The colour was something I just had as an idea in my head. I'm not really sure why and I can't fasely justify it too much, but it worked with the colour of the pin board in the classroom aka my DIY backdrop so that helped me out.

The back of the card is something relatively simple. There isn't too much room to work with and form certainly follows function. I kept in theme with the front of the card and allocated all the required spaces for the message, address and stamp. I included a website reference which lets you find the contact details of politicians and it can be filtered by postcode etc so you can find the contact for your local MP to send them the card.

Here is the final result:
final front digital final back digital

A big thank-you to everyone who let me take their photo, I appreciate it a lot.

Apr 24, 2013

Milton Glaser Project

For a part of my current  course at RMIT I had an assignment to make a booklet about a "Design Giant". I chose Milton Glaser who has been a significant inspiration to me and was one of the first major designers who I discovered in High School. The following contains progress photos, notes and references which had to be "blogged" as a part of my assessment.

A basic mock up/layout for my booklet and some notes/ideas.

These photos show my attempt at making the booklet into a physical object, I didn't do an amazing job; but I tried. I guess that's why there are printing and production professionals.

Most of the reference used was video/film, including his own documentary and his parts in the BigThink and TED series.

 - Milton Glaser: To Inform & Delight (2008/9)
 - Milton Glaser: BigThink Interview
 - From the TED Archives: Milton Glaser

 - Milton Glaser: www.miltonglaser.com/
 - Pushpin Studios: www.pushpininc.com/
 - Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milton_Glaser
 - MoMA: www.moma.org/collection/artist.php?artist_id=2188

May 3, 2012


I had to make a poster for this brief for an assignment, so I decided to enter it into the competition. There are two competitions running, one with real judges and "people's choice" competition based on votes (read: popularity contest - something I am totally against) but it is something which I would still like to extend an ask for help in winning. I have some decent hopes for my chances in the professional competition. Regardless. Here is my entry:
VOTE VIA FACEBOOK Press the "Like" button under "VOTE FOR ME" at the top left of the page

Thank you. Please share the link if you can.

Mar 9, 2012

20/20 Vision

I've always had 20/20 vision, but over the past few months I had noticed myself having trouble reading small type and focusing on things like intersecting lines meeting when I was designing/drawing. All of this seemed to be multiplied if I was tired or if I was working for long periods of time. Anyway, it turns out I could benefit from some really low strength glasses for reading and working.

A friend of mine had told me about Holloway Eyewear and told me he knew the guy who ran it. Anyway, I ended up getting a pair. They make their frames from a lot of things, including old guitars, skateboards, driftwood and sometimes really nice, limited Australian timbers. They primarily make sunglasses, but they can fit lenses. Everything is made by hand, in a Brisbane warehouse by a handfull of great people. Do yourself a favour and get something a little more unique than frames from SpecSavers or the RayBans every other person is wearing. Hopefully I'll be doing some work with these guys soon, too. So watch out!

These are the Owl frames, with fitted prescription lenses. Natural front with black arms. The glasses come in a custom made soft case, which is crafted from Italian Suede with a hand fitted leather strap. All glasses are machine cut, then shaped and refined by hand. For more info and to get your own pair check out: www.hollowayeyewear.com.au

Condition Oakland

I grabbed this copy of the almighty Jawbreaker release, '24 Hour Revenge Therapy' on eBay the other week. This is my all time favourite record, by my favourite band. I love this record more than I love most things. They started recording this with Steve Albini the day I was born. Anyway, as far as I know there was only ever one pressing, and after this release they signed to Geffen records and released 'Dear You' which has a few variations. I think there might be a bootleg, but this is the first pressing. On black, not sure of the limitations.

I don't think much really needs to be said. It's an 11/10 release easily. This is in amazing condition, it was sealed when I got it.

You're Out Of My Top Eight

A little blast from the past here. This is Pro Team's EP entitled 'Our Wasteland'. This came out in 2007 as a CD on Washed Up! records, following their demo. This was one of my favourite Australian Hardcore releases of that era, and something I never really stopped listening to. The band never really broke up, either, but after playing a tour and some shows on the back of the CD version of this release they stopped playing shows and stopped being a band, essentially. A little while ago they announced they were writing more songs, playing more shows, and Midnight Funeral announced the release of this beauty on vinyl for the first time.

This came out last month. 300 copies and each is randomly coloured, so there are essentially 300 different variations. I ended up buying two because of this very reason. One is a bunch of browns/dark oranges, and one is a pink/purple swirl with black. Both are really cool, and I think there are more pictures of other ones up on the Midnight Funeral site.

A Turn For The Worst

I got this record when it came out a few years ago (maybe late 2010/early 2011?). I missed the preorders and then I saw Craig from Midnight Funeral post about having a few left when my friend Sean posted about the release on his blog. When Craig sent this to me a few days later he had forgot to send the insert, anyway, after a little chasing and Craig being overseas and a bunch of other stuff, he finally sent me the insert.

This is another record where the art is a major focus for me. The illustration work is something else, the front and back covers are exceptional, and the insert features zombie-like illustrations of the members. This band has put out another full length or two since this, and they've kind of blown up. Aside from the 'Three Nails and a Book of Flaws' 7inch this is my favourite release, and one of the only ones which has really grabbed my interest. I think the release was 300 on black.

Feb 15, 2012


So, after about a million years this finally showed up in my mailbox... Warbrain released this some time ago, I think it was early 2011 with immediate plans for a physical release as a 7inch. However there were a massive amount of delays and problems with the pressing. I kind of thought it was never going to happen and the only paranoia I had was if I was going to get my preorder money back from Trial And Error. But no, almost a year later it's showed up. It's also the first record Trial and Error have put out in quite some time. Anyway, here it is... It came in a nice screened mailer which features a 1 colour version of the cover artwork. The layout and artwork is by Callum Preston, who is an absolute champion and insanely good, he's really nailed this one. The packaging is nice and simple, front art, a back with a simple track listing and photo. Insert for the lyrics and then the vinyl... Which comes in 2 variants. Green on Green splatter (limited to 100) and Black splatter on Gold (limited to 200).