Archive for the ‘Design’ Category

One Day For Design

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011
One Day For Design: 04.13.2011
  • an open, global dialogue on the meaning and future of design, and on the meaning and future of professional design associations. Ready to add your voice? Follow us on Twitter at #1D4D or just listen in.

DIY Spaces of the Tugboat 37

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011
[caption id="attachment_4448" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Basement Studio | 20th & C, Lincoln, NE"][/caption] When the Tugboat Gallery reopened in April of 2008, I enthusiastically said yes to the invitation of doing the monthly exhibition posters. One 12x18 screenprinted poster a month, editions of 60ish, for three years. Designed and hand-pulled in three different DIY studio locations over the years and put up on the streets of downtown Lincoln by the Tugboat crew. Tugboat Gallery is an alternative gallery located in downtown Lincoln, Nebraska. It's run by Peggy Gomez and Tugboat's new co-captain Nolan Tredway. Joey Lynch and Jake Gillespie, along with Peggy, made up the initial force behind its creation. Located above Gomez Art Supply in the Parrish Studios, it's part of a flourishing downtown art scene and a place to see some of the finest artwork in the Midwest. And the spaces where the posters were printed were equally as fine. [caption id="attachment_4492" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Print Here"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_4449" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Bemis Underground | Downtown, Omaha, NE"][/caption] The first studio, where screenprinting for me all began, was in the basement of a big old house on 20th and C in Lincoln's historic district. Amidst boxes and other junk stored by the various tenants—including one Jason Hardy—coating, exposing, blasting, pulling and hanging all went down in the evening hours after the graphic designer day job. I was way into posters at the time and Tugboat was the perfect project. The designing typically happened fast with the printing process taking up to 8-12 hours depending on number of colors and print complexity. There wasn't too much time to over think the design, and what happened was, for the most part, a satisfying result that kept my own design process moving forward and on its toes. While speaking to the art, the final design really just had to look badass. Once it did, it was time to print. I'd get the names of the artists (typically a group show), the name of the exhibition (occasionally Peggy or I would have to come up with one) and some images of the work being displayed, then I'd get to it. Design the poster, get approval from Peggy, and on to the screenprinting—transparencies, coating, exposing, blasting, printing, reclaiming. Repeat. It felt raw. Down and dirty. It smelled of ink and emulsion. It felt like wood and paper. And it looked delightful as the colors would layer over top of each other. Indeed, blue over yellow makes green. And magenta over turquoise looks fucking awesome. [caption id="attachment_4450" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Old Hardware Store | Vinton Street, Omaha, NE"][/caption] When my wife Katie and I moved to Omaha, Joey Lynch let me in on both of his spaces over the course of the next 2+ years. The first was in the Bemis Underground, the second in an old former hardware store in south Omaha. Generously shared spaces complete with power washer and drying rack. And lots more room to let the ink fly and the tape deck spin. The solid array of Jason's unrivaled mixtapes that accumulated over the years is quite impressive. What can I say, no one makes a mixtape like Jason Hardy. No one. All three spaces were as DIY as it gets—from the light tables, to the blast area, to the printing press. They were inspiring zones of "getting down to the making" and uncomplicated hideouts from the business side of graphic design. The first, since Jason and I both lived in apartments in the old house, was a place for collaboration, late night concepting and frequent beer drinking. The Omaha spots were home to the artwork and endeavors Joey was involved in. Inspiring to say the least, with huge artwork screens, print projects for Saddle Creek Records and the creation of the Daily Grub all happening around the printing of poster after poster. Looking back at the three-year collection of poster after poster, Three Way might be my favorite. Four colors, three arrows, two screens and one cow. Enough said. [caption id="attachment_4453" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Three Way | September 2008"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_4535" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Stacks of Tugboats"][/caption] I've now moved on from being the "Tugboat Poster Designer." With evolving interests and new work opportunities, I'm focusing the screenprinting aspect of my design practice on personal projects and collaborative efforts. But, of course, the Tugboat 37 will always have a special place in my heart. As will the spaces where the shit went down. VIEW ALL 37 POSTERS -- Justin Kemerling, Designer. justinkemerling.com

Designspiration

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011
Love this site. You should too.

Help Japan

Friday, March 18th, 2011
[caption id="attachment_4430" align="alignnone" width="450" caption="Poster by Max Erdenberger"][/caption] From the W+K Studio online store:
  • Upon learning of the devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck Japan on March 11 we felt a helplessness that compelled us to do something. We quickly designed this poster and offered it as a thanks for anyone donating at least $25 to the relief effort through our site. We'll be donating the net proceeds to the Red Cross.
For more efforts like this, visit GOOD.

Ads Worth Spreading

Friday, March 4th, 2011
TED Initiatives » Ads Worth Spreading Interesting new initiative from TED; celebrating ads that do more than sell.
  • With this competition, we're seeking to reverse the trend of online ads being aggressively forced on users. We want to nurture ads so good you choose to watch. On TED.com, ads run after our talks, not before. This means they can run longer than the TV-standard 30 seconds. And that's the key! In 2-3 minutes, there's enough time to really tell a story, share an idea, make an authentic human connection, become unforgettable. Instead of ambush, they offer pleasurable, intelligent engagement.

TED2011: The Rediscovery of Wonder

Monday, February 28th, 2011
TED2011: The Rediscovery of Wonder Happening this week in Long Beach. I'm at TEDActive in Palm Springs. It's going to be an amazing few days. This year's TED Prize Winner: JR. One Artist. One Wish to Change the World More in the coming days...

James H Kunstler Dissects Suburbia

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011
TED2004 In James Howard Kunstler's view, public spaces should be inspired centers of civic life and the physical manifestation of the common good. Instead, he argues, what we have in America is a nation of places not worth caring about. (An oldie but a goodie.)

It’s Time to Redesign Medical Data

Monday, February 21st, 2011
TED2011 The Rediscovery of Wonder is coming up; February 28-March 4, 2011 in Long Beach. So this week, it's all TED all the time. At TEDMED 2010, Thomas Goetz, the executive editor of Wired, redesigns your medical chart.

Green Patriot Posters

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011
[caption id="attachment_4074" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Green Patriot Posters the book edited by Dmitri Siegel & Edward Morris "][/caption] IMAGES FOR A NEW ACTIVISM Green Patriot Posters the book was released at the end of 2010, a year tied for the warmest on record with 1998 and 2005. The book brings together the strongest contemporary graphic design currently promoting sustainability and the fight against climate change at a time when one of America's political parties is looking to rewrite the Clean Air Act so that it can't be used to fight that very same climate change. The book showcases 50 posters selected from the project Website in detachable, ready to hang format. It's edited by Edward Morris and Dmitri Siegel and includes text by Michael Bierut, Thomas L. Friedman, Steven Heller, Edward Morris, Dmitri Siegel and Morgan Clendaniel. In addition to the site and the book, Cleveland saw bus adverts by Michael Beirut, Dorchester was home to a public art campaign and San Francisco had bus shelter placement thanks to some successful crowdfunding. [caption id="attachment_4075" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Green Patriot Posters {dot} ORG"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_4076" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Bierut Bus in Cleveland"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_4077" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Bike Your City Bus Shelter by Jason Hardy in San Francisco"][/caption] Green Patriot Posters Reinvigorate Environmental Message at Wired and the Destroy This Book excerpt can be found at Design Observer. Most People just don't get climate change. Few grasp the need and more important, the opportunity to transform our society. So the people who do get it need to be louder, more insistent and more effective at getting the message across. Certainly a very true statement. For our part, Jason and myself were both included in the book alongside some of the finest poster designers working today: Shepard Fairey, Joe Scorsone and Alice Drueding, Felix Sockwell and Jame Victore. Power to the Poster in general was well represented. [caption id="attachment_4082" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Inside spread"][/caption] Jason Hardy | Let's Ride
  • A bicycle is a beautifully simple machine. Two wheels, a frame, and a crank — that's all you need. So I wanted to make a simple poster celebrating one of those key components — the wheel. The call to action is simple: Let's Ride. I chose a light green for the background to touch on the environmental benefits of cycling and also because, as we all know, green means go. Cutting carbon can be fun, too — get a crew and let's ride!
[caption id="attachment_4083" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Let's Ride by Jason Hardy"][/caption] Justin Kemerling | (Re)Make America
  • I think about the idea of America a lot. The history of things. How we got here and where we want to go. It's been a long process in working towards becoming the land of opportunity with freedom and justice for all, and the whole bit. And we have such a long way to go. It’s brick by brick. It’s DIY. So pick up your talents and get to it. Until your hands hurt. This image of the “America in bricks” found it’s way into my design work, really speaking to the idea that many parts make a whole. Optimistic. Hopeful. Good reason to get your hands calloused.
[caption id="attachment_4084" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="(Re)Make America by Justin Kemerling"][/caption] The book itself is a perfect combination of beautiful design and sustainable production. From the back cover:
  • Every effort was made to produce this book in the most sustainable way possible. The trim size and page count were chosen to minimize waste; the book was printed using 100% wind power on paper made from 100% post-consumer waste fiber; and it was printed in the U.S.A. to reduce fuel consumption in shipping. Yes, this cost more. But suck it up. It's worth it.
Published by Metropolis Books. 9.5 x 12.5 in. / 128 pgs / 50 tear-out posters and available for purchase at Artbook for $30. [caption id="attachment_4091" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="WWII era posters: project inspiration."][/caption] This project, and many others like it, are so very important. Especially at a very contentious time, when taking on Climate Change just isn't an issue many Americans are interested in addressing. It's all Economy all of the time. And half of our elected officials don't even think Climate Change is a) caused by our human use of fossil fuels, or worse yet b) happening at all. This project is directly inspired from World War II era posters that called for collective action, for the nation to come together to fight a common enemy. But if it was today's America that had to fight that war, I'm not so sure we'd do very well, especially with the coming together part. [caption id="attachment_4094" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="WWII era posters: more inspiration. "][/caption] These messages coming from our leadership today; to be wise, careful, to use leftovers and to grow your own food would not stand. The cries of communism and socialism and conspiratorial leftist plots would abound. They pretty much do whenever any government initiative is undertaken. Remember the backlash to Michelle Obama's wonderful organic garden; it just needs to get off our back and leave us to our God-given right to be fat, lazy and drive up health care costs faster than you can say high-fructose corn syrup. But as communication design efforts on many fronts take on what really matters; raising money for doctors in Haiti, advocating an end to the death penalty, calling out the imperative of reversing the push into poverty by so many in this great recession, things do change. Money gets raised, public opinion becomes more compassionate, communities come together. These projects shine a light in a compelling way on the issues we need to be thinking about very seriously. It's design as a way to shout how things need to be and what we want our future to look like. And, of course, they inspire the creation of a sustainable movement for a green tomorrow which is a very American, very patriotic thing to do. You can call sustainability a movement. There are signs that things are getting better. We might even be approaching sustainability as "the way things must be because that's the way it is," with complete infiltration into every aspect of everything -- energy, food, buildings, transportation, and on and on. It's as if a grand realization is upon us. Deep down we know we can't carry on like this. With such levels of pollution, inequality and injustice, we'll all collectively have the "aha" moment, get a grip and use our vast quantities of creativity to remake America and our world community into a bright place for everyone to call home. With hot years and heated debates about the action we need to take, we need more projects like Green Patriot Posters -- more vision from creative individuals to inspire us along the way to that sustainable future. Otherwise, it could be the rising tides that sink all ships. For now, you can buy this book, destroy this book and pick a side because the tone of the debate and the levels of action needed are only going to get more intense. And we do indeed need to get louder, more insistent and more effective at getting the message across. -- Justin Kemerling, Designer. justinkemerling.com PRESS: The Guardian UK, January 25, 2011 http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/gallery/2011/jan/25/green-patriot-posters Wired, November 15, 2010: http://www.wired.com/underwire/2010/11/green-patriot/ PBS News Hour, Art Beat, January 6, 2011: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/art/blog/2011/01/green-patriots-get-straight-to-the-message-with-enviro-friendly-poster-art.html Metropolis Mag, October 20, 2010: http://www.metropolismag.com/story/20101020/patriot-acts Design Observer, November 22, 2010: http://observatory.designobserver.com/entry.html?entry=22558 GOOD, December 15, 2010 http://www.good.is/post/green-patriot-posters-the-best-submissions/ Le Monde, October 30, 2010 http://ecologie.blog.lemonde.fr/2010/10/30/aux-etats-unis-lecologie-mise-a-laffiche/ http://veille.agence-limite.fr/green-patriot-posters-quand-des-affiches-vint

Design’s Real Potential

Friday, February 11th, 2011
WE HAVE ONLY BEGUN TO TAP INTO DESIGN’S REAL POTENTIAL TO SERVE AS A TOOL FOR POLICYMAKING, GOVERNANCE, AND SOCIAL AGENDAS. WHEN USED CORRECTLY, IT CAN INTEGRATE INNOVATION INTO PEOPLE’S LIVES. On Governing by Design, by Paola Antonelli from SEED Magazine
  • transparent (complex problems require simple, clear, and honest solutions); inspiring (successful solutions will move people by satisfying their needs, giving meaning to their lives, and raising their hopes and expectations); transformational (exceptional problems demand exceptional solutions that may be radical and even disruptive); participatory (effective solutions will be collaborative, inclusive, and developed with the people who will use them); contextual (no solution should be developed or delivered in isolation but should instead recognize the social, physical, and information systems it is part of); and sustainable (every solution needs to be robust, responsible, and designed with regard to its long-term impact on the environment and society).