Thursday, May 6, 2010


So after my recent senior portfolio exhibition, I've been getting a fair amount of bites on my shirt illustration piece. I am the early stages of considering pursuing this on my own time, freelance if you will. I know I am going to need to keep my options open. Especially when I am graduating without a job (that's a whole other headache though). Reading through sites like Threadless are the right places to start. So until I acclimate myself more, anyone have advice?

Web Classmate's Site

Looking through some of my peer's working website, I've noticed a few really decent layouts in class. My friend, Dan Kearsey, has presented one of these fine quality layouts. I feel I should give a little credit where credit is due, so here goes.

Upon my initial response to the site, the colors chosen are vibrant yet professional; giving an interesting sensory appeal. All of his content is centered and relatively smaller in comparison to the surrounding negative space. I like the personable appeal also, with the picture of he and his fiancee. The typography is legitimately structured, and I am really liking the redesign of the social networking links. They relate to the design, but don't immediately jump at the viewer.

Moving along, Dan's navigation is clear and concise; just as is his portfolio. Something I am considering with my website is clustering my porfolio pieces via media. A good example of this idea can be seen through Dan's site, and how he has separated thumbnail groups. The contact information is not overbearing but might stand a to shrink a bit.

Other than that, props to Dan Kearsey on a site well-done!

Monday, May 3, 2010 officially official via Lime Domains officials

Finally, my site is connected to the inter-world.
It's pretty rough for now, but that'll tighten up soon. Right now I'm juggling and struggling with 4 projects. Got to graduate though..

Anyway, if you're into Lime Domains at all and want to domain forward; always rid of hosting any site through LD first. I've temporarily chosen to utilize the University of Akron's server to host all native files. So when I initially attempted to get the ball rolling (forward), I overlooked any running default domain upon purchasing the domain.

Live and learn.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

427 Open House

This past Friday (4/30) I was able to attend an open house at/with local Akronite design firm, 427. It was my first time attending a design open house. Thankfully enough, they were relatively close to the campus (on N. Union). I arrived to a quiet wooded area where the business complex exists at the end of the road. 427 were on the second floor.

And there I entered the 'fight against the ugliness', adorned with plenty of tacos and luchadors. All throughout the triangular layout of the office studio were various print works of illustration and typography. everyone had a glass-encased office, which I found welcoming.

From this initial observation I was greeted by a few of my peers from class. We mingled among one another for a bit and then I went off on my own to look around some more. These guys were legit from the get-go. Full photography studio, centrally located lounge area, kitchen; and yes, a studio offices for music and musicians alike. Who wouldn't want to work here, right?

After another round of eying the place, it was time for a beer. They had Mic-Ultra, which is a fair selection. I wanted to take a look over at the promotionals, but the adjacent bookshelf seemed less congested. Over the past 6 years of college, I have been holding on to most of my books in hopes to revise and upgrade a lifelong library. So when I browsed over the 427 bookshelf, I saw an even variety of interactive/web, type, advertisement/illustration, as well as software materials. Good stuff. Some other interesting things were on the top of the shelf. For example, they had woodblock letterforms that spelled out this:

When I saw the old cameras next to them, I asked someone who I thought designed there about them. Apparently he didn't know as I found he too was a visitor. His name was Chris, and he came from designing in Arizona. We chatted a while about the field, what to expect, stuff like that. Either way, those cameras were interesting (look into those later).

Moving onto the promo table; effective, appropriate, impressive. I scored a screen print, lucha-figure (w/packaging), magnet, and a window cling; all custom DIY by the way. All in all an enlightening experience. Thanks 427!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

AIGA Student Portfolio Review / Cocktails for Creatives

About a month ago (on April 9th) my fellow designer / friend, Mike Strizak, and I ventured north to downtown Cleveland for some constructive criticism and comradery via AIGA. It was relatively nice out, just a little cold though. We ended up parking 5 minutes down the street before realizing the event provided free parking...whoops.

Upon entry, we were greeted by a couple of AIGA-ers and filled out a name tag. We were further directed down the hall of Trinity Commons and into the cathedral area where the event took place. Surrounding the the perimeter of the cathedral were white covered tables, students, portfolios, and professionals. A fair amount of the students seemed to be from the University of Akron. Nonetheless, I was greeted by Amy Hawk and Dawn Zidonis while awaiting a table spot.

After a few minutes, a chair was open and I headed over to greet the professional. His name was Richard and he worked for _. While he admittedly enjoyed my work, he suggested I consider bringing working models along with my portfolio to any interviews in the future. Richard stressed the importance of continuing to promote yourself, as he received one of his first design jobs roughly one year after self-promoting.

Shortly after that, I met another professional Richard. Though he prefers to go by Ricky, I felt the irony from the start. He was referred to me by Janelle Slivka (friend / designer). And rightfully so, I enjoyed Ricky's approach. He had me speak about my work as opposed to just listening to what he had to say first off. This encouraged self awareness on the 'sales pitch' of my design. Furthermore, he gave me some minor tips to touch up my work. Check out his design blog by the way.

All in all, the review as was fairly constructive for me. Only regrets I had were not meeting with enough professionals after handing over 25 dollars. I don't get to visit Cleveland (or go anywhere for that matter) too often; so whenever I can visit, the experience is positive.

After the portfolio review, a group of us from Myers School of Art headed out to the Cocktails for Creatives after party. Mike and I drove around the flats a bit, passing Larry Flynt's Hustler Club one too many times trying to find Rock Bottom Brewery. We parked nearby and walked over to realize the Scene Pavilion is right next door. This part of Cleveland seemed a little detached from the city, in a good way though. The brewery is located in a warehouse type of building with a fair amount of architecture relative to firefighters. Although it was a Friday night, the place wasnt as full because it was still early. I went straight to the bar for a Firemen's Ale. Apparently half of the proceeds go to burn victims; generous of them. Mike and I met with a few classmates, but couldn't find the majority (they were allegedly in the back of the place). So, we went upstairs to the pool tables with a few of the AIGA folk, played for a little while, and called it a night.

All in all, it was a positive experience. Got some feedback on the porfolio, chatted with professionals, got to interact with some of my classmates outside of class, the Cleveland city atmosphere...All good things.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Paul Sahre @ Kent State

So on March 25th, I went out to listen and observe Paul Sahre (graphic designer) with fellow classmates over at Kent State University's Franklin Hall Auditorium.

Living in his New York 'OOPS' studio firm, he creates via editorial, poster, and cover medium. The acronym is literally the office of Paul Sahre. A Duncan Donuts shop accompanies the building three floors down at street level.

Paul received a couple of degrees from Kent State and seems really adamant about the importance of books and older catalogs; both typographically and graphically. Sahre conveyed vegan and atheist principals, and also promotes the conceptual development process through initial sketches.

In one interesting project, Paul Sahre conceptualized with ever-shifting typographic qualities and attributes of the Garamond typeface. Entitled, What is Garamond?, one of my favorites is 'OG Garamond'.

Moving on, the Kent alumnus argues the fact that it is alright to stare at a screen for long durations (such that work requires). He encourages all designers to interact aside from the bulb though. And I too agree that experimenting with the right balance of mental and physical interaction is necessary to maintain a healthy positive life.

Two individuals guided Paul throughout school and into his career. Charles Walker is a Kent State emeritus professor whom he learned a lot of advice from. The grid, of course, is an essential utility to Paul Sahre's work. Swiss designer, Josef Muller-Brockmann serves Paul as a prominent influence in his graphic design as well.

Currently he is approaching a redesign for several Hemingway novel covers. Other notable projects include Patton Oswalt's book cover design, as well as his TDC Call for Entries poster and foot-made type.

Aside from Paul Sahre the designer; he is one hell of a fusball player. He created an established national fusball league for designers only.

I've shared the same viewpoint with Sahre in that the field of graphic design is different from other occupations in that with each creation comes a different endevor of knowlege. We are (or should be) learning as each experience presents itself. He continued, when in the professional field it is important to push an idea rather than 'shove', or force, any issue.

Paul Sahre recommends Hemingway's 'Torrents of Spring', and NPR's 'This American Life'. Aside from his main site, he also maintains Spreadin the Luv.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Camille Utterbeck

This is a tad on the delay, but I'm finally posting something this semester!
Anyway, Camille Utterbeck came through Myers School of Art with the help my awesome professor, Tony Samangy. Our class had the privilege of interacting with a couple of Camille's installations, further dialoguing her thoughts. She spoke to some of the ideals of connectivity and furthermore instigated individual awareness of this general connection we share with our ever-changing environment.
New media is essentially an infantile art-form achieved through the extension and integration of web, video, and graphic utilities. Utterbeck has been creating in this medium for roughly 10 years. While working through computer programming techniques to establish a work, her prevailing emotive retains a humanistic quality. This is further conveyed by the mere interactions required to view each differently conceived installation. For example, people walk and ride bikes over an area in downtown San Jose. Good, innovative stuff!