Evan writes on behalf of NSG Design. Evan Johnston has worked as a book designer since 2000. His writing has been published in Punk Planet, The Brooklyn Rail, and McSweeney's Online Internet Tendency. He lives in Brooklyn.
“This has no foundation to it, it just appears,” said Alan Kitching, holding up an elegant poster near the podium where he spoke. He was talking about the type on the poster, which had been set, like almost everything in the last twenty years, on a computer. Kitching spoke as part of Monotype’s Pencils to Pixels series—a lecture series which talked about the history and future of graphic design, although he said in referring to his work, “Pencils to... CONTINUE READING
“It’s not science, but it’s beautiful and all artists recognize this” says Ed Ruscha in his forward to Sign Painters, a book about hand painted signs and the people who create them. And yet sign painting must be a science—the spacing, the embellishments, brushwork, the fluidity of the type. Hand painted signs were once just signs, but now in an era of Photoshop and Illustrator, they’re something else—they’re a mark that says that someone cared enough to get something... CONTINUE READING
If I had to characterize the work of Sam Potts, I wouldn’t – - because being surprised is the whole point. But to give you an idea, he’s designed satirical tax forms, storefronts for superheroes (below) and a diagram of David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest. Outside of design, he has Twittered by mail. He has lived in China. Currently he works full-time at IDEO as a communications designer, and you might know his covers for John Hodgman’s The Areas... CONTINUE READING
For the last three years UnderConsideration—the team of Armin Vit and Bryony Gomez-Palacio—has organized the Brand New Conference, where designers talk about identity, graphic design, and most importantly, storytelling. In this interview with GraphicDesign.com, Armin Vit shared his thoughts about this year’s conference as well as the design practicality of purple. If you haven’t heard Vit speak before, check out his opening remarks here. I’ll wait. What made you want to start a conference series about brands? We saw... CONTINUE READING
Louise Fili started work after college as the art director at Pantheon Books, creating beautiful and distinctive book jacket design. She went on to launch Louise Fili Ltd., a graphic design studio which has created some of the most recognizable logos and packaging designs in the last twenty years: the Tiffany monogram, the Good Housekeeping seal, and perhaps most infamously, the Hanky Panky logo. Her work is easily identified by its sophistication and elegance, so it’s no surprise that... CONTINUE READING
“Part of it is about not trying to be professional,” says Jonathan Blow, designer of the wildly successful independent video game Braid. He looks calmly at the camera, with a slight smile, and for a moment, that sounds like fun. After all, this is a documentary about video games, and video games are fun. Right? But instead of fun, Blow starts talking about vulnerability. “If you don’t see a vulnerability in someone,” he says, “You’re probably not connecting with... CONTINUE READING
The challenge in doing an audio broadcast about graphic design is that you can’t see it. But 99% Invisible, the bi-weekly podcast by Roman Mars, makes seeing design irrelevant. Using a voice-inside-your-head narration, Mars talks about the design of cities, of currency, copyright—huge topics that you could only begin to cover in a book or a lecture. But rather than trying to bring textbooks to life, Mars talks about how the design affects people personally—and finds interesting people to... CONTINUE READING
You think you know a typeface: just when I thought I’d seen every possible use of Archer, from software to oatmeal logos, I find myself walking past the bookstore and I realize that it’s made an appearance on E L James’ S&M bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey. While not exactly graphic design news, this was weird for me, and I think it’s weird for other designers. Archer is the typeface that we use for the fun projects, the ones... CONTINUE READING
Since 2008 the Artomatic has taken an empty building, wrangled as many artists as possible, and then set them loose in it. It’s Washington, DC’s biggest creative event: this year it featured over a thousand artists on eleven floors. There are workshops, musical performances, and comedy acts, the space is open for a month, and it’s free. In other words, it’s pretty much amazing. This amazement is also what makes the Artomatic such a navigational challenge. It’s easy to... CONTINUE READING
It’s the unveiling of 1800 Tequila’s Essential Artists Series for 2012—which in previous years has featured artists such as Gary Baseman and Yuko Shimizu— and the designs are dark. Comic-book, tattoo, and graffiti-inspired graphics play off of black backgrounds in smokey shades of blue, gold, and crimson through a glass bottle of 80-proof tequila. It’s hard to pick just one to look at, each one is fighting for your attention. They’re a total departure from the respectable if stolid... CONTINUE READING
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