A Wandering Mapmaker: Rachel Freeman

Curator: David Grey
date: October 22, 2014
Categories: Advertising, Art, Design in Film, Design in Music, Poster Design
Tags: graphic design, student
Rachel Freeman is changing the landscape of graphic design in northern New Mexico. She’s a young artist who already shows the qualities of a creative mystic. I love how she manipulates color and form to resonate sensation and emotion. 

Her reinterpretation of 2001: A Space Odyssey and the commissioned poster for Santa Fe University of Art and Design are magnificent. She builds supportive grids to create compositions that feel like flowing rain and the flickering of a night sky. They instantly make me smile. 

Whether it's commercial work or self-initiated projects, Rachel explores graphic design as contemplative art. She's authentic and self-reflective. If this is the work of a designer who's at the beginning of a life-long practice, then I can't wait to see how her creative path unfolds.
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Viva La Revolución Part II: Fernando Gaverd

Curator: David Grey
date: October 21, 2014
Categories: Art, Brand & Identity Design, Poster Design
Tags: graphic design, Mexico
Fernando Gaverd is another amazing Mexican designer. He creates some of the sexiest work I know; curves and lines that dance at the intersection of human form and geometry. He has the sensibility of a classic typographer and the curiosity of a graffiti kid. His symbols are amazing. They look like Frank Lloyd Wright inspired alien hieroglyphics. And his photography is stunning when used in his own projects. 

I’m always impressed by his sensitivity to scale and rhythm and movement and inspired by his confident mark-making. I have a feeling the world will soon be seeing much more of Fernando's work.

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Derek Kim of Network Osaka Designs the World He Wants To See

Curator: Peter McClelland
date: October 3, 2014
Categories: Brand & Identity Design
Tags: graphic design, Poster
If you haven’t run into Derek Kim’s work yet, you should just stop reading this and click here.

I’ve been lucky enough to work with this incredibly talented designer (and professional F-bomb dropper). As his Muni rebrand concept shows, he thinks like we all should: appreciating and challenging the often overlooked design that's around us. 

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Feixen's '60s-Inspired Posters for Swiss Arts Center Südpol

Curator: Karan Singh
date: August 28, 2014
Categories: Advertising, Illustration, Poster Design
Tags: advertising, graphic design, Poster Design
Feixen, aka Felix Pfäffli, has to be one of my favorite contemporary poster designers. His bold and minimal work is reminiscent of '60s advertising: loud and confident, yet reductive. I’m especially envious of his series of posters for Südpol, an arts center based in Kriens, Switzerland.
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Handwritten "Insta-therapy" with "Content Creator" Timothy Goodman

Curator: Gemma O'Brien
date: August 22, 2014
Categories: Art, Typography
Tags: branding, calligraphy, graphic design, Typography

In the last few years, designers and non-designers alike have embraced typography and lettering in social media to illustrate inspirational quotes, song lyrics, declare their love of coffee and complain about Monday mornings. In Didot all-caps, fashion mavens proclaim “Dress Well or Die Trying,” while avid travelers urge us to “Seek Adventure!” in  a loose-hand written script. 


For budding letterers, readymade quotes are the perfect starting point to apply technical ability, show your calligraphic prowess or experiment with a new lettering style. But there’s only so many times you can see “stay hungry,” “follow your dreams” or “quit your day job” before these affirmations become empty phrases that simply look nice.  


I'm always looking for examples of lettering or type that  illustrate content that's self-generated and honest. I believe the best thing a designer can do with typography when not limited by an advertising brief is to take something personal and make it universal or remind us of the realities of human experience. 


With this in mind, my final Design Envy post was inspired by a series of handwritten Instagram posts from Timothy Goodman (of "40 Days of Dating" fame) titled “Insta-therapy.” They take the form of quotes or stories based on past relationship experiences, fears and memories. In the flurry of cool, over-stylized type and recycled quotes,  these represent a refreshing starting point to consider ideas about the designer as author and the idea of authenticity in lettering and typography.  


I interviewed Timothy Goodman to find out what the Insta-therapy project is all about.

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