Three posters down in honor of Banned Books Week and I feel compelled to keep the momentum going. This one's in honor of the man behind the marker, Austin Kleon. He would be quick to tell you, though, that the title to this post is a tiny bit misleading, because he unearthed the awesome tidbit that government redactors actually used red markers, not black! Why red? Well, it looked black when copied on a high-contrast setting, but it also offered the benefit of being able to read the crossed-out text upon later examination. Those censors sure were smart, no? Here goes:
This week is Banned Books Week, which first celebrated our freedom to read in 1982 and was established "in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries." It's scary to consider that more than one thousand books have been challenged since 1982, titles like To Kill a Mockingbird, The Grapes of Wrath, The Lord of the Flies, Animal Farm and Slaughterhouse-Five, among so many others. Classics, all of them, books that had a real, tangible effect on the person I am now. Maybe you, too.
Books get challenged for no other reason than some hacked-off twits with too much time on their hands think it their duty to rob you of your right to think for yourself. Or, heaven forbid, that you'll be confronted with concepts they might not be comfortable with. Needless to say, banning books is about as un-American as it gets. This country was built on freedom. Not fear. The sooner we remember that, the sooner we'll progress as a society. So, in honor of Banned Books Week - and the hope that this country doesn't embrace the kinds of darkness that have overtaken societies past - I put together the little poster you see above.
I'm a total sucker for hand-drawn type and if Kristen Caston's work for Potbelly Sandwich Shop doesn't fall under "dream project," well, I don't know what does. There's just so much wit in her work here (and elsewhere). From the outside looking in, it appears as though you've got a client with a great sense of its brand matched with a designer/illustrator perfectly suited to deliver. I've found that hand-drawn type can walk a very fine line between tasteful/awesome and "sign you hang above the entry to your kitchen that says 'Bless This Mess.'" Caston's work never, ever crosses that line because she never gets lazy in any of these pieces. The visual puns work. The colors and styles work. The illustrations are each quite different but don't look like strangers when placed side-by-side. Very well done, I say. To see more of Caston's great work, check out the Ohio product's portfolio. And while you're at it, visit her shop, will you?
Right the fuck on. It's called "giving a shit about what it is you do - whatever it is you do," and we here at the NCZ will sign off on that in triplicate. Which is why I love this poster by the very talented Shyama Golden, whose work I first encountered via Dribbble. She does some really great work, and to look at her process is to see that she most definitely practices what she preaches with her poster. Very well done!
The fine print: You can scoop this testament to hard work up for the nice price of $15. It's 17" x 11" and is a two-color screenprint on 100 lb. French Speckletone Sand. Act fast, because there are only 50 of these signed, numbered babies left. Well, 49 if you count the one I bought, but I'm sure I'm not the only one.
I'm not the photographer of the house - Casey is. But while she was running some errands today, I decided to take a crack at her awesome camera and shoot a few snaps of our cats, Bea Arthur and Paolo Freire (or Zomzor, as we usually call him). The results:
To know me is to know that I wear my progressive political beliefs on my sleeves. How I feel about the issues facing us is never far from my mind, even when I'm nowhere near a campaign, rally or ballot box. I've been fortunate to have been able to meld my passions for politics and design on several different occasions, something I'm always looking to do.
And with another election - a rather important one - just around the corner, I'm super excited to see that so, too, is the the latest installment of a wonderful exhibition, Poster Offensive 5. To the uninitiated, Poster Offensive is "an independent, non-partisan poster show, which utilizes the politically potent medium of the poster to showcase contemporary interpretations and critiques of political and social issues." In other words, fuck yeah!
Curated and organized by the dedicated Peet Fetsch, Poster Offensive 5 will take place from October 29 through November 7 at GALLEY (the space formerly occupied by Frank Stone Gallery) at 1224 Second Street NE in Minneapolis. There will be an opening night reception on October 29 at 7 p.m., which will be free and open to the public. What's more, you'll be able to buy posters from the show during the opening! Which is awesome, because the list of heavy-hitters joining the show is mind-blowing.
For instance, Aesthetic Apparatus will be represented there. So will Delicious Design League, Greg Hubacek, Studio On Fire, and Vahalla Studios (who printed our wedding invitations and the calendar and motto), among many others. Plus, Mikey Burton and the Cranky Pressman teamed up to make sure Ohio was well represented at the show. So if you're able to, get over to Minneapolis to check out the Offensive. At the very least, check out the wonderful Poster Offensive website to get a look at the relevant greatness, both past and present.
I'm crediting this to the fact I'm getting married in less than two weeks, but I've had some good fortune of late. There was finding out about the FPO post. And then there was winning a nifty set of letterpress goodness for being the 500th Twitter follower of Lisa Krowinski's Sapling Press. For being so late to the game, I was rewarded with some awesome cards and art. It's good stuff, and you can find a nice selection - with more to come - at Sapling's Etsy shop.
Check it out! Our 2011 calendar and the (still available) motto were featured on the awesome UnderConsideration site FPO. This marks the second time that one of our printed pieces has been featured on FPO. There are some really awesome pieces there and the site is a daily source of inspiration, as well as a reminder that print is most definitely not dead. Again, thank you so much, Bryony and Armin!
One of my favorite sources of inspirado, Friends of Type, turned one this week! On more than one occasion, I've found their creative executions the perfect remedy for the random case of designers' block. Plus, I'm a huge fan of typographic executions, so to see page after page of mind-blowing type and lettering has been a real treat. Go check 'em out, and then go visit their awesome store! Happy birthday, Friends! Here, if I may borrow a few of your pieces, is how I feel about the occasion:
This much is clear: Matt Stevens' self-initiated projects are as much a challenge to onlooking creatives as they are to the man himself. You could spend as much time rubbernecking his amazing illustrations as you could forcing yourself to put pencil to paper to pixel to try to push yourself in new and interesting directions. I've written before about his Air Max 1-a-Day Gallery. But now Stevens is taking his self-initiated goodness in a new direction - straight toward Akron and one of her brightest musical lights, The Black Keys. Struck by the Keys' newest long-player, Brothers, Stevens created a series of posters inspired by songs and lyrics from the album (there are more to come, too). Here are three, "Ten Cent Pistol", "These Days", and "She's Long Gone". Amazing work, Matt!
Even though I did not attend Kent State University, it's hard not to pull for the university that calls our amazing town home. Plus, Casey's hard at work there on her doctorate after having earned her M.A. in 2006. When I worked at Ohio University, it was in the school's communications and marketing office, so I'm partial to a good ad campaign (to say nothing of my agency day job now). And this new Kent State ad - for so many reasons - is a grand slam home run.