Design is Everywhere

design, design inspiration, freelance, guerilla art, invitations, outdoor art, weddings

My whirlwind summer has come to a close and I’m settling into some really fun graphic design projects. I just wanted to take a little time to share a few snapshots from my last several months of absence from the blog! Design is everywhere, so as you make your way around every day, seize the opportunity to find the beautiful in the mundane. If you keep your eyes open and your head up from your smart-thing-of-choice, you never know what you might see!

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I cannot confirm this as a Banksy – because it seems to lack the telltale environmentally integrative storytelling – but this prisoner of Warner Brothers and Paramount (as indicated on the black balls) was spotted in the Marigny just off Frenchmen Street one evening while I walked on a street I’d not taken before. Either way, it was unexpected, clever and has been deemed important enough by someone to cover it with plexi. I love how ruthless New Orleanians are getting in the fight for decent renegade street art. There was a great live discussion recently at Nola.com with local muralist Brandan Odums and nola.com’s Doug MacCash. You can read my own loud mouth opinions over there too. I was particularly struck by the term “low brow” being tossed around last year at the G40 Art Summit in Richmond, Va and have been contemplating the idea ever since. Why would one type of art be more low brow than another? Is it style, environment, artist, concept, simply personal taste? Where is the line?

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This beauty was spotted in the Lower 9th Ward recently, and I had to get a quick, slightly blurry, snap of it. I’ve seen similar work around town and am always fascinated by the amount of detail and symmetry.

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Now, is this clarinet “high brow” since it’s on a hotel in the middle of a tourist district? And because it’s there to mark a space of historical importance? I digress… It was well crafted and I love the scale, either way.

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I’ll close my graffiti rant post with this one that is probably not terribly new to Richmond anymore, but was new to me last weekend. Greg Mike mural at 821 Cafe. I’d love to have some time to go visit all the new pieces that have been installed in Richmond since I moved!

Changing subjects, now that these items have been mailed out, I can share with you a set of wedding invitations I designed for an amazing couple out west:

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And a new set of wedding invitations I’m working on for a fantastic pair of transplanted Virginians:

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So much more to come! The fall is shaping up to be really exciting!

If you’re in the New Orleans area, there is a great speaking engagement tonight at Design WIthin Reach on Magazine by the lovely folks who run Good Fucking Design. I’m hoping to be able to check it out!

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Advertising Around Richmond Va

advertising, branding, design, websites

In the wake of the Super Bowl, there’s been a lot of twitter and facebook buzz about advertising around town, since a certain Richmond firm had a hand in some newly famous ads. So I checked out the new Martin Agency website today:

It has a couple of cool features:

1. It’s really image heavy, which I think is perfect for a design/ad company since the vast majority of what people take away from their work is what they see. I also like how you just scroll over the image to get a teaser. I hate extra clicking.

2. It refreshes itself as you scroll down, sort of like facebook does. As you near the bottom, it adds more past content so you can scroll down (endlessly?) and get all major information straight from the homepage. Neat.

This, of course, made me what to go look at what the other ad companies around Richmond are doing online. Most of the other companies are a lot more state/regionally-focused than national, so this is in no way a comparison. Just letting you know who’s around town.

Madison + Main: I really enjoy some of their seasonal promotional items. First time I met owner Dave Saunders, he presented me with his Blue Christmas album. Destined to be a classic.

The Bergman Group: They do great work, though I have to say I’m a little confused by their website. Not a lot happening. But I do like that you don’t have to change pages to see the videos.

Barber Martin Agency: Not to be confused with the other Martin Agency. Their Intelos commercials make me mute my TV. But I really like their Southern States print ads and spots.

Advante Advertising: I can’t stand this website, but they’ve done some solid logos. I especially enjoy their Main Street Station design (which, for some reason, you will not find on the City website where it belongs).

Big River Advertising: New to me as a name, but not in their work. I recognize a lot of their portfolio, and I am kind of bummed I hadn’t heard of these guys before. Their tagline is “changing behaviors” which is a perfect summary of the ad world. Their website is way less busy and annoying than a lot of their peers, and a lot of their work has a much more graphic/artistic approach. Surprise find!

Siddall: This is some sort of affiliate/partner of a larger worldwide corporation operating on a local level with local folks. Regardless, I’m in love with their State Fair of Virgina ads. These embody childhood dreaminess to me.

I could probably keep going since Richmond is thoroughly saturated with advertising agencies, but I must get back to working on some really great new projects! Can’t wait to share!

Graphic Design Books and Letterpress Exhibit

design, exhibitions, galleries, letterpress, poster, printing

In my on-going efforts to post about new graphic design related books that I’ve read or intend to read, I have a couple more gems to share today. First, read Alexandra Lange’s review of “Eames + Valastro: Design in the Life of an American Family” (Ostroff), a book in which the author explores the iconic pieces of furniture as every day items, before they were icons. The second book is “Pantone: The Twentieth Century in Color” (Eiseman & Recker) which explores color trends over a hundred years. I’ll be checking both of these out.

Image from Amazon.com

The other thing I wanted to mention is an exhibit that I somehow overlooked for the previous exhibit post. The Library of Virginia is hosting an exhibition featuring works of the Hatch Show Print letterpress out of Nashville, running December 5 through February 4, with an opening reception from 5:30-9 tonight. Definitely planning on hitting up the opening tonight!

See a vid from Hatch here, if the embedded version below doesn’t work.