Thursday, December 10, 2009


I was browsing new cd's in the library last night and found a musical group called Ozomatli


I noticed their logo first because it reminded me a little bit of one of the logos Push Pin Studio came up with for Solo, a publishing group.  I wonder if that was a conscious inspiration for the designer of the group's identity mark.

The band is just cool, too! Their website describes them as "culture mashers" and their music is:
a notorious urban-Latino-and-beyond collision of hip hop and salsa, dancehall and cumbia, samba and funk, merengue and comparsa, East LA R&B and New Orleans second line, Jamaican ragga and Indian raga
The story behind their name is interesting too. Apparently, the Aztec Stone of the Sun calendar has a 20 day cycle with particular tasks for particular days.

Ozomatli (the monkey) is on day 11.
Among the Aztecs and the Mayans, the monkey has been associated with dance, art, beauty and harmony.  This specific day shows our life must reunite with art, that our ways of being, dressing, acting, must be each day more and more artistic, harmonious, beautiful, etc. (
Finally, here's a poster of the band that ties it all together. I'd love to do this kind of symbolic/conceptual design!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Clement Mok was another designer listed as influential. Here's some information that was on Will Sherwood's website, Success Secrets of the Graphic Design Superstars. 
Clement Mok is a designer, digital pioneer, software publisher/developer, author, and design patent holder. Mok, a former creative director at Apple, founded multiple successful design-related businesses — Studio Archetype, CMCD and NetObjects. He was the Chief Creative Officer of Sapient, and the president of AIGA. Currently, he consults for Sapient and other Fortune 500 companies on a variety of design planning and user experience projects.
Quote from Clement Mok:
As much as young designers are good at creating compelling imagery for today’s cultural currency, they still don’t have the life experience in understanding how to make things usable. They can make them desirable, but mastery requires a lifetime of learning.

Examples of Mok's work:

Fourth of July Flag - it's interesting that he chose to use non-traditional colors for the flag. I like it because it suggests a more complex, inclusive understanding of what this country could be.

Identity for Republic of Tea -- I've always liked these:


Other examples:

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Since we weren't able to cover all the influential designers in class, I thought I'd look up a few that weren't presented. 

Chip Kidd seems to have his plate pretty full -- Associate Art Director at Knopf, editor-at-large for Pantheon, writer, and percussionist. I've probably missed some things. His blog is very well done and witty. The name of the blog itself is pretty funny -- Good is dead. Very entertaining! Here are some images of his work - particularly his book covers. I found that I wanted to just keep looking at them to take in all the weirdness, the funniness or the details depending on which of these the cover possessed.

New Pepsi logo

I'm a Diet Coke drinker myself but I will never look at the Pepsi logo in the same way again. Too funny! I doubt this guy intended it but it kind of captures some of the health problems caused by America's obsession with sugar and junk food! Not that I'm separating myself from that obsession, of course.

Can't get enough of this guy...


More by my new friend Gunter. 

I'm drawn to the powerful simplicity of many of his designs. This one is for the International Prison Watch organization. Many of his images are black, white, red and gray which reminds me of the Constructivists. If you're interested in some of the more typographic posters he's done for theater, you can check out my typography blog.

I believe this is for the UN World Day Against Racism and Violence. The shattered hand and complementary colors make this an intense design. 

This image for peace seems to avoid the cliche of the heart (mostly, anyway) .

This final image is obviously more complex and really interesting. It's a poster for something to do with freelance photographers, I think. The combination of type and image is great.

Gunter Rambow

We saw a few images of Gunter Rambow's work in the Megg's History book and he was one of the designers I really liked. I went to find some more of his work. I'll be picking some out to share. Here are some images from his work for S. Fischer which is, as far as I can tell, a publishing house. That would make sense given the theme. There are many, many images on his website but they aren't particularly well marked in terms of dates. In addition, they're in German so I couldn't tell what half of them actually mean. Google translator can only help so much.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bob Dylan's Brain. Milton Glaser's Design.

This is an image from a 2008 Vanity Fair magazine article. Since we're looking at Postmodern design, I thought this would be a good example of the old (1966)

becoming new again and the use of typographic space that's not on a grid. Imagine creating something with this typographic detail before design software was available.