As an editorial resident here at AIGA, I spend heaps of time on the internet scouring social media and websites for the choicest design news. You’re too busy with your life to do this each week, so I’ve brought all my findings here—consider it my weekly gift to you (you’re welcome). Follow along all day, every day on Instagram @AIGAeyeondesign, Facebook and Twitter @AIGAeyeondesign.
Pray silence a moment to mourn the passing of a once beloved friend who sadly lost his way. Pepe the Frog used to be a cheerful little amphibian stoner, who loved nothing more than to hang out and drink with his pals. Then the alt-right co-opted him as a vehicle for bigotry and hate, and even his creator, Mat Furie, was unable to wrestle him back from the viselike grip of white supremacy despite his best efforts. Frustrated, Mat did the only thing he could: he killed off Pepe in a brand new strip to celebrate Fantagraphics’ Free Comic Book Day. At least Pepe’s soul is now safe—sadly his image lives on as symbol for everything that’s crappy about the world in 2017.
In more cheerful comics news, suspense is already building for Nobrow’s 6th East London Comics and Arts Festival—you can call it ELCAF. This year’s event promises to deliver big things, with a £3,500 award offered in collaboration with WeTransfer to support an artist’s development of their own publication. 2017’s artists in residence are French design and illustration duo Mayumi Otero and Raphael Urwiller, who go by the name Icinori. Famed for their subtle, intricate illustration, Icinori are responsible for this year’s poster design and website motifs. Exhibitors include Sarah Glidden, Bianca Bagnarelli, Antoine Cossé, It’s raining elephants, Anna Haifisch, Felix Massie, Robin Davies, and many, many more. You know you’re excited!
Are you currently in the process of recruiting young designers for your agency/studio/workshop? Apparently you’re looking for the wrong characteristics in your potential employees. Put down that stack of résumés for a second and let’s ideate together (by ideate of course, I mean that you should listen to me). In the old days an employer would search for potential hires who displayed strong leadership skills, fierce intellect, a competitive edge, and perhaps an aptitude for original thought. Sounds ideal right? WRONG! According to this piece, what you should really be hunting is conformist, attention-seeking liars instead.
“Dishonesty isn’t a categorical evil in practice,” it reads. “Not only is it minimally problematic in small doses, but most of us know how it can even be useful, as the phrase ‘white lie’ indicates. People who are brutally honest straight-talkers may even struggle more in their careers than those who are able to fake it—within reason—particularly if they seem authentic in the process.”
Pick up that stack of résumés again (we’re done ideating) and look for the 22-year-old candidate who claims to have three PhDs already. That’s your next hire. Trust me. If you don’t trust me, trust Fast Company.
Speaking of conformists, who’s been down to Superchief Gallery’s New York outpost to see the latest show from enfants terribles Nick and Penelope Gazin? Just a few months ago I spoke to the siblings on the occasion of their fist collaborative show in L.A., which was so successful they’re doing it all again over on the East Coast. Expect a sinister atmosphere, creepy merchandise, and maybe the largest mural of a sex dungeon ever made. Yes really.
One of the side effects of spending so much time working online is my brain’s tendency to go into autopilot. In the same way that I’ll occasionally walk into a room and forget why I’m there, I’ll now navigate to Twitter at least thrice daily, scroll for a bit and then realize I have literally no clue what I’m doing. This isn’t good for my critical thinking—it’s not good for any kind of thinking. So the idea of Triggers has a certain appeal for me. It’s a set of cards, each with a random “what if” question, designed to get your brain in gear after long periods of doing sweet FA and help teams come up with solutions more readily. “What if you could only use images? What if you could predict what people want?” If I could predict what people wanted, Triggers, I’d be filthy rich by now.
I’ve given a lot of time to the comics community already, but typographers, don’t fret, this next one’s for you. In fact, it’s really only for you, unless the superlative editorial and quality production values of TypeNotes suddenly gives type massive crossover appeal. The new magazine, produced by Fontsmith, “explores all things type-based from a passionate and knowledgeable standpoint, drawing on Fontsmith’s in-house expertise as well as hearing from voices from around the creative industries worldwide.” Full disclosure, this first issue is also edited by my esteemed colleague Emily Gosling, so there may be some bias on my part. But if the utterance of “glyphs” or “kerning” gets you salivating like Pavlov’s dog then there’s a good chance that TypeNotes might be just the thing for you.
Advertising gets a lot of stick doesn’t it, and perhaps justifiably so. But then you sit down for 15 minutes to enjoy a radio show in which Rory Sutherland (of Ogilvy fame) sweetly explains how Coca-Cola really was a uniting force for good and an expression of global unity, and suddenly everything is right with the world. Then you remember he’s spent his entire career professionally peddling this kind of pseudo-anthropology and you’ve drunk his delicious Kool-Aid (in this instance probably a Coke) unquestioningly, you damn fool! Still, it’s a very good listen.
Last but not least, here’s some sexy pics of the latest Library Paper from Catalogue studio, featuring Bureau Collective, Braulio Amado, Brian Kanagaki, Charlie Kwei, Coley Brown, Hört, Ellie Andrews & Stefy Pocket, Hayley Louisa Brown, Nate Walton, Our Place Studio, Paul Gacon, Stefan Marx, Yimmy Yayo, and more. Can I get a “Hell Yeah!”.
Come on, back to work.