THE AMERICA ISSUE
04 // Favorite American Designers 06 // 50 Awesome American Inventions 10 // Profile: Océane Combeau
18 // Googie Architecture by Anthony Wood 20 // Studio Tour: Anti/Anti 24 // Opinion: Holly Karlsson
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THE AMERICA ISSUE
On my first visit to America I bought an unregistered station wagon for $600 in Vegas and road-tripped across the country. At one point I was traveling with six hitchhikers and a dog. My final destination? The Big Apple. Little did I know then that New York City would become Shillington’s first American campus. The design scene in America is diverse, innovative and electric. Our students are lucky to live and learn in the heart of it all. With top-notch creatives popping in for guest lectures, prolific art museums at their doorsteps and culture buzzing 24/7, New York City really has it all. We recently introduced the M1 student visa, which allows dreamers from all over the world to kickstart their creative careers. I love seeing our classroom come alive with the energy and talents of both American and international students. I’m proud to say that by the end of 2015, we’ll congratulate graduates hailing from 35 countries, including Uruguay, Belgium, the Philippines, Tunisia, Switzerland and India. In this issue of the Post, we’re celebrating all things America. Have a browse through 50 awesome U.S. inventions—my three favorites are the polio vaccine, the skyscraper and the light bulb. Six of our teachers introduce us to their favorite American graphic designers. We meet up with Océane Combeau, an international student who sparked her love of design at Shillington New York and quickly launched her own freelance studio in Amsterdam. Anthony Wood discusses the history and legacy of Googie Architecture through McDonald’s and The Jetsons. And as a final ode to NYC, Holly Karlsson echoes creative voices to share her love for the city that never sleeps. Happy reading. Andy Shillington CEO of Shillington
MY FAVORITE AMERICAN DESIGNER Land of the free, home of the brave and bold designers. For this issue, we asked six teachers from around the world to share their very favorite American graphic designers.
LOU HELLIWELL PART-TIME TEACHER, SYDNEY
KENNY PHILLIPS FULL-TIME TEACHER, NEW YORK
My favorite is Paula Scher, the American graphic designer and painter. She was the first female principal at Pentagram, which is pioneering in itself! I particularly like her environmental graphics for interiors and urban environments, such as murals for Queens Metropolitan Campus and bold graphics and type for Achievement First Endeavor Middle School. Plus, she seems like a genuinely humble and nice person!
Steve Powers, aka ESPO (Exterior Surface Painting Outreach), aka Icy Signs is a sign-painter, a poet and a person that I look up to creatively. I like Steve because he is not only staying busy with his work, but he’s busy doing the things that he finds to be important.
BEN SALESSE PART-TIME TEACHER, NEW YORK Designers can hide behind tight kerning, strict alignment and respectable layouts. Tibor Kalman didn’t. He was color blind and not formally trained, but he poured his soul into his work. Whether he was designing a magazine, a New Year’s card or a watch, what he created was bold, witty and provoking. His work was an expression of who he was as a man, imbued with his personality, intelligence and social consciousness. Where design can at times be an exercise in anonymous conformism, Kalman offered a piece of himself.
The presence of public messages— which function with no agenda other than to modestly reflect the sentiments, vernacular, ideals and aesthetics of the people whom have always inhabited any particular place—is the thing that Steve deems important. His work is all at once intimately personal and widely public. By having relatable forms in public spaces, communities are enriched, revitalized and offered a break from the daily barrage of the persuasive voice of capitalism. Through Steve’s work, communities are offered a glimpse into a simpler and more human existence. I especially love his motto: “Perfection comes standard, mistakes cost extra.”
ROSS HARRINGTON PART-TIME TEACHER, MELBOURNE Michael Bierut is a designer, design critic and educator based in New York. He is a Partner at Pentagram New York, Senior Design Critic at Yale and co-founder and contributor to Design Observer. He has also written a number of books including 79 Short Essays on Design.
FRANCES GRAY FULL-TIME TEACHER, MELBOURNE Saul Bass was probably the first graphic designer I discovered. I must have been about 15 and studying media. We had to watch Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo. I enjoyed the film, but I adored the opening credits. Soon after I discovered more of Bass’s work and quickly fell in love with his style. There is something inherently emotive about the imperfection and tactility of his work. The hand-made quality combined with strong underlying structures is something that I love to explore in my own work. I now create a lot of work using paper and similar hand-made techniques to that of Saul Bass.
JASON COOPER FULL-TIME TEACHER, SYDNEY He’s not technically a graphic designer, but I’d argue that Steve Jobs is an inspiration not just for creating the machine that breathes life into design, but as someone who simply never gave up on his dream. His aggressive pursuit of the most beautiful, innovative design technology is one of the reasons I’m able to do what I love as a profession every day.
“There is something inherently emotive about the imperfection and tactility of his work. The hand-made quality combined with strong underlying structures is something that I love.”
He is one of the designers interviewed in Beryl McAlhone & David Stuart’s book A Smile in the Mind — Witty thinking in graphic design, which was one of my favorite design books as a student. In the interview he tells of the difficulty he had coming up with a solution for a poster for an American design competition. He describes how, after putting the job off repeatedly because he was frozen by the absence of restrictions to the brief, he dictated a statement he had written on ’What is good design’, letter by letter, to his young daughter. She then wrote it out on a piece of paper. This ultimately formed the basis for the front of the poster. In Bierut’s own words: "Making it appear to be a kindergartener’s essay gave it an aching truth." For such an accomplished designer, it is refreshing when he speaks so honestly about the times he has struggled to convince his clients of design solutions. It is valuable to hear the lessons he has learned from almost failing on certain projects. This story is a good reminder that every designer encounters challenges with projects and that as Bierut puts it: "Without problems, there would be no solutions."
50 MOST AWESOME AMERICAN INVENTIONS OF ALL TIME // Sara Mazzoni
50 MOST AWESOME AMERICAN INVENTIONS OF ALL TIME WORDS BY SARA MAZZONI // ILLUSTRATION BY ENZA LETTIERI
Thereâ€™s a reason the U.S. is called the nation of inventors. Throughout history, Americans have played a vital role in the world of innovation, contributing to human advancement in countless ways both big and small. We have America to thank for major game changers like the telephone, the automobile and the Internet as well as little luxuries like the popcorn popper, the Roomba and sunglasses. Here are 50 of the best inventions, in no particular order:
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50 MOST AWESOME AMERICAN INVENTIONS OF ALL TIME // Sara Mazzoni
THE SWIVEL CHAIR. FOUNDING FATHER THOMAS JEFFERSON INVENTED THE WORLD’S FIRST SWIVEL CHAIR IN THE LATE 1700S. RUMOR HAS IT HE EVEN DRAFTED THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE WHILE SWIVELING TO HIS HEART’S CONTENT.
02. THE ROOMBA. Who wouldn’t want a robot to clean their house? Invented by a company called iRobot in 2002, the Roomba operates independently to vacuum your floor. America also invented the original vacuum cleaner, but no doubt the Roomba takes the cake. 03. SKETCHPAD. Sketchpad—the first graphical user interface—was invented by Ivan Sutherland in 1963. Sutherland won big international prizes for the revolutionary program, which set the stage for later innovations like Photoshop. 04. 3D PRINTING. A hot trend of today, we can thank a man named Chuck Hull for inventing the 3D printer back in 1983. Based on a technique called stereolithography, 3D printing constructs a physical object from a digital model—typically by layering successive layers of a material. The world is constantly discovering new ways to use 3D printing, such as Nike and New Balance manufacturing custom-fit shoes for athletes. 05. INTERNET. First, let’s be clear Al Gore did not invent the Internet. It was actually a group of American visionaries at the request of the U.S. Department of Defense. The framework they envisioned paved the way for a whole new digital world. 06. COTTON GIN. In 1794, Eli Whitney patented the cotton gin, a machine that revolutionized the production of cotton in America.
08. FORD MODEL T. Henry Ford first introduced his Model T in 1908, and it is generally regarded as the first affordable automobile that opened the motor world to middle-class America. 09. BASEBALL. Commonly known as America’s Favorite Pastime, baseball was invented by Abner Doubleday in New York during the summer of 1839. Take me out to the ball game! 10. PEANUT BUTTER. Ground peanuts trace all the way back to Aztec days, but American Marcellus Gilmore Edson was granted the patent for peanut butter back in 1884. But the real question remains—who’s the genius who made the first PB&J? 11. POLIO VACCINE. The world owes a lot of healthy lives to Dr. Jonas Salk, who invented the polio vaccine in 1952. 12. POPCORN POPPER. The first commercial popcorn popper was invented by Charles Cretors in 1885. Movie and circus lovers, rejoice! 13. PARKING METER. In 1935 the world’s first parking meter was installed in Oklahoma City. It was the brainchild of Carl Magee, head of the city’s chamber of commerce. Now we know who to blame for all those pesky parking fines! 14. ELECTRIC BLANKET. The first electric blanket was invented by American physician Sidney I. Russell in 1912. Cozy up, everyone. 15. SMOKE ALARM. Francis Robbins Upton, an associate of Thomas Edison, developed the first smoke alarm system in 1890.
THE LIGHT BULB. WHOSE BRIGHT IDEA WAS THE LIGHT BULB? WELL, WHILE MANY INVENTORS CREATED INCANDESCENT LAMPS PRIOR TO THOMAS EDISON, HE IS UNIVERSALLY CREDITED WITH INVENTING THE FIRST COMMERCIALLY PRACTICAL LIGHT BULB IN 1879.
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16. ELECTRIC GUITAR. Have you heard Jimi Hendrix’s famous rendition of The Star Spangled Banner, absolutely shredded on an electric guitar? If so, your ears can thank George Beauchamp, who created the first electrically amplified guitar in 1931. 17. ESCALATOR. Nathan Ames dreamed of “revolving stairs” in 1859, but it wasn’t until 1892 that Jesse W. Reno patented the first escalator and planned for installation at Coney Island.
50 MOST AWESOME AMERICAN INVENTIONS OF ALL TIME // Sara Mazzoni
28. CIGARETTE ROLLING MACHINE. Maybe America wishes it could take this one back? Cigarettes were hand-rolled and sold starting in 1865, but James Bonsack’s invention of the cigarette rolling machine in 1880 completely changed the tobacco industry. 29. COCA-COLA. In 1886, a Civil War veteran and pharmacist named John Pemberton invented Coca-Cola. At first, Pemberton claimed Coca-Cola cured many diseases including morphine addiction, dyspepsia, neurasthenia, headache and even impotence!
BOURBON. THERE IS A LOT OF SPECULATION SURROUNDING THE INVENTION OF BOURBON, BUT LEGEND HAS IT THAT DURING THE 1700S KENTUCKY FARMERS IN THE COUNTY OF BOURBON DISTILLED THE FIRST CORN-BASED WHISKEY BY TURNING LEFTOVER CORN CROPS INTO MASH. DRINK UP, BOYS!
19. AIRBAG. After a car accident with his family, industrial engineer John W. Hetrick registered for the first airbag patent, which was issued in 1953. 20. TV. The history of television is a bit fuzzy, but Philo Taylor Farnsworth is credited as a major contributor. A Mormon farm boy who grew up in a log cabin, people call him the “Bill Gates of his age.” 21. SAFETY PIN. American mechanic Walter Hunt is credited with the invention of the safety pin in 1849. Though Hunt made a pretty penny on the patent sale, it pales in comparison to the millions of dollars W. R. Grace and Company earned from the invention.
30. TEA BAG. Who knew frugality could lead to genius? In 1908, a New York tea merchant named Thomas Sullivan was trying to cut costs by distributing small samples of tea in silk bags rather than metal tins. It was actually a total accident that restaurant owners began brewing the entire bag. 31. CASH REGISTER. In 1879, a saloon owner named James Ritty from Chicago invented something major to keep his bartenders honest. It was nicknamed the Incorruptible Cashier—the first mechanical cash register. 32. TOUCHSCREEN. Hey iPhone lovers! You know your device wouldn’t be the same without a touchscreen, first invented by Dr. Samuel Hurst in 1971 at the University of Kentucky. 33. MICROWAVE OVEN. Can you believe the microwave oven was invented by accident? Perry Spencer was working on building magnetrons for radar sets at Raytheon in 1939 when he noticed that the active microwaves from a radar caused the candy bar in his pocket to melt! Flash forward to 1945 and Raytheon filed a patent for the first microwave cooking oven. 34. LASERS. The first laser was built in 1960 by Theodore H. Maiman and is used today in disk drives, barcode scanners, welding materials, laser lighting in entertainment ... the list goes on and on.
22. SCOTCH TAPE. Scotch tape was invented by a college dropout named Richard Gurley Drew. After the success of his first invention, masking tape, Drew endeavored to create a transparent alternative. Two years of experimentation later, scotch tape was born in 1925. 23. BLUE JEANS. Does the name Levi Strauss ring a bell? Well, back in 1873 Strauss, along with Jacob Davis, patented a new style of trouser made from denim cloth. The particular style was called “blue jeans” and the name stuck. 24. MAGIC MARKER. The Magic Marker was invented by New York’s Sidney Rosenthal in 1953. Perfect for doodling.
HAND-HELD CALCULATOR. IN 1967, A GROUP OF TEXAS INSTRUMENT ENGINEERS INVENTED A PROTOTYPE HAND-HELD CALCULATOR. MATH STUDENTS WERE THANKING THEIR LUCKY STARS WHEN IT WAS FINALLY RELEASED COMMERCIALLY IN 1972.
25. AUTOPILOT. The first aircraft autopilot was developed by the Sperry Corporation back in 1914 and displayed to the world by Lawrence Sperry at a Parisian contest. 26. BARCODE. Norman Joseph Woodland was a university graduate student in Philadelphia when fellow classmate Bernard Silver overhead a grocery store executive asking how product information could be captured at check-out. The pair jumped on the idea, and in 1952 they were issued a patent for the first barcode. 27. COTTON SWAB. Invented by Leo Gerstenzang in the 1920s, the cotton swab improved bathroom routines around the world forever.
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36. FACEBOOK. If you’re reading this, chances are you’re one of the more than 1.44 billion people who use Facebook around the world each month. Invented by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004, it’s amazing how the social networking site has evolved in the past 11 years to digitally disrupt how the world communicates and shares information. 37. SKYSCRAPER. The first skyscraper was constructed in 1885 in Chicago, Illinois. Designed by architect William Le Baron Jenney, the building stood ten stories high.
50 MOST AWESOME AMERICAN INVENTIONS OF ALL TIME // Sara Mazzoni
38. COTTON CANDY MACHINE. In 1897, two men—a Tennessee candy-maker and a dentist— invented the first cotton candy machine. Wait a minute. Is that unbridled American Capitalism at play? A candy-maker and a dentist? 39. SUNGLASSES. Your future’s so bright, you gotta wear shades! Sam Foster introduced the first mass-produced sunglasses in 1929 on the boardwalk of Atlantic City. 40. DISPOSABLE DIAPER. Back in the 1940s, a fed-up housewife named Marion Donovan sat down at her sewing machine with a shower curtain to construct the first ever disposable diaper. At first no manufacturers would take her seriously, but eventually she went for it solo and the diapers were a smashing success from day one at Saks Fifth Avenue. Talk about a mother of invention!
CONDENSED MILK. GAIL BORDEN, JR. WAS A LAND SURVEYOR AND NEWSPAPER PUBLISHER, BUT HIS LEGACY LIVES ON WITH HIS MOST FAMOUS INVENTION—CONDENSED MILK. DEVELOPED IN 1856, CONDENSED MILK WAS ESPECIALLY ENJOYED BY UNION SOLDIERS DURING THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR.
42. COMPACT DISC. Isn’t it crazy to think that most high schoolers today have never bought a CD? Invented by James T. Russell in 1966, the Compact Disc completely revolutionalized the music industry. 43. EMAIL. In 1978, a 14 year old American named Shiva Ayyadurai in New Jersey began building a computer system that eventually became what we know today as e-mail. 44. GPS. The Global Positioning System—commonly known as GPS—was invented by the U.S. Department of Defense in 1995. Definitely a godsend for the directionally-challenged!
47. PHOTOCOPIER. A New York patent attorney named Chester Carlson is responsible for the invention of photocopying. Carlson’s job at the patent office required him to make a large number of copies, which irritated his arthritis. After successful experimentation with photoconductivity he applied for a patent himself in 1938. How ironic! 48. KEVLAR. In 1965, Stephanie Kowlek created Kevlar, a synthetic material that’s five times as strong as steel. Kevlar is still used in hundreds of products today including skis, suspension bridge cables and bullet proof vests. 49. WASHING MACHINE. Alva J. Fisher invented the first electric-powered washing machine back in 1908. Oh, the hours of soapy hands on a scrub board it saves us! 50. WINDSHIELD WIPER. In 1903 Mary Anderson, an American real estate developer, was granted a patent for her first invention—an automatic car window cleaning apparatus—commonly known as the windshield wiper.
45. PHONOGRAPH. Another one from Thomas Edison, who invented the phonograph in 1877 as the first device to record and reproduce sound.
The world thanks you, America. You’ve changed this planet for the better.
46. SPACE SHUTTLE. In 1972, a group at America’s space agency NASA began developing a shuttle to reduce costs of getting into space. Beam me up, Scotty!
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PROFILE // OcĂŠane Combeau
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PROFILE // Océane Combeau
OCÉANE COMBEAU INTERVIEW BY HOLLY KARLSSON // PHOTOGRAPHY BY JONAS SACKS / HURLU DESIGN (COFFIN PACKAGING)
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PROFILE // Océane Combeau
Océane Combeau’s creative journey has led her literally around the world. Parisian-born, she graduated from Shillington New York in 2014 and currently works in Amsterdam as a full‑time freelance graphic designer. She runs independent studio Fernand et Firmin and specializes in illustration, brand identity and creative consulting. We caught up with Océane to hear more of her story.
Did you always know you wanted to be creative? In a way I always wanted to be creative, but I never openly said it. It just seemed too out of reach to ever be able to earn a living with what, as a kid, looked like a hobby. I always had good grades and teachers in France tend to steer you towards what you are capable of doing, not what you actually want to do. It took me a while then, trying and quitting several studies and working in different fields to find and embrace the graphic design path. What was it like launching your own freelance studio, Fernand et Firmin? Starting to work as a freelancer is a bit of a strange process. It’s difficult really knowing where to start, where to get the clients and how to eventually make them come to you. After Shillington, I printed 20 copies of my portfolio and sent them around to different design studios around Europe. I believe people and especially graphic designers always enjoy both printed goods and snail mail, so a lot of them contacted me. It didn’t always turn into a work opportunity, but the meetings I had were always very interesting. In Amsterdam, which is a small city, the contacts and friendships you make are what’s gonna make you work as a freelancer. I definitely try to always maintain and grow my network.
What’s your favorite thing about working in the creative field? I have a few corporate clients and love being challenged by data. Most people would drown in the information, but I love giving them back a clear, understandable layout, infographic or icon. Design is an unskippable step for any business to get their message through. I love witnessing the difference in the customer response after smart design has been applied. It’s then I really feel I’ve brought something to the business. Can you tell us about one of your favorite projects since graduating? I loved working on the design of the album cover of Just Listen 02, the second release of the in-house label of Native DSD. I created an illustrated pattern and used it on a range of collateral for social media use, posters, etc. I also put together an explanatory booklet with the artist’s biography and pictures. Before starting any design, I went to the recording session of the album in the studio to observe the musicians and the technical aspect of everything. I then decided to work with illustrations. First I focused on the instruments, but later I decided to add some characters. The client was really enthusiastic throughout the whole process and as we made some changes together in the color palette, he let me explore as much as I wanted pattern and style-wise. It was a thrill seeing the project slowly develop into something concrete.
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PROFILE // OcĂŠane Combeau
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PROFILE // Océane Combeau
“Walking around on the street you see posters, banners, menus in restaurants, etc. The minute you start paying attention to it, it all becomes an endless source of inspiration. So definitely take a look around!”
Why did you decide to study at Shillington? Before deciding to go to Shillington, I already made up my mind about graphic design, I wanted to start freelancing and was already working with a couple of clients on really small scale projects. My main issue was—I had zero confidence in my work. And anyone I was working with could feel it. I was looking for a short course that would boost my confidence, and Shillington seemed to be the perfect match. A big part of freelancing in graphic design is about educating your clients and guiding them towards the right decisions. It’s a collaboration all the way through the working process. Before Shillington, I was absolutely unable to do that. The course improved my skills in ways I wouldn’t have imagined and gave me confidence to handle all the aspects of freelancing. Tell us about living and studying in New York City. I had been to New York before as a tourist I found it too loud, too big, anonymous and impersonal. But actually living there completely changed the way I saw the city. New York City is huge, but for some reason you always end up running into someone you know. Everyone organizes their lives around their neighborhood, and the feeling of belonging to a community really grows in you. I enjoy hosting dinners, drinks, lunches and movie nights. I like gathering people that don’t necessarily know each other under the same roof. It always creates interesting conversations. 14 // Shillington Post
What are you most looking forward to in the next 12 months? I’ve been doing some on-site freelancing for several agencies for a few months now and I absolutely love it. I usually work from my living room and it can get a little lonely. Working within a team teaches me a lot and is also just really fun. I want to try and develop that aspect of my freelancing to get the right balance between my own projects and some on-site freelance within agencies. What are your favorite creative resources—blogs, magazines, events, etc.? I really enjoy reading the blogs of the talented ladies in the West Coast design community: Jessica Comingore, Emma Robertson and Chelsea Fullerton Jones. I am continuously eager to learn from successful freelancers and those ones are always willing to share advice and resources from their toolbox. They’re dynamic, entrepreneurial and independent—everything that I aspire to be! Any advice for how to stay inspired? It’s funny how when you work as a graphic designer you realize that everything around you is graphic design. Walking around on the street you see posters, banners, menus in restaurants, etc. The minute you start paying attention to it, it all becomes an endless source of inspiration. So definitely take a look around!
PROFILE // OcĂŠane Combeau
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Competition winner: Milton Glaser Philosophy by Greg Bemis
THE GOOGIE DAYS // Anthony Wood
FUTURISTIC, FLUORESCENT AND FLASHY: THE GOOGIE DAYS WORDS BY ANTHONY WOOD
Photo credit: University of Nevada, Las Vegas
What do McDonald’s, Frank Lloyd Wright and The Jetsons have in common? Plug them into Google and you might be surprised to learn that there’s a major connection. The answer is Googie Architecture.
“Googie?” I hear you ask. Was that a typo? Even those well-versed in design history might give you a puzzled look. But one of the most recognizable symbols on the planet—the McDonald’s logo— was born out of this kitsch, playful and futuristic period not serious enough to be considered “real” architecture. It’s the 1950s: America is optimistic and anything seems possible. The austerity of the depression has lifted and a new world of airconditioning, fast cars and space travel has replaced it. Technology was erasing seasons, time and distance, and Googie Architecture was a response to this new world. Googie buildings featured upswept roofs, curves, geometric shapes and generous use of glass, steel and neon. Designs symbolic of motion, such as boomerangs, flying saucers, and atoms, represented American society’s fascination with Space Age themes and emphasis on futuristic designs. Googie was The Jetsons in real life. The term Googie was derived from a West Hollywood coffee shop called Googies that was designed by John Lautner, a student of legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Architecture critic Douglas Haskell used “Googie” to describe the architectural movement, after driving by the coffee shop and finally feeling like he had found a name for this style he was seeing. Googie was like modernism at Mardi Gras, or the love child of Coco Chanel and Jenny Kee.
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THE GOOGIE DAYS // Anthony Wood
Photo Credit: quirkyberkeley.com
1961 McDonald’s Logo
Photo credit: amusingplanet.com
The baby boom of the 1950s created a rush to the suburbs— leaving a trail of urban sprawl behind. The car was now king. This change in the way people were living created a new problem for consumers, of long commutes into congested cities, that demanded a solution. Hence, the Strip Mall was born. An ultraconvenient shopping experience where you could drive your car right to the door of the shop, cinema or restaurant. This new approach to shopping brought with it a new set of design problems to solve. Taking ideas from modernism—where form followed function— Googie buildings took on an additional role where the function was advertising. A playful, optimistic slap in the face “I’m here” kind of function with colored, flashing, illuminated and revolving signs; it was a dense graphic corridor of consumerism. They weren’t just buildings—they were billboards too!
This response to the car culture is also responsible for the foundations of the world’s most recognizable logo and symbol of American culture: McDonald’s. After operating a single outlet for many years, the McDonald brothers asked architect Stanley Meston to create their first franchised outlet in 1952. They wanted a design that was bold enough to grab the attention of drivers along the cluttered commercial strips, and include an idea that Richard McDonald thought up one night—two giant arches. The final design was developed in classic Googie style and included two large arches at either end of the building that, when viewed from an angle, formed a letter M. The buildings were highly recognizable and a huge success. The footings of a global franchise had been laid. In 1961 the ‘M’ icon of the distinctive architecture was incorporated into a new logo.
As Googie expert Alan Hess describes in his book: The strip environment was as thoroughly shaped to the requirements of car transportation as the piazzas of Italy responded to the needs of the pedestrian. There—open air markets and sidewalk cafes were scaled to the walker. The strip was scaled to the proportions of a person traveling in a car at 30 or 40 mph with a number of distractions. The rooflines and signs were visible from a distance, the building evolved and increased in detail as the customer approached by car, then foot. Everything was designed in response to this, right down to the door handle. 19 // Shillington Post
My formal design education swept over this period of design history—focusing on the classics—the Bauhaus and the international style. But the hyper-kitsch style of Googie architecture and the graphics that surrounded it have had a massive influence on our graphic history. From the much-maligned starburst to the crazy elements hanging in midair, cursive scripts combined with sans serifs, bubbling circles, unexpected angles creating a feeling of spontaneity, energy, and tension, dingbats, sparkles and neon created a vernacular that is still viewed with a fondness by many designers today.
STUDIO TOUR // Anti/Anti
Anti/Anti is a creative agency specializing in thoughtful design, independent of medium, industry or fad. We visited the team in Manhattan to experience where they design, think, collaborate and play. It was incredible to gain insight into their process, learn about their four pillars for every creative project and hear tips for breaking a creative block.
STUDIO TOUR: ANTI/ANTI INTERVIEW BY CINDY RODRIGUEZ // PHOTOGRAPHY BY ALEXIS ADANA
Who are the members of your team? Ros is the founder, Creative Director and designs. Garry is the Account Director and handles pretty much everything not design-related aka all things Ros & Graydon have no desire to do. Graydon is the Managing Art Director and designer. That is our core team and pretty much every project is touched by all three members at some point. We also often hire design freelancers, copywriters, producers and others on a projectby-project basis. Our intern program is also an important component of the practice, as we always have fresh faces around every semester from all over the world. How long have you been working together? Anti/Anti has been around since the Summer of 2007 with many great people coming through our doors. We have fluctuated between five and three core members over the last eight years and have inhabited three different office spaces, starting with a tiny windowless office at 580 Broadway in Soho.
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What are your main sources of inspiration? Ros: I’m always trying to stay active in learning new things that may or may not relate to our design practice directly (very much driven by what I’m into at the current moment), but there’s also the actual day-to-day dance that is the studio where I am much more reactive, and finally there is the home life that always seems to go last on this list. I think just the act of balancing and managing all these three components of my life successfully, and getting the most out of each, is my biggest drive and inspiration. I love reading interviews from fellow creatives in design, photography, art and tech. I haven’t been able to put down the last few issues of The Great Discontent magazine by NYC locals Ryan & Tina Essmaker. I just love learning about other artist’s struggles and how they weave their lives together to make it all work. It’s somehow naturally become a passion of mine just to follow other’s career and life journeys. Garry: I am constantly inspired by the big picture social developments happening across the globe. Economic policies, international politics, market movements—they all embody dramatic shifts in our common socioeconomic landscape that reflect millions of micro determinants that
STUDIO TOUR // Anti/Anti
Richard Spitzer (Loveskills) has been creating music under multiple aliases for over a decade in NYC. His music has evolved over the years and we’ve helped foster the visual progression of his album art with his latest release, Multiplicity. Released on NoShame Records, 2013.
happen simultaneously. Drawing a line, for instance, from how a grassroots art and music micro-culture in Brooklyn helped fuel a residential Brooklyn real-estate boom in the 2000s, influenced a small exodus of cheap rent-seeking creatives to migrate across the Atlantic to Berlin, is an inspiring (and/ or terrifying) idea. Real estate, art, technology, industry, government and creative thinkers have never been more interlinked in our ever-growing globalized society. When working on any project, I like to think of how the micro fits within the macro. Graydon: At Anti/Anti we have a wide range of clients and I love the fact that we get to dip into various industries and niches with each new project. I feel it’s my responsibility to be curious about everything and know about not just design—which I love—but also politics, business, the latest trends in tech, fashion, sports, etc. Because design and branding are so much about storytelling and my role at the studio in particular involves pitching to new and prospective clients, I’m always on the hunt for new and interesting ways to tell stories. I’m constantly listening to storytelling podcasts on NPR like Snap Judgment, This American Life, Radio Lab and The Moth, and lately I’ve been obsessed with pretty much all of the podcasts on Radiotopia. In my opinion, stories are the best, most entertaining way to learn new things and convey ideas.
What does a typical day look like for Anti/Anti? Ros: I feel that every day at Anti/Anti is a little different for me. It can be a full day of meetings and running around, or an all day brainstorm session for a new project, but it’s mostly some combination of creative work and more reactive obligations. I find that unless I can get away from the daily blitz and buzz of the to-do list and never ending jumping email icon, it’s a bit hard to properly digest all the creative challenges for each ongoing project. So I think I’m constantly fighting to win some quiet time to get the important stuff done. By the day’s end we typically wrap up around 7:00 pm, but I often still find myself on the laptop at home working late into the night. Lately I’ve been trying my best to curb this behavior, as it often leaves me tired in the long run and my girlfriend grumpy at my lack of mental presence. I’ve been flirting with the idea of “no technology” evenings, where all iPhones and laptops stay off until the morning, but so far it’s not something I’ve fully been able to embrace. It’s definitely still a constant fight in this area of trying to balance that all important life/work relationship.
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“We wanted to leave all of our egos at the door and make sure that everyone at our studio— whether an intern or the creative director—had a chance to make ongoing projects better without worrying about who the ideas came from, whether or not the ideas would win us design awards or whether we were hurting anyone’s feelings along the way.”
STUDIO TOUR // Anti/Anti
Garry: Literally no such thing as a typical day. My day can start with meetings in the morning with current clients or potential ones. Either way I make my way to the studio, hopefully sometime before noon. From there it’s a barrage of dealing with time-sensitive tasks. Finances, changing project scopes and strategy shifts happen at the drop of a dime so they need to be dealt with quickly. From 6:00 pm, or the time our clients leave the office, I put in 2–3 more hours to outline strategy and set up new projects. What are you working on right now? Can you tell us about it? This year we’ve done some fun projects for Coca‑Cola, Brompton Bikes and a little project for PepsiCo. We also had a chance to design the uniform for the Canadian national cycling champion in Cyclo-cross. At the moment, we’re currently working on two challenging re-branding projects for a pair of young financial clients. We also have a good working relationship with Warner Music Group and help them with everything from advertising to internal publications and event branding. We also work on a wide range of passion projects including food, music, and sports. Lots of sports! What is the objective of your studio?
Spire is a boutique fitness experience based out of Milwaukee, featuring cycling, rowing and yoga. The new company hired Anti/Anti for naming ideation, help with strategically positioning the brand within the local fitness space, as well as developing Spire's entire visual language and interiors. 2014.
From day one our objective has been to cultivate an internal culture that rewards a clear focus on project success instead of personal career success. We don’t hire anyone whose dream it is to climb career-ladders and seek attention for their own personal awesomeness so they can make a million dollars eventually. In our previous lives, we’ve worked in agencies where people were often trying to get one up on the next guy/girl and office politics rule the working environment, but the actual projects that the agencies were working on would suffer in the long run. The focus was rarely on how do we as a group make this project the best it can be, but often about making sure the right individual’s ideas came through, that the right people worked on the right projects, and that the projects could win certain design industry awards. So from the onset, Anti/Anti was a knee-jerk reaction against that way of doing things. We wanted to leave all of our egos at the door and make sure that everyone at our studio—whether an intern or the creative director—had a chance to make ongoing projects better without worrying about who the ideas came from, whether or not the ideas would win us design awards or whether we were hurting anyone’s feelings along the way. 22 // Shillington Post
It’s always about the process for us and making sure our clients receive the very best work at the end. I think eight years later, we are still pretty much operating with this same mindset and it’s been going well. What’s the driving force behind your work? A desire to create, and tell stories in an honest way. We have a strong aversion to bullshit and believe that most people do too. We live in a unique time in history where a long-standing business can be destroyed with a tweet in under one minute and people generally have amazing bullshit-radars to spot when they’re being taken advantage of. We believe in every one of our clients and in what they do, so we just see our role as keepers of their respective brands, helping them navigate the maze of design, media and marketing. Also, every single project has unique industry and technical demands, and two clients are never the same. That constant challenge of working in new industries and needing to learn new things all the time is a huge factor in making sure we’re never bored at any point. We’ve learned 3D software, typeface design, worked on musical scores, all because a certain project demanded it. That may not have been the case if we all had to work in‑house for just one brand all these years. We’re always on our toes. It’s fun. Tell us about your process. We used to be reactive and make things up on the fly when we first opened up shop in 2007. There was a lot of figuring things out. Over the years we realized there was a need to be efficient and more predictable with our process, as working until 1:00 am every night was getting old. So we consciously developed processes to help streamline and enhance the way we work— to the delight of our girlfriends. We now have four basic macro-pillars that are always in place for any project: Research, Ideation, Design and Implementation. Each of these pillars feed into the next and dictate our workflow until the project is out the door. Years ago we began to believe that as an agency, your process is your product. It’s that simple. For each pillar we have a unique product that the client can digest and understand without too much fluff. We try to make a lot of our intangible process as tangible and easy to grasp for our clients as possible. It’s taken us a long time and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to develop these products, but we’ve found that
STUDIO TOUR // Anti/Anti
Brooklyn Soda Works is a natural soda producer based in New York City. Upon experiencing three successful years of sales at outdoor and local markets, Brooklyn Soda Works hired Anti/Anti to help develop the brand’s new visual and communication identity and launch their bottle product in stores. 2014.
“Alone we’re only as good as our worst skill-set, but together? We’re Voltron.”
it goes a long way for our clients. It’s especially key because not all the people we deal with have great creative imagination and often possess more business-centric minds than us. During any project our clients are usually as much a part of our studio as our internal team, and they grow and change with us as we progress through any given project, so making sure we’re all on the same page until the end is more than half the battle in our practice. Why did you choose this location? We’ve been at this location for five years. Cheapest 1,200 sq foot office space we could find at the time that was central to everything in NYC. The massive skylight that flooded the room with sunlight when we first walked into the space sold us pretty quick. Ros: We want our studio to feel more like a home and less like an office. We find that the more relaxed everyone feels, the more creative we can be and the more pleasure we all get from being at work. We try to keep the studio filled with music and our lights dim. Another strategy we found that helps is our open door policy: any and all of our friends are always welcome to crash the studio and stop by to hang out or work on their own projects. We find that creativity often breeds more creativity, so we just love being immersed in as much positive energy as possible from all the people we know, and NYC is great for that.
Any tips for getting yourself out of a creative block? Ros: It’s always about the right mood. If I’m not pushing out good ideas or feel stuck, I just change my mood with music, lighting, temperature, or the people that are around me (or lack there of). I don’t really believe in actual “creative blocks” per se. I am more in the Chuck Close camp, I think. I totally buy his view: "Inspiration is for amateurs – the rest of us just show up and get to work." It’s something I believe and don’t feel like I spend too much time thinking about. I think working through an idea if you can’t get it right is the only way to find a good answer. If I’m stuck, I won’t sit in front of Facebook for hours worrying and posting about how I am so stuck and frustrated, I will just work and work some more until something decent pops out. And it usually does if the mood is right and nobody is bothering me. Garry: I have one, very specific coffee bar in South Brooklyn where I grew up. I take the trip out there and sit until I get where I need to, or until they close, which luckily is 4:00 am. What advice would you give to someone starting out in the creative industry? Ros: Get as much industry experience as you can, as early as you can. Art/design school is sometimes just a daydream and far from the environment you will find yourself when you’re finally working. Get internships, get three. It will 23 // Shillington Post
change how you see yourself in the context of the design industry and your future. It did for me when I was younger and starting out. Garry: Never do something just to get it done. Putting in the time to produce a piece of work that meets your own expectations will set the most important habit when working for yourself. It develops a personal stamp of success and sets your work apart from the industry standards. Graydon: Surround yourself with people that are smarter than you and more hard working. Both of those things will rub off. Put yourself in situations where you’re scared, and always be learning something new at all times. Don’t be arrogant and find a hobby. Can you tell us an important lesson you’ve learned so far as a team? Ros: Play to each other’s strengths and don’t try to do everything yourself. Don’t be afraid to say no to potential projects when your gut tells you it’s probably a bad idea. Trust your gut, it’s mostly always right. Garry: Learning how to work with your team is learning how to trust other’s perspectives. With trust, you can evolve good ideas into great ones. Graydon: Saying yes to things we didn’t know how to do has resulted in fast learning and the development of new capabilities. Systems are your friends and can help you be more creative! Honest people are the best people.
OPINION // Holly Karlsson
KEEP CALM AND LOVE NEW YORK WORDS BY HOLLY KARLSSON // ARTWORK BY TIM HUCKLESBY
According to recent studies by Center for an Urban Future, New York boasts the largest population of designers in the entire nation. No other city in the country has as many leading firms in architecture, landscape design, fashion design, interior design and last but not least, graphic design.
Why, you ask? Holly Karlsson, Shillington’s U.S. Director, shares her insights as a designer, an expat and now—a proud New Yorker. Oh, New York. As Frank sang, you truly are the city that never sleeps. You’re the metropolis that never rests, never stops and is rarely quiet due to an unremitting ebb and flow of harsh reality mixed with aspirational tenacity. The drive required to live here is perhaps why the city has the fastest growing creative sector in America, with far more designers here than any other city. So, why New York? Why do expats flock here from all over the world? Why are close to 80% of New York creative directors, actually European? I believe it's got something to do with the magnetic pull of the city. I'm an expat myself—I moved to New York from the UK five years ago and found that, as Tom Wofle put it, "one belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years." I came here to follow my dream of living and breathing in this city. And let me tell you—the Big Apple does not disappoint. New York is one of the few places where reality totally mirrors the movies. Don’t get me wrong—a lot has changed over the past few decades—but one thing that hasn’t changed a bit is the attitude. And I think that’s really what makes this place so attractive to creatives. It’s the perfect mix of confidence 24 // Shillington Post
and conviction. It’s everything you need to start something, keep it going and make something of it. To live in this city, you need thick skin. To thrive here, it helps to have an entrepreneurial attitude. And to survive here, you must be flexible, resilient ... and have a closet full of all-weather outfits! For me, New York is comfortable, not strange. —Karl Lagerfeld I’m with Karl—New York is my new normal. Any New Yorker will tell you, you’ll always be drawn back to this amazing place. The city creates a global draw that is unique, profound and intense. To escape the city, a metaphorical weight truly lifts. Leaving New York, a sense of quiet and peace consumes me, a ringing in my ears grows and perhaps indicates I’m not quite so adaptive to the relentless noise. And yet, after a few days I start to miss the city’s energy, the creative hustle and the harsh reality of life that is ever-present. My advice as a proud member of this city? Keep calm and love New York. The magnet will always draw you back. One’s life and passion may be elsewhere, but New York is where you prove if what you think in theory makes sense in life. —Miuccia Prada
OPINION // Holly Karlsson
“So, why New York? I believe it’s got something to do with the magnetic pull of the city.”
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Elena Stojanova was a fine artist who longed to crystallize her voice as a graphic designer. Originally from Skopje, the capital city of Macedonia, she now lives and works in New York City. After studying at Shillington, she leveraged her visual arts background with her newfound technical and ideation skills to become an art director at Havas Life advertising agency.
1. BRAND IDENTITY AND PACKAGING FOR RAKIA
2. PROMOTIONAL MATERIAL FOR FILM FESTIVAL 3. BRAND IDENTITY FOR THE CRANE BROTHERS
4. TYPOGRAPHY FOR THE HAMILTON WOOD TYPE & PRINTING MUSEUM
CALENDAR: JULY ’15 – DEC ’15
WHAT: TYPECON2015 WHERE: DENVER
WHAT: FESPA MEXICO WHERE: MEXICO CITY
WHAT: SEMI-PERMANENT WHERE: MUMBAI
WHAT: SEX, DRUGS & HELVETICA WHERE: BRISBANE & MELBOURNE
TypeCon is an annual conference presented by the non-profit Society of Typographic Aficionados (SOTA), an international organization dedicated to the promotion, study, and support of typography and related arts.
The leading exhibition of graphic arts in Central America. Fespa Mexico allows visitors to access the latest developments in the printing industry as well as advanced technologies in markets large-format digital printing, screen printing, garment decoration and signage.
Semi-Permanent is a creative platform spreading art and design inspiration. It consists of a conference and side events which include exhibitions, competitions, workshops and parties.
An event like no other. Described as "industry espionage" and "work experience at six studios in one day," it’s an exclusive look at the highs, the hurdles and the learning curves behind six different projects.
Since the inaugural conference in 1998, TypeCon has explored type for the screen, printing history, Dutch design, type in motion, Arabic calligraphy, the American Arts and Crafts movement, experimental typography, webfonts, and much more.
Ends 22nd August 2015.
It’s a week long celebration of all things design. Graphic Design, Film, Art, Illustration, Web Design, Photography, Visual Effects, Animation, Graffiti, Motion Graphics, Stop Motion; all these things and more.
It’s insightful presentations. It’s unparalleled interviews. It’s an opportunity to not only meet and talk with our speakers, but to be surrounded with other like-minded creatives.
Ends 27th August 2015. 4th September 2015 in Brisbane. 11th September 2015 in Melbourne.
Ends 16th August 2015.
WHAT: LONDON DESIGN FESTIVAL WHERE: LONDON
WHAT: BRAND NEW CONFERENCE WHERE: NEW YORK
WHAT: DIGITIZED15 WHERE: ATHENS
WHAT: CREATIVE WORKS WHERE: MEMPHIS
Staged each year in September since 2003, London Design Festival aims to celebrate and promote a broad spectrum of design disciplines across cultural and commercial platforms in London.
Hosted by UnderConsideration, this two-day event focuses on the development of corporate and brand identity projects by some of today’s most active and influential practitioners from around the world.
More than 300 events and installations throughout the capital – museums, galleries, shops, studios, showrooms, museums, markets, warehouses and more.
Ends 25th September 2015.
Digitized is a series of events that includes several workshops and a conference, taking place once a year in Athens, Greece. Its purpose is to bring together, inform and inspire the digital design community. Now on its fifth year, Digitized is a dynamic and exciting event that has never fallen short of exciting its audience.
Creative Works celebrates the often overlooked but essential role of creatives in every community. But more than that, it’s a place to both form and catalyze our own creative community—to learn from one another, have some fun, dream together, and take action.
Ends 27th September 2015.
Ends 26th September 2015.
When like-minded creatives come together, inspire one another, and share their ideas, bigger and better things happen. Be inspired by renowned designers, illustrators and storytellers, attend workshops and browse the vendor marketplace with wares from all over the country. Ends 3rd October 2015.
WHAT: REASONS TO BE CREATIVE WHERE: LONDON
WHAT: BRAND IMPACT AWARDS WHERE: LONDON
WHAT: MELBOURNE FRINGE WHERE: MELBOURNE
WHAT: GENERATE LONDON WHERE: LONDON
A festival for artists, designers, coders and creative minds, Reasons to be Creative returns to the sunny British seaside town of Brighton. Every year a stellar line up of passionate, international speakers and attendees flock to the south coast city to share mindblowing stories of creativity.
Dedicated to the craft of branding in all its forms, the BIAs judge work according to its market sector, across both branding programs and branded campaigns with a discerning judging panel of commissioners and creative directors from both client-side and agency-side.
Melbourne Fringe provides artists with the tools to develop, present and promote their work, creating a community of audiences and artists that together represent a national arts network.
The conference for web designers. Gain from the invaluable experience and knowledge of some of the biggest names in web design, including Mike Monteiro, Oliver Reichenstein and Karen McGrane, as well as some brilliant rising stars.
If you’re looking to remember why you got into design in the first place, this is the event for you.
Each year artists from a wide scope of art-forms and experience join the Independent Arts Program to develop and present their work as part of the Festival.
Ends 9th September 2015.
Ends 4th October 2015.
Ends 18th September 2015.
WHAT: BRIEF FESTIVAL WHERE: MADRID
WHAT: AIGA DESIGN CONFERENCE WHERE: NEW ORLEANS
WHAT: FRIEZE LONDON WHERE: LONDON
WHAT: ATYPI CONFERENCE WHERE: SAO PAULO
Brief Festival is a celebration of creativity, a collection of inspiration that brings together some of the best graphic design professionals in Madrid. Enjoy lectures, workshops, meetings, screenings, exhibitions and more.
The AIGA Design Conference brings the design community together to experience provocative speakers, local culture, nightly networking receptions, competitions, exhibitions, professional development sessions and face-to-face roundtables with your design heroes.
Frieze London is the contemporary art event of the year. This year’s edition will present more than 160 of the world’s leading contemporary galleries, from almost 30 countries.
The theme of ATypI’s 2015 conference is “Challenges,” which invites attendees to explore not only the many challenges faced in contemporary type design and visual communication, but also strategies for how we might best address them— how we challenge the obvious and strive toward innovation.
Ends 31st October 2015. Ends 10th October 2015.
Ends 17th October 2015.
Insights on type-related issues are welcomed from educational, technological, historical and practical perspectives. Ends 17th October 2015.
SHILLINGTON IS A PROGRESSIVE DESIGN INSTITUTION PROVIDING COURSES AROUND THE WORLD. TURN YOUR PASSION INTO A CAREER IN JUST 3 MONTHS FULL-TIME OR 9 MONTHS PART-TIME. shillingtoneducation.com
Published on Jul 6, 2015
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