Monday, December 15, 2008

An assignment from Winter Sorbeck

Excerpted from ‘The Cheese Monkey’s” By Chip Kidd

“It’s February. You’re stuck in the middle of nowhere, on the side of the road. All you have is the clothes on your back, a magic marker and a big piece of paper. Now,” he grinned. “Get home.”

It’s winter and the class loads up on a bus that drops them off on some deserted road miles from campus.

“Here’s how it’ll work. The class will hide behind those trees, out of sight of the traffic. One at a time, you will stand at the side of the road, with your sign. A car comes by, you get picked up, it’s an A. It keeps going, you drop one letter grade. Second picks you up, it’s a B. Third, it’s a C . Four cars and no luck, you fail. Let’s move out!”

First student

Second student


Third student

Fourth student


Two days later back in class…

“…so you see, that’s what a logo, for yourself or anyone else, has to do. It has to flag people down, either by invitation or mystery, or any other means actually. And by limiting your materials I gave you a huge break. Had I given each of you an arsenal of squeaky pens spanning the spectrum, I’m sure at least 2 or 3 kiddies would still be out there, turned into a popsicle trying to decide between light green and dark green”

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Volunteer Opportunity for Art Event at Sundance

GEN ART is an organization that supports emerging talent in the arts through event production. We showcase the best in film, fashion, visual art, and music through our programming. We have markets in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, and Chicago; however, in January we are coming to Park City for Sundance.
We are producing two events to celebrate the hottest new talent (actors and filmmakers) at the festival.

Duties will include last minute setup, check-in, managing event flow, etc. I am notyet sure about all of the positions, I am just getting more deeply involved with this project myself. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

The events will be held at….

Hollywood Life House
692 Main Street
Park City, Utah

The dates and times are as follows:

January 16th - 9:30pm-1:30am
January 17th - 9:30pm-1:30am

Volunteering with Gen Art is a great way for students to gain experience in both the arts and event production. I would love to see some Stevens-Henager students there! Please forward this on; anyone interested can contact me directly.

Thanks so much!

Marcia Callaghan

Regional Event Coordinator

Gen Art Chicago

311 N Aberdeen Suite 300B

Chicago, IL 60607 312.229.1701

Typography Humor

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Student Work

The latest round is from my Typography class. These are some of my favorite logos presented.

BreAnna Hoppe

Dylan Alvey

Manny Rangel

Student work

I've been slacking a tad on posting student work but not because there hasn't been great designs to choose from. The following are from my beginning Illustrator class and these are students that go from never having used a Mac before to desining postcards, CDs and posters in Adobe Illustrator. They always rise to the challenge - good work students.

Brandon Redding

Melissa Scott

Brodie Tyler

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

AIGA craft show - Friday, Dec. 5th

Make Your Mark Design for a Cause » The Holiday Craft Exhibit & Sale

Join us the evening of Friday, December 5th at the Art Barn. In conjunction with the Salt Lake City Arts Council annual Holiday Craft Exhibit & Sale, two winning submissions from our juried Holiday Card Invitational will be letterpressed and sold. A portion of the proceeds from these handcrafted cards will go to a local charity.

Featuring the diversity and creative expressions of more than sixty of Salt Lake’s finest craft artists, the entire Exhibit & Sale presents an amazing abundance of colors, textures, materials and images. Vessels and ornaments, boxes and scarves, journals and jewelry, garden art and glass in many forms; all this and much more can be found at this rich and overflowing holiday show.

Date: Friday, December 5th, 2008
Time: Opening Reception - 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

The Art Barn in Reservoir Park, 54 Finch Lane (1325 East 100 South) (map)


Click here for more info

Can you judge a book by the cover?

I have always said and still maintain that you CAN judge a book by its cover. There are books I go out of my way to read and then there are books that I happen across at the library or the bookstore SPECIFICALLY FOR THE COVER!!! The cover catches my interest, draws me in and gets me to pick it up and read the back jacket. Then I will decide if I want to spend time with the book. The most important part of book design just might be the spine – as I am walking down aisles and aisles of books, that is often the only part of the book I see – that little one inch wide area is all the designer has to get me to want to learn more. It’s all about type, font, color and of course, the title of the book.

I love to read and this is how I find books. I go to the awesome Salt Lake City
library downtown and go directly to the second floor to Fiction. I usually start at the A’s and walk up and down the aisles looking for a book that catches my interest. Sometimes I make it to the M section before I have selected 4 – but usually not which is why I have to stagger my starting point in the alphabet. Friends comment on the eclectic array of books I bring home from the library and ask me how I found out about said book. “I just find them – or they find me” I say.

So, I’m leaving town last week and know I will be sitting on a plane for at least 4 hours and I’m out of books. I go to the library and stumble across a book called ‘The Cheese Monkeys’ by Chip Kidd who is a graphic designer writing a novel about art school and becoming a designer in the 50’s. The book jacket is intriguing and the book makes the cut. Turns out, the main character is going off to college to major in art and ends up taking a class on graphic design. Think Dead Poet’s society with a crazy but inspiring design teacher, Winter Sorbeck, and naïve college students majoring in art.

I loved it and will be sharing Sorbeck’s thoughts on graphic design as well as his interesting design assignments, through the perspective of the 1950’s in blogs to come.

Here is a taste…
Introduction of class content by Winter Sorbeck...

“They would have you believe this class is the Introduction to Commercial Art. It is not. I’ve been put in charge of the store here, and I say it’s Introduction to Graphic Design. The difference is as crucial as it is enormous – as important as the difference between pre- and postwar America. Uncle Sam… is Commercial Art. The American Flag… is Graphic Design.

Commercial Art tries to make you buy things. Graphic Design gives you ideas. One natters on and on, the other actually has something to say. They use the same tools¬–words, pictures, colors. The difference, as you’ll be seeing, and as you’ll be showing me, is how. Design is, literally, purposeful planning. Graphic Design, then, is the form those plans will take

“Eight notes in the scale: you can write either ‘Smoke gets in your eyes’ or 'The marriage of Figaro'.

“Twenty-six letters: 'Marjorie Morningstar' or 'Ulysses'.

“The man-made world means exactly that. There isn’t an inch of it that doesn’t have to be dealt with, figured out, executed. And it’s waiting for you to decide what it’s going to look like.

Alright – here’s your first assignment…”

And me? I’m hooked!!!
Click here for the book on

Monday, November 17, 2008

Student Spotlight

Here is some of the latest work students are doing in their beginning Illustrator class. They were instructed to make a postcard for their local zoo which had to include at least 4 animals that are drawn completely in Illustrator. This class is a beginning class and some students' first quarter at school. They go from learning the basics of their new Apple computer to being able to create postcards, CD covers and posters all in Adobe Illustrator.

Good work students!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Birthday Helvetica

OK - So, I'm a year late to this party. Helvetica turned 50 last year and there is a new documntary about typography, graphic design and of course the beloved font 'Helvetica.' I saw a blip about this flick last year and then it showed up as an option in my Netflix. So, it is next in my queue and I will give you a review after I've seen it. It looks great.

About the film
"Helvetica is a feature-length independent film about typography, graphic design and global visual culture. It looks at the proliferation of one typeface (which celebrated its 50th birthday in 2007) as part of a larger conversation about the way type affects our lives. The film is an exploration of urban spaces in major cities and the type that inhabits them, and a fluid discussion with renowned designers about their work, the creative process, and the choices and aesthetics behind their use of type.

Helvetica encompasses the worlds of design, advertising, psychology, and communication, and invites us to take a second look at the thousands of words we see every day. The film was shot in high-definition on location in the United States, England, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, France and Belgium."

Here's the link for more information

Design can make a difference

In my Graphic Design 1 class - I have a slide that says "We might not make the world a better place - but we will always make it a prettier place."
I say that tongue-in-cheek because I do believe that great design can have an impact on many levels. I found this website today that matches up creative professionals with non-profit organizations that need design work. Often, these groups can't afford to hire expensive ad agencies and this site is providing a way for designers who want to do pro bono work to find organizations in need. The site is called

If you sign up - you can list a creative profile
Click here for more info

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Unless you've been living in a hole - you are aware that today is your opportunity to vote. I went to my location this morning at 8:00 a.m. anticipating headaches and long lines and found neither. And I was also impressed with Utah's touchscreen voting system. I inserted a plastic card, voted on a touchscreen, reviewed my ballot, got a printed copy and then hit submit. It was completely slick and I am proudly wearing my 'I voted' sticker as I type. Whatever obstacles you are facing today, make the time and the effort to vote in this historical election.

In honor of patriotism, I found these historical military posters for your viewing pleasure.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

AIGA Event Thursday, Nov. 6th

Limelight Event-Sean Adams

Sean Adams, Partner, AdamsMorioka,
National President, AIGA
Lessons in Fear

AIGA Salt Lake City is proud to welcome Sean Adams, Partner at AdamsMorioka in Los Angeles and National President for the AIGA. At AdamsMorioka, over the past ten years, they’ve made mistakes. Big mistakes. Some were a collision of events that hit like a train wreck. Some were self-produced. All of the mistakes were motivated by fear. When is fear appropriate in design? Are we on the Love Boat, or Voyage of The Damned? How do we know the difference? Where are the lifeboats?

November 6th, 2008
6:30 pm Mingle
7:00 pm Presentation
8:00 pm Q&A

Salt Lake City Arts Center
20 South West Temple
Salt Lake City, UT

Click here for link

Monday, October 27, 2008

Student Spotlight

One of my favorite classes to teach is DES109 - Graphic Design I. Up until this point, students are learning about the software - Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign but this is the first class where they are introduced to the world of design and a day in the life of a graphic designer. We study influential designers, the history of graphic design, the principles of good design and creative use of typography.

This project is one of students' final projects and they are instructed to design a self-portrait using only typographic characters. Their work should represent their design style and say something about who they are as designers. This is one of my favorite projects because I'm always blown away by students' creativity and their process of design.

These are a few of my favorites. Click on any image to see a bigger photo.

Amelia Robinson

Amanda Peterson

Kenyon Curtis

Destiny Winter

Practice Time Management

As the new module is getting underway today - I strongly encourage you all to look at time management in your design classes as well as general education classes. Online and elluminate classes require students to be self-paced and work a lot on your own time. I have found some students flourish in this environment while others use it as an excuse to procrastinate. The career of a graphic designer is extremely demanding and deadlines are king. If you miss a deadline, the magazine page your company purchased goes out blank; the product your company is stocking on Target's shelves is sitting empty. No one is going to wait for you to hit your deadlines.

You hit them or you lose your job - period - game over!

On the other side of the pendulum, I often see students that spend many hours over and above what the assignment calls for. Life is a balancing act and I also want to caution students about spending so much time on one assignment that the rest of their school work suffers. It is important to always do your best work but effective time management can help you be efficient in all areas of your life.

There is a great article on 'youthedesigner' about how to be a more productive designer. Click here to read the full text

Monday, October 13, 2008

DVD Designs

I think my dream job (besides the one I already have of course) would be to design book jackets. Read one book a month and take all the time I need with an unlimited budget of course, to knock out one awesome design every 4 weeks. It would combine my 2 favorite things - design and reading! But I also Love movies - here is a list of one designer's favorite DVD covers for 2008 which include Ironman, Indiana Jones and The Incredible Hulk. Serious Photoshop skills on display

Check out this link for more

Do you have a favorite that didn't make the list?

Is Graffiti Graphic Design?

According the Webster - Graphic Design is defined as : the art or profession of using design elements (as typography and images) to convey information or create an effect ; also : a product of this art

So, what sets graphic design apart from other media? Painting, Sculpture, Photography - is that graphic design? I came across this book called Graffiti Japan that highlights different artists and showcases their work. The book has great images of the work and check out the website as well - creative!

Click here to see more...

Monday, September 29, 2008

Student Work

Logo design by Tammy Pevler

South by Southwest Corporate Identity by Shawn McDonald

Identity design for SFMOMA - Manny Rangel

Logo by Christy Finlinson

AIGA event Thursday

AIGA Salt Lake City is proud to welcome Petrula Vrontikis, Principal and Creative Director of Vrontikis Design Office in Los Angeles. It doesnt matter how you spell it, or does it? Inspiration can come from anywhere and can mean infinite things to different people. Join us Thursday, October 2nd with graphic designer, educator and author Petrula Vrontikis for a tour of the graphic designers creative process. She will present her work with Vrontikis Design Office (, speak about graphic design education and share ideas about what inspires us to do what we d

Thursday, October 3
Click here for full details

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Good news if you listen to music at work...

According to an article in HOW Magazine:

"Music is great for creativity,and it can be a great substitute for caffeine, too. If you're up until 3 a.m. working an a project, some good dance music can keep you going far longer than caffeine

More Than Just Ear Candy

"Music can be used to activate, stimulate and relax the mind and body, more and more businesses are recognizing the importance of music in a work environment. The key is finding the right kind of music to stimulate creativity," says Gerald Haman, a creativity trainer with SolutionPeople, a creative brainstorming group in Chicago. "I recommend a variety, because every time the music shifts from one style to another, your brain shifts wave patterns, making you think in a slightly different way. I advise my clients to make their own recordings, in short segments, kind of like a 'brain barrage,' or like a channel scan on TV, except it's all musical." The Elephant Factory's Penxa says the firm's favorite music is always the homemade mixed tapes staffers swap.

The goal for creative souls, Campbell says, is to "learn to regulate our minds and bodies using music, that phenomenal catalyst, to help us inwardly vision what we're trying to accomplish."environment."

Click here to read the full story

Interview with Marshall Arisman

I came across this interview with Marshall Arisman and thought I would share it with you. This is from a blog that is called "Success Secrets of Graphic Design Superstars." and it has interviews with some great creative minds. I always say in class that there are processes and things you can do as a designer to help get your creative juices flowing - ideas don't just fall out of the sky into our lap because we are supposedly more creative than the accountant working down the hall (although let's secretly hope we are.)

I heard Marshall Arisman speak years ago at a design conference in Atlanta and it was one of those moments where everything clicked and I was completely riveted by what he had to say. I am not the biggest fan of his work I must admit but will always be inspired by his creativity and commitment to fostering that in himself and others.

Click here to read the interview

Monday, September 8, 2008

New technology in Printing

So, I"m watching the today show this morning and I hear them talking about a new technology in printing - what could it possibly be? A 5th color? CMYK - umm P???

What more can we do in printing that we're not already doing - turns out they are putting digital interactivity on magazine covers. Esquire has unveiled its new cover that features electronic ink! Pretty cool - and what does that mean to us as designers. Not only are we designing static printed covers but now there is the possibility of movement and animation. An entirely new element to contend with from a design perspective.

The news is all over the internet this morning.

The Boston Globe has this to say:
"A revolutionary and top-secret Esquire magazine cover was revealed this morning on NBC�s �The Today Show.�

The magazine�s 75th anniversary cover � the first mass-produced glossy magazine cover featuring electronic ink � has an inset that electrically sorts tiny black or white capsules to read, �The 21st Century Begins Now.�

A computer chip allows the 10-square-inch display to present parts of the phrase in succession before the entire sentence blinks together." Full Story Here...

That technology originated in Cambridge at E Ink Corp., where the Esquire project was seen as one step toward a paperless future... More info about the process

Esquire is not releasing the costs involved with this technology but they are charging $2.00 more than their ususal cover price for this particular issue. This has a lot of implications in the future of design - comments?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Student Spotlight

The new module has just begun at Steven's Henager College so there isn't new work to post at the moment but these are some of the final project from last mod. The fonts are from typography class where students had to design an original font - some really great work for that project.

AIGA EVENT Sept. 9th

I always keep you posted as to what's going on with the AIGA. Usually they have events downtown at the Art Center and I always try to meet students there. This one is being held at the Art Institute in Draper which is a long Drive. Luckily, they are back at the Salt Lake Art Center on October 2nd with Petrula Vrontikis. I will definitely be there for that one - she's an amazing designer. Mark it on your calendar.

Link to details on the AIGA site


And here is a link to your personal invitation from Adobe to receive information directly from Adobe on September 23rd.

Link to Adobe

Who knows what the new version will have in store for us - Exciting!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Student Spotlight

Here are some projects students have turned in this week.

Typography class designed a 'type-only' poster for Vivaldi's Four Seasons performed by the NYC Philharmonic. Students could use color, shapes, lines and textures but were encouraged to let the typography be the graphic element in their designs. I saw a lot of great work and here are some of my favorites.

Bill Ross

Lynsey VanHarte

This is a packaging project for boxed water. Students were given a creative brief and came up with the name, the design and the text on their own.

Chad Ludwig

Resumé Tips

Don't wait until you're ready to graduate before you write your resumé. I'm including some links to articles to help your resumé reflect your abilities.

Resumé Do's and Dont's

Resumé Style File

Question: Should your resumé be creative to reflect your design style?
Leave a comment

Olympic Coke Designs

Coke has designed some pretty cool packaging to commemorate the Olympics. They are being sold as collector's items.

You Like?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Clue gets a design makeover

Has anyone out there NOT played Clue? Hasbro's beloved game has been around for 60 years but it just got a makeover thanks to Rob Daviau. According to Rob in an interview with NPR radio the new game takes place at a modern mansion — at a party of the rich and famous.

"The weapons have changed, the characters have bios and the mansion has new rooms, like a spa, a theater and a guesthouse. And the company added an element of suspense with a second deck of cards.

"The characters have changed, too. Miss Scarlet has a first name: Cassandra. Colonel Mustard left the military; he's a former football star. Victor Plum, formerly the professor who was always known as the smartest man in the room, became recast as a self-made video game designer — a dot-com billionaire."

Here is a look at the new packaging design as well as the old.

What do you think of the new design? Was it necessary to appeal to a new demographic?

Adobe Design Achievement Awards

We love Adobe! - we worship Adobe. Without Adobe software, we wouldn't have a job - or at least it would be a lot more difficult. Adobe is currently taking entries for the Adobe Design Achievement Awards or ADDA for short. It's open to students around the world.

Click here to see the current submissions and to learn more about the contest.

See if you like the animated interface with the page - I thought it was pretty confusing but that could just be me.

To see past winners - in a more static format
Click here

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Student Spotlight

Students have the opportunity to show their design projects to their classmates but they don't get to see what other classes are doing. I am going to update this section every week with outstanding student work. Check back often to see what creative designs are being featured.

This is a project from Graphic Design 1 - students had to create a self portrait using only typographic characters. Designed by Nicole Wickstrom.

Austin Heath - Tea Packaging

Chad Hunter

Color Exploration - Michael Haygood