Monday, August 11, 2014

My company is working with some good people over at the Office of Publications at Columbia University’s GSAPP on a new digital publication. Can’t show much except for this temporary page but stay tuned! My company is working with some good people over at the Office of Publications at Columbia University’s GSAPP on a new digital publication. Can’t show much except for this temporary page but stay tuned! My company is working with some good people over at the Office of Publications at Columbia University’s GSAPP on a new digital publication. Can’t show much except for this temporary page but stay tuned!

My company is working with some good people over at the Office of Publications at Columbia University’s GSAPP on a new digital publication. Can’t show much except for this temporary page but stay tuned!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Anonymous asked: Uh, so what is a "deck" anyway?

(Source: Urban Dictionary)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Monday, August 4, 2014

Rest in Power.

Rest in Power.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

[Was asked to contribute to a forthcoming ICA publication about transitioning from student to professional]

The first week on the job is always the weirdest.

No matter how well you do, no matter how chill your coworkers are, no matter how easy the hours are, the first week will have its suuuuuuuper awkward moments. You get your handshakes and greetings out of the way. That one guy that didn’t give you eye contact seems intense but maybe you’ll get to know him over drinks later. You wander into the kitchen and instinctively look around to see if anyone is looking at you even though you were explicitly told to “help yourself out at anytime.” You grab a bag of Doritos. You don’t even eat Doritos but you’re not used to the idea of free food. You sit down. Your boss comes up to you and asks you to put together a deck for the client. “Oh yeah for sure” you might externally say. “Wait what is a deck lol” you might internally ask. Maybe you were lucky and freelanced for a bit before this and you know what a deck is. Okay, cool. But where do they keep their templates? Is there even a template? Come to think of it, where are the fonts stored on the server? What are the file naming conventions? “How late do I have to stay here usually? I should ask that.”

"Hey, what time do we get to home?"

No no, that sounds super tasteless.

"Hey, uh, just wondering, when do people usually get off work for the day?"

"Between 3pm and 2am"

A few of these and you start to get really good at asking questions you feel embarrassed asking.

Mid afternoon rolls around and that lunch you ate is knocking on the other side. You make your way to the bathroom.

Oh, there are stalls here. Okay, you settle down and get ready to do your business. Whoops, a coworker just walked in. Does she really want to smell what you’re doing? You sit there, silent, not making any sound until she leaves. She’s taking a while. Your breathing is now manual.

She’s still hasn’t left. You’re getting bored.

With your left hand, your slowly, ever so slowly, reach into your pocket. You wrap your fingers around your phone and slowly, ever so slowly take it out of your pocket. Your thighs are numb right now. You turn your phone on. You start checking Facebook on your phone to pass the time. Then you check Twitter. You see something amusing and you copy and paste it to your friend. You forgot to turn your phone to silent and once your friend replies to your message, that familiar ringtone breaks the silence.

You are now petrified. She obviously heard the sound of your phone. “What is she going to think?”

You get back to your seat red-faced avoiding any eye contact.

You feel like a child again. If you’re not busy making stupid mistakes you’re busy asking stupid questions. If you’re lucky, your first week at this new job came relatively soon after graduation—maybe you even had time to fit in a nice holiday to relax. If you’re lucky your first week at this new job didn’t come after months of discouraging rejection letters and job hunt paralysis. If you weren’t so lucky, then those feelings you get from this awkward first week will be ten-fold. You think back to your BA degree when you walked around campus in your last year with your friends thinking you were among the best. You remember scoffed at the squares in your class and the shitty comps they showed in group crits and the obscure Tumblr accounts you hoarded with pride. Nothing really prepared you for this. The first week is filled with questions that you feel are burdensome on your coworkers if you bother to ask them.

But those questions, you soon realize, are much more preferable to the questions you ask after your first year. By then, “What is a deck?” might become “What is the point of even doing a deck?” “Where is the bathroom?” might become “Where is my fucking raise?” Even if you LIKED where you work (bless you), the tone of the questions you internally ask will shift into larger, more existential concerns that aren’t solved with a simple answer.

Most likely, after a while you’ll have had enough. Maybe you want to give freelancing a go again. So you save up money, redo your website and send notice to a few agencies. Once the scenario turns to your favor, it’s time to leave.

The last week is the always the second weirdest.

No matter how long you’ve done, no matter how chill your coworkers were the last week will have it’s own sort of moments.  You get your hugs and handshakes out of the way. Now, the questions are on you. “Where are you going?” “Who’s going to finish your projects up?” You pack up your things, take one last look at the kitchen. If you’re lucky you’re celebrating with drinks with your coworkers who will miss you. If you’re not so lucky, like I once was, your things are in a box and you’re waiting for a cab on the sidewalk. Either way it’s over. Your first job out of school has ended. You’re excited for what’s to come next.

Your first week at your new gig is here. Now it’s back to the awkward questions. But rather than fear, this is a bit more exciting. Throughout your career, there may be a handful of times you find yourself here— getting to ask the same usual set of awkward questions, and these questions become weird milestones for you. A way to track time. Something to be perversely cherished as a signifier of personal change and progress. Those who came before you, those much mightier than you, maybe they never had to worry about money or about getting clients as badly as you have, but they surely must have found themselves asking where the toilet is. You go through your handshakes, and get yourself situated. Second time should be a lot easier. Everything is familiar but this time it has to be different.

You turn to the coworker sitting next to you.

"Hey, uh, just wondering, when do people usually get off work for the day?"

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Flag and Royal Crest of the Ryukyu Kindgom (1429–1879 C.E.)
Source The Flag and Royal Crest of the Ryukyu Kindgom (1429–1879 C.E.)
Source

The Flag and Royal Crest of the Ryukyu Kindgom (1429–1879 C.E.)

Source

Monday, June 30, 2014

Lou Danziger, 1954

Lou Danziger, 1954

Monday, June 16, 2014


After the success of our streaming site for Evian Christ, Ninja Tune Records reached out to my studio to pitch them ideas to promote an upcoming album to one of their artists, The Bug. They had the album artwork done so it wasn’t really a matter of art direction but we hoped we could inject our own perspective and attitudes found in our practice to this.
The brief involved some keywords like “takeover,” “virus” and a few other words of a similar nature. To be honest it didn’t take long to think of the idea, and that idea was the only one we pitched them—it seemed obvious to us.
Instead of going the route of an immersive but enclosed website, we worked at a different scale this time and in doing so, we thought about the current economies of the Internet in two ways—1.) how pockets of embeddable content (e.g. Youtube, Soundcloud) permeate multiple websites revealing a persistent network of exchange 2.) the current general practice of uploading music as streamable content to send to music blogs to write about and we thought about subverting both of these aspects.
Embedding a Soundcloud player, or a Youtube video to a blog post works in pretty much the same way. It utilizes what’s called iframe, a frame to an external webpage. If that external web page was ours, and someone had agreed to embed it on their website we could pretty much control the content (obviously aside from security issues). This was the aspect that we wanted to exploit.
So we came back to the folks at Ninja Tune: Let us make a music player that sort of resembles Soundcloud and send this to a few blogs, people press play expecting to hear music and this is where we fuck with them. Technology has caused us to be familiarized with gestures and actions. When you press play to an audio player you want to hear music. This expectation is ingrained but we sought out a moment to interrupt this expectation.
The idea of re-appropriating the visual language of a popular web service as a cloaking device wasn’t a novel idea, and there’s much precedent in this realm but we were excited at the idea of this piece of content we were crafting existing primarily on other websites like Pitchfork and the Wire.
And then we waited for them to hear back from what other agencies had told present to them. A few weeks later, we got the job and started working on it.
Admittedly there were some challenges along the way, The Bug is an artist who is clearly set on his visual realm and there were moments were we found it difficult to try to merge his world with where we were coming from. Some significant amount of sleep was lost in this process. That being said, we wanted to make something both parties could stand behind.
Then came launch day which was a little nerve-wracking. We tested it on our own servers but still, something could go wrong. We were also nervous that some blogs may catch onto it and spoil the surprise in their posts. Some did, but in the end, it was all good. The response was overwhelmingly positive. 
After the success of our streaming site for Evian Christ, Ninja Tune Records reached out to my studio to pitch them ideas to promote an upcoming album to one of their artists, The Bug. They had the album artwork done so it wasn’t really a matter of art direction but we hoped we could inject our own perspective and attitudes found in our practice to this.
The brief involved some keywords like “takeover,” “virus” and a few other words of a similar nature. To be honest it didn’t take long to think of the idea, and that idea was the only one we pitched them—it seemed obvious to us.
Instead of going the route of an immersive but enclosed website, we worked at a different scale this time and in doing so, we thought about the current economies of the Internet in two ways—1.) how pockets of embeddable content (e.g. Youtube, Soundcloud) permeate multiple websites revealing a persistent network of exchange 2.) the current general practice of uploading music as streamable content to send to music blogs to write about and we thought about subverting both of these aspects.
Embedding a Soundcloud player, or a Youtube video to a blog post works in pretty much the same way. It utilizes what’s called iframe, a frame to an external webpage. If that external web page was ours, and someone had agreed to embed it on their website we could pretty much control the content (obviously aside from security issues). This was the aspect that we wanted to exploit.
So we came back to the folks at Ninja Tune: Let us make a music player that sort of resembles Soundcloud and send this to a few blogs, people press play expecting to hear music and this is where we fuck with them. Technology has caused us to be familiarized with gestures and actions. When you press play to an audio player you want to hear music. This expectation is ingrained but we sought out a moment to interrupt this expectation.
The idea of re-appropriating the visual language of a popular web service as a cloaking device wasn’t a novel idea, and there’s much precedent in this realm but we were excited at the idea of this piece of content we were crafting existing primarily on other websites like Pitchfork and the Wire.
And then we waited for them to hear back from what other agencies had told present to them. A few weeks later, we got the job and started working on it.
Admittedly there were some challenges along the way, The Bug is an artist who is clearly set on his visual realm and there were moments were we found it difficult to try to merge his world with where we were coming from. Some significant amount of sleep was lost in this process. That being said, we wanted to make something both parties could stand behind.
Then came launch day which was a little nerve-wracking. We tested it on our own servers but still, something could go wrong. We were also nervous that some blogs may catch onto it and spoil the surprise in their posts. Some did, but in the end, it was all good. The response was overwhelmingly positive.

After the success of our streaming site for Evian Christ, Ninja Tune Records reached out to my studio to pitch them ideas to promote an upcoming album to one of their artists, The Bug. They had the album artwork done so it wasn’t really a matter of art direction but we hoped we could inject our own perspective and attitudes found in our practice to this.

The brief involved some keywords like “takeover,” “virus” and a few other words of a similar nature. To be honest it didn’t take long to think of the idea, and that idea was the only one we pitched them—it seemed obvious to us.

Instead of going the route of an immersive but enclosed website, we worked at a different scale this time and in doing so, we thought about the current economies of the Internet in two ways—1.) how pockets of embeddable content (e.g. Youtube, Soundcloud) permeate multiple websites revealing a persistent network of exchange 2.) the current general practice of uploading music as streamable content to send to music blogs to write about and we thought about subverting both of these aspects.

Embedding a Soundcloud player, or a Youtube video to a blog post works in pretty much the same way. It utilizes what’s called iframe, a frame to an external webpage. If that external web page was ours, and someone had agreed to embed it on their website we could pretty much control the content (obviously aside from security issues). This was the aspect that we wanted to exploit.

So we came back to the folks at Ninja Tune: Let us make a music player that sort of resembles Soundcloud and send this to a few blogs, people press play expecting to hear music and this is where we fuck with them. Technology has caused us to be familiarized with gestures and actions. When you press play to an audio player you want to hear music. This expectation is ingrained but we sought out a moment to interrupt this expectation.

The idea of re-appropriating the visual language of a popular web service as a cloaking device wasn’t a novel idea, and there’s much precedent in this realm but we were excited at the idea of this piece of content we were crafting existing primarily on other websites like Pitchfork and the Wire.

And then we waited for them to hear back from what other agencies had told present to them. A few weeks later, we got the job and started working on it.

Admittedly there were some challenges along the way, The Bug is an artist who is clearly set on his visual realm and there were moments were we found it difficult to try to merge his world with where we were coming from. Some significant amount of sleep was lost in this process. That being said, we wanted to make something both parties could stand behind.

Then came launch day which was a little nerve-wracking. We tested it on our own servers but still, something could go wrong. We were also nervous that some blogs may catch onto it and spoil the surprise in their posts. Some did, but in the end, it was all good. The response was overwhelmingly positive.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Anonymous asked: Your tumblr has become a Haven for me. When given a project, where do you begin with your brainstorming? Also... in your professional career, what software/hardware have you/do you use? :)

Thanks for the kind words, it is definitely encouraging to know if I could help anyone help in any way.

Brainstorming is a very haphazard and less organized process though I don’t mind it—but sometimes not being rigorous about ideation leads me to reach into my old bag of tricks that I normally use. I think in a professional setting, the demands in turnaround time and my own desire to do something new have required me to be a bit more rigorous. In school, professors have always emphasized sketching and keeping a sketchbook but I know this isn’t really me. It never felt natural, to keep a book open and spend the time to articulate an idea indirectly and whatever I sketched never ended up translating well in the works final form anyways. Also, sketching is more or less restricts concepts to their formal qualities which isn’t what I prefer. Sketching to me mostly is writing. I keep a combination of a text editor—to jot down my thoughts, what I think the work should embody, etc. I also keep a blank illustrator document. My visual sketching is more like drawing boxes for layout composition and quickly setting lines of type with maybe a a drawing with the brush tool.

As far as my software workflow I can speak a little bit about that.

I use iA Writer for writing whether in prose or markdown,  Sublime Text for coding, and iTerm for my command line interface.

My iTerm setup is usually three windows in a tab, the top is for general command strings (cd/open/etc), the second section is automated task management (I use Yeoman for streamlining new projects, Grunt for task management, Bower for package management—though to be clear the last two are bundled with Yeoman), the third is for firing up an HTTP or rails server for the project. Version control for projects are taken care of by Git. I also launch a local Apache/MySQL server using MAMP from time to time.

For design, I use the Adobe trifecta of InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator. I often first start with illustrator because of it’s typographic abilities + freeform ability before moving to Photoshop or InDesign. I’m currently also learning Sketch but so far I haven’t been convinced to switch over. For websites—this may be heretic—I use InDesign for it’s ability to create multiple pages on the fly, powerful layout and interactive features, and for it’s ease of converting wireframes to UI designs. Books are also done with InDesign.

Video editing is done with Adobe Premiere because of its ability to sync up with Adobe Aftereffects, which I use to prototype site animations and create motion graphics. Occasionally I will break out MAXON Cinema4D for 3d animation/modeling.

For daily backups, I use Backblaze. It’s a really great and inexpensive investment and lets me sleep easy and I never carry a physical drive with me anywhere now for transporting files. For managing a project between two machines, I use Dropbox with a combination of MacDropAnywhere which lets me link any folder in my file system to Dropbox for easy management. Current projects are always linked this way for easy access.

For messaging, file-sharing in group projects I swear by Slack.

For drafting estimates and invoices i use Ballpark. It is linked up with Stripe, an easy payment system so clients can pay with credit card if they like.

Presentations are also handled by InDesign but hoping to fully convert to Reveal.js by the end of summer.

Websites are hosted on a VPS server by Digital Ocean. If it’s not a rails app, it is typically a LEMP stack (linux, nginx, mysql, php)  SFTP is handled by Transmit, which lets me mount my directories as a drive.

For hardware, I go back and forth between a 2013 iMac 27-inch for my office and a 2011 Macbook Pro for my home. A Mobee charger is used to charge my magic mouse and keyboard through wireless inductions so I don’t have to worry about taking the batteries out. My laptop is usually hooked up to a 23 inch Cinema Display monitor. In this case, my work software is on the large monitor while passive activities such as my web browser are on the laptop. I also have a Raspberry Pi that is poorly neglected.

Email is handled by Sparrow for desktop and Mailbox.app for mobile.

Font management is handled by Linotype FontExplorerX.

Hope this helps.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Anonymous asked: If you could punch 3 graphic designers in the face who would they be and why?

them knuckles is mad delicate b why cant i just steal they wifi

Friday, May 9, 2014

Anonymous asked: Can you show us the portfolio you submitted when applying to Yale?

No because it’s not particularly helpful in this case. Your application should be a reflection of who you honestly are and should show your strongest work and not a way to impress the ones judging you. Otherwise it’s not worth enrolling. There’s really no formula to get in as far as I know and even if there is, what does it say about you if you decide to alter your work to conform to that formula? There’s not much to be gained to see the path that I took in this situation because it was a collection of stuff that I felt was strongest for myself.  I don’t have a problem with giving away my secrets and if you really want to know was basically the stuff I showed from Junior to Senior year of that one post where I showed my undergrad stuff but like, what does it mean? I wasn’t sure what they were looking for.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Anonymous asked: In several occasions you write that you were just a mediocre academic student & somewhere reveal even a D- in a type course. Did this ever come up as concern in any interviews for your MFA acceptance? I guess my question is, how important are undergrad grades/gpa to the department?

not that important in my experience, but i’ll add that I started off mediocre but I graduated with a 3.5 gpa average as I improved later on. I suppose a extremely low one raises red flags about academic commitment, ability to take on responsibilities, etc.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Anonymous asked: what do you think of UCLA's DMA program?

I don’t know about their graduate school but I think their undergrad program is fantastic if you’re willing to question the boundaries of design. I’m always excited to see the work that comes out of there.

State-school tuition prices, unorthodox curriculum, being in a broader (and highly ranked) university with exposure to an excellent general education and different many different types of people—not just art students, all of these qualities make it an extremely underrated program. It’s definitely one of the most interesting programs in the U.S. as far as I’m concerned—but more importantly, it’s an amazing and diverse place to grow and mature as a young adult in my opinion.

Some of the most talented people I know graduated from the DMA program, one of the best teachers I’ve ever had taught there for a long time.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Illustration for the New York Times. Much thanks to Aviva Michaelov. Article Here.

Illustration for the New York Times. Much thanks to Aviva Michaelov. Article Here.