Archives for category: Graphic Design School

So, I know it’s been a long time. I’m sorry. I’ve been working on tweaking/reworking all of my work for this. It’s been hard. And will continue to be so. But I have a super post I’m working on right now. It’s even got a Mo Willems picture book,

Amanda & Her Alligator—detail, girl reading upside down, mo willems

Amanda & Her Alligator—detail

when I (SHOCK AND AWE) don’t always love Mo Willems! Unless he writes about dinosaurs or works with Jon Muth. I know, sacriligious for a bookseller, but what can I say? I think he can be funny, and even is funny (and sweet and charming). But the pigeon books annoy the crap outta me. There, I said it. Sorry, Mo. Hope you’re not reading, and if you are, you can see that I do like many of your books. The new one, Amanda & Her Alligator is one of those. A lot. But I’m getting way ahead of myself, because I wasn’t going to write about that today.

Fake Book Store Collateral

Fake Book Store Collateral

I was going to talk about what I’m doing now. That’s right, I want to talk about me. Me, me, me.

So here’s the list: adding new pieces to old projects, updating logos, perfecting identity pieces, printing so many signatures for the book I redesigned…

Book Redesign Detail

Book Redesign Detail

Even more:  designing two covers for another book, working on a portfolio website, thinking about any pieces I may have missed that should be a part of my portfolio… and working and eating and sleeping.

So later this week, when I have access to all the photos that were going to be in this promised “super post,” I will finish it and you will understand the meaning of the word “super.” Now that I have put large shoes in front of me on the ground, I will try to fill them soon.

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When I was Born by Isabel Minhos Martins & Madalena Matoso

Coworker Caitlin holds the most beautiful baby book made this year.

Booksellers like myself get excited about a book when it looks pretty, then if the insides end up being awesome, too, we get really uppity. Sometimes we end up foisting it on everyone we see and people start to get tired of it. When it’s a new baby book, it’s hard to be optimistic. So many of them are kind of cliche and syrupy. But when this one came out, “When I was Born,” by Isabel Minhos and illustrated by Madalena Matoso we all gathered around to flip through it. Not only are the pictures beautiful: simple paper cut like shapes, minimal, bright colors and a sense of humor, but the words are wonderful. Which can be woefully rare.

When I was BornThis is what the cover looks like. I recently gave this to a pregnant co-worker, I don’t know, a mere week or two after discovery. That usually doesn’t happen. New baby books are carefully chosen from my vast list. But recently, two of my favorites (Carry Me, by Rosemary Wells and Bittle, by Patricia MacLachlan) have gone out of print.

When I was BornHere are some more pictures. I truly love the way this has been translated; the author speaks Portuguese, I believe.

When I was Born

See that text? That there is gorgeous!

Beautiful Endpapers

Beautiful Endpapers

In other news, I FINISHED MY QUARTER! I’m so excited: to get some sleep (I’ve slept like 2 hours in the last 60), to catch up on my reading and work on all those freelance projects I managed to secure. Accidentally.

KNOW HOW SHOP

A poster for the KnowHow Shop in Los Angeles

I’ve still got 3 finals to go, and have a ton to do. But in the meantime, here’s my final poster for my poster design class (not all the posters are up yet, and none of mine are). KnowHow Shop is a cool shared workspace owned by the guys at Popup Design (one of whom is my older brother), a design + build firm. KnowHow decided to go with another design (that I’ll put up soon).

The Real Joe Brokken

The Real Joe Brokken: we sometimes step away from the desk.

UCDS identity!!!

UCDS Identity: I've been working on this ALL QUARTER!

Inside Spread #1

Inside Spread from the Graphics Standards Manual I created

Inside Spread #4

Collateral. I didn't realize I took so many pictures of this thing...

Breakfast for Dinner!

We literally had cereal 2 out of 3 meals today.

From The King's Speech

My friend made this for his boyfriend in like 3 seconds.

Calendar

Calendar: SPRING BREAK AAAAAAAAAGH!

TOM SAYS

TOM SAYS jump and we say HOW HIGH?

Nigh on done (with one final)! Here are some images from my night. And week. More to come at a less crazy time.

Inside Spread #2

Another spread

Inside Spread #2

Some UNACCEPTABLE logo configuration examples.

The other day, I was production assistant to my Design School BFF Courtney Comfort. He is interning at Equal Rights Washington, and needed to make a poster for Equality Day, coming up on March 22. (If you pick up a current copy of the Seattle Gay News, you’ll find his half page ad in there, using the same graphic you see here. His first real print ad!)

Naturally he decided to screenprint these. This means: a 3 color run of 60 posters. Which means pulling a squeegee through the thick ink on the screen at least 180 times. During this time, it is necessary to run back and forth bringing wet sheets to the racks to dry, making sure the screen has enough ink on it to pull, etc. I did all that running , etc., not to mention all the prep beforehand. I mixed the inks, which was fun, and prepped the screens. Courtney had the hard jobs: making the film and burning the screens so they would register correctly—and then the printing itself. Registering 3 colors isn’t easy, neither is all that hard work on the hands after designing on a computer all day. You forget how to use your hands. This is why I love this class.

Mixed Inks

Mixed Inks

Final Product!

Final Product!

The posters turned out great, and Courtney’s pulls got better and better as he printed. We were such an efficient team, and it was great fun.

Sometimes I get to help on my own projects! Unfortunately, some of the screens are so long, and I am so short, that it can be hard for me to get a decent pull, which is why I’m glad I have tall friends.

Allerina or Crocodancer

Allerina or Crocodancer

Racquetgull

Racquetgull

Screenprinting is what led me to Graphic Design in the first place; a friend and I taught ourselves from an old Dover title and a kit. I fell in love with printing. From there I learned linocuts, then woodcuts, then monotype, then etching… and then I decided I could do more and applied to SCCA.

Best $15 investment ever.

Nostalgia

From top left: George & Martha: Marshall // Caps for Sale: Slobodkina // Fables: Lobel // Sam, Bangs & Moonshine: Ness // Burt Dow, Deep Water Man: McCloskey // The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by A. Wolf: Sciezska // One Morning in Maine: McCloskey // Each Peach, Pear, Plum: Ahlberg // Chicken Soup with Rice: Sendak // Tim & Charlotte: Ardizzone //A Chair for my Mother: Williams

There’s a lot of text in that caption. And this is certainly not all the books I feel nostalgic about. In fact, my favorite book as a child was an “issue book” about new siblings called “Katy Did” in which a little girl blames all the bad things she did to her little brother (by trying to help out her exhausted mother) on her doll Katy. I’m a middle child; guess that one hit the mark. It’s so out of print and obscure I can’t even find a link. But I didn’t try that hard.
I want to talk about these books. It’s still Valentine’s Day, even though WordPress has already decided it is now February 15th. There are still 44 minutes in this day, and this is my Valentine both to my past and books in general.
George & Martha. I cannot look at these books without thinking of my best friend from elementary school, Ashton E. I don’t know her anymore, but on the yellow school bus of my memory she was a brilliant (no, really, she had a super high IQ), funny, artistic, dislexic, colorful, creative, beautiful, awkward, confident creature and I remember her reading this in 2nd grade or something and I was surprised but I didn’t tell her. We used to take sailing together and we capsized the boat two summers in a row. She wanted hair that was dark and curly on top, straight in the middle, and curly at the bottom.
Caps for Sale. I read this book thinking of my mom, shaking her fist like the peddler did, and then the monkeys after him. Monkey see, monkey do!

Fishy Dinner

Fishy Dinner

Fables. My very favorite collection of Aesop’s fables. For some reason, the illustrations have stayed with me all this time. Particularly this one. Whenever I am reminded of this one, I think of the cat dreaming of his fish dinner with butter, lemon and dill (and then it reminds me of a gluttonous friend of mine who manages to stay trim despite her butter addiction).

Sam, Bangs & Moonshine

Sam, Bangs & Moonshine

Sam, Bangs & Moonshine. In my application for school, I was asked to talk about someone who has influenced my work. Here is an excerpt from my essay. “Recently, I rediscovered a book from my childhood: Sam, Bangs, and Moonshine, by Evaline Ness. I remembered every page. Every line and color was as sharp in my memory as it was on the page. The way she used line—looping, thick-thin lines, intersecting not entirely neatly and almost, but not quite, tangling unintelligibly—the unexpected quality of the print—the accidental splot or absence of ink, the hurried frazzled energy of each overlaying image—these have directly inspired my work.”

  Burt Dow, Deep Water Man

Burt Dow, Deep Water Man

Burt Dow, Deep Water Man. I think of my brothers without a doubt. We loved this book. It’s a sweet story, but it has a craggy old sailor in it. So, obviously, it’s awesome.

  One Morning in Maine

One Morning in Maine

For some reason, I loved the sparkplug more than any other part of this book, and remember this illustration the most. I still don’t know what a sparkplug is.

The others:

Each Peach, Pear, Plum and Chicken Soup with Rice: I can still recite almost the whole thing.

The True Story of the Three Little Pigs: I totally met Jon Sciezska while wearing an octopus costume. I was 24. And when I was eight, I bought this book from a Scholastic book fair in my elementary school’s library.

Tim & Charlotte and A Chair for my Mother: possibly the two sweetest books ever.
All these books are still in print. So the best thing of all I learned from working in a bookstore? My mom has excellent taste in books. But I could have told you that anyway.
Happy Valentine’s Day!

This is what my desk at school looks like right now.

This is what my desk at school looks like right now.

It’s been a crazy week. I have been sick, and so has everyone else.  We had a huge project due Monday, then a huge project due Tuesday, and now the rest of the week just keeps chugging along, like it always does. This is the way it goes:

UX/UI (excellent). Posters (excellent). Logo/Corporate Branding (Pretty good). Flash/HTML5 (Eeek). Screenprinting (Best day ever). Lather, rinse, repeat.

Here on my desk, you can see two other versions of posters, as well as my final Wrath, in the foreground. You can see my logo concept sketches for my rebranding project. You can see a witchy grab-it tool, courtesy of a classmate who isn’t coming back till next year, and you can see the colossal mess that is my desk.

Poster

Wrath Poster, final

Element of Surprise

Window Cover-up Concept for the MAC, SCCC's Activity Center

Close Up

Close Up

Close Up 2

Close Up 2

This is a prototype window covering for the Charles H. Miller Activity Center, AKA the MAC, or the gym at my school. Behind the actual windows is the saddest, emptiest pool. Gym authorities want it covered up so no one wants to swim and then is disappointed. I worked with my friend, Kevin Cox, to come up with this concept. The idea was to bring both light and humor to a dark and very drab hallway. The hope is that passersby would at first see people in action, getting their sports on, and maybe see something more if they looked closer. We wanted to put a little smile on someone’s face, a little question in their head. I hope it works!