After El Paso and Dayton

Words When Pictures Fail

Cover Art via time.com

A constant struggle for editorial artists is the search for a way to capture the essence of a story in a single powerful image.  Unfortunately, picturing a semiautomatic assault weapon, as sinister as it looks, no longer shocks readers.  In fact, guns and even images of crying survivors of mass killings feel cynically banal.  That’s why this week’s Time Magazine cover stopped us in our tracks. San Francisco Bay Area artist John Mavroudis simply hand-lettered the 253 locations of mass shootings in America so far this year and added the word “ENOUGH.”  The crude lettering is crammed onto the page with city names shown vertically, sideways and at a slant in large letters and small, filling every nook and cranny. Mavroudis calls his drawing “a frightening portrait of a country drowning in gun violence.”  Indeed, the effect is chilling and memorable and gives perspective to our epidemic of domestic terrorism. 

Environmental Art

Two Architects Bring Momentary Joy to Border Wall

via Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello. Teeter-Totter Wall, 2014. Print from copper plate. Courtesy of the architects.

A decade ago two San Francisco Bay Area architects Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello reflected on the trade and labor imbalances between the U.S. and Mexico and imagined an art installation that would serve as a thought-provoking metaphor for how actions on one side of the border had direct consequences on the other.  The discussion led them to create architectural drawings and models for a “Teeter-Totter Wall” interactive display.  The work drew the praise from both the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, but the actual installation remained just a concept until this week.

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Graphic Language

Happy World Emoji Day, translation: “😀🌎🤓🌅”

via OpenLearn from The Open University’s YouTube Page

For those who were oblivious to the fact that July 17 was World Emoji Day, it is not too late to pause and reflect on how emojis have enriched communications in cultures around the globe. Emoji will be honored in history with the same respect as cave paintings, Gutenberg’s first movable type and motion pictures. It is a graphic language that allows emailers to give nuance to the meaning of their messages. Those in the graphic arts should be proud. 😉

Write Winning Resumes

Writing a Design Resume

Writing a resume for a job in a design studio is different than applying for a corporate manager position. Aside from wanting to know the usual list of previous employment and education, design employers look for clues that the applicant has the skills that designers need and will fit compatibly on the design team.  It’s not just what you say, but how you present it.  

Here are 10 tips on preparing a resume that works:

1. Do your homework first.

Check out the design studio’s website and do a google search to look at the firm’s design style, past projects, industry recognition, staffing, philosophy, etc.   This will reveal a lot about whether you are a good fit for the studio, and vice versa.

2. Include a Cover Letter

Include a brief cover letter with your resume, even if you are sending an unsolicited application or responding to an online job posting. A personalized letter is not only polite, it indicates that you specifically want to work there, and are not blanketing the entire design world with your resume.  If you have been referred by someone known to the firm, include that too.

3. Tell Them Where You Worked

 Provide a career chronology and dates of employment.  Also cite your primary duties and name some of the key accounts you worked on. If you were freelancing, name some of your clients and the scope of your assignments.  

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Advertising, Car Design

VW in a New Light


For baby boomers who came of age in the late 1960s, the VW Beetle is a symbol of carefree youthful abandon, beach parties, rock concerts, and living happily on a shoestring.  It was a protest against the materialism of the older folks and their thirst for big cars with long tail fins.  Aware that the humpbacked VW Bug could not compete on speed, comfort or sleek styling, ad agency Doyle Dane Bernbach had the chutzpah to turn the Beetle’s shortcoming into a symbol of hipness with bluntly honest slogans like “Think Small” and “Lemon.”  It worked.  By 1973, VW had sold more than 16 million Beetles worldwide.

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