'The Bear' Shirt

Check out the shirt I designed for my friends in Stephen Kellogg and The Sixers. Their new album The Bear is due out in early September.

Photo by Elmo Thamm.

Here's the design triumphantly emblazoned on the bass drum of Brian 'Boots' Factor. Many thanks, gentlemen!


Health Care for America Now

I recently did a great deal of graphic design work for Health Care for America Now. One of the most satisfying parts of my career is when I am given the chance to use my skills for such a crucial cause. They will rally for health care reform in D.C. this Thursday, June 25th. Click here to learn more!


Chet Baker - 'Time After Time'

Wordpress named its new version (Wordpress 2.8, 'Baker,' released today) after jazz legend Chet Baker, so here's a little dose of my man Chet. This performance captures the great vocalist and trumpeter early in his descent into a drug habit that ravaged his looks, his musical skills, and his career. Here, he's missing a tooth from a contentious incident that was allegedly an altercation with an angry dealer. He hits a few sour notes, but otherwise, you can still hear the bittersweet melodies and laid back phrasing that made Baker a pioneer of the 'cool jazz' sound that arose in 50's California. The man was just bursting with beautiful melodies. Baker is the subject of the riveting documentary Let's Get Lost - probably the one film that I would have released on DVD if I could.


Matchless 6/18

I'm looking forward to seeing several old friends perform at Matchless next week - come out if you are in Brooklyn on Thursday, June 18th! Performers include Ivana XL, The Static Age, and a debut performance by Systems, a new band featuring my great friend and former bandmate, Sean Hutcheon. I'll be there with eager ears!

Say It Ain't So

One of my favorite bands is responsible for the biggest apparel design mistake of the year. Oh, those timely 'bling' jokes! I thought it was a hoax until I saw it for sale on their website. Check out Faith No More's 'Gold Chain' shirt and read the comments below. With so many talented graphic artists out there, this is such a sad waste of fabric.


Off the Deep End!

Below are posters for movies I discovered in the book Attack of the 'B' Movie Posters. These posters have got it all: brazen compositions, political incorrectness, memorable titles (Invasion of the Blood Farmers), and amusing slogans ("So Young... So Bad... So What?"). The posters are likely better than the movies themselves, but it still makes me wonder why anyone would feel inclined to go see a movie with a title as bland as The Reader.


Handmade Promotional Mailers

Here is my recently completed series of six handmade promotional mailers for Magnetic State. They are due to be shipped out to former and potential clients this week. Each one is unique. They were fun to make and I hope it shows!


Remember To Take Risks Sometimes

I was intrigued and impressed when I saw the cover of the Fiery Furnaces' recent live record, Remember (Thrill Jockey). At first glance, my eyes boggled and my mind knotted at the strange, perplexing shapes. And then it dawned on me that I was reading - or slowly deciphering - the word Remember. Someone has gone out on a limb with this one, and the result is a design that really surprises the viewer with its slow revelation.

Graphic design is about communication, and it's quite unusual for an album cover to abandon legibility and obscure communication the way that this one does. Of course, the title Remember is written legibly in the upper left hand corner of the square, but it's the larger, abstracted version of the word that dominates the composition. I love the way the E's and the M's interconnect with each other and I think the way the R has been simplified is quite brave. If I could change two things, I'd change the color of the first M (it appears to be negative space right now) and I'd include the last R in the composition (why has it been squeezed out of the frame?).

All in all though, this design is a risky one and it's nice to see a good, daring risk once in a while. I can't believe it got approved. One of my favorite quotes is from my former professor Sergio Baradat, who once said, "It's great to pull a rabbit out of your hat, but sometimes, a rabbit out of your hat is not what's called for." The cover design of Remember is an example of that first part - sometimes, it's great to pull a rabbit out of your hat.