Pink Floyd albums always had really good photography. I had the Meddle album hung up on my wall, opened up to show the four members. Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffitti album was so well crafted. It had little windows that were all die cut in the front.
I was fortunate when I was young to inherit by brother’s album collection. As I got older I also added to it. I had a lot of media there for a while—keeping records, tapes and CDs took up a lot of space. I really appreciate now just having the digital files stored on my computer. Sometimes although I do miss having the actual album art and liner notes, but that’s what the internet is for. ^_^
For my online photo class we are supposed to start a journal. I chuckled a bit because I had already bought one specifically for the class from Kinokuniya. It has zoo animals on it and I thought that it would inspire me to go adventuring with the camera—and back to the SF Zoo. I actually have lots and lots of notebooks, journals, moleskines, etc and between maiki and myself we buy one every time we come across them (he may be worse than me at resisting them ^_^). I started to realize a while back that I never quite get the opportunity to fill the pages of the journals that I buy before I excitedly purchase another one so I’ve tried to hold back. Also lately I’ve been going back and using them for drawing and doodles that are not project related so they are not going out of sequence. Anyways when school started I released the ban on notebook shopping and picked out some super cute ones. Here they are: a green Moleskine, a Nantaka Joy scalloped beauty by Joy Cho, and zoo notebook with illustrations by Michiyo Tokuda.
While reading Design Observer I noticed a post from Michael Beirut about his own journaling habits entitled “26 Years, 85 Notebooks.” He likes to use the plain old school composition books, and he completely fills them up before moving onto the next, in a perfect timeline. He carries his notebook with him everywhere and it to jot down ideas, notes to himself, sketches of possible designs, contact information of clients, everything. In the post he also shows pages from his notebooks and discusses how they relate to real work that he has produced. All really interesting stuff! It is clear how integral these books are to his creative process— and that all these damn thumbnails that I have been forced to draw are really laying the ground work for good design practices. I wish that I had a quarter for every time one of my professors said that “the designer should begin with a pencil and paper and not with a computer and a mouse.” I have the supplies but it can be hard to fight that urge. I guess the reward to myself is shopping for stationary—and becoming a good designer.
As you have most likely noticed, I have been super excited to talk about graphic design lately. This week began the spring semester for me at the Academy of Art and it my second semester studying graphic design there. When I began this journey I was undecided about which part of the design world I wanted to be a part of. Last spring it occurred to me that graphic design was where it was at for me so I switched majors from computer arts & new media. I realized that I love print design and packaging and am much more passionate about them. It was a wonderful moment and I have never looked back. This semester I am taking History of Graphic Design, Typography 1 and Digital Photography. I am really excited and inspired by my new professors.
Last weekend maiki and I visited the Magnolia Brewery on Haight St. in San Francisco. It was a surprising place and I was enamored with the designed typographic elements (seen in the menu, etc.). It was modern and cool, but older elements of the architecture remained. The print identity, designed by NY’s Nothing Something, was sophisticated and reflected this place beautifully. It was quite a moment for me. I worked at a restaurant for a long time so I am picky to say the least. People tease me that I will never get good service but its not always true (and I am always very grateful when I do). Magnolia’s had it all for me: good beer, good music, curry nuts, and a lovely atmosphere. I will be sure to return!
I picked up a new book at Kinokuniya early in the week. Its a nice collection of work by Swedish graphic designer, Olle Eksell. Olle was an influential figure for Swedish graphic design in the 1950s. He worked as an illustrator, a writer, a branding expert, an editorial designer, a fabric and textile designer. I chuckle that the text is in Swedish and Japanese and not English, but it is just fine with me. _