Archives For Design-y Stuff
We (read: I) had a pretty traumatic flight from BRS, so once we landed we were exhausted and not feeling up to much. We crawled out of the metro in time to hear the strains of Miley Cyrus echoing out of the Forum and got a bus and met our Air BnB host, David who looks like a web-designer from a nineties rom-com.
The apartment is a good proxy for our own flat at home, decent size a bit grubby but not grubby enough for my fiancee to mind. We unpacked, freshened up and headed to the nearest place that sold food and ended up at Steak House just as Distortion was letting out. It was pretty much indistinguishable from Boro Pizzas on a Friday night. We got a large margarita, to which the guy worryingly replied ‘Large? Are you sure?’ and when it came we found out why — Nothing a boro lass couldn’t handle, mind. We made light work of it in front of a danish-subtitled showing of Men in Black on TV. Then slept like the dead.
This morning I was tasked with hunting out Meyer’s Bageri and Coffee Collective but failed miserably and had to wait for A to collect me. We ate a danish and drank a cappuccino on the grass, and realised we were minutes from our apartment and had taken the long way round.
The plan was to walk to the DDC but it turned out to be lousy; an overpriced cafe and one ‘exhibition’ on one desk in the corner, everything else was closed down. The sole highlight was eavesdropping on a man giving a design presentation to some clients: he knew his shit, we learned a bunch. We took advantage of the free wifi to change tactics, as the weather soured and ruled out a bunch of stuff we had planned.
We ended up at the National Museum which turned out to be the best possible decision we could have made. Learned a shit ton about the pre-history of Denmark, learned some runes, saw loads of ridiculously ornate things from a bunch of different countries and cultures and time periods and it was pretty boss. Finished up on the top floor with the Navajo Quilt exhibition (insanely good) and a summary of modern Danish history. The exhibit on the first same-sex marriages in Denmark choked me up pretty bad, but not so much the lady next to me who spent a good ten minutes scrutinising the display then tutted a “Whatever” to herself and walked off.
Ate a supremely good burrito at Slice of San Francisco which is ran by a super-friendly lady named Miriam, who loves her job more than a person probably should and makes a mean cheesecake (apparently, we didn’t stay to find out!) – Stopped for Ice-cream at a 7-Eleven on the way home (where they still sell Zzaps [!!!]) and dropped into a Netto to pick up some supplies. Photographed a bunch of stuff – Danes don’t fuck about when it comes to packaging. Got one stop planned for the evening then we’re going to explore.
The sad fact about being a graphic designer is that we need a web presence; yet even typing those two little cliché words has sent my hypothetical balls crawling back up into my body cavity. It’s partly because they’re a ball-ache to maintain, it’s also partly because there’s an expectation for these sites to be dazzling when I firmly believe portfolio sites should be anything but.
Though they’re simple enough to code —for the last two years my portfolio site was hand-coded— they probably shouldn’t be: if you want them to look so fresh and so clean, with a nice sturdy back-end —pause— then a portfolio hosting service is the clear choice.
It’s important to have a few specific needs in mind when you’re considering a portfolio service. I like to outsource as much as the hard work as I can, as I’m a lazy shiftless bastard; but you might require a service that allows you to tinker with the source code a little more; well not me.
Wow! What an odd week it’s been. I had my first hand-in of my final year of University, my blog post about Lucy Tobin has had a thousand views (!!!) and some great responses from my Teesside brothers and sisters, and finally I had a spare few minutes to finalise the design of the finished patches I created for Scouts For Equality and they sold out in less than a day!
I’ve written about how useless it can feel to be a designer before; when a crisis calls, the only help we can really offer is decorative. I remember when the tsunami hit Japan and it seemed like everybody was churning out distasteful reminders of the tragedy. I found it odd that someone would pay over the odds for a print, when the best thing should really have been would have been to donate money and time directly.
It’s quite simple really. People like stuff. People don’t like to give away money and have nothing but a warm feeling to show for it, we need something tangible. So I thought about it and I remembered something Frank Chimero said about design’s ability to ‘delight.’ Very few people have the opportunity to delight people with their day job and I saw this as the perfect opportunity to do so. Instead of commemorating the BSA’s horrendous prejudice, I thought I could create something people would want, something they’d want to show-off, and most importantly an identifier: something we can wear with pride, as a sign of solidarity.
The response was incredible, people really were delighted and the patches sold out in less than a day! They did so well that I rounded up the figure to $50 and another run is already in production.
This batch is ‘Eagle Approved’ and will be a limited run of 50, with a lighter background than the first batch and metallic silver border. I’m really, really grateful to people for giving me the opportunity to pursue these projects and to ‘delight’ — here’s to raising even more money for Scouts For Equality. If you haven’t already, please go over to their site and sign their petitions, it only takes a few minutes. I’m going to leave with the final justification; the original email I sent to Scouts For Equality.
When reading about the recent BSA atrocities I was moved to action: I self funded the production of some embroidered patches that all of us can wear to show support to the poor young men (and women, and den mothers/fathers) who are being treated unjustly by the BSA.
I was a Girl Guide and I am now openly gay, and though I was too young at the time to know exactly what I was, it pains me that more headstrong young people who are sure of themselves and their sexuality are being punished and excluded for the way they are. The world needs Scouts more than ever, we need the camaraderie, we need the bond of sister and brotherhood, we need model citizens. We should be banding Scouts together, not tearing them apart.
I am not doing this for recognition, though if you’d like to share a link to the finished badges that would be lovely. Though I’m limited to what I can do as a designer, I continue to raise awareness for this cause on a personal level, and I’m happy to support your organisation and cause. In my own small way, I hope I have helped.
A covetous instinct not seen since rampantly ‘bagsying’ through pages of an Argos catalogue as a kid kicked in when I saw this website stencil kit from UI Stencils. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m doing a UX/UI project at the minute or if it’s just my innate love of stainless steel, but either way, gimme gimme gimme.