Designing with the Other Four Fingers

Tonight I had the opportunity to visit a DC Design studio, Polygraph, to participate in an intimate discussion with the principals and some other AIGA members on the importance of stepping away from the computer as designers.

I heard about this event after receiving an invite from AIGA, but was more intrigued to go after hearing from one of my old coworkers/Vienna Studio particpants that the three founders of Polygraph were not only JMU alum, but Vienna Studio alum. I wanted to see how such an incredible experience translated into the real working lives of a multidisciplinary studio in DC.
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A Letterpress Weekend

I think I’ve found a new (expensive) hobby/career path—letterpress printing. It’s a process and technique I’ve always wanted to learn about, but have never been able to—until now.

Some may argue that letterpress, invented by Gutenberg way back when, was the pioneer of graphic design. Setting type, attention to detail, paper choice, color, precision, ink, craftsmanship—these important elements of letterpress are theories that are vital to graphic design today. And I was able to (finally) learn about these theories and practices first hand this weekend.

Coasters & Postcards from the Type Truck

Coasters & Postcards from the Type Truck

Kyle Durrie, founder of the Moveable Type Truck  Project has been traveling cross-country in a truck (similar to a food truck) that she has converted to a mobile home/letterpress shop. I came across her blog a while ago and was happy to see she would be making the DC leg of her adventure this past weekend. Unfortunately because of instances at work and the nightmare that is DC traffic, I got to the truck shortly before they were closing up. I didn’t get to stay as long as I would have liked, but it was really great to be able to work briefly with Kyle’s presses myself. She has two—both tabletop, one being a flatbed and the other an antique tabletop press (you’ll have to forgive me, I’m still trying to learn the terminology and ins and outs of this process, so I don’t know the specific names). We printed some postcards on the flatbed with some of her woodblock type and a coaster on the other one. I didn’t get to pick her brain as much as I would have liked, but it was still really fun to see the truck in person and distantly admire her gumption for doing something so bold with her skills.
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Birthday Inspiration

I turned 22 over the weekend, so I’m a big girl now—except for the fact that I still live at home with my parents while I do the save-up-money gig. Of course, with birthdays come presents, and for mine I asked for a bedroom make-over. Now that I’m living in the “real world” as a big girl, going to sleep at night on a twin day bed in a peach-colored, striped-wall bedroom wasn’t making me feel too grown up, let alone 22 (more like 7). So as I created my birthday wish list, I found fabrics, textures and colors that I liked, created a little palette and voila! Thanks to my wonderful family for combining efforts and getting me what I asked for (and even moving a queen bed into my room!), I have a beautiful bedroom that will transfer well into a nice yuppy apartment someday. And now that I have a beautiful room, I’m feeling very inspired to finish some old projects from school to adorn my now bare walls. My walls are now a nice shade of gray (stone cistern by Duron to be exact), so I plan on digging out some of my old black and white photos and framing them with nice large, white mattes to compliment the shade. I also have some simple contour drawings I think would work nicely in here as well as some failed lithography prints that I might rework into some sort of collage with water color. I definitely needed this little make-over to fuel my creative fire.
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