Typography is Art

I was extremely honored to be invited by Block Party Boutique to participate in their group exhibition, Typography is Art, in September 2015. I submitted four pieces for display that people responded to rather kindly. More importantly, I exhausted the gallery’s arsenal of Franzia boxed wine during the opening reception. My artist statement, and some cool photos the curators shot, are below!

Modernism is ultimately timeless. From startup logos to the NYC subway, mid-century typography is versatile, clean, and has been basically hard to improve upon for over a half century. And, when manipulated properly, this type of design provides both a campy visual whimsy and a clean, highly effective communicative quality. I borrow heavily from the kitsch and predictive vision of midcentury retrofuturism, and marry it within disparate projects throughout my portfolio. Not Found takes that approach to its most extreme humorous end, imagining the visual vocabulary of Wim Crouwel as an annoying internet response – answering a question no one has probably asked, what if internet buzzwords were modernist prints?

Designer’s Nightmare is an ode to every designer’s awful boss. It’s a well known in-joke within the creative community. Management, clients, and anyone who feels like giving feedback on an artist’s project turn to this phrase when they feel a design needs something, but they’re not sure what. Rather than take an extra minute to better articulate this feedback, they’ll throw out “make it pop,” as if it’s a meaningful thing to say (it’s not). Nobody knows how this entered the lexicon, but it’s the equivalent of responding to a question without answering it. This print serves as my definitive sarcastic statement. It’s even an anaglyph that comes with 3D glasses for your stereoscopic enjoyment.

Both TYPE and Exit Sign for CMYK experiment with the fundamental form of type itself to create something that, at a cursory glance, may not even appear to be typography, much less words. TYPE plays with lines, while Exit Sign rethinks the word itself using standard CMYK overlays in the printing process.