Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Beyond Design…

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Another major avenue for my creative energy is photography. And through photography, I've found a desire to film and edit video as well. It's a slippery slope, to say the very least.

Recently I traveled to Brazil in order to shoot footage for a series of webisodes for my old friends in Killswitch Engage. The results inspired me to expand video to feature the abandoned sites I explore for photography. And now I get to edit them myself, which I naturally didn't on the KsE webisodes, of course. Editing video is no small task, by the way. For instance, the Final Cut Express 4 manual is 1152 pages alone! I both curse and bless its programmers in the same breath, my friends. Curse, bless… bless, curse.

Anyway, I'm only getting started in this field but it feels good to work in so many mediums and I hope you head over to my Vimeo page to see my early works.

Happy New Year!!! See you in 2010…

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

In These Times Of White

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With winter officially upon us, all things white were on my mind. Upon searching for both "snow" and white design," I happened upon 3 very cool things.

"Winter Palace" (above)
• From the ever-addictive Shorpy: February 12, 1933. "New York City views. Plaza buildings from Central Park." The Savoy Plaza and Plaza hotels. Photo by Samuel H. Gottscho.

White Furniture
• A gorgeous selection of modernism furniture, lighting and accessories.

White Design (environmental)
• In their own words: "White Design is an architectural practice and sustainability consultancy specialising in the design of context sensitive, low carbon and low environmental impact buildings and landscapes, both cost effectively and to the highest design quality. Our approach to sustainability overarches, underpins and threads through all our work. The practice has four areas of specialism: architecture; landscape architecture; consultancy services; innovative materials and research." –

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Print Is(n't Even Close To Being) Dead.

The other night, in a discussion amongst several colleagues, the notion of "is print dead?" came up. I simply can't help it, my eyes immediately begin rolling the instant this topic of discussion's brought up. Call me a dinosaur, call me what you will, but don't forget to also call me a realist while you're at it.

The "print is dead" theory has largely been spear-headed by metro-bubble, tech-driven, design snobs who huddle around coffee shops and convince themselves that everyone thinks like they do. The argument doesn't hold much water past the newspaper – which isn't even dead yet, by the way.

For starters, every single item made and sold in this world comes with packaging and visual identity. Everything. In other words, order it online from your fancy website and guess what arrives? An actual product, fully-realized in all three dimensions with a design intact that was designed by an actual designer. Weird.

Only a soulless generation would think of creating a visual world filled solely with monitors and digital screens. You can't hold a pixel. A pixel doesn't give you comfort and, let's face it, real life demands a whole lot more than 72 dots per inch. For example, try sending an ecard to Mom on Mother's Day or your wife or husband on your anniversary. They'll hate you, and rightfully so.

Ultimately, it's very likely that a few individual facets of print design will fade away in time but this is not nearly enough to make print D.O.A. as we head into the 2010's – or within my lifetime. And I'm not that old, thank you very much.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


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For immediate release:

On Friday January 8th, 2010, punk legend Eerie Von (Danzig, Samhain) will make a special in-store appearance at New York’s Generation Records in support of his new photography book MISERY OBSCURA: The Photography of Eerie Von (1981-2009).

Eerie Von will play a rare acoustic performance with Lyle Preslar (Minor Threat) and Mike D’Antonio (Killswitch Engage) during the in-store appearance at Generation Records, and sign copies of MISERY OBSCURA along with designer Tom Bejgrowicz.

The one-night-only event starts at 7:00pm in the West Village. Those wanting to secure their place at the event can pre-order copies of MISERY OBSCURA at to be guaranteed entrance (space is limited).

NOTE: Please note that only copies of MISERY OBSCURA will be signed during this event. No outside material may be brought into the store.

Achtung: Work In Progress!

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I've been at work on a new project as of late and here's a teaser of the cover ideas that were pitched, accepted and routed for approval…

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

2009: The Year In Music

As I'm sure you guessed by now, I'm a big-time music fan. It always was this way; from sitting down and playing 45s on the floor of my brother and I's bedroom in the 70s to moving off to NYC & LA to become a Project Manager and A&R representative. With that said, I wanted to post a little something about the year in music as well as my choice for album and single cover of the year. Now, before anyone goes bonkers on me, the covers of the year are chosen specifically from the titles that land on my "best of the year" list. If it wasn't on my list, it couldn't be selected. Simple.


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THRICE Beggars
• They changed up the final cover at the last minute, too late to stop the first one from getting out there for the earliest sales. Personally, I'm a big fan of the first cover – which is the one featured here. Thrice are quickly becoming one of my most-respected bands in all of music. They never sit still, would rather fail trying and succeed treading water and are one of the best sounding live bands. If only they'd tour with bands I like, or just by themselves.


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• The single is, for all intents and purposes, a dead art. Most singles are now digital only, especially in the states, and typically feature some promotional photo shoot outtake with some lame type over it – and that's it. Not Natasha Khan. She has the Karate Kid himself, Daniel LaRusso, painted on her bare back for this gorgeous photo. It's hard to beat, I know.

And here's the music list itself. Based solely on the listening experience, of course…

(in alphabetical order):

ALICE IN CHAINS Black Gives Way To Blue
NEKO CASE Middle Cyclone
DOVES Kingdom Of Rust
HEAVEN & HELL The Devil You Know
MASTODON Crack The Skye
THRICE Beggars

For more, check out the Knights of the Turntable blogspace…

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Judge These Books By Their Covers.

I've spent the whole semester teaching Design Studio I with a theme of book publishing at the Pennsylvania College of Art & Design, so this post is quite fitting. It's also fitting because I have a guilty pleasure movie that actually spotlights a cover featured here. Here goes…

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ROCKWELL KENT: I wonder how many books have inspired as many great art works over the years as Herman Melville's Moby Dick. None better than the 1930, three-part, limited-edition works by artist Rockwell Kent. Once an obscure title released in 1851, the book received a major boom in the early 1920's when critics and authors alike heightened the book's importance as an American literature classic. The Kent-illustrated editions sold-out immediately and helped in launching the legend once again.

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Fritz's wood-cut cover for Jane Eyre rose to my attention via the smartly-written, not-quite-arthouse 2008 film, Definitely, Maybe. A character was given this edition of the book by her father and I instantly loved the cover. After doing a little research, I found that the art was created by Mr. Eichenberg, a German-American illustrator who fled Hitler's Germany in 1933. He also illustrated Wuthering Heights and a phenomenal collector set can be viewed, or purchased here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


How do we know what we're creating in advertising today will stand the test of time? Most of the time, I really do care. I promise, I do. The rest of the time, however? I laugh at silly commercials, many featuring my favorite "that's the guy from my favorite commercials" guy. You know who I'm talking about, the one and only Jerry Lambert.

He did this one for Cheese Nips!

Or these he did for Holiday Inn… #1.

… and #2.

… and #3.

or this from PS3 (the censored version).

Sorry, but not everything in advertising has to be high art. If it's not going to be, it can at least make me laugh like a fool while lying on the couch. ;)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Holiday Gift Of 2009

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If anyone thinks I'm kidding when I say that Misery Obscura: The Photography of Eerie Von (1981-2009) is the Fuck You Heroes for Lodi, NJ – they're sadly mistaken. There's never been, and never will be again, a book quite like this one. Eerie was the only one to document Lodi's finest from the inside. As the unofficial photographer of The Misfits and founding member of both Samhain and Danzig, Eerie's book of photos, memorabilia and stories captures the essence of punk and hard rock like nobody else can.

I was privileged to coordinate and design the 160-page, full-color project for Eerie and Dark Horse Books. The official release date is the week of Christmas but the book should be shipping in early December. To pre-order from for only $19.77, go here.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

When Bad Design Meets Cuteness!

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Let it be known: I'm a sucker for animals and kitschy design. With that said, despite the horrendous design and that god-awful yellow border – the animals and kitsch still win out! I'm typically left staring and smiling at this cover every single time I see it. Cuteness always prevails, apparently.

The album, named by Rainn Wilson of "Dwight/The Office" fame, features a photo taken by amateur photographer, Jason Neely. Jason's photo won National Geographic Magazine's reader-submitted photo contest, which apparently Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo reads.

I haven't liked much of anything from Weezer past the Green Album (Pinkerton remains my favorite, of course) but I did get to go on the road for a few dates back in '96 when Placebo opened for the band in the U.S. Good times, especially the conversation Rivers and I had over the catering table in Chicago about the Japanese girl who inspired "Across the Sea."

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Going Vintage For Sally Jane

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Occasionally Jennifer likes to update both her vintage clothing blog and Etsy store with new graphics. This typically occurs every 12 months or so, mind you. With that said, I've done at least two prior to October's revamping.

I took a vintage piece of art, mid-century favorites like Futura and Clarendon and tossed in a little sampling of color (0:C, 78:M, 74:Y, 0:K) and came up with a new set of banners for her blog ("The Fashion Pages"), store ("The Etsy Boutique") and avatar/button for Etsy ("SJV").

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Alvin Lustig: Born Modern

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Very few artists can ever be at the forefront of an actual movement in their lifetime; a visual representation of a new cultural aesthetic. Alvin Lustig is one of those select few.

"Alvin Lustig's contributions to the design of books and book jackets, magazines, interiors, and textiles as well as his teachings would have made him a credible candidate for the AIGA Lifetime Achievement award when he was alive. By the time he died at the age of forty in 1955, he had already introduced principles of Modern art to graphic design that have had a long-term influence on contemporary practice. He was in the vanguard of a relatively small group who fervently, indeed religiously, believed in the curative power of good design when applied to all aspects of American life." – Steven Heller

For more, go here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"She Said, Now Stop That Jivin'…"

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"…Now Whip Out Your Big 10 Inch!"

Ah, remember when Aerosmith had fire in their souls (and pants, apparently)? I know, it's been a long, long time! However, not as long as it's been since the 78 rpm 10" record dominated the music industry. By 1910 the 10" record was by far the most popular standard, holding about three minutes of music on a side. Because of both that and the fact that the 10" size was the standard size for popular music, almost all popular recordings were limited to around three minutes in length. This limitation in length of playing time persisted until the invention of the LP (long playing record) in 1948. From that moment on, the 10" began its fade into obscurity until seeing its end in the late 1950s.

By enlarge these records aren't worth very much money but they are fun to look at for all of their "label" graphics. I flip through hundreds of old 45s and LPs in the thrift store racks looking at the old artwork and labels. From the great colors and typography to seeing how one label like Capitol or Columbia changed their look from one decade to the other. Classic stuff and something worth checking out.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Icing On The Cake…

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Well, the Mosaic Project has officially launched! It's an incredible show, an incredibly packed show and one I'm happy to have played a part in. Congratulations to Michelle Fogel, Heidi Leitzke, Matthew Cherry and everyone at PCA&D for a fantastic debut.

As an added bonus, I was able to talk to one of the exhibiting artists, Rudy Gutierrez. I'm a fan and it was very cool to chat briefly about the world of album art.

Finally, have I ever seen a logo I've designed literally become part of a cake?!?! I think not. Am I a fan of this concept? Indeed, I am.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

This Will Make You Smile…

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… And not solely because Ed gives a nod to "Tomb" and "Tom"! (laughs) Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Rosanne Cash: The Good Intent EP

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When my friend Susan, Art Director-extraordinaire, called me and asked if I'd be up for designing both cover art and a digital booklet for a Rosanne Cash digital-only EP, I naturally said "yes" and got to work right quick on this 2-weeks-from-start-to-finish turnaround project.

Rosanne, by birth alone, is country royalty but it's the fact that she's been doing her own thing for decades now that's earned my respect. And now she's releasing The Good Intent EP prior to her full-length, conceptual covers album in October called The List. Above, you'll see the EP cover (top) followed by 1 of the 4 panels from the digital booklet that comes with each purchase from iTunes.

Factoid #1: The Good Intent was the name of the boat that came to America from Scotland in 1653 with the very first Cash family member aboard.

Factoid #2: The List is titled after a list of 100 essential country songs her dad, Johnny, told her she must learn in order to truly know and appreciate the music itself.

For more on the fantastic story surrounding this conceptual covers album, go here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

For Your Hi-Balls (A Coaster Set)

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Another find at the Root's Country Market & Auction. Believe me when I say that I had no idea that the "coasters" were a combination mini-jockstrap and drink cozy! That sealed the deal, for sure, and the "set of pick me ups" immediately became mine. Regretfully there's no date or company information whatsoever while a Google search for "kings hi jockstrap coasters" revealed nothing!

For the history and list of highball drinks, go here. For typography and illustrations that make you yearn for Sinatra and a Salty Dog, go here.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Labas Lietuva!

While Jerry Lewis had France and Yngwie Malmsteen (still) has Japan, ManAlive is busting out in Lithuania! Panevezys, Lithuania that is. You see, you never know what you're going to find on the interwebs and my site's analytics program's discovered someone in Panevezys has visited this site 62 times in the last month while averaging nearly nine minutes per visit! I'm both flattered and intrigued, I must admit. With that said…

If you're checking out my blog from Panevezys, drop me a line (the email link is under the "welcome" section to the right) and let me know how you came to find this site, what brings you back and if you're a designer as well.

Oh, and of course – thanks for stopping by! Ä® sveikatÄ…!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Shape Of The Earth

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With a title inspired by T.S. Eliot's poem, "The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock" and band members who study neurology and history – the artwork for The Shape of the Earth's new EP simply had to take on an intellectual, academic, artistic and yet somewhat ambiguous nature.

The core concept and color scheme of the space was inspired by a photograph I took while exploring the Richmond Power Plant in Philadelphia. The eye itself brought science and history together, while meshing with the background itself in an homage to the shape of the earth itself.

For more on The Shape of the Earth, please check out the band's website and MySpace for more. Also, mark your calendars for the EPs release date on October 6th.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

PCA&D Admissions Viewbook '09-'10

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As with its sister piece, the Admissions poster, the "viewbook" is handed out to teachers, students and parents in hopes of their attending the college. The 24-page publication takes the same color palette, design themes and style as the poster but turns it around on itself just a bit. In the end, it's different… but it feels the same.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fig Magazine Launch Party!

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In honor of the new issue of Fig Magazine shipping out week, Deb Brandt & Co. at Moxie House threw a launch party last night at Annie Bailey's. Since it was the PCA&D-led issue that my C. Emlen Urban piece was part of, I was able to hang out with many fellow faculty, administration and alumni that I rarely see over the summer. All of the original pieces were on display, as well as tons of Fig-itos and other beverages!

The cover of Fig, as seen here, features art from many of us affiliated with PCA&D, including Matthew Ivan Cherry, Charlie Beyl, Bob Hochgertel and Megan Caruso.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Hey-Day Of Rail Travel Spawned…

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… some amazing design, photography and illustrations. I mean, just looking at that glorious illustration makes me want to have been there too! The Vista-Dome North Coast Limited was a train run by the Northern Pacific Railway that ran through Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis, Spokane, Tacoma, Portland and Seattle. I picked these postcards up at Root's Country Market & Auction Inc. this past week, along with another sweet find you'll see soon enough. For more classic train imagery from this era, go here.

The History of the Vista Dome (in brief): "The Vista-Dome North Coast Limited was the premier passenger train of the Northern Pacific Railway from 1954 to 1970. Dressed in Raymond Loewy's two-tone green paint scheme, deemed by many to be the most attractive ever applied to a passenger train, the Vista-Dome North Coast Limited featured glass-topped dome cars, which allowed passengers a sweeping view of the scenic territory between Chicago and Seattle. It also featured a unique lounge car with a Lewis and Clark theme, top-notch dining car service, and state-of-the-art Pullman sleeping cars." – From the press release for "Vista-Dome North Coast Limited" book