Wednesday, October 20, 2010

In The House Industries Cul-De-Sac…

(click images to enlarge)

WHAT: Field trip for the History of Communication Arts studio class
WHEN: Friday, October 15th, 2010
WHERE: Brandywine River Museum, House Industries

The classroom can be a bubble if you you don't get outside of it once in a while, of course, and this field trip created a powerful combination of traditional applied arts, materials, techniques and contemporary work steeped in tradition. After a morning spent at the Brandywine River Museum, soaking in American works from both the fine and applied art worlds, our group moved to House Industries for a personal tour of their offices. Although I've had a relationship with the House guys for 13 years and even had them to PCA&D as guest speakers back in 2008, I hadn't visited their headquarters. So, for me as well as for the students – this was a treat.

The ever-gracious Andy Cruz (co-founder, co-owner and art director) and Brian Awitan (security, muscle and all-around ambassador) were joined by Ben Kiel (type master, teacher) for both a 2:15 and 3:15 tour for our students. During the 3:15 tour, we were joined by Rich Roat (co-founder, co-owner and operator) and Ken Barber (type master, teacher) as well. Hijinks ensued throughout the afternoon, for sure. Stories, laughs, inside jokes and memories of grandiose mistakes made along the way were shared with the students. There's no one single path to success and it's safe to say that House paved their very own unique one.

As a collective, the students were presented with a variety of image and business-based concepts including press sheets, illustration originals, type design, printed finals, the soon-to-be-launched Photo-Lettering website and – most importantly – the passionate philosophy that made House Industries one of the elite studios of our generation.

It was a lot to soak in, for sure, but hopefully everyone left looking at typography and illustration in a whole new way. For as much as I already knew about House already, I know I did…

"You had better watch your back
When you're in my cul-de-sac.
'Cause there ain't no goin' back
If your mom's Volvo gets a scratch."
– Badneck "Suburban Curse"
(taken from the Blaktur font package CD)