Wednesday, December 29, 2010

How Not To Be An Art Thief.

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a.k.a. The Ballad of Thomas Porostocky vs. Dave Warren

First, don't steal another person's artwork. Second, don't lie about stealing another person's artwork in a public forum while belittling the original artist and boasting about your apparent legend.

Further, when not stealing their artwork, don't arrogantly state that you came up with it yourself via "free clip art" only to later admit that you had someone else at your agency in charge of this – and that they obviously did steal the artwork. So there you go, a lesson on how not to be an art thief.

Enjoy, and follow the paper trail…

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dawn Of The Modern (Caffeinated) Santa Claus

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Thomas Nast, famous illustrator and cartoonist, is credited with creating the modern image of Santa Claus. He first drew Santa Claus for the cover of Harper's Weekly in January 1863. He was shown clothed in the Union flag, memorializing the sacrifices made by the north early in the Civil War, and bringing gifts to the troops encamped on the battlefields. Nast is also often credited several Santa Claus traditions, including his workshop, writing letters to Santa, etc.

Essentially, Nast combined the tradition of Saint Nicholas with another German folk tradition, elves, to draw his Santa. Luckily for Coca-Cola, Nast chose red and white for Santa's "color scheme" and they began integrating Santa into their holiday advertising in the 1920s. Up until this point, Coca-Cola was considered a summer drink but Coke's "Thirst Knows No Season" campaign quickly changed that forever.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

2010: A Reading Wish List

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From the legendary Alvin Lustig and the beautifully agitating James Victore to Cees De Jong's collection of Typography from the early 20th century, I'm filled with consumerism-based desires for these three books released in 2010. Admittedly I'm not as much of a reader like I used to be, but I never tire of visual inspiration and I'm thinking we all need to hop on these for 2011.

"Graphic design is a big fucking club with spikes in it, and I want to wield it."
– James Victore

"I make solutions nobody wants, to problems that don’t exist."
– Alvin Lustig

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Thin the Herd, the Great Cull is Coming Down…

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While I worked this past week on my brush lettering typeface, I found myself inking the name "Killing Joke" (and later, the cover graphic) while playing their outstanding new album, Absolute Dissent. There's nothing quite like the feeling of putting that brush to paper and seeing the ink come alive. It's something a Wacom tablet never will – no matter how hard it tries – be able to replicate.

"Thin the Herd, the Great Cull is Coming Down…"

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

In Memoriam: Peter Christopherson

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Peter Christopherson – legendary commercial artist, designer, photographer, videographer and musician – passed away last week on November 25.

In 1974, Christopherson joined forces with Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey Powerll at Hipgnosis and went on to create many famous album covers including Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here, Animals and Peter Gabriel's first three solo albums – most notably the legendary "melting face" artwork. For the record, Christopherson said this regarding his time at Hipgnosis:
"I worked as a free-lance photographer and contributor, then promoted to an assistant to Hipgnosis before becoming a partner, and continued to act also after I officially left the organization. So my contributions range from attempted but rejected artwork or design work, to partial contribution in either/both as an assistant, to being fully responsible for all design and artwork, such as the Peter Gabriel LPs. What you wish to document is up to you."
Christopherson went on to form Throbbing Gristle, early pioneers of industrial music, only to later join Psychic T.V. before forming his own group, Coil. As a music video director, he worked with Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Robert Plant, Rage Against the Machine, Sepultura, Paul McCartney, The The, Van Halen, Yes, and many more.