Los Angeles Street Art X Design Festival

I’ll be participating in the AIGA Los Angeles Street Art X Design Festival which takes place on November 12, 2016.

It’s a one-night-only celebration of visual design and graffiti.

The theme of the evening is LA neighborhoods and the canvases are up-cycled wooden hexagons.

All hexagons will be auctioned with proceeds benefiting the local chapter of AIGA: The Professional Association for Design and supporting the development of initiatives including student scholarships, street artist entrepreneurship programs, and ongoing design-focused events and programming.

The event is at The Container Yard which is located in Downtown LA at the Arts District: 800 E 4th St., Los Angeles, CA 90013.

The pressure is now on to create something special.

AIGA Los Angeles Design Evolution series kicks off

AIGA Los Angeles is just about to start a new design series called ‘Design Evolution’ which I designed the promotional graphics for.

Design Evolution engages speakers and audiences from across the professional design spectrum to investigate the future of design. Future, though a broad term, here means the unknown, speculative status of a rapidly evolving profession with multiple possible evolutionary trajectories. Drawing the thoughts, perspective, and insights of individuals from the corporate, academic, and studio worlds, including designers at a variety of points in their individual careers, Design Evolution seeks not answers to but discussion about directions in which the craft and concept of design may grow, contract, or morph in the coming years and decades.

For more information and to register click here.

Does a European design aesthetic still exist?

Hardly a week goes by without being approached by a design agency or recruiter asking for a designer with a ‘European design aesthetic’. Generally I aways reply, ‘yes that’s me’, I’m from Europe and I get what your after, but what exactly defines a European design aesthetic and does it still really exist?

I remember working at big design agencies in London who always had walls full of design books, these books were often divided into world regions or had dedicated books for each part of the world (London, Tokyo, New York, etc). Flicking through these books at the time you could clearly see a difference between European and American design.

European design tended to be more understated and cleaner, with minimal type usage and illustrations, mostly using Sans Serif typefaces. By contrast the American designs were type heavy, often using copywriting led communication with photography and serif typefaces. Not any better or any worse, just an overall heavier appearance. I do remember preferring the majority of European designs I saw.

That’s what I remember from design books some 15 years ago, but is it still like that?

Having worked in Los Angeles for the last 4 years and collaborated with designers from the US and other parts of the world on a daily basis I really don’t see that much of a difference anymore, with the exception of FMCG packaging which mostly feels dated in the US. I think the explosion of US based tech companies and the fact almost all brands have a global reach, along with our reliance on the digital space to expose brands I now believe the playing field has very much leveled. We are essentially seeing similar graphic design styles around the world.

Simplicity of communication is proving the most successful form of communication in what is an ever-increasingly congested world.

Don’t get me wrong, European design has always had a certain level of prestige in America, whether it be cars, furniture or packaging. But I now suspect those requests that come in from agencies asking for a ‘European design aesthetic’ are really just asking for ‘a great graphic designer’, and being from Europe does not automatically mean you’ll get that, there are amazing designers all over the world.

So my advise, which is pretty obvious, look at their portfolio and choose designers based on experience and their ‘own design aesthetic’. If that aesthetic works for your client then your good to go.

New website launched with full screen capabilities

I’m delighted to announce my new website is up and running. I had the previous one for about two years and while I liked the design it did not showcase my work at high resolution and images did not scale to fill the screen. This is especially important these days now so many of us are using super hires retina screens.

In addition to the design overhaul I have also included more work, explained my areas of expertise in more detail and repositioned my professional services to put branding at the heart.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the new website and the big images, who said size doesn’t matter?

I have finally printed some business cards

Despite have been freelancing as a graphic designer for almost 20 years I have never actually had a printed business card. Don’t get me wrong I have designed my own business card many times just never printed them. But with a recent wave of printing business cards for clients I thought I should finally take the plunge. They were printed by Moo in New York (10% off referral link) using their Luxe product range on Mohawk Superfine paper with a sheet of magenta paper sandwiched in-between. The result is a thick and luscious feeling card.

The front of the cards are pretty simple, using a subtle chevron pattern in a hot pink and my DC monogram. The back features 5 different ‘light-based’ photographs I have taken while on various trips to New York, London, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Santorini.

New location and studio in Beverly Hills

I’m very happy to inform you I have moved into a new studio. Relocating from the ‘mean streets’ of Culver City to the palm tree lined streets of Beverly Hills. It’s a much bigger space and has wonderful views towards the canyon, Santa Monica and the ocean, you can even see Catalina island when LA’s haze lifts.

If you’re in the area drop by for a cup of tea and some scintillating chat.

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