Blogs The Gradient Michael Aberman

Over-Booked: Joel Evey

As part of the Over-Booked interview series, I recently spent a few hours on iChat (a killer interview tool) with Joel Evey. An avid book collector and prolific image maker, Joel is an Art Director at Urban Outfitters in Philadelphia. Along with initiating and developing various publications for UO (amongst many other things), Evey’s side […]

As part of the Over-Booked interview series, I recently spent a few hours on iChat (a killer interview tool) with Joel Evey.

An avid book collector and prolific image maker, Joel is an Art Director at Urban Outfitters in Philadelphia. Along with initiating and developing various publications for UO (amongst many other things), Evey’s side practice consists of various print and small run publication projects.

 

I noticed you recently contributed to a publication that I’m familiar with called O FLUXO. Can you tell me how you became a part of the project and what the premise was for your submission?

O FLUXO started as a blog that documented fringe trends in internet art. Nuno Patricio, who runs O FLUXO, approached me about contributing to a printed version of his concept, the intersection of internet-centric creation and printed ephemera. The brief was extremely open, so I made a piece that I thought was appropriate based on the concept and viewing context of the publication. I explored the idea of utopia vs. reality; the discord between an internet-based existence, and a physically-based political and socio-economic landscape. A sort of “Jamrock” if you will.

 

What is the first book you can remember?

That would be The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. My parents were both elementary school teachers, so we had lots of wonderful children’s books. I remember being so taken by the illustrations. The other book I loved was my parents first edition copy of Where the Wild Things Are… and I loved it so much, I took my favorite crayons and decided I could make some “improvements” when I was 4 years old. Completely ruined it. hahaha They weren’t very happy. Nice crayon drawings though, I think they still have it.

 

What is the last book you read?

Ha, well, I guess being a product of the internet age, I’m a constant multi-tasker… so I’ve been simultaneously reading / re-reading Society of the Spectacle by Guy Debord, Design as Art by Bruno Munari (classic), and a book called The Song of the Birds by Anthony de Mello that a friend lent me. I’ll read a bit of one, put it down, read a bit of another.. etc

If I remember correctly you buy and collect a lot of books. How do you decide what you will purchase and how do the books you own play a roll in your own practice?

Books like Design as Art I buy for the content, but I also buy books for a variety of other reasons. Maybe they catch my eye, something about them strikes me in a significant way. Maybe it’s the concept, or the formal quality of the book. Something pulls me in, and I can’t put it down. Beware though, this will lead to a house full of piles of books if you aren’t careful. Although it can also lead to some interesting juxtapositions. Right now I am looking at a stack with a copy of Beauty and the Book sitting on top of a zine that is only pictures of food collages from bodegas. This makes things interesting for sure. I would say these types of combinations definitely influence my work, like the way we view things on tumblr, lots of juxtaposition of form and content. That said, over consumption of visual form, or even ideas in general can lead to a devaluation of them. I guess it’s important to have balance in anything.

 

What are a few book/zine/publication projects you have done recently?

I’ve done a book of Symbols for Medium Rare, Rasmus Svensson and I did a book of experimental photography for Bodega Press, and most recently Joe Gilmore and I self-published a book about things that were produced by hand for our combined show at Catch-Up in Leeds. I really enjoy the freedom that small run publishing provides. As far as upcoming, I have a few projects that are a little nebulous right now which I can’t touch at the moment, I don’t want to spoil the surprise.

What makes a book valuable?

Books are valuable for many reasons, in a near history point of view, books were the absolute source of how information was disseminated. Now the value of a book can based on factors outside of usefulness, be it formal quality of the book as an object, or the imagery that makes up the book. Dieter Roth’s cheese books for example, extremely valuable. I think books will only to continue to polarize in value thanks to the internet. In short, as we consume more and more digitally, books will become more of a niche object, relegated to the realm of the collector and the art historian. It’s projects like Google Books, for instance, that challenge the need for a physically printed book. Personally, I place value on the tactility of the design object, so I would say that’s what creates value for me.

Do you have any book-related rituals?

For the most part, not really, I just kinda stack them wherever I can find space! I think the only one I may have is with photography books. I look at it once, and then close it for a while. Then after some time I will come back to it and try to see how it may speak to me differently after some distance.

Can you tell a cautionary tale related to the design or production of a book?

Make sure your book board is thick enough when you’re having a book hard bound, warped books are no fun. that’s a lame answer, everyone knows that? ha.

Describe an impossible book that you’d like to make (if you could do the impossible).

Micro LED pages combined with holographic projection. Every page would be interactive and rendered in real time. Pages could either interact with your physical space, or act as a window to another dimensional experience. This technology isn’t far off either.  It just needs time to develop into something light and flexible, instead of the tablet based devices that are so prevalent now.

 

A while back you and a couple of co-workers (Matt Owen and Namik Schwarz) developed a zine for Urban Outfitters called WTVR. Could you talk about the ideas behind it, how content was generated, what the distribution method was, etc. Also how many issues are there at this point?

WTVR lasted 4 issues before the idea was repurposed. It was designed as a way of recontextualizing content from the Urban blog to bring exposure of that content to a wider audience. The zine was given away free in store. The design of that publication was in reference to the “amateur” methods in DIY and Punk zines of the 1980′s. Most of the content was centered around music, so that genre of design tropes seemed to fit.

You said the idea was repurposed—what is it now?

It was folded back into the blog, the idea was interesting, but after a while it didn’t make sense for how quickly the blog was moving in relation to the printed piece.

 

Are you working on any publications for UO at the moment that you would like to be shared on the blog?

The last publication I did for Urban was a hardcover book we did in collaboration with artist Sam Falls. As for current projects, right now only our Catalog offerings. Our most recent was shot by Tyron Lebon. As far as other publications go, right now we are in internal discussions about the saturation we can achieve with a printed book vs having a mobile or tablet based offering. We’ve done a few online only catalog recently, we’re watching them closely to see how people respond. It’s a timely discussion I suppose…

Do books start to look like their designers? Do designers look like their books?

Books start to look like their designers brains. Talk to someone who designs wild books about their ideas or their process, I feel like you would see a strong correlation pretty quickly.

 

Pick five books that would be buddies.

I picked five books that share the theme of curated content, as well as all having black and white covers, which was accidental I swear!

1. Extended Caption published by Dexter Sinister

2. A Wikipedia Reader published by ASDF

3. Manystuff #2 published by Manystuff

4. Post Internet Survival Guide published by Revolver Books

5. The Institute of Social Hypocrisy — The Sound of Downloading Makes Me Want to Upload published by Lauren Monchar

GD:NIP #8: Fanette Mellier—Specimen and Bastard Battle

French graphic designer Fanette Mellier has two pieces in Graphic Design: Now in Production. The first is her Specimen poster, a meticulous patterning of printer’s marks and color bars, and the other is a conceptual redesign of the book Bastard Battle, a novel by French author Céline Minard. I recently emailed Fanette and asked her […]

French graphic designer Fanette Mellier has two pieces in Graphic Design: Now in Production. The first is her Specimen poster, a meticulous patterning of printer’s marks and color bars, and the other is a conceptual redesign of the book Bastard Battle, a novel by French author Céline Minard.

I recently emailed Fanette and asked her a few short questions about her work. I quickly realized that the language barrier was going to make for a less than straightforward exchange. (Fanette claims her English isn’t very good, but I think she is selling herself short, and as for me, my French vocabulary consists of maybe two words.) To circumvent this, we decided to communicate using Google Translate as an intermediary. Below you will find both the English and French translations. It’s not perfect, but it works.

Could you talk a little bit about Specimen and the ideas behind it?
Specimen The poster was designed for a series of exhibitions on design editorial in the town of Chaumont, which is an international design festival. Editorial design is not assessed on the same scale as the poster, and its quality is related to the quality of printing and manufacturing. That’s why I obsessively recomposed a tapestry, with the technical control of printing, because it is a common language for designers, but is still on the sidelines. This poster is not really an image, it is made to be seen up close. The title of the poster is printed on the back, it appears to the fold. The gesture reminiscent of the fold on fragile paper, and the cornea of the book page. This poster introduces a report text / image that refers to the very substance of the paper, as one giant page.

What is your relationship to Céline Minard’s novel Bastard Battle? How did you come to work with this text? Are you familiar Tarantino’s film Kill Bill? I read a review of Bastard Battle that compared the two…  Do you think that is an appropriate pairing?
This book was conceived during a residency at the International Festival of Chaumont graphics. I started a project on the relationship between graphic design and literature, and commissioned four writers of texts. Celine is one of Minard, she wrote Bastard Battle through my home. The story takes place in Chaumont in the Middle Ages, it is based on a true story. The language is a mixture of old French, and terms borrowed from the world of kung fu and manga. This text is a UFO, with a particular energy, almost cinematic. I wanted the book looks like a paperback book (poor form and familiar), which would have gone mad. As if the text contaminant, had the book. The typography mutate, drool, and transformed. Colored light is propagated, and leaves the heart of the book, as a light of stained glass. The comparison with Kill Bill is just a certain way, because there are references to “wink” to a world of kung fu, and that women play a unique role in the battle scenes, very graphic. But in my opinion, the work of Celine Minard is unclassifiable and more ambitious, the codes are less caricatures, language is reinvented.
Royans

In the Moon

Circus

Common Agenda

From looking through your website it seems that vibrant color and geometric form play a distinctive role in your work, almost to the point of becoming a personal style. Could you talk about color and the way you utilize it from one project to the next?
The color is fundamental to my work. I use it functionally (classification, hierarchy of content) and poetic. Often the forms I create are very geometric, rigid, organized. Plasticity and poetry involved with color, that flows through these forms, sometimes freely and randomly when I leave an element of chance in printing. But I can also say that it is invested differently in different projects related to the content. For example, in the project “Royans” color allows the book to dive into the colorful glow of a season: summer. For the project “In the Moon”, the color makes a significant step forward in the lunar cycle, and an exploration of the technology. “Circus” for the project, the color yields of single letters, which become artistic objects, visible from near and visible from a distance. And the project “Common Agenda”, color identifies the reader in the geographical areas to classify exposures. and so on.

French version:

Avec votre affiche Spécimen il semble que passé beaucoup de temps et d’effort de collecte des barres de couleurs et marques d’immatriculation de couleur des imprimantes différentes. Pouvez-vous nous parler un peu plus sur cette pièce et le processus qui est entré dans ce qui en fait?
L’affiche Specimen a été conçue pour une série d’expositions sur le design éditorial, dans la ville de Chaumont, où se tient un festival de graphisme international. Le design éditorial ne s’apprécie pas à la même échelle qu’une affiche, et sa qualité est liée à la qualité d’impression et de fabrication. C’est pour cela que j’ai recomposé une tapisserie obsessionnelle, avec des éléments techniques de contrôle de l’impression, car c’est un langage commun aux graphistes, mais qui est toujours en marge. Cette affiche n’est pas vraiment une image, elle est faite pour être vue de près. Le titre de l’affiche est imprimé au verso, il apparait avec le pli. Le geste du pli rappelle la matière fragile du papier, et la page cornée du livre. Cette affiche instaure un rapport texte/image qui renvoie à la matière même du papier, comme une page géante.

Quelle est votre relation à la bataille de Céline Minard Le roman de Bastard? Comment êtes vous venu à travailler avec ce texte? Connaissez-vous les films de Tarantino Kill Bill, j’ai lu une critique de la bataille Bastard qui a comparé les deux, pensez-vous que c’est un appariement approprié?
Ce livre a été conçu lors d’une résidence au Festival international du graphisme de Chaumont. J’ai initié un projet sur les liens entre graphisme et littérature, et commandé des textes à 4 écrivains. Céline Minard en fait partie, elle a écrit Bastard Battle dans le cadre de ma résidence. L’histoire se passe à Chaumont au moyen-âge, elle est basée sur une histoire vraie. La langue est un mélange d’ancien français, et de termes empruntés à l’univers du kung-fu et du manga. Ce texte est un ovni, avec une énergie particulière, presque cinématographique. J’ai eu envie que le livre ressemble à un livre de poche (une forme pauvre et familière), qui serait devenu fou. Comme si le texte contaminait, possédait le livre. Les typographies mutent, bavent, et se transforment. Une lumière colorée se propage, et sort du coeur du livre, comme une lumière de vitrail. La comparaison avec Kill Bill est juste d’une certaine manière, car il y a des références “clin d’oeil” à l’un univers du kung-fu, et que les femmes y jouent un rôle bien particulier dans les scènes de batailles, très graphiques. Mais à mon sens, l’oeuvre de Céline Minard est plus inclassable et plus ambitieuse, les codes sont moins caricaturaux, la langue est réinventée.

De regarder à travers votre site, il semble que la couleur vibrante et la forme géométrique de jouer un rôle distinctif dans votre travail, presque au point de devenir un style personnel. Pouvez-vous nous parler des couleurs et la façon dont vous l’utiliser d’un projet à l’autre?
La couleur est fondamentale dans mon travail. Je l’utilise de façon fonctionnelle (classification, hiérarchie du contenu) et poétique. Souvent, les formes que je créent sont très géométriques, rigides, organisées. La plasticité et la poésie interviennent avec la couleur, qui circule dans ces formes, parfois de façon libre et aléatoire, quand je laisse une part de hasard dans l’impression. Mais je peux aussi dire qu’elle est investie différemment selon les projets, en lien avec le contenu. Par exemple, dans le projet “Royans”, la couleur permet de plonger le livre dans la lueur colorée d’une saison: l’été. Pour le projet “Dans la lune”, la couleur permet une avancée sensible dans le cycle lunaire, et une exploration de la technicité. Pour le projet Circus, la couleur permet d’obtenir des lettres uniques, qui deviennent des objets artistiques, visibles de près, et lisibles de loin.  Et pour le projet “Agenda commun”, la couleur permet de repérer le lecteur dans les zones géographiques pour classifier les expositions. etc.

 

GD:NIP #3.✺: Konstantin Grcic—360º and Eric Ku—Chair/Chair

Another fantastic piece in the show is Konstantin Grcic´s 360°. As one of only two seating apparatuses featured in Graphic Design: Now in Production, this non-chair found its way into the gallery as part of a larger installation, Jürg Lehni and Alex Rich’s Empty Words (separate post to come soon) and therefore does not exist on […]

Another fantastic piece in the show is Konstantin Grcic´s 360°. As one of only two seating apparatuses featured in Graphic Design: Now in Production, this non-chair found its way into the gallery as part of a larger installation, Jürg Lehni and Alex Rich’s Empty Words (separate post to come soon) and therefore does not exist on the registrar’s official checklist of pieces featured in the exhibition. Thank you Jürg for bringing this wonderful ‘tool’ to our attention.

Curator Andrew Blauvelt (left) and artist Jürg Lehni during installation.

Jürg sitting on his 360° while setting up Empty Words. (swivel chair or swivel camera??)

Grcic constructing the first mockup for 360°.

Description below pulled from Grcic’s website:

360° is neither a stool nor a chair, but something inbetween. Its name implies that it swivels around and that one can sit on it in all directions. It is meant for seated activities that require a constantly changing posture. 360° is not intended for long stints of work in a static position. Instead it encourages a form of dynamic sitting, short term, ad hoc, improvised – moving around.

“Konstantin Grcic´s radical take on the office chair shatters the ergonomists´monopoly on workplace design and turns a bumrest into a tool. Sitting on it in a traditional way is the least successful approach – you feel a vertiginous sensation that everything that should be there isn´t. (…) In its efforts to shake off the flattened, generic experience of traditional office furniture, Grcic has made something that asks us to think of a chair-as-tool, or chair-as-device. (…) What´s happening here is a strange trick – where by undoing the direct functional performance of a chair, Grcic makes the 360° somehow more functional. By un-inventing the normative perception of the chair, he asks its user to be party to the imaginative invention of sitting. (…) And somehow this provisional quality feels like a relief from a more conventionally comfortable chair. Sitting on it here in my office, it feels less like work, more like doing something.”
(Excerpt form a text by Sam Jacob published in ICON magazine, September 2009).”

The other chair in the exhibition is Eric Ku’s Chair/Chair.

In the Gallery…

Ku’s Chair/Chair in the typography section of the exhibition.

From the gallery label… Eric Ku’s Chair is made from pieces that when taken apart, spell out the word “chair.” Ku was inspired by a famous work by conceptual artist Joseph Kosuth, One and Three Chairs(1965). Kosuth placed a real chair in the gallery next to a photograph of the same chair (photographed in that gallery) and a definition from a dictionary.

Joseph Kosuth, One and Three Chairs (1965).

Casting the Machine Project Shadow

    We recently collaborated with Machine Project to create a series of fliers for their upcoming Walker Open Field residency, Summer Jubilee, which begins this Tuesday, July 19. The Summer Jubilee (and it is truly a jubilee—check out this great teaser video) is a two week long series of events that take place all […]

 

 

We recently collaborated with Machine Project to create a series of fliers for their upcoming Walker Open Field residency, Summer Jubilee, which begins this Tuesday, July 19. The Summer Jubilee (and it is truly a jubilee—check out this great teaser video) is a two week long series of events that take place all over the Walker campus, including directly underneath the Open Field.

The idea for these came about when we were digging through the Walker archives and found a great collection of beautiful, one-color fliers that the Walker (we) used to make for its (our) Performing Arts events back in the ’70s. We were immediately drawn to the simplicity of this utilitarian format, evoking a kind of dirty modernism mixed with a photocopied DIY feel. So we decided to revive the system as a bit of a time-travel experiment, not only in aesthetics, but through the history of an in-house design studio that has existed for decades, and seen scores of designers come through its doors. And its a bit of a self-serving experiment in DIY messaging–––what good are coffee-shop fliers in the age of email blasts, direct mail, and Facebook events? Where do retro Kinko’s fliers fall on the spectrum of graphic DIY revivalism—somewhere between Craftivism, zine culture, and delirious desktop publishing aesthetics? It’s fun to ask the question. Maybe Machine Projects has an answer—they have a love for printed matter and DIY communication—in addition to our fliers, they commissioned several L.A.-based designers to make some sweet screen-printed posters for their events.

We plan on returning to this shadowy system in the future whenever it feels appropriate, or even when it doesn’t. More to come on that soon, but in the mean time, can you guess what type of sushi roll that is in the the photo below?  (Hint: it was inspired by the range of paper colors that the original fliers utilized.)

Don’t forget to come to the Walker and be a part of the Jubilee, July 19-29, you are sure to experience some form of jubilation.

Archives: 70′s Flier System

From the Walker archives: a group of typographic fliers (8.5 x 11) from the mid to late 70′s used to promote events like poetry readings, concerts, plays, and performances. We are currently reviving the flier system, if only as shadow marketing. Whole Earth Rainbow Band

From the Walker archives: a group of typographic fliers (8.5 x 11) from the mid to late 70′s used to promote events like poetry readings, concerts, plays, and performances. We are currently reviving the flier system, if only as shadow marketing.

Whole Earth Rainbow Band

Bad Time Zoo: Interview with Sims (of Doomtree) and Adam Garcia (of the Pressure)

    So this one’s a little different. We don’t normally make posts based around music we like, but when that notion is combined with thoughtful design and good people doing good things, it only seems right share the awesomeness with others, and what better way to do that than with a blog post! Recently […]

 

 

So this one’s a little different. We don’t normally make posts based around music we like, but when that notion is combined with thoughtful design and good people doing good things, it only seems right share the awesomeness with others, and what better way to do that than with a blog post!

Recently Sims, a Minneapolis rapper and Minnesota native, released his second full length album titled, “Bad Time Zoo”. Sims is a member of Doomtree, a collective of rappers, djs, producers, artists and all around good people. Doomtree is also a record label which the crew formed as a means to do what they love to do and so on their terms. Bad Time Zoo was released on the Doomtree label. All the beats on the album were done by Lazerbeak, also of Doomtree and known for his lavabangers. Sims and Beak produced an album that combines thought provoking lyrics with deceptively complex beats, and the result is nothing short of outstanding. In other words, you gotta hear it.

As for design, it was done by Sims’ longtime friend and Minnesota native, Adam Garcia (of The Pressure). Adam graduated from MCAD a few years back and has been making big moves ever since. After a stint in Philly at, he found his way to Portland where he is currently a senior designer at Nike. For the album, Adam created multiple illustrations (one of which is a flamingo dancing on a wrecked car) as well as a custom typeface (BTZ Display).

I recently asked Sims and Adam some questions about the album, their process, box cutters and paper fold animals. They were kind enough to take the time to answer (thanks).

A little note about the packaging. The album comes with the CD, a booklet of lyrics, a fold out poster and a box cutter (that’s right a box cutter, which has the title of the album printed on the sleeve). The fold out poster has three templates for paper fold animals (a shark, a vulture, and a lion) which you  cut out with the box cutter and then construct with a little bit of tape. check out the video they made about it, here.

++SIMS

When producing a new album It seems as though it may not be enough to simply release a standard CD these days. What were your concerns or goals when imagining the packaging of your new album? At what stage in the creation of an album do you start thinking about this?
At this point in the music industry, and all media industries for that matter, it’s important to make your product enticing to the consumer in the physical from.  Media is readily available for consumption almost instantly via the internet so if you are at all interested in getting people to purchase your product physically you need to make your package interesting, almost a collectors item. Well thought out design and interactivity are crucial to the success of a physical product.  You have to be engaging the audience in more than one form. I didn’t start thinking of packaging ideas until the album was done because I wanted to have the package tie into any themes that I could from the album. That’s why I enlisted the help of my talented friend Adam Garcia. We started with a list of themes, then we came up with the idea and he executed the piece beautifully.

What can you tell me about the album title “Bad Time Zoo”?
the album was initially called “The Veldt.” What i did this time around was make a surplus of songs and gave rough mixes to a few friends of mine in an attempt to see which songs they were gravitating to, trying to make informed decisions about which tracks were good. “Bad Time Zoo” is a line that appeared in a song. when I got critique back from my friends two of them told me the were getting Bad Time Zoo tattooed on them. In a David Lynch moment I decided to change the title to Bad Time Zoo the idea being that if that line stood out so much then it should be the title.

Between the three paper fold animals (lion, shark and vulture) which is your favorite and why?
The shark. I really love that animal, its characteristics are amazing. Plus as Adam pointed out Sims stands for “Shark Is My Shit”

There are a couple of literary references on this record—what can you tell me about the two songs “One Dimensional Man” and “The Veldt” in terms of that?
For an answer to your question, check out this MPR piece.

You released this record under the Doomtree label, which you are a founding member of, so beyond artist, what other roles did you play in the production/release of this album?
Doomtree is a collective of artists that started a label out of necessity. We formed more or less an artist owned and operated co-op with a DIY work ethic instilled in us by various punk bands and indie hip hop labels.  All of us wear different hats with the business. After I handed my masters in to the label I became more or lessa project manager for the release. I had to make sure the art and design were done, handle the video schedule, coordinate with radio and pr, work with my team on a marketing campaign and multiple other things.  Basically its a lot of meetings, emails, phone calls and drinks…not a bad job at all. I was not alone in the work, Lazerbeak, Dessa and the rest of Doomtree were crucial components in handling this project done. Its definitely a lot of work to release records this way but on the plus side you are in full creative control of your music and its presentation.

(Sims just released a video for his song “One Dimensional Man”, check it here. He also has a video out for his song “Burn It Down.” Watch here.
(Sims is on tour right now. Check here for the dates).

++ADAM

How would you describe the influence of the music on your design for this record? How do you think this design fits in with the long history of design for Doomtree?
I’ve been a fan and friend of Sims’ for years. We used to freestyle together, and we wrote a song together back when I was making music. As a designer / illustrator, I’ve always been very interested in the symbols that Sims uses in his music. He’s smart, and his use of metaphor is greatly influenced by literary references. There’s something that I like about the fieriness of Sims’ delivery and the overall kind of finding-order-out-of-chaos that is a theme of his music. Having a thorough knowledge of the Doomtree design aesthetic also had an influence. I was definitely giving a nod to Eric Carlson’s work on the last Sims’ False Hopes album in this artwork, but of course wanted it to have it’s own identity.

With musicians, I usually don’t just create an album cover or packaging right away, I start by pitching them an overall visual direction that includes reference material, color direction, typographic direction, photo direction and illustration direction as well as references to materials and textures that I think carry the feel of the album. This is to create a comprehensive campaign from the get-go while allowing the artist to visualize an end-result in the first phases.

Luckily, the Doomtree as a whole has a very good understanding of the importance of visual identity. When Sims first approached he had an idea of what he wanted, and part of that was an aesthetic that involved drawn illustration, the overall theme of the album, and “origami” animals. The idea of animals being a metaphor for different kinds of people was a starting off point.

I also knew that I wanted something a little more mechanic to offset the illustrations, so I created a simple font for headers and titling that I called “BTZ Display.” This also helped with the overall identity. The horizontal and vertical striping on some of the letters are supposed to reference bars, like in a zoo.

At the very beginning of the project some 6 months ago, the name was going to be “The Veldt,” which is both a Ray Bradbury story and a latitudinal line around the Earth where some of the largest animals exist. I immediately wanted Jon Grider to be a part, and comped up a cover with one of his stencils and a simple, bold type treatment over the top.

Next, I was imagining creating a kind of “12 Monkeys” like post-apocalyptic America where wild animals ran free in the city in front of a dystopian Minneapolis. That’s where the flamingo dancing on the crashed car came from. I pitched that as the next cover, but he felt like the idea of having a more human element was important. We used an image of me holding a pillow in lieu of an actual lion head as the reference material.

What was the process like in the developing of the paper fold animals?
At first, the idea of creating “origami” animals was challenging because of the amount of didactics required to ensure proper execution. I thought that the “paper foldable” direction could be a little more fun, easier to assemble, and it stands on its own unlike a lot of actual origami.

I looked at a lot of other paper foldables online, and downloaded and assembled dozens to get the hang of construction. After that were rounds of animal sketches, and then creating abstractions of the basic animal shapes in Adobe Illustrator. After one “plane” of the 3D animal is created, it’s kind of rounds of trial and error to get all the edges and flaps correct. The biggest challenge was fitting all three predators on a single 10″ x 14″ sheet.

What was the relationship like between you and Sims during the design of the album?
(designer – client / longtime friends / long distance correspondence)

Sims is an awesome client. We trust each other and respect each other as creators, and that was key.

Where do you get a box cutter printed?
Burlesque has done printed box cutters before and facilitated the printing.

Archives: 1968–1972 Walker Performing Arts flyers

1968 Here is another (slightly overwhelming) group of images from our archives: a series of performing arts pamphlets from the late 1960′s/early 70′s that roughly sticks to the same system. The earliest pamphlet is from April 1968, a black-and-white flier for JAZZ at the Guthrie (which turns out to be one of the most interesting […]

1968

Here is another (slightly overwhelming) group of images from our archives: a series of performing arts pamphlets from the late 1960′s/early 70′s that roughly sticks to the same system. The earliest pamphlet is from April 1968, a black-and-white flier for JAZZ at the Guthrie (which turns out to be one of the most interesting of the bunch). The last pamphlet we could find was from March 1972 for Merce Cunningham and his dance company. (Hold your mouse over the cover images to see who the flier is promoting.)

The system began as a black-and-white, 5.5 x 8.5 single-fold pamphlet with the name and a high-contrast image of the act it was promoting on the cover. The insides usually remained entirely typographic with the back cover acting as an advertisement, usually for a local business (such as The Electric Fetus record store, which thankfully is still around today). Through ’69 the designers dabbled here and there with having a cover that relied solely on image and by 1970 that idea became part of the system. The first pamphlet of 1970 also began the implementation of a colored paper stock with a single color ink. The luscious design does its job perfectly: turning these gods of music into mythologized versions of themselves—a collection of portraits of living legends. 

1969

1970

1971

1972


BACKS & INSIDES

Doug Benidt, a curator here in Performing Arts, informed me that Sue Weil, in partnership with the Guthrie Theater, was responsible for booking these extraordinary shows such as The Who, Captain Beefheart, Silver Apples, Miles Davis, and The Beach Boys. As coordinator of Performing Arts, Weil had a unique relationship with many of the acts she brought to Minneapolis. She often invited the performers to stay at her home in Minnetonka, MN. The article also states that Weil “made a habit of attending to the personal needs, as well as professional ones, of visiting artists.” For instance when John Cage, a mushroom fancier, came to town she would make sure to have fresh mushrooms on hand. In a separate article in the Minneapolis Tribune from June, 1969 it mentions that when Pete Seeger came to town, she picked him up from the airport, drove him to his hotel and went home to bake him bread. When the Star asked Cage to contribute his thoughts on Weil, he obliged by submitting a poem which uses Weil’s name as its crux.

Also, if you are wondering why the majority of the fliers have holes punched through them, it’s because years ago someone had archived them by putting them in 3-ring binders. That was before our stellar archivist, Jill, took over. Thanks Jill for letting us hold on to these for so long.