Graphic Design News

Posted on Monday, April 30, 2012 by Bob Aufuldish

Liz Tran, Bob Aufuldish, Nathanael Cho, and Deborah Lao

Sputnik is CCA's in-house, award-winning undergraduate design studio. Sputnik is a unique model that simulates (and in many ways certainly is) a typical professional client/agency relationship, where the client is a CCA staff member with a project, and the agency is Sputnik. Graphic Design faculty member Bob Aufuldish has been the faculty advisor for Sputnik since its inception in 1995.

Aufuldish has taught at CCA since 1991. In 1990 he cofounded the graphic design studio Aufuldish & Warinner. He has designed diverse projects for such clients as Adobe, Advent Software, the American Institute of Architects, the Center for Creative Photography, the Denver Art Museum, Emigre, the de Young Museum in San Francisco, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. In 1995 he launched the digital type foundry fontBoy to manufacture and distribute his fonts.

Here he talks to Nathanael Cho, Deborah Lao, and Liz Tran, all current Sputnik students, about the Sputnik experience. The interview was part of an exhibition-making advanced studio course led by Jon Sueda, in which the three were enrolled in spring 2012.

How did the idea for CCA's student-staffed, in-house design studio come about?

In 1995, the CCA board committee overseeing publicity was reviewing all the stuff the college was publishing. The chair of that committee was a former advertising agency person, and he said, "This stuff is terrible. We need to do something about this." At the time, the college didn't have the resources to hire people to design everything and manage all the projects that needed to go out.

David Meckel (now CCA's director of research and planning) knew I had gone to a school that had an in-house graphic design studio staffed by students. I told him what that program was like, and we decided to start something like it here. In the beginning, it was myself working with CCA vice president for communications Chris Bliss and two students, Eric Heiman and Nadine Stellavato. We didn't do a lot of work -- just a few projects here and there. This is because people were a bit skeptical about a group of students being able to pull off important projects. My attitude always was: All you need to do is point students in the right direction, and they'll do great work. I was right!

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Posted on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 by Allison Byers

CCA alum (BFA Graphic Design,2010) Niko Skourtis has been awarded the 2012 Catalyst Award by the Society of Typographic Aficionados (SOTA) for his thesis project, Typograph.

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Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Under the Halo: The Official History of Angels Baseball
Insight Editions, 2012
Hardcover, 264 pages, $50

Under the Halo: The Official History of Angels Baseball is designed by Graphic Design faculty Brett McFadden and Scott Thorpe of the firm MacFadden and Thorpe. From the team’s inaugural season in 1961 under the ownership of film legend Gene Autry, this book traces memorable moments, personalities, and accomplishments through first-person accounts by Angels past and present. It includes more than 300 images, a vintage scorecard, program guide reproductions, and a removable timeline.

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Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2012 by Mitchell Schwarzer

Mitchell Schwarzer gives his introduction at the CCA faculty retreat

On February 4, 2012, the faculty at California College of the Arts gathered at the college's San Francisco campus for a retreat focused on the state of the arts across our many disciplines. In the morning, 25 short presentations offered insights into challenges and opportunities faced by practitioners and thinkers in recent times. The word aired most frequently was crisis: the crisis of the Great Recession; the crisis of Global Climate Change; the crisis of understanding and working within a discipline in our digital age.

Watch the video of all the presentations (91 minutes), shot and edited by Yoni Klein (Photography 2012)

The economic downturn has produced an economic squeeze within most of our disciplines. Art directors, as Alexis Mahrus remarks, have diminished roles in shaping an illustration. Smaller profit margins reduce the flexibility and time given over to experimentation. Branding and celebrity worship take up a larger slice of the creative pie. Some presenters, like Sue Redding of Industrial Design, see no problem in this conflation of art and business and, furthermore, dispute the notion of a crisis. Yet many presenters feel that the economic crisis is not only real but wielding dangerously asymmetrical impacts. Demand remains strong for high-end craft goods and blue-chip fine art. Some small nonprofits are struggling to survive. To Ignacio Valero of Critical Studies, the priority given over to luxury items can be attributed to the ongoing influence of classical economic policies that privilege individual decision making over collective social and natural needs. Likewise, Sandra Vivanco of Diversity Studies notes that economic inequalities have greatly worsened over the past few years, especially in the developing world. Contemporary society is forging a timeless, spaceless way of conducting business, a race for lucrative and short-term gains that concentrates investment more than ever in the hands of a few.

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Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Georgia Bellflowers: The Furniture of Henry Eugene Thomas
Georgia Museum of Art, 2012
107 pages, $16

This catalogue is designed by Graphic Design faculty Brett McFadden and Scott Thorpe of the firm MacFadden and Thorpe to accompany the first-ever exhibition of works by Henry Eugene “Gene” (or “Shorty”) Thomas (1883-1965) at the Georgia Museum of Art. Thomas worked from his home in Athens, Georgia, as an antique dealer and furniture maker for more than four decades. Because he relied on locally found antiques for inspiration and because he favored local woods such as walnut, cherry and maple, his furniture has a distinctly regional flair. The exhibition features approximately 17 pieces of furniture and related ephemera.

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Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People
Grand Central Publishing, 2011
Hardcover/paperback, 336 pages, $27.99/$15.99

Designed by Graphic Design faculty Lenny Naar, this book by the bestselling author of I Like You delivers a new book dedicated to the world of crafting. Demonstrating that crafting is one of life's more pleasurable and constructive leisure activities, Amy Sedaris shows that anyone with a couple of hours to kill and access to pipe cleaners can join the elite society of crafters. "Did you know that inside your featureless well-worn husk is a creative you?" she asks. No doubt drawing on and making light of the current economic atmosphere, she notes that "Being poor is a wonderful motivation to be creative" and that most crafts are made with found or salvaged materials. In hilarious and well-styled photo spreads, Sedaris adopts various uncanny disguises, including a teenager, an elderly shut-in, and Jesus. She devotes equal time to instruction on making homemade sausage, gift-giving, crafting safety, and lovemaking (aka "fornicrafting"). Those looking to make conventional crafts should look elsewhere. Everyone else should sit down, have a laugh, and make your very own bean-and-leaf James Brown mosaic.

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Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Imagine Design Create: How Designers, Architects, and Engineers Are Changing Our World
Melcher Media, 2011
Hardcover/paperback, 336 pages, $29.95/$17

Designed by Graphic Design faculty Brett McFadden and Scott Thorpe of the firm MacFadden and Thorpe, this book offers a wide-ranging look at how the creative process and the tools of design are dramatically changing, and where design is headed in the coming years. It brings together stories of good design happening around the world, from the impact of SOM’s Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland to the spark that inspired Thomas Heatherwick’s U.K. Pavilion in Shanghai; from the new processes fueling Zaha Hadid’s extraordinary architecture to the digital tools Ford is using to transform car design. How does design change our lives for the better? How is our capacity to produce good design evolving? How will the next generation of designers work? What will they make? What new areas of human experience is design opening for us? Now that designers can do almost anything—what should they do? Author Tom Wujec is a Fellow at Autodesk, a world's leader in 2D and 3D design software.

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Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Setting the Scene: The Art and Evolution of Animation Layout
Chronicle Books, 2011
Hardcover, 270 pages, $60

The art of animation layout takes center stage for the first time in this full-color volume designed by Graphic Design faculty Brett McFadden and Scott Thorpe of the firm MacFadden and Thorpe. Animation fans and students can finally take a behind-the-scenes peek at the process by which artists plot scenes and stitch together the many elements of animated works, from the genre’s earliest pioneers to the digital world of contemporary cinema. The book features in-depth text by veteran animator Fraser MacLean, previously unpublished art from major studios’ archives, including Warner Bros., Pixar, Walt Disney, and more, and interviews with major names in animation.

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Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Pantone: The 20th Century in Color
Chronicle Books, 2011
Hardcover, 208 pages, $40

Pantone, the worldwide color authority, invites you on a rich visual tour of 100 transformative years. The book is designed by Brooke Johnson, who is a 2003 alumna of CCA's Graphic Design Program and now a member of our faculty and a senior designer at Chronicle Books. From the Pale Gold (15-0927 TPX) and Almost Mauve (12-2103 TPX) of the 1900 Universal Exposition in Paris to the Rust (18-1248 TPX) and Midnight Navy (19-4110 TPX) of the countdown to the millennium, the 20th century brimmed with color. The authors -- longtime Pantone collaborators and color gurus Leatrice Eiseman and Keith Recker -- identify more than 200 touchstone works of art, products, decor, and fashion, and carefully match them with 80 different official PANTONE color palettes to reveal the trends, radical shifts, and resurgences of various hues.

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Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

DIRTY BABY
Steidl, 2012
Hardcover, 152 pages, $125

DIRTY BABY presents a provocative trialogue between the paintings of Ed Ruscha, the music of Nels Cline, and the poetry of David Breskin. The book is designed by Graphic Design faculty Angie Wang (who is also an MFA alumna of CCA) and Mark Fox of the San Francisco firm DesignIsPlay and the package includes two full-length music CDs. The title refers to the fact that when different art forms mate, there is never a purebred offspring, but rather a muttish and raunchy one: gloriously dirty. The 66 pictures in the book are drawn from two of Ruscha's bodies of work, the Silhouettes and the Cityscapes. In these works, Ruscha uses censor strips in place of the words or phrases that characteristically occupy a prominent place in his pictures. Their obfuscation gives the missing words a powerfully subversive presence: Language is emphasized even as it is obscured.

The book is in two "sides" in the manner of a vinyl record. Side A presents a kind of "time-lapse" history of Western civilization. Side B returns to the cradle of that civilization, charting the American misadventure in Iraq. For his poetic form, Breskin uses the ancient Arabic ghazal, a perfect foil and fencing partner for Ruscha's language-sensitive strategies. To this mix, Cline adds music for a large ensemble.

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