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11 Nov

I’ve been setting up a new site to replace this one, which has run its course. It’s not that interesting yet, but I promise that blogging will resume after the new year. I’ve learned much over my sabbatical, and I’m eager to share some new ideas….


And this is why I require your name on the spine.

4 May

Here we go grading, here we go! {Clap, clap}

“But I just grabbed it off of Google images!”

22 Apr

Artwork by Ryan Fors (top image). The stolen image appears on the bottom.

Please read this short article from today’s Minneapolis/St. Paul StarTribune about the use & misuse of imagery taken off of the internet. It is my opinion that the current generation of students relies too much on imagery obtained on line. (See: my found imagery assignment!)

Of course, there are ways to do it correctly, and ways that are… just… stealing. I love that there is such a wealth of imagery available to use quickly and at no charge, but I’m afraid that ethical violations will cause more imagery to be marred with unsightly watermarks to prevent theft. Besides, I’d imagine that it is terribly embarrassing professionally to be identified as a copycat. Bad, bad mojo indeed.

T-minus two weeks

21 Apr

{In the meantime, I’ll work on obtaining a better-quality file of this graphic….}

Today’s Free Advice

15 Apr

<p><a href=”″>Going Solo.</a> from <a href=””>Studio Botes</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Oh, how I love stop-motion animation. Though I can’t say I agree with the “don’t have kids” part… and I’m not sure what’s going on with the extra Vimeo code up there. Oh well, it’s Friday afternoon. As long as it works….

Credit: Studio Botes, South Africa.

On unpaid internships.

11 Apr

I just read an interesting editorial in The New York Times regarding unpaid internships for college students. (And you can read the resulting letters to the editor here.) It’s a nuanced subject, but I generally agree with the author, who writes that “colleges shouldn’t publicize unpaid internships at for-profit companies.”

But as someone who has taken both paid and unpaid internships (and has done both paid and pro bono design work), I do feel that it is OK sometimes to work for free, depending on the employer or client. I did an unpaid internship for the non-profit Minnesota Center for Book Arts as an undergrad, and learned a tremendous amount — not just about the book arts, but about the ins and outs of such an operation. And I make it a habit to regularly do unpaid design work for non-profits: I have done work for community-based theatre companies, parks, non-profit educational organizations, and local arts organizations. In fact, this is really the work I like the best, because I usually have more control over it. But I am fortunate: my job here at the University pays the mortgage. Most of you aren’t in this position. Yet.

I really believe that the worth of a designer must be recognized. (As does AIGA.) Don’t get me started about the company that recently posted fliers about a “logo contest” in our hallways, reducing the worth of a comprehensive corporate identity to a $100 gift card. Last summer, a student of ours secured a full-time summer internship with a locally-based corporation (I’m looking at you, ShopKo), but they expected her to work for free. That’s exploitation.

It’s a fine line.

{And of course, there’s a flow chart for everything.}

The center of attention.

7 Apr

Just in time for Design II’s music packaging project: a website devoted entirely to the labels found on the records themselves. These, of course, are the predecessor to the artwork printed on CDs. And for those who are about to do this project, I will offer a bit of good advice: do not wait until the last minute to design this element. I’ve seen too much of this sort of procrastination, and it’s depressing. After all, when you love a CD, which do you actively use more, the disc or the packaging?

The site, designed by one Simon Foster of London, also features a tightly curated section of album covers.