Thursday, March 27, 2008

Blu Bayoo

An era gone by: the year 2001.

I found these 2 vintage video clips that my DJ parther and I had made to promote our deja blu Friday night gigs at Blu, a sushi/club on Main Street in Buffalo, NY. It was like finding old Super 8 movies in the family attic, but 2008-style.

We had an early (2001) digital camera that could capture Quicktime video clips and and we filmed these between periods of a Sabres playoff game we were watching at Faherty's on Elmwood. We emailed these out in the Summer of 2001, to entice the masses to come on down to groove with us. We had a semi regular gig at Blu and we marketed it fiercely with nights of flyering, hanging posters and email blitzs.

As I was moving the dejablu website to a new server I stumbled across these. I thought to myself, these need to be on YouTube for all to enjoy.

The first one is is the classic titled deja blu.. on the run staring DJ Scotty. the second is Indian Food: "No indian food, but we like Indian food..." starring me and my rockin' sweater vest. Enjoy.

>> deja blu... on the run video clip: click here.
>> deja blu indian food video clip: click here.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Neon Bible

Tommy, can you hear me?

I love book design, love packaging design. Here is an article in about some really innovative and just-plain-cool book designs. In each case, the designer has interacted with the subject matter. The subject mater has driven the design solution.

I really like the book of photos that were buried and then un-earthed with dirt and decay and the AGI: New Voice, which was bound with a synthetic ear (see images at the right). This will stand out on the book shelf! Huh? I also like the All Men Are Brothers, a project that features interviews and the work of 108 leading contemporary graphic designers.

This article references a new book about books called Book-Art: Innovation in Book Design by Charlotte River available from RotoVison. Some of the books are great, some are not.

Very cool- check it out the article here

BONUS BEATS (for Good Friday): The cool Neon Bible video by Arcade Fire. They play the song in an elevator complete with ripping pages sound effects!
Click here for You Tube video.

After 10 hours of straight sleep, I have overcome the burnout; I live to design once again... at least until the Sabs take on the Leafs tonight, eh? Then I'll have to take a break.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Big in Japan

Another week of non-stop graphics a.k.a too busy to blog.

As Thursday reaches its end (for the ordinary workday, at least), I look forward to not working this weekend. As usual, when Thursday rolls around, I have already worked 4 days and most likely 4 nights. I try to get in here at least 3-4 hours a night to prepare for the next day (gotta keep the employees busy), work in peace (all by my lonesome) and do the things that just don't seem to get done during the daylight hours.

So at a point like right now (exactly 5:23 PM) on Thursday-- I am feeling burnt out. Maybe I ought to be better-- not packing so much into the first 4 days of the week... spread it out some more? I even got in here a bit Sunday night (2 hours), so I was prepared for a Monday meeting... so I think I may have reached the end of the line. Man, I hate working Sundays. I used to work Sunday mornings in my college job at the Sheridan Family Restaurant, but that was Sunday morning, and I was done by 3:00 PM...

I still have to work tomorrow (Friday) during the day. But it is Good Friday (as all you good catholics out there know...), so a lot of companies will not be working full shifts, especially in Buffalo where a lot of those old Poles, Italians and Irish celebrate a holy afternoon. So it is kinda like a 1/2 day around here, so maybe cut out early... we'll see how that works out.

Unfortunately owning our own business means a lot of extra hours, so who's complaining-- it is so rewarding! Seriously, if we got the work, I can't complain, it's a good thing. Beats working at BK! It just gets a bit tiring sometimes. Maybe I can get a quick 5 minute nap before I go in the house for dinner. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz........

Monday, March 10, 2008

Window Sill

Hands tied.

The blessing and the unfortunate thing about graphic design is it has been tied to the use of the computer. Of course to be able to really design, you have to be able to do it without the computer. But there is no way in hell, you could be a practicing graphic designer and not use a computer. If you can't send an email, you are hopelessly unattached to society today. Or so it would seem....

I spend the better part of today on the phone with my internet service provider, swapping cables, turning computers and modems and routers on and off and on and off, etc. etc. There has been 0% thing designed by me personally today, all part of the job. I used to have a modem in my house and I remember why the internet used to suck before it got fast! ! ! Anyway, I am going to draw something on paper tonight, with a pencil, and live to fight technology another day... tomorrow.

The attached photo is not a made up still life, this is really what my desk looked like- Cat5 and phone lines all over, scraps of paper with scribbled notes >> Click to enlarge >>

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Skin I'm In

Saturday Nite: & still snowing....
click for larger views....

Snow Blind

It has been snowing since Yesterday morning- over 24 hours!

We shovel and shovel and an hour later, it has piled up again. It not so bad- it is Buffalo- and we expect a lot of snow, even in March and sometimes even April. It makes everything look clean and white again and it slows down the day to a crawl.

It is Saturday, so I think there is going to be a lot of stay-at-home-watching-movies going on in this town today. The Sabres play tonight in sunny Carolina, so it is good night to hunker down. But..... there is something about snowstorms that brings out the adventurer in me. I want to go out and 4-wheel drive around town, and there isn't an official driving ban-- so lets bundle up and explore!

In the past J. and I have:

  • Drove out to buy a TV (a special we couldn't resist) during a driving ban.
  • Spend all afternoon in a old-man's bar (pre-kids), drinking beer, playing the jukebox and shooting darts.
  • Take the dogs for a walk in desolate, ghost town-downtown (when we were early loft dwellers).
  • Stayed in and read all the books, magazines, pamphlets in the house.
  • Watched Bill Murray's Groundhog Day movie (several times in a row) increasing the movies circle of time theme

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Mais Que Nada

He's up, he's down.

Often wracked with a sense of 'not good enough,' I think designers are constantly in a state of personal reflection. Since all designs are problem solving, and seen in terms of 'what looks good', or 'what works better'... that same examination, or microscope can often be turned inward, on ourselves.

If a designer knows he/or she is good, are they doing their job? Or do they have to be constantly challenging themselves and pushing themselves, reflecting on themselves and their work... to be 'good.'

A day like yesterday, where everything seemed wrong, incomplete, or just not designed good enough, made me wonder: Should I throw away 20 years of designing in the recycling bin and look for another line of work..... The classic suffering artist never thinks their work is good, never gets public acceptance until long after they are gone. But I think graphic design has a greater sense of urgency, with work that is viewed by many eyes, especially in website design where the audience is literally the entire globe. So I push and push and keep forging ahead.

Today things seem to be going better, the problems are getting solved and the client loves the designs. The thought now is to either sit back and enjoy today's 'ups' and revel in the joy, or do I stop, reflect and push farther and harder still? In the old days, the 'boys' in the ad dept. would all go out for happy hour (or a long lunch) and drink several scotches, pat ourselves on the back and go to work the next day with a splitting headache.

I don't think that is going to work for today, though. But I did go to Record Theatre last night and bought a handful of 45s, that seems to help some.