Why I hate scott clum and think pagination is cool


Friday, November 10, 2006

This guy's stuff makes me want to jump off a bridge its so good...


Okay, here is someone with a similar amount of experience to myself, a little older, little more schooling, but not much and his work is basically awesome. And I am way jealous. Why am I not this awesome? No fair. I fire myself.

Which bridge is closer to the Wharf? Bay or Golden?


Blogger Sara said...

Okay, so the guy has great design. But could you sue it for anything? I know art is not supposed to have a purpose, but I feel like graphic design is by nature art with a purpose. It's art that tries to convey a message, whether that is to sell a product, advertise a service, or make a website aesthetically pleasing. I wouldn't hire that guy to design anything that needed to have mass-market appeal.

His design is great for the sake of design, but the utilitarian in me wants it to be more functional.

Please don't hate me... :-)

2:13 PM  
Blogger christina said...

Ahahaha no one is going to hate you

You have stubbled onto a well known argument among most of the design community which is whether or not graphic design is a fine art. There is a lot of push pull on the matter, but in my opinion design and the fine arts are very different things.

But I am straying from the original topic of the original post so I will try to stay on track and perhaps we can return to this topic at a later date.

The reason that I like this guys work has nothing to with wanting to hang it in my living room or just purely the aesthics. Everyone can disagree on aesthtics and that is why not everyone will like or respond to the same designs. But there are certain guidelines and rules and practices that make something really well "designed"
hierarchy, page variation, visual balance, to name a few.

That said, something can be very well designed and not appeal to its audience and that is bad. The key to making it appealing is to know your audience. You design a newsletter for a day care differently than you would design a flyer for a rock band. In this particular circumstance this guys portfolio is aimed at potential employers who are most likely going to be designers.

I am a designer and when I look at work I like to see people pushing limits, trying new things, and taking risks all the while creating sucessful hiearchy, and balance on the page. That guy does all this. And when I see that he understands type structure and visual balance and composition I know that he can design anything from a brochure for a nursing home to a cutting edge experimental album cover because he knows the fundamental design priciples.

If you went to him as a client and said I want a logo for myself and he came back with something that looked like his website then yes I would say he was off base, but you cannot judge his ability to do work that might fit into a mass marketing campaign based on the style of the work he is showing because that is not the "purpose" of that work.

2:42 PM  
Blogger beth said...

first off, the Golden Gate Birdge is closer. but don't jump. This guy's designs are very aesthetically pleasing. Yes. But it is not good design. WTF are these for? what is going on in them? Good fine art (that happens to include text) but BAD design i say.

2:50 PM  
Blogger beth said...

if hes trying to sell me something, im not buying.

2:51 PM  
Blogger christina said...

the purpose of his work is to find a job! And to entertain me while I do mine! Its experimental, people! Does no one remember my Clement Street book? What the hell was the purpose of that? But look, now I can design marketing pieces for Visa that don't look like that and I'm sure appeal to some banker somewhere, but what I learned from doing an experimental piece like that was hiearchy and type structure and I use that in the work I do now.

2:59 PM  
Blogger beth said...

well I for one would buy one of his paintings but I certainly wouldn't hire him to market anything for me. Christina, clement street was an assignment, it served a fake purpose, don't get so worked up about that. Sure, experimental pieces are fun but that doesnt mean they get the job done. i still say: BAD design.

3:03 PM  
Blogger christina said...

i think most of his work is from school hence most of its experimental nature.

3:05 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

Yay for Beth! We are so on the same page (no design pun intended).

Oh, and for the record, I would change my typo in my first post (sue instead of use) but I don't think the site will let me. If that guy could make blogspot's site more user-friendly, then I would like him.

3:07 PM  
Blogger beth said...

well i guess we can safely come to the conclusion that it serves no purpose. BAD design.

3:07 PM  
Blogger christina said...

And just because he took an experimental approach to his portfolio doesn't mean he would take the same approach given a project for say, Visa.

3:08 PM  
Blogger beth said...

yeah i know, sara, i dont like the fact that we can't edit comments. ive spelled bridge wrong, spelled santa claus wrong on my blog, and told christina to (not)jump off the wrong bridge.

3:09 PM  
Blogger christina said...

ahahaha way to go beth, that other site you made me join beth, the flickr one is hard to use too! Now THAT is bad design.

3:10 PM  
Blogger beth said...

well if i were Visa, I'd be like, "um, show me what you'd do for me, bitch. I don't want no experimental mumbo jumbo credit card ad middle america wouldn't get at all."

get it, Visa would say 'bitch' because they are satan.

3:11 PM  
Blogger beth said...

oh, christina, dont act like you dont love doing this instead of work.

3:12 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

Oh Beth... you crack me up.

Given the number of comments on this blog and how quickly they are posted, I am assuming that the three of us are being equally unproductive at work right now.

3:14 PM  
Blogger christina said...

awww I work for satan? bummer and you are right if he was using that portfolio simply to attract freelance clients he would have to mainstream it a lot and show them that he understood their particular audience...i'm just saying don't assume that he can't do work beyond what he is showing simply because it is a style that doesn't make sense to some.

3:15 PM  
Blogger christina said...

i'm begining to doubt that they are going to bring me anymore work today....

3:16 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

Doesn't make sense to some? Are you insulting us now? You bitch!

And I am not Satan, even though I said bitch.

3:17 PM  
Blogger beth said...

Don't feel bad, i work for Sheplers Western Wear and Boots N' Jeans.

and I use the word 'work' loosely.

3:17 PM  
Blogger christina said...

no, not u dudes, I was referencing beth's earlier comment "from visa"

"'I don't want no experimental mumbo jumbo credit card ad middle america wouldn't get at all.'"

hehehe satan says bitch, hehehehe funnie.

3:18 PM  
Blogger beth said...

right. christina, listen to yourself. you CRAZYYY.

"don't assume that he can't do work beyond what he is showing simply because it is a style that doesn't make sense to some."

but why should I assume he's a good designer when he shows no range? he's proved himself as an artist, but since when are we judging people on their potential? we have no idea if he can design well.

3:20 PM  
Blogger christina said...

he obviously can design well, what we are not clear on is whether or not he can do work for a different target audience and while that is important I think that can be taught a lot easier than taste and intuition when it comes to design

3:23 PM  
Blogger christina said...

ur right about his range though, he should try to show more variety in his portfolio...

3:25 PM  
Blogger beth said...

a different target audience? you mean an audience not comprised entirely of other designers. thats clearly the only group that would put up with his crappy ass website, teeny tiny serif font, and unreadable work.

3:25 PM  
Blogger christina said...


3:26 PM  
Blogger christina said...

and I just surveyed myself, part of the target audience, and yep, yep we like it.

3:27 PM  
Blogger beth said...

hahahahaha, of course it is. ALL im saying is if he cant design for the general public, hes a crappy designer.

3:29 PM  
Blogger christina said...

you are absolutely right, but I think he can!

3:30 PM  
Blogger beth said...

its pretty generous of you to have so much faith in him without any facts to back it up.

3:32 PM  
Blogger christina said...

i do have facts! His grasp of basic design principles!

3:32 PM  
Blogger Logan Ryan Smith said...


4:40 PM  
Blogger 001 said...

I found it extremely interesting coming across this blog, seeing as though I am "that guy".

I really just have a few things to say.

Christina thank you for the kind words and you hit the purpose of my book right on the head. It was indeed used to find a job...(btw it achieved it's purpose very quickly). Yes, it is very experimental and that was the point.

Now Beth...I have a question for you. Would you design a piece about absinthe that was conservative? or a book on experimental mathmatics that wasn't experimental in it's design? Yes, the projects were done in school and yes they are out of the box, but I used this book as an oppurtunity to flex my design muscles and I choose my projects accordingly to allow that experiementality. Period.

Did you just look at the pictures in the book or did you actually take the time to read what the projects were about. If you would have read it, you would have understood exactly why I did the things I did in each project. So when you call it bad design, I think you're being somewhat ignorant by throwing that word around. Obviously I would not do something like what I did in the book for VISA, because one) it's not appropriate for the client and two) I don't necassarily want to do something for VISA. You can say that I'm not showing range all you want, but the fact of the matter is, the heart of design lies in concept and understanding your clients. My clients are not conservative in design, so my book does not reflect that because that is not what they want to see. It's aimed for design employers that i want to work for. Not a credit card company.

One last thing...I'd like to know what you consider good design. Show me and let's discuss...

2:40 PM  
Blogger 001 said...

p.s. the same holds for my website, and it's not a serif that I used, it's a sans serif.

2:53 PM  
Blogger 001 said...

p.p.s I will admit, however, that the type on the website is a tad too small.

3:03 PM  
Blogger beth said...

hey whoa whoa, 001 guy, calm down. first off, we all just needed something to do at work. this was not a serious critique of your work. to do that, we would've had to actually see these three dimensional designs (if not in person, than multiple viewpoints). also, i was trying to make sure my friend didn't jump off the golden gate bridge.

your stuff, as i said, is pretty. however, your website is VERY difficult to read/understand what is going on. i had no idea the piece entitled 'absinthe' was even an ad for absinthe. while i do like minimalism i tend to like a little more information. maybe the real problem i have then is your website.i like artsy stuff as much as any other person, but if i can't tell that something is an ad, no, im not buying the product.

10:10 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

Oooh a debate - neato let me in!
First of all Christina - no bridge jumping. Bridge + jumping = BAD = wierd documentary! Eh, er, anyway...

So 001 I now have also looked through your book. Very nice stuff.
I like your use of repetition and rhythm.

I would be interested to know if this was the work you showed LucasArts, as it is very much not the type of work one expects to see out of there.

If it was, and you interviewed with who I think you did (Troy?) this brings up an interesting trend I have noticed in my out-of-school experience so far, i.e. that regardless of what kind of company you are interviewing for, the reaction a more experimental portfolio recieves depends a lot on who the interviewer happens to be.
HR/Business people will not be amused and toss you out.
The creative director will probably hire you.

What I'm trying to say is that a portfolio that is attractive to designers is a very polarizing thing, and more often than not recieves a negative reaction from non-designers.

Anyone else seen this?

Anyway, my criticisms of 001's book are as follows:

I do agree (and you have conceded) that the type on your website is really tiny and hard to read. I don't even have any idea what was on the right side of the screen under the header word. I had to hit the magnifying glass 4x times before I could peek at your pdf resume in your book too.

And dude, what a huge book! All you Academy kids have tomes. My boss only ever looks at the first couple of pages and then flips back to the resume. You could save yourself a pile o'cash by making it shorter. No one ever looks at the centerfold "pictures of me" section you all have either.

I love your personal photography though And the fact that it flows seemlessly in and out of the rest of your work.

Finally- back to Christina and the bridge jumping issue.

Yes 001 may be close in age to you, but make no mistake about it you have recieved VERY different educations. He has spent 6 years in art only schools. You spent 4 years taking difficult academic courses in science, math, & philosophy (and god knows what else) while he was in the studio. These course constraints put all of us from USF at an initial disadvantage, which is why Ravinder wants them gone so bad.

However, just like 001 can read math books on weekends if he wants to, we can catch up. In fact, due to the way our teachers brung us up, we will catch up because we are critical enough to start blogs and debate about design and figure things out on our own.


11:53 PM  
Blogger 001 said...

Heather, you brought up an interesting question about showing a book like mine to non-designers (i.e. business-types) I really havn't had much experience in showing the to non-designers, mostly because I just havn't looked to show non-designers. So I not sure how a non-designer would respond to the book.

I decided very early on in the making of the book that my target audience would be designers, particularly creative directors. By the way, yes it was Troy at Lucas who interviewed and hired me, how did you know that. I am well aware that my book isn't for everyone and that's fine with me. Does it mean I can't design conservatively...no. In my opinion a good designer can design anything; because a designer's job isn't to make thing look pretty (though it's definietly a plus), it's to solve problems.

As far as the experimentality of my book goes, I choose to position myself along the line of offices that I would like to work for that would appreciate and understand the experimentality of it. And honestly, I don't really even consider my book all that experimental.

As for the comment on the size of the book, I absolutely agree that most directors look at the first few pages, make there decision on your design skills then go for the resume. However, I like the size of it because it adds an inital "whoa" factor when you see it in person, it makes a statement. And I have yet to see the size of it work against me, particularly when I tell the interviewer that the book was made by hand. I also use the size of the book as a control factor, as the interveiwer is flipping through the book, it allows for the two of us to talk, not necassarily about the book persay. But it allows to me to show my ability to communicate my thoughts and ideas, which in an office environment is just as important as design skills. Also, I veiwed my book as an opputunity for, not just showing my work, but the book being a piece displaying my pieces, it also shows that I can execute certain design principles that a single image of a project can't.

As for the website; I will be the first to admit that the website isn't perfect and could be better, I claim no expertise at web design and I'm actually in the process of revamping it right now, so I'm totally down with suggestions and intelligent critiques from anyone.

12:08 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Whoops, I totally forgot to stop back in here and comment, sorry 001.

Well, I figured you had spoken to Troy because I had met him. He was supposed to be one of my interviewers at last year's AIGA portfolio review. When he flaked, I tracked him down at Lucas and he was nice enough to meet with me. We talked for quite a while and I felt like I got a pretty good feel for what he looks for and is interested in. If you see him around, please tell him Heather McNabb said hello.
I haven't contacted him since our meeting, so he may not remember me, but never the less...

And I guess "experimental" was not exactly the right word, but as a broad category for your work so far it was the best I could come up with of the top of my head. I certainly wouldn't categorize your portfolio as commercial, or feminine, or illustrative, or...well you get the idea - it was a process of elimination type of thing.

5:41 PM  

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