Stories

  • A spin through the ’90s

    A spin through the ’90s

    I made this in the early 2000s while a design student, but I couldn’t have if I hadn’t first started my career in the Northwest in the early 1990s.

    The assignment was to research a designer from any era, write a paper about him or her, then use the content and knowledge to design a book in that designer’s style. I chose two designers—Art Chantry and David Carson—and used their common connection to the indie music scene as a verbal and visual narrative.

    Instead of designing a traditional book, I spilled the content across a collection of DIY 7-inch vinyl record sleeves, each side filled with an image from Chantry or Carson’s work. The records were bands that had some connection to one or both designers and were intended to be played while reading the sleeves. All the records were housed in a book-shaped box that I made using skills I picked up at a workshop that semester.

    The project was a blast and deepened my immersive process. I didn’t know of Chantry when I moved to the Northwest after college, but I did know his work through The Rocket in Seattle, which I always grabbed when I was in town. And I digested Carson’s jarring typographical experiments in Ray Gun before I understood what he was doing.

    I wish my eyes were more open then. I might have jumped into the wider world of graphic design sooner.