Tag Archives: graphic design

Skolos + Wedell: Collaging Process

Yesterday, on a whim I decided to participate in a terrific workshop with Nancy Skolos and Thomas Wedell. I say on a “whim” because I am really trying to cut back on the extra commitments I make in the new year but last-minute said to myself what the heck I’m doing it. Let’s be honest, I make rules so I can break them.

I’m glad I went with my gut because it turned out to be 100% worth it. The pair, who are married and run a design studio together called Skolos + Wedell (really love that she comes first in the company name), are one of those dream, power design couples. Kind of like Ellen Lupton and Abbott Miller. Or Jessica Hische and Russ Maschmeyer.

Nancy and Tom both attended Cranbrook Academy of Art, which you can see in their shared aesthetic. When the workshop started up my first reaction–OK, second because my first was that they are a talented duo–was these two are funny and playful. They have a great dynamic together, they laugh a lot, and they see the value in breaking design rules. The workshop consisted of learning their process to “break the ice” when you’re encountering a new design challenge–a method to remedy facing the dreaded BLANK CANVAS.

More specifically, it’s a collaging process that involves using 2- to 3-inch size pieces of paper cut from books and magazines (and maybe even previous design drafts). The paper must consist of only angular lines in order to effectively line them up to create new structure by making interesting relationships with the slivers of photos, drawings, and typography. After taping together several collages to 8.5 x 11 inch white paper, use a cropper to frame your design (you can get more than one layouts from a single collage). Then, grab some tracing paper and draw out the shapes you like. Next, you have to edit back so it will work for the purpose of your design. Finally, you bring the layout into the computer to guide designing your final work. This visual structural format doesn’t apply well to all design projects but does with mediums like posters and book covers.

The main concept is to “go to structure to get your mind fluid; then think about the content in a structured way” according to Tom. He and Nancy encouraged us to not think too hard, forget the formal rules we usually abide by, and just feel it. I love being intuitive and definitely gained another set of tools to add to my toolbox.

You can see the results of this process in a sampling of their posters below. Look at the dynamic relationships in their work like how image and type overlap, as well as the complexity of the overall composition. Browse through the entirety of their published work on skolos-wedell.com.

Skolos-Wedell Poster Lyceum

Skolos-Wedell Poster RISDSkolos Wedell Poster Lyceum FellowshipSkolos and Wedell Poster Social Media

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And, we meet again

Oh hi. Looky here, I didn’t drop off the face of the earth…

I encountered an unplanned blogging hiatus aka I quit the Internet for a bit just as I hit the “refresh button” on my life so to speak. After 5 years doing consulting, I quit before going back to school at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) for graphic design this fall!!!!!!!! And let me tell you, free time is a blessing because I’ve finally gotten a chance to really relax and really play (and read for pleasure–what a novel concept), while also being truly immersed in the summer time happenings of DC both solo and with many loved ones. But I miss blogging, WordPressing, Googling, and spending endless hours of my idle time online. So, here we meet again.

Last Friday, my friend and mentor Shawn Moriarty invited me to his exhibition “Mass Fad Discharge” at the Transformer Gallery in DC. As a part of the Emerging Artists program, Shawn and two other artists–Christie Liberatore and Noelle Weber used humor (some potty, some not) and lots of GLITTERY GOLD to mock popular trends seen in modern day design that are, well, crap. The exhibition logo seen below on the window and toilet lids which is part of Christie’s design, is in the shape of a blob of poop. Very pretty poop might I add, which was designed by Noelle. And if you were to reach your hand into the toilet (duh, I did) you can score some chocolate wrapped in gold!

Besides the toilets, Noelle designed an entire wall of messages some done by hand and toilet paper and others using the computer and complete with shabby chic frames. Together the various elements tell a complete story about the her take on over done design fads of today.

Shawn’s work spanned the other wall from floor to ceiling. He started with a canvas of gold paint on the wall and adorned it with a series of three portraits of his cat in a collage motif. The work continued to your feet where there was glittery gold sand, a pooped scooper, The piece was intended to look monumental with the heights in which they are placed on the wall and the lights shining up on them.

Overall, I dug the various approaches and materials the three artist took to communicate the same message. For more pictures of Mass Fad Discharge, visit the Transformer Facebook page, and if you’re in the neighborhood pop in to see it before it ends on August 18th.

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Love at first site: Nikki Farquharson

Have you ever experience love at first site?

You know that feeling…

So, a friend stumbled upon this talented British designer, Nikki Farquharson’s site and and sent it my way.

I nearly fainted. This stuff is SO FABULOUUUUUUUUS.

Nikk’s aesthetic truly speaks to my own….colorful, lots of retro patterns, hand drawn, and even a little edgy. Hence my BertyCox CD design I posted a few months back. She clearly spends many hours perfecting her designs by hand and then bringing them in the computer. For the fashion spreads, I love how she blends the photographs and illustrators together to make one cohesive design. It’s also cool that her illustrations have made it to the commercial market and have been used for different mediums besides just print and web, like clothing, liquor bottles, and cars.

Wanna see more? I know you do, so check out Nikki’s Flickr account.

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