Seeing typography from the 90’s makes me nostalgic, especialy because grunge was the first youth culture I connected with. So, what is the typography of the 2000’s? Lettering.
Tony Brook (from Spin in the U.K.) and Adrian Shaughnessy (co-founder of Intro) spoke to the MFAD first year students, yesterday. Together the two men founded Unit Editions and have been self-publishing books for a couple of years. Unit Editions is a Word Press self-publishing website. To start the lecture Tony and Adrian both spoke of their past and how they got to where they are today. Tony is still working at Spin as their Creative Director and Adrian left Intro to pursue writing about design; he is best know for his book How to be a Graphic Designer, Without Losing Your Soul which can be found here.
Seeing their work and listening to them both discuss their careers was insightful and educational. One point Adrian made that has stuck with me is “Design is almost like being a lawyer, it’s giving a case for your design, giving value to your work and finding reasons for the decisions you made in your work.” Adrian also said “I’ve learned more about graphic design being the client (of a designer) than anything else.” They also discussed the future of design and how the internet has changed everything. One point they made that is worth noting is that so much of graphic design used to be passive: you would sit and wait for a new client to call or hire you and this is no longer the case. You have to find ways to move your skills forward in this age and to get your work out there.
The last bit of insight that stuck with me was “…most often we (designers) know what the end user wants, it is the clients or buyers that act as a gate keeper and get in our way.” This quote me come off as cynical, presumptions or naive if someone of my age and experience were to say it, but hearing two seasoned veterans say it was reassuring that we’re all on the same page.