articles on

Design Chat with Albin Holmqvist

Designer Albin Holmqvist of Spain and Sweden and I have a chat. It's 3am in Sweden and 8pm outside Chicago. Albin is a fabulous designer and typographer. We talk about his work with the EF International Language Centers called Live the Language. He helped create a series of promotional videos that can be seen on his site, On IKEA: IKEA is really an exceptional example, its the typical, You swear to god you will never buy anything from IKEA for your home, because its not so personal, but you end up buying everything there. Albin is hilarious - you should watch this chat and participate in future chats. Some Images DesignChat DesignChat is a weekly video and text-based conversation between and for creatives. Video chats start at 8pm CST on Wednesdays and last about an hour on our site. You can continue the conversation before and after on Twitter using the hashtag #designchat.

DesignChat with Dr. Stefan Bucher from The Daily Monster

Dr. Stefan Bucher joined the discussion on DesignChat on July 20th, 2011. Like the previous guest, Robert Petrick, he is a judge for the STA's Archive 11 show and will travel to Chicago to participate in all events. Stefan reveals that part of the motivation in using inkblots for The Daily Monster is that it is difficult for him to start drawings because he immediately self-censors his work. ”I'm really good at finishing, not so good at starting.” He claims to have screwed up his first job at W+K by working hard, and not understanding the nature of the agency. ”Sometimes there are situations that are not right for you, and it's ok to walk away from them and it doesn't diminish you as a person.” Stefan's favorite font is his own hand-writing, that he recently had converted to a typeface. ”It's Bucher Book, bitches!" When asked what he would be if his current career pat didn't exist, he answered, “If I wasn't a designer, I'd be… hopefully a musician but maybe a vagrant.” For more info on Dr. Bucher, check out his wikipedia page (which I'm sure is 100% accurate) and his websites, 344, The Daily Monster, and his personal site.

DesignChat Guest: Bud Rodecker and John Pobojewski of 3ST

Bud Rodecker and John Pobojewski of the Chicago design group 3st will join us tonight, Wednesday Nov 10th, at 8pmCST to give us the inside scoop on what’s going on inside their candy-coated walls. Click HERE to go to the chat. Senior designer John Pobojewski creates meaningful visual and aural communication by creating connections, focusing on elegance, and aiming to express the human touch. At Thirst, he has served clients including Lyric Opera of Chicago, Illinois Institute of Technology, Herman Miller, Wright Auctions, and Janet Echelman among others. Bud Rodecker studied Graphic Design at the University of Minnesota Duluth where he learned the true meaning of cold. It was there he took on the role of president of the Student Design Organization (SDO) from 2005 to 2007. Following graduation in May 2007, Bud came to Chicago for an internship at Thirst. At the end of the summer, he was invited to stay on as a full-time designer. Here are some of their very tasty visual treats: Bleepin’ Golden Tee IIT Fall 2009 Lecture Series Poster Riverse RicharDaily Gather Give Grow The Enemy is Apathy Dust Thirst’s Top Five Love Songs – Marvin Gaye Thirst’s Top Five Love Songs – Prince 2010/11 LOEB Fellowship Recipients

DesignChat Guest: Jessica Hische

On the heals of the Cusp Conference, it’s business as usual at DesignChat this week; fantastic guest, amazing work, sprinkle in some beers and hilarity shall ensue. Tomorrow, Wednesday September 29th at 8pmCST join us as we welcome the mystifying typographic talent that is called Jessica Hische. Her Drop Caps will stupify you. Her public digital sharing mechanism will webify you. Once you’re finished being webified, here are some pixels to drool on:

DesignChat Guest - Quite Strong

This week DesignChat welcomes the design collective Quite Strong to the conversation. They’re made up of 5 strong-minded women in Chicago who have combined forces to rule the design world. I’m not sure how this conversation is going to go between myself and five freaking guests, but its sure to be a little nuts. There was some talk about doing this game-show style, but who knows. The ladies assured me they have ‘visuals’ to present on Wednesday night, so if you’re alive and have an internet connection, you pretty much don’t have any excuse to miss this. Here is how they describe themselves on their site: Quite Strong is a collaborative made up of five female Chicago-based creatives. Professionally we are designers, art directors, web developers and illustrators. Personally, we are dreamers, crafters, lovers, bikers, nerds and wanna-be foodies. We love Chicago, we relish creativity, and we want to share what we’re into with you. 222 is the Quite Strong studio located in Logan Square. It serves as a collaborative space for us and for those that want to join us in creative endeavors. THE QUITE STRONG GIRLS: THE WORK OF QUITE STRONG: So if you’d like to meet all the women responsible for all of this fantastic work, you can! On Wednesday, September 1st, go to the CHAT page and log in! You can ask text questions or live video questions. See you there!

DesignChat Guest - Erin Loechner

This week, Erin Loechner welcomes US to the conversation as she has been writing about design on blogs for longer than most. Erin is a freelance design writer/blogger whose work has been featured in Glamour, Dwell, Lucky and Nylon magazines. She muses daily on her award-winning website Design For Mankind, founded in 2007 in an attempt to bring light to today’s creative design culture. If you don’t know her, friggin’ Google her already and get with it. Her musings on the world of design can currently be read at: She and her husband are rehabbing their house and documenting the whole thing. So join us at our usual time (8pmCST) this Wednesday Aug. 25th on DesignChat for a live video chat with Erin to hear about all of her projects. And remember you can ask questions during the chat so get ‘em ready. ALSO, if you’re brave enough and have a web cam, you can ask your question live on the show! See you there!

DesignChat Guest - SamataMason

This week on DesignChat we’re speaking to 2 of the partners from SamataMason, a heavily decorated design firm in West Dundee Illinois. If that name sounds familiar, its because I say it every week on the show. SamataMason is where I broadcast from, and they have been great supporters of DesignChat and what we are trying to accomplish. Dave Mason and Kevin Krueger are going to take us through the history of their shop, and also what motivated them to start one of the most intriguing design conferences today, Cusp. I was lucky enough to attend and do a live show from Cusp last year, and I’m excited to say that I’ve been asked back! Follow me on Twitter to hear more announcements about who I’ll be interviewing. Dave Mason was born in England and raised in Canada, where he formed his own design firm in 1984. He and co-founders Greg and Pat Samata formed Chicago/Vancouver-based SamataMason Inc. in 1995. His strategy and design work for clients such as Sesame Workshop, Swiss Army Brands, TRW, Broderbund Software and QLT has been honored in hundreds of national and international competitions and publications. He has served as a guest speaker at design industry functions and schools and has served as a juror for design competitions across North America and in Asia. Dave has also co-founded a number of successful business ventures including OpinionLab, Inc., the leader in web-based VoC (voice of customer) intelligence systems, Cusp Conference LLC, which produces an annual conference about “the design of everything,” and documentary producer NoisemakerFilms. Dave Mason was recently awarded FGDC status as a Fellow of the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada—GDC’s highest honour. An Ohio University graduate, Kevin was a designer at Herman Miller before joining SamataMason in 1996. Kevin’s worked for a diverse range of clients such as the PGA Tour, Whirlpool, Devon Energy, International Truck, and Motorola. His print and interactive work has been honored internationally in numerous competitions and publications including AIGA Communication Graphics, The Art Directors Club, The Type Directors Club, Communication Arts, Applied Arts, International ARC?Awards, Graphis and How Magazine. A former Chicago Chapter board member of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), he is a frequent lecturer at design schools and organizations, and has served as a juror for numerous design competitions. Kevin is also a co-founder of Cusp Conference LLC, which produces an annual conference about “the design of everything”. SAMATAMASON OFFICE The BARREL ROOF of the SamataMason office has eight large skylights; glass walls divide working spaces. Gutters were removed and replaced by lanes in the center gallery of this renovated bowling alley. SAMATAMASON WORK Cambridge Solutions Ltd., client Golin Harris, client Evan’s Life Foundation, client Stephen Wilkes Photography, client Motorola, Inc., client Sesame Workshop, client An EVAN’S LIFE FOUNDATION ANNUAL REPORT combined translucent paper with photos of grant recipients to portray the variety of children aided by the organization. EVAN’S LIFE FOUNDATION’S “One Boy” campaign depicts a day-in-the-life account of a typical child the foundation supports. CUSP CONFERENCE Cusp is a conference about ‘the design of everything,’ bringing together thinkers, innovators, performers, skeptics, believers, visionaries and explorers from the arts, sciences, technology, business and design. Cusp Conference is for anyone who believes that the best way to predict the future is to design it. Cusp Conference is a magnet for the design-centric, but a significant percentage of attendees do not describe themselves as ‘designers.’ They describe themselves as business people, entrepreneurs, educators, policy-makers, physicians, consultants, students and managers. Cusp attendees have included people from the worlds of: advertising, architecture / planning, broadcasting, construction / tech- nical services, consumer electronics, consumer finance, corporate communications, education, equity management, filmmak- ing, furniture, graphic design, industrial design, international tax law, journalism / writing, learning technology, manufacturing, medicine, not-for-profit, technology, philanthropy, public relations, public transportation, publishing, printing, research, web devel- opment, web analytics, and a whole bunch of high school students.

DesignChat Guest - Erik Spiekermann

This Wednesday, August 11th, at 8PM CST, DesignChat welcomes the universally-respected creative director, typographer and design advocate, Erik Spiekermann to the conversation. Original designer of typefaces like ITC Officina, Unit, and even Meta— called one of the most successful humanist sans serif typefaces of the previous decade. (The Helvetica of the 90’s?). Spiekermann has lead the industry with game-changing innovations like FontShop — the first independent digital font distributor — started in 1989 with Neville Brody and wife Joan Spiekermann. He also founded Germany’s largest design firm MetaDesign in 1979, branching it to London, Berlin and San Francisco. His work there included way-finding projects for the Düsseldorf Airport as well as identity and brand-image projects for internationally-known companies like Audi, Volkswagen, Lexus and Heidelberg Printing. In 2001 he left MetaDesign and is now a partner in Edenspiekermann with offices in Amsterdam, Berlin, London and San Francisco. On any given day you might find his likeness providing color commentary on fonts in movies like Helvetica…. or even advising the members of the European Union in matters of design. It’s a long way from “…redrawing old hot metal faces from the Berthold library, back in the 70s.” (Responsible for the original modernization of fonts LoType and Berliner Grotesk.) With his book “Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works” in its second edition and a list of international associations and board memberships and too long to type, we know he’s one of the sharpest design-minds out there. There’s so much to this guest that we feel inadequate to cover it completely; so, please… Join us, and Erik Speikermann, this Wednesday at 8pm CST here at for a live video and text chat. We feel honored to have him and hope to see you there too. Eurotaxi Interview Additional Interview From the DVD version of Helvetica Learn more about Erik Spiekermann. Link Round-Up: @espiekermann on Twitter Spiekermann’s Blog Prof. Dr. Erik Spiekermann’s xing profile Twitpics from Spiekermann ATypI (Association Typographique Internationale) Talks about Spiekermann FontShop designs by Spiekermann Linked-In to Speikermann design mind article Spiekermann at Edenspiekermann The Edenspiekermann Manifesto