Posts Tagged ‘Nicole Jacek’

Damn the Torpedoes, Full Steam Ahead!

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014
Sean Adams, Noreen Morioka with drinks as usual

Sean Adams, Noreen Morioka with drinks as usual

Last Friday night, Noreen and I were awarded the AIGA Medal at the AIGA Centennial Gala. As Nancye Green said after the first AIGA gala, “This is like the best high school reunion with everyone you’ve ever known.” It was the most successful gala in AIGA’s history and proves that we still care about design and designers above all else.

Michael Bierut summed up the essence of the evening by pointing out that almost every Medalist talked about someone in the room who gave them his or her first job, or someone in the room they had hired. That AIGA is about our community was made exceptionally clear at this event. There was no mean-spiritedness, envious disregard, or minimizing of another designer. Nobody had the attitude that success was finite and another’s meant less for them. There was an honest sense of pride and pleasure for everyone’s successes. We may think, as designers, we are competitive and cut-throat, but compared to other professions, we’re pussycats and pretty damned supportive of each other.

There’s been a huge amount of discourse over AIGA’s direction over the last year. Last term, a student in Nicole Jacek’s Art Center class asked me why there was so much arguing. But this isn’t arguing. It’s discourse. It’s what happens when people are deeply committed and passionate. It’s what every organization hopes to have. The opposite is a listless disengaged community. We have emerged from a major shift in AIGA’s history that will lead to decades of stability and vitality.

As designers, we all have the predilection to critique and analyze. We may have various opinions on the day to day issues of the community, but it was clear at the gala that, in the end, we are all working to the same goal.

As I was sitting there, watching the other Medalists accept their award, I found myself feeling that sensation we all share; seeing something wonderful and having that contradictory sensation of the joy of discovery and that twinge of envy that someone else made it. I tend to use one too many sailing metaphors, but in this instance, going forward, I can only think of Franklin Roosevelt’s quote, “To reach a port we must set sail. Sail, not tie at anchor. Sail, not drift.”

Angela Jimenez Photography:

Chip Kidd, April Greiman, Jim Cross, Agustin Garza, Dana Arnett, Jennifer Morla, Sean Adams, Michael Vanderbyl, photo: Jennifer Sterling

Chip Kidd, April Greiman, Jim Cross, Agustin Garza, Dana Arnett, Jennifer Morla, Sean Adams, Michael Vanderbyl, photo: Jennifer Sterling

Leslie Smolan, Ken Carbone, Anne Willoughby, Sean Adams

Leslie Smolan, Ken Carbone, Anne Willoughby, Sean Adams

Jennifer Morla, Eric Madsen, Michael Vanderbyl

Jennifer Morla, Eric Madsen, Michael Vanderbyl

Seam Adams, Kim Rogala, Pam Williams, Marylou Domian, Lisa House

Seam Adams, Kim Rogala, Pam Williams, Marylou Domian, Lisa House

Noreen not drunk

Noreen not drunk

AIGA Medalists

AIGA Medalists

table centerpiece

table centerpiece

 

Freaky and Funny

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Originally, I planned to do a post today as a long and angry rant against something. I didn’t know what that would be. I considered people who walk in front of you very slowly and weave so you can’t pass them. Or, spending an hour and a half today in traffic to sign one piece of paper that could have been faxed. Or, clients who share a project in process with a “designer” friend who has no ethics and no problem pointing out issues like “that capital E looks like a backward 3.” Really? Wow, I ever noticed that. See, now I’m ranting.

Instead, I’m going to do the opposite. Rather than focusing on the negative, I’m going to play the glad game and find things I like (are you sick yet?) First, Nicole Jacek’s placeholder for her website under construction. It’s the most exciting work I’ve seen in years. It’s out of control and may push the viewer to a seizure. There is no attempt to make it feel like high, classic print design. It’s RGB and screaming. I read some criticisms about it from people who didn’t like its frenetic energy. So, go to the DMV website. Nicole’s site is freaked and proud.

I also found the Jarritos website designed by Daniel Arenas at Sunday Morning. Again, its for Jarritos, so that makes it great already. But it is unapologetically fun. There are Day of the Dead characters, Mexican wrestlers, and  flat voice-overs. I could do without the “letterpress” type, but I like pretty hideous typefaces like Tiffany Ultra Bold Italic, so I can’t be trusted. That’s a tiny piece; it’s pretty wonderful. Like Nicole’s placeholder page, it’s honest and doesn’t try to convince me that Jarritos is healthy with real fruit grown locally and picked as gently as possible to cause no pain to the tree.

www.Jarritos.com, design: Sunday Morning

www.Jarritos.com, design: Sunday Morning

www.Jarritos.com, design: Sunday Morning

www.Jarritos.com, design: Sunday Morning

www.Jarritos.com, design: Sunday Morning

www.Jarritos.com, design: Sunday Morning

www.Jarritos.com, design: Sunday Morning

www.Jarritos.com, design: Sunday Morning

www.Jarritos.com, design: Sunday Morning

www.Jarritos.com, design: Sunday Morning

Gute Geschenke

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Nicole Jacek, Sarah Staton catalog, 2009

 

I often tell others who are frustrated or angry with a co-worker or client, “People tell themselves stories to get through the day. Let them. Everyone wants to feel important.” Typically this works and helps alleviate an anger management issue. Now, this may seem typically optimistic and hopeful from me. Unfortunately, I worry about saying things like this lately. Last month Noreen and Nicole (Jacek) had dinner in New York with a good friend of mine (or so I thought). During the course of the evening someone suggested I emcee an AIGA conference (no I don’t want to). My “friend” said, “I love Sean, he’s always so happy and cheery, but he’s so simple.” This makes me seem like Forrest Gump. Granted the plaid shirts aren’t helping my image, but I’m not a doddering simpleton wandering the streets catching butterflies with a grin plastered on my face. Nicole came to my rescue and kindly stated, “You’re wrong. Sean could slice and dice you and you wouldn’t know you were bleeding.” I love her.

Last night I went to an AIGA/Art Center event, Nomads, Heretics, and Do-Gooders, with Nicole Jacek, Nik Hafermaas, and Matthew Manos. Nik Hafermaas reminded me, “If you want to be a designer, you have to know the world and be willing to leave your comfort zone,” Nicole Jacek gave me a publication I’ve often considered stealing, a beautiful catalog for artist, Sarah Staton. She also wisely stated, “Working in design is more than a job. As designers we get to be explorers or psychologists and it is amazing.” That one statement is so clear and remarkable, and reminded me that this is not about the endless emails about signage fabrication or cracking stock, it’s an adventure and can be whatever we want it to be.

Nicole Jacek, Sarah Staton catalog, 2009

Nicole Jacek, Sarah Staton catalog, 2009

Nicole Jacek, Sarah Staton catalog, detail, 2009

Nicole Jacek, Sarah Staton catalog, 2009

Nicole Jacek, Sarah Staton catalog, 2009

Nicole Jacek, Sarah Staton invitation, 2009