Several years ago I judged the ID Magazine Awards and Rick Valicenti entered his controversial piece, "Just My Type". This is an alphabet made from the interaction between Rick and an online porn actress. He suggests she make a letterform with her body, but she tries to maintain a scripted sexual role. Eventually both parties understand what needs to happen and an alphabet is made from her body positions. The piece caused a huge divide with the judges. The issue had more to do with the objectification and use of a woman rather than anything sexually explicit. I fought to include the piece because it forced a dialogue. And it was incredibly well made and thoughtful. Ten years later, it is the only project from that entire day of judging I remember.
As much as I would like to do a project that causes that level of controversy, I don't seem to have it in me. After Stefan Sagmeister sent us his first naked promotion card we considered doing a naked poster also. It worked for April Greiman and Stefan. But we could only think of taking it one step further and making something truly explicit and disgusting. But then we would need to face each other at work the next day. So that idea was out. Instead we stayed the course with a fresh sense of optimism. This seemed to piss people off already.
I've kept a hula dance guide for twenty years, thinking that someday I could make a hula girl typeface, like a watered down version of Rick's project. Unfortunately, there are not enough poses to do this. Nevertheless, the hula guide is a cherished possession. It makes hula dancing look so stiff and un-fun. There is a note that it should be used with "Hula Record's cassette #CHS-500." I sure wish I had that cassette. I hope it's as stiff as the guide, with someone barking orders over Aloha Oe, " Sway! Now! Like the ocean! STOP! Wave to the left!"