Schralped Fetus Donut Shop Siren

A good friend said to me, “You? You? Why would they ask you? You’re so square.” My friend may know what she is talking about. She knows every cool band with odd names such as Thumbtack Attack and what hidden bars are groovy in Silverlake. I don’t know these things. I’m not that cool.

Since I’m square, I don’t need to worry about doing something groovy. I love skate slang. I don’t use it in meetings, as in, “Dude, that logo is so off the hook. Gnarly.” But, working on a skate deck for a charity event in Colorado this gave me the perfect opportunity to combine my love of skate slang, and late 60s chain restaurant typography ala Farrell’s. For entertainment at the auction, I suggested adding people in red Victorian vests running around with the skateboard decks while a siren wailed, but the kind people at AIGA Colorado politely said no.


People on 'ludes should not drive

I think about the concept of alternative universes more than I should. When I make decision, I consider the quantum theory that an alternate of me makes a separate decision that branches into a different timeline. The moment I am most concerned about is the one when I was 17 and decided to respond, “No, thank you” to my acceptance to Harvard, and “yes, thank you” to CalArts. Somewhere in an alternate reality, I took the other path, graduated from Harvard, and then from the JFK School of Government with a masters in public policy. I might be a Senator in the 18th dimension. But, I took the other road. I deal with clients that ask four or five times a day, “Are you sure this is right. In your professional opinion?”

However, I do get to design cool things like this skate deck for AIGA Colorado’s Bordo Bello event. My good friend Charles Carpenter asked me to design a deck again for this great cause. This gave me the chance to highlight some profound quotes from Jeff Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Yes, if you haven’t seen it, it is better than Citizen Kane. I might be missing out on being called Senator Adams, but I get to immortalize the classic line, “All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I’m fine.”


Dudette Shreds in London

I’m always surprised when someone says, “You guys are the quintessential southern California firm.” I don’t think of us this way. I like to think we’re a serious, intelligent, and dedicated crew, not pot smoking surf dudes and dudettes. We don’t help this reputation with our watermelon, spearmint, and butter yellow walls. And then there is the skateboard incident. Several years ago, Noreen was a judge for the British Design and Art Director’s competition. This is one of the most prestigious shows in the world and the judging is rigorous. The judges are pulled from around the world. I did it a couple of years after her, and slept for a week when I returned home.

Someone submitted a skateboard to the competition and Noreen’s jury was trying to decide if it should be included. “We need to ride it,” she said. This makes perfect sense to me. It might look good, but what if it doesn’t work. Unfortunately, this behavior is unheard of in polite British society. So Noreen’s ride around the room on the board drew gasps and shock. Perhaps the southern California idea isn’t wrong.

This week, I made two skateboard decks for AIGA Hampton Roads’ Shred show. I’m happy to do it and help out a great chapter. Of course, since I’m super square, my solutions are the dorkiest in the group. But, that’s good too. It makes everyone else look incredibly hip.