Since Jack Left
Hard to believe it’s been a year since you called
your last family reunion. The one at the hospital.
Pretending to be a tough guy.
Eating pizza and shooting pool and trying hard
not to remember that you were dying. Then you did.
The long, blurry line of black cars and black suits and old uncles.
We carried you down from the Baptist church and wore dark sunglasses
And tried to be like you. Tried to be men.
When we got home, no one would sit in your chair. It was too soon.
Football in the swampy yard with saw-horse end zones and broken hearts.
I know you’re up there fishing that no-limit river
Where the mountains rub against the sky.
And I know you’ve got Red and Gary to help with the boat,
But sometimes I wish I could sit with you awhile, again
Just to watch the lines.
Into The West
This past Monday, I started a new position with Journey Group, Inc. in Charlottesville, Virginia. I’m looking forward to gaining a deeper understanding of print design & the process behind high-quality production. Journey has some really terrific clients including the United States Postal Service and World Vision magazine.
For the time being, I’ll be commuting over an hour each way, so we’ll be looking to move in the not-too-distant future. Good thing gas is so cheap and houses are selling like hot cakes…
Cult of Objectivity
This afternoon I had the great pleasure of listening to a living legend: the incorrigible Massimo Vignelli. He spoke at the Grace Street Theater in Richmond on his life and practice, most prominently the iconic work of Vignelli Associates.
I came away refreshed and newly inspired. He discussed his usual fare: long-term clients, limited typefaces, working on the grid, expansive range and the pursuit of timelessness. Something he knows a thing or two about.
“I see graphic design as the organization of information that is semantically correct, syntactically consistent and pragmatically understandable. I like it to be visually powerful, intellectually elegant, and above all timeless.”
Massimo Vignelli (1931…)
Touch & Go
The only way to claim the fertile ground is to break away from the pack and move beyond the frontier. Find things that you think are magical and rip them to shreds. That way you can see their guts.
Before the holiday, I had the pleasure of guest lecturing for a History of Design class up at JMU. I primarily focused on full-scope branding and the amazing opportunities that await young designers who are willing to push the envelope. More and more, I’m seeing the web and interactive media as our design Xanadu. Inspired by the recent writings of Armit, Khoi and Jeremy, I really wanted to get the students to project the epic scale of the design giants they’ve been studying (folks like Eames & Rand) into their own work and embrace the possibility that they could be the one to create the metaphorical IBM logo or Lounge Chair in this new media.
An Extraordinary Machine
Yesterday evening, I became the proud owner of a used GT ZR3000: a glorious concoction of aluminum, rubber and carbon fiber with a glossy blue and white paint job. This is by no means the Ferrari of bicycles, but it is my first serious road bike and it represents many happy miles to come. I took it out to West Creek last night for a spin and compared to what I had been riding, it was pure bliss.
I’ve been into mountain biking since my high school days, but just started riding on the road over the summer. A couple of buddies had gotten into it and were kind enough to let me tag along. Turns out, there are a number of really nice areas to ride around Richmond. It’s an entirely different activity than trail or downhill riding, but I think I’m starting to get the hang of it…
Christmas Came Early
The Bryant Family Library had a major addition over the weekend. We made our traditional fall pilgrimage to the Green Valley Book Fair and spent more than a few hours drooling over the printed page in all its glory. By far, the catch-of-the-day was this beautiful 12-volume collection of domus magazine – the premier Italian magazine for architecture and design for over 75 years. It contains selected articles from 1928 – 1999. My wife’s parents were nice enough to get it for us as an early Christmas present, and it promptly became one of our most prized possessions.
There’s just something so thrilling about seeing your design heroes described as “up and coming”.