Voilà, a couple of new limited-edition letterpress prints, hot off of the Heidelberg Windmill! Both were typeset by hand and printed with antique wood and metal type, and both are for sale in my Etsy shop. You can get 15% off your order by using coupon code STEPAHEAD when you check out. › Continue reading
Our latest infographic for Scarborough focuses on the local side of digital media usage and attitudes in the US. As it turns out, San Francisco, Austin, Atlanta, and Washington, DC have some interesting things in common (and also many factors that are very different between the cities). Featured typeface is Andes Condensed from Latinotype. Check it out on visual.ly, or to see the infographic in its entirety (one very long strip), click here or view the full post below.
Following up on the success of our Scarborough Millennials Infographic, here is another infographic for Scarborough, this time on the topic of social media. It, too, received some attention. As before, the featured typeface is Andes Condensed from Latinotype, a playful sans serif which, after the big hit of our design for the Millennials infographic, has been chosen as the official typeface of Scarborough’s new identity. To see the infographic in its entirety (one very long strip), click here or view the full post below.
The wonderful-to-work-with team over at Drayton Hall asked us to design their 2011 annual report (which was actually published in 2012). Over the past few years, we reworked their wordmark, redesigned their Interiors newsletter, and created a whole bunch of environmental site signage to guide visitors through their experience at the historic site.
Drayton Hall is a former plantation home in South Carolina, and like other former Southern plantations, its history is deeply intertwined with slavery. Stephen Colbert (yes, the), who is actually listed in the annual report’s donor list along with his wife, humorously acknowledged its checkered past, and displayed a photo of Drayton Hall during his December 10th episode.
The best thing about the way Drayton Hall operates, though, is that its caretakers have chosen to carefully preserve everything as-is, and to use interpretive tools to allow visitors to get a sense of how the site changed over time—both physically, and in terms of its role throughout shifting circumstances. It serves as a testament to the complexity of history; it’s a treasured former home to the Drayton family, and also the final resting place for many who were enslaved there. It’s many different things to many different people, and its role as an educational experience is critical.
Our goal for the design of the annual report was to present all of the important information clearly, to highlight the beauty of the location itself, and the passion of those who continue to support it. We mirrored the warmth of the photography with a warm color palette for the graphs of financial data, and honored the architecture of the site with balanced page layouts. The elegant type palette blends the 18th century with the 21st, spanning the same period in history as has Drayton Hall.
The final result was printed in 11″ × 17″ tabloid format on uncoated paper, large enough to hold a lot of information on one page legibly, but easily folded in half for mailing.
Simultaneously, we were also commissioned to create a new logo in celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of “Friends of Drayton Hall,” shown here printed on the back of the annual report:
If you would like to work with Three Steps Ahead to design your organization’s next annual report, do get in touch.
Mythbusters has been one of my favorite shows ever since it first made it to air. And I’ve been an Etsy seller since 2005, having been so fortunate as to witness its creation firsthand thanks to my fellow Gallatin alumni Chris Maguire, Haim Schoppik, and Rob Kalin. I was thrilled to see this post on the Etsy blog about Adam Savage’s love and admiration for the handmade and vintage marketplace. I consider Adam Savage (who also attended NYU for a short time, it seems—small world!) to be one of the most intelligent and admirable people in the entertainment (edutainment?) industry. Might have something to do with the fact that he’s a fellow nerdy ginger with a graphic design background and a penchant for collecting odd things. It may even qualify as a “man crush.” Hearing him talk in detail about his shopping experiences and say “Etsy is one of my favorite things on the web” is genuinely uplifting:
Just a few days ago I was watching back-episodes of Mythbusters with my wife Alyssa, whose Etsy shop has grown into something of a phenomenon, and we were discussing how the Mythbusters may have been responsible, at least in part, for the escalation in popularity of the “maker” culture and the environment that made it possible for Etsy to thrive. Mythbusters and Etsy were born within a year or two of each other, after all. Adam touches on this in the Still Untitled podcast, but does not take credit for it:
The whole DIY maker zeitgeist [he says "zeitgeist," too!] that Mythbusters rode—we rode that wave—we were right alongside Make magazine riding that wave in the early 2000s.
It was also interesting to hear Adam’s perspective on Etsy’s relatively low prices for handmade goods, and its role as a proving ground for nascent makers and artists, since it is a low-overhead way for creative people to test ideas in a real-life, international marketplace. There are some that would complain that the popularity of Etsy may lead to a microcosm of the global economy for the smaller-scale handmade community, with an increase of supply driving down prices. But Adam’s commentary paints this in an optimistic light, and I think he’s got a great point. As Etsy continues to grow and change it is fascinating to watch its impact on the world, and the world’s impact on it.
Music has always been a gigantic source of inspiration for me as a graphic designer (see my wedding invitations, for example), and I’m proud to introduce the first specimens in a series of audiophile prints exclusively for the Three Steps Ahead Shop on Etsy. These examples were all inspired by music of the 1960s, specifically by The Beatles’ “All Together Now” (from Yellow Submarine) and Serge Gainsbourg’s “Comic Strip,” his historically kitschy duet with Brigitte Bardot from the as-sixties-as-it-gets album, Initials B.B. To me, these songs are quintessential examples of the euphoric, optimistic side of pop music from the latter half of the ’60s. It’s as though you hear them in Technicolor. › Continue reading
ZYZZYVA was recently listed in “15 American Mags Worth Subscribing to in 2013” by editor Orion Ray-Jones. The best part: the list includes GQ, Mother Jones, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Wired, Harpers, The Believer… an honor indeed!
We’ve having a gigantic vintage sale on Fab.com starting at 7PM Eastern on Monday, December 10. Check it out here, and be sure to sign up for Fab if you’re not already a member. We’ve got some major goodies for sale, including some incredible vintage posters by Seymour Chwast, industrial modern salvage, letterpress type, mid-century décor, et cetera. Feast your eyes and drain your credit limit all at once!
We recently completed a new infographic for Scarborough, this time on the topic of Millennials (the roughly 18 to 29-year-old set), and it looks like it’s already receiving some coverage on the interwebs. This one was particularly fun to do because we were able to weave some humor in throughout, along with some very obvious references to current (and dare I say ephemeral) trends in social networking web design. Featured typeface is Andes Condensed from Latinotype, a very contemporary (2012) and playful sans serif. To see the infographic in its entirety (one very long strip), click here or view the full post below.