no mo logos [or “down with formats, up with people”]

Posted on by tyler galloway

embedded in many typical “design a logo for X” or “a magazine for Y” is the designerly conceit that prioritizes (fetishizes?) the thingness of the artifact over the need for humans to communicate particular content to certain other humans. if we are responsible and innovative designers, we will move beyond stuffing the need to communicate into a stock format, as profitable as that may be.

Read More

conversation maps, part 1

Posted on by tyler galloway

three years ago i had an idea in an elective i taught, called stories of the city, that i referred to as "conversation maps". the point was to use them as a way to record interactions with people in the community, organize the information, and be able to utilize it to gain new insights. 

finally, i'm actually attempting to use it myself to map a couple of my initial interviews with k.c. bike activists. it's not all pretty just yet and it may not get any better. it was somewhat useful to go back through my notes and do this. i hope it will help me to sort through issues and ideas more easily as i move forward.

screen grab of the top half of the map. 

screen grab of (most of) the bottom half of the map.

new books coming

Posted on by tyler

i’m excited because i just ordered a few new books — finally. i’m a real miser when it comes to forking out money for new books, no matter what the subject matter. but i never fail to get jealous when i see new (or old) books that my colleagues bring in. so, thank you, birthday money from my parents, for allowing me the opportunity to spoil myself a bit on these cool items.


signal:01, edited by josh macphee and alec dunn
Signal is an ongoing book series dedicated to documenting and sharing compelling graphics, art projects, and cultural movements of international resistance and liberation struggles.”

i’m excited about this whole thing, but mostly about “designing anarchy: the graphic covers of rufus segar”, because they look really interesting and i’ve never head of the guy. it’s always nice to discover new artists and designers working in a revolutionary context.


craphound #4, 5, and 7 (i have #6 already)
i respect Sean Tejaratchi because he has the tenacity to collect line art in a serious way that i could never muster. the themes from each issue are either clever non-seqiturs (death, telephones, and scissors) or useful groupings (church and state). the page layouts are awesome and the found art is great. yay!

no meaningful community can be sustained (let alone flourish) without radical new commitment to the art of people sharing time to talk

Posted on by tyler

- tony brock a former instructor of mine while in grad school at ncsu, tony constantly questions how we should be educating our students and what constitutes "education". he also questions -- rightly -- what we value as educators and how that reflects/informs our lives more holistically. (re-read quote for reference)
Read More

elegant dissent by elliott earls

Posted on by tyler

i just watched this video (embedded after the jump) from elliott earls, artist in residence for graphic design at cranbrook academy of art. it was a great reminder for me that the form and how it is made is incredibly important. it reminds me to ask big questions about the work i am making and how it can and should challenge dominant paradigms. not that i need to work as elliott does, but to really push my beliefs and values into my work and consider how those things are communicated through the work. i have been talking a lot to my seniors in visual advocacy about how graphic design and design thinking can really make a difference on a socio-political level, beyond traditional awareness campaigns. we have talked about form and process before, but not as much recently as issues of self-initiated work, the designer's role in a project or in relation to a community and things of that nature. this excerpt from earl's talk is a great reminder for me to keep questioning all aspects of how design functions and to embody how i believe it should function and look. Elegant Dissent: Elliott Earls talk at the ICA Boston from Elliott Earls on Vimeo. thanks to cameron perry, one of my students at kcai, for posting this on his blog. another great reason to be a teacher -- continuous exposure to a whole network of ideas and sources.
Read More