Designers I have worked with…

I was recently reminded of how important the presentation of an object or idea is. I have often disregarded this idea or used it as a filter to separate people who are serious about my work from those who possibly interested in it because of an attractive presentation. With the I Ate Tiong Bahru book, for example, I avoided putting a nicely composed Tiong Bahru street scene or a plate of delicious food on the cover. Both would have been appropriate, but both would have attracted readers that might have been disappointed in the text inside. The stories in IATB are not "avante-garde" or challenging. The mix of styles, plus the way history, fiction, fact and food information are woven together  mean that the reader never knows what to expect on the next page. The  cover, perfectly realized by the photographer/designer Philipp Aldrup, was meant as a suggestive signal that the reader should be open-minded.I Ate Tiong Bahru book cover With the Voice of Pieces project, I ignore Design, just as I Ignore Art, Commerce,  Logic and more: the VoP Project is about creating an experience and an oral history more than anything else. Lastly, the original cover of Furikake was meant to be the "ugliest cover on Amazon. Designed it myself!
terrible book covers

Furikake once featured the ugliest cover on Amazon!

At the moment I am using this blog post as a way of remembering things, looking at my life from a different perspective. I would like to make time and come back and write about more of the designers and design experiences later. For now, I present you with just the minimum  of info. If you are one of the brilliant designers listed below, please know that whenever I see your works, I am very appreciative and feel very fortunate to have worked with you. THANK YOU! The Eighties! Mr. Xerox Machine... Oh, was I happy working with copying machines.!(Am happy!) New York City, Rochester NY, Tokyo, Toledo, Ottawa Lake... the errors, the unevenness, the paper jams, "double exposures"...wow! This video...well...I would love to work on it again... And yep, Paul Dodd, the drummer, has helped me with a design project or two, including the logo for blacksteps, my "sleeping" company. Paul's work as a painter, however is what makes him one of my favorite Artists. Danceteria/No Se No...The designers at these places made a great impression upon me, though I did not know them personally and my involvement with Danceteria and No Se No was only very rarely featured on their posters, almost nonexistent. Izumi Inoue He did the layout and cover for a book I was working on, something called Tonbow, which needs to be rejuvenated. It was my first time to experience the power of self-publishing, though I only made a few copies. Izumi was/is a magician! Galerie NW House-Endo-san or someone she knew made the postcards for my exhibition. They were simple delights that we put stamps on and mailed. Tokyo/SPP/Barae..... Barae is a post-butoh dancer/actress. In the early Ninties, we operated an art space together, something called SPP. Our own design work was copy machine/collage style, with one exception. The W postcard was a luscious postcard and the text was in Japanese and English. I must find it and scan it. Working on that was my first lesson in wabi-sabi. Also, whenever Barae had a performance, she worked designers to make chirashii; the results were gorgeous. Terry Jones. Five minutes when he came in to oversee a story about Stelarc featuring my photos of Stelarc. I-D Japan He will not remember me. At the time I did not know who he was. But he knew what was and--wasn't-- working with the layout. The Nineties! Sadato's 1992 CD cover Never met the designer. Would like to shake his or her hand. Sadato, where are you? David Bothwell. It was always a treat to work with David and Alice and hang out in their office in Hong Kong. SO PROFESSIONAL! They did the flyer for a photo exhibition of mine, as well as the VHS packaging for Yallah, the Sadato VHS. And then there was the delightful craziness of posters for Hans, the Birdman. David did the cover of Obama Search Words. Roy Chan wowed us all with the look and feel of SPOKEN. Roy also created a postcard for an exhibition I did in Tokyo, that seemed to "inspire"a travel agency poster: the look and feel was exactly the same. Makiko Kuno. Su go ii!  I watched Tamala being born. Network TV. Sally Howard. Stefanie Pfeffer,who is now doing all kinds of interesting motion design in Europe Lawrence?--all from TNT/Cartoon Network in Hong Kong. And, the staff who worked with me in the promo department at Fox in Tokyo...yes, I have been very lucky. One of the projects I did, the sales tape launching Cartoon Network in Japan, was featured at the Promax Awards. In TV, designers and graphics people make it happen!And, sometimes, it is Stuart Rankin feeling! Kumiko Akiyoshi. Unfortunately I cannot now remember the name of her friend who was also a great designer. I do remember she drove a Corvette when she took me to see the restaurant in Kabukicho that we c0-designed! David Severn, an artist, he did the drawing for an upcoming book of mine called Flame Magnet. We are also hoping to re-energize the characters we created for a virtual game space called Secret Donut World. The dawn of this important millenium of ours... Well, things started in Tokyo, when I worked for Fox, then in 2002 where I was with the Youtube-like company (before Youtube that was also a Second Life-like company (before Second Life).CDK Landing page Though I was Creative Director, most of the packaging was handled by those who worked with  characters.Agaricus blazeii murrill note book cover I need to retrieve the emails exchanged with the woman who designed the cover of the ABM Notebook. She was great. I say "was great" because, sadly, not long after we finished this project, she was taking photographs and was fatally hit by a car. It was also around this time that I met the very talented Peter Dean, now a good friend. We worked on something for something like a joint venture between Canon and the gaming/video company I worked for. Kinda experimental, which was a surprise for a company that big... THE DEAN on Facebook. To be continued!  

2 Responses to Designers I have worked with…

  1. Pingback: Designers I Have Worked With (part 2) | blacksteps

  2. Pingback: Designers I Have Worked With… (part 3) | blacksteps

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