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It’s my first day.

Blogging anyway. So…where to start? I began by making a list of things to talk about. Things I have read recently about design or maybe just some stuff about myself so you can get to know me a little better. You know, something funny and charming that would win you over by the time you finished this first paragraph. I like puppies and I recycle. And there it is.

Okay, well maybe not. Perhaps I’ll just follow Richard’s lead and start off with what I do.

I’m the Senior Graphic Designer here at the IMA. So what does that mean exactly? Any graphic designer will tell you that we get this a lot. Not a big deal. Don’t be afraid to ask if you ever find yourself in this situation. My own family still has trouble figuring out exactly what I spend my day doing. When I was growing up I loved to draw things. I was a drawin’ fool. Mainly Spider-Man and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This, of course, implied to every adult that knew me that one day I might just become a successful artist. Watch this kid; he’s going places!

When I grew up I did go to art school but I didn’t major in the illustration of mutant turtles that have mad ninja skills. Those classes were always full or at least had a really long waiting list. Instead, I got a degree in Visual Communication, or Graphic Design. Generally after I tell someone that I’m a graphic designer, I get one of three reactions. One: they know exactly what it is I’m talking about because they have a cousin who does the same thing. Two: I get a “that sounds fun” response that I think mainly pertains to the fact that I work in an art museum and not to my exact job here. Three: I get asked to explain what that means. When I do explain, I will usually get hit up for a logo because their uncle’s ex-wife’s second cousin who was lost at sea for four years recently decided to open up a business that specializes in mold abatement for residential architecture. (Not making that one up. Well, not the mold abatement company part anyway.)

Every day you encounter work by a graphic designer, whether you think about it or not. Magazines, billboards, book jackets, the graphics on your Starbucks coffee cup…all graphic design. Design is not only an end product, but also a process that usually begins with research and brainstorming. A graphic designer takes an idea or concept and makes it visual through the combination of photography, typography, color, the right type of paper,etc. When successful, everything comes together to produce a feeling and visual style that best communicates to the audience.

Good design makes things easier. It makes people happy. Anyone who has ever had trouble reading a magazine because of bad layout, had trouble navigating a website or gotten lost in an airport due to bad signage design knows how important well-executed design is to daily life.

I work in collaboration with nearly every department in the museum to design anything from a brochure for Summer Nights (to the graphic identity of an exhibition and the printed pieces that market the show. Anytime you get a printed piece like Art For You in the mail, see a banner on the outside of the building or even just pick up a brochure while you’re here, I might have worked on it.

Some of you out there have my work in your recycling bin right now. If it’s in your trash, get it out of there. If you’re going to throw my stuff away at least recycle it. With any luck, you got something that I did tacked up in your office. Or better yet…your fridge! Score!

So, that’s basically what I do.

Up next, Philippe Starck and why design is useless.

Filed under: Design

4 Responses to “It’s my first day.”

  • avatar
    SuzyQ Says:

    Love the blog…it is cool to “meet” the people behind the scenes at the IMA I think – makes me feel more connected in a way…not sure why, but keep it up!

  • avatar
    BusterK Says:

    From experience, I can tell you what this young man says is true. I once got lost on the way to the airport because the magazine I was reading while I was driving there was so poorly designed I had to pull over. My disorientation led me to a Starbucks where I got online to check my flight, but found it difficult to navigate the airline’s website. Having missed my flight, I lost my job and am now working at Starbucks. All of this happened because of poor visual communication. I’d be curious to know what Matthew thinks of Starbuck’s revitalized approach to their brand. Is it a natural progression or is it a reactionary tactic to win back market share by jumping on the “green” bandwagon?

  • avatar
    Archer8 Says:

    Whether you stated your name and it was glanced over, or given on a previous page, it was obviously not taken in. Therefore, I am not certain how to address you. Either way, interesting read. A Graphic Designer with light humor leads to well perceived visual elements in a design. At least I hope that is how my work turns out as well. If I may ask, how is the position at the IMA working out? Working around such magnificent history, and using what art has developed into over the years, must be exhilarating. Do you ever stop to look around you and wonder if those artists had a similar train of thought?

    Alright, I am wandering off. In the Indianapolis Star this morning, it was stated that 600 Starbucks locations are to be closing down this month. The high rise in gas prices was quoted as one of the main causes of continual consumers’ absence. Either way, I feel something is simply not working as well as it once was with the image. It could possibly be the length of time it has been around, and consumers ar simply not surprised anymore. Wouldn’t you think it is time for something new. Whether it be with the element of design with the logo itself or simply the advertising strategies, something seems to need altering. What do you have in mind for this?

    As I sip on my home brewed coffee, and hope for a decline in the cost of many things in life, I feel maybe Starbucks may need to consider their prices.

    Anyway, Starbucks is not important. It was discussed, and was therefore continued. What would you suggest a graphic designer concentrate on when striving for the success you might be experiencing?


  • avatar
    Chris Says:

    ::: I agree nice article :::::

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