After recording the last show, and having lunch with Stefan Mumaw, our Kansas City podcast trip took us to stop three: Willoughby Design Group. For the half hour we sat and spoke with her, I don’t think Ann Willoughby stopped working for thirty seconds. She was sketching the entire time, and we got an immediate sense of a talent level that is rare (like flashbacks of visiting the San Francisco offices of Pentagram).
We covered a wide range of topics including her many projects dedicated to environmentally friendly items, the barn and redesigning the environment people work in. We end with her recalling a story of living through the era of MadMen as a female in a male dominated profession – and how that has thankfully changed, and how design is better because of that change.
As we were wrapping up, we ran into the Drifting Creatives in the hallway. We only spoke for a minute, but I applaud them for making cross-country treks to learn more about the industry. We have learned so much just going to a few cities and speaking to designers who have much more experience than us, I can only imagine what a life-changing journey they have taken so far.
Once again, Mig Reyes provides our student tip.
Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments below. We have one more stop on our Kansas City podcast trip, which will air in two weeks.
After speaking with Mike Adair and Bob Holt at Hallmark, the next stop on our Kansas City podcast tour was to find Stefan Mumaw at Reign. As we pulled up to the entry, we noticed Hammerpress Letterpress and Design Studio, and decided to stop by a bit later in the day to see the presses. For now, it was up to the third floor, in what may be the most square footage I have ever seen for a four-person design shop. But the guitars, massive open spaces and white boards everywhere told us they were serious about the creative.
Even though Reign has only been around for a few months (Stefan just moved to Kansas City this year), you can already sense that it won’t take long for them to make their mark on the city’s design scene. But Reign was only part of what we wanted to speak about, we mainly wanted to talk about the other hobbies Stefan has, which seems to be writing design books.
Starting with Simple Websites and Redesigning Websites, Stefan then moved on to teaming up with Wendy Lee Oldfield and creating two books that seem to be everywhere in the design circles now: Caffeine for the Creative Mind and the just released Caffeine for the Creative Team. If you ever run out of creative, these books will give you the pick-up you need to get going again, and this is what we mostly talk about. When you create two books like these, it’s really all we want to cover.
After the fact, we realized what we should have talked about is if Stefan Mumaw is a hobo. Let’s consider that Stefan just moved across country and is working in a basically vacant building. Now let’s remember that Stefan took us to Jack Stack BBQ for lunch and confessed that he is all about the Burnt Ends when it comes to his BBQ. Aren’t burnt ends like the pieces of meat that fall off the real food? Like table scraps? And now we remember that this episode of The Reflex Blue Show is the only one being released during 36 Hobo week? Not sure if this is all coincidence.
Finally we bring another student tip from Mig Reyes. This may also make Mig a hobo. Sorry.
And as always, leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments below. And anyone who has more information on what burnt ends are, and why they taste so good, please share.
When I told my friend Ryan I was going to the HOW Conference in Austin this year, he said I had to go see the hoops&yoyo presentation. I think I probably nodded and smiled like I knew what he was talking about – but I had no clue. Obviously I had not stopped into a Hallmark recently, because these characters are everywhere.
Ryan was right, it was one of the best presentations I saw at HOW, as the creators of the hoops&yoyo, Mike Adair (Hoops, the pink bunny) and Bob Holt (YoYo, the green rabbit) presented with Bev Carlson (the voice of the little blue Piddles) on the behind the scenes creation of this line of e-cards, greeting cards, merchandise, shorts and a bit of the other work they do at Hallmark.
Immediately after the HOW Conference, I told Nate that we needed to make the latest podcast roadtrip we’ve been talking about happen. We set a date (9/9/09), and lined up four shows to record in what turned out to be an eighteen hour adventure starting somewhat before six in the morning. First stop: Hallmark at 9:30.
Bob Holt and Mike Adair are two creatives that have been doing great work at Hallmark for a combined time of over forty years, and they know funny. It’s talent like this that makes Hallmark the leader in smiles when cards are opened. But it was just a few years ago that hoops&yoyo became all that they are now known for, and we were more than happy to talk to them about their characters.
This show also features a student tip from Mig Reyes that I love, as it’s one I have told classes of students before, but not nearly as well as Mig says it here. Today’s show ends with another student(?) website review. Join along in looking at the work of Craig Clark.
The roadtrip recordings return in two weeks with stop two: Stefan Mumaw.
And as always, leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.
Terry Marks of TMARKS Design graces our latest show. The show that barely happened in the end as it turns out. Immediately after recording, Terry had to head home sick. And the student tip from Mig Reyes also only arrived after Mig was able to recover from his bus getting hit by a truck just minutes before.
But we’re glad it all turned out fine for everyone in the end, as Terry talks with us about his new book with Matthew Porter from Rockport: Good Design; Deconstructing Form and Function and What Makes Good Design Work.
We also speak about the three dozen or so logos he’s done for DC Comics, how could we not?
And hang around until the end (or use the chapter markers we’ve gone back to including in our shows to jump directly to it) for a special appearance by the one and only Eddy Wang.
We welcome former AIGA national president Bill Grant to the show today. This is the guy who actually did what I assumed was impossible, and created the original AIGA Design Business and Ethics series.
Bill has also just done what many of us designers dream to – sell his own merchandise. But rather than taking the online store approach, he opened a physical storefront directly below his office called “The Store“.
And for those wondering what Bill is going to be up to next, we also speak briefly about his upcoming book, 1000 More Graphic Elements: Unique Elements for Distinctive Designs, Volume II.
The show ends with a fantastic student tip by Mig Reyes. Take up his advice in the comments below.