JJ’s Kitchen Feb 3, 2019
Ian: So what do you wanna talk about.
Kyu: Does that say 482 Myrtle Avenue?
Ian: Yea dude, pretty sick right?
Kyu: I already asked you a question.
Ian: Why Graphic Design?
Ian: To be honest at some point I realized I wasn’t very good at regular classes at school. My sister took a photography class and then she passed on Photoshop to me.
Kyu: Like a cracked version?
Ian: Yea maybe… We might have bought it, I’m not sure.
Kyu: So you’re a criminal.
Ian: Maybe, I mean I was downloading things off of limewire before this. But just I found making images a lot more fun than regular school work. So that’s kind of what jump started me into thinking like well how can I apply this skill I’ve developed of photo editing and cool effects.
Kyu: But you don’t do photo editing anymore?
Ian: No. At some point I watched the Helvetica movie. It was when I was in a Summer Pre college program at UArts in Philadelphia.
Kyu: OOoooh you fucking rich boy. Okay keep going.
Ian: (laughs) And somewhere along there the movie kind of opened my eyes to the world of typography.
Kyu: Was it an assignment?
Ian: Was there an assignment?
Kyu: To watch it. Or did you just find it by yourself?
Ian: No I think I just found it.
Kyu: I see.
Ian: What about you?
Kyu: You didn’t answer the question!
Ian: I did answer the question.
Kyu: You just said how you got into it, not why. You didn’t answer the core of the question.
Ian: okay okay, what is the core of the question.
Kyu: You could be doing anything else right now… what makes you stay not what makes you start
Ian: Its hard to know what your life would be like if you put yourself in somewhere else.
Kyu: Yea I think so. But Pratt gives you chances to change your major. Especially in Communications Design. So if its images why didn’t you get into photography? I don’t know I’m just throwing things at you to make you answer.
Ian: To provoke the topic… yea… I mean I don’t want to be cocky and say I’m good at it. But I’m not good at photography.
Kyu: Well why do you want to do graphic design? There must be some kind of reason…
Ian: Yea see that’s what I thought you were getting at… like some ultimate motive, as to why you use visual communication as your primary method.
Kyu: Why don’t you do art? … Continue.
Ian: I don’t know. What about you?
Kyu: I think mine is pretty simple. I’ve always wanted to be an artist. I drew a lot. I drew since I was in kindergarden. I used to make these comic books… just A4 sheets of paper folded in half stapled. And I drew on them with my friend. I read Captain Underpants. In Captain Underpants the characters take the comics that they make and try to sell it during recess. So we tried to do that. And then I just kept doodling and taking art classes and trying to make art.
Kyu: But as to why Graphic Design and not Art, I think it just has to do with where I’m from. I think if I make a lot of money making Art. I think I’m only serving a limited audience. I just thought that in New York a lot. The artist’s work was so special and the artist was so special. It’s not like they’re ideas were so great that they needed to show the entire world, because they don’t really care about that.
Ian: It’s like you pay 28 dollars to get into the whitney and you may not even get what the artist is talking about.
Kyu: Yea exactly. It just seemed like the word Art didn’t coincide with Fine Art. I don’t think Fine Arts is the top of the pyramid when it comes to Art. I think writing is for me.
Ian: Like the purest.
Kyu: Like I don’t really feel a lot of things when I look at a painting. But when I read a book there’s so much I can get from it.
Ian: Yea I think that kind of made me think of my answer. I’ve told you this before, but Graphic Design is everywhere. I have this distinct memory of being at a bus stop in Philadelphia. There was this standing vertical poster. And I remember thinking, this is everywhere. I’ve never actually noticed the actual piece before because I was so submersed in advertising and commercials.
Kyu: I also like gundam boxes. When I was younger… the gundam boxes with the robots in crazy poses and stuff. Those things are all illustrations and graphic design, it’s not Fine Art. And it was so fucking cool. It’s simple drawing not like a abstract painting.
Ian: Yea, I think at a certain point you gain awareness as to someone had to make that in order to bring it to you. Someone had to make campbell soup commercials for you to know about campbell soup. Without that any soup could be good.
Kyu: Wait so advertising? Like we’re talking about how its so accessible and so great but the most accessible pieces are in advertising. And both of us are not really interested in branding and advertising. There’s a lot of kids here that are way more into those things. We talk about how great it is, but is it really true for Graphic Design that’s not in an advertising sphere? Like for example Actual Source, places that work as their own firm and have an artistic voice. Do you think their work is shown everywhere?
Kyu: Like it loses that.
Ian: Yea I mean at the same time at a certain point I thought it would be really cool to be that guy that would influence other people. To say how it’s told. But I realized that it’s kind of twisted, the psychology behind it.
Kyu: Behind it?
Ian: Behind advertising and selling. And that perspective kind of skews everything.
Kyu: I think so. I think it’s really hard to look at the good in what is historically considered bad. Consumerism is running us to the ground. But there’s also the aspect of like hey it’s christmas and my daughter is waiting for this doll. I worked really hard and I got this doll for her. She saw the advertising months ago and just fell in love. It’s everything for her. Goods have to be circulated regardless. I guess it’s just the position we’re at where it has kind of accelerated. It makes us feel like we need more things.
Ian: But also the Graphic Design that I…
Kyu: You can chime in too (to Frances).
Frances: I’m just out of it.
Ian: The Graphic Design that I learned at the Pre College place wasn’t really advertising based. It wasn’t like we’re going to make an ad for this. We got a random typeface on a sheet and you have to trace the type. We put in headphones and we listened to Chuck Brown. While we listened to the music we painted and drew. We then collaged those elements to make graphic design pieces for a music venue. And I guess that’s advertising too. But it was a process that lead me to make pieces that weren’t really based on what people want or how to sell something. It was much more freeing. It was what I was raised on.
Kyu: It’s all good. I think that’s where we’re at right now.
Ian: Right. I was watching this vine today. It was this young girl eating sour cream and onion lays. She was putting her hand into the bag and dipping the lays in the picture of the dip in the bag. Have you seen this? It’s kind of like the girl with the doll.
Kyu: You wanted lays?
Ian: No it’s not that I wanted lays. It gave me this perspective that maybe you share that not all advertising or branding is bad. It builds stories and imagination of the product you’re using. Toys are a good example. Like if you were just given a toy maybe you wouldn’t have the story building aspect that the packaging or the things that surround the object give to it. That was kind of the lays thing.
Kyu: I think it’s important to look at things in a neutral standpoint as a Graphic Designer. What you said was great. What’s great about Graphic Design is it’s accessibility. And it only happens if the company wants to distribute those things further. That’s like lays. So the great thing about Graphic Design is that we live in a consumerist age.
Ian: Yea without that we wouldn’t really have a Graphic Design culture. You can’t really have one without the other.
… Food comes....
Ian: Thank you.
Kyu: The great thing is consumerism. If you’re going about Graphic Design in an artistic way, thats super limited and narrow. And you do still make culture in that one space. And I’m not saying that’s bad. Like Actual Source. But what’s the difference between that and fine art? Like they have their own shows and the books are super expensive.
Ian: Yea no one else reads those books other than graphic designers.
Kyu: its bougie Graphic Design.
Kyu : I think people care. That’s what I’ve got down to. People care about the work. Even the people up really high, they do care about what they’re doing. I think everybody does things that they think is right. If someone whos not a criminal, a normal person… to actually push yourself to do bad things… I don’t think it’s possible. Should we take a break?
Ian: I want you to finish your thought.
Kyu: Well, I think we can’t just say these things are bad and leave it as that. We can’t say advertising and branding, working for large corporations are bad because it pushes consumerism and the world’s going to end and all that shit. At the end of the day I think you have to think not about what you want to do. Like if I want to destroy the system. But what I can do as a Graphic Designer. If you keep pushing and fight for ideas that you think should get out there. I think people are good and it’s up to you to convince them. I think people are realizing that branding strategies don’t really work. I think they want honest work and I think it sells better. Work that is actually good work and doesn’t try to trick people.
Anda Cafe Feb 3, 2019
Ian: We’re at the locksmith now, aka Anda Cafe
Frances: That’s insane
Ian: It is insane, right? It knows. It didn’t even ask me, “Do you want to allow location?”
Kyu: Well, you went into your settings and then were like, “I accept”.
Ian: No, you’re right, I always accept. That’s the thing, I always accept.
Kyu: So, what was the question? Why graphic design?
Frances: You guys talked about why you guys chose it,
or more like why you guys began
Kyu: Well I think there’s a…
Kyu: Ian’s having the most fun with this project. Look at his face, he’s like, “this is the best project”
Ian: I mean, maybe a better way to frame the question is, what makes graphic design good?
Kyu: I think it’s a personal question. Because I think you can answer what makes graphic design good, and that’s in a general sense... I like secondary art. There’s primary art, which is like museum art, and secondary art would be like… I think I like tertiary art.
Ian: I think it doesn’t matter what it is, it matters why you like it
Kyu: There’s fine art, then there’s art that’s like animations and manga, and murals, and street art, and paintings by moms… What would you say secondary art is, because I think there’s a level in between fine art and graphic design
Ian: Yeah there is, it’s like there art that isn’t necessarily considered…
Ian: Smart, or fine…
Kyu: Book covers? Is the tertiary? Secondary? I don’t know...
Ian: Applied art is like the tertiary. But why do you like it? Maybe you’re trying to say because there’s a reason behind why you like the…
Kyu: I think we’ve said that we don’t like, or the point was that fine art is too limited and graphic design is free, open… anyone can access graphic design… Anyone can access a Coke bottle. Even in papua.
Ian: Not only can anyone appreciate it or see it, but everyone can get the feeling of Coke? If that makes any sense? The Cokeness of Coke? By looking at the ad, by being surrounded by Santa Clauses that are selling you Coke, it all kind of reminisces and stirs up a Coke feeling (not to be confused with the other Coke feeling)
For me it was just another way of expression, oddly enough. It wasn’t ever really about the commercial side of it, that’s not really why I dove in.
Kyu: So it’s not about the accessibility?
Ian: No, it is about the accessibility, but it was never about… I don’t know….
Kyu: I was in Animation when I first applied to Pratt, and then, I was really good at drawing my freshman year, maybe the best in my class. We took 4D, right? I fucking hated that class, because of the time-based thing? I don’t think my mind works that way. It’s all in one singular thing…
Ian: One moment?
Kyu: Yeah, not like, this frame this frame this frame this frame. So I switched to Illustration. Illustration felt so dumb. Like it felt like I’m working my hand, it doesn’t matter what the idea or the concept is as much. It’s like, “I want a poster of Macbeth” so I draw the king, and the knife, and the skull, it’s like...okay?… And then also you can have a teacher that will let you have ideas and stuff…
Ian: It’s like you could have all the parts but you couldn’t always necessarily get to the idea. You could show every aspect and you could do it technically sound, but it wasn’t as impactful to you as having a great paramount idea.
Kyu: I think that’s when I was like, “oh, I fucking love Duchamp’s urinal” just as an idea. Purely an idea. I think I switched into graphic design, because I wanted to… I had this thing like, “Illustration isn’t good enough for me” that’s what I was thinking. I was also thinking “Graphic Design isn’t good enough for me.” I was very narcissistic I feel like I could do so much more with my mind. I felt like, if it’s just drawing, everyone can do it if they practice enough. I had been doing it for so long, for me it felt like it was practice.
Ian: That’s exactly how I feel about graphic design today… We’re dancing around the topic a little, but…
Kyu: I don’t think so. I think it’s about psychology and knowing people. It’s communication. It’s how you communicate something. The most important thing is you have to know what people understand and what people feel....
Ian: The empathy thing.
Kyu: Yeah, I feel like I know how people think, in a way. There are all different kinds of people, but there is a general sense of “this will make someone feel in this way” and that’s so fun for me. It’s like, “how can I fucking cunt this motherfucker when they look at the work?” Even if it’s not cunting, but getting into their head and shift something.
Ian: Yeah, I think that, for me that came about most effectively when I got into typography. Even the most basic change in how a letter or how a word is presented can give the word a completely different connotation…
Kyu: Like Garamond and Baskerville?
Ian: Like Garamond and Baskerville and Times…
Kyu: On a micro level?
Ian: On a very detailed level, you read it differently.
Frances: That thing was falling off the first time I came in here.
Now it’s dangling!
Ian: This place just opened.
Frances: Yeah I know! Interesting...
Ian: So yeah, psychology was also very interesting for me, but it wasn’t necessarily “how could I change someone’s mind” it was more “how can I understand how my mind has been changed” and from that world, influence other people positively by communicating. I never had the..
Kyu: The cunting?
Ian: The cunting…yeah…
Kyu: You didn’t like the cunting… it’s too strategy based…? I think the micro level is pretty cool too. For me, to a certain extent, type seems less… my brain is more inclined to the actual saying…? I guess it’s just more of the macro level that I’m kind of interested in, where if certain words are changed this way, that way, that way, the meaning is changed.
Ian: Right… I think it’s all somewhat tied. But I think if we get into that we could get into the whole sans-serif conversation we’re going to have.
Kyu: I still don’t think we have the right answers, we’re just sort of just… going ‘round and around…
Ian: There’s no other way, but…
Kyu: Like the Film Forum poster? It was during Eric Wren’s class. I remember having so much fun giving the viewer a little “ooohh,” like a little brain gift. It was a poster for all the shows and times and I set it like an eye test.
Ian: I remember.
Kyu: So the concept was that you have to know what you’re seeing. You have to be a trained eye to be someone that enjoys going to indie movies. And it’s not the mass. So I think someone who goes to Film Forum and really like Film Forum, when they look at it… it’s not a lot, you’re not giving them the best thing in the world, but it’s a little gift in the brain. It just feels good. You know what I mean? It’s just a thought by another person. And it makes me feel good about what I’m doing.
Ian: One of the most influential posters in my entire history of seeing graphic design was done by this graphic designer Inge Druckrey. I think there’s also something to be said about, is the immediacy, or if not even the immediacy, but the difficulty of the puzzle. If we’re to say that these forms of visual communication that we do are like puzzles, like a purely type poster by Frank DeRose might be the easiest puzzle because you just read it, and you understand. But there are other graphic designers, like that guy you work with… (cut all this out...) who goes to Cranbrook.
Ian: Well they’re both visual, it’s just that one gives you the meaning, the idea, the concept very immediately, and the other one, I kind of have to come up with the answer, it’s a very difficult puzzle to figure out. And it’s not like there’s always a straight-forward answer either.
Kyu: Is there really a puzzle or is it just coolness? Trying to be the “next new thing”?
Ian: I think there’s definitely…
Kyu: Thought process?
Ian: Definitely a process and an idea when you were making it. I think that any artist, even if they don’t know what they’re doing when they approach the canvas, comes there as they are. Something comes about.
Kyu: I think the puzzle can just be… I don’t think cool is bad. I never thought cool was ever bad, I’m just saying is it really about creating new form and weird forms. We’re going off topic…
Ian: Yeah we’re going off topic. I would say “what’s the point in that” but…
Kyu: Yeah, that’s another topic. I like that topic. I like the coolness. I fucking love the coolness. People only shit on being cool, because it’s not cool enough. If you’re cool enough, then no one can shit on you. You know what I mean? If you’re just trying to make cool typeface, you’re just trying to make cool graphics, no one can say that to you if you’re cool enough. If someone tries to say that to you, it means you’ve failed. You failed at being cool enough. That’s why there’s so much hate in being cool, it’s because you’re not cool enough. You’ve never seen that before. You’re trying to do something new. It’s not new.
Ian: Aw man. I don’t know.. I don’t know.. But why graphic design… I mean, I kind of agree with you but it’s also… I don’t know but I’m thinking of it kind of like high school, to be honest. What it means to be cool in high school.
Kyu: Cool kids sucked? I guess “cool” as in visually interesting, without focusing on the conceptual side.
Ian: Okay, so the most beautiful person in high school. They won the lottery, they’re fucking beautiful as an 18 year old, right?
Kyu: It’s the eye candy thing? Everyone loves looking at the girl that’s beautiful, right?
Ian: Or like looking at the most profound concepts visually represented. That can also be cool.
Kyu: Of course. I guess cool is the wrong word, but I like using it.
Ian: Because it’s cool? It’s cool to say it?
Kyu: Yeah, I love cool.
Ian: I guess what we can say is or what we’ve arrived at is that graphic design is very public.
Kyu: It’s about people. It’s about talking to people. I think why fine art has to come into the conversation is because fine art is like “what is this?” (points to chest). Like, you’re looking inside yourself, and trying to learn… I’m not really sure if I’m saying the right thing...
Ian: Well, it’s hard to define what fine art is, because it’s an open…
Kyu: Of course, but the artist doesn’t think about the community first or the people first…
Ian: Not always, but sometimes.
Kyu: Like Warhol doesn’t say “oh this is going to fucking sell, people are going to eat it up.”
Ian: Are you kidding!?
Kyu: I mean, Warhol’s not the right example, I’m just saying a pure artist, like a singer or a songwriter...
Ian: Comes from the soul
Kyu: ...Someone who want to do what he’s doing, right? Someone who wants to make beautiful abstract paintings, he’s doing it because he wants to do it not because he has some sort of social obligation towards creating something that people can see. But I think why we’re so interested in graphic design is that it does think about people. And that’s the difference between fine art and graphic design
Ian: And I also think that why we bring up fine art is because graphic design has of course been taken up by fine art, and that proves the value of, and the strength of graphic design, is that as a public art form, was recognized as being stronger at moving people than the fine art world was.
Kyu: Are you talking about Andy Warhol?
Ian: Andy Warhol, Ed Ruscha… like that kind of makes graphic design interesting, that in the battlefield, it kind of won. In a way. That’s why graphic design.
Kyu: Did that answer your question?
Frances: That’s one way of going about it, kind of eliminating,
why not this, why not that, that is why this one.
Ian: Why else?
Kyu: I was talking about accessibility. I mean, accessibility is good, but that’s not the reason, I think it’s just because we’re not that important in the grand scheme of things, it’s not like we’re, fucking, a light in this world and we have some grand thing, i think what’s more important is “how can I say or reach out” and give something to people, not just explode from the inner soul in artistic grandeur, but how can i just go out and talk to people and reach out.
Ian: You can also do that with art.
Kyu: Of course, but I guess the motive is different.
Kyu: You’re right. I guess contemporary is different. There’s all these artists who make these social pieces, but isn’t that graphic design?
Ian: That’s what I’m saying, is that these graphic mechanisms or… the methods of graphic design have infiltrated the art world and so that is why you see…
Kyu: I don’t like when art is used to do political. Okay, I do, but… This is getting way to much… I guess the way I was defining art up until now is through the “ideal artist”
Ian: Who’s the ideal artist to you?
Kyu: Duchamp. Or, Van Gogh. Pollock. Goya.
Ian: That’s a good one, Goya. Yeah, for the most part Goya didn’t have rhyme or reason.
Kyu: Yeah, that’s what I mean, “this is humanity,” coming from the soul. Not “this shit happened with the wall, I’m going to make some weird paintings about Trump” it just loses that value for me.
Ian: I’m also kind of questioning the difference between art and graphic design, which is where this topic is kind of leading into. It’s like, “I can’t read a painting that doesn’t have an explanation” is like a dumbed down way of putting it, but I’m thinking about old memento mori paintings. It’s where the artist would put a skull on the table and then it’s like “oh, I’m reminded of death” that’s like the goal of putting that skull on that table. But visual signifiers have always been in painting and in art. Especially in old paintings, religious paintings, where a person might have something in there hand and therefore you can tell which figure they are. There’s always been these graphic design elements. So what is graphic design?
Kyu: I think it still goes back to the reason why people do things. Sure there’s this new artist who’s in the social sphere. I think the distinction is that an artist can’t be a graphic designer but a graphic designer can be an artist. The goal of the soul, the “soul’s goal”, is that an artist can’t be anything else in the world. You can’t really define them in one way or another, at least in my idea of what real art should be, is that it’s people who have to do it. They can’t do anything else. That’s who they are. But a graphic designer can also be an artist…
Ian: There’s a conundrum there. Because if they can also be an artist, then aren’t they also doomed to artistude? And also if a graphic designer is also an artist, then aren’t they also shorting their artist-ness, and therefore, artists?
Kyu: You know what I mean though? Does it make sense?
Ian: I’m trying to logic this out. Do you see what I mean?
Kyu: Yeah, I think what I said, that artists are people who can’t be anywhere else, is kind of true.
Ian: Okay, so take Jeff Koons, is he an artist? Because he went and did banking for a while so he could fund his art? Or is he not a great artist?
Kyu: It’s very complicated. I mean, I never liked any of his stuff.
Ian: No one likes his work.
Kyu: I don’t know if I can be the person to define what’s art
Ian: Sure, we’re not here to be like “This is what this should be!” because as soon as you say that, someone’s going to be like, “I found a hole, I found a world that I can build.” So it’s kind of hard to define anything.
Kyu: I think we answered the question though.
Ian:about why graphic design?
Kyu: Yeah, because we want to think more about people than ourselves. We want to communicate instead of shouting. I think there’s a difference between what art does and what graphic design does. If you’re a baby, and the baby is trying to talk, there’s a difference between the baby trying to communicate to the mom that she wants milk, and the baby screaming for milk, and they come from two different places. Screaming is like, “I want to be heard,” and trying to talk is like “I want to communicate something to you, I want to have you receive information from me.” This is kind of complicated… Based on “I want to be heard,” rather than “trying to communicate.” I don’t think we have to define it even, though, I think it’s just because we like people. It’s Art. I think it gets so much deeper and deeper.
Ian: I kind of agree with you in a way. I think both give you the milk, is the weird thing. You could be the baby that talks, or you could be the baby that talks, but either way, you get the milk, right? Most of the time…
Kyu: I think there is the position of the mom that we’re not thinking of, which may be the viewer. And the mom has to hear the shouting baby and calm the baby down and has to interact with that baby, and she’s not happy. And maybe it’s not a direct relation, but art can be that the intent of the piece may not be based on trying to be a good factor in society, or for the viewer, it’s not like “I’m doing good for the person,” it’s just “I’m doing art.” The very simple explanation that we’re all forgetting is that fine art is not financially stable. I mean that’s the basic reason.
Ian: I mean, it can be.
Kyu: Do you want to be a fine artist?
Ian: Wouldn’t we all like to be? It’s a lucky position to be in, but I get you. I mean, if anyone, I think the philosophers are kind of fucked the most
Kyu: Are there any contemporary philosophers? Malcolm Gladwell?
Ian: Slavoj Žižek?
Kyu: I think “why graphic design” might be different for each of us, and we’re trying to find one singular solution that might not even exist
Ian: Well that’s a fact in itself.
Kyu: So there might be a solution?
Ian: No, just the idea of subjectivity. That there is no fixed…
Kyu: Is there a fixed?
Ian: I mean, there is always the room in between us.
Kyu: You might have very different reasons for “why graphic design” than I do.
Ian: Isn’t that the question that we’re asking? Why we do graphic design?
Frances: Isn’t it why you guys are doing graphic design?
Why be graphic designers?
Kyu: Accessibility, People-focused…Communication… GIFS?!
Ian: I kind of want to go back to that thing of “the people...” We care about people, right. Because I always considered myself to be antisocial, I would never consider myself to be poetic with people?
Kyu: I remember I made this page when I was really young, I made an anonymous page on Facebook, swearing at the principal and stuff…. I think that is still the same headspace where I care about the society, even if it’s a small school society, and this person is doing something bad, I have to do something, even when I’m like 17, 16, it kind of comes back to what we’re doing. There’s the word “cultural intermediaries,” where we present culture for the world. Present this world around us. Even this place, JJ’s, they are all spaces created, and there’s branding, there’s sheets of paper, the menu… It’s a world that we’re creating.
Ian: And you have to translate. You have to take the ideals of a company and boil it down to…
Kyu: “You’re going to fuck around, and I don’t want to work with you,” or “you’re trying to do something great, let me let that greatness show through,” I think that’s where it comes down to “we care about what people need.”
Ian: “We care about what people need”
Kyu: Yeah, or what the society needs. Society is another word for people. That’s smart.
Ian: I guess, to reframe the question “why graphic design,” the question kind of turned into “why graphic design as opposed to other forms of visual communication. And that’s weird because some people call graphic design visual communication… Other forms of representation maybe? I don’t know. Artists could say, “I am making this mark, not only am I taking my umwelt, my world around me, not only am I putting it into a painting, but I’m also representing that society to people so that people can better understand themselves in a way that isn’t dogmatic and doesn’t tell you what to do.
Kyu: Isn’t that what I’m doing? That was my senior thesis statement!
Ian: I mean this entire fucking time I was like, “oh wait, aren’t you an artist?” So it’s like, yes, we care about people, but all artists do too, or don’t other people care about people too? Don’t people who make chairs care about people too?
Kyu: Yeah, and we also don’t care that much. I would say missionaries care more about people than graphic designers, I would think that human aid people care more about people than graphic designers, I would say doctors care more about people than graphic designers. I think what we care about is society and space and the world, less so people…
Ian: There’s a test online that you can take about love languages.
Frances: We did it.
Ian: You did it? What’s Kyu’s love language?
Ian: Touch? That’s what I’m saying. You might be touch, but other people might be quality time. So there are different ways of showcasing your love for people.
Kyu: but I want to touch the African kids. I want to comb their hair and be like, “oh you poor child.”
Ian: No no no no… what I’m saying is that a missionary or doctor is doing it in one way while an artist is doing it in another way.
Kyu: I also think that there’s the distinction where we’re not saving lives, we’re looking at the bigger picture. We’re looking at culture and society and things like that rather than “I care so much about people I want everyone to live forever and to live a full life.”
Ian: ...but the hospital tweet that Laurel wrote? That’s a good tweet. Do you remember that tweet? It was something like, my ideal workplace for graphic design would be the structure of a hospital, because everyone is there to help each other and everyone has a specific role that they play and everyone is there to heal and I was like… Fuck.. that’s decent.
Kyu: But also everyone has room numbers and everyone’s kind of super steril.
Ian: Compartmentalized. Which is also an interesting world to live in, which I question about Laurel, but… That’s a different story.
Kyu: I look at Jin, and he reads all these philosophy books, and whenever I go to class, you get text essays about society and culture. It makes me wonder that a graphic designer has this mindset, looking at society. “Cultural intermediaries” can decide what goes through, what I can make better, what I can make sell better, and what needs to sell better, and what needs to get out there, and in that way we’re creating that world of what needs to get made or what we think needs to get made.
Ian: And the impact of that is actually through money, which is something that is pretty revolutionary. We can say, “this will sell, this will not sell” and in that way, protest what is good, what is bad, and be that cultural intermediary that other forms of communication may not form.
Kyu: I watched this thing about Paula Scher designing the HighLine. She got zero money for designing that stuff, but it’s not about whether it sells or not, but what reaches people. I mean, obviously, money is the biggest thing. But it’s not the root.
Ian: Money was a bad word for it. To expand the concept would be “value.” Because a park is free time, and that has value.
Kyu: So you’re just kind of presenting… Things… “this place is great, come to this place!”
Ian: “It has value.”
Kyu: My brain… My brain hurts...
Ian: We were here for… 47 minutes… About to close...
Anda Cafe, February 22, 2019
Kyu: Like I was looking at the businessweek… I don’t know if it was businessweek, but it’s a design thing, it was in this hand-drawn thing, like in Microsoft paint or something.
Ian: Right right, you should watch his Walker talk. It’s pretty good.
Kyu: I’m scared about the future, man. It freaks me out every time. It’s just like, fuck, shit…
Ian: I know, I know!
Ian: I described your haircut to Clair and she described it as being like an Asian baby haircut, when they shave up on the sides really high. Hahah
Kyu: Dude, your haircut… It’s like the best haircut I’ve seen on you, to be honest. I know you were unsure of it in the beginning.
Ian: Yeah, I mean when someone tells you what haircut they’re getting…
Kyu: No, but after that. You felt unsure, but now?
Ian: Now it’s just whatever. I don’t really care. I never really cared.
Kyu: Ok, think about this: You walk into the type office you’re applying to with this haircut versus your crazy hair.
Ian: True true.
Kyu: Look, see?
Ian: One gray hair.
Kyu: What do you mean one gray hair? You can’t see the back.
Ian: You’re right. You gotta deposit that?
Kyu: Yeah, I also got a letter from the President; I made some list.
Ian: Oh, you did?
Kyu: it doesn’t mean anything, they should give me more money.
Ian: I’m waiting for my tax return.
Kyu: You already paid your taxes?
Ian: It was like $100.
Kyu: From last year? Not this year’s taxes.
Ian: Taxes are due in April for last years. So, I made money last year, so. I get like $1,000.
Kyu: Do I get $1,000
Ian: No you’re not paying taxes. You know what I mean? You get a return.
Kyu: I have to do something
Ian: I HAVE TO DO SOMETHING!! haha
Kyu: No I know I have to pay something.
Ian: Oh, okay.
Kyu: You’re recording?
Ian: Yeah dude.
Kyu: I’m going to chat for a bit and then get back to work.
Kyu: I feel like I’m so hard on myself.
Ian: You are very hard on yourself. Me too.
Kyu: I should probably be in therapy. “Love yourself”
Ian: That’s group therapy. Group therapy is like, you’re all in a room and you’re like “I am Ian”, “Hey Ian”, “Uhh I have depression. I’m just here to get better”, and then you’re like “I had a rough day in groups” and then someone’s like “I had a rough day too.” And then after group they come up to you and come up to you and pat you on the shoulder and they’re like “it’s ok buddy. You’re doing good”
Ian: haha. And then that guy’s your dude.
Kyu: Kind of reminds me fight club. The big black man that talks to him. He hugs him and then he sees his face in the tears on the shirt.
Ian: Do you remember what happens after that, he sees the girl after, not the main girl, but a girl. I forget a lot about that movie.
Kyu: They’re jumping around going to therapy session and lying. They’re probably crazier than everyone there.
Kyu: Did Clair see your haircut?
Ian: We sent her pictures. And I saw already. She came to Silkscreen. We have another Silkscreen class on Saturday because my teacher was absent, so I think Clair’s going to stay over and go to that in the morning.
Kyu: But it’s open studio though?
Ian: Uhh.. Yeah it is... I don’t know what my teacher is going to do about that.
Kyu: I was going to work tomorrow.
Ian: I think you’re still allowed to.
Kyu: Well what’s the plan? Do we need to meet Sunday before the run?
Ian: I don’t know. Want to hear an idea I had? Just for a graphic, a shoe print? Could even laser cut the !? into the shoe. Or we could just simulate a shoe, but it would be better if it was a real shoe, a real step. What time are we waking up on Sunday?
Kyu: 5am? 6am. If we’re printing the posters, am I right to assume they’re going to be 1 color?
Ian: I think it should be… Well, why 1 color?
Kyu: Easiest to print, and our website is in 1 color.
Ian: So far.
Kyu: That’s just what I assumed.
Ian: I think it should be 1, 2, or 3 colors. Or 2 colors but the third is trapped.
Kyu: Are we doing these posters together?
Ian: Well I thought we were both making posters and superimposing or combining them in some sort of way.
Kyu: Well I guess the idea I had was that even if we superimpose them and it’s 1 color, it will look alright.
Ian: Are you sure about that?
Ian: What were you thinking about doing for the first poster?
Kyu: Drawing the places and writing the conversations, in some intersecting way.
Ian: What do you mean by superimpose? Like literally putting them on top of one another?
Ian: Yeah that’s what I was picturing too. But if it was black, wouldn’t it just be a giant mess? Or would that be interesting enough?
Kyu: No I mean 1 color as in it’s going to be white paper and black ink.
Ian: Right, I don’t know…
Kyu: I mean it would be interesting if I designed with 1 color or 2 colors in mind, and the you designed with two colors, and then you superimposed them.
Ian: Ooh. So if you used black, and I used red, than would be 1 color in your mind? Because in my mind it’s 2 colors, because you have to do 2 separations then. We’re trying to do less separations right? So if it was all black, wouldn’t it be kind of messy?
Kyu: I see what you mean. We’ll just have to see.
Ian: Or, this is very case by case, but maybe we try to do the honest thing of fitting them? Regardless of what ONYX was, but like fitting the pieces together.
Kyu: The only thing is that I wonder if it will be designed, like we’ll have to judge. “This needs to be this way, this needs to be this way,” and we’re going to be nitpicking, so it’s going to be a collaboration. It says a different thing.
Ian: It does, yeah. Black is just so dense, and there’s no trapping.
Kyu: You can do whatever color you want. I’m not saying I’m going to use black.
Ian: I see, so let’s say we both do something in red? Then trapping would happen because you would have a slightly transparent red…
Kyu: I feel like we’re getting so technical now, we don’t even know what the posters are yet. I was just saying you could use any color. For example, if mine is illustration heavy and yours is type heavy
Ian: What if both of ours are illustration heavy? Then it would be a mess then?
Kyu: But either way it’s going to be a mess, a little bit.
Ian: I mean, I don’t really know how that serves the content. Could you explain that?
Kyu: I think it’s two different perspectives on one thing. And we’re seeing where things overlap to create harmony. It’s not really about forcing the other person to see it in their way.
Ian: Oh I see. So it’s not like “Because mine is this way, yours is this way” because then you’re having to tailor to me or vice versa.
Kyu: I mean, it’s not going to be like what ONYX made. It definitely seems like 1 designer. I also don’t want it to be a lot of work. Because it’s weekly, you know? It’s weekly so you can’t be laboring over this thing for days on end.
Ian: Sorry if I’m getting too technical, but would it be my design on my screen and your design on your screen? Ok. I was picturing us like overlaying our transparencies and shooting onto one screen.
Kyu: I think that then the ink would be one layer, right.
Ian: Yes, that’s the issue that I was imagining.
Kyu: I think we can say we’re doing it raw but we can honestly look at how it’s going to look together, but not “yo, make that image smaller, that text smaller”
Kyu: I also like the back and forth thing. Like it’s 2 different posters.
Ian: The back and forth? What’s the back and forth?
Kyu: Like the paper is kind of transparent? It would have to be a hanging poster. It’s just paper and you create a type thing and I create an illustration on the other side, so that you can see the design on the other side through the paper.
Ian: That’s kind of nice, I like that. We could do that.
Kyu: We’d have to wait for it to dry too.
Ian: My idea was like you pull half way down your screen and I pull halfway down my screen, so it’s kind of fading? I don’t know how that works. Or you just don’t use a lot of ink so it fades out. It’d be fun to play with silkscreen. What are we going to focus on?
vKyu: I don’t know. You want to make a poster?
Ian: I think I’m going to hit the library. Do some type research on reading speed.
Kyu: We could go tomorrow, or Sunday.
Ian: No, I’m going today. Have fun on Illustration. Am I doing the thing? A little?
Kyu: Yeah, kind of.
Ian: I mean, I’m just bored. I did like 4 loads of laundry. I’m just bored. Plus the type research has to do with my other senior project. I just have a book I want to get out. It’s called “Modern Typography” by Robin Kincross.
JJ's Kitchen, February 24, 2019
Ian: alright we’re walking to Mikes. You said you had some poster ideas?
Kyu: I’m saving the conversation.
Ian: You’re saving the conversation? For breakfast?
Kyu: For breakfast.
Ian: Maybe what you did that one time with the proposal, the pitch. Maybe that was the right formula. You gotta save those kernels and wait to fire them.
Kyu: I feel like theres no problem at all.
Ian: No problem? with what?
Kyu: With anything.
Ian: You feel on top of the world?
Kyu: Yea. I never thought there was any problem with our project. As long as we’re making stuff and continuing on, recording. Everything will fall into place when we look back on it.
Ian: *Yawn* I mean this project started as a discourse for graphic design.
Kyu: But we suck at Graphic Design.
Ian: We do suck at Graphic Design. And sometimes I wonder if we’re like the smartest kids to talk about this.
Kyu: Let Hua talk about it.
Ian: Hua send me a text yesterday about collaboration and how its all about respect.
Kyu: She just said that in a text message? Collaboration is all about respect period?
Ian: Pretty much yea. And I responded that collaboration is about no compromise on either side, and she said yes, true.
Kyu: That’s a nice conversation.
Ian: Yea it was a pretty good conversation.
Kyu: Woooo, we did it.
Ian: We did it, first run.
Kyu: Are those people waiting in line?
Ian: Oh shit.
Kyu: No worries we can also wait in line.
(Loads of people at Mike's)
Kyu: Does it matter where we eat?
Ian: No I don’t think so. We can just eat at different places. Plus its a twelve? We can go to JJs, lets just go to jjs.
Kyu: That’s where we’re going. I mean there’s no other place. *Yawns.*
Ian: There’s Choice, there’s Market.
Kyu: All of those suck.
Ian: I’m pretty sure I had a dream about JJs. Something about the pork meatball?
Kyu: I see. I feel like the big bowl is too small for me.
Ian: It’s too small for you? Christ dude. Are you always ordering the big bowl at this point?
Kyu: Sometimes I get the hotpot.
Ian: Do you like the dry sauteed hotpot?
Kyu: But not as much as the big bowl. The big bowl cleanses my soul.
Ian: Clair was telling me about this place where you can get this big thing of broth. You just drink the broth, it’s great for you.
Ian: That how I feel about JJs. Like the broth is really healthy.
Kyu: I think so. Except when I eat the sichuan style extra spicy… it’s not so healthy anymore. It’s like a fucker upper.
Ian: It kind of messes up your insides right?
Ian: But on its own it’s not like especially unhealthy. Like just as a regular thing. It has like extra
carbs or something.
Kyu: I think so. Sometimes when I eat noodles I feel like I’m not getting enough carbs. I feel like I’m getting empty carbs. Rice I can feel like oh yeah. When it goes into my stomach its fluffing up and there’s a mass to it.
Ian: Where did you find this vape?
Kyu: There’s a vape store in Korea town.
Ian: It looks...It reminds me of the same aesthetic of a varsity ball point pen, or a varsity nibbed pen. You know what I’m talking about? The pilot pens.
Kyu: Yea. It’s a little shittier, in terms of the design, but it works like a fucking beast. Like each
time I’m like getting the best hit. The juul is just like so shit.
Ian: But you were trying to convince clair to get a juul.
Kyu: Well I was trying to convince her to get a vape. My juul was broken, it keeps breaking. I don’t feel like she needs to get a vape, she can stop with her willpower and spliffs.
Ian: BAPE. yeah I think so too.
Kyu: With spliffs, you’re still smoking. If you’re smoking just weed you’re still smoking something. It’s not so hard. At least that’s what I think. So, what were you thinking?
Ian: I’ll probably get a regular noodle -- pint.
Kyu: Have you tried hot pot?
Kyu: Want to try it?
Mr JJ: Do you want the same?
Kyu: Uh, yeah, same for me
Ian: Uh can I get a regular noodle in a pint? Yeah, with pork meatballs and egg noodles?
Mr JJ: Spicy?
Ian: Yes please.
Kyu: Just like…*Yawn*
Ian: Trying to mentally prepare yourself?
Kyu: No. How was the run?
Ian: At the very beginning I was doing the correct breathing.
Kyu: You weren’t doing it?
Ian: I was doing the right breathing, and I think it helped with my longevity. I was just doing the *breathes deeply through nose and exhales through mouth* But it was somewhere around I think it’s called Elly’s Market on dekalb I was just like okay… alright… got a little harder.
Kyu: It was fun though.
Ian: It was fun, but you slept so much afterwards. Its okay we’ll get better at it.
Kyu: I was just so excited yesterday. I thinking I have to wake up at five, so I have to go to sleep
early. So I was like I gotta sleep… I gotta sleep… and then my body was like nah dude you’re
Ian: That’s cute. That’s honestly funny. I’m trying to get my docs open
Ian: I’m trying to get my docs open. What is this? Do you remember doing this? What is this… I
have no idea. Sorry I’m just wondering what files I have in my phone. Yea I’m trying to find the
document with all the topics we wanted to talk about.
Kyu: Are you worried about the project?
Ian: Um… not really.
Kyu: I feel like its trial and error.
Ian: I feel like whatever we want to do with it we can do with it. So...
Kyu: Also I was thinking for some reason I was just thinking. I feel like when you look back on something. You can see your mind going through like a chain of thought.
Ian: Yea you can. It’s almost eerie.
Kyu: I feel like when we look back at it we’re kind of just like trying out collaboration in our definition. So the run was too easy for you?
Ian: It might have been kind of easy. But it was harder towards the end.
Kyu: I was going to do push ups and sit ups towards the end. Or something like that.
Ian: It’s too wet though.
Kyu: Start slow. *Yawn* It was really nice running in the rain though. In the beginning it was kind
of freezing. But after it was not that bad.
Ian: I have the first poster idea. Or at least the layer of it.
Kyu: What is it?
Ian: It’s the effect of raindrops on paper.
Kyu: How are you gonna do that?
Kyu: Like actual raindrops?
Ian: Yea. Well you know how when the raindrop hits the paper, you get like these blobs of grey.
Ian: Like where the raindrops are hitting.
Kyu: That’s cool. I was thinking of raindrops too. Like text that goes this way and like splatters. Like damn these puddles
Ian: Cool, *laughs*. This is gonna be a cool poster. *food comes* Thank you.
Kyu: I don’t want to make the project into anything that it isn’t. What it is is already what it is. I
just want to have fun and like chill out.
Ian: I had to take off my glasses because I couldn’t see anything during the run. It was around
when we got to Fort Greene park.
Kyu: You liked the run didn’t you.
Ian: Yea I did. I felt like really empowered.
Ian: Yea. Just like having the motive gave me the motivation.
Kyu: You’re a natural. I thought you were pretty good. Kept a consistent pace.
Ian: I didn’t try to overextend myself or anything like that.
Kyu: I was actually thinking about this.
Ian: About what?
Kyu: JJs. I was actually going to ask you if you still wanted breakfast. Or if it matters.
Ian: You don’t like the energy with like having breakfast food? Like we’re already up, we’re getting breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day!
Kyu: I kind of feel like this represents us more.
Ian: True... That’s fair
Kyu: *Slurp* Hmm?
Ian: That’s fair.
Kyu: This is a cleansing moment.
Kyu: It was cleansing.
Ian: Yea it was definitely cleansing.
Kyu: I actually woke up at 5:20 because I was at Frances’ place. I went outside and it was raining and I checked the weather and it was like it’s going to rain until 11pm. And I was like ah shit I wonder what should we do? And I was thinking like I don’t know if Ian would be down to run in the rain. But then you’re we’re like gotta power through.
Ian: Well as long as we don’t get sick. That was a short one so I think we were okay. You probably could have layered up a bit more I think. Like a raincoat.
Kyu: I mean my upper body was fine. My torso. But my bottom was the climacool. And my thighs were like cold burned. Do you know what that is?
Kyu: Like the cold burns your skin, climacool is like breathable technology clothes from adidas. The rain was hitting my pants and it was wet and it was cold. It got burned a bit.
Ian: That’s interesting. I didn’t know it worked that well. Its weird that we can put that technology
Ian: Yea. Like heattech and stuff like that from uniqlo.
Ian: Hello… You know there’s a poem that does that right? The letters of text.
Ian: It’s an old poem by Apollinaire I think.
Kyu: I guess I can’t do that then.
Ian: It was just interesting that you had the same idea honestly. Plus I think it’s not foreign for
people to like.. It’s so old like so it wouldn’t be stealing as so much as playing of…
Kyu: How was Nico’s party?
Ian: I just went to sleep.
Ian: I slept through.
Kyu: You didn’t go?
Ian: I feel bad.
Ian: Because.. I was trying taking a nap like a half hour earlier but that nap kind of rolled into like the evening.
Kyu: I called you at 11:50. I called you at 11:50 though.
Ian: You did? Shit. You were calling me a lot yesterday.
Kyu: I called you once.
Ian: You called me… didn’t you call me twice?
Kyu: Mmmh. Yea… You seem pretty calm. You were excited about the run but like after running you seem pretty calm.
Ian: I feel happy.
Kyu: Yea? A lot better?
Kyu: I think when you like do something in the morning, you just start of the day with like…
Ian: Goodness. Maybe even the week.
Kyu: I feel pretty fresh too. I’m not gonna lie that sleep was so good. I was just gone. From
Ian: The runs might have to happen a little later in the day. Just so that we can go to breakfast right after.
Kyu: Yea. When does it close… I mean when does it open?
Ian: 8 I think.
Kyu: Life is good. In terms of the website have you had any ideas about like incorporating the running aspect into it?
Ian: This is the poem about rain.
Kyu: That’s nice. That’s exactly what I was picturing.
Ian: Sorry what was your question.
Kyu: Have you had any ideas about incorporating the running aspect into the website?
Ian: Well… honestly not really. I mean I was trying to find resources as to make the typography more speed worthy. But also… I don’t know. It’s also its about speeding up and slowing down. Like when we’re running we’re speeding up, but when we’re slowing down it’s like okay take a
Kyu: Does speed really work though?
Ian: It’s not like the best concept. It’s just one related thing you know. I was just thinking reading speed was a good way you could inject yourself into the thing? Will it bring results?
Kyu: *coughs* Woooo *slurps*
Ian: We could do text in a path that runs around the border of a website. Its like constantly
Kyu: It will be unreadable.
Ian: Not like the content of the website.
Kyu: Oh. I was thinking like footsteps. Like one text. One text. One text.
Ian: Yea I was thinking about that for the exclamation point and question mark too. It would be much easier to do that with the different conversation.
Kyu: It could also just be like you… me...
Ian: Yea thats what I meant.
Kyu: (Talking about the vape) Frances got one too and it’s like rainbow chrome on the sides.
Ian: *Laughs* just randomly?
Kyu: You know what I mean by rainbow chrome right?
Ian: That’s like shit shiny? Opalescent?
Ian: Opalescent. Opalescent is the word.
Kyu: Oh sorry.
Ian: *Laughs* I was just informing you. I didn’t mean to hurt you... :( Its kinda good.
Kyu: Another soul cleanser.
Ian: Truely, always.
Kyu: I feel like Frank would like this.
Ian: I think so too. I was thinking that too. It would be nice to share a bowl with Frank.
Kyu: Yea. I think he’d really like it. He likes spicy food?
Ian: He does?
Kyu: Yea? He likes Sichuan food?
Kyu: Does he?
Ian: I don’t know, I thought you we’re like saying that.
Ian: Sam was saying that you were especially weird to him one time. He was like I totally screwed it up with Kyu. You know who Sam is? Sam was like he was trying to name something
about Indonesia and you we’re like that’s Malaysia.
Kyu: *Laughs* No I didn’t!
Ian: That’s what Sam said.
Kyu: I wouldn’t be offended at all!
Ian: Ya I was like Kyu would definitely not be offended by that and you’re definitely projecting.
Kyu: I didn’t know he cared so much about me.
Kyu: What’s happening!?
Anda Cafe, February 24, 2019
Ian: So, do you see an end to typography?
Kyu: An end to typography? No. There’s more to read right?
Ian: But do you feel like there are enough typefaces?
Kyu: I feel like it’s never perfect. Perfect changes sometimes.
Ian: That’s probably true. I don’t know what I’m worried about.
Kyu: It’s not even a worry
Ian: I get worried sometimes about what I’m doing is kinda useless. It’s just like am I doing something that’s especially new? No. Could I be? I don’t know, I guess so. But would people still like it?
Kyu: Are you doing typography because people like it?
Ian: No, I’m doing it from here. My soul. It’s definitely special to me. Sometimes I feel like there’s a standardization of letterforms in a way, with helvetica and arial being so popular. Especially arial. Arial is everywhere.
Kyu: I mean, still I feel like you’re not making typefaces that are not super corporate universal typefaces. Do you feel like there needs to be more funny things?
Ian: Yeah. Who is this ugly white dude? Hahaha I was looking at my blackheads the other day. Do you got these on the side of your nose? Do you ever try to pop them?
Kyu: Not anymore. Did you ever get the nose pad?
Ian: No I never got those.
Kyu: … and all of it comes out?
Ian: What the hell is this? What did I get? It’s so good. Can you hold this for a second?