A very important aspect to being a designer is really being able represent your client. If you can get to their essence and show it graphically you have succeeded. Such was this invitation. The client was vivacious and filled with moxy. Her plan was to have an Italian menu served at her party so I ran with it. Each guest received the poster folded up in a cellophane envelope (compostable!) and as the unfolding of the poster took place, the loud, bright typography created excitement for the evening to come. You could almost hear the host's raucous laugh.
Well this one is from another lifetime ago, long before I became a designer. I came across my name in the book Molecular Genetic Approaches in Conservation. At the end of the book the authors thanked me, as well as other scientific research assistants, for the data we accumulated for the Caribbean Conservation Corporation in Tortuguero, Costa Rica. What an amazing job that was. We walked five or so miles a night along the beaches in four hour shifts. We tagged the huge green sea turtles as they lay their hundred or so eggs in a nest they dug. The beach was covered in glowing bioluminescence and the warm air was filled with the sweet smell of night-blooming orchids. It was magic.
A wonderful part of being a graphic designer is the ability to make things, as obvious as that may sound. Most of my work is done on a computer, so I find it refreshing to create something tangible with my own hands. It is a process that is both soothing and gets my heart beating. I love it. Thankfully, I have the incredibly talented and generous Cynthia Warren as a wonderful friend. She was kind enough to help me paint and mount this little personal project. Being in Cynthia's studio is like being in Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. It's the home of the Everlasting Gobstopper of design confectionery.
This menu was printed on antique paper and then hand painted. The imagery depicts the spring flowers found in the garden of the Chancellor's official residence on the UC Berkeley campus. The typography was hand-set to create a feeling akin to that of antique botanical illustrations of old.
I had terrific fun with this Bastille menu for Chez Panisse last year. Alice Waters and I worked together, one-on-one, on the layout. Initially, the menu was to act as the placemat. However, when I suggested that the layout resemble that of the french flag, Alice took it one step further. Eschewing the placemat, we folded the menu into a tri-fold. As the guests arrived and sat, they were greeted by a celebratory red "40", surrounded by the french blue and white. It was not until the guests unfolded the menu, that the french flag presented itself disguised as a menu. This is the most satisfying kind of design project for me: it contains the experiential, the surprise, the humor.