Category Archives: Uncategorized

2014 Roadworks Steamroller

2014 Roadworks Steamroller

This year San Francisco Center for the Book celebrated their 11th Roadworks Steamroller Printing Festival. Their main attraction was a 1924 Steamroller which was use to create large prints from linoleum blocks. They also had small workshops were they assisted the public on how to make prints using a letterpress, guided through the basics of bidding your own book, and provided the materials for those interested in carving and printing their own ideas.

The festival celebrates the letterpress and those in love with creating or buying the products.

John Stevens at San Francisco Library

John Stevens at San Francisco Library

John Stevens, lettering artist & illustrator with over 30 years of experience, presented his new book, Scribe, and work exhibition at the San Francisco Main Library. Mr. Stevens talked about his personal evolution and what to keep in mind when starting a hand lettering project.

Mr. Stevens began as a sign writer. His passion for the Roman letter allowed him to spend many hours practicing and perfecting his technique. Later he began experimenting and inventing imagery while playing with movement, rhythm, and bending the form of letters.

Mr. Stevens expressed his belief that the word “calligraphy” should be replaced with “letter arts” or “hand lettering”. In his years of experience he has encountered many people who’s only understanding of calligraphy is, “that curvy type style”.

Over the last 30+ years, Mr. Stevens has worked in a wide variety of projects including: signage, logos, magazine covers, packaging design, murals and furniture design.

John Maeda at Arkitektura Assembly

John Maeda at Arkitektura Assembly

June 13th-20th was San Francisco Design Week. One of the highlights was John Maeda in Conversation at Arkitektura General Assembly.

Graphic designer, multimedia artist, and teacher, John Maeda talked about his beginning at MIT Media Lab. He showed the audience various early experimental projects with the computer way before interactive art was accepted by his teachers. He remembered his time in Japan and his later opportunity to be the president of Rhode Island School of Design just before the 2008 recession started.

“Take the next step” was his advice to students and colleagues. John Maeda has currently taken the step of relocating to the Bay Area where he is the first Design Partner at KPCB. Now involved in a venture capital firm, John Maeda explained the importance of design in startup companies and his belief that this is the Age of Design.

John Maeda finished the talk by opening a surprise gift for the audience: 200+ hand illustrated posters of his life.

Outer Richmond

Outer Richmond

It has been a month since I moved to San Francisco. After several weeks of meeting interesting characters and frustrating emails, I almost agreed to share a room. I can’t believe how desperate room hunting can be, but I was finally able to get a place.

Outside of San Francisco’s Downtown area, far from the Tenderloin’s drama, grass smoke, hipsters, buildings, shiny chic bars and restaurants that would eventually burn a hole in my pocket, I chose to move to Outer Richmond.

Surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco’s biggest parks, Outer Richmond is a traditional neighbordhood just 20 minutes driving time from Downtown. Many people have called Outer Richmond their home for generations and family owned stores where they remember your face or know your name are not the exception. It’s a quiet place with plenty of parking and of course fog. If you are planning on moving to Outer Richmond, here are a couple of tips:

  • Clothing: Think layers. Bring your jacket, coat and hoodie. Scarf and hat are useful if you come from a warm city.

  • Ethnicity: Outer Richmond has a lot of Korean, Vietnamese and Russian influence. Hopefully you like ethnic food or at least don’t mind having some signs in other languages.

  • Transportation: Chances are you want to explore the city and probably work in the Market, Oakland or Silicon Valley. If you have a car you are in luck because Outer Richmond has parking space but many people I know chooses to sell their car or leave it in the garage since public transportation is very good. If you are going to use public transportation get a Clipper Card as soon as possible. Muni has several routes to Outer Richmond and some are available 24/7.

  • Party Mode: Outer Richmond has a lot of activities to offer but if your nightlife is super important perhaps you want to live near bars and clubs then you might want to rethink moving here. There are a couple of dive bars in Geary and Balboa but that might not be your thing.

Taos Map Preview

Taos Map Preview

Just a little sneak peek. Currently working on an interactive map for a real estate company in Taos. Oh maps! working on this I remembered my years in college illustrating site plans, spending too much time drawing trees and rocks, fun times. I should find and share those illustrations.

Adobe Responsive Design

Adobe Responsive Design

On April, Adobe of San Francisco held a 5 hours Responsive Design Workshop presented by Brian Wood. It started with the basics: what is responsive design and why it’s important today, the difference between fluid and adaptive layout, media queries. On media queries Brian explained the importance of the “mobile first” which is basically designing for mobile first and adding the breakpoints as needed for bigger screens.

The entire workshop since held at Adobe was an introduction for their new software Edge Reflow. Adobe has now created a way to translate a layout design in Photoshop into HTML/CSS when opened in Edge Reflow using the generate>assets tool as long as the layers or groups in Photoshop are labeled with jpg, png or gif and organized based on their top-bottom placement in the web design.

Edge Reflow is still under development, they talked about many tools they were going to improve. It’s really a solution for those who don’t know code or are not interested in editing the HTML/CSS of a design. So far it’s only compatible with Safari and Chrome but again it’s still a preview software with a lot of potential. Personally I think it could be used as quick comp layout or for a meeting with a client to explain the design idea but I wouldn’t rely on it for the final code. Let’s see how much they edit and improve it in the future.

New Business Cards

New Business Cards

Yay! Finally have business cards again.

When creating my website I changed the logo a bit and had to designed new business cards. Branding yourself is always hard or at least it has been for me.

I don’t feel I have a particular style yet. I enjoy creating a grid layout where every millimeter matters as much as just drawing and illustrating organic shapes where no guides are welcomed.

I can go from wanting to work on illustrative type, editorial layout, photography, web and coding, digital painting, lately I’ve been wanting to work on 3d and video editing again so how was I going to sell myself. Come to think about it maybe many years from now I will wake up and take all my parents recipes, start experimenting and open a bakery. Hey! it might happen (yeah definitely after A LOT of experimenting). Back to the business cards.

Long story short, the reason why I do this is to help people and so decided to make an illustrated type expressing just that. Well at the end only kept the Hello. So hello stranger, how can I help you?

Getting Personal

Getting Personal

Sometimes things just happen. At the end of January, after spending the holidays with my family in the Dominican Republic, I felt lonely and in need of some excitement. Started searching for concerts and found one I liked…Tool, except they were only playing on the west coast. It was time to plan a trip.

Before the sale started I had already planned my trip to Portland and how I would spend a couple of days in Seattle, but the floor tickets sold-out within the hour and I had no intention of buying a plane ticket to sit in the balcony. It was time to find another solution and that was San Francisco, they had just opened a second general admission date.

It didn’t take me many days to realize that maybe this was the opportunity to relocate. Everything was just falling into place and next thing you know I’m making my to do lists, calling my family in Santa Cruz, and saying goodbye to Florida.

Sometimes you just have to push.
It’s been two weeks since I arrived to Santa Cruz, so far I’ve been riding the bike and exploring the land while trying to get used to the weather. Traveling is always fun, a new view, meet new people, try new food. It’s always inspiring but it also means it’s time to push since you are the new one. I got reminded of this by a sea lion who was persistently jumping to be with a group of sleeping sea lions, he failed many times but kept on trying.

2014 Art Palm Beach

2014 Art Palm Beach

Art Palm Beach is an annual 4 days art fair held in Palm Beach County Convention Center. APB features major work by world-renowned artists and showcases emerging and established living artists working in all forms of contemporary art.

This January was my second year visiting the fair, to my surprise I noticed a couple of pieces which were the same of last year but there were also several new and fresh ideas. This year what I enjoyed most were the human body sculptures, the first set that captured my attention were by an artist who incorporated fonts on the sculptures, I don’t think I need to say more, as a graphic designer I just love art that uses typography.

The second collection was created by the contemporary Italian artist Lorenzo Quinn, his work managed to defy gravity, balance and motion.

Link: Art Palm Beach

2013 Art Fallout

2013 Art Fallout

The Girls’ Club was one of the many venues participating in the 2013 Art Fallout in Fort Lauderdale, their topic was “Thinking on Paper”, allowing artists to present work on paper as part of a one-day, open call exhibition which was informally judged by professional artist as well as general public on the day of the event using sticky notes.

Finding this the perfect excuse to finally sit at the drawing table, I decided to participate and make a piece. The drawing was an idea I’ve had for a long time, a person stuck in their partner’s head, which ended up looking like the interior of a spaceship.

“Thinking on paper” presented a variety of mediums from pencil drawings, charcoal, ink, watercolor, photography and mixed media but the most interesting part was watching the public interact with the work. Later into the night the walls were full of colorful sticky notes, which would be picked up at the end by the artists as their critique.

Link: Girls’ Club