Showcase 2018. MFA’ers submit your entries!

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Dear MFA students.

Hopefully you have been pondering since orientation what to submit to SHOWCASE 2018!!
We decided to extend the due date for submissions to 12/04/2017 at 6 p.m. so that projects from this semester can be finished + considered for submission as well :-)

Please note that all pieces have to be submitted as physical pieces, to size, mocked up + accompanied by the submission form as well as a PDF of the piece to use for reproduction in the brochure if selected for the show.

The PDF(s) can be submitted to your named DropBox on the MFA TRACS site, or, via external hard drive/memory stick as long as it has your name on it so we can return it.

Let us know if you have any questions + good luck in prepping your work to take home $1,500 on January 16, 2018 at the opening!

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Claudia Roeschmann
Associate Professor + Graduate Advisor + Coordinator
Communication Design :: School of Art + Design
Texas State University

3 questions – cross disciplinary community as a Texas State Student

Dear MFA friends.

Please help us collect important data for our IBM workshop
How to build a better cross-disciplinary community as a Texas State student?
by answering only three questions today / tomorrow via this link.
Thanks for your input!

PS
‘hope to see you at the Bauhaus // Jay Rutherford talk this Thursday at 6 p.m.

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Claudia Roeschmann
Associate Professor + Graduate Advisor + Coordinator
Communication Design :: School of Art + Design
Texas State University
mfasign

CHANGE: MFA Orientation Saturday, September 2

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Hurricane Harvey’s landing in Texas means we are changing our Orientation Meeting to next Saturday, September 2.

Let’s meet in the MFA Studio for coffee and munchies and then onto the big meeting in JCM 2121. Claudia will fill us in on the past year’s events and what’s planned for this year.

Sign-up sheets for special events will be available.

See you at 10am, Saturday, September 2.

Stay Safe, Ya’ll.

 

 

A Ton of Pun

Well the MFA Germany trip is officially over, and we are all separating in different ways. That means I am waking up at three in the morning to catch a bus to the airport. The good news is the sun will be almost up — which is very unusually when you are used to the sun rising around 7:30 am, this time of year. Since today marks the end of the trip, I want to leave you with a short synopsis of our time in Germany.

Part of the fun of traveling with me are the puns. Also, part of the torture of traveling with me are the puns. Half the time I just chuckle to myself and move on, but sometimes they have to be said. Here is a collection of the puns I’ve created along our trip.

Remember, these were DEFINITELY hilarious in the situation.

  • We pass by a beautiful glass curtain building, which used to be a print school. Claudia explains how students used to go for apprenticeships, in which I quickly respond “you mean aPRINTiceships.”
  • Yamna works at a Taxidermist office, but doesn’t think it is a job in which she will stay to retire. You wouldn’t call it her “FURever job”
  • Yocelyn doesn’t have her raincoat, but I had an extra poncho. I had her “covered.”
  • On the importance of Kelsey using the heel stick to protect from blisters. “As long as you STICK to using it, you will for SHOEre not have any problems.
  • Claudia carries around a sock full of coins, I asked if it’s so she can FOOT the bill
  • Claudia asks how we enjoyed day two of the conference. You mean day Typo, I asked? (Later turned into a headline of a blog post)
  • Yocelyn carries around a tiny doll hand which she uses to take interesting photos. You have to hand it to her on how committed she is.

These puns just kind of come out of no where, and unfortunately that means that I usually don’t write them down. So, a lot of other really great pins where lost to the time and no reflected back into this blog — so you have to just trust that they were really good. I believe I haven’t driven my fellow travelers that crazy — and they are safe now that the trip is over. After all, they’ve gone through enough punishment. 

I’ll be posting one more post in a few weeks that will be a curated look at the photography taken while on the trip, so be on the lookout for that link. 

Day Typo Berlin

In order to fully appreciate the title, understand that in Germany, the conference is pronounced as “Two-Poe Berlin.”

Nothing beats a workshop for breakfast, except maybe real breakfast. After all, I do get hangry. Luckily, today, I got both. After a brisk walk to the conference, we arrived to a full room for Eva-Lotta Lamm’s sketching workshop, so we squeezed in where we could, grabbed some paper and pens and got to work.

Eva-Lotta ran us through a few exercise to learn the importance of reducing shapes to the most minimum detail so they could be created easily and, most importantly, efficiently. She described utilizing sketch notes when capturing what speakers were presenting at a conference, which meant not having a lot of time to jot down the main points. After all, this is a speaker presenting their ideas, not someone sitting for a still-life. We practiced drawing simple shapes by focusing on the drawing for 5 minutes, 1 minute, 30 seconds, 10 seconds and 5 seconds. Pens scratched the paper in a mad fury as the room full of 40 people scrambled to pack as much detail in the drawings, with a 5 second time limit.

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We then covered drawing people utilizing simple shapes to express the gestures, without drawing detailed figures. People comprised of squares, circles, and lines managed to emote just as well as fully realized characters. Eve-Lotta encouraged only drawing enough to allow your imagination to take over and fill in the rest — something that was reflected in a lot of the talks yesterday.


After this was lunch, and watching people act crazy with virtual reality headsets. Wearing and experiencing a virtual reality world, utilizing a simple headset and smartphone, is an amazing experience. Looking around as you are fully immersed in a “digital world” is indescribable. And for those without motion sickness, it is a must — and it doesn’t have to cost either. On the other hand, watching someone wear and experience a virtual reality world is enjoyment on a completely different level. Watching an individual strap a white box, somewhat smaller than a Kleenex box, with a phone inside, is magical. Once they plunge into their virtual landscape, people stretch out their arms, checking to make sure they haven’t somehow left this plane of existence, as if using a digital portkey. A smile emerges on their face and they begin spinning in circles, exploring the 360 view, while simultaneously looking like someone who has vertigo, or is losing their mind. VR is fun for everyone.


All that excitement and the day wasn’t even halfway over!

The second part, our group focused less on the workshops and more on the speakers. Andrea, Yamna and Yocelyn had done an additional workshop after the morning’s, called From Gothic to Graphic, in which Drury Brennan took them through drawing with a nib pen and ink.

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Once the conference was over for the evening, we headed to our appointment to walk of the dome of the Reichstagsgebäude building. The facade was reflective of the building that had been there prior to the war, but inside and sitting atop the building was a beautiful modern structure. The glass dome invites visitors to take a view from the very top with a ramp that wraps continuously around the done. The sun set across the horizon, lighting the sky with deep oranges and purples, the color were visible in every angle of the large clear cupola.


With only one day left of the conference, which concludes our trip, we discussed our projects over dinner. Going around the table, each of us carefully pitched our idea, received feedback and semi-settled on a direction. As this trip wraps up, it was great to reflect on all the good experiences our group has had together, as we promote the MFA program. And only a few blog posts left too.

Workshops in Wanderlust

What better way to start out Typo Berlin 2017 then by a stroll though a little market area surrounded by magnificent buildings. Even though check-in started at noon, we were out of the hotel, strolling around the city, long before then. On our way over to the Pregnant Oyster, the location of the conference, in the market area, we ran into an Austinite Tom Puwa. Puwa, now a Berliner, creates art out of coins.


“I’ve been doing it since I was young,” Puwa said as he held up the coin he had been working on. Puwa meticulously carves out the center portion of a coin to leave the outer rim and a design on the inside. Hanging from a black leather necklace, the coins depicted boats, horses, plants and other varieties of icons. “It takes me about 45 minutes, what used to take me a whole day,” Puwa said about the process. With jeweler’s magnifying glass pulled back down over his eyes, he quickly went back to work utilizing the millimeter thin jigsaw to create his next masterpiece.

Watching him work was like watching a musician strum the chords of his instrument, and we hadn’t even made it to check-in.

Finally inside the conference, we grabbed our goodie bags, schedules, and name badges and set off for the different presenters. Claudia went to the opening speaker, while the rest of the group went to the first workshop of the day. These workshops can be very competitive to reserve a seat, it’s like camping outside for the new iPhone. You grab a spot, connect to the wifi and don’t leave until the doors open to shuffle to your seat. This workshop was utilizing the brush tip pen and had positive reviews from the group.

I personally had a very pessimistic expectation for what my performance would be in the workshop, but afterwards, I enjoyed it immensely. Although, I still need a little practice, which presenter Chris Campe encourages daily, I could see thoroughly enjoying brush lettering.

The next part of the day, our group divided a little more. Yamna, Yocelyn, Andrea, and I attended the rope letters workshop while Kelsey and Claudia continued with the speakers. The rope lettering workshop was exactly what you would expect, the goal was to make letters out of rope that represented the theme of the conference: Wanderlust. The catch, these would be printed like stamps – meaning everything had to be backwards. The two hours flew by as we weaved our words to create the stamp.


The last speaker of the day was Oliver Jeffers. He describes himself as an artist and storyteller, and is known for his work on picture books for children. Jeffers recounted his journey to become an author and artist of these books – sharing the stories that affected his life. He intertwined humor into the presentation, something he thought was extremely vital in the world. After his talk, I quickly ran down to the bookstore to pick up a few copies of his book – that he can sign tomorrow, as I fanboy out.

Last, but not least, was a performance by Aoi Yamaguchi with live calligraphy. Yamaguchi’s art performance showed her mastery of brush strokes as she danced across the stage writing characters on large paper that spanned the length on the stage. She quickly planned each character before she dipped the broom sized brush into the ink bucket, waiving her hands in the air tracing the letter as if she was anointing or enchanting the paper. The end result was a reflection on how words and wisdom tie together to create a beautiful poem.


That was in for the first day of Typo Berlin, tomorrow is just as jam packed!

Missed Quoted

While writing the blogs, it’s not always easy to weave in the wonderful advice that the people we are visiting with offer. So I wanted to dedicate an entire post to those quotes that might have missed the opportunity to have been used.

“Typography can factor in the aspects of knowledge,” said Henning Krause, from Monotype, as he described how the information that typography captures becomes the knowledge that we consume.

“Art and craftsmen were the same. Art = Craft,” said Kenning in regards to the fact that typographers were both creating the art and physically making the elements to make the printing possible.

When asked about design philosophy Andreas Uebele explained that is was “to create beauty…that’s all. If it isn’t beautiful I feel bad”

“Salty is left, sweet is right,” Uebele jokingly said when asked about utilizing the senses in his signage. “It’s more about how you interpret or experience something. Not so much touch and feel.”

Students will rejoice as Uebele warned, “Don’t do too much research, you need to stay out of the mind of the client.” This would allow you to come up with a completely innovative idea.

“If you aren’t obsessive, at least 80%….I just don’t understand,” Uebele says on his thoughts about being obsessive listing off the simple things that inspired him, “it’s all an art form, it’s an inner belief”

Strichpunkt studio has a simple belief: “We are breaking the rules.”

Martina Flor says that clients have learned to trust her “when they hire me to do a job, they trust me.”

“Creative briefs have thousands of solutions, but you need to pick one you think is successful and just make it work,” says Martina.

“You never know the uncontrolled conditions that can push you forward,” Martina said while reflecting on all the obstacles that led to this point.

“When you do a piece of lettering there is a concept, there is something you want to do. Type design is concept free, you are creating something for everyone to use,” said Martina.


Tomorrow is the start of Typo Berlin where I will cover some of the awesome key speakers, workshops and discussions we will attend.

A Day That Florished

It is hard to believe that this wonderful trip is on the latter half of its time, but that doesn’t mean we have taken it easy. Today, I’ve clocked over 18,000 steps and 9 miles. But, when you are in a beautiful city meeting spectacular people, this is what is to be expected.

We stumbled into Martina Flor’s building after searching around for a moment. The entrance was inside of a Hof – which is like a center courtyard with buildings surrounding it found through a side street. We made our way up the stairs to press the illuminated doorbell. A large industrial door stood between us and this letter artist, it slid open slowly revealing a collection of hand drawn lettering products and the kitchen area in her creative space.

Martina greeted us with a smile from ear to ear, welcoming Claudia and the group like we had known each other for a lifetime. A small black brooch with silver metallic type, the word “shine” illustrated in her writing, acted as an element of contrast upon her cloudy gray blouse. This brooch was a reflection of Martina’s attitude towards design and just life in general – she had taken all of the people and situations she has encountered and turned them into something positive. “Sometimes it doesn’t matter where you are, but it’s the community that can help you a lot,” Martina said about headquartering in Berlin.


A big open area with large windows allowed the light to shine on the work she had laid upon the table for us to review. It seemed as if the sun was shining, just as Martina was, on the tracing paper and finished products that begged to be touched. She discussed her work with such humility and lightness, laughing as she told anecdotes about her work and process. It was obvious that she enjoyed the work she accomplished and sharing it with eager minds. As we left, not without purchasing some hand-lettered merch, she left us with a bit of advice.

“Not staying still is the best you can do. Move! If there is something not good here, you have to go change it.”

With inspiration filling our shoes, we made our way to We Make It, a Risograph studio. A risograph is like a scanner, printer, printing press, and screen print machine put together – now there are a little more nuances to how it works than that, but this is the simplest explanation. Andrea, who works in the Communication Design Fab Lab, picked our host’s brain about how the machine works and all the technical details that is really cool for designers.

Nowadays, the Riso is used typically for artist’s books and exclusive prints, since there are limited colors which have to be printed one at a time, but seem to be becoming more popular, especially within schools. Andrea even got to take a spin on the machine, showing us Riso Newbs how everything worked.


Afterwards, we headed toward the Buchstaben Museum, which focuses on the preservation and documentation of letters. They are the first museum in the world to collect letters from public places. It was located underneath the train tracks in a large warehouse looking space. Although the museum was in a quasi-state at the moment, it was still as fascinating as we had hoped.

Everywhere you turned letters sprawled the space, the glyphs were from old signage which had been used in public places. It was fascinating to browse this alphabet graveyard, especially as the signs became recognizable from the different logos and letterforms. The group quickly dispersed, with cameras in hand, twisting and turning in all angles just to create the perfect composition of the signs displayed before us. With memory cards full, it was time to say goodbye to the museum and head back to the hotel for the evening.


Wednesday has in store a lot of walking, touring the city, visiting important landmarks and, most excitingly, getting ready for Typo Berlin 2017.