Graphic Designer | Visual Artist

Tag: art

We’d rather sell Picasso tickets than Nike shoes.


The Fine Art of Designing for Museums:    Why graphic designers are ditching their agency jobs to work at MOMA.

In an art museum, graphic design usually takes a back seat. It’s the practical cousin to the main attraction; the wayfinding arrow that points you towards the sculptures, the block of text that helps you understand what you’re looking at. Design can be utilitarian, sure, but it also plays a bigger role. “We always want the art to be the star, but design can help with that,” says Damien Saatdjian, an art director at the Museum of Modern Art’s graphic design department, where he and a team of seven other designers create and maintain all of the museum’s graphic communication. This includes more than you’d think: from pamphlets and websites to mugs, totes, and exhibition wall text.

The studio, which is sandwiched between the conservation science lab and digital media team, is just a few rows of cubicles. Compared to the soaring ceilings of the neighboring galleries, the space is small and modest. The walls are scattered with potential designs, color palettes, type options, and layouts for upcoming exhibitions.

At any given moment you can find the team at work on up to eight different exhibition displays, while simultaneously handling marketing materials, retail goods, and any random piece of design ephemera that’s thrown their way. “We do anything and everything,” says Ingrid Chou, the department’s creative director. To some, this might be overwhelming, but to Chou and her team it means they can have an impact on nearly every department at MoMA. “We actually have a bird’s-eye view of what’s happening in the museum,” she saysimage

On the day I visit, the team shows me a long-term project they’ve been working on to redesign the museum’s retail items. On the back wall of the studio, sheets of paper printed with ideas form a grid of MoMA-branded goods. One printout shows a tote with MoMA’s logo crumbled haphazardly at the bottom. “It’s reflecting the clutter inside the tote bag,” says senior designer Danielle Hall. Another mock-up shows a T-shirt with half the MoMA logo peeking out playfully behind the pocket.

Most of MoMA’s graphics are constrained by its branding (in this case Paula Scher refreshed the identity template, and the logo was redrawn by Matthew Carter), but designers get to experiment when it comes to special exhibition designs. Every year, MoMA hosts around 12 special exhibitions—major shows from artists like Picasso, Cindy Sherman, and the upcoming Robert Rauschenberg. “That’s where we get to be a lot more expressive,” says senior designer Eva Bochem-Shur.

Designing for the exhibitions begins with research. First the curators share their thesis, then it’s up to the designers to translate that vision clearly and effectively. Sometimes that means keeping the design understated and letting the graphics act as a quiet backdrop for the art. Other times that means creating a bespoke typeface (like the one inspired by the handwriting of filmmaker Tim Burton, for his MoMA retrospective) and figuring out how to creatively present information on the walls. “Ideally it’s a collaboration,” Saatdjian says of working with curators.

Designers start their work on computers and finish in the galleries, which means the museum itself is often an extension of the team’s studio. The spatial aspect of exhibition design—how colors, type, and size work at scale—often means a designer will have to totally retool their design once it’s on a wall. “We’ve all gotten really good with tape measures,” Bochem-Shur says. It’s physical work, too—a departure for most of the staff, which has spent their careers working on screen.

The majority of the designers are agency transplants from firms like Interbrand, Pentagram, Mother, and Bruce Mau Design. The switch to the art world, for the most part, was a deliberate effort; instead of clients the designers here work with curators, and instead of fractured teams, they tend to work together to solve problems. The small group lends itself to open discussions about creativity, art, and what’s working and what’s not. “It’s not as competitive,” Hall says. “I think it leads to better work in the end because you can bounce ideas off each other.”

Ultimately, the appeal of working at MoMA comes down to the purity of designing for art. It’s the notion that they’re making something that isn’t just about selling an object (though that’s part of the job), but selling ideas and education, too. “We’d rather sell Picasso tickets than Nike shoes,” says Saatdjian.


yes I too would ditch the gig gently for MoMA❤️

Google Maps: Hello Central Park | Hello World

Google Maps in partnership with the New York Central Park Conservancy have mapped the park to allow residents and visitor alike to experience the park from any browser or mobile device.  Be there, find your way and experience our world in amazing HDR photography.

The Street View crew went all around park collecting 360-degree imagery of its trails, paths, and plazas, to bring views of both famous and little-known areas of the park to your browser or mobile phone.

See how the Central Park Conservancy uses Google Maps to help shape the visitor experience today. Learn more about the park at

To explore more Google Maps projects visit their You Tube Channel

Google Maps: Mapping the world, one project at a time.

Google Business Photos: Mapping the world, one business at a time

Random Things I love, have, want, and or otherwise DIY’d and The Police

Talk, meet, call, engage, network, produce, think… critically think, create, draw, layout, photograph, edit, write, moderate, reply, S T O P.    …Work, meet, call, engage, produce, think… critically think, layout , draw, create, photograph, edit, write, tweet,  moderate, reply, S T O P. Time to reflect……

Enjoy. Happy Summer Soltice to one and all.

Today I stopped and smelled the roses per say. For a second. It’s the longest day of the year and my favorite day outside of Fall and Spring here in the high desert. The garden is growing[first] and my aries persona is beaming, [Thanks to many friends and family that are rooting].   The day is as long as the birds are singing , networks are expanding and a resolve is in sight….s t o p. Someone asked me the other day how it was possible to process all those tweets everyday….I couldn;’t answer yet I do do do,  however in hindsight…the answer is that the brain is big and mostly unused….  Too much food for thought though sometimes. yes. Knowledge is pain. Seek Bliss.

As I sit in my favorite garden chair and write at about 8:45 pm and the sun is still up and feeling that twilight coming on i remember to take the time to reflect. And slowly write. as it taken me 24 hours to finish…

I have gathered a few photos of the moment……. loves, wants, haves, and DIY’s for you to see. [and probably again on Pinterest soon…..or twitter or my gallery site … maybe FB.]   Keep moving but remember to always S  T  O  P. and enjoy.

OOOh…just felt a minute earthquake…..yikes none felt since 2007…..wild! [note to self…must attach earthquake strap to mid century hutch my Dad built.] 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Today


It had been a long and extremely busy few weeks and on this particular Sunday [yesterday]  I was feeling a bit exhausted. So when I took some time to sit on my front porch which is a favorite part of our new house,  I caught a glimpse and a reminder that on certain days we should be dedicated to rest and relaxation. A Moment in Time as I say to soak in your surrounds and just be.

The last few week have been filled with paperwork to submit for licencing, study, quizzes, photo test shoots and all the necessary steps to start my photography business on top of working a full time J.O.B.  All the while trying to continue to shoot my art images, build my portfolio, market, create leads and talk to people and friends/family about my new business venture. One that is long in coming but shared by many in my circles. My sister-in-law said something really interesting the other day…”Most entreprenuers don’t succeed until their late 30’s early 40’s because of process and learning.” It’s true.

I recently began training to become a Google Trusted Photographer which will be 1 of 3 aspects maybe four of my new business. It’s a arduous and technical process but very rewarding and not considered W.O.R.K. The business will comprise of Google business Photos, Weddings in the summer and Ski Concierge Services in the winter.

But on this particular day I just needed to rest and my front porch afforded me the right to just be and enjoy my surroundings. It was a good two hours….here’s to the beginning of the lazy days of summer……?

What’s Your “Just Be” time in summer? We would love to hear how you spend your free time.

365: One Year of Images Taken Only with a Smart Phone

Communication | c2011

This is 365:  I spent the last year photographing only with my smart phone. I didn’t set any rules just simply titled the project and let it evolve from there. Some months I produced no images, other months I produced hundreds. As the project evolved and ideas were developed many changes were made to what originally was going to be 365 images. It rolls and changes, I change my mind, and change again. Imagine a floating ribbon 1 mile long floating in the wind from a 100 foot tree in the desert. This is how I imagine the evolution of my project as it exists. Organized chaos. The editing process has allowed the project to evolve completely into what it is by letting the images speak for themselves.

The image quality of a smart phone is shit yet somehow I produced some arty images I wouldn’t have gotten with  my Nikon. 1thousand 4hundred and 18 images, 12 months of shooting and 3 months of editing down to 99 final images. Ninety nine images is a lot to visually process so I’m only showing 12 here because I want the audience to make the choice whether or not to view the complete project.

Enjoy the sampling. Click Here to see complete project. Or Here on Flicker

Sky Fire II | c2011

The Road | c2011

Red Door | c2011

White | c2011

Manzanita Sky | c2011

Tamarack Ridge II | c2011

Moonrise| c2011

Sky Fire I | c2011

Deer! | c2011

Feather Lake Oasis | c2011

Hat Creek | c2011

The Abstract Series I

Social Distortion | 2011

Reno Motel Life

Reno Motel Life is a photo journey down 4th Street. The historic U.S. Route 40, and before that the more historic Lincoln Highway which ran through the heart of Reno along 4th Street. Many businesses arose over the years along the route to take advantage of the highway traffic.  Then in the 1970’s Interstate 80 was built and many of these businesses were bypassed. Many have disappeared all together, the remnants of some remain, others struggle to stay in business, and a few flourish. Today East 4th Street is getting a bit of a revitalization and new businesses are breathing new life into the once dying area.


click HERE for the link to the book I published on this project.

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