The Lab Philosophy

Artists are emerging as authors and entrepreneurs in a variety of new markets and media. Methods such as print-on-demand book, the wave of self-publication, prototyping, high-end output devices and laser-cutters intersect with new creative directions. Bodyware imagery, instructional and socially inspired projects, web-based critique, archives, games, animation, and literary works are a few of the directions being taken to create content and express ideas.



Sunday, October 31


Speaking of Branding, take a look at this book on Muji, the Japanese company that designs modest, anonymously styled products [The name Muji derives from mujirushi, the Japanese word for “no brand.”]

Tuesday, October 26

WEEK 9 - Fall 2010

Presentation : Branding
We had a branding presentation by Mike Weikert. He did an overview of what branding is and how it differs from identity. We had a lively discussion about brands after his presentation, specifically how each of us was aware of strong brands that had eroded due to neglence [BP brand problems,  BP:branding petroleum], brands that were enduring despite costs [Apple it's all about the brand], and brands that evoked public outcry [redesign of GAP logo]. We also discussed branding on local levels, less mega-corporate branding and how that relates to the individual entrepreneur.

Everyone was given handouts to prepare for the presentation including m Alina Wheeler's Brand Ideals and Process from her book Designing Brand Identity published by John Wiley & Sons, © Alina Wheeler, 2005. See the Readings sidebar for this book and others on branding to learn more.

Want to make some brand comparisons or read about what makes their brand work?
Apple and Lady Gaga
Apple and Google
Apple Labels [unrelated, but fun ;-)]

Last, we discussed how each week students must bring in their projects and Lab sketchbooks: mood boards, sketches, prototypes, no exceptions. Work-in-progress can also be shown on your laptop. 

HOMEWORK: Continue working on your projects, revise your project or schedule to finish before Art Market and prepare for next weeks guest David Hart.

The next ArtMarket meeting is mandatory, Wednesday November 3, Brown 320 at 2:30

WEEK 8 - Fall 2010

Mid-terms : Work-in-progress reviewed

Pink slips will be issued if sufficient work is not presented.

HOMEWORK: 1] Read handouts for Branding Workshop with Mike Weikert. 2] Keep working on your project.

WEEK 7 - Fall 2010

Workshop : Letterpress

This class was held in the MICA Printmaking Dept, with a demonstration on Letterpress by Kyle Van Horn. Students were asked weeks earlier to take a sketch or finished piece of art from their Lab sketchbooks and devise/design artwork for a 2.5x3.5 card. They could imagine this as a business card, a tag or label for their final project. The art was sent out for negatives, and polymer plates were made by Kyle with assistance from Ida Liffner [an exchange student in the class]. Ida wanted to learn more about making polymer plates and volunteered her time. Here are the pdf's of their cards:


[all artwork shown here is © 2010 by each student]

Students were also asked to bring in various sheets of paper to print on. If you have an interest in letterpress, there are a number of great people who are working in Baltimore in this illustration-friendly medium:
Kat Feuerstein's Gilah Press + Design
Mary Mashburn's Typecast Press
Val Lucas' Bowerbox Press

Letterpress is one of my favorite printmaking mediums. My new business card is letterpress, 2 sides, done at Gilah, printed by Whitney Cecil:


I was in Toronto at the Grad Fair Day talking about my new MFA in Illustration Practice, a program that grew out of this class The Lab, and sorry to miss this demo. Pictures will be added as soon as I receive them!

HOMEWORK: Prepare for Mid-term crits by organizing your work and bringing in all of your process work, sketchbook and prototypes. Read Project Assessment document and use to write your Creative Brief.