Viewing Archive ~ July, 2012


Yes it’s Monday. Certain people get me quite inspired simply by mentioning their name. Art Director & Graphic Designer Lee H. Wilson  (The “H” stands for Holland) is one of those people. I met Lee back in the Ontario College of Art & Design in ’03 and he’s been inspiring me ever since. From early beginings when he was really focused and motivated in class, to co-founding an amazing literary publication The Feathertale Review. Lee was born in Ottawa, Canada in September of 1983. He then moved to Toronto in 2002 to attend The Ontario College of Art & Design (now OCAD University) where he studied graphic design, focusing on editorial design. He graduated in 2006 and worked a few odd jobs in Toronto (including an internship at the old TORO magazine) before landing a job in New York at Tom Brown’s re-designed Institutional Investor magazine. From there, he moved to Sagmeister Inc. to work on a book design with another OCAD alum, Joe Shouldice. After that, he was hired at Bloomberg to join in the re-design of Businessweek magazine, where he is now. If Lee isn’t the epitomy of inspiration and motivation within the field of Graphic Design, I really don’t know what is.

I: What’s the earliest memory of a creative activity you did?

L: In first grade, we had to draw a teddy bear in class. I added claws, eyebrows, different textured fur and elaborate nose to mine. My teacher remarked to my parents that I had a very creative thought process. My mom still has that drawing somewhere. Other memories include colouring books and playing with Lego.

I: If you weren’t doing what you do right now, what would you be doing?

L: I’d probably get into programming, or move away from the computer and do something hands-on like making furniture, or start a business doing small engine repair… rebuild vintage motorcycles (or lawnmowers!). I like to organize things, I think that’s why I gravitated towards editorial design. As a kid I would organize my toys from largest to smallest. Maybe I have OCD?

I: Inspiration, who? what? where?

L:  Inspiration… found all over the place. Going to school at OCAD definitely opened my mind to looking around, and seeing potential in every-day objects. Seeing design in pretty much everything, including nature. Travel is a big source of inspiration, especially going places with different cultures. When I was 5 or 6, I was at my grandparent’s cottage on the Rideau River in Ontario. I was playing around in the boat garage, where my grandpa had his short-wave radio equipment. I started pushing buttons and pretending like I was a ship captain or something. All of a sudden, someone came on the radio and started talking back to me! I was so shocked and scared that I ran into the cottage to find my grandfather. He just yelled at me “Well, what are you waiting for, talk back to him!”. That really opened my mind to the idea that there is a much bigger world beyond your parents confine.

I: Share any of piece your work, recent or old and talk about it.

L: Here is the latest Feathertale Review, a small zine that my friend Brett and I started almost 6 years ago in Toronto. Our normal format is 8×10″… perfect bound. This time around we wanted to try something different, so we collaborated with Sharis Shahmiryan, who is a very tallented designer working at The Star. She knows newspaper design, and helped us to take our magazine, and turn it into a newspaper. I helped to wrangle all the artists, including two very tallented Toronto illustrators: Jack Dylan and Pete Ryan, who did a tonne of work on this thing. Plus a full laundry list of other amazing people, including Kamila Mlynarczyk, Gavin McCarthy, Chis Kaeser, Graham Roumieu, Mike Kitchen, Orbie, Maureen Shelleau, Olege Portnoy, Jeff Burney and Graham Roumieu. As you can see — Feathertale really is a collaborative effort, it takes a lot of people to bring this thing together. I can’t think of anything better than working with this group of people. Last year we won our first National Magazine Award, so fingers crossed, maybe we can do it again with this one (or maybe last year was a fluke!).

I: Name 5 websites that you check often.

I run help to run, and I check that often. Otherwise, I’m a news junkie … BBC, CBC, The New york Times, CNN, Mac Rumours. Is that boring? I guess I should say a bunch of cool design websites… but I don’t really know any. Wait… I’ll say Daily Dose of Imagery. And CoverJunkie. I realize that’s 8 websites, sorry.

I love business cards, the feel you get when you are handed one for the first time, the tactile sense of firmness when encountered and overall seeing how a person chose to represent themselves on a small form of paper. I’m an avid collector of peoples’ business cards and noticed recently that my collection is mostly sitting there staring back at me. So I decided to dive into them and every Sunday I’ll be posting a small selection of the hundreds I have collected over the years.

This week, I’m starting off with sharing some of the cards I collected from my peers during my time at the Ontario College of Art and Design. Few people left an impact on me with their ability to Art Direct, Design and Illustrate. Their business cards have been cherished in my possession over the years. Most of these were acquired during our last year in university, circa ’06.

It’s Thursday, time -Pun quite intended- to check out what object we have in store for us. This weeks’ significant “thing” is courtesy of my good friend and graphic designer supreme Lee H Wilson.

“Here’s an object for you. I spent 3 months in Thailand, and the only souvenir I wanted to buy was a watch with Thai numerals on it. I didn’t realize how difficult it would be to find a watch without roman numerals… it actually took me the entire time I was there, going in and out of little shops, without any luck. On the last night in Bangkok, I went to the night bazar at Sanamulang, across from Thammasart University. After looking around for an hour without any luck, I was digging around in a junk box, and pulled this out. It had no strap, just the watch face. I guarded my excitement, bargained a good price 250THB, around $8USD, and walked away really happy!”

Monday Inspiration, is here. So, finally, after multiple efforts to persuade her to share her talent and work, I finally was able to interview my good friend and one of a kind visual problem solver a.k.a
a graphic designer, Carmel Dias. I’ve been on her case for close to a year now, yet, I’m so glad she finally agreed to be interviewed, because I’ve been always impressed with her style and talent ever since I had Type classes with her in our second year at the Ontario college of Art & Design. She stood out back then with her uncanny ability to craft and obsess over the quality of her output and projects, and it has been quite the pleasure witnessing her creative growth over the years. She has always been downplaying her talent and work, which always made me even more keen to introduce her talent to people I know.

I: What’s the earliest memory of a creative activity you did?

C: I loved playing with fire as a child, I remember I used to melt candles and make little figurines with the wax. I even had a little contraption built to melt down the candles as well.

I: If you weren’t doing what you do right now, what would you be doing?

C: A furniture designer, no a chef, no a yoga instructor, no an aerial silk dancer… I can’t decide!!

I: Inspiration, who? what? where?

C:  who: anyone with a passion  |  what: everything that’s good and beautiful  |  where: everywhere

I: Share any of piece your work, recent or old and talk about it.

C: Our client, “ooo boutique”, a  niche condom producer had a series  of collections the one I created was called “the art collection.” I came up with the concept to feature a new artist for each season.
The idea was to create unique, collectible packages that embodied the brand’s identity.

Secondly, this was the first project where the initial concept  was presented to the client and they absolutely loved it and wanted to jump on board with the idea! From inception right down to final production of the package and design; the integrity of the project remained unchanged which is very rare in this industry.

I: Name 5 websites that you check often.

September industry
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Hi, I'm Ibraheem Youssef
I'm a Creative,
currently based in Toronto.

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Art Direction / Alignment / Colours
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