Like a sweet dream, Paul Woods came to us via a recommendation of the PR firm, Double E Communications. They were right and Paul was super fun to interview. As the CCO of Edenspiekermann, the European design company with a difficult-to-pronounce name, the sensibility is to lean toward a penchant for out-of-the-box design-thinking methodologies, which fits perfect into the mold of Dumb Questions.
Paul, a former punk rock artist, who is obsessed with user-centric design and an outspoken promoter of digital innovation, leads the firm’s Los Angeles team, and uses his punk rock background, irreverence, and sense of humor to “excite, provoke a reaction and, sometimes, even offend,” through his work, particularly with Adloids, a satirical publication he co-created, almost like ‘The Onion’ for design and advertising.
At Edenspiekermann, he advocates for asshole-free agencies, working on a number of social-based/community design projects to tell stories to a wider audience. Paul’s playfulness was a perfect fit for our series, and we did not want to hang up the phone. Read More
Walking down the aisles of a grocery store you are reminded of how food manufacturers have found clever ways to insert sugars, carbohydrates and processed chemicals into nearly everything. Items labeled ‘Diet’ simply contain chemical based sugar replacements, and low-fat items are more processed than their full fat counterparts. This is especially evident in the beverage aisle. With thirst-quenchers of every color, flavor and additive, any calorie conscious consumer would assume that their only viable option is water. And while water is without argument one of nature’s finest miracles, it is boring. Enter waters power-punching cousin: seltzer.
We’ve experienced time and again that it’s all about timing (see what we did there?), especially with Dumb Questions. James Olstein has been on our list for a while, but when we saw that he illustrated the theme graphic for August’s CreativeMornings, we knew it was kismet.
Aside from being a lauded illustrator, designer and all around good dude, James and his wife are also expecting their first child (probably when this interview comes out). That kid has big shoes to fill, because James has done incredible for work for a wide range of clients, including BBC, Boston Globe, Scientific American, and much more. Speaking of timing, James has a kids book coming out on September 6th from his Odd Science series, called Amazing Inventions.
We wish James and his growing family all the luck and blessings in the world. We hope one day his kid reads this silly article and laughs. Read More
A graphic designer and illustrator based in Seattle, Victor Melendez is originally from Mexico City, but after studying electrical engineering for two years he realized it wasn’t his calling. Victor relocated to the beautiful Pacific Northwest and got a BFA in graphic design from Cornish College of the Arts.
With the spirit of an art director and the eye of a muralist, Victor focuses on work that draws you in and makes you think. He has produced work for SubPop, Starbucks, and more than we can name here.
Victor loves baseball, beer, and thai food. He also loves producing amazing work. We found Victor through our West Coast beer contacts and we couldn’t be more thrilled that he agreed to do our dumb interview. Read More
Originally hailing from the Pacific Northwest, Courtney Macca, visionary designer and illustrator, currently lives in “the heart of Atlanta” where she works as a graphic designer for a marketing team by day, and focuses on freelancing, hand lettering and illustration at night.
Courtney, a self proclaimed lover of typography, illustration, and branding, is constantly creating new designs to be viewed by the world. In her spare time (though it’s hard to believe she has any), Courtney spearheads an Atlanta-based monthly lettering Meetup group called ATLphabet.
One of the projects that sticks out to us is Courtney’s 100 days of 15 Minute faces, where she worked for 15 minutes each day to create a person’s face, sometimes based off of fictional characters, famous people, or people in her life, using her Wacom tablet, photoshop, and occasional reference photos.
We’re so glad Courtney found the time to join us for our DQSD series!
As a company that harrowingly endured last year’s Hurricane Season, a startling realization came to us during those storms. After we boarded up the windows and braced for hurricane after hurricane consuming the state of Florida, we realized that preparation for a disaster goes beyond buying water and canned goods, especially in the digital age. For businesses, communication is always key, but during natural disasters it is exponentially more important. Read More
Anna Laytham is a designer, illustrator and artist residing in Brooklyn, New York, whose focus shifts from digital, ui/ux, and app design, to print design, illustration, sculpture, character design, comics, zines, prints, product design (physical & digital), and pretty much anything else that is interesting and challenging. Anna may not dig our pop culture questions, but interviewing her sure was fun.
She has made a name for herself designing major book covers, and her client list reads like a litany of who’s who in a myriad of businesses and organizations. She has done work for Pepsi, GE, Brisk, MSNBC, The TODAY Show, AMP Energy, The White House, Ben & Jerry’s, Makerbot Industries, Simon & Schuster and Penguin Random House.
On top of all that, and producing an art show in Berlin, Anna was a former adjunct professor at the School of Visual Arts, where she also graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design. When free, which isn’t often, she enjoys building things, using her hands, and learning about the Universe. Read More
There are many aspects to a pantsuit that people don’t consider but one thing that rings true is there are a few unifying factors. While pants and a suit are the most obvious among them having a uniform set of guidelines to define this “suit” or group of styles helps to give the viewer a clear definition as to what makes the pantsuit. Otherwise, you wind up with a mixed bag of elements that prevent your design from providing consistency which is extremely important in this brand-centric world. Read More
As an illustrator and musician from Illinois, Johnnie Cluney wears a lot of hats, metaphorically. He may be best known for his hand-drawn artist portraits for the Daytrotter sessions (he has fashioned close to 10,000 of them, according to his estimates), but he also used to play in a ton of bands, such as American Dust, Mondo Drag, Quiet Bears, and Romantic and the Sirens. His debut solo album will be released later this year.
In addition to recently illustrating a children’s book, he somehow found the time to let us ask him some seriously dumb questions. Cluney took on the tall task of creating the downtown Davenport ‘Welcome’ sign, which highlights the city, and he describes as ‘mind blowing’.
For all his hard work in design, illustration, and music, Johnnie is mainly a husband and a father. While doing this interview, we could hear his family running around in the background. For the man who finds time for everything, we are super thankful he found time to answer these silly questions, probably while painting and definitely being a working dad on top of it all. Read More