And Starring ... Graphic Design!

February 7, 2010

I just started watching “Mad Men.” Yes, I’m a few years late jumping on the bandwagon, but now I’m hooked. Having worked in collaborative environments for many years, I found myself nodding quite often as the designers, writers, salespeople and management all had to answer to each other – though they’re much better dressed than your average agency these days. But ... SPOILER ALERT!

I’m only three episodes in, and I hear graphic designer Sal is off the show! I’ve been trying to avoid why, since I have a couple of seasons to catch up on. But I’ve really been enjoying his sassy bantering during liquor-fueled brainstorming meetings. They even inspired me to learn to make the perfect old-fashioned. Films and TV shows about graphic designers seem difficult to come by. I can come up with a number of publishing and advertising ones: “All the President’s Men,” “Suddenly Susan,” “The Paper,” “Crazy People” (seriously underrated) and “Just Shoot Me.” But why aren’t there more surrounding the creative process? It seems like a concept that would lend itself to an interesting plot, since designers deal with demanding clients, creative blocks, coffee and cigarette overload, and all-night sessions. But no. At least graphic design is well represented in a couple of documentaries. “Art & Copy” is a doc about the advertising world and includes interviews with the people who came up with iconic taglines such as “Got Milk” and “Where’s the beef?” It covers the evolution of product marketing from the ’60s and on. Director Doug Pray states on the film’s website that his goal with “Art & Copy” is to inspire “artists and writers to strive to make more meaningful, more entertaining or more socially uplifting ads.” The movie is not available in mainstream theaters or for rental, but check the website for screenings. An entire documentary about a font? Yes, “Helvetica” is just that. But, as its website states, the film “looks at the proliferation of one typeface (which recently celebrated its 50th birthday in 2007) as part of a larger conversation about the way type affects our lives.” There’s a psychology aspect, as Helvetica is the most popular font in the world and therefore the typeface we see more than any other. The movie discusses how it’s used in the different aspects of graphic design. It’s available for rental. I can’t resist mentioning “American Psycho” in a discussion about the importance of graphic design. My favorite scene is where Patrick Bateman and his companions compare business cards. Bateman is so jealous that Paul Allen has a more attractive card that he decides to kill him. A design worth dying for? Now there’s something to strive for.

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About Jennifer Moline

Jennifer Moline writes for the PsPrint Blog as well as maintains its Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus and Pinterest presences. She also guest-blogs for such notable graphic design blogs as Fuel Your Creativity and Inspiredology. She’s previously written about technology and small business for news websites, magazines and newspapers. In her off-hours, Jennifer can be found roughing it in the mountains or tucked away in a movie theater.

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January 07, 2016 03:21 am #

[...] lamented before about the lack of graphic designers as main characters in film and television. But finally, in “Beginners” we see a graphic designer in action, as [...]

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The PsPrint Blog is a resource for graphic designers, freelancers, small business owners and fans of print marketing. You'll find helpful techniques on printing everything there is to print, including business cards, postcards, brochures, stickers, invitations, greeting cards, door hangers, magnets and more. The PsPrint Blog shares creative ways to improve your design and layout skills, and useful tips for marketing your business in any medium. We also like to have a little fun, sharing design inspiration and spotlighting some our favorite customers' printed pieces in our "Hot Off the Press" series.