Are graphic designers the new rock stars? Certainly those who work in the gig-poster field carry themselves with the same swagger.
Take the Ames Bros., the self-described “two-man wrecking crew” of Barry Ament and Cody Schultz, who handle most design duties for Pearl Jam (Barry's the bassist's brother) but have also designed logos and ad campaigns for Virgin Mobile, MTV, Nike, the NBA, Honda, Absolut and scores more clients – as well as CD packages, T-shirts and screen-printed gig posters for hundreds of bands, from Neil Young to the French Kicks to the Vandermark 5.
They hail from Montana, but their aesthetic is pure Pacific Northwest, informed by vintage Boeing ads, space-race optimism, '80s cartoons, middle-school textbooks, state park sign lettering, funk vinyl, Sasquatch glimpses, bears, sharks, robots and squirrels.
In a career built on childhood doodling, the non-brothers have scored professional acclaim (see the team's inclusion in Taschen's Graphic Design for the 21st Century: 100 of the World's Best Graphic Designers and a 10-page spread in 2004's The Art of Modern Rock) and even a pair of Grammy nominations for CD packaging.
Making the creatures that roam through your artistic id into a paying gig is a bit harder than just being able to draw, of course, which is where the Designer Lecture Xperience Series comes in. Similar to AIGA Orlando's professional development lectures but pitched to students on the verge of jumping into the design industry, the quarterly series is organized by Peter Soutullo, a course director in Full Sail University's digital arts and design program.
“It's my goal with this series to bring in all different types of designers – print, package, web, motion, photographers, illustrators – to come speak with our students in a casual atmosphere and share some real-life experiences. I wanted it to be more than just a portfolio show,” Soutullo says of DLXS. “I wanted war stories.”
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