Good Job Nike

Not too long ago Nike launched plus size mannequins in the their flagship store in the UK and the reactions were varied. Did you see that heinous article in @telegraph?! The amount of body shaming was unreal.

Photo by Catalina Kulczar • Lettering by Dirty Bandits

But we are loving it! Women of all sizes run marathons, do yoga, and go to the gym and should be able to see and purchase work out clothes that suit their needs.

This is a part of my series with Catalina Kulczar where we highlight businesses that are doing something good in the world. It’s really nice for us to include companies both small and large for acts of varying scale and impact.

Good Job Ovenly

You’re probably seen their pastries around in various coffee shops or you’ve been to one of their locations. Not only does Ovenly makes the best pastries, but did you know they’re also super responsible? They have an open hiring policy and strive to hire previously incarcerated staff and people living in poverty. They offer insurance and leave and paid vacation. Who does that in the food service industry?

Photo by Catalina Kulczar • Lettering by Dirty Bandits

They call their way of conducting business ‘radical responsibility’ and it goes from hiring, to reducing carbon footprint, to using products that are local and organic whenever possible.

So if you’re able, swing by their bakery in Brooklyn at 154 Franklin St. in Greenpoint.

10 Commandments for Clients

Many years ago I rewrote the 10 Commandments but for clients of designers. As it goes with personal projects it sat on my list of things to do for 7 or 8 years before I got around to doing it! I invited 10 of my very favorite lettering artists to participate with me and together we created artwork for a cover, and each of the 10 commandments.

Cover art by Nim Ben-Rueven

I’ve been a freelance designer for well over a decade and have worked with many clients. These relationships have been varied: some phenomenal, some functional, and a few… failures. In thinking about what makes some more successful than others it is clear to me that, just as with any relationship, the rules you establish at the beginning can be very hard to change later. As a freelance designer, you are your only advocate. Be clear about your rules, communicate well, and communicate often.

The 10 Commandments below, adapted for Clients, will provide the much needed guidelines which, if followed, will make all of you the exceptional Clients we know you can be. The ultimate goal is always to have a relationship of mutual respect for one another’s time, skills and knowledge.

These struggles are not unique to my path as a designer so I reached out to ten of the most talented freelance designers and lettering artists I know to each select and illustrate one commandment. These are people that I believe work carefully, deliberately and deliver the best work a Client could ask for.

Continue reading

Make the Mural Bigger (Part 1) : The Grid Method

Do you any of you remember that amazing meme (back before we even knew the word meme) for Make the Logo Bigger?

Anyway, One of the most common questions I get from illustrators and lettering artists is how to translate their design to a wall. So here is the first in a series blog posts featuring different methods to go from design on a computer to mural on a wall!

One of the easiest ways to make your mural bigger is just to make a simple corresponding grid on the wall and on your design and use that to help keep you proportions and dimensions correct.

1) Get the exact dimensions of the wall you’ll be painting on. Be sure your design is proportional in comparison to the actual wall. Meaning if your wall is a 5:2 ratio of width to height be sure the design you’re mocking up is also a 5:2 ratio of width to height. If possible, get a straight on photo of the wall you’ll be painting on and layout your artwork on that photo.

My mockup with a grid super imposed
Continue reading

Good Job Chilote

Photo by Catalina Kulczar | Art direction by Dirty Bandits

Part of my series with Catalina Kulczar called You’re Doing a Good Job. Catalina had three pairs of Chilote slippers for her family and raved about them. They are so lovely and special and it was a delight to learn more about them.

Chilote’s wool slippers with salmon-skin bottoms employ artisan women in Patagonia to make every pair, empowering communities through wages while maintaining a historic craft. I particularly love that they created a safe and supportive environment for female workers.

I was super excited to learn that they are also a certified B Corp. I applaud them – this is a very difficult classification to achieve and it speaks volumes to what they have accomplished. If you don’t know what B Corps are, you can read more here.

Good Job Badass Brooklyn

Photo by Catalina Kulczar | Lettering by Dirty Bandits

You’re Doing a Good Job is made up of videos and stills with lettering incorporated. They all share the same positive message celebrating companies that are working to make a difference.

This is Barnaby, he’s a rescue and he’s just the best. I find it excruciating to see people purchasing dogs from breeders and puppy mills when there are so many incredible dogs that desperately need homes. Barnaby was named Fluffy and abandoned at a high kill shelter by his family. He was in South Carolina and scheduled to be killed within the next 24hrs if he hadn’t been picked up by Jersey Girls Animal Rescue and brought up to NY for adoption.

Photo by Catalina Kulczar

There are tons of places in New York and New Jersey to adopt dogs. I used to look for my new furry friend and was able to use a wider radius. But if you’re in Brooklyn, check out Badass Brooklyn : saving badass dogs from idiot humans. These guys are a Brooklyn based group that rescue dogs from kill shelters in southern states and bring them up for adoption in NY.

Good Job Tom Tom Mag

Shot by Catalina Kulczar | Art Direction & Lettering by Dirty Bandits
Sound by Kind Stranger

Tom Tom Mag is the only magazine devoted to female drummers, capturing an incredible range of individuals. This year marks their 10th year in print which is totally impressive with quarterly issues available both in print and online with Issu.

They also started the Hit Like A Girl Contest, the only contest for lady drummers that is 8 years running. Look to these ladies for a how-to on uniting and uplifting female communities.

The founder, Mindy Abovitz, is Catalina’s studiomate. Since we already had the overhead camera set up going we put down some pink paper, grabbed some drum sticks and tried to coordinate hitting and letters appearing. It was an awkward set up to say the least and it was cute when it was done. But once we passed it off to Drew for sound is when it really came to life!

Good Job Adidas

Shot by Catalina Kulczar | Art direction & lettering by Dirty Bandits
Sound by Kind Stranger

From our series You’re Doing a Good Job we bring you this fun little stop motion video that tells to story of how this line developed by Adidas and Parley has come to make an environmental impact. Adidas partnered with the ocean cleanup org Parley to make shoes and clothing out of plastic bottles salvaged from beaches. Helping to keep our beaches cleaner, our oceans freer of plastic and our feet ready to run!

Continue reading

You’re Doing a Good Job

These posts are all unsolicited, unpaid and unsponsored. I am doing this with Catalina Kulczar to share uplifting stories of companies doing good in the world. We are more than just a pretty image, we stand for something greater than ourselves and we support whole heartedly those working to create better work environments, more ecologically sound products, and foster a sense of belonging for all.

Lettering and animation by Dirty Bandits

In sitting down at the beginning of the year I set out to look at my business and think about where I was and where I wanted to be. I was feeling stagnant but what sort of change was I looking for? What projects had been the most rewarding? What was I the most proud of?

Continue reading