#8 Hide & Seek

Click to download full-size poster

#8 Hide & Seek
Click image to view full size or download poster for gallery-​quality printing & framing.
This is a high-​resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

.1001, 1002, 1003, 1004, 1005…

Ready or not, here I come!

Back in the old days we’d be get­ting antsy right about one-​thousand-​twenty, one-​thousand-​twenty-​one, one-thousand-twenty-two…

But today we can just pass the time tex­ting or play­ing a game (until you score and your “WOOHOO!” gives your hid­ing place away).

I am not a fan of oranges and browns, so I super­sat­u­rat­ed these col­ors almost to the point of pop art. I find the orig­i­nal image far more relax­ing; it does­n’t con­vey the play­ful­ness of hide & seek, nor of autumn. How­ev­er, the pat­tern in the bark is fascinating.

Now go hide while I start counting…

listen up!1960 BC

That’s “Before Com­put­ers” and “Before Cell­phones.” Hide & Seek (no bat­ter­ies required). Met­al skates (no hel­mets, no kneepads). When we scraped our knuck­les on Flexy-​Riders, got soaked skid­ding down our Slip & Slides (see my AmperBr& piece on that one), or sim­ply played check­ers (with a real board and real play­ing pieces). Sim­ple, fun times, but I do enjoy test­ing my skills with the Lumos­i­ty app.

Production notes for #8 Hide & Seek:
Original size: 20x30 inches

Program: Adobe Photoshop
Font: Souvenir

Ampersand: Souvenir (well, whatever’s cheating & peeking)
Photos: unknown; tried my best to find the image sources of this early AmperArt image but whoever I “borrowed” them from most likely “borrowed” them from somebody else. Anyway, the composite is heavily altered from the original. If you’re the photographer and would like credit, just let me know. 
You may repost the image & article. Please credit Amper​Art​.com.
To download a full-​size high-​resolution 11x17-​inch poster, click on the image.

For pro­fes­sion­al graph­ic design, please vis­it Des­i­mone Design.

Desimone? Damn good!

#7 In & Out

#7 In & Out

Amper­Art #7: In & Out

Hats, helmets and hardhats off to the workforce!

Whether we work 9 to 5, part time, grave­yard, free­lance, or own our own For­tune 500 com­pa­ny, we real­ly do clock in and out. Every moment we’re dri­ving to work, dri­ving a nail, answer­ing email, court­ing a client, or just day­dream­ing about an inven­tion, we are “clocked in.”

And every moment we are “clocked in” we are adding to the val­ue of some­body’s exis­tence, whether through a prod­uct, a pro­fes­sion, or serv­ing a blue plate spe­cial (like my mom did, and always with a smile).

If you are “clocked out” this week­end, enjoy the Labor Day fes­tiv­i­ties. And if you are work­ing, know that your con­tri­bu­tion to what makes this coun­try tick is tru­ly appreciated.

listen up!Work, work, work

Every sin­gle thing I’m touch­ing, look­ing at or lis­ten­ing to right now was made by some­one, or most like­ly hun­dreds of peo­ple, who trad­ed their time, tal­ent, exper­tise, and hard labor for a paycheck.

This mon­i­tor, for exam­ple: the min­ers for the phos­pho­rs; the prod­uct design­ers; the engi­neers; the oil­men who drill for the plas­tic; the sol­der­ers; the print­ers for the UL stick­er; the book­keep­ers, ship­pers, and truck dri­vers; the elec­tri­cal con­trac­tors who sup­ply the pow­er; the tech sup­port; and yes, the graph­ic design­ers who cre­at­ed the pack­ag­ing, adver­tis­ing and instruc­tion manual.
I was lis­ten­ing to an inter­view by the late Bud­dy Rich, jazz drum­mer. When asked if he enjoys his work as a drum­mer, he replied, “Work? What work? I play!”

I love what I do for “work.” Design­ing logos, books, ads and pack­ag­ing; brain­storm­ing with clients; and the thrill of see­ing the first piece off the press is more excit­ing than an exot­ic vaca­tion (some­times just as expen­sive when there’s a typo).

I hope you enjoy what you do, what­ev­er it is. If you don’t, do some­thing else. We do have that choice. If you need some inspi­ra­tion please con­tact me. I am grate­ful that I get to enjoy the earn­ing part of earn­ing a liv­ing, and I’m hap­py to share how it’s pos­si­ble for any­one else.

I love work so much, in fact, I’m going to work on my tan at the pool this Labor Day weekend.

Hap­py Labor Day!

#1 Art & Design

#1 Art & Design

#1 Art & Design
Click to view full-​size or download hi-​rez image for gallery-​quality printing and framing.
This is a high-​resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

This is the piece that launched AmperArt: #1 Art & Design.

It was cre­at­ed as a post­card con­cept to show­case my graph­ic design tal­ent — specif­i­cal­ly con­cept, lay­out, let­ter­ing, typog­ra­phy & exe­cu­tion — to agen­cies & mar­ket­ing departments.

AmperArt Issues

I nev­er did com­mence that post­card cam­paign, but did post the first few designs on an ear­ly blog.* After receiv­ing a lot of pos­i­tive com­ments I real­ized there are a lot of amper­sand fans out there (I call them amper­fans) so decid­ed to cre­ate more of these lay­outs, each fea­tur­ing “the amper­sand as fun & fab­u­lous art,” as the slo­gan now pro­fess­es. After more exhuber­ant response, I cre­at­ed a web­site ded­i­cat­ed just to the amper­sand, Amper​Art​.com, vow­ing to cre­ate & release one Amper­Art design per month. I keep all the orig­i­nal art­work safe­ly in a “dig­i­tal vault” so it can be repro­duced at its orig­i­nal size, usu­al­ly 20″ x 30″, should any­one ever ask for a large giclee to hang on their wall, or if I ever get the crazy urge to exhib­it the Amper­Art col­lec­tion in a gallery. For now, though, each cre­ation is for­mat­ted into an 11″ x 17″ poster, issued free with each release. The files are high res­o­lu­tion, suit­able for gallery-​quality print­ing. Here are some print­ing & fram­ing ideas.

Concept for #1 Art & Design

The idea behind #1 Art & Design is to rep­re­sent the fun­da­men­tal shapes & col­ors in art: “art” is spelled with cir­cles, tri­an­gles & squares (actu­al­ly a cropped rec­tan­gle and a 4‑sided trape­zoid for added inter­est). The col­ors are pri­maries and sec­on­daries, with neu­trals for the type and back­ground. The word “design” is sim­ply what I do best in the world of design: set type. I chose Hel­veti­ca, as it is not only been the most com­mon sans-​serif fam­i­ly for decades, it is tru­ly beau­ti­ful in its sim­plic­i­ty and mod­ern struc­ture, espe­cial­ly in the hands of a pro­fes­sion­al typog­ra­ph­er (no exam­ple of that here except in darn good kern­ing). Com­ple­ment­ing Hel­veti­ca is anoth­er mod­ern type­style of the serif vari­ety, Cen­tu­ry School­book. Why are the shapes not giv­en a dimen­sion­al shad­ow effect (which would seem to be a giv­en)? Because the amper­sand is the star of the show!

AmperArt: shorten that name

Amper­Art start­ed as “Ordi­nary Phras­es & Amper­sands Extra­or­di­naire” — in short, com­mon phras­es with an amper­sand in the mid­dle. That will be the for­mat I fol­low for my month­ly series, to be ren­dered & issued until I can no longer push a pen­cil or paint a pix­el. Kind of a long url, don’t you think? So I came up with Amper­Art. (AmpArt is short­er and cool­er but it sounds like an inked up sound sys­tem; plus I think it was taken.)

I have also cre­at­ed a few oth­er pieces which are not phras­es, such as Amper­ma­tions (shown here). Even­tu­al­ly I may design a line of greet­ing cards (fea­tur­ing the amper­sand, of course), appar­el (prob­a­bly just T‑shirts), jew­el­ry, & cre­ate objets d’ amper­art for sale on the web­site & per­haps in gift shops. I’d like to pro­mote oth­er artists & design­ers, too — as long as their work con­tains an ampersand.

But for now, Amper­Art is just a free month­ly dose of “the amper­sand as fun & fab­u­lous art.” I hope you res­onate with one of these pieces every so often, whether in top­ic, style, col­or, or sto­ry. Or maybe you’ll enjoy every sin­gle one, sim­ply because you’re a fun & fab­u­lous “amper­fan.”

*Art & Design is not my actu­al first con­cept lead­ing up to Amper­Art; that was Sun­ny & Hot, pub­lished June 23, 2011 on my per­son­al blog (defunct) before I turned the con­cept of “fea­tur­ing the amper­sand as fun & fab­u­lous art” into a series. It was fol­lowed by Black & White (the basis of most visu­al ideas), then Red White & Blue (for Inde­pen­dence Day). Art & Design was then cre­at­ed as a “title piece” to intro­duce the new ongo­ing project called Amper­Art & its web­site, Amper​Art​.com. I renum­bered the first sev­er­al works for logis­tics rea­sons. Art & Design was actu­al­ly the third or fourth design I cre­at­ed in the series. My first cre­ation, Sun­ny & Hot, was inspired by a very hot day in the begin­ning of sum­mer way back in 2011. It is assigned #6 in the series.

National Ampersand Day


After sub­mit­ting a request to Nation​al​Day​Cal​en​dar​.com, I am proud to announce Amper­sand Day is offi­cial. At my sug­ges­tion, it is observed on Sep­tem­ber 8 of each year. I chose that date because most of the let­ters & the numer­al 8 can be twist­ed (with a bit of cre­ative license) into an amper­sand. Here’s a list of ideas how you can cel­e­brate Nation­al Amper­sand Day. Let me know if you can think of others.

chaz sez ...

I think I’ll have to send out those Amper­Art post­cards as orig­i­nal­ly intend­ed, to mar­ket my tal­ent to the agen­cies and cor­po­ra­tions which rec­og­nize and hire the work of a pro­fes­sion­al design­er. Late­ly I’ve been find­ing it more dif­fi­cult to find work over the Inter­net, com­pet­ing with crap agen­cies such as Elance and Upwork, who attract bargain-​basement clients and ama­teur “design­ers.”

The com­put­er is a boon in the cre­ative realm: no more inky logos; no more wait­ing for velox­es and stats; the abil­i­ty to kern my own typog­ra­phy; direct-​to-​press effi­cien­cy; and free, instan­ta­neous deliv­ery of art­work over the Inter­net instead of expen­sive couri­er services.

On the oth­er hand, where it seemed mag­i­cal to cater to clients half way around the world in real time (even if it meant set­ting the alarm clock for 3 a.m.) the Inter­net is now invit­ing com­pe­ti­tion from third-​world coun­tries. I am now com­pet­ing with “design­ers” whose work is sub-​par and whose rates are as low as $1 per hour. No exag­ger­a­tion. The worst part is that the clients that hire these ama­teurs don’t know any dif­fer­ence; the price is so attrac­tive they don’t real­ize it’s hurt­ing their brand’s image and credibility.

Most of my pro­pos­al writ­ing these days is spent demon­strat­ing the dif­fer­ence between mediocre and accept­able design (let alone stel­lar design) and try­ing to con­vey the val­ue of per­ceived qual­i­ty, whether on a con­cious or sub­con­cious lev­el. Here’s a com­pi­la­tion of hor­ren­dous logos pro­duced by one of the “pro­fes­sion­al design firms” on these online “cre­ative” agencies.

Off to buy some post­card stamps…

Production notes for #1 Art & Design:
Original size: 20x30 inches
Program: Adobe Photoshop
Fonts: Helvetica, Century Schoolbook
Ampersand: Century Schoolbook

For pro­fes­sion­al graph­ic design, please vis­it Des­i­mone Design.

Desimone? Damn good!