Author Archives: admin

Otis College of Art and Design Diploma

Otis College of Art and Design MFA in Graphic Design Class of 2021

2021

Diploma 24″ x 36″ 2-color Offset Printing

HD video animation

 

Since its inception, Otis College of Art and Design’s MFA program honors its graduates with a custom diploma designed by one faculty member. Under normal conditions, Faculty would hand these printed posters to students in an in-person ceremony with close friends and family. For the class of 2021, Polymode partner and former Otis Associate Professor Silas Munro designed a two-color fluorescent printed poster that was shipped and mailed to graduates around the world. Munro worked with Michelle Lamb, alumni of the Otis BFA graphic design program and designer at Polymode, to bring the posters to life as custom animated zoom backgrounds to honor the graduates. The bright pink and blue typographic forms are italic and back slated versions of Du Bois, a typeface by Vocal Type that imbues an expanded design history in a program and class with diverse backgrounds and lived experiences. Pink fragments of fractal forms invoke alternate design lineages that offer a proposition to “Throw the Bauhaus Under the Bus.” Overall the posters and motion graphics offer a celebratory glow to the class of 2021.

Past Due: Los Angeles Mayor’s Office Civic Memory Working Group Report

2021

Responsive Website

Los Angeles Mayor’s Office

Past Due: Report and Recommendations of the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office Civic Memory Working Group

2021

9 inches x 11 inches, Book

166 pages

Huntington-USC Institute on California & the West/ Los Angeles Mayor’s Office

Polymode designed Past Due, a report for The Los Angeles Mayor’s Office Civic Memory Working Group. It was made in collaboration with the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West, with assistance from the J. Paul Getty Trust.

The Working Group’s report, including a print volume and website, was released on April 15, 2021, with 18 key recommendations complemented by subcommittee reports; essays and photo essays; and interviews and round table discussions on significant topics.

Book design by Polymode: Randa Hadi, Silas Munro, Brian Johnson

Responsive website by Polymode and Happening Studio.

Maps by  Scott Reinhard

Poetic Research

The report captures a series of recommendations to help Los Angeles, so long in thrall to its reputation as a city of the future, engage more productively and honestly with its past—especially where that past is fraught or has been buried or whitewashed.
Explore this project’s poetic research

Behavioral Health Intervention and Support Services (BHIS)

Behavioral Health Intervention and Support Services (BHIS) 

In Partnership with Phoenix House California

2020

3: 7.5 x 9.75in, 32 pgs, 2 color, rubber band bound workbooks

 

 

Through Phoenix House California, and in collaboration with Deep Change Media, Polymode created three, illustrated, print and digital, dynamic workbooks that could be distributed to students at home during the covid-19 pandemic, to follow along with their teachers on a range of topics, including: Self-Concept, Communication, Empathy, Critical Thinking, Peer Pressure, Anger Management, Time Management, Strength, Goals, Respect, Conflict Resolution, Bullying and Isolation. Behavioral Health Intervention & Support Services (BHIS) program offers evidence-based prevention and intervention services in Orange County, California. Its goal is to increase positive character attributes and decrease negative behaviors among elementary, middle, and high schools in a classroom setting.

Poetic Research

Each workbook uses two, unique colors to easily identify it’s age group. (Light blue and orange are used for Elementary School, purple and green for Middle School, and dark blue and red are used for High School.) In addition to each workbook having its own color system, the illustrations vary slightly for each grade. While all workbooks utilize geometric shapes and patterns, Elementary has organic squiggles and sketch patterns that encourage writing and drawing around the margins, while Middle and High school have more digitally formed organic shapes that help direct attention to the concepts on each page. For the paper, the team selected 100% post-product, recycled paper, as to not have any additional environmental impact. The color and texture of the paper was also considered to invoke the feeling of ‘coloring book’ nostalgia, so that they came across as playful in their trustworthiness, but also a sense that if lost or damaged it’s not overly precious enough to cause anxiety. For an added, playful bonus, the binding uses a large rubber band.

Artbound Endless Summer: How a Poster Shaped Surf Culture

John Van Hamersveld was the man behind the iconic “Endless Summer” poster that forever solidified the image of California with its high contrast image of a lone surfer against a day-glo background. This episode features interviews with Van Hamersveld on his design and recounts the making of the iconic poster.

Featuring commentary by Silas Munro.

Jennifer Guidi 11:11

Jennifer Guidi 11:11
David Kordansky Gallery, 2021
7 ¼ x 10 inches, Book

Jennifer Guidi’s book, 11:11, designed by Polymode and Published by David Kordansky Gallery is a hardbound volume that documents Guidi’s celebrated 2019 solo presentation at FIAC (Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain).

At the fair in Paris, Guidi displayed a cycle of 22 works on paper in a singular installation: a specially designed circular structure that provided an immersive experience of focused viewing within the open, vaulted spaces of the Grand Palais. An illuminating essay by critic Lauren O’Neill-Butler offers insights into the artist’s universe of symbols, mark-making patterns, and color combinations, and explores Guidi’s first comprehensive body of works on paper in years.

Poetic Research

Artbound Corita Kent: The Pop Art Nun

At a time when pop art was finding its footing and the nation was in a state of upheaval, Sister Corita helped make art more accessible to the public. This episode charts her art practice and her effect on generations after her. Using the classroom as a tool for a more approachable way to think about art, Sister Corita has inspired and motivated an entire new generation of graphic designers.

Featuring commentary by Silas Munro.

Rice University VADA Social Media Campaign

Rice University Social Media Marketing Campaign

Multimedia: animation, sound, still images

2020

Polymode designed a digital poster series that advertises Rice University’s CAAAS/VADA Visiting Artists Lecture Series with one main poster, and four break out posters. Each has images of the artist, their work, and chosen sound recordings. These were used as promotion materials during Covid, on the institution’s social media platforms.

!Template For Learning Post

Building on the visual identity for Mark Bradford’s exhibition as the U.S. representative at the 57th Venice Biennale, Tomorrow Is Another Day, our catalogue design shapes a rich and harmonic container for a diverse range of written content supporting Mark’s rich new body of artworks.

With essays by Peter James Hudson, Anita Hill, Katy Siegel, Sarah Lewis, Zadie Smith, and excerpts from W.E.B. Du Bois and James Baldwin, our Hardcover, 216 page design reflects the visually strong and charged social nature of the exhibition through typographic, material, and visual metaphor.

The grid of the book flexes with the variety of text styles and lengths and gives considered form to a copious amount of process work from the artist. Harnessing the typography to graphically reference the urban grids of Los Angeles and Venice in a fusion of neoclassical and post-modern structures that is harmonized with the artist’s mythic vision.

Mark Bradford: Tomorrow is Another Day

Mark Bradford: Tomorrow Is Another Day

Venice Biennale 2017

Baltimore Museum of Art / Hauser & Wirth

9.75” x 12”  Book

216 Pages

Mark Bradford: Tomorrow Is Another Day 

Venice Biennale 2017

Baltimore Museum of Art / Hauser & Wirth

Responsive Website

Mark Bradford: Tomorrow Is Another Day 

Venice Biennale 2017

Baltimore Museum of Art / Hauser & Wirth

Save the date invitation

Mark Bradford: Tomorrow Is Another Day

Venice Biennale 2017

Baltimore Museum of Art / Hauser & Wirth

9.75” x 12”  Book

216 Pages

Mark Bradford: Tomorrow Is Another Day 

Venice Biennale 2017

Baltimore Museum of Art / Hauser & Wirth

Responsive Website

Mark Bradford: Tomorrow Is Another Day 

Venice Biennale 2017

Baltimore Museum of Art / Hauser & Wirth

Save the date invitation

Polymode designed the visual identity for Mark Bradford’s 2017 exhibition as the U.S. representative at the 57th Venice Biennale, Tomorrow Is Another Day. The system features book design, invitations, maps, and a responsive website that unify and diverse range of content. Our work harmonizes with Bradford’s body of artworks and supports his mission of social change. Curated by Katy Siegel and Christopher Bedford, the art catalog features essays by Peter James Hudson, Anita Hill, Katy Siegel, Sarah Lewis, Zadie Smith, and excerpts from W.E.B. Du Bois and James Baldwin.

Poetic Research

The grid of the book flexes with the variety of text styles and lengths and gives considered form to a copious amount of process work from the artist. Harnessing the typography to graphically reference the urban grids of Los Angeles and Venice in a fusion of neoclassical and modern structures that is harmonized with the artist’s mythic vision.
Explore this project’s poetic research

Scratching the Surface Podcast Episode #78 Interview Silas Munro with Jarret Fuller May 30, 2018

Silas Munro is a designer, educator, and writer based in Los Angeles. He’s currently an Assistant Professor in Communication Arts and MFA in Graphic Design at Otis College of Art and Design, Advisor, Chair Emeritus in the MFA program in Graphic Design at Vermont College of Fine Arts, and his work and writing has been published in many forms around the world. In this episode, Silas and I talk about what it means to be a ‘design nomad’ and how this applies to ideas around expanded practices and cross-disciplinary work, how teaching influences his design practice, and how to think about decolonizing graphic design history.