” If graphic design is the arrangement of word and image to communicate a predetermined message, then for me collage is graphic art in the service of mystery.”
San Francisco, California
Collection of Collages and “Use Drawings”
As an experiential graphic designer with an art degree, I use collage as one way of sketching. These days, I always carry a pouch with scissors, Nori glue, postcards and a Sharpie. If graphic design is the arrangement of word and image to communicate a predetermined message, then for me collage is graphic art in the service of mystery; it is an unconscious arrangement of found word and image to discover complex meanings or visual poems of experience, if you will. I began a series of postcard collages when I departed on a yearlong around-the-world design sabbatical.
On the road, collage was a complementary practice to keeping a blog (Design to Go). As a personal practice, I’ve found that it relaxes me and energizes my graphic design mind. I’ve decided to continue making postcard collages indefinitely, whether I am traveling or not.
While I was museum graphic designer and art director at the Exploratorium, I specialized in interactive exhibits, in addition to other aspects of exhibition design. During my time there I developed a graphic “use drawing strategy,” which is a visual instruction language that represents a spectrum of real visitors as it cuts through language barriers and reduces the word count required for both readers and non-readers. Working on this strategy, I spent a lot of time drawing visitors. It was always a pleasure to interact with them, then capture them in a fleeting (diagramatic) portrait.
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