"I will pay for good design..."
- Andreu Osika
Good design in essence is a good experience. Design implies performance. In my opinion, there is no such thing as bad design, just a lack of it or its full potential not realized. Visual, formal, tactile stimuli are simply components. If it performs a function, is easy (relatively) and is beautiful (subjectively) it is design.
If you have deep empathy, are a good problem solver, can embrace ambiguity and have a good eye for color and composition, you are a designer (did you notice I didn't say creative?).
With that out of the way let's get onto my post. I am happy to announce that I'm re-releasing three Artefacture classic t-shirt designs: I Will Pay For Good Design - Design Elevates - and a slight tweak on the controversial DWSTW - Design Saves. Let's go!
In its first incarnation Artefacture was a graphic t-shirt brand. Our inaugural release included two marquee designs: Design Will Save the World and I Will Pay For Good Design. Profiles by influential and trend conscious blogs like Josh Spear, Core77 and Cool Hunting helped establish Artefacture as the go to t-shirt for designers and creatives alike.
We did countless art shows in San Francisco and twice attended the Pool Streetwear Trade Show in Las Vegas. Artefacture t-shirts sold in museum shops across the US including the SF Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.
We shipped our graphic tees to customers all over the world and we were carried by independent fashion boutiques in Boston, LA, NY, SF as well as in the UK, Spain, Italy, Germany and France.
My work for Artefacture was rooted in design, the idea of it, its potential. It was also for the people that professionally practiced it - 1099 Designer anyone?
I also borrowed and remixed seminal graphic design from the past as well as the hyper banal - Indoor Color Television Antenna - and created sometimes questionable, experimental compositions.
I rarely if ever vetted my ideas, if my brother and I thought it was cool, new and different, I fired up Adobe Illustrator and created the design. I was the designer, focus group and customer all in one.
I designed, ran the website and shipped orders all over the world, my brother and business partner Chris, shlepped crates of tees from one art show to another all throughout San Francisco, the west coast and beyond.
We had boxes of inventory eat into our living spaces, I stocked stacks of tyvek shipping envelopes and cellophane bags in kitchen cupboards. Never mind the tees - managing the design and print production of hangtags, t-shirt labels, stickers, mailers and line sheets was a full-time job in of itself.
It was a labour of love in the truest sense of the word. We had loads of fun, worked hard and we even made some money!
In the past people asked me if I was ever going to bring back some of the designs, I never considered it at that time. Now however, feeling a bit nostalgic I thought it would be a good idea and so here we are. I Will Pay For Good Design started it all, so it only felt natural and obvious to re-issue this design.
Design Will Save the World was another very popular t-shirt, although it did stir up vitriol from certain sectors of fandom. We were criticized for being out of touch, elitist for daring to say that design and only design could save the world. These blind crusaders reflected their own arrogance in this admonishment.
We never preached design as savior. Design could save the world from....incoherent assembly instructions, inaccessible color choices, bad typography, or a poor website experience. It was a tongue and cheek quip as well as an inference that design could save us all from a lot of shitty, day to day experiences.
Instead of re-issuing DWSTW, I have a slight variant that may or may not piss people off. I think it's funny, with this I think we've reached the height of hyperbole.
This was a small trip down memory lane. Thank you for hitching a ride. I may re-issue other designs, we'll see. Or if the muse beckons, I'll come up with new stuff and add to the collection as well.
My primary focus with Artefacture now is on 3D printing and leveraging this amazing technology in the creation of worthwhile objects for personal use, the home and public spaces.
Thank you, until next time! - Andreu O.