San Francisco is a small big city that strikes a perfect balance between its beautiful surrounding geography, diverse urban life, vibrant creative scene, open-mindedness, ambitious character and entrepreneurial spirit. During our meetings there, one word was heard constantly: collaboration. Hence, SF is a place that brings together designers, engineers, artists and business people from different backgrounds and walks of life.
(Pictured above – from top left: Tram on Broadway, Chinatown, Museum of Craft and Design, Jessie Street, Golden Gate Bridge, Alamo Square)
On Jessie Street, we met with graphic designers Martin Venezky (Appetite Engineers), Scott Thorpe (MacFadden and Thorpe) and Jon Sueda (Stripe) in their shared studio space. It was an opportunity for us to take a closer look at their publishing and editorial work and witness the kind of visual experiments that are taking place in San Francisco. Martin, Scott and Jon are from different generations but all three of them are interested in challenging the medium of graphic design and typography. To them design is first and foremost a form of expression. Business is not a priority to them. Their approach to graphic design is very hands-on, using manual printing methods such as silkscreen and a lot of hand crafted techniques that deliver a certain uniqueness in each of their pieces. Martin has a desk away from the computer where he can dedicate himself to his sculptural work (pictured below)
In contrast, although very much related to SF’s identity, the product development company Moto is dedicated to the integration of high technology in everyday life via the combination of engineering and design. Moto works with large companies to provide them with innovative solutions for their future products. Moto creates new devices that have never been experienced before and therefore most of their projects are kept confidential. One of the few pieces that were shared with us was an interactive touch-screen and an E-ink device (pictured below).