044: JDK Design
Went up to Burlington, Vermont the other day. Pretty uneventful drive in the rain. Yet, I'm guessing that is what you want out of a drive in the rain. If I said something like...pretty event-full drive in the rain that may imply lots of crashes and whatnot. That didn't happen.
Visited the likes of JDK Design while up there. Click on that link. Check out the bird, or birds that pop up, wait a minute and then click on the little cloud in the upper right hand corner. Prepare yourself to be amused for a few minutes. Good stuff.
Seated right next to Lake Champlaine the JDK offices are a sight to behold. It was a mix of amusement and fascination traipsing through their halls. The open space aspect of the studios contained within lent itself to their design style. With an emphasis on the outdoor industry clients like Merrell, Patagonia, Chaco, Burton, and even a crazy little electric lawnmower get amazing design makeovers from these guys. Can you say "design makeover?" Or does that sound like some new reality tv show? I can tell you what though. There would definitely be Space Invaders in my design makeover.
Not to mention the fact that it just looks like a great place to work.
This is the 10 Minute Design Wall. I can't remember if the designer of the month gets ten minutes to design each one, or ten minutes total. But you can see the resulting images are pretty amazing.
Another cool (and mind you, when I say cool, I mean pretty fucking awesome) part about working at JDK is the Skate Park in the Basement. I capitalized that because, well, they have a skate park in their basement. I don't even skate, not even a little bit. Never have. Actually, I take that back. Once I had a Snoopy Skateboard that I started riding around the neighborhood in good ol Lancaster, Wisco. I got made fun of so much by the local "street tuffs" that I stopped riding it and started hating Snoopy for it. So, that's the extent of my skate abilities.
However, I wanted to dust off Snoop for just this occasion.
The other thing that they have in the basement is the Iskra Print Collective. This is a pretty cool project that they have going on as well. A place for their designers to work on the print end of things. No big deal, they just all chip in to help pay for materials and they can use it whenever they want. Ok, guys, I'm in. All you have to do is ask. I'd even consider moving to Burlington, VT. Just sayin.
The great part about the Print Collective is that they team with local venue Higher Ground and produce limited edition posters to couple with bands that are performing. Good bands. Sweet bands. Like the Decemberists. This part of it also took me back a few because I have always had a sick fascination with concert posters.
My friend Michael lives in San Fran and goes to the Fillmore every once in a while and he always comes away with Sick, Sick posters from the events. That's kind of what Iskra is doing. Just cranking out sick sick shit. Keep it up.
They also have a little book. _ of 1500 that they put out to chronicle their 10 year relationship with Higher Ground and all the posters that they have produced. I actually wrote about it once here. This was definitely part of the impetus behind checking these guys out. I was really psyched to see their print shop. Who knows, maybe there's an Embrocation Poster in my/your future?