Justin Childress
Designer & Creative Director

Information

Daily Record

May 28th, 2017

Breaking the Rules

In design, or any discipline of making, there is a distinct difference between “breaking the rules” and simply being naive of the rules. A reactionary rejection of formally “trained” approaches, the result of conceiving of the these approaches merely as the manifestation of a thoughtless, common vernacular, as nothing but the historically-dictated precedent for popularly “purposeful” design, is not within itself something to be admired. This attitude breeds its own form of anti-intellectualism, and aligns itself with a type of uncritical abandon that these same practitioners would defy in other quarters. Even “breaking the rules” should be a purposeful exercise, which necessitates a fluency in the language that is ultimately being rejected. Willful ignorance isn’t admirable in any venue, even in design or (gasp) art.

March 3rd, 2017

The Topography of Typography

  1. The words on the printed surface are taken in by seeing, not by hearing.
  2. One communicates meanings through the convention of words; meaning attains form through letters.
  3. Economy of expression: optics not phonetics.
  4. The design of the book-space, set according to the constraints of printing mechanics, must correspond to the tensions and pressures of content.
  5. The design of the book-space using process blocks which issue from the new optics. The supernatural reality of the perfected eye.
  6. The continuous sequence of pages: the bioscopic book.
  7. The new book demands the new writer. Inkpot and quill-pen are dead.
  8. The printed surface transcends space and time.
  9. The printed surface, the infinity of books, must be transcended. THE ELECTRO-LIBRARY.

— El Lissitzky, 1923

It never ceases to amaze me how dependent cultural movement is on the Forcefully Declared Techno-futurist Opinion. My inability to claim objective truth in overtly subjective realms (in this case, the realms of medium and execution) cements my temporality as a designer, I’m afraid. History doesn’t smile on the flexible.

February 6th, 2017

Fertile Territories

Borders are not the razor-thin divisions between who we are and who we are not, but are instead the broad, frenetic, fertile territories in which we are forced to confront the cultural fictions on which we have been raised.