M Train

Since the beginning of June, my friend and former boss, Scotty Gorham, has been in Portland for an artist residency, or more specifically, a "bartender in residence" program. It is at Likewise, a bar that doubles as a gallery and interactive art space. Its been super cool so far, and I will post more about it once its all complete. So far, Scotty and his partner Devon have been filling the bar with neon, and I have been filling Portland with flyers for their shows. 

Although Scotty and I have worked together a bunch in the past and always brought each other's ideas to higher levels, our ideas on this didn't seem to be connecting at the beginning. I first made a flyer combining photos from NASA, drawings of narwhals, and a big font mash up including about 8 different geometric fonts. It was concluded that although cool, it wasn't right for this project.

Most often I am fine with a client scraping something, but this included a lot of ideas that have been swimming around in my head for a while which I didn't want to abandon. So I repurposed it! I recently finished reading M Train by Patti Smith, and had pulled out a few quotes I really liked. Using the first image I had for Scotty's flyer and those fonts, I swapped out the bar copy with the quote. I then made a few others using more photos from NASA, more narwhals, and more of the same fonts.

I really enjoy this sort of free design exploration. Lately I have been really into combining as many fonts as I can into one project, and I always am thinking about outer space. I also recently watched The Martian, which probably influenced this some. Its fun to just play around and test things out and not have to worry about it fitting with any brand, to just explore my own personal aesthetic more. And a good use for these quotes that feel really powerful to me. Space juxtaposes well with that powerfulness.

I am almost done with another book, All Tomorrow's Parties by Rob Spillman. It is possibly my new favorite book, and I already have 20+ quotes that I've pulled. I'm excited to continue exploring and find ways to make these quotes visual, too.

p.s. the final flyer for Scotty + Devon (the first in a weekly series):

A photo posted by LIKEWISE (@likewiselikewise) on

If you're in Portland, come check it out in the next few weeks! And follow along on Scotty's instagram + Devon's instagram.