Voice by Design is now available

In this book I elaborate on two experiments investigating redistributing media power and reflect upon how successful they were. The experiments include a poster campaign specific to Richmond and a project dealing with educating people about (as well as encouraging) DIY/guerrilla media techniques. The book basically discusses the origin of T.O.W.A.R. and some of our projects.

Buy it on LuLu here

Congress Speaks

Congress Speaks

Humorous data visualization designed by Periscopic with the goal to educate people on US representatives' stances as well as how much they spoke in congress. However, the site is another info-graphic where the decoration proportionally out ways the data. This is best exemplified by how small the some of the data notation is. Certain numbers are difficult to read; hindering a comparison of representatives whom come close to sharing some of their stats. What the site does do is encourage people to go to government websites for more detailed information.

In addition to the some of the data being difficult to read; components of the navigation are difficult to understand such as: it's use of talking states when photos of the representatives are unavailable. While flipping quickly through the data visualization I assumed that a lack of photo meant a lack of information for that particular representative - since a state's image does not properly represent an individual.

I feel guilty making such comments because I know databases and info-graphics, like Congress Speaks, are quite time consuming and I applaud their efforts. I laughed. I went to the government websites with the more detailed information. Who knows? Perhaps the site will encourage people to frequent government sites and learn more about how our republic has failed us. It did me. I would never have been aware such data was so easily accessible.

What encouraged these comments?
I have been preparing for a Graphic Design II course which teaches data-visualization by reading several texts on the subject. The most important text has been Edward Tufte's book, "The Visual Display of Quantitative Information". I don't agree with everything Tufte states in the book, but he does make you really think about where the statistics are coming from and how they are presented to the public.


Carson Daly at Mr. Brainwash's Studio

Carson Daily interviews Brainwash "street artist"

Just the amount of work this guy produces is inspiring. Brainwash produces a large amount of wheat-pasted posters with a 70's punk aesthetic and social commentary. I also appreciated his genuine surprise and excitement of people's interest in him. He seems to be doing what art should be: fun and intellectually stimulating.

Watching the film has me wonder "What is a father to do when they have kids to worry about?" I am not some quintessential "rock star" artist or designer allowing me take off work and still have a job. Anyways, I am throwing a introspective tantrum to get back out there.

Thanks John O'Neal from Thinkhaus for this.


Posters Pocket Plants

In Toronto, Canada, Eric Cheung and Sean Martindale use wheat-pasted posters to create planters for various wild flowers and other plants. Quite an interesting way to change the "built environment."

More information on their blog.


Jeff Soto interview

Jeff Soto makes some impressive comments in an interview for Walrus Television. He destroys any assumptions of executing purely aesthetically pleasing artwork with comments about helping his peers and the epic conflict of technology vs nature.


Human vs Chimpanzee Genome

Richard Dawkins explains the Human vs Chimpanzee Genome Project. A part of the Explore Evolution exhibit. A wonderful example of how info-graphics - when executed correctly - can aid an explanation of scientific data.


Inpiration, cool stuff, etc #6

French street artist, ZEVS, has interview about his "Battle of the brands" street art. ZEVS is currently out on bail from Hong Kong authorities and will be responsible for up to $860,000 USD if convicted.

Why Graffiti Is A Good Thing an article on the positive facets of graffiti by Favianna Rodriguez.

Obesity Rates-info-graphic of obesity rates in the United states.

10:56:20 PM EDT 7/20/69 a commemorative book on the CBS coverage of the moon landing by Lou Dorfsman.

Weirdly Beautiful Spacecraft Models is a photo album of spacecraft models thanks to Life Magazine.

Victory against plastic waste!!! sculpture, Jean-Marie Perdrix, developed a process to recycle plastic trash which as been used to replace wood materials for constructing African drums.


Inspiration, cool stuff, etc #5


Ecofont is a typeface designed by SPRANQ to use 20% less ink.

An Interview with Eileen Yaghoobian on the Rock Poster.

Playing for Change Peace through music.

A collection of Anti-smoking Ads on Graphic Design Blog.

IDEO's Human Centered Design as seen on TED.


Political Cartoonist Nik Kowsar

Iranian political cartoonist Nik Kowsar had to flee Iran for fear of persecution for the social commentary of the Iranian government. His story is an amazing testament to the power of social statement based visual expression. Sometimes we need art that shows us what the world could be, but more importantly we need art to better explain what the world is.

Interview with Kowsar can be found here.


Religious Teachings of Sex Infographic

This infographic was deigned for ReligiousTolerance.org using a survey they conducted. Although amusing, the surveying methods are somewhat questionable.


Project M Report back from Marc Obrien

Marc O'Brien, a friend of mine, recently emailed a report back from his participation in Project M. With his permission, the email is below.


I recently participated in Project M South 2009 in Greensboro, Alabama which was a month long summer intensive program run by John Bielenberg. This session of Project M brought ten young and creative individuals together to collaborate and learn how to “think wrong” about design and how it can foster positive change in the world.

As a team, we produced (blank)LAB.org and AshHoles.org. Out of the two projects, I was more involved with (blank)LAB.org and will hopefully see to it that it actually gets "on the road" in late Winter of 2010.

It was a long, hot, and inspirational month. I met many people from all over the country along with a ton of locals from Greensboro. Everyday, I witnessed new and amazing things in my surroundings. I also received personal insight from the many well-known & phenomenal designers who took time out of their schedule to come down and work with us.

Coming back to Virginia just a few days ago, I am doing a mental "detox" of everything that happened in Project M. The amount of things I learned from being there is definitely something that will take time to process and reflect. Currently, I am putting together a section on my site that will highlight the whole month of June with images, videos, etc.

Next? I will hope to take what I learned from Project M and implement it to my daily living and design practices. I plan on staying involved with Project M and its future endeavors. Once you participate in M, you're a M'er for life.

Here are some other Project M related links that you might like to explore:
Project M
Our Flickr Group
Pie Lab

Thanks for your support and guidance. Whether you realize this or not, I owe all of this to all of you.

marc o'brien
visual communicator

Animal Spot

Beautiful animations for non-profits. These animation are some of top ten non-profit finalists at Animal Spot, an annual competition for ads using animals to present information.


Animal Protection Amsterdam: Veterinarian

RSPCA - Simon's Sister's Dog 'Fed Up'

Campanha - Y&R para Santa Casa

Originally seen on Osocio

Economic Fairy Tale

Economic Fairy Tale is an info-graphic ad discussing the current economic crisis.


Bleeding Billboard

Intelligent approach to a public service announcement, use of activation and the elements.


Where is my vote?

A website with posters, available for download, as a response to the deplorable acts of the Iranian government.

Posters can be found here

The project mission (as seen on the site):
"The purpose is of this site is simple: the free use of posters for protests and rallies in Iran and around the world, in support of Iranian's against the fraudulent election in Iran. You are free to take and use these banners. They have been designed to print cleanly on standard 11" x 8.5" paper. Also feel free to spread them to your friends on social networking sites like facebook and twitter and what not."


Nominated for Cause/Affect's Peoples Choice Award

Taken from Cause Affect:
"Repressed IV: May Day was a self-initiated exhibition on workers’ rights that Mended Arrow co-curated and opened on May Day or International Workers’ Day. The promotional materials for the exhibition included a silk-screened poster that paid homage to the appalachian coal miner’s Union or “Red Necks”; whom wore red bandanas as a form of solidarity."

Please vote for me: here


Inspiration, Cool Stuff, Etc no. 3

Parody by Lunchbreath on how to green wash your business.

Dropping Knowledge invites you to ask and answer questions covering social themes of global significance. Some of these questions are coupled with appropriate images and turned into digital postcards.

Store+ is a campaign to benefit the Red Cross by Leo Burnett.

Global Warming ad to bring awareness.

Love is a video documenting the making of a stenciled pieced entitled, love.

Deadline is a post-it note stop motion animation.

Food, Inc trailer.