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Furthermore

I love that there can be an art to nearly everything. I love that geometry is ancient. I love that Frank Lloyd Wright was shameless. I love that the littlest things can make biggest differences, like cufflinks or a pinch of salt or 8 seconds on the last day. I love that some things are inexplicable, in fact more things than you’d expect. I love that no expertise is needed to appreciate a well-made thing. This. I love that you can pretty much always assume there is a better way. I love that anything can seem new. I love that a computer is referred to as a machine. I love that music doesn’t have to mean anything to be beautiful. I love that there are theories about handwriting, the composition of matter, and horse racing. I love the knuckleball. I love the lightbulb joke about how many boring people. I love that the things worth remembering are usually the things that get remembered. I love a gumshoe grammarian. I love the moment at dusk when the F train comes out of the tunnel after Carroll St. and fills with golden sunset light and feels like a cathedral. I love the slow motion replay. I love that Japanese architects deliberately inserted mistakes into their designs to appease the gods, who believe only they are perfect. I love that the heart is a muscle. I love the simplicity of punctuation. I love the Radiator Building, the Queensboro Bridge, and sunrises. That perfect swing. I love that line about how memory is like a train. I love that anything is interesting if you look at it closely enough. I love that even a cheap hamburger is still pretty good.

Combining elegant form with strong ideas. Creating structural clarity through diagrams. Writing jokes. As a designer I’m a bit like that Chinese encyclopedia that Borges describes — no simple delineated set of categories describes the range of my experience or quite the nature of my expertise.

For the great majority of my working life I’ve been self-employed, which has trained me to adapt quickly to the needs of any given problem without imposing ego or prejudice. I strive to cut to the heart of the project and uncover first principles to guide design decisions. I almost always send too many options in the first round.

These ambiguities, redundancies and deficiencies remind us of those which doctor Franz Kuhn attributes to a certain Chinese encyclopaedia entitled 'Celestial Empire of benevolent Knowledge'. In its remote pages it is written that the animals are divided into: (a) belonging to the emperor, (b) embalmed, (c) tame, (d) sucking pigs, (e) sirens, (f) fabulous, (g) stray dogs, (h) included in the present classification, (i) frenzied, (j) innumerable, (k) drawn with a very fine camelhair brush, (l) et cetera, (m) having just broken the water pitcher, (n) that from a long way off look like flies.

Jorge Luis Borges, “The Analytical Language of John Wilkins”

1.
TOP 5

Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co.

Original branding, signs, jokes, posters, and packaging for the area’s only crimefighting equipment source. Once-in-a-lifetime project.

N.L.H.A.

Possibly my best single design piece, for a favorite client.

Writer’s Block

Branding, signage, and packaging for Las Vegas’s best bookstore and only artificial bird adoption agency.

2.
Graphic Design

Work from Sam Potts Inc., independent graphic design provider, active since the early aughts. If you want to see the general scope of my work, it's here. Plus notes on hospitality.

For clients: Sesame Workshop • IFC Center • They Might Be Giants • Amy Baumann • Knopf • Redbird • Mom • Harvard University Press

BONUS: Lots of book covers

3.
INFORMATION DESIGN

A sampling of primary documentation from a range of projects I’ve collaborated on. By no means comprehensive or detailed, I show these projects rather to initiate questions and conversation. For any given project, there’s much to say about problems raised and solved (or learned from), conceptual and logistical approaches, and contributions made.

For clients: New York Times • Sesame Workshop • RISD • Sephora • TOMS

4.
5 More

JS Worldwide

A website for Jon Scieszka, beloved children’s book author and beloved client.

The Jericho List

Book design for the pro wrestler, listing every match in his entire career. Madness. Also very entertaining.

Terrible Two

A website for the YA series about two pranksters, to which young pranksters could submit their own pranks.

5.
PROFILE