Today’s motivation post could easily be merged with an album review, but we’ll leave that for another time. Tycho is an instrumental band that incorporates a post-rock/indie/emo-revival sound that is truly transcendent among interesting genres. Music aside their frontman/only member Scott Hansen also runs a design blog called ISO50. This is a traditional blog set up that chronicles music inspiration, poster design, photography, etc… He focuses on particularly nostalgic retro designs in particular and only puts the best of the best up. I’m definitely not doing it any justice and Scott’s description of his own page definitely makes better sense:
I am a San Francisco, California based musician (Tycho) and artist (ISO50). I created the ISO50 site originally to house my design work in a portfolio format but over the years it has grown to encompass a shop, clothing line, and blog. I have spent time as a freelance designer and worked for a few agencies, most notably, perhaps, Adobe. In the end I dropped my freelance practice and went solo to focus on my own design and music. This has given me the chance to delve into the style of design I truly enjoy creating and not be swayed by the various trends that seem to perennially filter the collective output of the design world. This is not to say that I don’t appreciate the freelance design game, to the contrary, this is where I received my education, the trenches of client work definitely played a large part in shaping the way I think about design today. But it was all of the work I did for free, for friends or for my self, that I always felt was the truest expression of my design ideals. It was these works that provided the impetus for creating ISO50 in the first place, and eventually for analyzing the origins of the ideals that are the foundation of my own design style; and finally, discussing them on this site.
I created the blog portion of ISO50 so I’d have a chance to share my influences and the things that inspire me. Over the years I have collected a lot of amazing examples of design and I will be posting the choice specimens here with my commentary. I am no idealogue, and certainly not an intellectual when it comes to design. I hold no college degrees and have never studied design. I have, however, independently practiced graphic design for almost ten years and at this point I feel I have a good grasp of what types of design I enjoy and what styles inform my own work. Obviously I do a good deal of looking back when it comes to inspiration. I feel the design that blossomed from the Bauhaus movement and came of age in the 1960’s was the Zenith of an art form whose importance would fade away as Television, and later the Internet, took over the reigns of visual communication thus effectively transforming the medium.
Design, to me, is the search for efficiency. Efficiency in conveying a message, efficiency of form. In this way I see some of my own work falling into the category of design, while some of my other work falls under the umbrella of illustration. With the more illustrative pieces my primary goal is to create something beautiful or striking in a visceral sense. These goals remain intact when I create a purely design-driven piece, but there is the added goal of minimalism and efficiency which constrains the process and limits the content. It is these constraints that force us as designers to reveal the core of the idea we are trying to express and to seek the most direct route to it. In this way, all of the periphery and excess of illustration and fine art can be shed to expose the roots of visual communication and express them in a concise and instantly understandable form. When I see something that embodies these ideals it is always very moving, these are the things that drive me to create. So these are the sorts of things I will be posting here and whether it’s examples of graphic design or industrial design, I will try to describe what makes these things appealing to me.
I commend you if you’ve made it this far down the page without falling asleep … So with all that said, I would like to make clear that I don’t take myself or my work overly seriously. I approach design as a pastime, a hobby, something I look forward to as an enjoyable release and therefore not something to be over thought.
Here are some of the posters, photography, etc.. from his site ISO50.com.