Here’s a crew of Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers fans wearing the t-shirt I designed for the band’s album The Bear. So cool!
The ‘Party Werewolf’ t-shirt by Magnetic State is back by popular demand! The new edition of the shirt comes with a few improvements: it’s printed on high quality American Apparel garments, it’s got a small Magnetic State logo on the left sleeve, and best of all, %100 of the profits from sales of this shirt will be donated to the World Wildlife Fund (more on that in a moment). Click here to purchase one today.
Last year I heard a quote that really struck a chord with me. That quote was “To do well by doing good.” I don’t have the means to radically change the world at the moment, so I am starting small – with charitable t-shirt sales.
I have chosen to donate to the World Wildlife Fund because it is a charity with a great reputation working toward a number of great causes. Another reason is that WWF is committed to slowing the potentially devastating effects of climate change. This is an issue I am passionate about. According to their website, “Climate change has been a priority for WWF for over 20 years as climate disruption poses a fundamental threat to the vulnerable places, species and people WWF seeks to protect.”
The knowledge I’ve gained about climate change over the years has come from a variety of sources, but one source that left a lasting impression on me was a short documentary called The Possibility of Hope by director Alfonso Cuarón. The film can be seen here on Youtube or on the DVD special features of Cuarón’s film Children of Men. The Possibility of Hope consists primarily of leading philosophers and intellectuals weighing in on a variety of subjects pertaining to Earth’s future. To be blunt, the film’s vision of the possible effects of climate change on the future of human civilization is terrifying. However, I prefer to focus on the positive side: the hope.
“The magic is to turn a desperate situation into a new beginning,” says Slavo Zizek in The Possibility of Hope. Another person who has had inspiring things to say about the hope for counteracting climate change is Lord Digby Jones of Birmingham – a.k.a. the United Kingdom’s ‘Voice of Business’ – whom I had the pleasure of hearing speak recently. “The answer to this issue is science,” he said of climate change, before going on to remark that leading economies of the world like the U.S. and the U.K. got wealthy creating this problem during the last century, so we should lead on solving it. He has also said, “the next Bill Gates will be the deliverer of a highly technological solution to some of our climate change challenges.” We might be in for a very exciting century.
This is an issue that I will continue to write about and work towards in the future. Thanks for reading. I hope you’ll consider supporting Magnetic State and the World Wildlife Fund by purchasing a shirt. The werewolf has arrived just in time for Halloween, and people who own it love to tell me what a great conversation piece it is!
Over the weekend I launched a portfolio site for my great friend Sean ‘The Hutch’ Hutcheon. When you think of Sean, the first things that come to mind are his killer Don Draper impression and his berserker style on the drum kit, but you mustn’t forget that he is also a very talented photographer and filmmaker.
I am pleased to announce my redesign of literary website Five Chapters! I was asked to design the logo (shown above) and redesign the site, and the results went live at www.fivechapters.com over the weekend. Five Chapters is an online magazine that publishes a new short story in five parts each week. As a fledgling fiction writer myself as well as a fan of many of the authors featured on Five Chapters (including John Cheever and Jay McInerney), I found this project to be an exciting challenge. I am quite happy with the results, and in the spirit of President Obama’s fondness for transparency, I thought I’d discuss some of the work and share a few of the logo designs that didn’t make the cut.
I began the project with the logo design; below are two of my favorites from the rejected concepts (I especially like the ‘bookmark’ concept). Five Chapters editor David Daley gave me his initial brief on the nature of the site’s identity: it combines a 19th century reading format (serialized fiction) with a modern one (online publishing). This was an inspiring starting point that led to lots of research and some interesting results (like the old-style printer’s ornament adorning the second logo below), but eventually, we began to feel hampered by it, and chose our final logo, whose primary functions are aesthetic and visual rather than conceptual.
The previous version of the website (see below), was abrasively colored, contained the site’s name in the header but had no logo, and contained only one way to access the site’s archives.
To power the new site, I chose the extraordinarily powerful content management system WordPress and designed a custom theme to control the appearance of the site. I modernized the site by equipping it with access to the Five Chapters RSS feed, and added alphabetized menus for the archives, which are now categorized by story and author. Finally, I extended the Five Chapters brand by revising the ‘about’ blurb, prioritizing its display in the sidebar, and then embedding the new logo in the header and background. The ‘bookmark’ concept from our rejected logos can now be seen in the favicon.
So visit Five Chapters and read today’s chapter or a full story. There’s enough free fiction on this site to entertain us all until the next century. There’s even a story about my ‘hood Greenpoint!