This week I attended the second day of studio tours for SF Design Week. Other than the free food, booze, and awesome people, some highlights were:
Future City Labs
Hidden in the labyrinth of an old canning factory in the Dog Patch area of San Francisco, this workshop and studio had incredibly intricate and impressive installation art pieces displayed all over, along with photos of their actual application in the real world. From neon to plastic to wood, the experimentation that takes place at this agency incapsulated all the visitors who attended.
An agency subleasing the space with Future City Labs, this small company became a think tank extension for all its clients, coming up with solutions for companies such as Audi and Powerade. Speaking with their product designer about his experience there in recent years sounded very similar to my own experience at a small agency.
Located in between the Mission and Dog Patch, this contemporary agency immediately impressed me with its gorgeous architecture and industrial charm, with exposed ceilings and walls, raw brick, glass, and glossed cement floors. With a fleet of over 40 designers, I was able to have a glimpse into what working a large digital product agency might be like, full of mentorship and resources that small agencies might not have access to.
The Aesthetic Union
Just down the street from DesignMap, I ended the night at the renowned letterpress shop where the likes of hand-lettering guru Erik Marinovich come to create masterpieces. Teeming with different printing machines, stenciling (probably not using the right terminology here for some of the cool techniques that I learned about and observed during the demonstrations) I was feeling like a little kid in a candy shop oo-ing and aw-ing over everything.
Looking forward to posting more fun things that inspire me and my work.
Here’s a pic of me geeking out making an OG Erik Marinovich handlettered stencil. Fun fact: He went to Cal Poly SLO and graduated from the Graphic Design program too!