Interview with Mark Manalaysay

As some of you know, our fellow LSo member Mark is moving onto greener, fruitier (har-har) pastures; an apple orchard to be specific. Okay, I’ll stop with the lame fruit jokes. But Mark is leaving the Mid-west for the best coast, California and taking a job as a Creative at Apple. We couldn’t be more happy and proud of Mark! However, he will be sorely missed. 

Describe your path to where you are now.
I first started off at a very traditional high school in Philadelphia, to the point that it was called a college prepatory school. The curriculum’s ultimate goal was to have us all end up in ivy league colleges and get positions like politicians, lawyers, doctors. Basically income focused jobs that were very respectable. I never wanted that. Even though it seems oddly mature at the time, 17 year old me didn’t know what he was doing, but he knew that he wanted to work a job where he loved doing what he did every day. Which lead me to decide to apply for and go to SCAD, which lead me to Razorfish and now finally my new position at Apple.


Did you always know you wanted to do something creative?
Yes I did! That was the one main thing I knew I wanted to focus on. Being honest here, I didn’t know initially what said creative field I wanted to do. It first started off with Photography, then Graphic Design and then finally Advertising, specifically Digital Art Direction.

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If you weren’t a creative, what do you think you’d be doing right now? What was your childhood ambition?
Well, for some strange reason, which even know I don’t really know why, I’ve always wanted to be an astronaut. When I was a kid I loved space to no end, loved NASA and tried so hard to convince my parents I needed to go to Space Camp (they decided against it). When deciding in high school what major to choose for college, initially I wanted to do Psychology or oddly enough Theology. Psychology because I am always genuinely interested in people and love figuring things out. Theology was a more interesting one. It was less about the religious aspect and what really drew me to it was the historical aspect of it, that we have these stories that have lasted thousands of years to our modern day. In the end I decided towards art school, because I was too lazy to read all the textbooks that were considered required reading.


So, no big deal, but you’re the new Interactive Designer on Apple…how does that feel?
It’s a wonderful honor. I am excited to start my new job and working with my new team, who seem really awesome. It’s going to be scary working with the best of the best, but I think I’m up for the challenge!

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Apple has always lead the way not only in terms of technology but design both product and UI. How do you feel about the trend of flat design?
I like it, especially considering that we have now gone away from skeuomorphism and stuff is much simpler and easier to figure out. But, I feel like that comes at a price and a lot of websites and apps I’m experiencing now try to make themselves too simple to the point that they compromise the usability. I get it guys, it’s nice to keep things minimalist but if you’re telling me that the thing I want to accomplish is hiding past two menu states it makes things annoying.


What will you miss the most about Chicago?
Well, the most obvious thing is all of my friends and people close to me here. After graduating college I feel like that’s when your adult life truly begins and I’ve been lucky enough to have a lot of awesome people here who I can proudly say will be connections that will stick to me for the rest of my life. So that sucks leaving everyone here so unexpectedly. I will miss having one of the best public transportation systems out there and how the grid system made navigating the city so painless. It’s tough transitioning but I know that while this chapter of my life is coming to a close there’s a new one waiting for me which will be as good as this one.

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And what’s on your bucket list of things to do before you leave? Besides getting patio beers with me….
Buying any and everything that’s Chicago related. Apparently not too many people from the Midwest end up over on the West coast, so I need to rep my pride as much as possible. That means going to all of my favorite shops and grabbing as many trinkets and souvenirs as I can. Additionally, I am basically trying to eat my way through all of Chicago’s best restaurants, which means I’ll probably gain ten pounds by the time I move at the end of the month, but it will be so worth it.

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Sorry Mark, but you know how much I love cheese stix. Let’s pour one out for the homie!

//LS

Project 15 Prompt: Stamps

For project 15, we’ll be creating series of Limited Edition Forever Stamps! The guidelines are pretty straightforward, create at least 4 stamps for your series and be proud of what you create. If all goes well, perhaps we’ll be able to see them sent all over the country! The content and themes can be anything but must be cohesive. 

Submissions will be posted throughout the day on August 31st so be sure to stay tuned! In the meantime, check out our latest project below or head on over to our archives to see where we began.

Project 14: Book Covers - Tucker Max

For this project, I went and chose a favorite author and Chicago native Tucker Max. This is how he explains himself on his site:

"My name is Tucker Max, and I am an asshole. 

I get excessively drunk at inappropriate times, disregard social norms, indulge every whim, ignore the consequences of my actions, mock idiots and posers, sleep with more women than is safe or reasonable, and just generally act like a raging dickhead…”

As you can see, his books aren’t really that family friendly. In fact, here’s some quotes people have said about his first book, which he put on the first page as an introduction on his second book:

We protest everything about Tucker Max and what he stands for.”

"I usually like people. I truly pray that something terrible happens to you. You will end up drinking fire as the devil fucks you in the ass. Enjoy the line-light you alcoholic walking Petri dish."

"Your book made me laugh so hard I pissed my goddamn pants. I literally pissed in my pants. I don’t even do that when I’m drunk."

So that being said. coming from the guy who went and did Cards Against Humanity of course I would be one of the people who would love his humor.

Regarding my direction towards these new covers, I followed a concept that a lot of us in advertising follow called bent/straight. You see, when you have a book title like “Assholes Finish First”, the ideal way to make an impact is to marry that with an image that seems innocent on it’s own, but makes sense when you pair them together.

Each book is a collection of stories, but there’s always one story which stands out above the rest:

In “I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell” that’s The Austin Road Trip, where he and his group of friends end up in a mythical strip club.

The “Assholes Finish First” is Tuckerfest, where fans of his work throw him a celebration gathering which includes an amateur wrestling match.

Finally in “Hilarity Ensues” there is the “Miss Vermont” story in which he has a dysfunctional relationship with a beauty pageant winner

These summaries do not do these stories justice, so the good news is that a lot of his stories started up on his website and can still be viewed for free.

Who knows, considering how active the guy is online, I’m sure he might possibly find this unwarranted redesign and tear me a new one. You have no idea how excited I am if that happens.

Project 14: Book Covers - Ayn Rand

In recent years, these three Ayn Rand books have made the rounds with their anniversary edition covers so I wanted to take a stab at my own. I find myself reacting positively in bookstores to covers that jump out at me because of their colors alone so that is one of two reasons I went so bold. The other is that they serve to prompt a more definitive emotional response to contrast the lack there of in Rand’s writing style (can be argued but not with me please). I imagined the brightly colored portions to have the extra-vibrant velvety finish that you can find in stores today. That’d make them extra sexy!

For the iconography that takes center stage, I wanted them to portray the the spark that can insight someone’s mind to be different, a sample of a medium by which many people become second-hand individuals, and a means to the end of a cause, whether it be to build up or break down.

Jake

Icon Sources: Newspaper by Jens TärningFlame Icon by iconoci

Project 14: Book Covers- Dr. Jekyll, Frankenstein, and Dracula

For the book challenge I chose to do pixel Kindle covers to three classic books that I felt all went together: Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, and Dracula. I had a pretty fun time trying out using the pixel textures as a means of illustrating and hopefully will be able to incorporate using it more in the future!

–Casey

Project 14: Book Covers

Hello! For this challenge, I decided to redesign some books by one of my favorite authors, Dan Brown. While they’re not all necessarily part of a “series” per se, they all have a common theme of mystery, Catholicism, and Freemasonry.

The original designs of the book are very illustrative and elaborate. I decided to strip the covers of all of the imagery and just focus on a fun type treatment of the books’ titles. I love the texture & feeling of a “naked” book (in other words, a book without its sleeve). I decided to have the type embossed into the cloth cover with a gold finish to make the books look premium/collectable.

Read on, nerds!

—Alli

Project 14: Book Covers- Shakespeare’s Comedies

For this challenge, I chose 3 of Shakespeare’s comedies. Playing with type and the imagery from these comedies, I had a lot of fun designing and am happy with the result. They do not have a consistent element throughout the series but I think the covers give them a certain uniqueness and almost wirkyness. 

Hope y’all enjoy ‘em!

-Fran 

Project 14: Book Covers - Orson Scott Card

For this challenge, I chose to design three covers from Orson Scott Card’s body of work. The first two, Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead are from his original Ender Quintet and the third, Shadow of the Giant is from the Ender’s Shadow series. In my mind, I designed these as part of a complete compendium of all the Ender stories in one giant set.

I purposely kept the design simple and instead focused on the key visual of each cover. I took contrasting elements and moments that were particularly poignant or memorable to me and combined them in a way that created something visually unique and reminiscent of the stories themselves. 

While I could explain the aspects of each story that I combined to create each cover design, I think it’s better to leave that for the reader to interpret for themselves :)

-Nathan

Project 14: Book Covers

For this project, I chose to redesign the book covers for David Sedaris’ Me Talk Pretty One Day, All Dressed Up in Corduroy and Denim, and When You’re Engulfed in Flames. Because Sedaris’ writing is humorous, my goal when creating this series of book covers was to add a bit of refinement and restraint to the Sedaris image.

I utilized color to create variation between his different books, but used the colors consistently on each cover. I brought in icons that relate to essays from his respective books to add the playfulness that I was carefully trying to tame by creating the methodology to his book covers.

I hope y’all enjoy! And I hope I did justice to Mr. Sedaris!

//Erik

Project 14: Book Covers

For this project, I chose to design covers for three Jane Austen novels, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, and Mansfield Park. I started with creating 5 icons per book that are symbolic or representative of the plot then I cut them out of colored paper and photographed them. I paired it with a simple serif typeface to keep the covers nice and clean! Those icons were a bitch to cut out but I am happy with the end result!

Hope you like them!

-Jenn

Project 14 Prompt: Book Series

Hey guys! The challenge is to take an existing book series (meaning Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Twilight, Hunger Games, Lord of the Rings, etc.) and reimagine what the series of covers would look like.

This could be something akin to a special edition or if you’re feeling ballsy, a completely reimagining of what you think the brand direction should be. 

The only real rule is that there should be at least 3 covers reworked so that everyone can see what the identity system is. Feel free to go above and beyond with the deliverables, be that making an e-book cover, bookmarks or other things!

Submissions will be happening throughout the day on Sunday, August 10 which happens to be Jake’s birthday so be sure to check out the posts then wish him a happy birthday!

Project 13: Family Crest
Hey everybody :) Exploring crests was definitely a fun little exercise. I decided to go ahead and make one for my immediate family. My parents were married in 1979, so I thought that’d be an important element to include in my design.
While my heritage is rather “mutt-y,” I chose to incorporate the flags representing the countries with the biggest presence in my bloodline from both of my parents. French and Polish from my mom’s side of the family & German and Irish from my dad’s.
And last but not least are the Poodles! Thanks to horrible allergies, my family was forced into (and then discovered the majesty) of owning Poodles. I grew up with 2 of them and they are such great animals. My parents currently own 2 Standards, my sister & brother-in-law own a Goldendoodle, and I have a tiny Toy Poodle. You could say we’re a little nutty about our pets but they are SURELY part of our family.
—Alli

Project 13: Family Crest

Hey everybody :) Exploring crests was definitely a fun little exercise. I decided to go ahead and make one for my immediate family. My parents were married in 1979, so I thought that’d be an important element to include in my design.

While my heritage is rather “mutt-y,” I chose to incorporate the flags representing the countries with the biggest presence in my bloodline from both of my parents. French and Polish from my mom’s side of the family & German and Irish from my dad’s.

And last but not least are the Poodles! Thanks to horrible allergies, my family was forced into (and then discovered the majesty) of owning Poodles. I grew up with 2 of them and they are such great animals. My parents currently own 2 Standards, my sister & brother-in-law own a Goldendoodle, and I have a tiny Toy Poodle. You could say we’re a little nutty about our pets but they are SURELY part of our family.

—Alli

Project 13: Family Crest
This project came at a really good time. My sister just made a family tree for my Dad as a gift for Fathers Day. 
My last name is Palmer, not exactly the most Spanish name ever. When you google my last name and its coat of arms, a British one comes up…totally not me. Somewhere along the way, a Palmer fell in love with a fiery latina and thus, we became Spanish. (I have no idea if this is true at all. Palmer means “one who goes on a religious pilgrimage and brings back a palm or something,” which is a pretty Spanish thing to do when you think about it)
On my Dad’s side of the family, we have roots in Basque Country as well as Corsica, France. In fact, we’re French on my mom’s side too! But for a over century, my family has been from Puerto Rico. The lion in the top left represents Ponce, Puerto Rico, from where most of my family is from and still lives to this day. The chain badge on the right, is the same from the Spanish Coat of Arms representing the Kingdom of Navarre. The old kingdom is where Basque Country is located. The fleur de lis is a symbol of the French government (obvi). The stripes on the lower left quadrant are meant to symbolize the sea. My family has always lived by the water but also there are 5 stripes. These 5 stripes illustrate the 5 different states my family has lived in. I’m technically an Army Brat thanks to dear ol’ Dad. 
Hope y’all enjoyed it!
-Fran 

Project 13: Family Crest

This project came at a really good time. My sister just made a family tree for my Dad as a gift for Fathers Day. 

My last name is Palmer, not exactly the most Spanish name ever. When you google my last name and its coat of arms, a British one comes up…totally not me. Somewhere along the way, a Palmer fell in love with a fiery latina and thus, we became Spanish. (I have no idea if this is true at all. Palmer means “one who goes on a religious pilgrimage and brings back a palm or something,” which is a pretty Spanish thing to do when you think about it)

On my Dad’s side of the family, we have roots in Basque Country as well as Corsica, France. In fact, we’re French on my mom’s side too! But for a over century, my family has been from Puerto Rico. The lion in the top left represents Ponce, Puerto Rico, from where most of my family is from and still lives to this day. The chain badge on the right, is the same from the Spanish Coat of Arms representing the Kingdom of Navarre. The old kingdom is where Basque Country is located. The fleur de lis is a symbol of the French government (obvi). The stripes on the lower left quadrant are meant to symbolize the sea. My family has always lived by the water but also there are 5 stripes. These 5 stripes illustrate the 5 different states my family has lived in. I’m technically an Army Brat thanks to dear ol’ Dad. 

Hope y’all enjoyed it!

-Fran 

Project 13: Family Crest
With having a heritage comprised of parts Irish, English, German and a wee bit Cherokee, I had a difficult time narrowing down how to best represent my family. We, my branch of the Nolan clan, are not rooted in our heritage so I had to so some research. I looked into traditional crests and markings of each culture and hoped for a connection or hidden meaning but to no avail. It was then that I turned to my experiences I’ve had with my immediate family. My father and I frequently find ourselves being the go-to people when things get tough, whether it be taking the lead or offering counsel. Upon further reflection, I realized that my grandmother is the same way. We all serve to be a guide or catalyst. It is in this quality that I found an animal to represent us. The fox.

The fox has a murky track record that has many interpretations but through my interactions with Asian and Native American culture, it has taken the form of a guide that leads the way to new experiences and knowledge. I am always searching for ways to better myself and increase my knowledge base so it feels even more fitting to align the family name with a symbol such as the fox.
Jake

Project 13: Family Crest

With having a heritage comprised of parts Irish, English, German and a wee bit Cherokee, I had a difficult time narrowing down how to best represent my family. We, my branch of the Nolan clan, are not rooted in our heritage so I had to so some research. I looked into traditional crests and markings of each culture and hoped for a connection or hidden meaning but to no avail. It was then that I turned to my experiences I’ve had with my immediate family. My father and I frequently find ourselves being the go-to people when things get tough, whether it be taking the lead or offering counsel. Upon further reflection, I realized that my grandmother is the same way. We all serve to be a guide or catalyst. It is in this quality that I found an animal to represent us. The fox.

The fox has a murky track record that has many interpretations but through my interactions with Asian and Native American culture, it has taken the form of a guide that leads the way to new experiences and knowledge. I am always searching for ways to better myself and increase my knowledge base so it feels even more fitting to align the family name with a symbol such as the fox.

Jake