FRANK FORD | FORDESIGN | creative director + artist | worldclass pedigree earned by working for the modern masters of design
new news: wanted: 1 adventurous client on a retainer basis F O R D E S I G N becomes your agency of record. call:
summer 16: teaching a few design courses online. establishing online marketplace. releasing a collection of custom type.
this bowie monacher indicates my proudest moments in the design industry. first project to be tagged is identity for "étre:
J U S T A F E W FF A V E S : i don't show everything + certainly not the good stuff !
r</a>dical concept: no computer. just my hands, a camera with film!, paint, research of the french language aka:
+ h e h u m a n + o u c h.
that's what's for sale here: innovative ideas delivered on-time with meticulous execution in your preferred format.here? client is king, roi is queen. and ya gotta be fresh to honor that promise + ya gotta prove it. all day every day. sometimes, all night.core values like that have made my 30 year labour of love thrive. when you run a small studio you have to differintiate in a big way: i do that. with loyalty + honesty. if your project doesn't fit me? i won't accept it.
t h e p r o o f ?
cue > the pudding.
+ l e t t h e FF i l m r o l l / / / / / / / / / /
/ / / / / / w i t h o u t
advertising projects for ferrari / collateral + outdoor
summer 16 / ready for projects—3188344539
febru</a>ry post #2
brand identity / saab + gary fisher co–brand / thrilling work with non-billable late night hours
sport brand love / some of my best work is with sport brands.maybe its because they let me loose with my esoteric sensibilities of color, scale and type. more samples later. reebok, nike +more. i think i may post on my interview with nike just for it's humour
febru</a>ry post #1
fit is a custom alterations company that serves high-end department stores. this may be the greatest optic challenge of my career. i always thought houndstooth was symetrical. not! every other row and column is a different size! dizzying but satisying. my next step is to weave the letters fit in and out of the pattern. if you look closely you can see how i have mistaken my grid. should have a final logo by mid-march. the yellow is for demo purposes only. i think i'm going with a chinese red for the logotype. i tried treating each square like a unit and color individually—doesn't work! bummer. that was my plan from the start. also trying to handletter an italic script to weave in and out of the negatives spaces. i may lose my eyesight soon:-)
ebru</a>ry post #2
one of many campaign taglines: "tools for storytellers"
logo, copy, collateral, print + digital advertising and a custum font family of 12 for avid technology, inc.
enough grids / my softer side: an injection of fine art into these communication arts
19 may / we are loving the customized type for oko / artistry engraving – be ready! :-)
v2 / identity for high-end pillow designer from japan / her exxxotic use of fabrics and patterns are the pure definition of luxury art and design. i can hardly sleep. am obsessed with it. but there are soooo many roads i could take with this, it suxx i can only choose 1 this project is devoted to elle. she was my intern from ages 16–18. this wednesdy was her last day. all the sudden she's a california girl—the youngest valicenti this industry has ever seen i'm gunna miss u//////there will never be another L
a n d now my h e A R T b e a t s S l o w. . .
kinda tough for a private person, so be it >
mirage furniture / complete branding and collateral project. longterm..
one of the greatest clients ever. challenged me to deliver some of my best work of all times. they were supportive to the point that — when i suggested we print the business cards on aluminum sheets? no problem. my clients take stage front/center, i'm the support system, i work the background, empower their success with real collaboration and strive for their roi projections.for me, it's like a musician finding a natural high by just jamming away. the only difference my audience is the client. as long as i remain relevant, they cheer me on, they put the food on my table. my days of design awards have turned into my days of design re*wards.i've rocked my roll, loved my 15 minutes.correction—i'm not done. i just dont tour any longer. fyi kids: i'm improving with age! dont bury me, i'm nowhere near dead yet. when i find the mick jagger to my keith richards?sparkswillfly
™teachable moment(s) a few of my mentored-moments from my 3 main mentors
master mentor (1) rick valicenti, thirst / 3st.com / worthy recipient of the aiga gold medal.
a tale of 3 cities + 4 rockstars (1 actual rockstar, name of mick) michael, rick and me mr. wideeyes pictured above.
thirst identity / collaboration with my mainman / rick valicenti, aiga gold medalist / my best director ever / why best? firstly, who else would or could direct me in a custom identity font, plus i learned how to art direct esoteric talents from this guy, after just 3 conversations, and he put me on the map as a founding member of thirstype, led my corporate crusade attempts towards dot com history, helped me deliver my greatest story ever, etc.etc. great designer dividends on a human scale. one art direction session consisted of 1 sentence — "frank, relax. it's only rock and roll" for a stones fan since 1967 thats all that was necessary. but i learned how to read between his edges — that advice was stronger coming from rick than from mick. and OMG the foreshadowing. next entry below) it clicked, that little voice inside one's desinging head. saying to myself i have no fear — since then i never feared working with "the big boys" in the "big league". pffft.
(ok rick, final suckup) back to seeing the light: it stuck. like a new mantra. not much time elapses. as manifesting or serendipity would have it — look at that! frank, he's working in boston, and look who he's working for! fuckin A and i ain't skeert i reply. i'll never delete this next one from the portfolio either. like it, like it, yes i do. (love it actually) whats that about 7 lessons–learned from one poignant, very-human art direction session? i hope i can impact students like that. a word of caution for those new at graphic or visual design:viewing other designers work is healthy, it helps you develop your vocabulary, but when you encounter a high level of quality? do not get either dissapointed or infatuated. we are working on you. not other peoples work you admire.a warning on rick and michael or any pther rockstar: thou shalt not covet thy fellow artists work. they are them. you are you. the best you can do is focus on you. you are also unique in the way you see things. never borrow, never envy, never emulate. onluy you can design your way. in web trolling, barnes + nobleing, try your best to not ever be influenced by what you see as this months flavor of the month! if you do, you will drive yourself nutZ. you could have spent that time on you. developing your touch. that word is so strong and relevant, i must stop and come back to it. in essence we all have our "touch" i dont have yours you dont have mine. great. you dont like your touch at the present time? hang tight, like everything else that takes time and other inputs. (more later).
™<teachable moment> let me find a way to wrap this portion of the story. give it your best "you shouldn't take it so hard" solo record by keith richards.get the project done, move on, keep learning.
i've been around this block10 times — you cannot experience this level of joy at a corporations art dept., nor from now magazine or bookflavor of the month by expert–x. my advice? go explore whats next, who's next. a perfect fit is out there for you. but only you can find them. safe to say the safe 9 to 5 won't provide the "satisfaction" we desingers crave. but are you willing to work all day monday through all night wednesday when your boss catches you a big fish? a fish of say mick jagger proportion? (no. mick will not be asking you to come hangout with him on the conrer of the west 8th street and the 6th avenues) for how long will you be willing to sacrifice your personal life? are you planning on marrying your career? welp, know the + and the – before taking that plunge. i married my career thirty years ago, and we've been together ever since. heh. i think it's time we started seeing other people though. "be a sponge not a rock" your first semester is now complete :-)
™teachable moment(s) next up: rick's 10 commandments of love
10 things that every
* learn from the masters in this section.
next ≥ master mentor 2 michael jager: solidarity of unbridled labour—cream of the design studio crop
febru</a>ry post #2: goin to a go-go with my 2 favorite jagger's
master mentor (2) michael jager / jdk founder: jagerdesignproject.com + solidarityofunbridlelabour.com (images link)
my definition of "rockstar" a universal force, a star–powered (not of the glam variety) with inspired power that follows you + you follow it. not doing so, you lose your mojo, your swagger, your lust. and there's no love without lust. which is why i often require a muse. i have no problem calling the folks on this page or myself a rockstar.they are also my muse. michaell jager? he's my muse–ician mentor of vision—my god can this guy MAKE and uncover things most would overlook. i've learned from michael through osmosis how to deliver the good(s).
the story of 3 cities + 4 rockstars continues... was it all from me?
you either believe in self–manifestation +or faith or you don't. i will go just a bit more on that...
lessons learned from my supervisor + mentor michael jager
*that* is how you art direct–it's not a title, it's your duty! learn your staff's buttons + press them. gently. thoughtfully. get out of their way, teach them to see, and show them how they get in their own way! be the impetus. yeah! i have spoken.but isn't it nutz the detail you remember when you respect another artist and their work! its not silly, this path can be full of magic, serendipity andextreme love and lust and wonder. i will never drill it in enoughyou choose your destiny, you decide who you work with. based on your criteria. do not ever appear needy or hungry to anyone in this biz. and youre better off as starbucks best barista for a year than you be acquiring uninown damges of a job that does not fit you or your soul. hey! weve got to protect that creative spirit. screw around and let that heart, that spi
images/videos above: lead vocalist +frontman of JDK, equally effective in the background as drummer (let his video roll. but be ready)
™class project / i'm not here to force your hand. i'm merely a guidepost. my job is to force you into realworld exercises like our next one: your assignment: write a graphic novel or letter, or whatever / to your 50–year old self. tell the old you what you wanted in your life! tell that older version of you exactly the path you chose, why and explain what you accomplished, and anything you think you may have missed out on. i want to see you attack this project in huge detail. (hint: a big sketchbook creatively crammed, illustrated would be great) because this is a no-rules design and writing project serving as chapter 1 of your career survival manual. this project will inform our next class, next class, next next next until you're ready for survival in the digital jungle. we will grab any fears by the horns. and tackle it now.™another morale? be patient, absorb. your day will come. just dont force it.the droolworthy designer job, it can have a way of finding you when your're ready. especially in the cloud of social media. (more later)
™<teachable moment> it's only rock and roll. don't beat yourself up! you'll kill it next time up for bat. i've learned more from michael than even he knows,but it takes time to deploy. first of all—you need clients who will allow you to bust out! btw: he designed one of the top 10 brochures in the history of design named "living brand" recieving it was a true gift. the gift of a realworld education. a co-worker stole it from my office. yeah it was that good.he continues to contribute in a big way. watch him beat the drum of solidarity.i'm going to paste a recent email from jaeger here. even us older dudes need a pep–talk now and then. jaeger does it without even trying.how? again, with the use of thoughtful language.remeber—we are communication professionals, that's what's on sale here! so let's get the basics done right.here's an excerpt—he edited my subject line to read "design lifevolution (like myself and rick—always making word plays) his timing was cosmic.the people on this page, the good we can bring?—good as gold. sometimes our goods are gold too :-) i was feeling shattered from working without much sleep or much reward when—a huge influence on my career as an artist, david bowie had died early morning of january 11. that week everything in my world was on a system of a down. bowie's passing was a pretty big deal for me and my friends. but there's always light in those dark doorways. it was so HUMAN hearing from my awesome colleagues that day. linda, cary, and michael—
Frank, welcome to the new now! wonderful to see your voice and thank you for your shared sentiments and heart felt insights on true creative hero David. Your thoughts we’re pure of heart, respectful of his art and his decades of resonating positive and relentless impact on the world, its ideas and ideals. I too felt the respect and loss to the core. I too was the kid who lovingly painted lightening bolts across my jean jacket to wave the Bowie flag others feared so. Frank—it’s great to know you are still creating, inspiring and making a positive presence felt in the world.And thank you for your kind note and thoughts on our time explored in the creative cloud of JDK design.
™<teachable moment> years later and the guy can still inspire me like no one else with his smart choice of words. remember that! words are poiwerful things. and we are in the word business. up until about 2005 i insisted on printed portfolios, digital or print work regardless. i'm glad yet irritated to say that the portfolio samples related to the story above are my "most never returned" from reviews, tryouts and interviews. ain't that some shit? sorry frank we can't hire you but we have no problem in stealing your work! literally, physically, obviously, missing from my book on pick-up day.stolen by some of the biggest names in new tork city, san fran, chicago and boston. i won't name the names that would shock you.—so glad we could be of assistance in creating your fame + list of awards. N E X T > when you are the sponge, not the rock? (and there's some big boulders in this industry!)
master mentor (3) dann de witt / the name de witt is a perfect fit, every minute was an education in rarified, esoteric branding and advertising. like me, he doesn't do self promotions, so you may not have heard of him either. you think he cares? pfffft...dann is all about the new new way to *think* about the new new thing. ya know it would take pages and pages for me to recant the lessons learned from this, this, un-categorizeable mmm...genius¿ there. i said it. i never call anyone that but i've been on journeys, some ADventures with this guy that are worthy of a novel. i made a big career sized mistake on this one, but i had to.(more later)
W E L C O M E NEW MEMBER OF FORDESIGN / WRITER + FILMMAKER CARY DI CRISTINA
sophmore year > xerox copies of esoterick's 10 commandments. class is not dismissed. yet. coming soon.
priv%te work / on a 9–foot sheet of 1/2" plexiglass
void, by frankford / created while adman in nyc / in the "fall" of 2001
inscrption — "in a thick black cloud i am choking on the lost intentions of nearly 3,000 souls floating over my head"
it's my personal favorite of a 30 year moonlit mountain to climb creative career / technically masterful? nope.. meaningul? oh yeah, more than words can say. injured during a seperate surgery that day but i survived. other injuries i cannot disclose. art therapy was required. this was built in my studio apartment which itself was suffocating, i could hardly navigate around the mess, indoors or outdoors, with the armed sodiers at my buildings door monitoring bomb threats, i was in a war, a witness to horror, duct taped windows, heartbroken by 7 days of dark events. forgot i was on an no trains or airplanes out. art baricaded my bunker making it a soft place to fall. enough for now, further details are not pleasant.
i survived. building this beautiful documentary helped. never wrote a poem before. or since.
i remain proud + grateful of this monument. it's true–there's no joy without pain.
ebru</a>ry post #2
™moral: inspiration hides in ssstrange places. or to paraphrase rick's word's "doors always open in the darkest of days"
our international collaboration / (digital) postcards from the edge, serendipity abound between the edges.good times, funny, magical, miraculous, cosmicly timed moments shared with my mentor rick v. while i was in dallas he was in italy. the reults (other than the two above) remain un–published.
ebru</a>ry post: a new paintbrush
range a lot of people are calling themselves a hybrid. what it means in the context of creative—experience that is broad and deep across the discipline in several areas of specialization. in this case: product design / cosmetic design of auto body parts. i've designed cars, motorcycles, products, ads, fonts, photos, paintings, sculpture, on + on + on. you could say that i am a hybrid. i don't brand myself that way because it's overused and under delivered upon. 15 years ago it was quite hip to be a hybrid. photo above: my minimalist bmw m3 aka "dreampuff" complete makeover 2015
more sporty work uploading soon / work for nike, reebok, ferarri + lots more
+ i won't forget to put roses on your grave.
the french should love it."mon" translated from french means mine. spelled backwords it means name. i love that to death! sounds like a photo–op using refelection may be on the shot list. mais oui trébienbien et bonchance a moi.
™<teachable moment> considerations for global client work
good benefits about being raised in casablanca? you grow up speaking french. and with new orleans as a french city i'm well versed in the language. those 2 things have helped me win several international clients. clients know that i'm sensitive to cultural relevance. what i design in america i would not do in paris or casablanca or milan.
FOOTNOTE: april flowers + logos / confession: the moment this sketch began i knew i had it nailed / rare!
ghetto prince™ typeface family of 2. thick + thin. designed circa 1993 inspired by joe strummer, the clash and alan ginsburg. i never pursued it's marketing realizing it was way ahead of it's time–the only 2 people that agreed were patricking and prototype.
my passion for type design / in my blood since childhood
i still make custom corporate and identity fonts. some of them are here, some are at my LI online portfolio. technoiire is my most popular typeface (in terms of sales and influence). a big family of 7 styles. 2 of the styles were in wide use in television, film and graphic design. technoire is deemed by typographical gearheads as the most influential font of the1990's (topping 4 emigre fonts) a career–thrilla! pricing? dirt cheap. all fonts are free to students and faculty. also free if used on a high exposure project with credits. email me, we'll work it out."loving the alien" is a free downloadable sample of myfavorite dingbats / spot illustrations (drawn when the song by the same name was released)
from monkeyboy to monkeyman. you can have free dingbats but not this one
that's me saddled with my first girlfriend ever. fatima is her name. pure as the driven snow. when i would give her an american penny she would drop to her knees in tears.1 penny. imagine that if you will. that was also the daily salary of her mother our housekeeper and nanny. you can imagine when i gave her a dollar bill. queen for a month she'd be:-) every time i think of fatima an old U2 song enters my head—"she is a refugee, and someday, one day, she's gonna live in america." thank god i'm living here. after a retro slideshow my friends really get why i've always believed U2's "refugee" is one of the top10 best rock songs ever recorded. and my manhattan friends they have a new appreciation for their pristine city and laidback lifestyle:-) true.
fyi: $40.00 supplies one moroccan with clean water for life. yes, life. +for every $40 you give to this charity? i will give you 1 free hour of creative services. saving a life: that's warm and fuzzy, but having *your* life saved is a beautiful miraculous experience.
ebru</a>ry post #17
work in progress v1.o / brand identity for web startup killabyte / symbolizing the maze of internet security with the company initials kB
hired for: the company name / tagline and logo. hopefully followed by me as keeper of all collateral and brand cop.it's certainly not my best work and it's lowest price i've ever charged for an identity package. but when your client jumps for joy during your presentation? what's an artist to do? hang tight and hope for more funding. the challenge will be how we execute it in signage because it has a recessed ridge on it's perimeter. we might do it in translucent plastic instead of stainless. big fun, big respect for this young group of entrepreneurs.
™<teachable moment> startups seem to always blow their budget just before they call you. let's talk pricing guidelines
©fordesign | all content is intellectual property of frank ford. be aware, the brand cop robot prowl 24/7
"the sky is the limit" my working tagline, based on the brand promise: "music that is far superior in it's category, selection, message, taste and relevance. presented by intelligent dj's who provide context for every song played." that sentence comes straight from our brand definition workshop: 3 action–packed days at the marina in saint petersburg (home of the legendary skyway bridge pictured below) it was by pure good fortune that this bridge became my impetus during those 3 days. metaphorically speaking: we're building a bridge. a soundbridge. to connect listeners to a community of kindred spirits. how? i've recommended 2 radical branding touchpoints: 1) the human voice + 2) the human touch. i preach differintiation in order for companies to survive in the digital jungle. this brand will deliver on 10 attributes that will provoke the listener to turn their radio on. that will force our multiplication —as we hit our numbers the ad buyers will be turning on. florida will experience social media in it's purest form. online social media music will seem like anti–social media in comparison.
that's what's on sale here brandbuilding with a clean, esoteric, witty touch. the human touch. from our human hands.all 2 of us!
a top pick as a logo–treatment for collateral / based on brand criteria client and i developed
1 of 2 / b®andnew client works in progress / sky 107.5 radio florida. charged with naming, logo and collateral.i will be incorporatinng the bridge above. i got so incredibly lucky with that photo. i just held my camera out of the sunroof going about 80mph. 10 shots total. 2 are awesome. saving me on location time and expense photography.2 0f 2 below / drawing the letter S? a unique S? extremely difficult. try it. below: hand lettering of logo. not happy with it yet. it looks too much like a commercial font. Let me tellya, that S? has been a big problem ever since i cut it intoo 21 pieces.
2 of 3 / 20 others on the backburner
™<teachable moment> explain why i'm not showing 107's outdoor boards "actin' funny, and ya don't know why? scuuuze me, while i kiss the sky"—107fm. the sky. the image kills it! believe it or not? me and my awesome intern did it by hand. the human hand! radical i know! we hit it hard with broad 7" brushes—it's a summer of love 1967 meets digital jungle 2016.
fine art / painting, sculpture, photography, 3D printing
plastic© is a new client service coming soon from fordesign / a full posting of plastic© on a private-client-page asap
oh no, your 5 year old couldn't :-)
pure fun, fresh work this winter / not sure i will sell these. 5 panels connect to form a bridge composed of tiretracks
"5 gears in reverse" / painting the road in a new way / an unpublished set of photography that looks like paintings
image below: my paintbrush: 1 of 5 large panels reading left to right. painting a suspension bridge on my snow covered street this winter in south la. maybe global warming is true. it has never snowed here before so i seized this day. reversing and forwarding at 45 degree angles. stopping to take a shot and repeating the entire day.
low resolution samples of my asphault paintings:
1 in a sample of 10 new sumo size paintings.so funny how mistakes incorporate into fine art perfectly. not in the design world though! i screwed up my red tape stencil so many times, finally realized, whoa keep it. the mistake is better than the perfect plan. a lot of physical effort, time + expense goes into the making of these lobby monsters.above: a triple entendré titled "no" everyones favorite. (probably because it displays the best) fyi: am seeking a new gallery but may consider direct sales. so, if you know of someone...
new asphault + cement paintings
my fine art is best viewed in person / doesn't display well digitally. the next 3 in particular, you'll need to imagine a 10 foot width of real asphault aka: hotmix underpainting with reflective stripes fresh from the streets of manhattan. they come alive at night. fyi: i add tiny glass beads to the wet yellow paint, they bond together and create a reflective surface.
febru</a>ry post priv%te
best for last:
—i was honored by the robert rauschenberg foundation in a private ceremony. / the ultimate career high. b e y o n d words.
the ultimate modern artist. a mentor to me and many others.
a man who defined paying it forward. even after his death in 08. everyone brags on their latest this or upcoming that: thats not my idea of success. real success? is when THE RIGHT PEOPLE FIND YOU: it's called being discovered on merit.the happiest days of my life are when i sit in bob's chair–it's a reject from one his final works of art. all because of one teeny-tiny flaw in the patina. he made me feel at ease about being such a perfectionist. believe it or not folks? raushchenberg was an extreme perfectionist, putting me to shame, and that's saying something.seems i can only think clearly near large bodies of water these days. i think of him often. i feel his ghost when i come here seeking inspiration, or to regroup from a crappy life experience, or just to chill. i feel the dude's soul, it's weird our connection, i won't go into it. the definition of innovator, the king of paying it forward: a TRUE louisiana boy. he loved helping students. many of us wouldn't have the courage to even applyfor a bfa were it not for this awesome human being. so blessed by the robert rauschenberg foundation
≥ T h e ultimate high.
b e y o n d / w o r d s.
robert raushchenberg is the reason i became an artist.
it makes my other awards seem trivial. it makes thirty years of commercial art ugh nevamind. i am eternally grateful to pam at the foundation. the greatest gift i have ever recieved. if you ever read this? i'm working on a gift for you but it's taking for ever. rarely will you see me boast about accomplishments it creeps me out. and i'll never reveal the wonderful set of photographs. the feeling is undescribeable. the rareity of it. having something only available to a dozen people on planet earth. i'm such a proud–poppa on this one. it makes my other awards feel insignificant. they just can't touch this. the pride of such rareity—it keeps me going. it gives me reason to believe the next thirty years will be even better.
©frankford / fordesign. wrongul or illegal use—i guaranteed you swift action from a powerful foundation