FRANK FORD / creative director + artist / worldclass pedigree earned by working for the masters.
need a mentor? details are at the bottom of this page
old news: mistaken identity / leggo my logo
my advertising + brand work for clients:
r</a>dical concept: no computer. just my hands, a camera with film!, paint, research of the french language aka:
t h e h u m a n t o u c h.
that's what's for sale here: innovative ideas + execution, with client roi always top of mind
i still think young. but now with wisdom.
p r o o f :
cue ≥ the pudding
l e t t h e f i l m r o l l >
ferrari: the clothing, the accessories, the madness.
advertising projects for ferrari / collateral + outdoor
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.
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.
™<teachable moment(s) my 3 main mentors
the most influential font of the 90's (according to critics) pffffft, i am not, never have been, nor will ever be better than emigre.
ebru</a>ry post #2
master mentor (1) rick valicenti, thirst / 3st.com
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 that magical day of direction: 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 by now? about 7 lessons–learned from one 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> with more moral / more intertwined entanglements of irony to the story> inspiration + education for this next project also came in musical format: "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 frank's lesson learned #103? and like me marry your career? know the + and the – before taking that plunge. yep, i married my career thirty years ago, and we've been together ever since.i think it's time we start seeing other people.
be a sponge not a rock. that completes your freshman year
febru</a>ry post #2: goin to a go-go with my 2 favorite jagger's
lessons learned from my supervisor + mentor michael jager (1 sentence of thoughtful direction ≥ 1 million words of a bs critique) michael jager had a hand in a lot of my work.resisting his style was not easy. he was there, albeit ghostly. one lesson learned in his studio remains a memorable right turn on my path.on a blistery cold june day, yes. june. it was effing snowing! there at jdk in burlington he defended my use of my favorite 2 letter word i had placed on his client brochure. everyone else thought my headline was lame. too lazy. too eay. too this / too that.my cranbrook compadres were consequently bitch–slapped by michael at my desk. omg, i cannot express those 5 minutes adequatley. he stepped up and toweled me off on another occasion that same summer. i was being teased that i had a bizarre use of color. i admit that. but michael said boldy in front of everyone "you guys, you dont see it. frank's use of color has a european sensibility, and it's obvious to me he knows his art history. bingo. he nailed that one too. ever since then i used the headline "go" every chance i could get away with it.and have not changed my strange color theory.and here again i attempt it for vh1. more + karma unknowingly arrives after the creative brief. mick had titled his work "go" also, insisting vh1 use it. i already had! my career is packed with much nuttier. stay tuned. point being — things like michael jager did? they stick. they transform your development and they prove you dont have to be a salesperson to be the cream of the crop director in the usa. but you do have to provide a supporting rationale for your work.take note from rick + from michael and after a lifetime, myself.
*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 enough — you 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 spirit get damaged? pffff...by age 30? done. toast. creatively spent. then what? start over with a new major, another 4 years? doubtful wouldnt you say.
™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. i was feeling shattered from working without much sleep or much reward—a huge influence on my career as an artist, david bowie had died early that morning., 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.email paste:
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.
inline graphic here >
years later and the guy can still inspire me with his smart choice of words. remember that! words are poiwerful things. and we are in the word business.
when you're a sponge, not a rock? the smallest of things will spur you on. when you're head is clear and your heart open simple things like a word from a friend can really snowball into a mountain of positive energy. that's a key ingfredient to my secret sauce—positive energy. it's required to deliver your best creative.i've seen it in myself and in my colleagues so many times. you think i'm zen? i have colleagues that dosome really out-there stuff for positive energy flow. it's required for your foundational development too.your first job should be with a creative director who shares this philosophy, most of the really good ones do. avoid negative energy at all costs. naysayers or deadwood directors will program your entire circuitry incorrectly. plus, they're a effing buzzkill. who wants to be around that shit all day. we'll converse on this topic via skype.
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.
priv%te work / on a very large scale void, by frankford / created while adman in nyc / in the "fall" of 2001 thick high gloss finished plexiglass + backlit: casts a reflection on the viewer / and imposes with 9 foot height / 7 watt spot reveals the following artists statement which was applied in subtle deep indigo reflective metallic 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. purchased by my nyc neighbor, a film producer with incredible taste ebru</a>ry post #2 ™<moral: inspiration hides in the strangest places. or to use rick's word's "doors can open in the darkest of days" global collaboration so to speak / digital postcards from the edge, between the edges. / magical, miraculous, moments shared with my mentor rick v. while i was in dallas he was in italy. the reults (other than the one above) remain un–published. ebru</a>ry post #2 what is a hybrid creative? a lot of people are calling themselves a hybrid. what it means—experience that is broad and deep across the discipline. in my case: product design / cosmetic design of 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
priv%te work / on a very large scale
void, by frankford / created while adman in nyc / in the "fall" of 2001
thick high gloss finished plexiglass + backlit: casts a reflection on the viewer / and imposes with 9 foot height / 7 watt spot reveals the following artists statement which was applied in subtle deep indigo reflective metallic
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.
purchased by my nyc neighbor, a film producer with incredible taste
ebru</a>ry post #2
™<moral: inspiration hides in the strangest places. or to use rick's word's "doors can open in the darkest of days"
global collaboration so to speak / digital postcards from the edge, between the edges. / magical, miraculous, moments shared with my mentor rick v. while i was in dallas he was in italy. the reults (other than the one above) remain un–published.
ebru</a>ry post #2
what is a hybrid creative? a lot of people are calling themselves a hybrid. what it means—experience that is broad and deep across the discipline. in my case: product design / cosmetic design of 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
april flowers + logos / confession: the moment this sketch began i knew i had it nailed / rare!
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.
ghetto prince™ is a gift to visitors who contribute anything to improving this "chalkboard"
</a> ghetto prince: inspired by jow strummer + alan ginsburg
my passion for type design / is now a gift to you: 7 of the 20-something fonts i created for commercial sale /
below are samples of each that t i've used on client projects.these are now for sale direct, no middlemen. fyi: these are display fonts (meaning they are intended to be used youuuuuuge! if you're googling my fonts, you've found them. previously marketed by thirstype, t26 + prototype.i took them off the market five years ago. making 50% for wrist-cracking work while the foundries made 50% while sleeping. ugh. no .
firstname.lastname@example.org / custom typefacces available with retaiiner,
"loving the alien" is a free download (yes. it was drawn when the song by the same name was released)
ebru</a>ry post # life
frank ford / the american african
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.
$40 us supplies 1 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. having your life saved is a beautiful thing.
ebru</a>ry post #2
work in progress / 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 my human hands.
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.
febru</a>r spring post #1
much time wasted on slicing S's, k's, and y's. i had to reject this one because it began looking like a commercial font. we're keeping the air pilot map drawing for a weather promo
2 of 3 / 20 others on the backburner
t h e n d of client work samples
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 :-)
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 louisiana. 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:
"no" a sample of 10 new sumo size paintings. a lot of physical effort + expense goes into their making
fyi: am seeking a new gallery to show these. if you know of someone...
new asphault + cement paintings / with huge barcelona-sized brushstrokes. critiques say that i am "emerging" as a painter.<whew> after just thirty years. where were these critiques when i was starving. the critique comes at a time where i'm shifting gears.you'll be seeing many more canvases +sculptings from me in this vein. more context soon: learn how my yellow stripes almost made me famous. full story this summer.
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 #1
hideaway / somewhere near the gulf of mexico is my little slice of heaven on earth. but the no tresspassing sign? that's for websitescrapers to whom i say you pirate, you die. brandcop robot prowls.
fyi: just ask for permission! all work is intellectual property of frankford / pirating will get your ship sunk.
febru</a>ry the mentor who gave. even after his death.
priv%te / 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 apply for a bfa were it not for this awesome human being. so blessed—i was honored by the robert rauschenberg foundation / the ultimate high. b e y o n d words.
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 can be better.
T H E N D
internship + mentorship submissions / applying is similar to the realworld–artworld: sell yourself in a presentation:
™teachable moment(s) + mentorships explained
the mentor program / deadline may 31
my masterful mentors: rick valicenti, michael jaeger, dann de witt, clement mok, and the great robert raushchenberg.
*program bonus: guest speakers will be confirmed by may 31. i cannot name them just yet, but rest assured—they rock!
plus: the program is designed specifically for you. to fit your needs. we will build your syllabus together as a team. your sincere commitment guarantees mine. and other perks that remain as surprises.
and other fun stuff ill' tell you about later.
2015 interns / benetton commercial come to life
mar 31: class in session via skype / 7p eastern time usa / check your inboxes for a fun excercise
bonsoire my wicked toade
27 mar / as agreed, let's post one thing at a time / digest it thoroughly. delete it, then move to the next topic or workgroup or q+a. no portfolio show here! and remember you don't have to show everything. your top 10 hits is plenty. if you can't land the job with 10 samples? is another 10 gunna help? would showing 20 require you showing stuff you're not proud of? don't do it. do you want to be hired on your b–grade work? you are the honors class remember? show a–level work digitally and a leave-behind printed piece. yes, paper, printed! it's a rad concept thesedays. so radical that guess what? it makes you stand out in the crowd! that with a professional thank you note via the postman? you've made an impression your competition has not even thought of.
so you wanna be a rocknroll star / step 1 is building the right library
remember — there are no mistakes. no right. now wrong.
30 mar / resume road + rejection / how will you deal?
ff"great idea jen. as mentioned i need y'all to help shape this mentorship / internship. make it yours. make it deliver on your desires. but be careful what you ask for, you might just get it: i will marinate on a survivor competition for y'all. 1st place wins? and is crowned logomaster of the month.
i just remembered something from the year 2000 at ixl/scient/razorfish whatever it is...i was blasted by my pm + ux people for designing a long, scrollable website like this one. i'll never forget when we flew out to san fran for user testing...a lady in our test group says boldly "i like to scroll"! 16 years later, suddenly these 50 yard scrollers, they're in style? pffffft...see what i mean...style lies. so does ux research.
everyone's favorite muse? music, but what if i don't want to hear your noise in a studio when i'm trying to think. and there are so many other muses available. we should talk specifics: what kiund of music is best for design-time? music for designing / now playing in my studio: the deezer sessions live / my top 5:
the good stuff
title: "254 park avenue south" by frank ford