Signs You Might Be in a Canyon

01.08.18

There’s a heck of a lot of places to go wandering around nearby our digs in Colorado. Here’s a few signs you might be in a canyon.

Just don’t wander off the trail—there’s snakes out here.

(Actually) Fake It, Until You (Actually) Make It

19.07.18

Fake it till you make it the Orson Welles way: how he gave us a blueprint for getting creative dream projects going with Citizen Kane

A couple years ago, we found ourselves wanting to break into the world of beer packaging. We wanted to do it, we knew we could do it, but we hadn’t done it. And without that sort of work in your folio, it’s tough to get breweries to throw money at you to do it.

So, we faked it.

Fake it till you make it. It’s a cliche. And as usual, it’s a cliche because there’s some truth to it. Here’s a scenario: you’ve got a creative itch to scratch — an awesome idea you’re dying to bring into the world — but you can’t get the support you need to get it rolling, without having shown that you can do it. It’s a catch-22. Enter Citizen Kane.

When Orson Welles was thinking up his masterpiece, he couldn’t find the money to make it. None of the Hollywood big-shots would fund his project. So, he faked it. Welles scraped up some cash, built some DIY sets, and started filming. He created just enough to show execs that it existed. His vision was true. He could do it. They bought in. We know the result — arguably the greatest film ever.

We took a similar route to break into the beer industry. O Street created its own event series combining home-brewed beer, culture and experimental packaging. We were scratching a few at once, but the underlying goal was to create awesome beer packaging to show breweries:

It worked.

Not only did the series, Beertimes, become a beloved exercise for the studio, it won us a packaging gig with BrewDog. They were looking for a competent yet daring studio to do a brand and packaging revamp for their experimental beer series ABSTRAKT, and our DIY effort showed we could handle it.

Our takeaway from this experience looks something like this:

Now, we’re redesigning the brand entire fleet of beers for another landmark Scottish brewery. A body in motion stays in motion. Even if you’ve got to fake it to get it going in the first place.

Trump Scrabble

11.07.18

All you need to protest Donald Trump is, well, Donald Trump. It goes for his character as well as his name. Download the kit here.

trumpun O Street against Trump

So we drew DONALD TRUMP! in a typeface inspired by old-school civil rights signs and uploaded it here for you to download. If your Sharpies have gone dry just keep these files on hand and print, cut, protest.

O Street against Trumptrumpun2O Street against Trump O Street against Trump O Street against Trump

We’ll also make requests of any digital posters, so hit us up with your best Trump scrabble job and we’ll send it to you!

Disclaimer: this post was written by a natural-born American citizen. Please post any complaints here.

America, Give Us A De-Sign

26.06.18

When it comes to graphic design, we can be a bunch of nostalgic Americophiles. Our Jonny recently visited the great US-of-A and soaked up a load of Americana, and since most of it was bolted down and his 3rd suitcase was reserved for purchases from Goodwill, he only made it back with photos.

 

Neon-and-on-and-on.

In the States, neon signs seem to be everywhere. I can’t get enough of the twisty glass charms. Driving around post-dusk became increasingly dangerous the more enamoured I became, but thankfully we made it back in one piece.

 

Landscape portraits.

Man-made signs can seem like visual pollution when erected in areas known for their natural beauty. That said, they aren’t going away anytime soon, and I’ll be darned if I don’t find them enjoyable. Especially the duck-billed platybear.

 

Sk8r allig8r.

Travelling to the skateboarding mecca of the world made this overgrown boy-man very excited. Companies all over SoCal are inspired by graphics rooted in skate and surf culture, so a wonderful time was had soaking my eyes in low-brow stickers and vintage deck graphics.

 

Chunkography.

America is a playground for those with stranger typographic sensibilities. Weird type appears all over the place, so as someone who fell in love with Cooper before it was cool, I was happy as Larry.

Obviously this is but a fraction of what the Land of the Free has to offer. However, as far as graphic safari spots go, it’s one of the more intriguing places to visit. If you’re Stateside, drop a note to Josh in the Denver O ST studio and you can share some beers that we bought because of the labels.

—Jonny

The sounds of a design studio

12.06.18

We pride ourselves on thoughtfully different design. While we create work that looks beautiful, the buck doesn’t stop there. To be an O Street project, you’ve got to have character.

 

 

So when we created a new showreel strutting our stuff, we decided to pay special attention to the soundtrack. Even though the product is visual, the sound is the backbone. It’s the underlying support system that keeps the whole thing chugging along. How could we do something different? …

…Enter Bessa.

The Scottish musician and occasional Boston-Red-Sox-hat-wearing lad joined us in our Glasgow studio to capture the sounds of our design process.

Here’s what you’l l hear in our soundtrack:
– Furious sketchy scribbling
– iMac keyboard mashing
– Commuter bike squeaking

– Google Hangout shouts of ‘Good morning!’ from our Denver studio
– Friday beers cracking
– Various O-shouts and hollers, likely font-related

And of course, there’s the squeaky arm of our waving cat Boshi.

Bessa took all these unique sounds and mixed them into an original track, making the sound behind of our reel more than just an off-the-shelf electronic tune. The result? A banger of a showreel that’s thoughtfully different—kind of like us.SaveSave

Porto Design Summer School (A Good Use of Two Weeks in Portugal)

30.05.18

Okay, it’s tough to have a BAD two weeks in Portugal, but Porto Design Summer School is a good way to get it right.

Photo: Porto Design Summer School

Student work. Photo: Porto Design Summer School

O Street’s Josh P took part in the course’s first run in 2013. Walking the streets of this majestic, brilliantly grungy and deathly hot city, he learned more about design and his physical capacity to sweat in two weeks than he had in years at university. It certainly didn’t hurt that the tutors were some of the best living graphic designers, including Jonathan Barnbrook and Jessica Helfand.

A quote by tutor Andrew Howard, illustrated by Josh P

The focus of the course was typographic. The students become completely immersed in the local visual vernacular; Oporto is an endlessly fascinating city chock full design inspiration.

The final project is to take a work of literature and interpret it through the lens of the city with a print publication. It‘s a crash-course in type, layout, and contextual design.

Student work. Photo: Porto Design Summer School

 

Photo: Porto Design Summer School

Photo: Porto Design Summer School

For this summer’s course, the programme has a shiny new responsive website and a suite of amazing new tutors, with Ronnie Fueglister and Sonya Dyakova joining staples Andrew Howard and Hamish Muir. Their work is amazing.

If you feeling a calling to do so, sign up here to enjoy design, exploring and mingling in Porto.

— Josh P
(This post was not paid or requested by the school.)