Awful Type

The world of typography is a vast landscape of letterforms and history, advertising and revolutions. In 1450 the Gutenberg Press changed civilization like the internet changed our civilization. Information became available to the general masses, moving the center of knowledge from the elite class to the middle of culture. Today, information and culture have merged and is filled with typography and will likely remain so until some from of mind-to-mind communication is pioneered.

Sometimes I think about what it would be like to be illiterate, or what it would be like to see words for the first time if the first time were right now. To look at letters and not understand is beyond my frame of reference, I don’t remember a time before I could read, but for most of my life the content captured my attention more than the type. Mark Z. Danielewski’s book House of Leaves is visually compelling yet I still did not see the letters, the fonts for themselves. (By the way, if you haven’t at least looked at House of Leaves, you should immediately find a copy and check it out.) I finally began looking at type while enrolled in the Graphic Design program at ACC. Typography with Linda Smarzik opened my eyes to the level of detail possible in type design. I began to see billboards and magazines and newspapers differently. I realized every piece of type I saw in the world was placed there by someone for a specific purpose. Mostly. Sometimes it appears no thought entered into the design of a sign. My friend James Benavides started a blog called Awful Type designed to not only point out less than crafted typography, but also as a source of inspiration for anyone who must intimately consider the finer details of designing typography to communicate as clearly as possible.

Check us out at awfultype.com and be sure to appreciate the world around you because it has all been designed for you.

Mindzai View

I recently completed a three month internship for screen printing at an awesome local print shop called Mindzai Creative. I cleaned screens, coated screens, took out the trash and helped at the monthly art parties. I also learned about the whole process of screen printing t-shirts and something of the day to day operations at a print shop. It was a great experience and opportunity to meet an awesome community of artists and hustlers putting in the teamwork to make their dreams work. I didn’t know what to expect or where I thought learning about screen printing might take me, but I met some awesome people and learned some new things and also gave me something to do instead of worrying about getting a job.

I had a great time learning how to make something and even had the chance to take an idea for a t-shirt from concept in my mind to physical object in the real world.

Here’s number one from the pun line.

Two Wrongs Make a Riot Tshirt I made.

Fresh Off the Press

Did I mention the art parties?

Art party crowd

Rockin’ art party with live music, live light show, live screen printing

The first Friday of every month the print shop space is converted into a gallery space where the Pabst flows like rum on a pirate ship and the art is mind blowing and local. Every month Zuzu Perkal curates the gallery and brings a diversity of art and people together. Each show has it’s own vibe and eclectic resonance.Every show has music, sometimes live, but the screen printing is always live.

Live screen printing at Mindzai Creative

Cody running the press

Bring a shirt, choose a design, watch as a blank t-shirt gets a face lift. Sean Amor, the in-house designer, creates most of the art for the live screen printing. Whether he created the design himself, or translated another artists work into screens, the finished product is always stellar.

Live painting at Mindzai pARTy

Live painting coming together nicely

Mindzai Art Show

Here is a glimpse at some of the awesome art from the second party I attended.

If you happen to be in Austin on the first Friday of any month, swing by Mindzai Creative between 8-11pm and check out awesome art, free beer and great people. Say hi to Scott Weatherwax, the owner, and if you forget to bring a blank shirt for the free live prints, Vanessa can hook you up with Mindzai Merch!

Merch table at ArTXplosion

Vanessa keeps people shirted and stickered

Because of July 4th, the ArTXeplosion party will be held on July 11th. It will be a digital showcase. I’ve crossed the line from intern to artist and will have art in the show, come check out one of the best pARTies in Austin.

Here’s a sneak peak of one of my pieces

Screen Shot

Work In Progress

I Made It!

I have finally graduated from Austin Community College with an Associates Degree in Visual Communication with a specialization in Graphic Design. Now the real work begins.
Through the course of my education I would occasionally think up projects for myself but the grueling schedule of school, work, and family left no room to pursue any personal projects. I still have work and family and I’m actively looking for a career to apply my newly minted degree to, but now I have time to chase my wild hares.
I am excited about this next year and the start of my creative career.
My portfolio site is now fully live at petesmith.info. Like everything on the web it’s a work in progress so check back occasionally for new content.