Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dordt Alumni in Design: Jamey Schiebout

Jamey Schiebout, Creative Director-Creative Resource Inc. (Diamond Vogel Paints). Pictured above are page spreads from “The Miracle of Paint” and “The Miracle of Color” brochures.

I graduated from Dordt College in 1998 with a degree in Graphic Design. I started out by working in the newspaper industry. This was a great starting place for me as it instilled in me value of good page layout and working under very tight deadlines. From there I started as a designer working for a large corporation. As the only designer it was up to me to handle all aspects of print and web based marketing. Currently, I am employed as Creative Director at Creative Resource Inc. an in-house ad agency for Diamond Vogel Paints in Orange City, Iowa. At Creative Resource I oversee three full-time graphic designers. It is my responsibility to make sure all jobs are done on time and that projects meet the standards set by Diamond Vogel and other customers. I also need to keep all equipment up to date and make sure we operate efficiently and effectively. We work daily with the promotional items and materials including all print material, store displays, advertising, sales presentations, label setup and design, web design, photography, video and whatever is asked of us. It is a great position to be in as it opens me up to a large variety of design mediums and options.

Shown above are some design options I have worked on in the last couple of years. One of those projects was “The Miracle of Paint” and it’s sister brochure “The Miracle of Color” for Diamond Vogel. This was a corporate promotional piece that demanded a lot of creativity and time. I wanted to take the paint out of the can and show it in a different way. We did this by basically showing just paint by itself or with people and everyday objects in a way never seen before. Included in the design team of such a large piece were graphic designers, creative writers, photographers and video teams. It was my job to make sure that the entire team involved worked together through completion and then create a final design that would be seen as both fun and eye-catching. The project went over extremely well and continues to be used as a corporate marketing piece. The entire “Miracle of Paint” and “Miracle of Color” projects can be seen on the web at: www.diamondvogel.com.

Menu Cover design for
Blue Mountain Restaurant, Orange City, Iowa. This is an example of 0ther projects that I have done at Creative Resource or as freelance work.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009


At Matter ’09 (mentioned in a recent post) I met Thomas Turner, who is contributing literary arts editor for GENERATE Magazine, which is a new venture comprised of team members from around the U.S.A. Thomas, who is based in Newark, gave me his business card which states that GENERATE Magazine is an artifact of Emergence Christianity. His card carries the tagline: HOPE | KINGDOM | STORY, — “We read to know we are not alone.” – C.S. Lewis

I mentioned to Thomas that I’d spread the word. So, as their website says, “GENERATE Magazine exists as a forum to retell the stories of the grassroots communities and individuals who are finding emerging and alternative means of following God in the Way of Jesus. We hope to create an artifact of this historical conversation. These stories will be transmitted through narrative, works of visual art, documented performances, verse, fiction, non-fiction, essays, and interviews.”

So, if you’re interested – please check it out.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

SD Student Day '09

From the South Dakota AIGA board:

Dear David,
This year we are partnering with the SD Ad Federation for our student day and would like to extend an invitation to the students at Dordt. The event is Thursday, October 22nd, 2009 9:00am–2:00pm (tours until 5:00pm). We are holding student day at CJ Callaways, 500 E. 69th St., Sioux Falls SD. Students can register online at http://www.sdaf.org $25 through October 9, $35 after. Activites include: Q&A at the round tables, lively panel discussion, agency tours, portfolio reviews, a tasty luncheon, and Keynote Speaker Hugh Weber from Deep Bench. It would be great to have any of your students who are interested!

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Matter ’09—Austin, Texas

As I report from the Seminary of the Southwest, Austin, Texas — I'm an attendee and contributor at Matter ’09, a creative theology conference. The theme for the conference is (Hebrews 12) Christian Relationships. My paper presentation, which occurred yesterday was Hebrews 12: “Our Relationship with God through Art and Text.” Pictured above is a piece titled, Coram Deo I (2007), which is a giclĂ©e digital print featured in the presentation.

The paper opens this way:

Perhaps you’re familiar with the lyrics of “Open our eyes, Lord,” which is a song that reminds us of Hebrews 12:2, where the Biblical author writes, “Let us keep looking to Jesus. He is the author of faith. He also makes it perfect. He paid no attention to the shame of the cross. He suffered there because of the joy he was looking forward to. Then he sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2 from the NIRV.

Thinking about this passage, in a broader Scriptural context, I came across a very interesting article in a vintage periodical called Christian Art, which according to it’s tagline was “a monthly review of art made for God’s greater glory.” The September 1966 issue ran an interview with the idiosyncratic artist, Joachim Probst (1913-1980). Probst speaks very forthrightly, from the heart, and self-assuredly yet his fragility and vulnerability seems to be revealed at the same time. He’s a self-described maniac. In addition to his artwork, Probst perseverance as an artist, which at times meant poverty.

In the interview Probst elaborates, “Now how do I mean that art is a stand against decay? The moment you say art has something to do with line, form, color, you bring it into life and this means a stand against decay. By decay I mean rot. You live in fear or you face it through art…” — From an article in Christian Art, An interview with Joachim Probst and edited by Helene E. Nelson, Graphic House Inc., Chicago, 1966.

Reinforcing Probst’s point, Nicholas Wolterstorff says emphatically: “This world of colors and textures and shapes and sounds is good for us, good for us in many ways, good also in that it provides us with refreshing delight” (Proverbs 8:30-31). We are a physical part of God’s creation, we are along with all created things creatures of God, and all things were created to serve and glorify the Lord.

The title of my series, “Coram Deo” literally means “before the face of God.” It carries with it the idea of living one’s whole life in the presence of the divine and to the honor and glory of God. While there’s a reality to living in the awesome presence of the Lord there is also mystery to the divine presence and this series attempts to conceptualize the mystery. From a creaturely perspective (type and text can be creaturely things), this body of work explores and attempts to visualize the mystery as colorful layers, emotive, and formal interests.

In a book, On Being Human, Imaging God in the Modern World, author Calvin Seerveld discusses our call to live life fully according to human experience by enjoying good creaturely things in the living presence of God, — “as a listening sinner or as sinful saint, sharing its truth with one’s neighbor." Good ways to begin to know our humanness is to hear the God of psalm 139 speak:
This Scripture tells us that to be a human creature is to be coram Deo, to live before the face of god, not just as a fact you cold learn, but also, as a lived experience. God knows you to the core of your human selfhood. We humans are creatures God knows heart to heart. Because we humans without exception worship, each one of us is consciously or self-consciously aware of the fact that the Lord’s faithful, all encompassing care attends us and penetrates past the maintenance of each hair of our head and touches us in our mother’s womb. Psalm 139 reveals the truth that the peculiar feature of human creatures is that the creator Lord holds us to be accountable persons in God’s holy presence.

Animals, plants and rocks exist coram Deo, too and respond gloriously to god’s will in their own way as animals, plants and rocks. Lions stalking prey deep in the jungle are looking to God for their food, says Scripture (Psalm 104:14-30). The colors with which God clothes wildflowers are praise more exquisite than Solomon’s finery, says Scripture (Matthew 6:25-34). The reaches of sky which give playroom to clouds jubilantly proclaim the stunning majesty of the Lord, says Scripture (Psalm 19:1-4). The bird, tree and stone on every street-corner witness that God of the Scriptures revealed in Jesus Christ is lord of heaven and earth, even before humans built their cities (see Job 38-41)!
Along with acknowledging God’s Covenantal sign of the rainbow Seerveld metaphorically expresses his view of the Covenantal theme as warm and “light” colors. To this, I would add that the light always creates shadows too and atmospheric light and shadows reveal the form.

The font used to develop the Coram Deo series is Boudewyn © 2004, which is an original type design by David Versluis and is a work in progress, begun in 2004. This digital type face was inspired by the wood carved typographic style on the Communion table (detail pictured above) of the Broadway (Westview) Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The carving, completed ca. 1904 was the work of Boudewyn DeKorne.

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Friday, September 11, 2009

sweet signage

Photo courtesy of moillusions.com.

I was procrastinating the other day, and I found these cool signs that were done in a parking garage. Maybe we should have done this in the library...

...ya think? Check out the whole article here:

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Design History: Marcel Breuer

Front and back views of Saint Francis de Sales Parish, Muskegon, Michigan, which was designed by Marcel Breuer and Associates and dedicated in 1966. Photographs by David Versluis © 2009.

It’s amazing when one encounters twentieth century modern architecture in smaller cities in the middle of the United States, especially, buildings designed by Bauhaus trained and internationally known architects. This is the case with the Saint Francis de Sales Parish of the Roman Catholic Church in Muskegon, Michigan that was designed by “functionalist” Marcel Breuer (1902-1981) in the early 1960s. In addition to being a practicing architect Breuer was, perhaps, better known for his pioneering furniture designs, particularly the Bauhaus tubular metal chair known as model no. B3, the Wassily (Kandinsky) chair (1925). And also his subsequent modern bent plywood furniture designs.

In the 1930s Breuer left Germany and joined Walter Gropius as a professor at Harvard University School of Design (1937).

In the reference book, Design in the 20th Century, Charlotte & Peter Fiell explain, “He founded Marcel Breuer and Associates in New York in 1956, and around that time, like Le Corbusier, made concrete his material of choice. He used this medium in a highly sculptural and innovative way for his design of the monumental Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1966)” (pages 138-139).

Like the Whitney, the church in Muskegon is constructed with site-cast concrete in molds. In spite of a later addition, in front, the original impact of the church building is still very evident. One of the most striking features of this building is it’s mathematical, hyperbolic paraboloid form, which builds a structure constructed of entirely straight lines but the visual effect creates a curve. In other words, the back is opposite the front and the sides result in a curved surface. Other compelling features include the cantilevered belfry and the massive sculptured-relief cross beneath it.

As a side note:
Another example of Christian church architecture, by Breuer, is the St John’s Abbey Church located in Collegeville, Minnesota.

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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Have Portfolio Will Travel

Pictured above is the back and front sides of Paul Berkbigler’s portfolio. His pieces are packaged in a vintage hard shell “Samsonite” suitcase. Individual pieces were mounted on black boards. Bob Hankin presented his work as digital slides. While both have certainly found their own design voices—I wanted to ask Paul if he was ever influenced by the work of Charles S. Anderson of Minneapolis. Photographs by Paul Hanaoka © 2009.

The AIGA Student Group at Dordt began the new semester by meeting invited guests Paul Berkbigler, a practicing graphic designer and AIGA Nebraska Education Director from Lincoln, Nebraska and Bob Hankin, President of AIGA Nebraska and chair of the art and graphic design department at Bellevue University. The meeting occurred on Thursday evening September 3 in Studio/Room 1223 of Dordt’s brand new art space.

A witty and entertaining team of authenticity, Paul (on left) and Bob presented their work and discussed being graphic designers in a broader vocational context. The presentation concluded with the benefits of being a member of AIGA and highlighting some of the upcoming AIGA Nebraska Chapter events. They were great representatives for AIGA and the Nebraska Chapter. What particularly resonated with me was that both were strong advocates of giving back something to community, specifically as members of AIGA and being active volunteers. They encouraged students to be pro active practitioners and about the importance of participating in their professional group.

Over twenty students and art department faculty attended to hear and see these inspiring presenters. Student responses were very enthusiastic and positive too. A student declared, “I had a great time last night.” And someone else said, “It was a good experience, I really enjoyed both Paul and Bob’s presentations.” During the session students asked good questions and it was a fine interactive event and exchange.

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