I had so much fun producing and editing a silent, simple-shot film for Simple City Maps that I shot another during my time in LA. While away, I began to explore rest in a busy city and wanted to show that through film. Todo this I chose to shoot simple, low-depth of field shots simply showing the wind move against the grass or people bustling around a coffee shop.
I find it interesting that one can achieve rest even by walking around a city all day and being surrounded by people. It is all in one's perception of your external world and being able to separate oneself from it. Of this concept, I shot and edited this film. Enjoy!
Here in Atlanta, we take our city pride seriously. Over the years, we’ve seen the fledgling art scene be furthered by friends and acquaintances alike. Foster Atlanta, We Love Atl, and Plywood have all shown us that the Atlanta creative community is both powerful, helpful, and friendly.
Simple City is a furthering of this vision - bringing people together to celebrate the city of Atlanta and those who created it. We started with simple illustrations of Atl buildings, now PA co presents Simple City Maps - illustrated maps of Atlanta’s most popular spots. They’re refreshingly minimal - yet packed with detail and fun Atlanta information.
Our vision was to provide Atlanta with simple, beautiful artwork while informing people of the very best places to shop, eat, and get to know the city.
If you’ve ever lived outside the city, you know, upon coming to Atlanta you don’t realize how many beautiful, eclectic areas of town there are. You have the newly refurbished, yet distinctly urban Westside. Travel East and you’ll come across Atlanta’s first planned suburb and now bustling community center of Inman Park. Now with Ponce City market thriving, Ponce De Leon Avenue has become one of Atlanta’s must-see spots.
With each map, we included demographic, geographic, and historical information on every area. You’ll learn that Ponce is just down the street from MLK’s birth home. You’ll see that Westside Provisions was once a meat-packing plant and owned by the Swift Company. All this, as it simply hangs on your wall adds interest to the space.
To see the complete collection - you’ll have to come by Citizen Supply on February 26th for our grand unveil. It’s going to be a very special night of celebration, Atlanta-art, and music. We’ve teamed up with the very talented people behind Citizen Supply to offer Atlanta a unique art experience. We can’t say much more, but we really hope to see you in a few short days!
Find more details + reserve your ticket here: www.simple.city
Introducing the BLCK / WHT Collection: low-contrast versions of the most popular Simple City posters. As always, they're 100% made in America and printed in Atlanta by Danger Press. Buy the poster separately or select "Print + Frame" for fast and easy framing.
Each poster is exclusively sold online.
BLCK / WHT
Currently, I'm in Chicago with some of my best buds who all happen to by my roommates. While visiting our good friend, Brent Hellendoorn, who attends Moody Bible Institute, we're getting a personal tour around America's second largest metropolis. Chicago is a town of incredible skyscrapers, decent coffee, and polite drivers (some of them). Nonetheless, today is only Day 1. I'm eager to see what tomorrow holds in Chi-town.
I look at these buildings now and I see the history behind them. I feel so connected to my city simply because I know more about it - that's what I want for every Atlanta citizen. To see these buildings but see past the concrete, and into the lives that built them, the ones who paved the streets we walk on today. That's all simple city is about. It's you and the city getting better acquainted.
Simple City is merely a conversation starter about Atlanta. What is this city? What can I contribute here?
The sooner you make this place your home, the sooner you find ways to make it even better. We each have some way, any way that we can improve Atlanta.
My way is through design, but it's not the only way. It's a way, and it's the way I will continue to use to reach the city.
For me, design is a complex, beautiful medium of communication. When I spend the time illustrating a building hundreds pass by daily, I'm encouraging others to stop and look. I'm communicating to them, that I love that building, and perhaps because of that, they'll take one more second to look up each time they pass.
Today it's Simple City. Perhaps tomorrow it'll be something entirely different. Find your way and do that. Not only does Atlanta need it, it wants it.
Simple City is simply buildings of Atlanta. Buildings that inherently don't have much value, but become invaluable when considering those who step in them each day. Those who built them. Buildings represent cities. We are known by our skyline, but not because of the buildings themselves, because what those buildings house - what they foster. Because what's found inside the buildings are things that have and are continually changing this world. So yes, today is all about buildings. Simple illustrations of my favorite buildings. But soon, we will see the value they bring to this city about to erupt.
Everybody has an Atlanta story. Some meaningful. Some simple. Some profound. I love simple city because it tells that story - at least for me. The Atlanta Skyline print tells the story of me as a kid. Before I moved to the city, my brother had my mom drive to this specific area to take photos. With my iPod touch, I tried to take this time-lapse shot with some janky app. It failed, but it didn’t matter. This was my first time experiencing Jackson Street bridge - one of Atlanta’s most visited spots. People have sat for hours to get the best shot. Others have gotten their own photo taken. People have proposed, begged for money, walked by with friends. This bridge has a million stories, including my own. And telling the story all starts with a poster on the wall. “Hey, remember that time we…” This simple thing, I love about the Simple City project.
Since launching the Simple City collection at Atlantic Station, I've grown a certain liking to the area. Separated by i85/i75, Atlantic Station is its own little town with a grocery store, shops, and condos. Also, major corporations have chosen to make the A class office space their hub for business. Going at a rate of $350 per square foot, A.S. is an extremely high-end area. Although my age and net worth is anomalous for the area, I appreciate it for the beauty it is!
Woah! I trusted Brooke Bennett with the complete Simple City collection and she completely outdid herself! Fortunate for me, Brooke took my illustrations into her beautifully styled home and grabbed some amazing shots of them. All the photos are shown below & you can see there rest of her work here: http://www.brookeabennett.com/
I want to hear from you! What does Atlanta mean to you? What's on the horizon for this city? How has it impacted you personally?
Here's what I think!
Atlanta. There's a certain heartbeat here that no city can replicate. This creative uprising. A place with rich food culture, rich coffee and an even richer connection that draws all of these together. Atlanta has certain vibe that residents adopt when they come into the city. Its relaxed yet ambitious - tolerant yet high standing. Atlanta is a place for the thriving artist, the exhausted student, young professional, and old retired.
For me, Atlanta is only as good as its people and the communities they make up. That's our story. Our buildings, our shops, our restaurants are terrific, but they're only as good as those who frequent them. We are what we build to enjoy together. Foster Atl, We Love Atl, Octane coffee - all places that draw people together through a beautiful craft - the art of community building. This is Atlanta!
Submit your thoughts in the box directly below and I'll post our community's responses!
One of my favorite buildings in Atlanta, the old Sun Trust building in 5 points stands 27 stories above the city. Below, you'll find a timelapse video of me illustrating this simple beauty, just as I illustrated every other Simple City building. Feel free to share in my process and apply it to your own subject! For now, the Simple City series continues!
In the coming months, Simple Social will be built as a social optimization app for Facebook. I was contacted by one of my clients to work on a clean, simple logo for this upcoming product. No need to reinvent the wheel on this one-- I simply provided fresh colors and clean typography. Coupled with those elements are two interlocking S's that provide the brand with a look as unified and tight as possible.
Along with every logo I create, I provide a style guide to easily display the main logo, secondary logos, and brand colors. I've found this to be an easy way to send diverse yet cohesive material to blogs, other designers, and photographers in order to properly convey your company's branding.
Sweet Auburn Historic District
I recently stopped by the newly opened Condesa Coffee shop on Auburn Avenue. Much like its original location on John Wesley Dobbs, Condesa is a smooth combination of classic elements and modern design.
Condesa on Auburn now sits in the left wing of the old Atlanta Daily World building, a newspaper company that once served Atlanta as the first successful black newspaper in the nation. (sweetauburn.us) Now a new purpose for this building is found. An effort to spark new conversation over a cup of coffee has begun.
The store features a gorgeous exposed concrete back wall, which shows the age and history of the building, while the rest of the store is covered in crisp white paint. The space is small and clean, yet comfy. The lighting is vibrant, thanks to the large windows that flank the entrance to the store. The interior design is simple, yet wonderfully formed. Overall, the location, design, and baristas provided an environment of inspiration and
After experiencing many Atlanta coffee shops, I have concluded that Condesa Coffee produces some of the best espresso drinks in the city. Specifically, their iced mocha is stellar. Aside from Java Lords in Little Five Points, I conclude that Condesa has the best mocha in all of Atlanta. Yes, better than Octane and Inman Perk.
The vibe of Condesa is fresh and modern. Its a massive relief to the quaint, overly-rustic, hand-made look that Atlanta has come to love. The people are effortlessly cool. The environment is welcoming and calm worked by the friendly and expert baristas.
This location wouldn’t be the most ideal place to do work, as the location isn’t very large. It’s best for a mid-day boost with a group of friends and newspaper of choice.
address: 145 Auburn Avenue
wifi password: “sweetauburn”
Overall, the city of Birmingham was way more than the group and I expected. Before taking the trip, I was repeatedly asked by people why we were going to Birmingham. “What’s there?” they asked! In reality, we didn’t exactly know either. I had been told by several people that Birmingham was a trendy little town. Little did I know the secret treasures of this city stuck in the past.
Upon driving into the city, I was amazed at the size of the old buildings. Unlike many of Atlanta’s historical buildings that were burnt by Gen. Sherman during the Civil War, the ancient buildings of Birmingham stood nearly as tall as the recently developed corporate high rises. Wells Fargo, Regions, and AT&T were about the only modern day buildings in the city. For the most part, the city of Birmingham is comprised of remarkably tall brick buildings. For instance, the City Federal Building, which is now a condominium, was built in 1913 and stands 27 stories above the city. The John Hand Building shares its height and age.
I loved the allure of these buildings and the irresistible challenge to get on top of them, but it was the people I traveled with that made each simple activity extraordinarily fun. Andrew, Garrett, Cbass, Hope, Alexis, and Rachel each added their own element to this trip. They are, most definitely, my family! Andrew is the “engaging father” of the group. Garrett the “cheerful energy." Cbass “quiet observer.” Hope the “fearless adventurer.” Alexis the “soft sister.” Rachel the “stable giver.” They are all terrific! Wherever you travel, bring those life-giving friends, and you will find enjoyment no matter where you go.
Places to visit:
coffee: Revelator Coffee Co: 1826 3rd Avenue North, Unit 101
dinner: Mug Shots Grill & Bar: 2311 Richard Arrington Jr Blvd N
park: Railroad Park: 1600 1st Avenue
landmark: Sloss Furnaces: 20 32nd St N
museum: Birmingham Museum of Art: 2000 Reverend Abraham Woods Jr Boulevard
easy access parking garage: 2024 2nd Ave N
hill top view: Warwick Dr
I believe every designer should be adept in photography and writing.
Let me run this scenario by you:
You're a graphic designer with an incredible eye, experience, and passion. Cool, you're great at communicating visually. If design is just a hobby to you, then there’s little need to be good at writing.
But if you want to turn this into a career, you have to sell yourself as a designer, and that can't be done with visuals alone. Being a professional designer entails persuading a client-- who doesn't fully understand the mental and emotional requirements of your profession-- to pay you for services and a product that they may not prioritize.
You must learn how to express your visual communications with words, so that people who are hiring you, and most likely aren't visually gifted, can connect with and ultimately pay you. You must deny the temptation to resort to a “creative’s victimization” mindset in dealing with customers. That is, merely passing of a lack of communication on your part as a client not understanding you as an artist.
Many artist’s fall under this mindset, which is ultimately rooted in arrogance. A lack of responsibility is a lack of responsibility, whether you’re branded a creative or not. A failure to communicate to the client is just as unacceptable as is their failure to communicate their brand’s vision.
Now, if you're going the route of creating products with your designs and selling them, such as t-shirts or paper products, you must learn how to stage your products in a complementing way-- to sell. Good design is tainted if presented poorly.
No one wants to buy something based upon a mock-up; you have to learn to communicate through photography, a medium with which the mass of America is comfortable with retrieving information. After all, Instagram, which now has 200 million active users, is entirely photo-based!
Now, go do it!
I’m currently researching the methods and philosophies behind minimalistic design. In my research I came across a very interesting article written by Dieter Rams, one of my favorite designers.
Dieter Rams worked largely for Braun, crafting their products' form and function. Because of his work, he was followed by Apple’s head designer, Jony Ives. Interestingly, we can see clearly that Dieter Rams influenced the products we use every day!
Anyhow, the follow is a clipping from Rams’ article entitled “Omit the Unimportant.” Although the majority of the article is about his philosophy on design, he makes a bold suggestion on how to make the world better through design.
This is the exact vision I have for Atlanta: becoming a place of creatives who don't just compete with each other, but join together and create even better things with one another. Take a second to think of this idea presented by Rams.
You can read the rest of the article on UCLA’s website here.
Recently I was commissioned to design a t-shirt for Carlos Guevara, a young musician who was featured on The Voice last year. He is now playing shows around his hometown in SC and needed some merch to represent himself.
Here is the first of many designs I'll be creating for Carlos and crew - take a look!
Here are a few sketches I sent to a client to jumpstart some ideas! Take a look: