Favorite Graphic Designers / Design Firms

desertintheshape's picture

There is a design firm in San Francisco...their website is just a white background with a single video with the founder talking about how he isn't going to post a profile, list of works, clients, etc....that if you want real design - come to them. It is a great video and a great site, sadly, I don't remember what it was or who they are...while I was trying to find it I came across some pretty nice sites and designers with nice work. I'm interested in hearing who your favorite graphic designers or firm is and possibly if anyone knows what i'm talking about with this firm in San Fran.
For now, I really like the work of this guy.

hrant's picture

To me that sounds like stupidity stemming from arrogance.


desertintheshape's picture

well it is one of the biggest firms in the world and has won countless design awards, not to mention, what matters most - the designs are incredible. so, calling it stupidity and arrogant....well you might as well be posting your comments from the bottom of a well.
i was asking for contributions for favorite designers btw. if you have nothing to contribute, move along.

hrant's picture

So they've "arrived" and can afford to force people who
don't already know them to find out some other way?

BTW, I don't equate financial success with quality.
For example about half the time I see something by
Landor it looks stupid to me. But yes, that's merely
my own opinion (just like everything else though).

> the designs are incredible



Here are two of my favs, one of them maybe predictable the
other maybe no longer active: Marian Bantjes, Miles Newlyn.
But I admit to being largely confined to the world of type
design, so hopefully you'll get more relevant contributions.


desertintheshape's picture

sounds like you need a blog or something to release all of your "opinions". pretty fired up over nothing. that's all you'll get from me.

hrant's picture

That would be hhpov.com - redirects to Typophile. ;-)
(Hey wait a second, who took that?! Daaaaaaam.)

Seriously: what's your justification for not going to
the trouble/expense of putting up a sober website?


laurieann143's picture

why the hostility, hhp?

hrant's picture

Why the hostility towards arrogance?
If you can think of a good reason for having a
"we're not telling you much" website, I'm open.


desertintheshape's picture

this isn't the place for your debates. you're not going to come in this thread
and hijack it with your monotonous tone and truculent posts. if you want a debate on
"If you can think of a good reason for having a
"we're not telling you much" website" then open up a blog,
give your thesis, point me to it and i'll give you the abuse you want by undressing
your pettish argument with ease. this is not the thread for your obnoxious ideas.
so go open that blog or start a thread somewhere else, mkay?

rs_donsata's picture

I like http://theheadsofstate.com/

I also think that it is very arrogant to place a website with only a video saying that they are too good for you to judge them and that you should trust them blindly.

hrant's picture

Jared, you can start a thread, but don't expect to control it.
It sounds like you're the one who needs to start a blog!

BTW, I'm the only* one to answer your question so far...
But I do hope and believe you'll get some good contributions.

* Cross-post, sorry.


JamesM's picture

> you should trust them blindly

If it's a large design firm, their clients would be mostly corporations and they wouldn't be hired without face-to-face meetings, a review of their previous work, written proposals and estimates, and so forth.

I haven't seen the video myself, but I'm guessing that the design firm targets and goes after potential clients that they desire, rather than just putting up a site and hoping it'll attract someone, and therefore they regard the website as largely a waste of resources.

A design firm I used to work for had a similar attitude. They did almost no advertising. The decided who they wanted as a client and then went after them.

desertintheshape's picture

hrant. you redefine the world "dolt".

rs - headsofstate =nice.
the video didn't say anything about trusting them blindly, but to meet them face-to-face and they would go over their work and portfolio in person.

james - you nailed it.

in this day and age of "everyone has a site", and certainly even my grandma can do some great photoshop work in her basement on an old dell, whether people say it is arrogant or not i'm sure is of no concern as these people aren't in their demographic.
honestly, for me it was one of the best, if not THE best website for a designer. It really struck me. I've been a designer for 15 years and I don't have a site, nor do I carry a portfolio. The reason is the same reason - it is far too limiting. When I speak to a client I meet in person and put together a portfolio specifically catered to their needs...so with that being said, there is absolutely nothing arrogant about it.

hrant's picture

Laurie Ann, you were saying something about hostility?

> The decided who they wanted as a client and then went after them.

Arrogant. And bad business; it's much better
to turn away people knocking at your door.

Probably the owner is an old fart who gets
more kicks out of arrogance than money.

> meet them face-to-face

So you want people to fly over to you
to see your work. What is this, 1970?

And really, do you think you're at the level
of that mythical design firm and you should
also try to avoid the unwashed masses?


desertintheshape's picture

It's not arrogant you fool, it's catering to the clients needs and going after projects I want to go after. I don't care about the masses.
And yes, when big business are spending thousands, millions of dollars, THE FLY OVER TO SPEAK IN PERSON. You're of the "I do graphic design from my mother's basement" variety as well as a mental midget so you don't understand that. Mods is there a way I can block this fool from posting in here?
and what is this hhp stuff? why do you feel you have to sign each one of your posts? that's pretty arrogant.

edit: I had to google you to see if I could find any of your work since you talk so much....now i understand.
You're a sad, sad, man. Go take a bath you dirty old leb.

5star's picture

> "...if you want real design - come to them."


So, IF that's true, I feel 'real' sad for the rest of us 'unreal' graphic designers and graphic design firm owners.

As to your 'real' question ... I appreciate designers (and design firms) that have an edge to their work and have the innate ability to push their craft/art forward with the tools that they use. It could be something slick as done by Neil Duerden, or something raw as done by Eric Haze. There's far too many for me to mention like Ian Brignell, the firm Non-Format, um ...

But say something like "...if you want real design - come to them.", is just plain ignorant.

JamesM's picture

> So you want people to fly over to you
> to see your work.

No, normally an executive at the design firm would go to the potential client's office. Even if it means flying across the country.

Landing a big account can means hundreds of thousands of dollars in billing, so it's worth spending some money to land the account.

At the design firm I previously mentioned working at, we had a Vice President for Marketing (although he used a different title on his business card so it didn't sound overly commercial). His only job was landing new clients, and he was constantly traveling, showing the portfolio, wining and dining executives at companies we wanted to work for, etc.

hrant's picture

Jared, I think your Google search skills need work. I just took a shower!

You might also think twice about making racist comments.
It seems you belong in LA about as much as you belong in Design.


hrant's picture

James, what you describe was probably a cost-effective strategy.
But I'm sure they also had a functional website, which helps:
- Convince people to let you walk in to their busy schedule.
- People you weren't targeting (not necessarily because you
don't want their business) discover you, be impressed, and
eventually become your clients.


hrant's picture

> http://wearemanic.com/

Hey, one of my customers!
And Karen is a great person to boot.


hrant's picture

Speaking of flying, the only kind that makes sense to me in
this age is mentioned in the penultimate paragraph here:


JamesM's picture

> James, what you describe was probably a
> cost-effective strategy. But I'm sure they
> also had a functional website

Yes, you're right; they had a nice site.

I'm just speculating that the company the original poster was talking about gets their clients by other means, such as word-of-mouth or by pursuing clients they desire. Or they prefer to pitch their services in person.

Just a guess; I haven't seen the website the o.p. was talking about.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

I like Florian Hardwig unt Malte Kaune a lot, both personally and professionally: http://kaune.hardwig.com/

Nick Shinn's picture

My favorites are those who use my fonts, preferably licensed.

tmac's picture

So, the original poster says: "Go take a bath you dirty old leb."
He shows himself to be the worst sort of person: narrow-minded, intolerant, racist.

Why are people still helping him?
Why hasn't this thread been pulled?

This is completely unacceptable.

hrant's picture

You can't solve a problem by hiding it, so I
personally would rather it stay in the open.

Also, no matter what bad things a thread may
contain, it could also contain good things,
such as the list provided by "jabez".

So don't think of such contributions as helping
a single misguided individual - think of them
as helping anybody who's open to the help.

That said, it's also very important to publicly
counter bad behavior - thank you for doing so.


Té Rowan's picture

@desertintheshape – There are two things you can be 100% sure about when it comes to the regulars here: 1) They are opinionated and 2) they are not into hiding their light under a bushel. There are times when I sound like the voice of reason. And I am the kind of bloke that thinks that Kenko and P'yeknu are rightly deserving of the literature Nobel!

(Edit: Add links to authors)

TheMark's picture

I'm just gonna skip the whole "empty website" discussion and go straight to the purpose of this post... sweet links of some of my favorite designers!

Topdollar favorites Hello Monday

The one guy army

My type of design

Staying TRUE

misternoe's picture

Wow OP, Dustin E. Arnold has some serious talent across a few mediums. Nice find.

riccard0's picture

Dustin E. Arnold has some serious talent across a few mediums

It’s a pity web design isn’t one of them ;-)

Chris Keegan's picture

I believe the site originally mentioned is Bill Cahan's. They did incredible annual reports during their time. I don't believe the minimal site is out of arrogance, it's probably out of a desire to do something different. Whether it works or not is another thing... http://www.cahanassociates.com/

hrant's picture

I think minimalism is usually out of a desire to control the uncontrollable. It's one of the symptoms of a common ailment called Modernism.


Té Rowan's picture

Control the uncontrollable? Well, clutter is pretty uncontrollable, na?

vitaliypos's picture

I searching the net and view these website http://www.isadoradesign.com. Can you tell me what font are they use? I mean the main brand name. Or is it handcrafted?

donshottype's picture

vitaliypos said:
---start quote---
Can you tell me what font are they use? I mean the main brand name. Or is it handcrafted?
---end quote---
I recommend you put your question to the Font Identification people at http://typophile.com/typeid

twinkl1234's picture

thanks for your suggestions


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