Back in late 1998 or early 1999 I got called by a marketing director from a newly launched search engine company named “Google” (founded in 1998). She asked me if I wanted to do an illustration that would be a playful takeoff on their logo for their homepage. If they liked it, she continued, there would be more assignments forthcoming, especially on holidays and other important dates. They had seen my illustration work in the Directory of Illustration and liked my style. Sure I’d heard of Google but I was far more familiar with their competitor Yahoo, which had been founded 4 years earlier and had a glitzy national advertising campaign (remember the hillbilly yelling, “Ya-hoo-oo-o!”).
At this point I should mention that I had recently pulled an all-nighter on a stressful advertising illustration for an unpleasant and demanding client. My energy level was running on empty and at that particular point in time my enthusiasm for my craft of illustration was negligible. Did I even want to be an illustrator? I wasn’t getting any younger and I didn’t know a lot of other people pulling all-nighters in their mid 40s. And then I did something I’ve only done a handful of times in my career. I passed on the project. Besides, the deadline was too tight and I was too tired. The company probably wouldn’t even be around in a year or two. Yahoo would probably buy them out or run them out of business.
Note to self: If Google ever calls again, take the gig.
P.S. After a good night’s sleep I was all about being an illustrator again!
I was just checking out the local summer concert schedule, which brought back fond memories of the humid night last summer when my husband and I went to see the Allman Brothers Band at Pine Knob (now lamely named the DTE Energy Music Theater). We paid a mere $10 for lawn tickets and arrived some minutes after Bob Weir and Ratdog had begun the opening act. Of course we all know that Bob Weir was a member of this band. And if you didn’t know it, the helpful man smoking a joint next to you at the concert would gladly explain Bob’s place in the history of rock and roll and his pivotal role in that very stoner’s life. “I mean he totally like … you know … changed me … cosmically … it’s not music, it’s more than music … it’s … wow … you know.” Yes, yes, my friend, I do know. The people-watching alone at this show was worth the Hamilton. I’ve never seen so much tie-dye.
After a lengthy 2-hour opening act, Bob and friends finally relinquished the stage to the incredible Allman Brothers Band. My husband, in an effort to get me pumped for this concert, emailed me the following factoids about the ABB:
1. The band was formed in 1969, and its original lineup had six members (2 guitarists, 2 drummers, one bassist and one organist/vocalist).
2. There have been many, many lineup changes over the years; the band has had 20 different members.
3. The current 7-man lineup actually has half of the original members (the lead singer Greg Allman and two of the three drummers).
4. Four of the band’s members have died, or one fifth of the total membership.
5. Two of the founding members of the band died in motorcycle accidents, roughly one year apart, both in Macon, Georgia.
6. Members of the Allman Brothers Band should avoid motorcycles, and maybe Macon, Georgia, as well.
7. One might reasonably expect there to be a hefty amount of marijuana at this concert.
Yes, we should have been prepared for the pot. An open-air amphitheater, hippy jam music (the band’s logo is a mushroom, for crying out loud), and absolutely no reinforcement of the “drug-free venue” policy. Mary Jane aside, the ABB was incredible, an awesome jam band. The guitarists were freakishly amazing, Greg played both organ and grand piano and still has an awesome voice, and all three drummers were incredible.
Still, I definitely prefer my music (and life) sans hallucinogens.
Hile Design LLC has designed an ecommerce website for the VOi! (“you” in Italian), a hard-shell designer case for the iPhone. The product is released by the Ann Arbor-based company eNcipient, and can be purchased at www.4voi.com.
Hile Design LLC has been chosen by New Hampshire–based toy company Goldbrick Games to redesign the packaging for its card game Perpetual Commotion. Additionally Hile will create branded packaging for the company’s new 2-Player Perpetual Commotion edition, as well as develop the company’s website, animated game demo, point-of-sale display and sales collateral. See full details »
Is Dave Hile a compulsive hoarder or an inspired advertising guru? Only time will tell.
Do you collect things? My cousin collects anything related to penguins. The mother of a friend of mine collects owl bric-a-brac. Her house is packed with owl ceramics, art prints, aprons, snow globes, door knockers, figurines, pillows and anything else that could possibly get an owl image on it. I always wondered what the appeal was, and I found people who obsessively collected themed whatnots to be slightly bizarre (except, of course, my cousin who might someday read this blog). How far is the leap from being a collector to becoming one of those eccentric people who live in darkened houses, who never throw out their newspapers dating back to the 1960s?
Like I said, that’s what I thought. Until I became one of them!
I collect modern clocks. It started about four years ago. One day I felt like we needed a clock for our office. A nice big one so all the designers could keep an eye on their deadlines. But of course being a lover of all things modern I couldn’t just buy a regular clock. So I turned to the internet and began researching designer wall clocks—most of the ones that appealed to me were made in Italy, Holland, England, Finland or some other European country. I ended up buying the Contrattempo model by Rexite, an Italian product design firm. It was big and easy to read and really well designed with a cool red pendulum in place of where the numeral “6″ should be. Then a few weeks later I saw another really cool clock from an English company named Joseph Joseph. I figured the office could use another clock. I mean, there are all kinds of walls and corners in our office so another clock wouldn’t hurt, right? A week later on impulse I bought two more Joseph Joseph clocks. Four years later our office has eighty clocks. Oh, and the son of my (penguin) cousin bought me a clock on his last business trip to England. Yup, the circle is complete.
I take a lot of flack from my staff. Their jokes include not being able to tell the time from the clocks because of their modern, unique designs. Other jokes revolve around my being compulsive and my “hoarding problem.” I make our production designer, Lindsey, reset all the clocks twice a year because of the time change in our region of the country. It takes her an hour and a half to update them.
But I have developed a unique defense for my collection. It goes something like this, and I’ve actually used it with clients:
“See all these clocks?” (Client makes a 360 of the room.)
“All these clocks are created for the same purpose. Right?” (Client nods affirmatively.)
“But each one takes a wholly different approach with totally unique results. Some are clever and some are functional and some are funny and this one over here doesn’t even have any hands at all.” (At this point I show them the MOMA Timesphere clock that uses a little red ball that travels around the clock face in lieu of mundane and archaic hands. The client chuckles and increases their head bobbing.)
“It’s just like your advertising. What we have to do is find out what’s most unique about your company and the services you provide your customers. There are many creative options we can apply to your corporate branding, just like there are many different ways to create a timepiece.” (The head bobbing is at maximum capacity.)
Sure, I made this spiel up after I got all the clocks, but it actually is a good analogy. Each clock design is inspired in its own way and presents a completely different “attitude.”
I have to go now. The clocks are telling me I’ve got a meeting to attend. At least I think they are.