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Dream Project

Aaaaaah, summer is here, flowers are blooming, skies are blue and Chicago might finally be getting out of the cold. Sunburns and the West Nile virus are here. So much daylight, so many possibilities and boundless energy.

Not sure what all that means, it just feels good to be in summer. With that said, what is your dream project? Think big. If you were granted the option to take on any kind of project what would it be? Redesigning Yahoo.com, creating Microsoft’s new logo, reinvigorating a city with a whole new identity, repackaging Wrigley’s Doublemint Gu… oh, that has been done, so that one doesn’t count.

Seriously, which project would rock your world? That single project which after completion you could hang your hat, call it quits and enjoy summer?

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PUBLISHED ON May.27.2003 BY Armin
Adrian’s comment is:

Simple: Create a new ad campaign for Captain Morgan. I can't stand it anymore, at first it was clever, but the mustache and "The Captain was here" needs to go away and fast. I think it would be a great challenge.

What would you do with a pirate in the 21st century?

How can you rebuild brand recognition without the mustache and catch phrase?

After that, I would retire for the summer and enjoy every minute of it.

On May.27.2003 at 09:52 AM
Sam’s comment is:

I recently/finally got an M & Co. watch (the Askew version)--I think my dream project would be to bring back the whole line and, maybe just maybe, add a design or two of my own.

On May.27.2003 at 10:34 AM
jonsel’s comment is:

As long as we're not getting picky —�like needing to actually be qualified to design our dream project — I'd like to design a kick-ass sports car. Something mean and fast, but affordable, so it is actually driven and not warehoused somewhere.

On May.27.2003 at 11:03 AM
armin’s comment is:

I wouldn't mind taking on a city's identity program. Say... Mexico City, or some other smaller city. That is probably one of the hardest jobs in terms of identity work, capturing a whole city's feel in a mark? Not easy.

I would also like taking a shot at a museum of contemporary art (any would do) or something of the sort. From its environmental graphics to the toilet paper.

And in a more utopian scenario I would design the interior of an airplane. They don't have to be so ugly, or is it an FAA regulation? I would start with the seats. Why they gotta be so damn uncomfortable? And have such cheesy patterned textile covers? On the other hand, I could also just fly first-class and shut up.

On May.27.2003 at 11:07 AM
Sam’s comment is:

Armin, all the other cities are smaller than Mexico City!

On May.27.2003 at 11:12 AM
griff’s comment is:

I am a huge fan of cycling, partly because of the visual aspect.

I would love to do the id/branding for a cycling team riding in the tour de france.

Design everything, the riders jersys , caps, bicycles, support cars, banners, propaganda etc.

Oh, well, back to work.

On May.27.2003 at 11:33 AM
Kiran Max Weber’s comment is:

I'm not the least bit religious, but I'd like to design a Church. The bibles too.

On May.27.2003 at 11:59 AM
rebecca’s comment is:

Clothes. Clothes. Clothes. Clothes. Clothes. Since I can't sew, I'd settle for bossing around a seamstress and designing the tags and labels myself.

And Sam, my current watch is a $5 Times Square piece of shit and I've been in the market for months. Via you, I have found my future watch. Let's be sure to never appear in the same room.

On May.27.2003 at 12:04 PM
Darrel’s comment is:

My dream project would be for a company to hire and pay me up front for 3 months of consulting only to immediately go bankrupt.

On May.27.2003 at 12:06 PM
Kiran Max Weber’s comment is:

I find it very interesting that most of us "graphic/web designers" are interested in other mediums than print and web as our "dream project."

Are we bored?

On May.27.2003 at 12:13 PM
jonsel’s comment is:

Are we bored?

I'm actually pretty excited about a print piece I'm working on, but that's because I don't do many of them. I love doing identities, but it's great to break out of that.

On May.27.2003 at 12:25 PM
felix’s comment is:

AOL and Verizon identity redesigns.

(w/ no CEO haggle clause)

On May.27.2003 at 12:45 PM
Jonathan’s comment is:

My dream project involves me designing the next generation sports car at any of the following auto makers: Aston Martin, Lotus, Honda or TVR.

I work so much in the 'virtual' doing Web and application design that I long for something tangible in my results - like a fast car or a grand building.

On May.27.2003 at 01:21 PM
Tan’s comment is:

I have a struggle between a dream design project, and a dream client in general. So I offer two scenarios.

Tan the designer -- I'm a car guy (like jonsel), so my dream design project would be to work with J Mays at Ford to rebrand the entire Ford line. Maybe invent a sub-brand that would compete with specialty European marks like Audi and Mini. And as a side benefit, I would get a new car each month. And frequent travels to Italy and Europe to better translate the brand to US consumers. Though there's absolutely no way I'd move to Michigan.

Tan the guy -- as I grow older, I dream more and more about not working all the time. So in that vein, my dream client would be a huge Japanese hotel conglomerate that owns luxury properties in Maui, Tahiti, and Belize. As their exclusive hotel and golf resort designer. I'd have to work in Hawaii 6 months out of the year -- so I'd have an estate in Maui, as well as have access to all of their resorts around the world.


there seems to be a few car freaks here. Must be a guy thing.

On May.27.2003 at 01:29 PM
Damien’s comment is:

I've always wanted to design, architect and construct an international airport. All the road planning, economics, logistics, runway engineering etc - it all seems like an ultimate design project. For me.

Next up would be to design a neighbourhood redevelopment project, with parks, school, shops and shit. Bus routes, trees, benches and everything.

Oh - but closer to reality. I'd like to make a movie. Not a film. A movie.

On May.27.2003 at 01:58 PM
Damien’s comment is:

I should add - the ideal projects, for me, combine objects, systems, environments, planning and communication as well as context, which is why things like an airport appeal to me. In reality anything that combines them all is appealing.

On May.27.2003 at 01:59 PM
Sam’s comment is:

Rebecca, if you're used to a Rolex, this M&Co. watch might be a step down. I mean, you did get a real Rolex in Times Square, didn't you?

And Grif, I'll be your domestique on that project. As a kid, I drew bicycle frames where other kids drew guitars and boobies.

On May.27.2003 at 02:12 PM
rebecca’s comment is:

I mean, you did get a real Rolex in Times Square, didn't you?

Hell no. Those were $10.

Alternate dream job: living in a six-room flat in a northern European city (Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Brussels—someplace cold and clean and Socialist) getting paid to make stuff like this. Overrings make everything cooler somehow.

On May.27.2003 at 02:30 PM
Tan’s comment is:

This topic has brought up a related question: suppose you won the lottery tomorrow and became independently wealthy -- how many of you would continue to work as a designer in some way or form?

I know I would. In that respect, I feel pretty fortunate to be a designer.

And if you couldn't be a designer, what would you be?

If I couldn't design, I'd be a chef. Cooking is my second passion.

On May.27.2003 at 03:20 PM
Amanda’s comment is:

A cover illustration for the New Yorker.

A girl can dream.

On May.27.2003 at 03:27 PM
armin’s comment is:

>how many of you would continue to work as a designer in some way or form?

I would definitely stay in business. I don't have any other major skills. I would open my own studio and work for non-profits, firing them if they challenged my creative vision. I would hire the phatest illustrators and photographers. And buy full page ads in all design magazines showing my company's logo. But I would definitely stay in business.

In case I had to quit design I would be a food tester at Tan's restaurant.

On May.27.2003 at 03:31 PM
Christopher May’s comment is:

The National Geographic website!!!

complete with all the interactive maps, charts, motion graphics, etc.

content can be very sexy.


On May.27.2003 at 03:57 PM
atley’s comment is:

i think designing a sports team's identity would be awesome.

but i must be honest, i would probably, if we weren't bound to mediums, choose to design a building?

On May.27.2003 at 04:12 PM
Scott’s comment is:

� An airline identity system, including the planes.

� The logo / pictograms / signage / etc for the Olympics.

� A subway / mass transit map and identity.

� Some logos to redesign: Amazon, Google, Travelocity.

� A redesign of a TV news channel like CNN.

I'm sure there are more, but these are the big ones.

On May.27.2003 at 05:08 PM
anthony’s comment is:

I would like to design the remodel to update a nice old home, several stories, lots of different materials and then acre upon acre of landscaping and garden design.

On May.27.2003 at 07:44 PM
Michael S’s comment is:

Aside from printing my own limited edition books by hand somewhere in the woods, the ideal project for me would be to create a zen garden.

Those M&Co. time pieces are very nice, aside from the great faces (I've got the 10-1-4), I like what's written on the back of some Waste not a moment

On May.27.2003 at 08:09 PM
Ben’s comment is:

Like Tan, I'll split this into two.

Dream project: All the material for a small, independent bike frame builder. With no budget. Letterpress combined with 8 color offset. A free bike at the end. Either that or catalogs for the Walker.

Dream situation: Living and working in europe as a type designer.

And if I won the lottery? I'd travel more, ride my bike more, but I'd still be a designer.

On May.27.2003 at 08:56 PM
Neha’s comment is:

My dream project would have to be designing a chocolate brand. I would first like to travel all over the world to taste and come up with the best milk chocolate ever and then design the whole thing from its form, wrapper, factory, shops and everything inbetween. Basically come up with a formula for the best chocolate ever! If I couldn’t find a chocolate company, I wouldn’t mind creating a chocolate museum or design a book featuring chocolates from different places.

I see a lot of potential in chocolate.

On May.28.2003 at 09:04 AM
armin’s comment is:

If Tan doesn't take me into his restaurant I want to work for Neha's chocolate utopia.

On May.28.2003 at 09:52 AM
tom’s comment is:

Dream Project:

design the Bible as a volume set - all 66 different books as the seperate books and letters that they were originally. Each one would be based on the time period and the scribe and location that it was created.

research, travel, wonder, etc.

leather, parchment, stone, engraving, etc.

kind of the Indiana Jones design project.

On May.28.2003 at 02:35 PM
armin’s comment is:

>design the Bible as a volume set

I think Pentagram beat you to it man. I can't find any images of the project online, but I think Pentagram in Londod did just that. Where they made each book separate with really nice black and white photography with red type... yup, that sounds like Pentagram alright.

On May.28.2003 at 02:47 PM
jonsel’s comment is:

Here's the publisher of the Pocket Canon Bible, designed by Angus Hyland. I think he might have designed these just before becoming a partner at Pentagram.

On May.28.2003 at 03:10 PM
pnk’s comment is:

I would love to do the opening titles for a movie, especially by a really visually exciting director, like Todd Haynes, Tim Burton, or Peter Greenaway. That would be sweet!

I'm with Damien on the Int'l airport, too.

On May.28.2003 at 03:21 PM
Tan’s comment is:

> If Tan doesn't take me into his restaurant I want to work for Neha's chocolate utopia.

Armin, come on by to eat anytime. Just a warning, I'm Asian -- and my people cook and eat everything that moves. Varmints, lips, innards, everything.

Go to your Chicago's Chinatown. See all those shops selling turtles, rabbits, and ducks? Hint: they aren't pet stores.

On May.28.2003 at 03:38 PM
tom’s comment is:

> I think Pentagram beat you to it man.

Yes, I've seen those and others like them, but what I am envisioning is beyond modern book making - we're talking scrolls and lamb skin and very period oriented.

Like what would a letter written in a 1st century Roman prison look and feel like? How do you capture the emotion and gravity of the subject visually?

On May.28.2003 at 03:39 PM
armin’s comment is:

>we're talking scrolls and lamb skin and very period oriented.

It sounds like you need to stop by Tan's place.

On May.28.2003 at 03:41 PM
Tan’s comment is:

"" sounds like lots of you would love to work for Hornall Anderson Design Works in Seattle -- my wife works for them.

� they rebranded a couple of local, small citites/townships near Seattle

� they created wayfinding systems for Seattle's new transit station

� they designed the logo and rebranded the Seattle Supersonics

� they do work for K2 and Raleigh bicycles as well as Giro helmets

� they do work for Ford and Porsche

� they work on independent movies with Vulcan/Blue Sky productions

� and lastly, they make packaging for Seattle Chocolates, Guittard Chocolates, and Ghiradelli Chocolate in SF

Damn, all that's missing is the Bible and Sam's M&Co. watch. ...hey, look at that, they're looking for designers...hmmm

On May.28.2003 at 08:09 PM
Armin’s comment is:

>sounds like lots of you would love to work for Hornall Anderson Design Works

I, like, totally love HADW. Amazing, fresh work.

>hey, look at that, they're looking for designers

I wonder if they would take me as a work-from-home-in-a-different-state-from-7pm-to-9pm-fully-paid-senior-designer?

On May.28.2003 at 08:49 PM
felix’s comment is:

Like wow. HADW.

with the amazing tornado logos. Corbis.

Jamba Juice. Rotisserie Chicken.

Come on Armin, you can grovel better

than that..

On May.28.2003 at 09:46 PM
Tan’s comment is:

with the amazing tornado logos

I know, I know. HADW got stuck in a rut w/ the spinny dithering logos. But they're past that now.

I noticed a pattern between what everybody was lusting after and what HADW had for clients. Couldn't pass off the opp to show you the coincidence.

Round here, they're the big dogs -- the Duffy Design of the Pacific NW. But for a large agency (80+ people) - they have a good rep for being an inspiring, humane, stable place to work.

But the website is a little dated. Let's count all the flash tricks, shall we?

On May.29.2003 at 12:42 AM
Ben’s comment is:


wow, you wife (hopefully) must be really happy to work at HADW. Now if I just had three more years experience...

On May.29.2003 at 08:05 AM
armin’s comment is:

>with the amazing tornado logos. Corbis.

Jamba Juice. Rotisserie Chicken.

Come on Armin, you can grovel better

than that..

That is the stuff I like the least. Their work for that tool place, I can't remember the name, is really good. Some of their most recent work is pretty damn good too. And like Tan said, they have outgrown their swirly-roughy look.

>But the website is a little dated. Let's count all the flash tricks, shall we?

It, like, totally bites.

On May.29.2003 at 08:28 AM
rebecca’s comment is:

hey tan, think you could get your wife to post on speak up?

On May.29.2003 at 02:49 PM
Tan’s comment is:

oooo....not sure if I'd be good with that. She'd reveal any "embellishments" I've made on postings.

seriously, though -- I'll ask her. she'd probably love to.

but she might not have the time. she works from home, and her life these days is as a mother to our two young, uber-cute, but super-destructive kids. it's a lotta work as you can probably imagine.

but I'll ask.

On May.29.2003 at 05:34 PM
zander’s comment is:

my father commited suicide a few years back. he was a great chef, and i have alot of his texts and recipes etc. around for using to do a book about him and his restaurant and his views on food. i'd like to do it all the way thru perfect, for example i'd like to work with a typographer on making a series of typefaces ranging from handwriting to serif text face based on his handwritings. i guess that constitutes my dream project.

in general i have alot of dream projects, i try to make every one and all of the projects i do, my dream projects. i try to work for things i agree with on a moral level because i have come to the conclusion that we are responsible for our actions and what dosent save the world - fucks it.

On May.29.2003 at 06:57 PM
Sam’s comment is:

No not-for-profits jobs???

No one for rebranding Greenpeace (pro bono, of course), who are in as dire need of it as AOL or Verizon?

Tsk tsk tsk.

On May.31.2003 at 02:07 PM
claudia’s comment is:

I have allways wanted to do a CD cover. Hopefully a cover of a musical group that I like, of course. Maybe a cover for a Jazz band, they are usually very artsy, meaning I would get the chance to be more creative.

What about doing some work for a nonprofit organization? That always makes me feel good. They usually don't have a big budget, but the rewards are inmense.

Sorry about my spelling, I am a terrible writer :)

On Jun.04.2003 at 03:03 PM
Ginny’s comment is:

I dream of becoming a photo-editor. But I don't want to live in Manhattan. Well, OK, sometimes I do, but that's another story...and I don't want to work for some "trade" magazine. Art Forum, Dwell, Metropolis, something along that level. I may not be designing as I do as a print designer now, but I would be collaborating with artists, photographers and designers. And that collaboration involves designing. To me, that would be the best!

And of course, designing books. Any kind of coffee-table book, books that involve creative thinking....something that would take a year or two to produce. The idea of emerging yourself into a project of that scope intrigues me.

If I were to not "have to "really" work", I would design gardens for others and throw pillows. Seems pretty random, huh?

On Jun.05.2003 at 11:02 AM
Ginny ’s comment is:

in general i have alot of dream projects, i try to make every one and all of the projects i do, my dream projects. i try to work for things i agree with on a moral level because i have come to the conclusion that we are responsible for our actions and what dosent save the world - fucks it.

I whole-heartedly agree. It's good to try to make every project your "dream" project. It pushes you as a designer which in-turn pushes the design. So insightful...

On Jun.05.2003 at 11:08 AM