Graphic Designers

Welcome to Scratching the Surface, the brand new design podcast interested in the intersection of criticism and practice hosted by Jarrett Fuller. Released weekly, each episode will feature conversations with designers, writers, critics, educators and people who do a combination of these. We’ll talk about the role of design criticism, the state of design writing, and try to figure out new ways to talk about graphic design.
Adam Michaels and Shannon Harvey are the principals of Inventory Form and Content, a Los Angeles-based design and editorial studio focusing on graphic design, spatial design, strategy, and content development. They also operate Inventory Press, a publishing imprint that specializes in books on art, architecture, design, and music. Previously, Adam and Shannon were a part of the New York design studio Project Projects, where Adam was Founding Principal. In this episode, Adam and Shannon talk with Jarrett about the ethos behind IN-FO.com, expanded practices, and publishing.
Aggie Toppins is a graphic designer and educator whose work centers around active citizenship and intellectual pursuit. She’s currently teaches at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and maintains an independent studio practice publishing zines, collages, and a fun series called Critical Theory Cocktails. In this episode, Aggie and I talk about her introduction to critical theory and how she introduces challenging texts to her students, how her time at MICA inspired her to start teaching, and why it’s important to decolonize the design discourse.
Allison Arieff is the editorial director of Spur and a columnist for the New York Times where she writes about architecture, design, and cities. Before that, she was the editor-at-large for both Good and Sunset Magazines and was the editor-in-chief at Dwell. In this episode, Allison and Jarrett talk about how she wanted to be a writer since eighth grade, the expanding definition of design, and the relationship between design and policy.
Andrew Lister and Matthew Stuart are designers, editors, educators, and publishers. Together, they edit and design Bricks from the Kiln, a new journal that ‘centers in and around graphic design.’ In this episode, Matthew, Andrew, and I talk about Bricks from the Kiln and how they started it and what their goals are, how publishing and editing has influenced their design practice, and the overlap between editing, teaching, and writing.
Armin Vit is the co-founder of Under Consideration with his wife Bryony Gomez-Palacio, the site behind popular blogs Brand New, FPO, and SpeakUp. In this conversation, I talk to Armin about how he started writing, why he shut down SpeakUp in 2009, why everyone is critiquing logos now, and how social media is changing the design discourse.
Brian LaRossa is a designer, illustrator, writer, and reader. He’s a design director at Scholastic, writer for Design Observer, and on the adjunct faculty at CUNY. In this episode, Brian and Jarrett talk about his early resistance to the design world and how discovering its history and culture opened up a new love for the discipline. They also talk about how he started writing, his love of reading, and the similarities between his writing process and design process.

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