Chris Gonzales

Made By: Cameron Moll

Cameron Moll, who you may know as the founder of Authentic Jobs and the guy who designed those "Structures in Type" letterpress posters a while back, spent a couple days recording this episode of Envato's "Made By" interview series.

Here's a good quote, on the difficulty of creating the letterpress posters:

I think that's defined who I've been up to this point in my career. Trying stuff that I was totally unqualified for and trying to make it work, and make it look good, and make it perform.

The interview is nicely shot and I liked getting a peek at how Cameron manages to balance his work with being a family man. (On that note: Five sons?! I only have one son and he's already a handful at 3 years old. Props to Cameron and his wife for keeping their sanity.)

Update: Cameron wrote a little behind-the-scenes post (with photos) about the video on the Authentic Jobs Tumblr.

Our New Favorite Podcast App for iOS

Overcast for iOS — The Sweet Setup

Over at The Sweet Setup, we've chosen Overcast as our new favorite podcast app for iOS, edging out Pocket Casts as our previous top pick.

Once we have a top app pick—in any category—it's very rare that we switch to anything else. In fact, as of this writing we've only done it one other time. So, trust me when I say it was a tough decision, especially because we still love Pocket Casts to death. In the end however, it was the right call.

Lickability is Going Indie

As of today, Brian Capps of iOS app development studio Lickability is officially becoming the first full-time member of the team.

One thing that we’ve always done at Lickability is take our time and do things the “right way.” We take our time to ship releases because we want them to be up to our standards and make sure that they’ve got the features and polish that they deserve. We’re taking the same approach with our company. For the past two years we’ve worked on app releases and client projects that have allowed us to save enough money to pay me full time for more than half a year. Without taking any external investment, we’re funding this experiment entirely from the proceeds generated so far by Lickability. While the initial outside funding approach has worked for many, we’re proud to be responsible to no one but ourselves for our future.

They're giving themselves six months to see if the business can become profitable while paying Brian a full-time salary. I'm super excited for them, and hope to see them pull it off. Congratulations guys!

(On a more selfish note, I'm also excited that Quotebook for iOS will be getting some love. It's long been a favorite app of mine.)

Brother Orange

In part 2 of his “How I Became a Minor Celebrity in China” story (if you haven't read it yet, do it now, it's nuts), BuzzFeed's Matt Stopera actually ends up going to China to meet "Brother Orange", the guy who ended up with his stolen phone.

But that's even not the crazy part. I don't want to spoil anything, you should go read the whole thing for yourself. This quote is apt though:

I’m realizing the language and cultural barriers aren’t such a big thing anymore. It’s 2015 and this is the world we live in. I am so happy.

I almost can't believe BuzzFeed is home to one of the best stories I've ever read on the web. I was smiling the entire way through.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: The Illustrated Edition

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: the Illustrated Edition

As a big fan of all things Harry Potter, I was super excited to learn that the folks at Scholastic and Bloomsbury are releasing fully illustrated versions of all seven books over the next seven years. A few days ago they unveiled the cover for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: the Illustrated Edition (pictured above), and it looks fantastic.

The cover and the 110 full-color illustrations throughout this deluxe hardcover book have been done by artist Jim Kay, a few of which were previewed earlier this year and can be seen in all their glory here.

Harry Potter Illustrations

The illustrated edition of Sorcerer's Stone is slated for release on October 6, 2015. I know that's a long way off, but you can at least preorder the book now for $24 and have it at your door as soon as possible after its release. Easiest choice I've made yet today.

Review of the GORUCK GR Echo

The GORUCK GR Echo — by Álvaro Serrano

My buddy Álvaro Serrano has nailed it yet again with his review of the GORUCK GR Echo daypack this morning over at Tools & Toys.

[T]he Echo thrives in an urban environment. Its understated looks and slim profile make it easy to dart through crowded areas like subways, shopping malls and the like, while providing the assurance that your belongings are always safe.

However, don’t let its discreet appearance fool you into thinking this is an ordinary bag. The Echo shares much of its DNA with the rest of the GORUCK packs and like them, this bag can take whatever you throw at it, and then some.

As usual, the photos are gorgeous and worth clicking for alone. Check it out.

Street Photography in Madrid with the Olympus 17mm f/1.8 Lens

Spring Photography in Madrid — Álvaro Serrano

Álvaro Serrano:

Madrid is an amazing city, full of life and color all year round, but it gets even better when the cold temperatures of winter subside and the glorious spring sunshine takes their place. As the days become longer, the heartbeat of this unique city begins to pick up the pace and when the first heat wave of the year hits the streets, its effects are immediately felt all the way across town, like a shockwave. [...]

With that scenario in mind, I definitely felt this was as good a time as any to take out my new Olympus 17mm f/1.8 lens for the first time and have some fun documenting the arrival of spring to the Spanish capital.

Madrid is one of those cities that I've heard about in my life but never really had much exposure to, in photos or otherwise. I had no real sense of the place at all.

After reading Álvaro's article and seeing his beautiful photos of it, now it's a place I think I'd like to see in person someday.

Exploring Calvin and Hobbes

Exploring Calvin and Hobbes — An Exhibition Catalogue

In the just-released book Exploring Calvin and Hobbes: An Exhibition Catalogue, Jenny Robb (Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum curator) sits down to chat with legendary cartoonist Bill Watterson about his life, his influences, and generally everything that makes him tick. As Michael Cavna of The Washington Post says in his review of the book, there's not a lot in the Q&A that Watterson doesn't touch on.

While the extensive interview alone is worth the price of admission to a lifelong fan such as myself — the man doesn't do many of them, so this is a rare treat — the book also contains art from cartoons and cartoonists that Watterson identifies as influential, including Peanuts, Pogo, Krazy Kat, Doonesbury, Pat Oliphant, Jim Borgman, Flash Gordon, Bloom County, and Ralph Steadman.

The Washington Post was granted permission to publish an extended excerpt from the interview. Here, Watterson describes how he developed the comic strip's style over the years:

As Calvin and Hobbes went on, the writing pushed the drawings into greater complexity. One of the jokes I really like is that the fantasies are drawn more realistically than reality, since that says a lot about what’s going on in Calvin’s head. So that, and my interest in creating a lively sense of animation, forced me to push the flatter, more cartoony and loose designs I started with into a more three-dimensional conception of form and space. If I wanted to draw Calvin from some odd camera angle, I had to visualize him sort of sculpturally, so I could draw it. That’s when you discover that the zigzag shorthand for his hair doesn’t work in perspective very well. Or you find that his tiny little legs are hard to make run, because he hardly has knees. You invent solutions to these sorts of problems, and that gradually changes the appearance of the strip.

There is also an excerpt at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Libarary and Museum blog:

Jenny Robb: My husband and I are looking at houses, and whenever we see one with a woods, we call it a Calvin and Hobbes backyard.

Bill Watterson: To be honest, we didn’t tramp around the woods all that much. Because it was low and heading toward the river, it was somewhat marshy and brambly. You’d get stuck full of prickers of tangled in brush, wit your feet starting to sink into muck. We’d venture in occasionally, but it’s not like I was Christopher Robin.

But I loved having that much nature around us. It mitigated the suburban feel, which I imagine is why my parents chose the property. Having something a bit wild and mysterious and beautiful at the end of the yard was a memorable thing.

Now it’s a subdivision, of course. Looking at a cul-de-sac of McMansions doesn’t have the same impact on the imagination. We like to think their basements are wet.

Excuse me as I rush out to buy the book and read the rest.

The Portland Project

Jim Moran

Speaking of the new Field Notes edition, Jim Moran of the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum gives a behind-the-scenes of how it all came together:

Evening runs and weekend sessions were needed to keep a daily average of 4000 impressions rolling off the press. Most of my collection of vinyl records were necessary to provide background music throughout. Beethoven, curiously, made the Heidelberg happiest. Every time the press locked up, it took a 3 person crew to work the flywheel free. [...] Each paper meant new settings on the press (repeatedly) and a complete re-working of every curse I was capable of uttering.

(Photo above taken from the source blog post and edited by yours truly. I hope they don't mind.)

Field Notes "Two Rivers" Edition

Field Notes "Two Rivers" Edition

“It's a hand-used book so it should be a hand-made product. That's kind of ideal.”
—Jim Moran (Director, Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum)

The Spring 2015 Field Notes Colors edition is finally here, and it's called "Two Rivers". My wallet and mind are ready.

This edition celebrates the history, Americana, and old-fashioned style of wood-type printing — particularly, the kind found on display at the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. Watch the trailer:

Using the museum's collection of vintage type and ornaments, the Field Notes crew hand-set several of their own designs, which were then printed in two random colors on one of four cover stocks over the course of eight months. Further variations were introduced thanks to the vagaries of wood type and letterpress printing.

All of this work added up to thousands of variations, meaning no two books are exactly the same. a small sampling of the variations can be seen in photos at the bottom of the store page. (My heart goes out to the Field Notes completionists out there.)

What's more, two bucks from the sale of every 3-pack goes directly to support the museum. If the edition sells out, that means a minimum donation of $50,000. But even more can be donated, if buyers choose to add an extra amount to their order. I hope you'll consider it.

Get a "Two Rivers" 3-pack for $10 at Field Notes.