The New Sway
In November 2011, my friend and fellow designer Rory King and I started an experimental zine called Sway. Sway was birthed out of a shared desire the two of us had to return to the experimental, exploratory work we did while we were in college. Realizing since we graduated, we had not engaged in the type of work we did there, we wanted an outlet to use graphic design as a platform to explore our various interests as well as grow as designers.
Each issue followed the same format we created at the beginning: each issue had a theme and both of us had six spreads to respond to that theme. Each issue had predetermined typefaces and a set paper size but the rest was open to whatever we wanted to do. Over the following year, we produced nine issues, all of which I’m proud of for various reasons. In the middle of completing the ninth issue, we had a sense that this format had run its course and put Sway on a temporary hiatus while we figured out what to do with it next.
Milton Glaser, when asked if he designs out of necessity or habit:
Well I’m 83 and I realized that when I wake up in the morning the thought of not having someplace to go to work is the thing I dread most, that if I didn’t get up, get dressed, and come here, I would go nuts. And what is most significant to me is that I might do something that I haven’t done before and I might learn something I didn’t know before. Because my work is very different than it was a year ago, or two years ago, or five years and I feel at the brink of a different kind of knowledge that I never had. So I don’t know what to call that; is it necessity? i think it’s necessity, I really think I’d go nuts if I didn’t have it to do…part of it is the realization that there is a purpose to my life.
I hope when I’m 83, I’ll retain that same sense of wonder, that feeling like there is still something new to do, discover, create, and learn.
I don’t know exactly where or when I first came across the work of Hillman Curtis. I have a distinct memory of watching his Stefan Sagmeister film sometime during my senior year of high school. I proceeded to watch the rest oh his Artists Series, each of which left me inspired as I left for college and started my journey to graphic design.
I found myself returning to the films every few months during my first two years of school and having discussions with professors that derived from Hillman’s work. When I dabbled in film a few years ago, his short films were an inspiration. I know a lot of designers feel the same way and it was truly amazing to watch the outpouring of love and memories on Twitter through out the day.
Hillman died today after a long battle with colon cancer. He was 51.