New Year’s Resolutions and A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints

My new year’s resolution was to make some videos. Videos have a unique way of impacting people—something about movement and sound—and I wanted to develop a sense for what makes a video impactful. I figured the best way to do that was to make some of videos myself.

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I wanted to follow through on my resolution, so when I had an idea for a video this past weekend, I decided to create it by January 1. The idea was inspired by this photo of Aaron Draplin. It always made me think of religious icons and patron saints. I decided to make a video of graphic design’s patron saints. 

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Draplin didn’t make it into the video. I still think he’s the bee’s knees, but I couldn’t think of a good saint name. “Patron Saint of Thick Lines” isn’t super catchy. 

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So instead of Draplin and Bierut and Paul Rand, all of who are designers I love, I came up with a list of people who I thought represent the breadth of the design industry. 

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I had a pretty big list at that point—educators, icons, newcomers, and pariahs (mmm… that David Carson). I had to narrow it down. I started putting together titles for each person—if I could come up with a quick visual joke to go with their new name, they made it into the video. 

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Jessica Hische got Haters hating while she smiles away. Saul Bass, who turned everything he touched to gold, got a golden arm

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Zeldman got a blue hat, and Sagmeister, well, Sagmeister got… you can see what he got. That poster still makes me feel funny inside. 

I finished up the video on New Year’s Day, and my friend John provided the music.

Thanks for watching. I hope you enjoyed seeing these design saints as much as I enjoyed making making them. Here’s to a new year, full of new projects.