Superheroes of Design

When I learned that Marvel Studios patriarch Stan Lee passed away recently, it struck a chord with me. I collected Marvel comic books and trading cards growing up; it’s largely what sparked my interest in drawing and graphic design. I filled countless notebooks with sketches of Spider Man and Wolverine, and monopolized the TV watching X-Men cartoons on Saturday mornings. My comic books gathered dust as I got older but my love of drawing only grew, eventually leading me to a career in graphic design.

You may be wondering how Stan Lee and comic books tie into December’s theme of focus?

Comic books are a great example of the four-color printing process in its purest form; but it’s only through close inspection with a magnifying glass (called a loop in our field) that you’ll notice the color separation into halftone or Ben-Day dots. This printing method, that is so often associated with comic books, was first devised in the 1930s as a cost-effective way to create shading and secondary colors in mass-produced comics and newspapers.

In the 1960s, artist Roy Lichtenstein built his fame mimicking comic books of the time, meticulously hand-painting halftone dots at enormous scale. Still today, artists and designers alike lean on the halftone technique, whether to keep costs down when screen printing apparel and merchandise, or to give their artwork a nostalgic look.

I’m not the only one at Trampoline that has a penchant for pulp fiction. Sean has boxes full of comic books from his days as a collector, and looks for any excuse to incorporate comic book stylings into his work. Rob also jumps at the chance to use halftone dots to give a poster a touch of pulp fiction. It’s our way of harkening back to the heyday of pulp fiction, and the superheroes of design.

Sean’s pulp fiction parody can be seen here in an ad for Meyer & Fuller PLLC.

 

Rob’s rockin’ retro poster for Druthers Brewing Co. used halftone dots as a pattern to give it a pulp fiction effect.

 

Call us biased, but we think Megan Coloccia’s Batman and Robin are the cutest superheroes of all time.

WE’RE SEARCHING

For the meaning of life, and also for a new member to join the Trampoline family! Every person that we add to the mix here in the studio shapes who we are. We hire great people and see where they shine to mold positions around them.

A large group of co-workers have a planning meeting as they stand around table.

The morning huddle, going over deadlines and meetings.

Our current opening is for an enthusiastic, resourceful and creative Communications and Production Associate. This is a unique, exciting position that supplements both the account and creative teams in order to serve our clients. We like to immerse ourselves in the culture and voice of our clients in order to help best tell their stories, and we hope you do, too.

Six people stop and pose for a picture at Wildcat Mountain.

Reporting for duty mountainside at Wildcat Mountain.

One day you’ll be writing an Instagram post, the next, you’ll be researching vendors who can source merchandise, and the next, you’ll be meeting with a client to kick off a new project.

– Manage day-to-day client projects including but not limited to oversight of creative production, timelines, budgets, verbal and written correspondence with clients.

– Research and develop third-party quotes and coordinate production process with designers and vendors.

– Manage client advertising budgets, develop plans and place media on behalf of clients.

– Support Partners and Account team on large client accounts, projects, and/or business development activities, as needed.

– Effectively collaborate with internal creative teams, business partners, and vendors.

– Manage Trampoline and client social media strategy, content curation, ideation, and execution. Access and interpret analytics and report back to clients and Senior Leadership team.

This role requires strong:

  • Attention to details
  • Organization skills
  • Creative written and oral communication skills
  • Customer service (internal and external)
  • Basic math skills
Five co-workers and one teenager stand arms laced before a 5k race.

Rotary 5k in Tramp Track shirts.

Our team and culture are unique, and we’re looking for an extraordinary person to join us. You don’t have to know it all, but you do have to be willing to learn. A degree is preferred. This position is located at our Glens Falls office and is full-time with benefits.

An iPhone screen showing people in a brewing facility.

Could this be you?

 

If interested please send resumé, cover letter, and work samples to:

amanda@designtramp.com

staci@designtramp.com

 

 

The strength of our work is our people

We’ve been talking about focus this month. It got me thinking about how and why we focus on certain things. There are areas where we are deliberate, methodical even and others where our focus on one thing makes us miss something else. It’s why I like the idea of having a word for a month, it’s a mechanism for revealing stuff we might otherwise wholly gloss over.

The last year or so we have talked a lot more about a process. Before we kick off a project, we gather background information and relevant context to make sure everyone understands the objective, budget, and timeline. We talk to the client to get a sense of their attitude and how to best arrange the team and process. When we get a quote on a print job we take into account paper stock, extras, pricing, and timing. The same attention to detail happens in the hiring process—what are this person’s strengths, how will they integrate into the current workflow, will they create new opportunities, and can we offer them something meaningful.

These are all great things to do, but something stopped me in my tracks about a month ago. I was walking to my computer, and I passed Staci’s desk. It’s beside a huge window, the sill of which is lined with photos of her family. Her desk always has some sort of snack. On this day, there was an avocado which reminded me of how during Staci’s pregnancy she sat next to Allison, who signed up for emails describing the approximate size of the baby on a weekly basis. One week he was the size of an avocado.

 

Work space with personal items, a baby bottle, documents, and food.

Her chair was empty as she leaned over a proof on the work table with a junior designer. I could hear her characteristically thoughtful feedback on the layout and the way she presents a balance of constructive criticism and praise. Her son Kaiser, who just turned one, was sitting in his stroller flirting with two or three Tramps.

I am guilty of not always remembering just how much Staci has going on, or John, or Megan, or Oliver. I looked at the bottle on her desk, the datebook open with a girls’ night scheduled as well as a chiropractor appointment. These things were alongside ad layouts with notes and her computer screen open to an InDesign file brought into focus how much each person has influencing their perspective. It’s easy to get distracted by the client, the work, and the push to get things done. Nothing happens without the person.

The holidays, in particular, can be a time when each day carries the weight of family obligations, poignant memories, and extra to-dos. I can appreciate the idea that personal issues aren’t for the workplace, but in so many ways we can’t separate a person and the rest of their life.

A mom holds her baby

I am grateful for the way that the people coming into Trampoline each day are unafraid to reveal their entire selves—dysfunction, delight, and massive distractions. When we are able to focus on lifting one another up, whether it’s creating a lactation room or giving advice on how to contest a traffic infraction, it strengthens our team and our process.

We’re planning a lunchtime visit to Mik and Milo, Friday we’ll be brewing a custom beer with Staci’s husband guiding us along with our friends at Mean Max, and on Fridays, we’ve started a tradition of walking down the block to take aerial yoga classes over the lunch hour. The work is essential, but it’s nothing without the people.

 

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