We’re Hiring – Graphic Designer

 

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We’re looking for: Graphic Designer (contract work, part time, with potential for full-time work)

Who We Are:

AIRSHP is a boutique design, branding and marketing agency founded by twin brothers Dustin & Evan Bozarth in Austin, TX.  We help startups and emerging businesses tell their stories thru branding & identity, custom website design & development, mobile app design & development, and social media marketing.  We’ve become known for our distinctive work in the concert and festival industries, the distilled spirits industry, the restaurant industry, and for our work with various tech startups.  We pride ourselves on taking interesting work with clients that trust and value our unique creative abilities.  In other words – clients come to us for the AIRSHP touch. Our standards are high.

Must Have:

  • An impressive online portfolio of recent work
  • Good command of your design tools (Photoshop & Illustrator at least)
  • The fundamentals: brand identity, layout, color, typography, web design skills
  • The means to work remotely (computer, internet, phone, Skype, etc)
  • Ability to follow direction and deliver compelling work
  • Ability to take very little direction and STILL deliver compelling work
  • Ability to both give and receive criticism and blunt feedback, constructively
  • Ability to communicate promptly, clearly and openly
  • Must be generally available during daytime hours for meetings and other communication

Web Skills:

  • Deep understanding of responsive design techniques, grid-based design, UI/UX best practices
  • Ability to take a web project from planning > wireframe > mockup > collaborating with developers > tweaking and redesigning details > completion
  • Passion for good user experience, common sense and attention to detail
  • Coding knowledge is a plus (HTML, CSS, etc)
  • Custom WordPress design experience is a plus.

 

If interested in working for a creative and thriving shop, e-mail your portfolio and examples to jobs@airshp.com.

Pinterest…For Reals

Thought i’d post a shot of my office bulletin board to shed some light on our recent work…As you can tell, we’ve been really busy lately.

In no particular order- you’ll see branding for J.Wesley Haynes Trio, in-progress branding for a new iOS app called Campus Quad, more branding for Treaty Oak’s new Starlite Vodka, a charity t-shirt design for National Public Lands Day, various t-shirt designs for our new Austin clothing line ATXTEES, and tons more stuff.  My dad’s rock’n’roll button collection from the late 70’s, a memento from our trip to Gasparilla Island in Florida, my ticket stub from a Phish show in Oklahoma, Munchichi- an old stuffed animal rescued from grandma’s house in Atlanta, TX, some doodles for a survival blog, a sweet Flatstock poster by Bang! Media, among other things…

So that’s what we’ve been up to…What chu been doin??

 

Bringing Back the Independent Artist. The $60,000 Man.


Dboz & I were talking about this concept last night: Creating an open market and currency for music downloads – free of middlemen.  He mentioned BitCoin and possibly Flattr as ways to take payments more directly…I searched and immediately found CoinDL – The so-called “iTunes of the BitCoin World”. This is pretty much the right concept..maybe just lacking visually and marketing-wise…

Backing up a bit…for a bigger picture, you’ve gotta read this article when you have a chance:  A Letter To Emily White at NPR All Songs Considered by The Trichordist‘s David Lowery.  It’s the most clear-headed and convincing argument against illegal music downloading that I’ve seen (take notes, Lars).  It also attempts to explain the reality of the situation, why our consumers have been misinformed by the “Free Culture Monvement”, and how the corporate machine is profiting from our music habit while the artist continues to suffer…It’s apparent now that the Artist Community’s “99%” have more or less been wiped-out:

  • Recorded music revenue is down 64% since 1999.
  • Per capita spending on music is 47% lower than it was in 1973!!
  • The number of professional musicians has fallen 25% since 2000.
  • Of the 75,000 albums released in 2010 only 2,000 sold more than 5,000 copies. Only 1,000 sold more than 10,000 copies. Without going into details, 10,000 albums is about the point where independent artists begin to go into the black on professional album production, marketing and promotion.

 

So, l started to ponder how WE could be a part of a global revolution – move to supporting independent artists directly.  Here’s my premise:

What would it be like if independent artists possessed the technology and reach of iTunes or Spotify? What If they had total control over the profits earned from people buying and listening to their music with no middle man whatsoever?  Could a platform be built and maintained by a non-profit tech company?

This could be part of the overall revolution in the mindset of music fans too…It would come from the grass roots, NOT from passing new laws or copy-protection…and it would feel much like the local/sustainable/unprocessed food revolution.  People realizing that they can do better, vote with their dollars…Local music and art is the purest form of creativity.  made by people you know and live with…Somehow on the internet though, music has been completely devalued…quality is certainly recognized to some extent in Austin, but the dots need to be connected from recorded music to downloads and social media.

Spotify definitely is NOT the answer – We’re already seeing the shift from illegal downloading to Spotify or iTunes as a means to “clear the conscience” for music fans…the problem is that these mega-corporations are the only ones making any money – the artists still get the shaft…One specific beef- the article blames the Free Culture movement for devaluing the music—but i’d say It’s time for a free and open technology that can work for the creators…make it free from corporate or gov’t control…free from greedy middlemen, fat cat record companies, and even shady digital-distributors.

Something worth working on, i’d say…hoping to start a dialogue from here.  Holler.

Terri Timely Makes Amazing Short Films

Terri Timely is a film-making duo from Oakland, CA.  Corey Creasey and Ian Kibbey mix a quirky visual style with great music and “pop-goes-the-weasel” timed delivery of a witty message.  I’d call it a mix between Wes Anderson, Tim & Eric and Norman Rockwell.  Not surprisingly, these dudes are scoring some big time commercials now for major brands like MTV and Nissan…But the real gold is their short films.  Be sure to check out Cecil and Children Are Gift on their website, but first, watch the inspiring Synesthesia below…

syn·es·the·sia syn·aes·the·sia (sĭn’ĭs-thē’zhə)

n.

A condition in which one type of stimulation evokes the sensation of another, as when the hearing of a sound produces the visualization of a color.

A sensation felt in one part of the body as a result of stimulus applied to another, as in referred pain.

The description of one kind of sense impression by using words that normally describe another.

The Amazing Architecture of Santiago Calatrava

Thanks to El Boz for the dose of inspiration below…behold the stunning architecture and structural engineering of Santiago Calatrava.

Auditorio De Tenerife – Tenerife, Spain // The Distinctive Concrete shell roof takes its inspiration directly form the landscape of Tenerife set against the Atlantic Ocean. The massive arc swooping up and over the building like a wave takes on symbolic power, serving not only the building that houses a modern 1558 seat auditorium for music and culture but also as a focal point for the islands.

 

Turning Torso - Malmo, Sweden // A residential tower that serves as a symbol of the revitalization of an important urban area from a decaying industryl zone into a thriving seaside neighborhood. The building is composed of 9 cube units weigh triangular yips. Each unit is a sub-building housing 5 floors. at 190 meters, the Turning Torso is the tallest residential building in Sweden.

Conceptualizing The Online Store

So…we’ve been kicking around this idea for a while, as one of our internal projects, as an outlet for our product design and branding skills. We all know online shopping in general is bigger than ever, but we are also aware of the insane competition in the industry, and we don’t wanna be just like everyone else…So the obvious question is, “How will our shop be different?”

Here’s some notes on the topic we scribbled over Gyro’s at Zorba’s.

  • Branded Mini-Shops
    • Containing collections of products
    • Each under the umbrella of AIRSH(O)P
  • New Sales Model : Kickstarter meets Online shop
    • Pre-order functionality
    • generate interest and critical mass before production.
    • Scarcity, limited availability tactics
    • Early-adopter pricing
    • discounts for sharing
  • 3 Product Types
    • traditional products: selling/fulfilling stocked items
    • Affiliate products: curated items related to the mini-shop’s brand, style (mailbox money!)
    • Pre-order product: see above–also see Groupon, United Pixel Workers, threadless
  • Using The Shopify Platform
    • how do we work within Shopify’s constraints to build this model?
    • can we spin off custom-designed Shopify themes? REVENUE!

So, we’ve already started production on a Shopify theme, and there’s no shortage of good product ideas.  Add that to our trial by fire (literally) experience creating the Central Texas Wildfire Relief T-Shirt campaign, and we feel this is a great concept and worthy experiment to try.  Got any advice? Product ideas? We’d love to hear from you.

Chris Dye Studio Teaser v1

Ok.  This is really just a sketch or rough-draft of what’s to come…but…I made a quick montage of Chris Dye laying down basic tracks at Jimmy George’s new Roostudios in Manchaca, TX.  This footage will eventually be used in a finished music video or “brand film” for Dye4…enjoy!

User Experience: Is It Worth The Expense?

OK, first off – What is user experience?  Here’s Wikipedia’s definition:

User experience (UX) is about how a person feels about using a productsystem or service. User experience highlights the experiential, affective, meaningful and valuable aspects of human-computer interaction and product ownership, but it also includes a person’s perceptions of the practical aspects such as utility, ease of use and efficiency of the system. User experience is subjective in nature, because it is about an individual’s feelings and thoughts about the system. User experience is dynamic, because it changes over time as the circumstances change.

In short: UX reaches beyond the superficial facades of design and technology.  It taps into the psychology of interaction.

A great UX should be baked into all modern web-designs from their inception, which, of course, requires additional time/resources/money to achieve.

So, why should we invest in better UX? What’s the ROI?

Dr. Susan Weinschenk breaks it all down for you in this nifty little stop-motion video below.

[youtube url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O94kYyzqvTc&feature=player_embedded” width=”670″]

 

Also, be sure to check out Dr. Weinschenk’s video on the 7 Principles that make websites more engaging.