Poster for Ravi Rajan’s Inauguration

Posted on: July 9th, 2018 by akiley No Comments

To commemorate the inauguration of CalArts’ fourth president Ravi Rajan, The Service Bureau was commissioned to produce a poster to celebrate this rare occasion.

The design draws on the wealth of historical imagery that has come to define the school over the course of the last 60-odd years, combined with the iconography, typography, and colors of ceremony. Sitting atop and obliterating this iconography is a mostly blank document standing for Ravi’s mandate to write his own course for the school—informed by but not beholden to its past.

The poster is 26″ x 38″ offset printed in metallic gold, silver, black and fluorescent green on satin coated stock.


Posted on: October 2nd, 2015 by akiley No Comments

Inquiry: Exhibition / Assembly / Collection / Assortment was a show of faculty work at the University of Texas at Austin in the Spring of 2015. In collaboration with Jiwon Park, the Service Bureau designed and installed a reading room, interactive website, projection, and produced the catalog and signage for the show. The design of the collateral materials all took the book to be a sort of container for the intellect in contrast to the works themselves as more emotive containers.

The reading room collected 10 influential books from each contributor to the show and acted as the ‘brain’ of the exhibition, a point of access into the research that accompanies academic artistic practice. The projection and website clarified which books were selected by the artists, and made them accessible to the public beyond the exhibition walls.

A simple catalog accompanied the show, acting as a hub for the curatorial statement, biographies and lists of references from the artists. The title page spread of the catalog then became the identity of the show, directing the viewer toward the book as a gateway into Inquiry.












Posted on: February 6th, 2015 by Colin Frazer No Comments

Introduced in 1961, the IBM Selectric typewriter existed at the crossroads of the mechanical and digital. Key-strokes were encoded digitally and then translated into mechanics. The type baskets of earlier typewriters were replaced by interchangeable ‘type elements;’ for the first time, users could switch typefaces.

In the 1960s and 70s, Selectrics accounted for 70% of business typewriters sold in the US. The typefaces designed for them were the Verdanas and Georgias of their time, ubiquitous workhorses of records, forms, and correspondences. Under the leadership of Howard ‘Budd’ Kettler and others, IBM’s Lexington Kentucky type design office produced hundreds of typefaces for the Selectric and its siblings. These designs are now largely forgotten.

Messenger, the product of careful historical research, is a tribute to the typefaces of this time. The mono version borrows its unabashed eccentricities from IBM Artisan—un-serifed ‘i,’ ‘I,’ and ‘r,’ stacked fractions, and quasi-old-style figures. The proportionally spaced text version smooths out the mono’s more exaggerated features, preserving its spirit in a text face that is even, open, and contemporary.

Both Messenger and Messenger Text include alternate characters, discretionary ligatures, full European language support, two styles of numerals, fractions, superiors and inferiors, and mathematical symbols.







The Flipped Book

Posted on: January 3rd, 2015 by akiley No Comments

Glen Adamson, the director of the Museum of Arts and Design in New York commissioned us to produce an artifact for the Museum’s yearly premier fundraising gala. Glen’s interests lie parallel to the mission of the recently established Publication Studio at UT — namely, the production of finely crafted objects with an eye to history, but a contemporary articulation.

Our publication, ‘The Flipped Book,’ contains an essay by Glen that anecdotally describes the process of looking at things in unconventional ways, and the insights these perspectives bring to his work at the Museum. To reflect the ideas in the essay, we designed the book to be bound inside-out, with the cover as the centerfold. This simple formal gesture makes manifest the central premise of the essay, while also reframing the reader’s relationship to the book object. Re-folding the book about the spine makes the form of the pamphlet familiar again. The book is typeset in our typeface Playground, letterpress printed in a limited edition, and hand sewn bound.




The book’s ‘cover,’ inverted as the centerfold.




Messenger used for Arlene Shechet show identity

Posted on: December 17th, 2014 by akiley No Comments

Our typeface Messenger has been used by the RISD museum in the visual identity for the show ‘Arlene Shechet: Miessen Recast.’ The typeface appears on labels, vinyl wall text, promotional materials, a gallery guide, and a mini-catalogue. Museum designers Derek Schusterbauer and Brendan Campbell have made great use of the complementary mono
and proportional versions.


Wall text set by Derek Schusterbauer and Brendan Campbell


‘Critical Productions’ pop-up press at ‘Graphic Design: Now in Production’

Posted on: December 17th, 2014 by akiley No Comments

During opening events for the major exhibition ‘Graphic Design: Now in Production’
at the RISD Museum, we installed and ran a pop-up press in the museum, producing and distributing student authored critical guides to the exhibition.


Publications designed by students from the RISD class ‘Graphic Design Now’



Posted on: December 17th, 2014 by akiley No Comments

Colin worked alongside designer Derek Schusterbauer at the RISD Museum to create the design for a new journal of creative research related to the museum’s collection. ‘Manual: a journal about art and its making,’ which will be published biannually, uses the collections, exhibitions, and collaborations of the RISD Museum as an impetus for essays and interviews, artist interventions, and archive highlights. A fusion of academic arts journal and design magazine, Manual is a resource for engaged conversations about art, design, and the impact of creative making by curators, artists, scholars and educators. See the first issue here.








RISD GD Triennial

Posted on: December 17th, 2014 by akiley No Comments

We co-curated and art-directed the RISD Graphic Design Triennial, a survey exhibition of graduate and undergraduate student work, in 2012. Our concept revolved around a one paragraph definition of graphic design, that acted as both a visual identity and as a ‘tag cloud’ of organizing concepts for the exhibition.