The Other JZ

This is the second consecutive post that features a member of the next generation of my closest friends. Josh Zucker is the multi-talented second son of my friends Orrin and Robin. His Dad and I began our careers together. Josh was born with an innate aesthetic, influenced by his talented parents. Josh honed his skills using the tools in his father’s home studio. Through determination and practice Josh has become an accomplished and award-winning photographer, editor and filmmaker. He is currently a member of the creative staff of Camp Woodward. Josh shoots and edits for Woodward and takes on personal side projects. This summer he’ll be an instructor in Woodward’s digital filmmaking program.

I’ve had first-hand experience of Josh’s talents; he shot and edited the XK9 short film Impressions.

Josh’s own short film Bluesand was featured on Bones last week.

I was honored when Josh asked me to work with him on his personal business card. Josh is certainly a product of his time. He is by no means trendy, but he understands and appreciates contemporary graphic design. We discussed finding a way to represent Josh that was simple, intelligent and authentic. I pointed Josh to the terrific work of Jon Contino. Contino is a star of contemporary design; he established a hand-rendered approach to typography and lettering that has had worldwide ripples of influence. Jon Contino’s work might be dismissed by some as hipster design, but those who would dismiss him are ignorant of the sophisticated originality of Contino’s work.

Josh and I agreed that we weren’t out to crib Contino’s work. I only shared it as a point of reference for a kind of authentic aesthetic we should aspire to. The image above is the current state of the work in progress design for the business card.

The design began with exploration of a symbol that would work not as a logo, more an illustration. The iris of a camera evolved into a camera’s iris in a simplified eye. As clichéd as an eye might be, I think it worked here as an avatar for Josh’s talents as a photographer and filmmaker. I sought typography that would evoke an under-designed ideal. For Josh’s name, I opted to use Outage– a typeface designed by Dave Whitley and available from the Lost Type Co-op. The typeface used for the email address and phone number is Bank Gothic Pro from GroupType/FontHaus.

There are a number of references built into the design. It was made to evoke the painted office doors of 40s film noir. It’s also reminiscent of the graphic design of gym uniforms of the late 20th century. The dotted line that flanks the eye is both a nod to Josh’s talents as an editor (cut along the dotted line) as well as a subtle reminder of the cut eye of Dali-Buñuel’s Un Chien Andalou.

A modern business card requires a minimum of contact information. We decided to include only Josh’s email address and phone number. The graphic design was confined to a relatively small space on the face of the standard sized business card. My goal was for it to represent Josh’s integrity and authenticity, as well as his humility and confidence.


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