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Meet Brad Bartlett

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brad Bartlett.

Brad, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Like many designers growing up, I was good at drawing and had aspirations to be an Artist or Architect. However, when I went to College, I was introduced to Graphic Design and was hooked. I was drawn to its immediacy and raw power. This was at the beginning of the digital revolution where we had access to new tools and technology.

At the same time, alternative music magazines like Raygun held a powerful influence on my generation, speaking a language that resonated with my value system at the time. After college, I was interested in learning more about art and design and was very interested in teaching, so I applied to graduate school.

In Grad school, I had a chance to study design theory and fully immerse myself in new media, working with digital tools and technology and dedicating much of my time creating immersive interactive installations. At the same time, I was working on professional projects for Raygun Publishing and Nike.

After grad school, I came to California where I had family and friends. I started working at the Museum of Contemporary Art and teaching at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena. I’ve been at ArtCenter for eighteen years and have been awarded great teacher twice.

In addition to teaching, I recently authored a course on Graphic Design and Typography published by LinkedIn Learning. In that course, I discuss the ways that graphic design is changing in relation to new and emerging technology.

In 2016, I curated an exhibition called DoubleData for the Hoffmitz Milken Typography Center at ArtCenter in Pasadena. The exhibition focused on the expression of data through the medium of typography. It was drawn from a broad range of subjects—from architecture to linguistics, from pop culture to public policy, from Dr. Seuss to Wikileaks.

Has it been a smooth road?
I always tell my students that a curved line is a lot more interesting than a straight line and the same holds true for many things. I place great value in struggle. It creates both personal grit and deeper empathy. It keeps us off-balance and opens us up to new experiences.

Struggle is a reminder that in design (and life) there is no perfect result and that the most important thing is to embrace the process and to value the connections you have with others.

We’d love to hear more about what you do.
We’re a design studio that collaborates with arts institutions, architects, museums, cultural institutions, and private-sector companies to develop design solutions across a variety of media including print, screen, and spatial design. Our projects range from identity and brand development, to book, website, exhibition, and environmental design.

We’ve been overseeing the Creative Direction at the Nevada Museum of Art since 2008. In 2011, we were awarded a grant from the Sappi Ideas That Matter Program for our work with the Museum’s Center for Art + Environment.

My studio recently won its third Frances Smyth-Ravenal Prize for Excellence in Publication Design. This grand prize is awarded annually by the American Alliance of Museums for the best publication designed by an art museum in the United States.

Our latest project is the 2019-2020 catalog for ArtCenter. At ArtCenter, each student receives a unique education. To reflect this experience, we combined time-honored craft with cutting edge technology to design a system that configured (and reconfigured) modules to generate 40,000 unique covers.

The modules were inspired by West Coast modernist Alvin Lustig—who taught at ArtCenter a half-century ago—and his proposal of using timeless geometric shapes to create complex patterns. Complementing this modular system is a “grid” that plays an active role throughout the publication, as well as a new, fixed-width monospace font.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I like both the cultural diversity and geographic proximity to the ocean, mountains, and desert. It’s an expected answer, but traffic is what I like least!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Nicole Loggins Photography, Jason Ware Imaging, Josh White Photography

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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