For most designers the process of creating is rarely a straight-forward line from concept and completion. Projects might be easier with a clear path to success, the reality is it rarely works that way. And that’s a good thing, life and work are about the journey, not the destination. The route between process and product is often a roundabout one, filled with equal parts joy and frustration. This issue of the Maker Quarterly is dedicated to that process. Designed by Hybrid Design, this issue celebrates the conscious path the makers take on the way to the destination. On top of that, Mohawk goes meta by bringing us inside the process of the making of the Process Issue.
Divided into five chapters: Beginnings, Participation, Place, Practice and Product; each chapter maps the paths makers take to get from start to finish and how process influences the end product.
“The process of making something – method, materials, ingredients, artistry, experience – is the squiggly line between idea and object,” says Chris Harrold, VP and Creative Director at Mohawk. “We hope the Process Issue reveals how the journey itself can be the destination through the story of makers and creatives whose process defines their product.”
“On the path from Point A to Point B, it’s the ‘to’ that makes all the difference,” adds Dora Drimalas, Principal of Hybrid Design. “We spend a lot of time in the steps between concept and completion: sketching possibilities, refining the strongest ideas, crafting the details and executing the finished products. In this issue we’re mapping those paths to better understand how different techniques, tools, even workspaces, yield transformative work.”
MOHAWK GOES META
Throughout the piece, the design team has incorporated expansive footnotes to bring the reader inside the process of making this special issue; from notes about paper, the creation of illustrations and even the volume of coffee consumed by the design team from start to finish.
And talk about pulling back the curtain, Hybrid shares with us all those little details that make the difference between memorable and mediocre design.
For starters, they chose a sketchbook size format to connect this object to the theme. Most makers (and designers) use a sketchbook. And this object served as a starting point to include some bespoke production details.
The issue is made up of five signatures across 80 pages of text. Each one highlighting a different paper, with unique characteristics achieved from the paper making process. They are Mohawk Via Felt, Mohawk Loop Antique Vellum, Mohawk Options Smooth, Mohawk Via Laid and Mohawk Loop Linen. I can’t decide which one’s my favorite, it changes every time I look at the issue.
And did you catch those rough edges? That’s inspired by a print sample they had in their keeper file for over a decade. According to the liner notes, Hybrid liked it as a tactile in-process cue for this issue.
You had me at smyth sewn. Who doesn’t love a project with this bindery method?
And as if the design and production alone wasn’t enough, the content is killer. The featured articles include:
- Out of Line: The Incredible Creative Impact of Sketching by Patrick Sisson – A closer look at how putting pen to paper is a powerful creative catalyst.
- DIWHY? by Jordan Kushins – When our digital lives claim too much territory from our physical ones, do we as people become less defined?
- Process Defines Product by Bryn Moooth, Kirstin Jackson, Erin Osmon – From cheese to music to paper, the method of making is fundamental to that which is made.
- Inside the Mill a photo essay by Jeff Dey – See where four generations have built a legacy of fine papermaking.
- Working to Code by John Dugan – For artist Tom Sachs, there’s the right way, the wrong way, and his way.
- Creative Islands by Caleb Kozlowski – In a world of constant sharing isolation can be an unlikely catalyst for creative development.
- Design Thinking is Dead. Long Live Design by Dora Drimalas – Design is a whole brain exercise. And exercise that young designers may be missing in today’s factory system of design.
- The Movement: The Process is the Product – Sometimes process is core to the story of a product’s identity. The featured makers and their products elevate their process to art.
I know I say this every time, but this might be the best issue yet. Cheers to Mohawk and Hybrid Design for giving us valuable content along with inspirational design and production.
Wondering how you can get your hands on a copy of the Maker Quarterly/Process issue? We’re featuring it in the spring issue of The Parcel (along with five other stellar examples of print design and production – shipping now.