The hip, hip, first post

Cornell 77 cover detail
Hello and welcome to our very first post!

This is our little corner of the ‘net where you can expect to find plenty of news and posts about graphic design, web development, and so on. But since we’re human and we’re complicated and multilayered individuals, I’ll also be sharing with you many of the things that make us “us”. A little peek behind the curtain, if you will. Whether we’re talkin’ music, food, comic books, art—all of it makes up the Frocreate gumbo. On to the first post…

So, this one’s about graphic design. But it’s also about the Grateful Dead. I’ll admit to you, and perhaps for the first time to myself too, that my initial curiosity with the Grateful Dead was probably more about the imagery that surrounds the band rather than the band itself. I didn’t know their music in the way I do now, but I’d also understood that the dancing bears, uncle Sam, the lightning bolts, Bertha, stealies, and so on all belonged to the same “brand”. Long before I knew what an identity system was, I certainly knew that all of these things belonged to one. All of this seemingly unrelated imagery worked together to tell the story of one band. I think I was fluent in the Dead’s branding before I ever heard one of their songs. Their culture was fascinating.

I don’t know exactly when I “got on the bus”—it may have been after hearing Europe ’72—but here we are in 2017 and, though I’m no scholar of the Dead, my kids would probably tell you I’m a deadhead. A framed Rick Griffin print (no, not an original) hangs beside my desk and behind me on a shelf are about four dozen Dead and Dead-related vinyl albums. The most recent one I picked up is a beautifully done box set of their Cornell ’77 show. It sounds great and—MAN— it looks just as good. Designed by Masaki Koike, the packaging is full of detail. Beautiful fuchsia, violet, and aqua patterns embellished with just enough gold detail. The entire set is captured on 9 sides and includes a 12-page book.