A recent grad from California’s ArtCenter College of Design, Ben Schwartz’s portfolio is chock full of projects that show real promise from the young graphic designer. One in-depth project is Radical Transparency – a book that uses Wikileaks “to examine the current state of privacy and information availability,” by gathering and archiving documents. The monochrome book is simply designed to let the material speak for itself. Ben has taken the project further by creating an installation that uses two printers to print out realtime information from Twitter and other social media sites about Wikileaks, as well as a series of propaganda-like posters.
Several of Ben’s projects are for fictional briefs, but it’s great to see the designer take initiative and build on his portfolio himself, especially when they’re so well-researched and considered. His imagined identity for Marfa Festival of Art plays into the minimalist associations the Texas town has garnered. The identity is a delicate mix of ice cream-coloured textures and shades with purple text laid over the top and interspersed with outlined shapes. The key words and phrases seen throughout are references to the manifesto of Donald Judd, the sculptor responsible for much of Marfa’s look and feel.