Sunday, October 2, 2016

The Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design

Last year I was strolling through a local Half Price Books and happened upon an item that completely caught me off guard.

A box of design...

It was situated prominently on top of a display area and designed with confidence.  Standing over a foot tall, 10 inches wide, and weighing in at 25+ lbs, this behemoth dwarfed all the hardback art books surrounding it and commanded my attention.  The marbled exterior with a top flap was a hat tip to a file box in a smoky, 1960s newspaper office.  A simple label repeated on four sides declared that this was “The Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design” in a simple sans serif typeface (“graphic design” in olive green to match the box accents).  A complex network of seat belt straps wrapping around the box created a handle at the top to allow the customer to handle the hefty object.

This was serious business and I HAD to have it. 

Upon further inspection, a small description sheet was contained in the shrink-wrap on the back showing small examples of what was inside.   My first quick scan of the description lead me to believe that the box contained a set of design books.  I hauled item to the register and even had people in line question what I had and where they could find more.  

When I got home, I gently removed the plastic wrapping and opened the box.  Inside I found two large, shrink-wrapped reams of paper, unbound.  I was a little disappointed at first, but the more I opened the more I realized that this box was a treasure chest.  Inside more than 500 pages and 3000 images of design from the past 700 years were nesting.  SEVEN HUNDRED YEARS. 

Since this initial revelation, I continue to wonder why more art books are not organized in a similar fashion.  Each page lovingly shows the design ID number in the collection, title of the piece, name of designer, date of creation, client it was created for and category it belongs to.  The exhibit high resolution imagery without words on one side and other visual examples an a succinct description of the work on the back.  Phaidon even gives the collector the opportunity to archive/curate the work in several different ways…random, alphabetical or by category.  This is done with simple, two-sided barrier sheets.  On one side, there is a letter or range of letters to help with organizing by the name of the designer or object designed.  The other side has a category from the 15 provided (examples being Money, Advertising, Typefaces, Book Covers, Magazines, Symbols, etc).

Western civilization isn't in a hurry to admit that commercial design (or applied art) holds the historical importance of its more mature older brother, fine art, but opinions seem to be shifting.  I have a box in my studio to prove it.

Buy a box here:

...or cheaper on Amazon.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Creative Summit

I had the pleasure to be a part of Creative Summit at Texas State University last weekend.  I had three of my book designs selected for the student show (since I'm a grad student) and I won the "Chris Hill Creative Passion Award" for my PJ China comic book.  It was such a great experience with some amazing talent giving inspirational lectures.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Monster Mask Me!

The following monster illustrations all appear in my book concept, Monster Mask Me!  Here are some shots of the book and of the illustrations inside:

Baba Yaga from Russia

Banshee from Ireland

Chupacabra from Mexico, Caribbean, and Texas

Dragon from China

Golem from Prague and Israel

Gorgon from Greece

Qalupalik from Greenland

Roc from Arabia

Sasquatch from the United States

Troll from Scandinavia

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Monster Masks!

Get a copy of PJ China Volume 1 !

It has always been a dream of mine to publish a comic book and now I can check that off of my bucket list!  If you are interested in purchasing PJ China Volume 1, check out my art shop at

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Quarterman Studio Art Shop

The Dost Thou Know the Day prints and calendars are still available at my art shop!  You can find them here:

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Masks: Part 1

Working on some international monster masks for an experimental book concept.  First...the Sasquatch, Skunk Ape, Bigfoot, Missing Link, etc...

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Winter's Tale: Violet

For this piece, I decided to showcase the moment when Leontes, old and guilt ravaged, sees a statue of his long dead wife, Hermione, come alive again.  Also take note some Sicilian symbolism, the bear and the shepherd who found baby Perdita.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Othello: Red

This representation of the Moor of Venice was largely inspired by my trip to the Alhambra several years ago.  I love the complexity of Moorish architecture and patterns—the relationship with Desdemona and the scheming eyes of Iago are featured among them.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Adventure Animals (ink + wash paintings for my son)

For these paintings, I decided to combine the animal motif of my son's room with images that could be found in classic, adventure movies.  I used the gouache paint + a nib pen for detail.

Frog Pilots

Elephant Cowboy

Lion Swashbuckler