THE “RULEBOOK” ACCORDING TO LIFE + DESIGN ACCORDING TO ME MACKENZIE STOVER AND ME SARAH REED AND SOME OF OUR FRIENDS AND SOME OF THEIR FRIENDS



./ the rulebook is everything we’ve ever been taught about life and design

..// the rulebook isn’t here to be anything other than what it is

.../// we love our professors. they’re great people who made us into okay people who just so happen to question everything.






















THESE ARE THE THINGS WE’VE BEEN TOLD IN OUR LIFE. WE ARE NOT HERE TO GET RID OF THEM SIMPLY TO ASK WHY THEY EVEN EXIST IN THE FIRST PLACE AND HOW CAN WE CALL OURSELVES DESIGNERs WHEN WE’RE NOT CONSTANTLY MAKING AN ATTEMPT TO QUESTION AND CHALLENGE THEM IN SOME WAY ok.


what you may be about to read is perpetually amorphous, a constant work in progress, a heaping mess of words and thoughts and feelings because we are humans that say words and have thoughts and feel feelings. so what?

Don’t justify your type. Justify your decisions. Have a grid. Have a concept. Have a life. Make pretty things. Make them with meaning. Make them with feeling. Make them however the hell you want to make them. Please always stay in the lines. But we need you to break the box. We want you to be different. But please never challenge us. Never surprise us. But we want you to. Just how we want you to. Don’t ask questions. Ask questions. Be curious. But do what we tell you to. Work hard Play hard. Find why you matter. What happens if I don’t matter? Find a job. Don’t find a job. Fight the system. What the fuck is a system. You mean everything MUST be a system. Get rid of visual pollution. What is visual pollution. Who are we? What do we do? No hyphens. No rivers. No rags. perfection . again. And again. And again. This is fun. This is fun. This is fun. We want you to fail. Fail harder. Fail faster, stop failing. Failure is a construct. We want you to succeed. What is failure. Who is this for. It doesn’t matter. It does matter. Who am i who am i who am i? Make it interesting. Make it beautiful. Make it make sense. But if it made sense then it wouldn’t be fun any more. But why does it have to be fun. Is it lukewarm. No gradients. No trends. No color. There are only 10 good typefaces. Don’t call it a typeface. Don’t call it a font. Don’t make it big. Don’t make it small. Be passionate. Don’t be too passionate. Be professional. But not stingy. Be yourself, but only if you check the boxes. Show off your skills. Don’t show all your skills at once. Listen to the authorities. But don’t do everything they say, even when they say do everything they say. Work smarter. What’s smarter? What defines smart? Don’t work too much. What defines too much? Work enough, then work some more. What’s enough? Enough. Know everything. Don’t know everything. Why can’t we hype each other up. It’s not a competition. BUT IT IS. Who says photos have to be 300dpi. Who says that it can’t be personal! Let’s get personal! I am a designer that is too literal. What is literal. I create things that are too literal. Is that really that bad? Being too black and white. Don’t be black and white. Don’t be colorful. Show your colors. What are colors? How many do you even use? You must know design vocabulary. You must be design educated. But anyone can design. From anywhere. From any place and any education. Design in the real world will be more work. My job as a designer is easier than school. Every week is finals week. Who is on your side? Who is in your corner? Should design be graded? Make good grades. Don’t make grades. Should we like museums? What the hell is a museum? Inspiration is noise. Always have inspiration. Work for exposure. Work for money. But not too much money. Cry for free. Feel for free. Pay to be miserable. Are we miserable? Is this privilege? This is our life. Know everythingggggg. Know all of the nuances of you subject. Seriously, what is a nuance? Have a responsibility as a designer. But do you have responsibility. Create all the time. Have side hustles. Regenerate. But don’t just work a 9-5. Be professional. But have character. Be secretive, but be transparent. Design and art aren’t interchangeable. They are interchangeable. Design is not a personality. If design is not your life then you are not a designer. Call yourself a creative. NEVER use that term. Be multidisciplinary. Only have one specialty. Art always to have meaning. Art must always be a social commentary. Your colleagues are your competition. Your friends are your network. Use them for career gain, but also do fun things with them. You’ll never see your classmates again. Stop talking about your feelings, do your work.

Mark