portfolio blog

Schwindamania is the portfolio and blog of Jackson, Mississippi graphic designer Darren Schwindaman. I'm currently completing design work for small business and non-profit clients. Contact me if you'd like to work together.

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Where does your power come from?

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I’m a sucker for infographics. NPR has a great interactive map that lets you find your state and see how it connects to the country’s larger power grid. Navigate the tabs to see projected capacity for wind and solar power.

Posted on Apr 30, 2009 - 02:05 PM | Leave a Comment [1]

‘The Beats: A Graphic History” Book Review in the Jackson Free Press

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In this week’s issue, the Jackson Free Press publishes a book review I did of ‘The Beats: A Graphic History.’ Read an excerpt below, and check out the full story at the JFP site.

Intellectual Delinquency

Courtesy Hill and Wang

by Darren Schwindaman
April 22, 2009

“The Beats: A Graphic History” (Hill and Wang, 2009, $22) is a graphic biography of the close-knit group of avant garde macho writers of the 1950s and ‘60s like Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs who were referred to as “the Beatniks” or “Beats.” At a time when American society was defining itself through suburban expansion, commercial development and a clean-cut conformist ideal, the Beats led lives as drifters and counter-culturists. “The Beats” is a collection of short stories about these writers, mostly written by alternative comics king (and subject of the indie film “American Splendor") Harvey Pekar and drawn by his longtime artist Ed Piskor.

While the Beat writers romanticized their own lifestyle, Pekar’s script takes a more clinical look at the writers’ lives, never hesitating to show the casualties of their often parasitic existence. Piskor’s art is expressive, with each character displaying a wide range of emotions that convey the tone of each scene.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 - 09:20 AM | Leave a Comment [0]

Support the Spark Program

Spark is a youth apprenticeship program in San Francisco that partners middle school students with a professional in their dream field. I’m proud to have made two small donations to students who’d like to pursue graphic design. Please consider making a small donation to a student who’d like to pursue your field!

Posted on Apr 02, 2009 - 10:54 AM | Leave a Comment [0]

‘Dear Mr. President’

I’m featured on CNNmoney.com as part of a special Inauguration Day feature on what people around the country would like to see from Obama’s administration. Check it out at this link:

Here’s a quick snippet:

I’m not feeling any cutback in business yet, and honestly that’s because Jackson is so hungry for young, creative professionals. The area has been so underserved for so long that even with some people being nervous about spending money, there is still plenty of work.

Posted on Jan 20, 2009 - 11:57 AM | Leave a Comment [0]

Bottle Tree Artist Stephanie Dwyer Meets Felder Rushing

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Jackson metal artist (and Darren Schwindaman client!) Stephanie Dwyer, known especially for her bottle trees, recently met Felder Rushing at an arts show in Jackson. Felder is a celebrity gardener extraordinaire & author of multiple books, hosts a show on Mississippi Public Radio, and wins garden design awards like it’s his job.

Mr. Rushing is also a bottle tree enthusiast, traveling across the South researching the folklore and evolution of bottle trees. He’s enthusiastically taken to Stephanie’s bottle trees, telling her, “You’re taking bottle trees to a whole new artistic level. I love it.” Stephanie brings an organic approach to the metal of bottle trees. She uses high quality metal and not rebar, which can have the appearance of mangled discards from a construction site. She has embraced the folklore wholeheartedly and has been glad to learn from Felder’s extensive experience with bottle trees.

I’m working on branding materials for Stephanie, as well as consulting to help her navigate the media world to show off her art. For her look, I’ve come up with what I’m calling “Smart Southern.” Her color palette is bright and contemporary, yet takes its inspiration from the colors of things like old farm doors. Nostalgic typography is used in bold ways to ccomplement the feeling of atmosphere and folklore that shines in her work.

Here’s a sneak peek at the website look and feel we’re working on:

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Photography courtesy of Thomas Beck of Beck Photographic
Learn about Felder Rushing, bottle trees, and all things Mississippi.

Posted on Jan 14, 2009 - 10:59 AM | Leave a Comment [3]

‘Creative Britain’

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Brand Republic blogs about the design identity for the Creative Britain conference. The conference is part of an overall plan started in February 2008 by the British government to build the creative local economy. Wouldn’t it be great if Mississippi had something like this on the state level?

There’s a large swath of Mississippi small businesses and nonprofit organizations who aren’t being served. Most of my clients are people who haven’t worked with a designer before. Creativity through design and marketing is a great equalizer for local businesses to compete on the same stage with larger corporations.

Leadership in Mississippi to build the creative class economy could take the following forms:

  • Tax incentives for small businesses to use towards design & marketing
  • Emphasis on innovative public outreach for MS state interests like public health, voting registration, and disaster preparedness
  • Coordination and collaboration between the different creative disciplines such as music, fine art, architecture, and graphic design

It’s important to remember that when people are nervous about the economy, they’re looking for leadership. Because its role is one of communication, design is uniquely positioned for organizations and companies looking to put on a strong face for consumers and help lead them back to confidence.

Posted on Oct 28, 2008 - 11:15 PM | Leave a Comment [0]


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