Pioneering an Image
Step Magazine Feature
Designer Mark Murphy collaborates with training specialists at Pioneer-Standard Electronics to create a progressive training and orientation kit for employees.
A university within a corporation is relatively unheard of-unless you work for Pioneer-Standard Electronics. Although it's not technically a university, University of Pioneer is a unique, doi-it-yourself training program that helps employees chart their own career paths within the organization.
Murphy Design was brought in to redesign the materials associated with the program and assist in organizing the information. Principal Mark Murphy recalls, "They had generic binders produced in-houseand, initially, they just wanted a binder and two folders containing worksheets and human resource information. But we discovered that what they really needed was a thorough package, housing multiple resources."
The design firm and Pioneer's training specialists worked closely together over an 18 month period to develop the all-encompassing University of Pioneer orientation kit. "Essentially we wanted to focus on the university's mission and message, making both more user-friendly."
Heaven and Hell
Communication Arts Magazine
Rebecca Bedrossian : Associate Editor
It's anarchy, a revolution. It's Heaven and Hell. This is not your average sourcebook, as the subtitle states, it's an Inspirational Artistic Resource. The content within the pages of this 260-page hardbound book packs a powerful punch of originality. Heaven and Hell, two diametrically opposed ideas are interpreted in a blend of images and words, provoking compelling dialogue and demanding time. This visual feast is at times funny and irreverent, at others solemn and subtle. Designer and creator Mark Murphy intended the loaded subject matter to stir up rich artistic exchange while at the same time providing a valuable illustration resource to the industry. He's right on the mark. The book features 110 original pieces by 58 artists from the United States, Mexico, Ireland and Canada. Murphy's vision and direction brings together top artists such as Cathie Bleck, the Clayton Brothers, Douglas Fraser, Jody Hewgill, Joel Nakamura and Joe Sorren with up-and-coming artists Joseph Hart, Kevin Christy, Keith Warren Greiman, Jacqui Oakley, Martha Rich and Ryan Wallace. Wordsmith Anne Telford, gathered and edited supporting text and quotations from modern-day theologians worldwide, leaving much to reflect on, like Wendy Richmond's evocative passage and DK Holland's short story, "Down at the Esopus." Engaging artist quotes introduce and give insight into each illustrator's unique vision, like Kevin Christy's "Hell is having to smile when you don't want to. Heaven is not being able to stop yourself." The result is a cohesive, focused book that holds its own on any art director's desk or anyone's coffee table. A long supporter and promoter of original illustration, this is Murphy's sixth artist collection book. Earlier books and calendars include Guapo y Fuerte [handsome and tough], SuperHero and Look Homeward Aphid-Rock Salt in collaboration with Joe Sorren and Matt Hall. Murphy himself continues to be an invaluable resource giving artistic voice to inspirational talent by presenting large bodies of work unified by on theme. Rich and colorful, the H+H collection will also be exhibited at the Sketch Club in Philadelphia until July 20 as one of the satellite events at the third Illustration Conference. Beautifully-designed, Heaven and Hell is a delight for sight and mind, and is available for $32 at murphydesign.com. Is there a Heaven? Is there a Hell? So many variations can unsettle the soul. It's subjective, like illustration. See for yourself.
Cover feature : Step Magazine
A south-of-the-border sports pheonomon inspires an outlet for artistic expression and collaboration
Murphy has develeped a reputation as an artist"s art director; his projects coax the best out of the contributors and cluminate in standout marketing pieces. But he's characteristically humble about his role, and resists the art director title. "I just offer artists a new vehicle for their creative expression and give them time to think about and explore a particular subject. I hire them because they do outstanding work. Still, what they come up with always surpasses any expectations I had going into the project."
People, Passion and Pageantry
A list of contributors to his projects reads like a who's who of established and up-and-coming artists. People are definitely a priority for Murphy. "Collaborative projects are so important," he says. "They bring artists together to create a sense of community and help start the exchange of ideas that drives art and artists to higher levels."
The designer stives to do large collaborative projects with accompanying exhibitions, whowcasing work by a range of artists. His annual calendar project, which also functions as a sourcebook fro creative directors, continues to gain momentum. "I am always looking for new and exciting things to inspire me. Seeing what other artists are doing and where their passions take them is just one way of doing that."
by Lisa L. Cyr
Because of the overall shift in the economic climate, today's promotions have to work harder than ever before to command attention. Instead of a mere portfolio presentation accented by a list of clients and services, collaborators are creating promotional materials that are inventive and thought provoking - something that a client would really want to hold onto. "A brochure that is a mere collection of work is becoming a passť idea. You have to do projects that inspire and entertain your clients," claims Murphy. "The typical capabilities piece sprinkled with nice images is no longer enough."
Murphy Design works every year with a printing company, paper distributor, bindery company, and various inventive and experimentally charged illustrators to produce a theme-based calendar that is interesting enough to generate work for everyone involved. Each illustrator is given the project specifications, deadline and a creative brief detailing the overall theme, with the final interpretation being up to each artist. "Working as a group creates a sense of community that is very inspiring. It allows me to concentrate more on the design knowing that the artists and illustrators are passionately handling the function of art," says designer Mark Murphy. "I've done this type of promotion for the last six years. It is always a premier collection of top-level talent in printing, paper, art, and design. A lot of people who receive these keep them, and it's growing in interest every year. It has been a very successful venture, and people just resonate to it." Targeted to art buyers, these yearly self-promotional calendars also function as a valuable resource book. Currently Murphy is collaboratively working on an illustration source book entitled Heaven and Hell showcasing top talent in the business.