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  • apollowati 12:55 pm on January 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply

    #INTERVIEW: Grammy Winner #FritzKlaetke of @VDialogue Talks #music and #design 

    Fritz Klaetke of Visual Dialogue

    2013 was a terrific year for the Grammy Awards. Especially if you were Fritz Klaetke; who became a distinguished new member of an exclusive club of non-musicians to win a Grammy Award. He even edged out his fellow, high school alumni, Jack White (!) on the honour. I’m not just tooting his horn, he’s really that good!

    • what is the best moment of the day for Fritz Klaetke to create?

    i try to be open to the moment when the idea hits so it could be any time, but most frequently when i’m not at my desk, or sitting at the computer, or thinking about the million things that need to get done that day. like a lot of creatives, the magic happens when i’m out for a walk, falling asleep, just waking up—anything but “at work.” (even though i’m always really “at work” coming up with ideas—i can’t turn it off…)

    • what type of books are on your bedside table?

    i usually have a range of books piled by my bedside—design, business, and yes, the occasional novel.

    • do you listen to the radio?

    my first choice is usually npr, but if my 11 year old daughter is with me of course she’s in control. (in which case we might be listening to “call me maybe” over and over and over…)

    • where do you get your news from?

    mostly the boston globe and npr, with other stories from links on facebook or twitter to nytimes, huffington post, fast company, etc.


    Visual Dialogue created this trophy for the NCAA. The 18” tall trophy features polished upper surfaces and sandblasted lower surfaces bursting forth from a black granite base. The faceted figure we designed and sculpted created an iconic image of a football hero without portraying one specific position or race.

    • do you read design / architecture / science magazines?

    well i subscribe to communication arts (my studio, visual dialogue, is featured in the march issue) and the new yorker, but i also tend to pick up dwell, interior design, wallpaper, print, wired, and whatever is lying around at the gym.

    • do you have any pets?

    no but my daughter would love one (she had a fish for a while).

    • how does your design influence how you dress?

    uh, i think you’re making a connection between graphic design and fashion… i do think there are a lots of similarities in the design process and the balance between classic standards and the latest trends.

    • what kind of clothes do you avoid wearing?

    i tend to avoid anything with obvious logos—ironic since i’m a designer who creates brands and makes logos for a living.

    • when you were a child, did you want to become an Designer?

    well, after the usual boyhood dream career phase—like wanting to be a nfl quarterback—i settled on design in high school (a prototype magnet school called cass tech, in detroit). my first “commercial art” project in high school was a redesign on the tylenol packaging, right after the cyanide poisoning incident which was all over the news. the notion of combining my interest in art with real world problems to solve hooked me right away. i also think being a designer was in my dna—my dad was an architect and my mom is a painter, so if you combine the two you get a graphic designer.


    Fritz Klaetke and Visual Dialogue worked closely with Moshe on every aspect of the 288-page book design. The entire layout of the book is based on the Fibonacci grid (“the golden section”), referencing Moshe’s use of geometry in his designs. The introductory essays are presented as books within the book while the project sections function as virtual “walk-throughs” of his designs.

    • where do you work on your projects?

    my company, visual dialogue, is headquartered in a rowhouse built in 1850 in boston’s south end neighborhood. the first 2 floors are work space and the 3 floors above are living space for my partner susan, daughter ava, and myself.

    • do you discuss your work with other Designers?

    not formally, but i like to meet up with other designers for lunch, etc. to catch up. generally we just go over projects here with the head of strategy susan battista, copy director joe fox, senior developer jesse hart, designer/developer kimber lynch, and a student intern.


    Visual Dialogue referenced the type and colors of the original Folkways JAZZ LPs in creating an entirely new design for Jazz: The Smithsonian Anthology. The package combines a 200-page book with 6 CDs in a translucent slipcase, befitting what Time magazine called “the single best introduction to America’s first great musical form.” And in the words of producer Richard Burgess, “reaction to the Jazz set has been phenomenal—the look and feel has been a big part of the instant impact. I really think you nailed it.”

    • having a father as an architect, its safe to say you appreciate architecture as a major influence to your aesthetic?

    well, ii grew up in lafayette park, a development in detroit designed by ludwig mies van der rohe, so that utopian modernism was something i’ve always appreciated. i also have respect the multi-disciplinary quality of charles and ray eames’ work.

    • are there any contemporary designers you fancy in particular?

    a couple of my favorites are scott stowell of open in nyc (smart work across many industries), yves behar (work which crosses disciplines), but the list is long…

    Fritz accepts grammy

    2013. Mr. Fritz Klaetke’s acceptance speech at the Grammys for music packaging design

    • describe your style, like a good friend of yours would describe it.

    hopefully a friend would describe it as “smart.” .. i think it’s been remarkably consistent. for example i did my first music packaging for a friend’s band over 20 years ago and have done over a 100 cd packages over the years and just won a grammy for woody at 100. but i’ve always tried to stay up with the latest things—we did our first website in 1994 and continue to evolve into new areas—video, advertising, interiors, public art, etc.

    • tell us about your team, is it a mix of different backgrounds?

    the core team here is very small—and that’s how we like it. our strategy director susan battista previously ran the market research firm topic 101 (http://www.topic101.com) and before that worked as a research strategist on both agency and client sides. our copy director joe fox has worked for a variety of boston area ad agencies. and, well, i’ve never worked anywhere other than visual dialogue which i founded while i was still in school at the university of michigan.


    Susan Battista, principal/strategy director; Fritz Klaetke, principal/design director; Joe Fox

    • which project has given you the most satisfaction?

    it’s hard to say which one has given the most satisfaction, but the grammy for woody at 100 packaging certainly has received the most attention.

    • is there some Product you would like to Design?

    it’s not exactly a product, but i’d like to get more into how political candidates and issues are framed within the context of design and marketing.

    • what advice would you give to the young Designers in this age?

    be open—open to ideas, media, input, experiences, and learning.

    vd_commarts_article_marchapril2013 copy

    A mere sample of Fritz Klaetke’s long intern as design director for Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, client.

    • is there anything you are afraid of regarding the future?

    like global warming? actually, yes, i’m very afraid of cities like boston and new york becoming venice by the time my daughter grows up.

    • What’s next for Fritz Klaetke? Other designers I know, cross into other disciplines, like Karim Rashid, who has experimented well beyond his roots as an Industrial Designer. And fashion designer, Maurice Malone, who tackles packaging and advertising … can we expect to see some Fritz Klaetke apparel? Or perhaps some Industrial design products from Visual Dialogue in the near future?

    we’re interested in getting more into holistic branding for organizations—moving beyond the logo, signage, website, advertising, and print materials into the overall user experience including architecture, interiors, and overall consultant. i guess Creative Director with a capital CD — directing the creative aspect of an organization.

    A promotional video depicting Visual Dialogue’s position as a leading design firm and advertising agency

    fritz klaetke is a german-american raised in detroit, mi and currently lives and works in boston, ma. he studied graphic design at the university of michigan graduating with distinction in 1988 and moved to boston where he began his successful career as a leading graphic designer.

    an artist, designer, sculptor, painter and illustrator, klaetke’s skills are multi-disciplinary. his design works have exhibited at institutions such as the cooper hewitt museum, new york and the smithsonian institute in washington, dc.


    interview by madison avenue veteran.creative director benir koranache owner of celebrity brand focused consultancy bkltd.co based in london, england and new york city


  • apollowati 10:54 pm on January 24, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Beatles, legends, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr,   

    .The #Beatles LIVE @TheGrammys! #in2014! #music #legends 

    .The #Beatles LIVE @TheGrammys! #in2014! #music  #legends

    Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, founding members of The Beatles, will perform together on this year’s GRAMMY Awards.

    By Jeremy D. Larson

    Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, founding members of The Beatles, will perform together on this year’s GRAMMY Awards. The pair will receive the 2014 Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award at the ceremony this year. This is the first time the two have performed together since 2009 at a benefit for David Lynch.

    Just added to the already stacked GRAMMY performances are John Legend, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Kacey MusgravesTaylor Swift, and Keith Urban.

    Also announced, Sara Bareilles will sing together with the 2014 MusiCares Person of the Year and four-time GRAMMY winner Carole King.

    Read more on Radio.com



  • apollowati 11:09 pm on January 18, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Anthony WIlliams, B.Slade, Controversy, Gay, Lomare Jackson, Minister, O'ryn, Pastor N8ion, San Diego, T.Bizzy, T.Boy, The Architech, The Black Maverick, TON3X, Tonex, Tony   

    @BSLADE’s Got a Fresh Cut, a #Cardigan and #MMMM88XX #New #Music #Funk 

    bsladeThis APOLLOWATI blogger has had the pleasure of knowing BSLADE as TONEX, T.Boy, TON3X, The Black Maverick, and Pastor N8ion. Most importantly, I’ve known him has friend and an incredibly talented, heartfelt human being. Having a rather up and down creative life myself, I was homeless after my bubble of success broke just after 911 in New York. I traveled west to San Diego to live with my cousins, who were an emerging force in Christian Hip Hop music at the time. They were called SOULJAHZ – and just so happened they were in the midst of producing an exciting new record with (then) TON3X.

    For over three months I’d mostly slept in the studio, working with both SOULJAHZ and TON3X, piling on, helping wherever I could. Not being a musician myself, I did a lot of watching and listening. What I saw and heard from TON3X was nothing short of a zeitgeist moment for me. It soon became clear to me that I was in the presence of Talent on par with the likes of Prince, Micheal Jackson or even David Bowie; and that’s no exaggeration. Whatever your taste threshold, or whatever style of music that you may prefer – once you hear TON3X’s modern incarnation: BSLADE you will have to humbly agree. This artful, teaser sketch exhibits a rather wonderful distressed audio quality. I’ve really never heard anything quite like it in (his) genre. In fact, the last time I’ve heard a pop music product of this scale taking such a risk was probably Beastie Boys’ Cookiepuss. 

    Methinks we’re all in store for another zeitgeist moment. Amen.

    Here’s another example of BSLADE’S experiments with canorous, audio manipulation: Cardigan; producing wondrous emotional FX …

    Visit: BKLTD.co

  • apollowati 1:27 am on January 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 30 Seconds to Mars, Band, Jared Leto   

    @JaredLeto adds #Diva and #Actor To His #Rockstar Status! ;) #music #omtz 


    Download the 2013 album LOVE LUST FAITH + DREAMS on iTunes: http://smarturl.it/LLFD

    Thirty Seconds To Mars performing “Up In The Air” the short film by Bartholomew Cubbins.
    WARNING: This video has been identified by Epilepsy Action to potentially trigger seizures for people with photosensitive epilepsy. Viewer discretion is advised.

    (C) 2013-4 Virgin Records and @JaredLeto

  • apollowati 6:52 pm on January 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , tech   

    #in2014: The Rise of Algorithmic Music? via @reddit 


    Image via Thefootballramble.com

    A new way to “write” music picks up steam on Reddit.com: Algorithmic Music > generative, stochastic, aleatoric, sonification and other forms of automation in audio and music creation.



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