branding

27: Guts & Glory

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In this episode, I talk to the ginger-haired power duo behind Guts & Glory about Nancy Drew novels, John Waters, Queen Bey, Helvetica The Perfume, and their dream of one day opening a speakeasy-inspired design studio.

“We sit somewhere at the cross-section of traditional graphic designers, art pranksters and activists.”

—Guts & Glory

Faun Chapin and Meg Paradise, now based in Oakland, co-founded their creative collective in Brooklyn in 2012 with a desire to be great and a philosophy based on courage, vigor, character and oomph.

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A powerful blend of visual storytellers, brand builders, and strategic thinkers, Faun and Meg are willing to take risks and feel a responsibility to use their tools of communication to support all different kinds of things, “not just products and services.”

For proof, see their AIGA award-winning gun control advocacy project They Don’t Work For You, which is more broadly a platform for civic engagement that they built in only four days, in response to senators not responding to the people they’re meant to serve.

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On a lighter note, they’ve done summer camp wedding invitations for clients, highly participatory “mad lib” window installations, T-shirt designs with fantastical collages of kittens, cakes and unicorns, and, most notably, the packaging design for Helvetica The Perfume, a tongue-in-cheek pleasure project that celebrates design while also poking fun at it.

Faun has a Masters in Design from Yale and has seen her big-client work for advertising and branding firms win Cannes Lion and Obie awards. Meg studied advertising and photography at Syracuse University and, likewise, has been recognized widely for her eye for detail and knack for crafting.

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Photos: Guts & Glory.


Music
Show Opener: Salt-n-Pepa, Pharrell Williams (with Justin Timberlake), Melanie and Kanye West (feat. Rhymefest)
First True Love Affair – Jimmy Ross
No Sleep Till Brooklyn – Beastie Boys
Helvetica (The American Dollar remix) – Arms and Sleepers
Two Political Party – Terror Fabulous
Ain’t Nobody – Chaka Khan
The Dress Looks Nice on You – Sufjan Stevens
Show Closer: DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Tricky, Dusty Springfield and Isaac Hayes

Reading List
Nancy Drew
John Waters

Watch List
Faun & Meg on MSNBC
Helvetica The Perfume: The Lovers
Helvetica The Perfume: The Haters