Alex Dartt

Alex Dartt

Graphic Designer

January 26, 2018

Organization:

Toledo Mud Hens/Walleye, Alex Dartt Design

Website:


Tell us more about some of your past projects?

Through my job I’ve been able to design some expansive local projects. Holy Toledo Laughfest was a logo/campaign I worked on which was spearheaded by Hensville. Multiple venues hosted big names in comedy across the city of Toledo. Another project that expanded into many design facets was a specialty Toledo Mud Hens jersey. It was themed around the ’92 USA Olympic men’s basketball ‘Dream Team’. What started as a logo expanded into a slew of merch and other designs. I recently entered the project in the upcoming AAF Addy Awards taking place in February.


What current projects are you working on?

I am working on many local projects, some secret.. but have been expanding outside the city as well. I had a call with a client who is from South Africa and currently in London. That’s new for me, and exciting. Most of my current work is branding, whether new or refreshed, for local creatives and tech companies. Helping/collaborating with local businesses is fun because it impacts my own surroundings. I want to help my community through design, and see what I can shake up.


What advantages does being in Northwest Ohio/Toledo offer your efforts?

Toledo is on the up and up, which has created business growth, especially downtown. This has given me the opportunity to work with more folks around the city. I also feel that people in Toledo hold a sense of community. We get each other, because we’re all living in the same bubble. It’s still a ‘big little city’ which is great for networking and getting to know everyone.


Tell us about one of your greatest successes.

In 2016 I entered a typographic piece into the Society of Typographic Arts ‘STA 100’ based in Chicago. My piece was chosen among 99 other fantastic designers and typographers, some complete rockstars in the field. I was blown away to be on the same website gallery as Rick Valicenti, Stefan Sagmeister, and many other huge designers. I love typography and lettering, especially experimental projects. This was a big deal to me, and still is.


Tell us who or what gives you inspiration?

I gain inspiration from my surroundings, and home life, but in different ways. I might spot something while driving or walking into work around the city that sparks a design idea. In a more profound way, my family (wife, Jessica and sons Harrison, 2 and Henry, 3 months) push me daily to do my best.


Tell us about your background.

Born and raised in Toledo, I grew up running around my neighborhood riding bikes and playing street hockey with the guys. Through elementary school and into college at OSU, I played trumpet in marching band and jazz groups. I really loved it and considered going to college for music. Some of my favorite memories are playing jazz at Murphy’s Place which is now sadly closed. It felt so cool to be playing in a downtown club alongside some local jazz greats.

Once I switched my focus in college, I organically found design through photography and printmaking. After being at OSU for 2 years, I moved back to Toledo took a year off from school. I worked and created, which led me to get back to my education because it peaked my interest so much. I enrolled at BGSU where I obtained my BFA in Graphic Design which was a 4 year program. Four months later I was hired on as a designer for the Hens and Walleye.

My college journey reminds me of this Tommy Boy scene: “Did you hear I finally graduated?” ‘Yea, just a shade under a decade too, alright..’ “You know a lot of people go to college for 7 years” ‘They’re called doctors’.


Do you have a motto or favorite quote you try to live by?

Work gets work. Basically, if you put in the work and it is quality, you will gain more of the same work. This is important in my field and my freelance world. I truly love what I do, and it took me many years to find it. Most of the time it doesn’t feel like work to me, despite the motto.


Favorite place for local culture?

I do enjoy going to the Toledo Museum of Art, although it’s less common than I’d like. I grew an appreciation for art in a gallery setting going through the college of arts at BGSU. With a constant new show coming to town, there is always something new to see.


Toledo’s “best kept secret” is . . .

The creative force in town. I think the city has a lot of talent for the size of the city, and I’d put it against anywhere in the country.


My favorite place to chill locally is . . . 

A Walleye game, or home. My son loves it and it’s just plain entertaining. Hockey is an exciting game to watch and I’m biased but, the game-day team puts on a really great show.


My favorite natural space in the Toledo area is . . . 

Although a mixture of natural and not-so-natural grass.. Hensville Park. There are some natural grass areas but it’s mostly composed of astroturf. My wife has brought my son down a number of times for a lunchtime round of soccer or baseball, and it’s just a cool spot. It has a unique feel; near the water as well as a ballpark and buildings. Wildwood wins for fully natural spot.


When I’m not working hard, I can always be found at . . . 

Home. With two young kids, it’s where I am the majority of the time.


If you could change anything about the current landscape for creative, progressive people . . .

Inform the general public about the value a creative can bring a business or community. Unfortunately, designers are often known to be ‘last ones hired, first ones fired’ which expresses their perceived value. I’d like to change that.


Any exciting collaborations (past or present) you would like to tell us about?

I am currently working on some exciting projects with Toledo Aerial Media and some local photographers. Always open to collaborations, it’s a great way to learn and all boats rise together in those situations.


Name one person (living or deceased) who you would love to collaborate with.

I’d love to collaborate with Joshua Davis AKA Praystation. He does some amazing visual designs that react to music. I’ve always loved music and design so I think it’d be an amazing opportunity.


Name a CD, book or website you can’t live without.

Behance.net  It is a top-notch design/art site that I could get lost in for hours. I am often intrigued by the furniture design and product design projects there. I admire those who do that type of work, because like design, craft is of the utmost importance.


3 words that best describe me or my work are . . .

My work is Bold, Clean & Experimental


Give us 5 Desert Island Album picks.

John Mayer Trio – Try!
Brasstracks – For Those Who Know Part 1
Bruno Mars – 24K Magic
Mac Miller – Blue Slide Park
Francis and the Lights – Farewell, Starlite


My biggest vice is . . .

Caffeine


I’d like to see __________ in Toledo.

A makerspace. Big Fab Lab in Bowling Green is the closest thing. They should open a second location up here!


What’s the last dream you recall having?

I tend to only recall dreams if I tell someone about it right after I wake up, anymore. Since it’s the afternoon as I write this, I’ve got nothin’.


The last lyric that moved me was . . .

Pure bliss, I knew that we would stay together, we in cursive. – Mac Miller. I like the visual story it tells, plus as a designer I can appreciate the typography aspect.


One movie character I identify with is . . .

Main character of Boyhood. It was spot on for many, I’m sure.


The best gift I’ve ever received was . . .

My two sons. Becoming a parent is an amazing thing, and despite the length of time a pregnancy takes, you can’t recreate that feeling when you first see your kids. Love to my wife Jessica, who is the best Mom I know, seriously.


My most inspiring moment was/is . . .

I often have great ideas while in the shower which I’ve heard is common. I should look into a waterproof notepad.


I want my last meal to be _______________.

A reuben.


Additional links:

Instagram.com/alexdartt


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