Adam Savage - "Why We Make"

Adam Savage - "Why We Make" - student project

Cover photo by Norman Chan

I love watching people make things.

It's so cool! Seeing how they approach a problem... The tools and methods they come up with to achieve the look/solution/goal they're after... The miss-steps and curve balls they hit along the way... It's always fascinating.

I think it's one of the reasons I like making things. I love watching something come together right before my eyes. It's exciting!

One of the people I look up to the most in this regard is Adam Savage, of Mythbusters fame. Not only does he make some incredible stuff, he's also a wonderful and engaging speaker.

One of his best speeches was at the Bay Area Maker Faire in 2012. He gave a speech called, "Why We Make."

Adam Savage - "Why We Make" - image 1 - student project

The whole speech is really great, but he ends it with such a powerful message that I think can be applied to people from all walks of life, and in all sorts of professions...

"Make what you DESIRE.
Make what you HAVE to make.
Make what you CAN'T NOT make,
because it will make the world a better place."

This message, and this speech is what my poster will focus on.

Sketch 1

One of the first things I think of when I think of "making" is tools hanging on peg board. I love the organization of the uniquely shaped tools and the beautiful repetition of the tiny holes. I thought flanking the phrase from the speech with this motif would make for a striking poster and tie together nicely with the theme of "make."

Adam Savage - "Why We Make" - image 2 - student project

Sketch 2

I loved the idea mentioned in the second lecture video about making a skinny poster. So, I made this poster half of a 18x24 poster, so 9x24. This size fit the layout of the type tighter, which put more empahsis on the phrase itself. I really love the look of letters carved into wood, so I thought of someone who wanted to remember this phrase deciding to carve it into a piece of wood. This poster would depict the moment the carved letters have just been finished. With the carpenter's pencil and chisels laying on the wood, and wood shavings all over the place.

Adam Savage - "Why We Make" - image 3 - student project

Sketch 3

Continuing the look of the skinny poster, which I really liked. I thought it would be cool to make something a little more abstract. I liked ending with a visual of the earth, which helps punctuate the last line of the phrase, but I wanted to make it "pop" some more. I added the speed lines to give more motion to the composition and liking that I decided to skew the type to follow the lines. The fact that the combination of the stacked type and the earth make an exclamation point was a happy accident that really brough the whole thing together.

Adam Savage - "Why We Make" - image 4 - student project

Progress  - Feb 18, 2013

I don't have a more refined sketch. Since I'm going for more of a clean, subtle rendered look I felt like a more refined sketch wouldn't move me forward very much. So I decided to focus on the structure of the phrase and how it would contrast with the color and holes of the pegboard in the background. Here's my initial take on the layout of the type.

Adam Savage - "Why We Make" - image 5 - student project

My next step will be to make some rough outlines of various tools at proportional sizes and play around with compositions around the center type that fill in the negative spaces the best.

Progress  - Feb 25, 2013

I didn't make much progress this week as I'd hoped, but I made headway with the composition. The tools are a combination of early vector shapes and photos of tools that I haven't yet vectorized. I've sized everything proportionatly and worked out the composition in a way that looks good, while maintaining a logical placement for where the peg hooks would connect to the board and how the various tools would hang from said hooks.

Adam Savage - "Why We Make" - image 6 - student project

Progress  - Feb 28, 2013

All the basic shapes of the tools are now in place and basic colors are chosen. There's more I want to do to finish the poster, but I won't be able to get it done before the class is over. Hopefully, I'll have time in the near future to finish it up.

Adam Savage - "Why We Make" - image 7 - student project