interview: andrio abero at 33rpm

Andrio Abero at 33rpm designs When it comes to finding gig posters there is definitely no shortage. But it seems the good ones, I mean the really good ones, come few and far between. And that's why I was ecstatic when Andrio Abero, over at 33rpm, said he wouldn't mind doing an interview for me. I have followed Andrio's work now for the past three years, and his progression has been wonderful to watch. His work has been featured in numerous magazines including Print Magazines Regional Design Annual, not once but twice. Andrio has also been involved in over 40 exhibitions for his work and received more honors than you can count on your fingers. But if you think Andrio is only good for a print design, then you would be mistaken, his web portfolio is just as impressive.

So sit back, relax and enjoy all that is 33rpm.

1. Andrio, I have been a huge fan for the last 3 years now. At what point in your life did you first become interested in design/illustration/poster making?

I grew up near the Portland music scene, where I saw fantastic poster design. It was my senior year in high school in Vancouver, WA, and a recruiter from the Art Institute of Seattle visited my art class. I've been artistic since I was five years old, but never thought of making art as a career, just a hobby. I excelled in math and science and had thoughts of becoming a biologist but that didn't really make sense to me. That fall I moved up to Seattle and started classes at AIS. I wanted to focus in illustration, but gradually drifted towards design.

My Morning Jacket

Thievery Corporation

2. Who or what would you say has the biggest influence on the work you're doing?

Music has been a driving force for my every day inspiration. I like everything from indie rock to electronic music, dance music, hip-hop and old breaks, funk & soul, classic R&B and pop. I like meeting musicians and people working positively in a scene and not scenesters.

3. What do you find helps when you run out of creative ideas?

Go out and do something completely different. Take a break and you'll know when you're ready to be creative again. Maybe try working in a different medium or go about a design in a different way.

4. What has been your favorite project you've worked on, and what has been the hardest?

Bumbershoot was really fun because I got to see my work everywhere in Seattle. It was also a nostalgic event to work on because I had attended the festival every year for the past ten years. Thankfully there hasn't been a project that sticks out in my mind as being really hard.

33rpm businessweek illustration

33rpm seattle weekly bumbershoot poster

5. How would you say being a designer influence your life? Do you feel you have a different perspective on things around you?

It's not so much being a designer, but choosing a profession that allows me to be creative while making a decent living. I've met a lot of talented people, from other designers, artists, musicians, dancers, thinkers and all around creative people. Being able to relate to someone on a creative level is great to experience.

6. How do you spend your spare time?

DJ'ing, music production, learning to be a better cook, bike riding, going out…

Death Cab for Cutie

Rufus Wainwright

7. What are your five favorite sites you visit?

The New York Times QBN Resident Advisor Cool Hunting Gigposters

8. The number 33 has a very powerful meaning to me. What does 33 mean for you?

33rpm was founded by a good friend of mine, Jen Wood and I right before we graduated from design school. It was actually her idea to call it 33rpm. We both love music and we wanted to do exclusively music graphics. 33rpm is the speed which records play at. We thought it was fitting considering our analog aesthetic.

9. Thanks for taking the time to participate. Do you have any last words of inspiration or a favorite quote?

Always do what you love, and success will follow.


KEXP's John in the Morning at Night benefit

To learn more about Andrio Abero:

Print and Illustrations Web and Interactive Exhibitions and Publications About and Contact

web vs print

There seems to be much debate these days between web and print designers. Not that this is anything new to anyone working in the field, but an important topic nonetheless. As someone who works hand-in-hand with both print and web I've had a small glimpse in to both worlds. But why should I choose sides? If you lay aside the degrees, the associations, the requirements, aren't we all the same underneath? Creative people all looking to make the future a more aesthetically pleasing and usable place to live?

One of the biggest divisions I think between the two is experience. Traditionally, if you wanted to receive recognition as a designer you earned your degree and worked your way up from intern to director. Building a strong portfolio of work along the way. But now with the web it's possible for anyone to make a name for themselves. Notice I said it's possible, not guaranteed, because more often than not the average Joe who makes a website will very rarely receive any type of recognition. And this goes without saying of course that for all the millions of blogs available today, maybe 5% of those are worth reading. Yes the rules of time still apply to the web.

In his article "Dear AIGA, where are the web designers?" Jeffrey Zeldman addresses the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) with an important question in regards to their upcoming Business and Design Conference.

... I can’t help noticing that for all the brand directors, creative directors, Jungian analysts, and print designers, one rather significant specimen of the profession is missing. Where are the web (or if you insist, the interaction) designers? I am probably missing someone, but I count two people with web experience, and neither gets more than 60 seconds of stage time.

For "the oldest and largest membership association for professionals engaged in the discipline, practice and culture of designing" this is a sore mistake. It doesn't make sense to me that an organization like AIGA still refers to web designers as "interaction designers". And why the delay with welcoming in the new breed of designers who are blending, cutting, pasting and pushing the limits of design? The web should not be thought of as a passing fad but embraced for what it is, the new printing press.

Now more than ever are we able to produce information at an amazing rate of speed. But even more than that we are able to present that information multiple ways on a single page. But you could say the same about print. And of course you would be correct. However I've never had the ability to look at a piece of printed material and been able to change the layout of it on the fly. But then again, there is something beautiful and delicate about a printed piece of work.

So why all the fuss? Why all the title divisions and disputes over what medium is best? It's like fighting a reflection, you can't win when the other person follows your every move. We must become willing to accept what the other does if we want to be respected in our own field. Or as Mr. Zeldman put it:

"If you exclude us from the conversation, the conversation may end up excluding you."