Deep, Dark, Well-Kerned Designer Secrets


We know it’s just not easy being strapped into that Aeron for 12-20 hours a day, stroking your Mighty Mouse and wishing you knew more actual people instead of iChat icons. So it warms our Intel Core Duos when designers make friends.

Kernspiracy, a message board for designers, carries on practical conversations–the latest posts ask about silk screening resources and announce an InDesign user group. Plus, they have monthly gatherings for that oh-so-important thing other people call ‘human interaction.’ These are held in Los Angeles at a top secret place you’d never expect off-the-clock designers to congregate: a brewery.

Founder Spencer Cross, who runs Tokyo Farm when he’s not recommending good offset printers, says Kernspiracy was his solution to the isolated LA design scene:

“I started Kernspiracy to address the lack of community that I was feeling as an LA-based designer. Since, in my experience, so many designers in Los Angeles are either self-employed, work for small creative boutiques or work in-house with a small team that there isn’t a lot of opportunity to connect with other designers. If you’re just looking for input or advice there aren’t a lot of convenient local forums for that.

Kernspiracy hopefully fills that gap by providing opportunities for designers to talk to one another and ask for support, feedback and advice. The first element is a regular monthly “salon” where people can not only socialize, but can also bring work to get feedback on or talk about design issues with other people that are knowledgeable about and interested in the same issues. In addition, there’s a corresponding email discussion list to facilitate faster responses for more pressing concerns. If you really need a paper recommendation or have a project on which you want feedback but you can’t wait for the next meeting, the email list is there. People can choose to participate in one or the other, but as time goes on I’ve found the combination of the two is really gelling into something special. It’s not just a faceless, online forum experience. It’s a real-world community. “

The next Kernspiracy is March 8 at Barbara’s at the Brewery. Even if you’re not in LA, join in the discussion here.