Creative Showcase

Funnel : Eric Kass

Funnel principal Eric Kass develops evocative, award-winning brands fit for a wide range of patrons around the globe, from start-ups and established endeavors to retail products and services for the creative arts { we're here for you }.

Eric also performs many other design related tasks including but not limited to: snafu resolution / niche identification / essence distillation and gist enhancement™

Where are you from originally?

Raised on a farm in Farmersburg, Indiana where my junior high basketball team was called the Plowboys. True.

How did you end up in Indianapolis, Indiana?

I heard they had delicious big-as-your-head breaded pork tenderloin sandwiches.

As a designer, what do you like most about living in Indianapolis?

Beautifully wooded urban landscape hemmed in by Zen-like rows and rows of crops.

Did you attend a design school?

Somewhere I have a Ball State University diploma, for fine art and design.

How did the college experience affect who you are today?

It was the spark that ignited this life-long practice / obsession.

What was your first design job?

Summer help at a computerless design firm where I cleaned the stat camera and ran errands to pick up type from the typesetter. That's right, you actually had to go to a different company across town to pick up your type. We also used t-squares, triangles, french curves, toxic markers, amberlith, foam core, razor sharp knives and dinosaurs roamed the earth.

How do you describe your work?

So honest it hurts.

What inspires you most?

Contradictions.

When did you first become interested in what you do?

In grade school I discovered different typestyles in the "H" Worldbook Encyclopedia under handwriting for some reason. I would write love notes to pass in class the next day by drawing girls names in black letter. They didn't necessarily swoon over my lettering skills but looking back now it was the beginning of my type fetish.

What has inspired and shaped you the most as a designer? Who and what are some of your biggest influences?

Everything from musty printed ephemera, structured yet improvisational mid-century jazz, the emotional punch of Jackson Pollack, melancholic wit of Charles Schulz, wildly inspiring philosophies of Andy Warhol, unashamedly naive typography usually found in back alleys or abandoned lots, trivia inducing documentaries, scandalous biographies, often astoundingly accurate astrology to the serene spirituality of ancient eastern thought especially wabi-sabi the beauty of things imperfect, impermanent and incomplete.

What are some of your favorite books / sites?

Wabi-Sabi : for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers - Leonard Koren Printed Ephemera : The Changing Uses of Type and Letterforms in English and American Printing - John Lewis The Philosophy of Andy Warhol by Andy Warhol American Metal Typefaces of the Twentieth Century - Mac McGrew No One Belongs Here More Than You - Miranda July Tao Te Ching - Stephen Mitchell Peanuts : The Art of Charles M. Schulz - Chip Kidd Boring Postcards - Martin Parr The I Ching or Book of Change - Wilhelm / Baynes FM 5-13 The Engineer Solider's Handbook - 1964 - Headquarters Department of the Army Reading Jazz - Robert Gottlieb Graphis Annual 55/56 - Walter Herdeg / Charles Rosner Jackson Pollock : Energy Made Visible - B. H. Friedman Welcome to the Monkey House - Kurt Vonnegut The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger On the Road - Jack Kerouac

Is there anyone you're interested in working with or for?

Love to work more with publishers, musicians and burlesque performers.

What are you currently working on? Anything fun and exciting you'd like to share?

A couple exciting start-up food brands, a cooper of Scottish heritage in Kentucky and several photographers and cinematographers around the globe.

Can you tell us about any projects you've been involved in that you're particularly proud of?

Cherish every moment for better or worse.

What is a typical day like for you?

A constant struggle to ward off feelings of inadequacy and insecurity.

How would you describe your creative process?

Soaking in everything that is you from ancestry to childhood hijinks to cultural tastes and career yearnings then whittling away everything, editing to the bone uncovering your terrifically personal, inspirational story and reacting spontaneously in a flurry of informed creation revealing...

What's next in the world of Funnel?

What's next in the world of Funnel? Dream of touring the United States meeting patrons, speaking to design organizations, designing, photographing and finding inspiration.

Any exciting upcoming projects?

Editing and designing a business card book for Rockport Publishers to be released in spring 2012.