Communication Arts has been a benchmark for creative excellence for over 50 years. It's the largest creative magazine in the world, featuring contemporary, iconic work of graphic designers, art directors, design firms, corporate design departments, advertising agencies, interactive designers, illustrators and photographers — basically, everyone involved in visual communication.
To have work featured in the publication is a milestone in anyone's career, and one that Christian Helms (Helms Workshop) of Austin most recently achieved.
If you do cool things in Austin, you've probably seen Helms' work for a few years now: he designed gig poster after lauded gig poster while with The Decoder Ring; branded downtown's art-minded eatery, Frank; guided Austin Beerworks through its genesis; handles various creative projects for Alamo Drafthouse; and currently gets creative kicks out of concepting a popular limited-edition textile project called Standard Grit.
Of his drool-worthy roster of clients, he told Communication Arts, "I have absolutely no room to bitch. I earn a living designing for beer, music and hot dogs!"
So how does this design virtuoso define a feature in Communication Arts, specifically? "It's like when Johnny Carson would call a comedian over to chat after a bit," Helms tells CultureMap. "It's a nod of recognition that says a lot about your work and career trajectory."
Despite the honor, Helms certainly doesn't consider himself the only big player in Austin worth watching. "Austin is a hot-bed of creative talent, and it's been building for a long time," he says.
Helms credits a diverse blend of longstanding design talent like DJ Stout of Pentagram and David Kampa of McGarrah Jessee with younger creative upstarts like Public School and LAND as a constant source of inspiration for his own work.
"Add in writers, photographers and filmmakers, and you have a pool of passionate creatives who appreciate one another and work together to do work that rivals anywhere else in the country," Helms says.
"I'm very proud to have carved out a place in that community."
Check out Helms Workshop's work in the May/June issue of Communication Arts.