The Way It Was, V.2

In this series I’m going to try my best not to compare apples to oranges. I understand there are vast differences in technology, ideology, legality, etc between designs of the past and designs of the present. However, I believe there was, is, and will always be a way to almost objectively design something properly. To me, this means a design that is well executed, aesthetically pleasing and properly communicative… in relation to whatever is being “sold.”

TWIW, V.2 is in regard to travel advertising. In this case, specifically cruises. Here are my thoughts on the ads in question:

1. I don’t even know where to start. How about the copy? Clearly one is simply advertising a specific cruise ship, while the other goes into much more detail about the price, locations, discounts, dates, etc., but that in itself says something about modern advertising’s problem with forcing too much information into a single ad. Add to that the tragedy of 5+ arbitrarily used fonts and typesetting that seems to make no sense at all. Except of course for the legal line, which is strategically set in black type over a dark portion of the image. Crafty.

2. We used to marvel at things like the massive Cunard cruise ship, shown above. But as technology and engineering progress, we’re less interested in how we’ll be getting to our destination and more interested in where it’s taking us (and how much it will cost). But aren’t these ads for the cruise itself? If you just want to go to The Bahamas, you can fly there in a fraction of the time. This is about the experience of the cruise. And as you can see in the more recent ad, the actual cruise ship has become an afterthought; a footnote.

3. As for the imagery, we’re faced with the obvious difference between professional designer and someone with a personal computer. Before the computer we relied on professionals to do the job of advertising. They were skilled in their craft. They knew type and composition and cohesion and color. They designed because they were good at it. I know I’m stating the obvious here, (and there’s a heaping helping of irony as I sit here and type this) but it’s a bit of a bummer that the computer has turned every civilized human into a jack-of-all-trades.

4. In the end, one is clearly worth framing and displaying in your home, and the other is sure to end up in a trash bin. I refuse to believe that we collect things that are “vintage” purely based on nostalgia. The bottom line is that, in most cases, that old stuff is flat out better than the garbage that we see today.

Why Do We Still Get So Much Spam?

Here’s our latest spot for Wired’s ‘Burning Question’ series. This month’s question: “Why do we still get so much spam?”. If you own an iPad, check outĀ the (simple) animated piece in the upcoming digital issue as well.

From The Alfred Paulsen Files, V. 4

More editorial goodness from Grandpa.


As They Sleep is a new band on Solid State Records, bringing some much needed brutality to the masses. This is the album cover that we recently completed for their upcoming release titled Dynasty. We again enlisted photographic/set design whiz Jerad Knudson to help us see the vision through, and we couldn’t be happier with the results. Apparently the model is a homeless man that sells newspapers near Jerad’s house in Seattle’s Capital Hill neighborhood.

Dangerously Delicious

It’s always a treat to work with comedians – but in this case it’s extra fun as Aziz is one of our favorites. Aziz commissioned us to create posters for the New York and DC shows of his upcoming ‘Dangerously Delicious Tour’. If you’re a fan, you know that Aziz loves food … and if you have his last album, you know he also loves walking with dinosaurs. These are limited in quantity, but will be arriving in the shop after the dates.


Well, thanks to you guys – our Lil’ Happy Invisible Creature S.A.S.E. Club was a success. We are still counting envelopes, but it looks like we received 200+ submissions. We can honestly say that you guys made our trip to the post office something to actually look forward to (and subsequently brought smiles and fun comments from USPS employees – which usually isn’t the norm), so our mission has officially been accomplished. Now it’s time for us to return the favor. Since we received so many envelopes (and the shop has been busy), we’re running a tad later than we had planned. But like we said when we launched this, have patience. It will arrive.

Since this was so fun, we’ll be making this an annual tradition each summer. Thanks again, everyone.

The Big Day

Today is a monumentous occasion in our house: First day of kindergarten. I whipped this up last night and hid it in my little girl’s lunchbox. I think the first day jitters are worse for parents. Either way, I’m a proud daddy. Update: Enough of you asked, so I decided to make it a smallĀ print.


Founded in 2006 by Don & Ryan Clark, Invisible Creature is a
multi-disciplinary design and illustration studio based in Seattle, WA.


  • Adam Sandler + Co.

    February 9th / The Paramount

  • NASA

    10 x 14 Print Set

  • NASA


  • NASA

    The Grand Tour


  • NASA

    Visions Of The Future

  • Odd Galaxy

    Space Blocks

  • The Biggest Story

    Childrens Book

  • Invisible Creature

    Farm League