January 26, 2013

Band: Honestly Driving Design
Category: 2013 Event, Event Themes


Creating something worthwhile takes verve, drive, and a whole lot of nerve but the end result is endlessly satisfying. The outside eye may just see a t-shirt, a poster, or a 7” single, but you know the hours of work that went into it and all that you learned about your craft—and yourself—in the process. The spirit of DIY fuels countless artists of every stripe, and many pure and honestly crafted works have a punk-indie ethos at their heart. But soon you find friends. You notice that the people around you are doing the same thing, so you decide to band together.

Tri-fiveBand makes art. They came together, they say, because of their love for the same four chords of fast music. In fact, Josh thinks he might have kicked Phillip in the nose at a show, but what’s a little blood between friends? The three members—Josh Doll, Phillip Stewart, and Zach Yarrington—are at home at ADX, the 10,000 square foot prototyping facility, shop, and community of artists and thinkers that was founded by 2011 TEDxConcordiaUPortland (now known as TEDxMtHood) speaker Kelley Roy. Their office looks out over the expansive main floor of the shop, which they utilize for their various graphic design, printmaking, welding, and woodworking projects. The shop is also a source of inspiration. If they get stuck or want a distraction, all they have to do is walk the main floor and talk to one of the almost 500 members who happen to be there making something.

As Portland transplants, the members of Band also appreciate how much the city itself affects their work. Portland’s large community of makers and artists is still rooted in what is handcrafted and small-scale.

“Other places have lost their connection with craft. Portland, for me, was really a breath of fresh air. Everything is local and hand produced—it’s really inspired how we work,” Josh says.

“Even as saturated with designers as Portland is,” Zach added, “you can still do what you want. You can still survive.”

Like the bands that inspire them, Band works best together. Each member brings his own talent to bear on their projects, but their combined strength is what sets them apart. They constantly educate each other, and they’ve learned that each component can’t work without the other. Zach uses the analogy of a car to describe their working relationship: Josh is the gas pedal. He is bursting with ideas and pushes the other two with his energy. Zach, on the other hand, is the brake. He’s the one who says, “Slow down, let’s think this through.” And Phillip is the transmission. He’s the positive and steady voice of reason that helps keep the team moving forward.

Band is excited to be the TEDxConcordiaUPortland (now known as TEDxMtHood) branding and design team for our 2013 event, Velocity, and we look forward to continuing to work with them in the future. Not only did they create the wonderful logo you now see, but they created a number of designs that are true to the theme and the event itself. You’ll soon see their creative concepts around town on posters, handbills, and on the day-of program. We hope you’re delighted by their designs as we welcome them to the TEDxConcordiaUPortland (now known as TEDxMtHood) community.

Sean Wheaton

Sean Wheaton is a teacher and writer who lives in Portland, OR. He’s a lover of ideas both big and small, and he is thrilled to be a part of this year’s TEDxConcordiaUPortland planning team. He’s one of several storytellers who will be sharing write-ups, interviews, and perspectives on the many extraordinary people from our surrounding community.