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Volume 49. No. 9 March 17, 2010
Power of Words
Student Winner of
CLASP shares her
experience creating her
essay on Zora Neale
Chyna Geib gribes
about her trip to the
Tim Burton exhibit at
Stand Aside Sartre!
DeNoyelles shines a
spot on the PSH
Check out this issue's
What the Foto
Rockin' and Reelin'
Band of Irish sisters are
an early St. Patrick's Day
gift for PSH.
Draw A DOG!
Waste the minutes with
our comics and games
O iNUoN 8
CAMN IS LEE 9-11
PoHEE, CALENDAR 18
THE CAPITAL T
Society of Design presents Modern Dog at
the Pennslyvania Academy of Music
By JENNA DENOYELLES
AND VINCENT DANGOLOVICH
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF AND CoPY EDDDR
Designers Robynne Raye and
Mike Strassburger of Seattle's
Modern Dog firm came to the
American Academy of Music in
downtown Lancaster, Pa., Mar.
18. Penn State Harrisburg's So
ciety of Design sponsored the
Modern Dog signed copies of
their book Modern Dog 20 Years
of Poster Art in the academy
lobby. Designers, students, and
the curious walked about enjoy
ing cookies and coffee, as well as
the excitement of the event itself.
Around 200 people showed up to
the event according to Professor
Craig Welsh, faculty advisor to
"I've seen their work but didn't
know it was them. They're a re
nown design firm," said Commu
nications Major Hannah Moyer,
2 1 .
"It's really exciting," said Com
munications major Gunnar Wray,
27. "I like the products they work
on. They're Funky. They have a
good sense of humor."
Welsh opened the presentation
portion of the evening with club
business. Noteworthy items in
cluded the "thank you" card char
ity fundraiser, the "Keys for the
City" Lancaster design event, and
the SOD night at Isaac's on Mar.
18 from 5-9 pm.
With business covered, Welsh in
troduced the multiple award-win
ning duo of Robynne and Mike.
"Normally people don't believe
us when we say we sucked," said
Robynne as she brought up power
point slides of the groups early
portfolio. Mike quickly agreed as
the images were displayed.
"And you're gonna feel good,"
he said. "This is our portfolio
work, the cream of the crop. -
The two joked and cringed at
their mediocre work as
amateur designers. In
1987, Raye and Stras
sburger took their tal
ents and formed what is
currently Modern Dog
Design Co. They claim
it was to tide them over
until they both found real
jobs with a firm. That
was more than twenty
years and several awards
"Our big break came
in 1989 with K-2 snow
boards," Raye confessed.
"It was a complete acci
dent. When we called,
they thought we were
An accident that turned
into a nearly $4 million
account and a reminder
that one has to make op
portunities and take full
advantage of the situa
Blue Q, a product
operating out of MA,
became Modern Dog's
next big client. Noted
for their "zany" and di
verse product lines such
as Dirty Girl Bubble
Bath and Naked Men in
Oven Mitts refrigerator
magnets, Blue Q was
perfectly suited to the
often humorous styling
of Modern Dog.
As Raye and Strassburger con
tinued their presentation, the au
dience soon learned that the cli
ent relationship would take an
unusual twist in 1998. Modern
Dog would get royalties fbr their
campy product designs and ideas.
When the duo agreed that Q's
"Wash-O-Matic" line would fail
as it was, the owners of Blue Q
asked fbr design firm's thoughts
on a replacement body wash.
Today the Blue Q/Modern Dog
partnership has yielded such clas
sic items and the Cat Butts line of
air fresheners and magnets that
have grossed over $5 Mil. Also of
note are the Mullet line of prod
ucts ranging from gum and tow
els to stickers and even body &
"Strong enough for the car, yet
gentle on the nards," read the car
wax scented body & car wash.
"It's looking at everyday things
that you don't normally think
about," said Mike as he switched
the discussion to how the firm
finds ideas for their work.
Mike and Robynne finished the
formal part of their presentation
by announcing the design prod
ucts available through their on
line store at store.moderndog.com
and the recently purchased klick
ymart.com. A music montage of
their numerous music posters fin
ished the power point show.
Before the evening came to end,
both Mike and Robynne took
questions from the audience and
rewarded those asking with pack
ages of Blue Q products. Perhaps
the best question came from an
anonymous design student. I-low
do you get past your insecurity as
"One of the neat things I've got
to do as a designer is meet most
of the greats in the business,"
answered Robynne. "They are
all insecure. I think to be inse
cure about your work is normal.
I think the day you think you're
the s**t, it's over. Insecurity is a
really good thing. Anyone who
creates takes a big risk... you are
"If you weren't insecure," added
Mike, "I would be worried."