Ryan Junell and I first met at the University of Texas, where we both took a class about the Internet (Ryan designed UT’s first web site; I caught on more slowly) and saw each other at a lot of rock shows. It wasn’t until Creative Commons started up and needed a graphic designer that Ryan and I reunited and became friends. Ryan is responsible for, among other things, our tasteful and fetching logo, the amazing animations in Get Creative and Reticulum Rex (and the latter’s anagrammed title), our DVD, many of our t-shirt designs and printed materials, and CC’s close connections with the Bay Area electronic music scene (where Ryan is a sort of freelance video artist). Along with Matt, it’s Ryan we have to thank for Creative Commons’ bold visual identity.
If you haven’t checked out Ryan’s handiwork outside of Creative Commons, you ought to. His See the Elephant! video installation toured the country late last year, and his music videos for Spoon and The Natural History nail the aesthetics of those bands. (Ryan’s hilarious and sharp video for The Soft Pink Truth was, along with Anime, South Park, Hello Kitty, and Schoolhouse Rock, the inspiration for the look and feel of “Get Creative”.)
Ryan is pursuing more solo projects now, but I hope one day to team up with him again on some sort of media project. It’s extremely rare to find someone whose taste jibes so well with your own — or better put, who is able to read your mind, and then do you one better.