Day 31

Day 31

Kern and Burn takes on Austin with three design entrepreneurs, two hot dogs, and one story about cowboy poets from west Texas.

— Kern and Burn

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This week we had the privilege of spending a few days exploring Austin, Texas. The beautiful little city welcomed us with southern hospitality, warm weather, and great food. Although we picked the wrong time of the year to see the mass bat exodus, we had the opportunity to meet with three gifted designers—each pursuing different streams of entrepreneurship within their practice.

Christian Helms utilizes his understanding of branding to run Frank—the hippest hot dog restaurant in America. The edgy graphics, clever copywriting, and consistently branded interior provide its patrons with an aesthetic paradise unmatched in any other bar we’ve seen. We sat down with Christian at his restaurant to discuss how designers view themselves as clients, how to find partners that compliment you, and why he focuses more on his work than giving advice.

Jay Sauceda and Cody Haltom leverage the brand of their co-working space, Public School, to build their own personal brands and run a successful design blog. We talked to the guys about the growing creative scene in Austin, their perspective on how to use the internet, and cowboy poets from west Texas.

Armin Vit hosted us for an afternoon conversation at his home. He founded the now archive only, design blog Speak Up in 2002 and has since asserted himself as a premier design critic and writer. We talked about how he monetizes his Brand New blog, how thankful he is for his loyal audience, and the tiring effort it takes to post new content for his followers every day.

We’ll post more detailed content from our interviews over the next few days. In the meantime, you should introduce yourself to these three great design entrepreneurs by checking out the links above. A big thank you to Christian, Public School, and Armin for taking time out of their busy lives to let a few Northerners in on the Texas fun.