Day 32

Day 32

I think there has been this turn in the collective conscious of designers.

— Christian Helms

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The Decoder Ring, Frank, Helms Workshop, Standard Grit. Christian Helms is a man of many accomplishments. We think he is the pinnacle example of a designer who has taken his passions and turned them into successful, business opportunities. We met Christian over beers at Frank, the restaurant he designed and co-founded, to chat about his work.

In 2004 he started a collaborative studio, The Decoder Ring which produced great work that earned deserved recognition from the design world and in 2009 he added restauranteur to his resume with Frank. He has since left The Decoder Ring and started a new studio, Helms Workshop, and just last year he started Standard Grit, a textile co. that produces hand-made, limited-edition flags with amazing custom-lettering.

His work is known for its sense of southern charm, playful, smart wit, and classically cool aesthetic. Christian embodies all of these qualities in person and, he’s nice. Really nice. He’s the kind of guy that introduces himself to the staff at the restaurant and gets to know all of the new faces.

We asked him for his thoughts on design’s shift toward the entrepreneurial mindset.

He said, “I think there has been this turn in the collective conscious of designers. We realized that we start these businesses for clients, these businesses go on to be successful, and we think, why aren’t we starting these businesses? We know what we’re doing, we would be the clients that really trust ourselves, and let ourselves take these big risks and make real statements, versus doing what everyone else already did.”

That’s the unifying theme across all of these things, whether it’s publishing, or a restaurant, or an axe company. It’s that shift in the consciousness, and it’s really exciting.”

We want to harness this collective conscious in the stories, essays, and interviews we present in Kern and Burn, and Christian’s story is a great addition to the publication.

We can’t wait to get started on our full-feature. In the meantime we suggest you check out Helms Workshop, drink some Lone Star Light, and toast to Texas.