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Joshua Chen Lives in SF: Craftsman and Wolves!

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HOW Conference Tip: High Tea at Craftsman &  Wolves!

{Pictured Above, the Tea Lady of Craftsman & Wolves works off his debt to Josh Chen by trimming his posters for HOW.} 

The theme for this year’s HOW Design Live is Rediscover Inspriation.  If you read these posts by the poster designers collaborating with Neenah  by offering attendees posters on Neenah CLASSIC® Paper, you might think the only thing to do in SF is eat and watch the Giants. Well? Ccreated by five notable American Designers (in order of loudness): James Victore, Von Glitschka, Joshua Chen, Ron Chan and Earl Gee these posters are keepers. And most of them have a feel for the local scene you can trust.


HOW Design Live San Francisco
Conference Dates: 06/22/13-06/26/13
Conference Location: Moscone West, Levels 1-3
Conference Website: howdesignlive.com
Neenah Artist Poster Signing Schedule
Monday, June 24 Exhibit Hall
i.            12:00-1:00_ James Victore
ii.            1:00-2:00_ Ron Chan
iii.            5:00-6:30 _ Earl Gee
Tuesday, June 25 Exhibit Hall
iv.            12:00-1:00 _ Joshua Chen
v.            1:00-2:00 _ Von Glitschka

Just look for the big beautiful Neenah booth just inside the main entry to  SWAG Hall  – um EXHIBIT HALL — inside the cavernous Moscone Center WEST at Fourth and Howard Streets. San Francisco resident, Josh Chen, knows where the best food is served. Among other things.

Q&A with Joshua Chen

Tell us the basic concept behind your image, please.

Today’s creative process. Or what all of us are faced with everyday in our work as designers. A visual summary of the Creative (un)Blocks promotion we designed for Neenah.

Ooooooo. We loved that ENVIRONMENT promo. All those cuts and folds and blocks and puzzles. That was fun. Does your poster involve humor? Do you consider yourself a humor driven branding concern?

No it’s completely devoid of humor. Design is serious business. I am very serious. Only serious. Seriously. Somberly.

When you think of San Francisco, what image or characteristic first comes to mind?

There are so many iconic images of the City. A few include The Transamerica Pyramid (I see it everyday walking from my car to the studio).

What about Craftsman & Wolves? Ever been there? For those visiting SF, what are Top Three people, places or things you want to do/see during your HOW downtime?

  • Go to a Giants game
  • Check out Craftsman and Wolves (shameless plug) — best bakery/pastries/desserts in town. And an afternoon tea service you won’t experience anywhere else.
  • The new Exploratorium at Pier 15

Why doesn’t anyone recommend the Safeway on Market Street anymore? It was like going to a zoo filled with wild and exotic animals without cattle prods, chains, fences or moats. For those who live in the area, what are top three places or things you recommend your fellow artists see during their HOW downtime?

  • Go to a Giants game
  • Check out Craftsman and Wolves
  • The new Exploratorium at Pier 15

Giants, Giants, Giants!  Not everyone loves baseball or crowds. Why doesn’t anyone mention Farley’s anymore? It is the most customer unfriendly coffee shop in SF! Ask for Five Insults with your low-fat Latté! They deliver! Do you also tell newcomers to  ‘Visit Bolinas in a Hummer and throw your trash out the window’ just to be funny?”

We just drove through Bolinas for the first time since I’ve been in the Bay Area. I had no idea!

Mean people eighty year old hippies, right? Are you  a friend of Dorothy?

Yes I’m still friends with my Mom.

Josh, JOSH, JOOOSSHHH! That is so funny. You are definitely not a native are you? Keep that kerchief out of your back right pocket, too, Mr. Friend  of Dorothy. Even during flu season. Now, if you lived in San Francisco other than your mansion in Pacific Heights what neighborhood would you choose to live in if money were no object?

 St. Francis Wood or Cole Valley

From Wikipedia

St. Francis Wood is an affluent residential neighborhood located in southwestern San FranciscoCalifornia, south of the West Portalneighborhood and west of Mount Davidson. St. Francis Wood has a population of 1,354 and a median household income of $201,399.[1] Characterized by family homes on spacious lots (by San Francisco standards), St. Francis Wood has no visible businesses and has a correspondingly low profile compared to similar wealthy neighborhoods such as the Marina District and Pacific Heights.

My, my. You are discreet Mr. Friend of Dorothy. OK. If you lived in San Francisco, what neighborhood can you afford to live in on a poster designer’s salary?

The Excelsior (or, down the hill from St. Francis Wood)

From Wikipedia

The Excelsior District is located along Mission Street, east of San Jose Ave, south of Interstate 280 Southern Fwy, west of John McLaren Park, and somewhat north of Geneva Avenue. Neighborhoods within the Excelsior District include the Excelsior Neighborhood itself, Mission Terrace, Outer Mission neighborhood, Portola, & Crocker Amazon.

Well, on an writer’s salary I might be able to afford an abandoned washing machine underneath the Interstate 280 bridge at Geneva Ave. Hook-ups not included. Tell us, truthfully, do you suffer Michael Schwab envy?

Who’s that? Just kidding. I’ve met Michael, we had a very nice dinner together in New York a couple of years back.

Did he create for you an iconic graphic of your profile set against jewel-toned background image of a unforgettable image of one of thousands of the Bay Area’s scenic wonders using a typeface that  evokes a by-gone era of the early Motor Car and American Exceptionalism?


Moving on… do you know how to respond if “ramps” are if offered with your “haggis” by a server?

I would politely decline both offers.

They put them in the tea at Craftsman & Wolves. Gotcha. Which beach is immediately north of North Beach?

Huh? There’s no beach immediately north of North Beach. Unless there’s a hidden beach on Angel Island I don’t know about.

You, Earl and Ron all got it right: Angel Island. I am impressed that your SF Geography expertise exceeds both Craftsman & Wolves and Buster Posey Bobblehead Night at AT&T Park. James Victore guessed Cher Beach but I told him that was in Malibu next to Streisand Bay. Do you have your signing schedule yet?

I believe I’m sandwiched between Earl and Von. Yes I said sandwiched.

Do you have reservations at the Slanted Door? Frances? El Faro?

Lately it’s been PerbaccoBar AgricoleThe Blue PlateIchi SushiCity View Dim Sum, and of course, Afternoon Tea at Craftsman and Wolves.

Are you on commission with Craftsman and Wolves? Do they still owe you money? Do you have a tab there we can use? Do they cut meat with an ax and serve blood?

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