Brian Ponto.

Desk space: includes art work that hangs from Chris Stain (his original art from the 1968 poster project I produced) a photo of Iggy Pop my friend Julie took at sxsw, a post card fro Ian MacKaye and my great uncle’s Yankee’s baseball card.
Magazines: a garbage can, my feet, baby’s hands and a Yoshitomo exhibition catalog.
Shelf: a shelf with books, hats, cameras, and a dinosaur
Wall: B for Brian, F for Ferris (my girlfriend) Photos are framed from a trip to Turkey with a Holga camera.

Brian Ponto graduated from the School of Visual Arts in 2004. His thesis, the Proactive Project, bled the line between design, authorship, media, and public space. This experience brought him to some of the most renown design studios in New York City, including James Victore Inc. and the Pushpin Group, Inc.

The Studio of Brian Ponto specializes in serving clients with a conscience. Recent work includes: the United Nations Food Program, the City of New York-Gates to Harlem, the Gaia Institute, FEED projects, and independent publishers and music groups like Dim Mak, and North Drive Press. He’s been published in the New York Times, Step Magazine, Communication Arts, Print Magazine and Paper magazine. He can be found living, working, and riding his bike in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

FROM YOUR DESKS: Are you on your bike more than the office?
BRIAN PONTO: If only it was made safe for both the cyclist and the laptop to take a cruise, and Photoshop together.
FYD: What kind of bike do you ride?
BP: I have an old battleship grey Bianchi Pista.
If you have a project idea, go find someone who you respect to work with. Don’t be intimidated, if they’re interested they will help.
FYD: How was Landfill magazine born?

BP: LANDFILL
is an annual conceptual printed zine, made with the partnership of the Greg Barber Co., and a paper sponsor. The idea is: to create THE printing sample from the Greg Barber Co. and a paper sponsor, showcasing their most sustainable products available in that year. Taking the newest issue for example: we used Greg’s new HP digital printers that utilize a completely non-toxic toner, and papers from Neenah that are both 100% post-consumer and made partially with sugar cane. I learned that soy ink, though delicious in name, is completely poisonous if ingested. Digital toner, on the other hand, is safe to eat. The edible issue concept was born. We began reaching out to restaurants—finding a nice recycling metaphor in the composting for the post-consumer papers—and the rest is history…or at least, online.
Sometimes you have to sell the idea.
FYD: You are an environmentally conscious graphic designer; how can non-bicycle towns make their contribution?
BP: Is New York an unfriendly bicycle town? It’s the only town I know getting around via bike. Using a car to travel within New York is just nonsense. The public transportation is reliable (though crowded). Possibly the MTA could include bike racks? As for actually riding, NY has been blazing bicycle trails through much of Manhattan—which is great! Manhattan is a pretty intimidating place for bicycles. I suppose if you live in a place that isn’t too bike friendly—be the change you want to see. Jump on your bike, and ride! It keeps you feeling healthy, its fun, its good for the environment, keeps cars off the road, its easy to park and its a great way to see the city!
FYD: I recently donated to Brooklyn Grange on Kickstarter; do you see collaborations of designers, urban farmers, foodies, environmentalists working together to make things happen?
BP: A bit, but it could always do better together. I can speak from the view of the designer; we want to do these sort of projects. If you have a project idea, go find someone who you respect to work with. Don’t be intimidated, if they’re interested they will help. Even without a budget. In 2008, I curated a series of remixed  Paris/Mai 1968 street posters, and I found some of the most well-respected designers from around the world gave their time and work to be a part of it. I was floored. We’re out there for these sort of projects. Hell, call me. I would love to do more work in the field of food, environmental action and urban farming.
Jump on your bike, and ride! It keeps you feeling healthy, its fun, its good for the environment, keeps cars off the road, its easy to park and its a great way to see the city!
FYD: How do you kickstart your own independent projects and work?
BP: As a graphic designer, I try to place myself and my ideas into the opportunities that I have as an ‘applied’ artist. So, sometimes its finding sponsorship. Sometimes you have to sell the idea. LANDFILL was an opportunity that I had to make. Thankfully, Neenah papers, Mohawk Papers and Greg Barber see the good in their work, and believe in the idea of using LANDFILL to spread the sustainable printing ideas. Just imagine if I had a budget…
Brian is on twitter @BrianPonto

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