Tyler Fortney

Digital Designer & Director


This is a collection of projects that were created from 2008 – 2011. Most of these projects are a collaboration between myself and two good friends, Garret Bodette and Michael Gump Jr. Together, we are Excuses Design Collective and our work tends to focus on social and political issues, but we also do things just for laughs.
As a part of Excuses Design Collective, we had the opportunity participate in Manifest Equality, a show built on the theme of equal rights for everyone, in Hollywood in March of 2010. We decided to create an interactive poster with the antiquated message "E Pluribus Unum" juxtaposed by modern and colorful "ONE." The two sheets are sewn together, while the top sheet is perforated so it can easily be destroyed.
AIGA Toledo's Always Summer show challeneged designers to create a poster based on a song that embodied summer. Rather than working with something that we felt was comfortable, we decided to work with Katy Perry's "California Gurls," which was not only a top 40 hit during the summer, but oozes summer in every way. We wanted to illustrate the ridiculousness of the song by setting the line "We Freak in My Jeep" in type that was inspired by the Gutenberg Bible, and then taking it a step further and flocking it with nonpareil sprinkles. We took the cuteness up yet another notch by adding the sound effect "Beep! Beep!" in gloss varnish.

To produce the poster, we screenprinted a combination of gloss varnish and bookbinding glue onto an 18" x 24" sheet. Immediately after removing it from underneath the screen, we poured the sprinkles onto the wet adhesive, instantly creating what we had envisioned. An added note about this piece, it WAS NOT selected to be shown in the AIGA exhibition. Too sexual perhaps?
Education News & Views began as our contribution to the Re:Form School exhibition in New York. The goal of the project was to expose the cracks forming in the nation's public education system through compelling artworks. Part 1 of our project as displayed in New York involved us writing a mock newsletter that outlined the budget cuts and its effects on the education system. We printed one neswletter for every dollar that is being cut from the average public school student's budget per year, resulting in a 4 foot high stack of papers. The papers were placed on a desk that we installed a paper shredder into, inviting viewers to interact with the piece by literally shredding the deficit.

The project then continued into another exhibition a few months later when we recycled leftover newsletters, wrote new messaging that was specific to Northwest Ohio, and arranged those newsletters to for a wall. However, tiled amongst the wall was an image of a recently shuttered public high school to show that the effects of these governmental changes loom large over the community.
I began screenprinting for fun in my freshman year of college, which lead to my love of combining printmaking and design. For me, the ultimate application of these abilities comes in the form of a hand printed gigposter. I began offering my services to venues in Cleveland, Ann Arbor, and Detroit in exchange for permission to sell the posters at the show, not to mention meet and give my artwork to some of my favorite musicians. In the case of the Weakerthans, I first did a limited edition run of 35 posters for a show at the Grog Shop in Cleveland in the fall of 2007, and later approached them about doing another poster for their upcoming tour in the spring of 2008. That conversation lead to me creating a poster for their 2008 Spring Tour, creating a 3 color print in an edition of 400.
Excuses is Garret Bodette, Michael Gump Jr., and myself.
The gigposters were made possible by Alana Twelmeyer.