2005_12_mariostip.jpgAge: 29.8 yrs. old
Occupation: Designer, Split Design
Where you live: East Village, New York

What does a "broadcast designer" do?
"Broadcast Designer" is really a not-so-fancy term for a Designer who works in the TV Business. We design the look and style of everything from film titles, music videos and commercials, to animated billboards in Times Square.

Does that mean you get to watch TV and movies all day for inspiration? And what are some little-watched programs and films you'd recommend?
Well, one one hand, watching TV all day really gives you a great idea of what NOT to do in your own work...unless of course you happen to be watching something that you designed!! On the other hand, it really is the only paying job where you can watch "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and bill the client for time spent on "research and development".
For anyone getting their start in this business, there are a few essential films to watch...or at least the opening credits to watch:
-Almost any film that Saul Bass designed in the 1950s and 60s. In particular "Anatomy of a Murder" and "Ocean's Eleven"
-The early James Bond films that Maurice Binder designed are always on the list.
-"The Adventures of Prince Achmed" even though this came out in 1926, I just saw it for the first time a few months ago. Watch this film and think of the Apple iPod commercials...

One project you worked on, the HSBC Starring You in Times Square, let people in Times Square see their pictures on a billboard above. How did that work logistically?
In a nutshell, without putting all of your readers into a tech-coma, here is the breakdown of how that whole thing works:
1. You walk into to a booth located in a building adjacent to the HSBC billboard in Times Square.
2. You get your digital-photo taken in front of a GREEN-SCREEN background.
3. Some crazy piece of software removes the green background and sends your photo to the billboard in Times Square where your head is composited into a 30 second HSBC commercial.

It's quite amazing and really a lot of fun to see your face 150 feet wide in the middle of New York.

New York is full of visual stimulation, to the point where many people might be overloaded. Are there any examples of work that are able to jump out?
Ironically, it is always the simplest and quietest solutions that seem to grab everyone's attention. When everyone in the room is screaming and yelling at the same time, the person sitting in silence stands out the most. Recently, Ketel One Vodka seems to be in this camp. Their current campaign consists of nothing more than black typography on a white background.

Yet, as you are flipping through a magazine saturated with millions of colors and complicated shapes, their simple, almost blank page, catches your eye instantly.

Are there any areas of New York that shouldn't be touched by advertising?
Of course! I'll be the first person to limit the power of the people who sign my checks! Can you imagine if they allowed advertising in the middle of Central Park? Christo would be hired by Bed Bath and Beyond in a heartbeat! How about a nice, big, neon Budweiser sign hanging off the Brooklyn Bridge? It would be almost as unforgivable as that horrendous Verizon logo that has stained the otherwise uninterrupted Manhattan skyline. Next time you gaze at
our magnificent city from across the river, ask yourself how such an image-conscious city ever allowed its legendary skyline to be vandalized by a massive, glowing, red check-mark.

2005_12_splitdesign.jpgBut lately you have been commerce-minded yourself...
Well, I guess since we've been talking so much about advertising...now might be a good time to shamelessly plug the online shop that I just launched! It's only a few days old, so at this point it's more about quality rather than quantity. We're doing Housewares (Knotty Tile Coaster at right), T-Shirts, Limited Edition Prints, and so on.... Visit the shop at: www.cafepress.com/splitdesign

Favorite subway line:
Is that the vast underground system of trains and tunnels I keep hearing so much about? I'll have to visit some day...

Best/worst gentrification trend:
5th Amendment goes here

Best place to walk your dog:
Any street that has dog pee and lots of garbage bags piled on the sidewalk . So basically, anywhere below 14th Street.

Favorite museum/place for art:
Museum of Natural History (aka: Hogwarts)

Favorite place to listen to music: