Kern the Word is the work of Christopher Branson, a young designer currently located in Denver. A few weeks back a care package arrived on my doorstep that included a t-shirt, business card, stickers and a couple of very nicely printed books. They were sent by Branson and I later ran into him at the Bordobello kickoff event in downtown Denver. I was really impressed by his intelligence and ambition. He’s going to go a long long way just as soon as someone opens the door to opportunity for him. It’s tough out there these days in the creative market and just about every other market but he is definitely someone who would add unique talent to any team. If I could swing it right now, I would grab him up myself. Hopefully in a few months I will be in the position to bring in some young talent. That’s always where the future is. You hearin’ me Denver ad agencies?

written by Christopher | tags: , , ,

18 Responses to “Kern the Word”

  1. Joe Says:

    Dang he was at the kick off party and I didn’t get to meet him? I want to meet this dude :)

  2. Christopher Says:

    He’s a great guy and someone should have hired him already. He’s going to go a long way when after he gets under a roof that will let him flex his muscle.

  3. Jim Says:

    I checked out this dude’s site, he’s biting off your style and JoyEngine in a lot of his “work”.
    I guess Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

  4. Christopher Branson Says:

    Chris thanks so much for posting! I really appreciate it and we must get together again soon!

    @Jim You should email me your address and I’ll be sure to send you some stickers so that you can spread the love! I may also throw in some flowers, ice cream and/or candy, just to brighten your day!

  5. Alexander Says:

    KernTheWord — ChangeTheThought? Also, I really feel like this is some straight thievery of Cypher13’s steez. Up to and including the identity logo. Certainly talented, but I would try to spread those wings some more. 😐

  6. Kyle Says:

    I’m with Jim on this one, the work has been constant and looks like it’s whipped together within only a few moments to increase quantity, rather than quality. I recognize the style for many of his pieces, but have never heard his name before—can’t help but think he has “improvised” rather than coming up with his own ideas.

  7. Lifter Baron Says:

    Mine’s sort like a few years older: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lifter_baron/2643862245

    I think this must have also “inspired” him: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lifter_baron/4030826686/

  8. Christopher Says:

    Damn, the Denver gates of hatred somehow opened up here. I realized Christopher’s work is definitely similar to Cypher 13’s work, Rob (Lifter Baron) and Celeste as well. I was just impressed by his ambition and he is very young at 22 and just starting out. Hopefully he won’t be judged to harshly here because I do think he has some raw talent and will grow into something interesting in the future.

  9. Jim Says:

    Christopher – you don’t like it when others use your designs or similar graphics (Obama shirt, LRG shirt) so I’m surprised you’re defending this guy. He needs to use his raw talent to come up with some fresh concepts.

  10. Alexander Says:

    I don’ t think there’s any hatred. I feel that there’s a lot of value in such honesty between designers. Someone would have said it at some point. Criticism is a useful tool in my eyes.

  11. Rob Says:

    @Chris C – There is a bit of a difference between similarity… and being able to pick out which project each piece was “inspired” by. You can draw a pretty clear line from almost any one of the pieces in his portfolio to someone elses project.. I think a lot of people have let it slide, knowing that the he wasn’t going to be credited as “unique” or deserving enough to be hinted that he should be floated a job for this shit. But when it’s mentioned that his work as an example of his skill set, ambition or talent, those people who feel betrayed, violated and stolen from should have the right to speak freely about it without being credited as hateful.

    I have a lot of respect for you man, but mentioning that this guy is someone you’d like hire on to and represent you as well as your shop, is an iffy statement to say the least.

    @Chris B – I hope you take this seriously man. You just got called out on a high traffic site as a biter… I, nor anyone else, should have to explain that this shit is completely unprofessional and an absolutely terrible way to “start out”. I would have preferred to handle this over email… but it looks like CTT has set the fire for me and the rest of the people that feel the same way.

    Also; sending an individual a care package full of the work that they tell you is stolen, is not the most effective way to change their impression of you or your work.

  12. Christopher Says:

    Rob – I apologize. I know how offensive it is to have something of your own lifted or taken. The book he sent me did have some nice stuff in it but was definitely similar in style to things I have seen from you and Cypher, but I didn’t think it was an exact rip. It’s a big book and he only printed 10 of them so a lot of people haven’t seen it.

    I was more impressed with him as an individual and being so young (12 years younger than I). I thought he was really articulate in person and extremely ambitious. I looked at his work now as only a stepping stone into his future. Style is something that changes so much over the coarse of most designers career. More and more designers equivocate themselves to illustrators and that trend has made designers a lot more sensitive about where the ‘inspiration’ comes from. I think things are moving so much faster now than they did even 10 years ago that you see younger people picking up influences so quickly that sometimes you didn’t even know where they came from (especially [not to reveal to much of myself here] when you have been in the business as long as I have). The trends just move so fast now.

    I saw similarities in his work immediately to people I knew, but I never would have known that they were super close to something that had already been created (like your characters that you referenced for example).

    I guess time will tell where he goes from here and if he can become something more in the future. He still has a lot of time in his life to reinvent himself.

  13. Rob Says:

    Chris I totally understand where you’re coming from.. I dont think you should have to defend him or your post. I just think it’s sort of in Chris B’s hands at this point. I don’t think he’s being spiteful or malicious.. but eventually someone would have had to put him in check.

    Your readers have your back duder.. just keepin your old ass on your toes!! 😉

  14. Christopher Says:

    Haha. Nice. Yeah sorry I am a crusty old bastard sometimes.

  15. Christopher Branson Says:

    The work everyone is targeting has been personal. I design it for fun because I love it. Know that I am still very young and trying to find my own voice as an artist. I have appropriated many styles into my own works, trying to emulate my design heroes. I am not trying to steal anyone’s clients here. As I currently have $24.53 in my bank account, I can tell you I have stolen no jobs from you.

    I have went threw and removed a bunch of the work you all singled out, yes it did resemble others far too much. It was a fun exercise, but did have no place in my portfolio. Remember it was personal, was not trying to steal anything, a lot of that work was just me playing.

  16. nick Says:

    chris don’t even sweat it and keep on keeping on. you’ll be fine…

  17. jSlapnutz Says:

    Well, some of the work posted as similarities to Kern’s stuff is all very similar to Ferg’s work for Jamungo. And ferg’s been cranking out that stuff for years. Hell, all of it cops Japanese pop anyway.

    Glass houses and all….

  18. Christopher Cox Says:

    Just to clarify here since some people are making there way to this post through another dispute over a poster…Cypher 13 has not commented on this post at all. No members of the actual Cypher 13 crew have ever left a comment after this post. I know them well and I don’t think they were ruffled by this at all. I think they have been to busy to even notice and I think we all (Cypher and myself) figure that Chris is just a young designer who has yet to find his true voice.

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