The Agency: Dumb Eyes
Current Neighborhood: Capitol Hill
Favorite Color: Pink
Favorite Tech Toy: HAL 9000
Dumb Eyes is a source of bold design, blazing colors and unusual layouts. The creative agency has a magazine (I Want You), throws parties (Penetration), and recently started screening contemporary video art (ACTION! International Film Club)—all in an effort to push the local design aesthetic into new territory.
“We’re not just trying to solve problems for clients, we’re trying to create a situation,” says Michael Ellsworth, one of the agency’s three principals, alongside Christian Petersen and Corey Gutch.
Which is not to diminish their client work. Last year, Dumb Eyes created the interface design for a public art finder app (which is running in four U.S cities so far), custom “audio-responsive” visuals for Crypts and Crystal Castles at the Showbox, an interactive video installation and art activity at Seattle Art Museum, and designed the sparkly, tactile packaging for Shabazz Palaces’ Black Up.
Petersen, the agency’s creative director, describes getting to the visual essence of Black Up: “The whole process went from visual overload—intricate packaging, loads of stuff, packaging within the packaging,” he says. “It boiled down to something minimalist, which is a better fit for the music.”
So far this year, the Dumb Eyes team is working on a big website project with the Washington State Department of Energy that aims to teach sustainability.
Photography by Kyle Johnson at Melrose Market Studios.