Of course, your beverage napkin signed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt or the pic of you with Shiloh Fernandez right on Main Street
is going to be the most treasured, but of the mementos you can purchase to take home from the festival, this item is it: The A to Z Book of Sundance edited by Todd Oldham, $25.
Back in the day, when everyone was young, hip and struggling instead of old, hip and struggling, the cool people in Dallas, Texas used to look forward to one big fashion event; the Todd Oldham sample sale. Dozens of people would show up at the warehouse and frantically try on clothes together in one big draped dressing room. Todd was sometimes there himself, but his mother always was. And his grandmother. And his sister. And his dogs.
It's a great memory of the eighties. Todd has since gone on to a dizzying number of great design acomplishments, in fashion, furniture, photography, graphic design, you-name-it, all imbued with an irrepressible sense of fun.
Check out his website and see what I mean.
His latest project was the merchandise for this year's Sundance Film Festival. On Monday, I talked with Todd about why and what he wanted to design for the festival.
He's been attending Sundance and working with Sundance Institute on various projects for years. "I love coming to this event because there are so many people in one place all focused on creativity," he says. "It's all independent, creative magical people." He loved the idea of designing for the festival because it gave him a chance to give back. "Every T-shirt sold means another artist has a chance."
The shelves of the Sundance store are stocked with coffee mugs, past festival catalogs, totes and vinyl envelopes and dop kits made from recycled festival banners
and other souvenirs but the bulk of the festival merchandise is logo T-shirts.
Of course, they come in black, too. They're supposed to appeal to film people, duh. Todd didn't design the logo, but these aren't your standard beefy Tees. "The challenge is to find the best, consciously made fabrics, give them the best cut and still have the highest margins you can," says Todd. "Because this is non-profit. All the money goes back to the Institute."
But my favorite 2013 Todd product is the A-Z of Sundance Book, an alphabet board book commemorating the festival's history.
Meaning something like 6,000 films. "The Institute went through everything and came up with a list of 100 films," says Todd. "From these, we came up an alphabetized selection of films, actors and directors." Then Todd asked 26 artists to create illustrations combining the elements on each page. So, for example, Jean Kim's "N" page illustration combines Napoleon Dynamite, Shirin Neshat and Christopher Nolan.
Brilliant. Meaningful. But fun, like all of Todd Oldham's designs. And after all, aren't movies supposed to be fun?
For Sundance Festival store hours and locations, go here.