DJ stout of pentagram at design indaba 2014




at the 2014 design indaba conference, the pentagram partner DJ (doyle jr.) stout gave a presentation on where he’s from – texas.


to do so, DJ stout used beautiful images of cowboys, statistics about the 2011 texas wildfires, short films, a story of pecos league baseball team and cowboy poetry (!). his intent was to subvert the texas heritage cliché and to warn against a reductive approach to authenticity and having a sense of place. it was interesting to see how all this affects his graphic design practice.


‘if you don’t pay attention to where you’re from, you sometimes get lost trying to be global.’ – DJ stout



the dramatic footage of the highly destructive texas wildfires in 2011 played on the big screen whilst on stage as musician graham reynolds provided the soundtrack with his emphatic playing style as stout illustrated his view that ‘design communication that doesn’t tell a story, is not effective and ultimately forgettable.’




poster for texas book festival 2011

stout as a child with his grandfather



‘my grandpa was a texas storyteller. I would sit on his lap and he would tell me texas tell-tales some of which would be true. he used to read me the book of cowboys and this book has inspired me throughout my career and I have designed over a hundred books. the book has these big beautiful full-color illustrations that I would look at for hours. it also had these wonderful little drawings in the margin that have found their way into my work’ – DJ stout.

pentagram papers 42 features a specific and original brand of poetry written by cowboys, the matte black cover is embossed with a western-style pattern usually found on leather saddles and cowboy boots.






equus caballus by joel nelson | cowboy poetry


the poets were photographed by jay B sauceda



having made his name at texas monthly magazine, DJ stout, joined pentagram as a partner in 2000, is one of 19 principals of the international design consultancy pentagram. stout and his austin-based team specialize in the creation of brand identity and strategy, publication design, packaging and interactive solutions.


he’s done work for high-profile companies and institutions like microsoft windows, ruby tuesday, popeyes louisiana kitchen, walgreens, lands’ end, l.l. bean, southwest airlines, the fort worth museum of science and history, the perot museum of nature and science, the museum of fine arts houston, the contemporary austin, the world wildlife fund, skinceuticals, advanced nutrients, northwestern university, tulane, vanderbilt, middlebury college, loyola marymount university, UC berkley, the university of colorado, drexel, lehigh university and the university of southern california.



ten years of stout at pentagram poster



texas designer’s map of the world



stout made his name as the art director / designer of texas monthly




jenny big hair




book cover for ‘as texas goes’ by gail collins



cover of ‘surf texas’ a book of photographs by kenny braun that documents surf culture in the lone star state



arts direction and design for LMU magazine



poster for a pecha kucha night


identity for the dallas arboretum features a letter ‘D’ with a sprig of greenery that changes color according to season



DJ stout’s identity for maudie’s, the only all-natural tex-mex restaurant in austin




graham reynolds
creates, performs and records music for film, theater, dance, rock clubs and concert halls with collaborators ranging from richard linklater and jack black to DJ spooky and ballet austin. heard throughout the world in films, on TV, on stage and on radio from HBO to showtime, cannes film festival to the kennedy center, and BBC to NPR…


design indaba conference 2014
the design indaba conference is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year – the three-day event in cape town is all about illustrating how design, creativity and innovation can positively impact the world. so much more than a ‘how-to’ conference, this is a forum fueled by inspiration that breeds ideas, ingenuity and innovation. the conference is an opportunity to listen to the world’s foremost creatives, entrepreneurs and trendsetters. it’s the not-to-be-missed creative event in africa.