Today we're sharing some of Mark Kaufman's favorite things. He is a partner of Vivitiv in Seattle, with his wife Jacqueline McCarthy. I've only gotten to know Mark vicariously through other designers, so I was thrilled when he responded to my list of questions.
Name your favorite place in the whole world.
Italy is my favorite place in the whole world. Yes, the food. Yes, the art and architecture and history, the fashion and design, the beautiful people. I love all this and more, but mostly I love it because it is a rambling, shambolic thrill ride with surprises around every corner. I love the traffic and the strikes, the scandals and corruption, and the fact that it is the God-given right of every Italian to cheat on their taxes. This is what makes Italy a wonder to behold, the sacred and the profane. Tradition and modernity coexist to create a culture always teetering on the brink of disaster or triumph.
Name your favorite books.
My favorite books include Beastly Boys and Ghastly Girls, great nonsense poems and limericks with wonderful illustrations by Tomi Ungerer; The Dictionary of Graphic Images, out of print and absolute genius on every page; A Confederacy of Dunces, To Kill a Mockingbird, anything by Nick Tosches. I am currently reading Cartooning: Philosophy and Practice by Ivan Brunetti.
I don't have a favorite typeface. I use what is right for the job. People with type obsessions scare me.
What can you not live without?
I cannot live without my wife and business partner, Jacqueline McCarthy. And coffee.
Best movie of all time?
I have been asked this many times, and I cannot and will not choose between The Red Shoes and The Dirty Dozen. I remember seeing The Red Shoes on a small black and white television in my room when I was a kid, and it blew my mind. This is one of the most beautiful movies in the world in color, but it was quite simply an otherworldly experience on an impressionable 10 year old, even in black and white. This was a stark contrast to my usual fare of James Bond and war movies at the time. The Dirty Dozen also left an impression. It has Lee Marvin, John Cassavettes, and Trini Lopez in it. How can this not be a great movie?
Best joke you ever heard?
The best joke I ever heard isn't a joke at all. I am both flummoxed and delighted by the No Soap, Radio joke. It's merely a punchline to a prank, as Wikipedia explains it: "The basic setup is similar to the Asch conformity experiments, in which people showed a proclivity to agree with a group despite their own judgments." I find this hilarious.
Favorite Song of all time:
"The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore," by the Walker Brothers.
What's your porn name?