Morning Breath

Morning Breath is the Brooklyn based studio outout of Jason Noto and Doug Cunningham. Since 1996 when the worked for Think Skateboards they’ve been creating amazing works with a good style that has seen them work with everyone from Stussy and Sixpack to Jansport and Adidas, not to mention their extensive works in the music industry. I’ve been into their works for a while now and Jason was cool for taking some time out his busy schedule to catch up on the downlow.
Read on.

TSG :: Firstly may I say great studio name. What’s the reason for it?

MB ::
From the start there was never a deep seeded meaning behind the name. We had just started getting the idea to formalize a partnership in gear, and were giving some thought to company names. One night over a few beers we were listening to a band called Sweet Diesel, that we are also friends with. The name of a song on a 7″ of theirs was titled Morning Breath. We thought that would be a great name for a company. We felt the name had a sort of fucked up ring to it, but also had a dual meaning: kind of like a fresh breath of morning air. so we’ve been running with it ever since.

TSG ::
The studio has been pretty prolific of late with all sorts of clients. Any particular people who you’ve worked for that you have been super to have been able to work with?

We are definitely lucky to have been able to work with some very cool people. The best clients are the ones that give us true creative control. Some of the more recents have been Queen of the Stone Age, TV On The Radio, Six Pack in France and Dan Phillips at R-Wines.

TSG :: I’m not really an AFI fan but the packing and design for their “Sing The Sorrow” LTD album is just ridiculous. It’s great that bands are prepared to go to that lengths. It must have been good to do I would imagine?

We actually were nominated for a Grammy for that package. That was another case of giving us creative control. Even though their personal aesthetic is different than what we produce on a personal level it was fun to challenge ourselves to produce something outside of our box. it was amazing project for us to be on board with.

TSG ::
The music design work you’ve done is pretty across the bored. Are you always into the bands you’ve done work for?

We are not always into the bands that we work for. We have an appreciation for music that is pretty broad ranged, but we are also extremely critical of music. Many of the newer mainstream artist are not the kind of music we like, but we’ve learned to separate our taste for music from our design feelings. We have many times produced artwork we were extremely happy with for bands that we didn’t care for musically.

TSG :: Any you want to do some sleeves for?

Black Sabbath

TSG ::
You’ve produced some Morning Breath material yourselves. Do you find it hard or even harder to layout and create something for yourself as others? Such as “The Early Bird” book?

The Early Bird was rather easy for us to produce, we had no one to please, but ourselves, and we arranged it from work we were already fond of.

TSG :: Some of your works are reminiscent of old advertising, such as small ads in newspapers etc. What is it about those styles you find interesting?

In a nutshell, it’s the human touch of that era. Although we love other areas of design so much of it feels machined.

TSG :: Do you think there is a certain unrecognized beauty in those kinds of designs?

The beauty of that style is in it’s naivety. The marketing guys were trying , but they didn’t master mind control yet.

TSG :: Any other particular styles you’ve into?

We’re into just a wide of range of design as we a re into music, but for now we work in a more limited scope, so we can try to master that area and get recognition.

TSG :: I find with so many studios around and the access to information we now have it’s hard to find people who have work you look and just instantly are into the style of it. Anyone of recent you’ve just been blown away by?

We run into the same problem. To be honest the stuff we’re blown away by is mostly older obscure shit. We are really bad at remembering artists names. The curse of being visual I guess, not good with names, but I remember your face. Sounds lame, but we’re trying to get better at it, so we can give credit were credit is due. The other problem is that we find all this cool shit in thrifts stores or online on blogs, and there is never a name attached.

TSG :: I know you’ve been involved with Mass Appeal. Were you gutted that they no longer publish magazines? It was a good publication. I guess the internet is gradually hitting even strong magazines harder and harder these days huh? (I don’t suppose this is helping).

All good things come to an end. Sometimes it’s better that way, before things get really watered down.

TSG Morning Breath 5

TSG :: It’s strange, so many of the people I’m into always seem to have had some skateboard interest or involvement including yourselves. Do you think it’s the freedom and creativity in skateboarding that leads so many into arts?

There is freedom in creativity in a lot of places, but sure, skateboarding in general has it fair share of expression, and it aligns itself with so many areas of youth culture that it’s bound to connect with creativity.

TSG :: I never knew it was you guys who did the Think logo, always thought it was old.

Actually the original Think Logo was done by a friend of ours Joe” Cypher” Santiago somewhere around 1990. We just updated it in ’96 while we were working at Think.

TSG :: I’m always happy when I find people who’s work I’ve gotten into and then found out I’ve already seen their works, such as your work for the former Invisibl Skratch Piklz members. Have you ever seen the Skratch Picklz at Fresh ’97 in the UK? Incredible!

Never seen them in th UK, but many times in the U.S. We’ve been working with those dudes for a long time, especially with DJ QBert. We have not done anything big recently, but there are plans in the works.

TSG :: So being so prolific you must have some treats coming up soon? Any you care to share?

We have a couple presentations in Mexico, and in the U.S. this year, an art show with “Cycle” in the beginning of next year at ADHOC gallery in Brooklyn. Other than that just the usual flow of projects some cool, some not so. We’ll know which is which once we’re knee deep in them.

TSG :: Well thanks for taking some time out for this Jason.

You can check more works from Morning Breath Inc here.