Updates

Q&A with Drake

Q&A #001: Drake Preston, Productio Designer

Hello. How are you holding up? Hopefully, this summer has included plenty of naps.

In this edition of OIP news, we’re sipping cold drinks, crunching pellet ice, and resting between reality, folks. It’s Q&A time with our wonderful Production Designer, the immensely talented Drake Preston.

So pour yourself something chilly, and let’s chat all the good stuff with fantastic Drake. It’s time for (*announcer voice*) Nine Questions: The Drake Preston Edition:

Question #01:

At OIP, we love the fact that everyone has their own set of “classics” (i.e., books, songs, recipes, comics, food, objects, movies, shows, etc. that shaped you). What were some of your favorite childhood “classics”?

Drake:

Henry the Explorer by Mark Taylor & Graham Booth. Midnight Train to Georgia by Gladys Knight and the Pips. Power Rangers. Soccer. Backwards hats. Iced tea on a hot, summer day. Atari, Sega, and Nintendo. Anything and everything LEGO. Magic, Middle Earth, and Muggle Studies.

Cover designs for Henry the Castaway, Henry Explores the Jungle, Henry Explores the Mountains, and Henry the Explorer, written by Mark Taylor and illustrated by Graham Booth.
Cover designs for Henry the Castaway, Henry Explores the Jungle, Henry Explores the Mountains, and Henry the Explorer, written by Mark Taylor and illustrated by Graham Booth. 1966–1975.

Drake (age 4) riding a Power Ranges trike, sporting toddler Timberland boots and his signature backwards hat, circa 1997.
Drake (age 4) riding a Power Ranges trike, sporting toddler Timberland boots and his signature backwards hat. 1997.

Question #02:

Where would your adventure be set: underwater or in space?

Drake:

Space.

Question #03:

Favorite word / font / letter?

Drake:

Antidisestablishmentarianism—just for how absurd of a word it is. Standard Medium: the typeface used for the NYCTA before it was replaced by Helvetica in 1980. A lowercase 'g'.

New York City Transit Authority Graphics Standards Manual. Designed by Massimo Vignelliand Bob Noorda, Unimark, 1970. Reissued by Standards Manual, 2017.
New York City Transit Authority Graphics Standards Manual. Designed by Massimo Vignelli
and Bob Noorda, Unimark, 1970. Reissued by Standards Manual, 2017.

Question #04:

At OIP, we love a good digital disruption. What are some things you enjoy doing off-screen? How do you disrupt the digisphere?

Drake:

Meditation. Music. LEGO. Cooking. Hiking. Kayaking. Writing.

Question #05:

Snacks while you work–yes/no? If yes, what’s your go-to?

Drake:

Do people work without snacking? Yogurt and granola is usually my go-to for a balanced boost of protein and sugar.

Question #06:

What are some of your favorite tools-of-the-trade?

Drake:

I fought it for so long being from a PC family, but I would take my Mac with me to the end of the Earth. I also love a set of Pantone books and paper samples.

Question #07:

You are hosting a party. Who’s coming? Where and when? What’s being served? (Fictional characters and locales are welcome.)

Drake:

My closest family and friends. October. Mid-day. Everyone is dressed up as their favorite fictional, non-fictional, living, or dead British icon to celebrate our son (Big) Ben’s first birthday. Coupes of gin clink with ginger beers and Old Speckled Hens. Trays are tiered with delicate pastries and dainty sandwiches. One might say it’s a bloody brilliant celebration.

Question #08:

What mashups do you wish existed?

Drake:

LEGO and Dieter Rams.

Braun KF-20 Aromaster. Designed by Dieter Rams and Florian Seiffert. 1972.

Minature LEGO model of a Braun KF-20 Aromaster. Designed by Drake Preston. 2021.

Question #09:

Any recommendations for the OIP community? What have you been enjoying this summer? (Or, something you are working on that you would like to share?)

Drake:

Astro's Playroom. It's an instant classic that takes me right back to button-mashing on my family's plaid sofa circa 2002. Wim Hof Method. I've found a lot of peace and mental clarity using this method at the start of each day.

Drake and his son, Ben, playing Astro’s Playroom on Playstation 5. 2022.

Thanks so much, Drake! (LEGO, are you listening?)

Just a reminder, submissions are open for our inaugural anthology, Playing Authors. Sign up for our (*forthcoming!*) newsletter and catch us on Instagram.

To paraphrase Jane Austen–who certainly didn’t pass up a summer ice cream1–“With best…&c.” Take gentle care, folks.

– Eliza


1 On July 1, 1808, Jane Austen wrote to her sister Cassandra: “But in the meantime for Elegance & Ease & Luxury . . . I shall eat Ice & drink French wine, & be above Vulgar Economy. Austen, Jane. Jane Austen’s Letters. Ed. Deirdre LeFaye. 3rd ed. Oxford: OUP, 1997.

In Other News

Q&A with Lorraine Tosiello

Hello, Friends! I don’t know about you, but I’m planning a late game reboot. Rest, repair, and fun are the must haves on this holiday wish list. And, lots of reading. To get started, we have a lovely book to add to your holiday stack, and a Q&A with one of its authors, Lorraine Tosiello.
Read more

Q&A with Alex

Hope this finds you well. HTFYW. The greeting of our current age. Sometimes, while typing it, certain words seem to shimmer. Or, maybe it’s just that I’m typing this after being flattened and still a bit woozy. “Sick as a dog,” a phrase used by my ancestors. Pity the dog?
Read more

To Manifestos & Good Mail

On May 1, we opened submissions for Playing Authors and officially launched Old Iron Press. Woot! We’ve been so excited to see submissions come in, and wanted to take a few minutes to answer some questions and share our brief manifesto. Come on, you knew OIP would have a manifesto!
Read more