Peter Ahlberg / Ahl&Co.

the sooner a designer can embrace the process, and if you can learn to work quickly, and in different ways, you can make a lot of different work in a fairly short time frame…”

— Peter Ahlberg, Designer, Author, & Educator.

The Roles of Drawing as a Process

I talk to Peter Ahlberg, partner at Ahl & Co about creating his exhibition and book around the creative process. he mentions what it was like to talk to design icons and write a book from the perspective of someone who teaches and is a grad from the School of Visuals Arts in NYC. He mentions the ways and approaches that link the design process to that of drawing and mark-making.

It was a fun conversation and learned how his book Please Make this look Nice sparked this very podcast. We discussed all of the iterations of his SVA Poster. Then, he also shares some critical insight into how designers should be working interdisciplinary.


From Peter: Within the last year, we started a book-making-specific company called Bound Book Advisory (boundbookadvisory.com). In addition to some background work we have done for different clients, since the start of the pandemic, we have been quite busy working with makers, thinkers, and generally brilliant and inspired people who have something to say—develop, produce, and publish book projects outside of the typical avenues of book publishing. It has been super exciting, and in the coming months, we will be launching two notable books—one about natural dying and the other about an exquisitely beautiful collection of printed ephemera salvaged from NYC sidewalks over the last 20 years. We’d obviously love to hear from anyone who has a great book idea bouncing around but doesn’t necessarily want to go through a publisher and wait two years to come out.

00:00Start 01:40Ice Breakers 09:13Origin Story 15:31The Book: Make this Look Pretty 19:07What is Process? 25:49How did you select designer of the book? 33:16Was it hard designing for yourself? 43:09Who were you more psyched to talk too? 50:16How is you get selected to design the SVA poster? 62:45The Idea of creative repetition 63:23Advice to a younger self 63:49Strengths / Weaknesses

An educator, designer, and a creative catalyst, George is a native New Yorker who started a podcast in 2017, because he didn't like to write. He also wanted a way to learn and chronicle varied ways or making. We hope you enjoy his journey.

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Episode 11