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Todd Coats & Elliot Strunk Co-Hosts of Two Designers Walk Into a Bar

Two Designers Walk Into a Bar is a podcast about iconic design and popular culture.

Hosted by graphic designers and collectors Todd Coats and Elliot Strunk, the podcast is constantly looking at pop culture and thinking about how it influences us and what we do for a living. Starting with a theme, we choose iconic work that we find meaningful and use humor and insight to break it down, turn it inside out and try to understand why it has stood the test of time. Two Designers Walk Into a Bar encourages listeners to dive into their libraries, mini storage units or memories with us.

Our website has each episode plus transcripts, notes and other extras.

Recent Content

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Episode 79: Signs Of The Times &Raquo; 8Ccfce78C66Fd1A72996B3285C16E4Ec
Episode 79: Signs of the Times

There are visual icons that have symbolized professions for so long their origin stories are unknown to the very customers served by them. These independent businesses are owned by all kinds of people…

There are visual ico…

There are visual icons that have symbolized professions for so long their origin stories are unknown to the very customers served by them. These independent businesses are owned by all kinds of people serving millions on a daily basis throughout the world, all using these same basic signs outside their establishments. We're discussing barber poles and pawnbroker balls, two icons that, unless you’re truly in the middle of nowhere, you can find within minutes of where you live, work or both.- - - - -Visit our full episode page for show notes, the visual examples we discuss, additional links an…

Listen · 46:07
Episode 78: The Reflex Blue Conversation &Raquo; 4Cc4561C851Ffcaa4472B9Ae144F2Ec6
Episode 78: The Reflex Blue Conversation

We were lucky enough to have Donovan Beery of the long-running design podcast The Reflex Blue Show pull up a stool next to us.We talk about some of our shared pop culture influences, listening to viny…

We were lucky enough…

We were lucky enough to have Donovan Beery of the long-running design podcast The Reflex Blue Show pull up a stool next to us.We talk about some of our shared pop culture influences, listening to vinyl (and the creative opportunities record albums afford) and where we go to find inspiration (hint: Wikipedia addictions). We also found out Reflex Blue was inspired by bar conversations as well!Bottoms up!- - - - -Visit our full episode page for show notes, the visual examples we discuss, additional links and more!https://www.twodesignerswalkintoabar.com/episodes/episode-78-reflex-blue- - - - -Hav…

Listen · 43:30
Episode 77: Hey, Nice Package! &Raquo; Coaster With Droplets 03 Evergreen Scaled
Episode 77: Hey, Nice Package!

There are some products so iconic that you know what they are as soon as you lay your eyes on them. The color, the shape or some other distinctive brand feature says, “Accept no substitute. There is…

There are some produ…

There are some products so iconic that you know what they are as soon as you lay your eyes on them. The color, the shape or some other distinctive brand feature says, “Accept no substitute. There is no equal.” Pour yourself a drink on the rocks, kick back against the bar and listen as we uncork the stories of the bottles from Coca-Cola and Absolut Vodka.- - - - -Visit our full episode page for show notes, the visual examples we discuss, additional links and more!https://www.twodesignerswalkintoabar.com/episodes/episode-77-nice-package- - - - -Have a question or idea for Todd and Elliot? Se…

Listen · 44:50
Episode 76: The ‘80S: New Wave Gets Fashionable &Raquo; 003Bb968D95E34F802C70E1854B5B510
Episode 76: The ‘80s: New Wave Gets Fashionable

Episode 76: The ‘80s: New Wave Gets FashionableVideo may have killed the radio star, but it poured gasoline on the spark of New Wave. As MTV exploded, youth culture moved to center stage and compani…

Episode 76: The ‘8…

Episode 76: The ‘80s: New Wave Gets FashionableVideo may have killed the radio star, but it poured gasoline on the spark of New Wave. As MTV exploded, youth culture moved to center stage and companies making wearables were more than happy to cater to changing tastes. In this episode we focus on Vans and Swatch, a couple of iconic Fashion accessories found on the wrists and feet of Gen X.As we wrap-up our season on New Wave, let us know if you feel there's something we missed. We just might circle back down the road.- - - - -Visit our full episode page for show notes, the visual examples we d…

Listen · 34:53
Design Crimes: Comic Sans: Who’s Laughing Now? &Raquo; Aa777D0A1472Ff1Bad0D364073503E90
Design Crimes: Comic Sans: Who’s Laughing Now?

Todd Coats and Elliot Strunk, the creators behind the hit design and pop culture show Two Designers Walk Into a Bar, announced last week at the PodFest Expo Upfronts the release of their newest invest…

Todd Coats and Ellio…

Todd Coats and Elliot Strunk, the creators behind the hit design and pop culture show Two Designers Walk Into a Bar, announced last week at the PodFest Expo Upfronts the release of their newest investigative true-crime series, Design Crimes: Comic Sans, Who’s Laughing Now?, set to drop on April 15, 2024.The five-part show, hosted by Strunk and Coats, will explore the history of Comic Sans and Vincent Connare, the infamous typeface creator employed by Microsoft who single-handedly destroyed the aesthetic of hundreds of thousands of printed documents and early web pages, and how he became cons…

Listen · 2:35
Episode 75: The ‘80S: New Wave And The Boob Tube &Raquo; Coaster With Droplets 03 Evergreen Scaled
Episode 75: The ‘80s: New Wave and the Boob Tube

If New Wave was a style and attitude, television was how it was delivered to the masses. In this episode, we talk about two important touchstones during one of pop culture’s signature eras: the laun…

If New Wave was a st…

If New Wave was a style and attitude, television was how it was delivered to the masses. In this episode, we talk about two important touchstones during one of pop culture’s signature eras: the launch of MTV and the debut of Miami Vice.It's all pastel wonder and neon glow in our latest episode as New Wave meets the boob tube. Turn on, tune in and enjoy.- - - - -Visit our full episode page for show notes, the visual examples we discuss, additional links and more!https://www.twodesignerswalkintoabar.com/episodes/episode-75-new-wave-and-the-boob-tube- - - - -Have a question or idea for Todd and…

Listen · 46:37
Episode 74: The ‘80S: Punk Meets Tech, New Wave Is Born &Raquo; Coaster With Droplets 03 Evergreen Scaled
Episode 74: The ‘80s: Punk Meets Tech, New Wave is Born

Bold colors. Funky haircuts. The Cold War and the Cola Wars. Video games and MTV. Japanese electronics and European Fashion. Iconic music and movies...If New Wave was a style and attitude, then music …

Bold colors. Funky h…

Bold colors. Funky haircuts. The Cold War and the Cola Wars. Video games and MTV. Japanese electronics and European Fashion. Iconic music and movies...If New Wave was a style and attitude, then music was the delivery device. In this episode we discuss the political climate, creative activity and DIY attitudes that led to the formation and rise of one of pop culture’s signature eras.- - - - -Visit our full episode page for show notes, the visual examples we discuss, additional links and more!https://www.twodesignerswalkintoabar.com/episodes/episode-74-punk-meets-tech- - - - -Have a question o…

Listen · 38:58
Episode 73: Pepsi, Tropicana And The Challenge Of Good Design &Raquo; Coaster With Droplets 03 Evergreen Scaled
Episode 73: Pepsi, Tropicana and the Challenge of Good Design

February 28: This week marks a quirky moment in pop culture (and soft drink) history. Michael Jackson's hair caught fire back in 1984 while shooting an ad for Pepsi, which was, to put it mildly, a pro…

February 28: This we…

February 28: This week marks a quirky moment in pop culture (and soft drink) history. Michael Jackson's hair caught fire back in 1984 while shooting an ad for Pepsi, which was, to put it mildly, a production challenge. In this mini-episode we talk about the origins of the original Pepsi Challenge and a foolproof way to make small children cry. Drink. It. Up.- - - - -Visit our full episode page for show notes, the visual examples we discuss, additional links and more!https://www.twodesignerswalkintoabar.com/episodes/episode-50-pepsi-logo-story- - - - -Have a question or idea for Todd and Elliot…

Listen · 7:40
Episode 72: Six Marines, One Photographer. The Story Of Iwo Jima &Raquo; Coaster With Droplets 03 Evergreen Scaled
Episode 72: Six Marines, One Photographer. The Story of Iwo Jima

February 21: This week marks the anniversary of an event that was made famous by one of the world’s most iconic photos: the raising of the flag on Mount Suribachi at Iwo Jima. We talk about how the …

February 21: This we…

February 21: This week marks the anniversary of an event that was made famous by one of the world’s most iconic photos: the raising of the flag on Mount Suribachi at Iwo Jima. We talk about how the photo came to be and why it's still instantly recognizable today.- - - - -Visit our full episode page for show notes, the visual examples we discuss, additional links and more!https://www.twodesignerswalkintoabar.com/episodes/episode-22-iconic-images- - - - -Have a question or idea for Todd and Elliot? Send a note to hello@twodesignerswalkintoabar.com and we promise to read it. After that it’s a…

Listen · 8:51
Episode 71: The Goodyear Blimp: More Than A Bunch Of Hot Air &Raquo; Coaster With Droplets 03 Evergreen Scaled
Episode 71: The Goodyear Blimp: More Than a Bunch of Hot Air

February 14: This week marks the anniversary of an accident. Not a normal accident. A blimp accident. The USS Macon, one of the two largest helium-filled airships ever created, crashed into the Pacifi…

February 14: This we…

February 14: This week marks the anniversary of an accident. Not a normal accident. A blimp accident. The USS Macon, one of the two largest helium-filled airships ever created, crashed into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California and sank. This reminds us of one of our favorite company icons floating over a stadium near you: The Goodyear Blimp. Float on.- - - - -Visit our full episode page for show notes, the visual examples we discuss, additional links and more!https://www.twodesignerswalkintoabar.com/episodes/episode-09-adopted-icons- - - - -Have a question or idea for Todd and Elliot?…

Listen · 9:58
Episode 70: Black Cats, Fireworks And Celebrating A Logo We Love &Raquo; Coaster With Droplets 03 Evergreen Scaled
Episode 70: Black Cats, Fireworks and Celebrating a Logo We Love

February 7: Logos and graphics are an important part of sports. This week marks the moment back in 1988 when Michael Jordan made his signature slam dunk from the free throw line, inspiring the Air Jor…

February 7: Logos an…

February 7: Logos and graphics are an important part of sports. This week marks the moment back in 1988 when Michael Jordan made his signature slam dunk from the free throw line, inspiring the Air Jordan brand and, more specifically, the Jumpman logo. But there are logos we love that don’t have the same iconic status. Here's the explosive story behind one of our hard working favorites that hasn’t gotten its rightful due.- - - - -Visit our full episode page for show notes, the visual examples we discuss, additional links and more!https://www.twodesignerswalkintoabar.com/episodes/episode-06-…

Listen · 6:59
Episode 69: Kiss And Their Flaming Wheel Of Death &Raquo; Coaster With Droplets 03 Evergreen Scaled
Episode 69: KISS and their Flaming Wheel of Death

January 31: Way back in 1973, KISS played their first show at the Popcorn Club in Queens. Now, it's no secret that Todd is a member of the KISS Army, so we felt highlighting their coming out party was…

January 31: Way back…

January 31: Way back in 1973, KISS played their first show at the Popcorn Club in Queens. Now, it's no secret that Todd is a member of the KISS Army, so we felt highlighting their coming out party was appropriate for this week's mini-episode where we talk about the artwork for their landmark album “Rock ‘n Roll Over."- - - - -Visit our full episode page for show notes, the visual examples we discuss, additional links and more!https://www.twodesignerswalkintoabar.com/episodes/episode-02-1976- - - - -Have a question or idea for Todd and Elliot? Send a note to hello@twodesignerswalkintoabar.c…

Listen · 8:49
Episode 68: When The Beats Moved A Generation &Raquo; Coaster With Droplets 03 Evergreen Scaled
Episode 68: When the Beats Moved a Generation

January 24: This week marks an important pop culture moment when Bob Dylan arrived in New York in 1961 after dropping out of college, playing a show at Cafe Wha? in Greenwich Village. His performance …

January 24: This wee…

January 24: This week marks an important pop culture moment when Bob Dylan arrived in New York in 1961 after dropping out of college, playing a show at Cafe Wha? in Greenwich Village. His performance reminds us of the Beats, one of our favorite eras. We take a few minutes to jump into our origin story about that movement and its impact on post-WWII American culture.- - - - -Visit our full episode page for show notes, the visual examples we discuss, additional links and more!https://www.twodesignerswalkintoabar.com/episodes/episode-41-the-beats- - - - -Have a question or idea for Todd and Ellio…

Listen · 11:04
Episode 67: All Mascots Are Wieners In Our Eyes &Raquo; Coaster With Droplets 03 Evergreen Scaled
Episode 67: All Mascots Are Wieners in Our Eyes

January 17: It's only appropriate that we talk sports this week. Why? This was when the first Super Bowl was played in L.A. back in 1967, with the Green Bay Packers defeating the Kansas City Chiefs 35…

January 17: It's onl…

January 17: It's only appropriate that we talk sports this week. Why? This was when the first Super Bowl was played in L.A. back in 1967, with the Green Bay Packers defeating the Kansas City Chiefs 35–10. Speaking of Wisconsin athletics, the first thing that comes to mind four us is the Famous Racing Sausages from Milwaukee! If you haven't listened to this episode yet, it's time to ketchup.- - - - -Visit our full episode page for show notes, the visual examples we discuss, additional links and more!https://www.twodesignerswalkintoabar.com/episodes/episode-20-sports-mascots- - - - -Have a que…

Listen · 9:34
Episode 66: The Failure Of Google Glass &Raquo; Coaster With Droplets 03 Evergreen Scaled
Episode 66: The Failure of Google Glass

January 10: Remember when the iPhone was first announced? Well, it happened this week back in 2007. Now, the iPhone is one of the world’s most successful products. Most tech never hits that mileston…

January 10: Remember…

January 10: Remember when the iPhone was first announced? Well, it happened this week back in 2007. Now, the iPhone is one of the world’s most successful products. Most tech never hits that milestone. Some comes before its time, and sometimes it goes sideways and gets creepy. Here’s an excerpt from one of our episodes about a tech product with lofty aspirations that didn’t quite make the cut: Google Glass.- - - - -Visit our full episode page for show notes, the visual examples we discuss, additional links and more!https://www.twodesignerswalkintoabar.com/episodes/episode-15-magnificent-f…

Listen · 9:10
Episode 65: 1979, Disco And The Opening Of Studio 54 &Raquo; Coaster With Droplets 03 Evergreen Scaled
Episode 65: 1979, Disco and the Opening of Studio 54

January 3: This week, way back in 1979, the double-album soundtrack to the film Saturday Night Fever reached sales of 25 million worldwide, making it the then best-selling LP in history. To honor this…

January 3: This week…

January 3: This week, way back in 1979, the double-album soundtrack to the film Saturday Night Fever reached sales of 25 million worldwide, making it the then best-selling LP in history. To honor this milestone, it’s only appropriate we highlight one of our episodes that celebrated a temple of the disco scene: Studio 54. Beautiful people, bumping tunes and an anything goes atmosphere with Andy Warhol as part of the mix. You’re about to go past the velvet rope. Welcome to the club!- - - - -Visit our full episode page for show notes, the visual examples we discuss, additional links and more!…

Listen · 8:03
Episode 64: Rubber Chickens Vs. Whoopee Cushions &Raquo; Coaster With Droplets 03 Evergreen Scaled
Episode 64: Rubber Chickens vs. Whoopee Cushions

In this episode, rubber is the name of the game as we discuss two products that held the promise of endless hours of entertainment and were found in the pages of comic books for, literally, decades. I…

In this episode, rub…

In this episode, rubber is the name of the game as we discuss two products that held the promise of endless hours of entertainment and were found in the pages of comic books for, literally, decades. It’s the visual humor of the rubber chicken versus the sonic disturbance of the whoopee cushion. Dig some quarters out of your piggy bank. We’re all about to learn a thing or two…- - - - -Visit our full episode page for show notes, the visual examples we discuss, additional links and more!https://www.twodesignerswalkintoabar.com/episodes/episode-64-chickens-and-whoopee- - - - -Have a question…

Listen · 41:30
Episode 63: Charles Atlas Vs. Art Instruction Schools &Raquo; Coaster With Droplets 03 Evergreen Scaled
Episode 63: Charles Atlas vs. Art Instruction Schools

In this episode, we discuss two products that held the promise of self improvement and were found in the pages of comic books for, literally, decades. It’s Charles Atlas and his Dynamic Tension vers…

In this episode, we …

In this episode, we discuss two products that held the promise of self improvement and were found in the pages of comic books for, literally, decades. It’s Charles Atlas and his Dynamic Tension versus the Art Instruction Schools. Sneak one of your dad’s beers from the garage. We’re all about to learn a thing or two…- - - - -Visit our full episode page for show notes, the visual examples we discuss, additional links and more!https://www.twodesignerswalkintoabar.com/episodes/episode-63-atlas-vs-art- - - - -Have a question or idea for Todd and Elliot? Send a note to hello@twodesignerswalk…

Listen · 47:48
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