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Monday, June 22, 2009

Fruits of Funemployment: A Graphic Designer's Take on the Great Recession

Posted By on Mon, Jun 22, 2009 at 11:45 AM

Wanna wear your job status on your sleeve?
  • Wanna wear your job status on your sleeve?
In a cover story a few weeks ago, we took a look at the surprisingly sunny mindset of many young San Francisco workers who have lost their jobs in the current economic downturn. The lifestyles of the "funemployed" provoked responses both angry and sympathetic from SF Weekly readers. This morning, however, we received what is far and away the most creative riff on our description of funemployment so far.

Irina Blok, a 31-year-old graphic designer who was laid off from Google about a month ago, has come up with a series of buttons and a t-shirt that she says were inspired by the funemployment story. Originally from St. Petersburg, Russia, Blok now lives in San Francisco. You can check out her Web site here; a sampling of the buttons can be seen above. ("I've already had a few orders," she tells us.) Here's the t-shirt and a button close-up:


For those inclined to do so, it's easy to rail against the culture of funemployment as a narcissistic waste of government welfare checks. But there's no denying that the Bay Area's creative class has been prolific in its response to joblessness; witness the slew of local unemployment blogs that have cropped up in the past year. Blok's efforts can now be added to the list.

UPDATE: As one of our discerning readers pointed out, Blok's original constellation of funemployment flare contained a misspelling: "Terminanted." (In a state with this governor, that's not a slip that will go unnoticed.) Blok tells us she has corrected this button, and a revised image of her collection can now be seen here.

Images   |   courtesy of Irina Blok.

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Peter Jamison


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