Their logo was already looking dated, and since the studio was moving into cutting-edge digital rendering as well as photography, a very new look was called for.
We began by paring the name down to its initials. Then by thinking sleek, modern and cleeeean (and working through many many pages of sketches and comps), I shaped their look into this:
I love it. Strong and simple, light and open, it’s a timeless look that should age beautifully, and suggests “creative studio” without resorting to pixels or camera lens.
A suite of complementary colors, typefaces, and a style guide were developed to help the studio understand and work with their new look. For a certain sort of mind, these detailed reference works are actually pretty fun to do!
The warm secondary golds work perfectly as complementary colors, just dark enough to hold up in typography, but light enough to serve as solid backgrounds as well. And they even evoke sunny Santa Cruz.
The website had recently undergone a nice redesign, so working in the new logo, color scheme, and typefaces went very smoothly too.
There’s more, of course — email newsletter, presentation template, QuickBooks invoicing template, and so on … but this will do for now .
Another logo design, another satisfied client.
When my friend Dana recently launched her new relationship coaching practice, I was flattered to be asked to help craft her new brand.
It needed to reflect her warm, gregarious personality, to be fun — but also modern, upscale and professional.
As I worked through various ideas and logo iterations, I realized that one color just wouldn’t be enough for Dana — but a system of three would really spice things up! Green is leading color, and the other two get used for special occasions, with a splash of pink linking all three,
We were able to integrate a piece from another project we’d worked on (that would be Candace), update her look, and hand her a smart phone.
It all came together beautifully — logo, colors, typefaces, Candace, complementary patterns to round out the system — and Dana couldn’t be happier. And we’re both looking forward to extending the brand as her business grows.
As I updated the address and Ann Weiser Cornell’s photo, I thought, “hmm, this is actually a nice little package!”
And since I do love packaging work, I thought I’d share:
Simone is a certified hypnotist and a life coach — as she so nicely puts it, “an artist and technician of changing people’s minds so they can run their own lives better”.
She’d seen my Astounding Offer, and hoped for a sophisticated header graphic for her new website. Something bright but restrained, something…
“Wise, but fresh & young.”
Yes. Exactly. But it also needed a little touch of magic.
“I so wish you could have heard me emit a literal 15-second SQUEAL.”
And that’s what is known as “SUCCESS”.
This seemed like the very thing to do — especially for someone seeking to “make the world more loving, compassionate, sparkly and alive.”
I love it so very much. And thankfully, its new caretaker Rhiannon does too.
Riding them, of course, but wrenching on ’em, too.
So when Matt Remington Wilson started talking about his vision for a DIY motorcycle repair shop — a cooperative, DIY repair shop (how Portland is that?) — I knew I’d have to climb on board.
Matt learned his craft in the military, so a brand that alluded to this fact (as well as to a simpler time, mechanically speaking), was called for. We decided that World War II bomber nose art would be our touchstone.
And thus was born the Ratchets Away “Flying Wrench Girl”:
I love this project for many reasons, but fooling around with hand-lettering (in homage to the DIY art of WW2 bomber crews) and a ’40s-era vibe are near the top of the list.
And the whole thing turned out beautifully.
Note: there’s a Kickstarter project currently underway to raise money to outfit the space. Feel free to throw some cash in the kitty.
Here’s the basic concept as I imagined it: the client would send a few parameters via the online form, and I’d give birth to a one-take, drop-dead gorgeous design.
It was kind of a nutty experiment on my part, but the results have been Quite Satisfactory … and so I’m extending the offer.
I want to get a poster-display-thing designed which shows the complex process I use for creating my awesome blank books.
This will make retail shop owners go HOLY BALLS THESE BOOKS ARE AWESOME (AND CHEAP FOR HOW HARD THEY ARE TO MAKE!) and be something I can use as a display, so customers can also be super impressed.
I was in. Obviously.
The books are awesome. And the process is complex. And though book making is the kind of old-world process which might suggest a crafty or precious approach, Ealasaid (and by extension her work) rolls with a rock-and-roll aesthetic — so that’s the direction we took for the design and illustration: Rough. Unpolished. Strong.
The illustrations were technical and challenging, and I learned a TON about how this kind of book is crafted in the process of creating them.
Which is to say I had a blast.
The poster and illustrations turned out beautifully, and will soon be seen in a bookstore near you.
That’s where Robert Peplin and Chicago Urban Energy come in — to measure the windspeed and help pick the turbine that’s right for you.
One of their clients suggested that hanging a poster in the windows of various testing sites might be a really useful way to spread the word.
I would LOVE to work on this for you, Robert. Not only do I have some space in my schedule, but you said the magic word: HATCH.
Yes, Hatch. As in “Hatch Show Print” of Nashville Tennessee, a classic of American vernacular folk printing. You know them even if you don’t know them.
» Click for a better look at the cool textures
And I LOVE that style, so even if Chicago Urban Energy wasn’t the kind of green, good-for-the-world, heart-of-gold company that I love to support, I would have jumped at the chance to create this kind of visual homage.
Wood cut typefaces. Letter-press textures. Carefully (if digitally) hand-created ragged edges and organic forms.
A sense of style and a sense of place. So beautiful, and SO MUCH FUN.
Word of mouth is the BEST. That’s how Judy Kinney found me when she needed help developing a new identity for the non-profit she heads up: NEST (North East Seattle Together). They needed a mark that was friendly, simple, approachable, and said “community”:
It’s a fantastic organization, firmly in the good-for-the-world camp — connecting neighbors, building grass-roots networks, all to help the aging members of the community stay out of “old-folks homes” and in their own. This includes help with transportation, yard work, gardening, computers, pet care and errands, etc.
Wonderful stuff. And I was proud to help.
I always create a wide range of options for brand/logo projects — just for fun, here are a few sketches that didn’t make the cut.
You may remember the amazing Noel Williams from a poster I did a few years ago for her award-winning one-woman commedia dell’arte show, “Party of One“
Noel is back, this time with her partner-in-clowning Allison Latta, in a new project called “Waiting for Pierrot”.
It’s a commedia twist on “Waiting for Godot” (inspired “by lawsuits, gender wars, and Esther Williams”), so we decided to fool around with archetypal images drawn from Beckett’s famous work.
Matt Thulson’s photos were all gorgeous, and of course I picked the one that gave me the most room to have some Typographical Clowning Fun!
Which I did.
Sections in the Army develop strong individual identities, and ours is no different.
“DIY” is vitally important to the culture of the Timbers Army, so even though I’m passionately opposed to entering design contests, when Ballistic Unit 103 needed a sectional patch, I pitched right in. As it turns out mine was not selected (democracy, dammit!), but I like the designs enough that I just can’t bear not showing you.
Green and gold are the Timbers’ colors. We were advised that red should be the differentiation from other section identities … and the eleven stars come from our unofficial motto, “We Go To Eleven!”.
And as long as I’m creating this repository for homemade supporters gear, here’s my contribution to the wave of stenciled T-shirts in the section this year. So far.
The owner of Roshambo Winery (yes, the Winery of the Roshambus) had an idea for a new line of top-shelf wine – not just to find a new market segment, but for her grandfather, Frank Johnson.
Frank Johnson planted the enormously successful vineyard that Roshambo Winery would be founded on decades later – and Naomi wanted to honor his memory. His first career was in dental equipment, his second in wine, but Naomi Brilliant’s vivid memories of grandpa in his machine shop are what inspired this graphic tribute.
The “FJ” logo is itself machined, closely fitted, and bracketed by register marks. The background imagery is borrowed from an vintage mechanics manual. And the pipe, arrowhead, and molar icons were all mined from Naomi’s childhood memories of grandpa.
Roshambo Winery evolved into something else before this label could be finished, but I’ve always had a soft spot for it.
I am currently starting a 20’s-30’s inspired men’s clothing line and I’m in need of a logo and woven label design so I can start making samples.
What I actually heard was “hey, an opportunity to canoodle with vintage typefaces.”
And that’s exactly what happened.
After creating roughly a zillion designs, I came up with the ideal combination of modified period typography. I had to redraw a couple of the letters, but that is what people like me call “fun”.
The elegant logotype that resulted didn’t fully communicate what we were after, though, and I realized that nothing would represent Prohibition era street-style better than a newsie cap. I put on my own illustration cap, and the mark was finished.
We finished up by developing a couple of labels for the clothing samples, a design for cloth packaging tape, and versions of the newsie cap that would work both in outline and solid forms – and Corey was off to the races.
Circumstances prevented us from working together in the next phase of his business, but it appears to be thriving. I’m delighted to have played a part.
She also happens to be a warm, generous human being with one of the loveliest voices you’ve ever heard, but that may (or may not!) be beside the point.
I’ve had the privilege of working with Hiro for years, and we’ve done a ton of work on a wide variety of web-related jobs. I’ll just share a couple of them here:
The logotype – an attempt to capture the soft, nurturing and fundamentally grounded aspect of Hiro herself.
The website – though it has gone through quite a few changes since I first installed it, the essential framework has remained the same: soft, calm, nurturing, and quietly beautiful. I can still feel my blood pressure drop whenever I visit.
Let’s see, what else should I show here … how about Hiro’s Deva Cards? Designed by yours truly, programmed by an associate. What these actually are I’ll allow you to discover by clicking on the image.
I’m a hybrid in most of the ways I can measure. I’m Desi, and totally American at the same time. A scientist and an artist, a prizer-of-reason and a simultaneous eye-rolling-but-enthusiastic practitioner of the woo-woo arts.
She is a creative strategist – creative, brilliant, and hard-to-categorize. And she offers creative, brilliant, hard-to-categorize people help in getting their work done and out into the world.
And she asked me to help develop an online visual identity for this new venture.
Among the ideas we tossed around appeared the thought of … RED. And that the site be pragmatic … and feminine. And possibly maybe an elephant, a wise one, perhaps even some sort of … hybrid?
It’s easy to break down what a design means once it’s complete, but it occurs to me that most of the best visual ideas don’t come about in a regimented way … they just pop into my cerebellum, fully formed. Such was the way of the elephant and the tulip tree trunk. (get it? get it?)
And I can barely express how much how much I enjoyed drawing her.
It’s a perfect fit. Wisdom. Botany. Color. Magic.
Comfort. Quiet. Ease.
After a few false starts, an image popped into my head: someone kicked back and relaxing at home, in an environment of pure comfort … not with a cup of tea, but in a teacup.
And as a native of the great state of Wyoming, capturing the vivid, transitory light of that western landscape has become his single consuming subject.
My job? Come up with a website/blog design that would enhance his work, and create a visual mood that would put the viewer in a Western state of mind at very first glance.
I drew inspiration from classic WPA-era National Park posters of the late twenties-early thirties … and what I arrived at seemed to hit just the right spot.
My brilliant artist friend Steve Lambert collaborated with fellow artist Packard Jennings in a project asking Bay Area architects, urban planners and transportation engineers this question:
“What would you do if you didn’t have to worry about budgets, bureaucracy, politics or physics?”
The result? A series of large format illustrated posters based on those answers, displayed on San Francisco streets: “Wish You Were Here! Postcards From Our Awesome Future”
Steve drafted me into creating the glossy, oversized catalog that documented the project and accompanied its formal launch — and I tremendously enjoyed creating the perfect frame for their slyly innovative work.
Though they already have a terrific team logo, it doesn’t read well at small sizes, and … well, no need for an “and”. Honestly, I just thought taking a crack at a sort of tribute design would be fun. And it was!
Influences poured in from tattoo art, from Oaxacan Dia de los Muertos imagery, and (natch) from the world of rock and roll.
I love the way it turned out (this is just a first tight sketch).
Most of the skaters liked it too – but since the Powers That Be at the league were not overjoyed at the idea of their logo being re-interpreted, let’s just keep this among ourselves.