Archive for the ‘logo’ Category

Cassie’s Foundation logo

Friday, June 29th, 2012

back of Cassie's Foundation shirt

One of my coworker friends, Rebecca, asked me if I’d be willing to help her design a graphic for a shirt. Rebecca and her husband Justen formed a support group and named it in honor of their daughter, calling it Cassie’s Foundation. They were having the shirts printed for the group to wear during the March of Dimes walk.

I was happy to be able to donate my services to help them. Rebecca drew me her idea on a piece of yellow legal paper and I ran from there. In addition to the name, she wanted a balloon and the phrase “our babies.” Rebecca explained to me that often balloons are released by families as a way to memorialize their babies, symbolically sending their love to the heavens.

I started my design by searching for a typeface that I thought would work. It needed to be childlike, but not too silly or girlish. I found Vanilla, designed by Cutie Explosion. I liked that it was bubbly, like balloons, while still being legible. Rebecca choose purple to help her group’s logo be aligned to the visuals for March of Dimes. I think it turned out nicely and Rebecca and Justen were very gracious clients. I was honored to be a part of their healing, even in a very small way.


Behind the Infusion

Sunday, January 1st, 2012

Remember how we all used to watch the Behind the Music documentaries? There’s something fascinating about learning what happened behind the polished result. Well consider this a blog version, where we go behind the scenes of a liqueur.

My good friend Kelly, decided she wanted to make limoncello and give it away as gifts for Christmas. Fortunately for her, she decided this about three months before Christmas because that’s how long it took to infuse lemon zest into alcohol. After a lot of work and even more time, Kelly filtered and bottled half of the batch and was ready for the holidays.

With so many steps and so much planning going into these homemade gifts, I couldn’t resist making a chart of the process.

Each bottle had 312 hours in it. That’s almost an hour per ounce. And in case your BS radar is going off, yes only half the batch was filtered and bottled, so assuming it takes another eight hours to filter the rest, and another hour to bottle, that would bring down the average per bottle to 157 hours. That’s still a lot of time!

In addition to helping Kelly make her limoncello by scrubbing the lemons and filtering the rum through my Brita, I gave it a name and designed the labels. The name Four Goldens Limoncello came from the fact that Kelly has four golden retrievers—Gatsby, whose favorite toy is a green bone; Mike, the laid back chow mix; Maddie, the happiest girl in the world; and then there’s Lawrence, he sort of defies explanation.

I made four little lemon-head dog cartoons, each one representing one of the goldens. Gatsby has his trademark green bone.

Below are three label ideas at an early stage. I showed these to Kelly and she picked the one she liked the most. She saw right away that her dogs were on the label. It made her happy, which made me happy.

I developed the design into a full label, making it look as professional as I could, even including details such as how many milliliters and ounces the bottle held. Kelly wanted to have a little joke on the label, so I wrote some unnecessary instructions, “It’s liquor. Drink it.”

Now for a little behind-the-scenes of the behind-the-scenes. As you see, I have a very fancy photo studio, and a highly-trained assistant…I know it looks like a piece of poster board and kitty cat.

He’s so helpful.

Carolina on my mind

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Designing logos is one of my favorite things to do. It’s the type of project I can really sink my teeth into. I can put on my headphones and listen to my 12-hour long playlist and just sit there for hours at a time exploring…in an ideal world.

In the real world we have clients. Last year, at the company where I work, we took on a client who wanted to redo their logo. After many rounds of explorations with three designers working on options, they realized it was smarter for their business not to change their logo. That’s how it is sometimes. But that doesn’t mean the work you did on it wasn’t good work. So after sitting in a long-forgotten computer folder, I thought I’d dust off a few and put them out there for the world to see.

The client has a close tie to North Carolina (it’s even a part of their name) and requested a flag be involved. I’ll admit the prospect of incorporating a flag into a logo was sort of scary for me. A flag is a symbol unto itself and carries a lot of meaning. North Carolina’s flag has a lot of detail, unlike the flag of Texas or Japan, so stylizing it was a challenge. I also worked up a hand-drawn calligraphic treatment for the words North Carolina, in an attempt to give it a little historical feel.

There are many more ideas that I worked on, but here are just a few elements.

Expanding creative network

Sunday, May 15th, 2011

One of the intoxicating aspects of creativity is the art of collaboration.

A couple of weeks ago my friend Kelly told me she and her friend Kat were going to start a 365 photography project and post their photos on a shared blog, Two Eclipse Seasons. Each photographer has a focus, but they share a weekly theme. At the time, I didn’t necessarily think I’d be getting involved. But I’ve helped with several of Kelly’s photo shoots. Sometimes I’m just pushing the shutter button, discussing ideas or other times, getting really involved.

It’s been a fun project, and there are about 351 days to go. After helping out with a few things I realized, hey this is collaboration at it’s best; friends helping each other, creating something bigger and better than an individual would.

When they decided on a WordPress theme that had two areas for logos, I just couldn’t let my friends have a blog with placeholder images. So I whipped up a couple of images for them.

Simple stuff: the title image and the double K image. That double K image reminds me of the moon and it’s a subtle little tribute to the blog’s authors. I also created a “take the poll” image that can be updated and used when a post doesn’t have a photograph associated with it. In all the items, I didn’t want them to be distracting from the main point of the site; the photographs. I matched the colors to the theme and kept the typography light and clean. The authors are very happy with it, and so am I!

Take me out

Friday, May 13th, 2011

One of the executives at my company is involved in a group that organizes an annual outing to a Durham Bulls baseball game. He asked me to have a go at creating a flyer to replace the Word doc/clip art item that has gone out in the past. I am always happy to take one more Word doc posing as an advertisement out of circulation. (We have the technology!)

At first I went to a stock photography site to start the hunt for…baseball fans? a baseball? a baseball diamond? Let me say, I dread searching through stock images. It seems there’s never quite the right thing. But not long into the search I realized it would be a lot of fun to create a little illustration they could potentially update every year and make this outing more of an event. I’m actually still waiting for feedback on this, but I don’t think there’s any harm in sharing it. Just a fun little project. I have a weakness for banners.

Well, hot dog!

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

The Carolina Rollergirls knew one of the dates they had at Dorton Arena was during the ‘Got to be NC’ festival, and so they decided to take that date and have an all-day derby event. Four visiting leagues will come to Raleigh.

I’ll switch point-of-view here since I’m one of the Carolina Rollergirls, and it feels weird to say, “they.” We knew we wanted our event to feel like part of the festival. I had a look at their logo.

The festival's logo

I thought our event’s logo should reference the festival’s, but be uniquely roller derby. As I was discussing design ideas with my derby cohorts, we started having a closer look at the festival logo. In an email discussion on the name of the event I said, “Ok. I’ll start designing a logo with a sheep in a tent, a hot dog and a tractor wearing roller skates.” And that’s where the joking idea of a hot dog on roller skates started taking shape. Kelly (aka Lady Smackbeth) drew a quick sketch in MS Paint of what a hot dog on roller skates might look like.

There are times I get to have some fun designing for my day job, but it’s never as out there as derby design can be. That’s what makes my pro bono freelance gig so refreshing. When roller derby is at its best, silly and absurd is embraced. And even though I had, at first, dismissed the idea of a roller skating hot dog as just a joke among a few people, the more I thought about it, the more I came to realize that a roller skating hot dog was perfect. It was so crazy, it was perfect. Even though Kelly’s Paint sketch was done for laughs, I did actually take some inspiration from it.

We learn more from our failures, right?

I was so hesitant to go full hot dog, that I tried a few different variations. One
approach I had was to make it look like the words ‘derby expo’ were stamped onto the name of the festival. However after trying that out a few ways, I didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere. And then I tried a completely different approach, starting like how I was taught back in college, working only in black and white first. I came up with a couple nice marks, but they just didn’t have the personality of the hot dog. By the time I showed my ideas to friend and fellow marketeer, Ed, the hot dog was already far more developed. It was pretty clear that I favored one.

And so that’s how the roller skating hot dog came about. I had so much fun drawing it that I wouldn’t have minded if it didn’t make the logo cut. I knew I was going to do something with that little guy, or girl?

Kelly's hot dog









Illustrating Dinos and Stress

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

I added some new images today to the Illustration section. Clicking on the thumbs will show you the whole thing in all their glorious glory.

My latest favorite thing is the dino party. These little guys were designed for a birthday card that was supposed to be way off-base for teenagers, to the point it’s just funny. As I was drawing them and refining them, I was cracking myself up, especially when I added the little straps on the birthday hats. For the final art, I took the little pink guy in the middle, made him blue, and used him alone. The card will look like one of those “You’re 3!” kind of cards, but with things scratched out with marker, as if we found a used card and recycled it. Hopefully the recipients will get the joke. Meanwhile, I have a lot of adorable dinos hanging out that won’t necessarily get used. Hmm…what to do?

Personally, I hate most greeting cards. Going to the store to buy one is one of the most stressful things that shouldn’t be stressful. I wish more of them were just blank. It’s those sappy messages that I get caught up on. That’s just not my style. So it’s not that unusual for me to buy a childish card for someone’s birthday, cross through the “wrong” parts and sign it.

I also added a little stressed-out boy with his parents sluggishly napping behind him. This went with an article for kids about helping out more around the house. I really enjoy the detail on the dad’s socks, and of course, the retro mustache and sideburns. It’s like it’s my dad back there from my own childhood. Except that couch would need to be navy blue with little white dots all over.

A similar, though unrelated image, is the stress meter. This is just a little graphic I made that I stumbled across the other day and said, “Hey, I really like that. And I totally forgot about it.” It was part of the graphics for an article about stressing out over finances. The cartoony sweat drops make me happy. And the color palette feels very…fresh? Balanced? Well, I like it. I’ll leave it at that.