Meet Writer Stephen Howie

Joe Gosen

Just launched this site for writer Stephen Howie. This is an efficient basically single page site. There is a project portfolio and blog posts including video. Great planning and content helped this site to develop quickly. Visit the site here.

 

Photo of Stephen Howie by Joe Gosen. Photographed during discussion of  “Driftless: Stories from Iowa” by Danny Wilcox Frazier. Published by MediaStorm

Brand Development

Type design

Ben Scholtz of Mallard Ice Cream has opened a new restaurant next door to his Bellingham landmark on Railroad Avenue. Bantam 46, his next project opened this week and it has been my pleasure to work with him and his team to craft the graphic identity for the restaurant. The space interior designed by Tirzah Woods is rich in texture, and tone. The focal point of the restaurant is a firey vertical rotisserie oven, you can see it’s flames from the street! Upstairs the bar is tucked away under a starry canopy with a view of Railroad Avenue from the trees. They have truly created a magical setting. Stay tuned for more on this evolving project.

Announcing, Announcements!

One of the services I offer is announcement design. These can range in size and format. They are most often small booklets designed to invite and commemorate. For the client these can be very powerful pieces of communication. The finished pieces can be digitally, offset or letterpress printed.

Pieces I have designed include Save the Date, Birth announcement, Wedding invitations, Memorial folders, and custom holiday cards. Please contact me for more samples.

Letterpress printed card

 

Memorial Card Design Letterpress

Wedding invitation

 

 

Mike Green Memorial

 

Custom christmas cards

Silkscreen Tea Towel Project

Silkscreen tea towel

 

My client, the Bellingham Farmers Market needed a tea towel and we decided to knock it out of the park with a 3 color composition. If you are seeking a lesson in reductive design try designing for silkscreen in multiple colors. I have plenty of experience with the pitfalls of letterpress printing, adjusting details of size and coverage to suit the printing vehicle. Offset is easy, anything can be printed with precision. Silkscreen is another animal all together and less is definitely more. Considering all the elements in the design I moved pretty quickly toward simplifying things. I embraced the negative spaces around spots of color to tell the story of this piece. I am lover of  large color fields in offset printing but in silkscreen it can work against you. I added different textures into the solid areas to further mottle the colors to give more of a vintage feel, and to lighten the load on the printer who is a real person. The color palette, also inspired by vintage tea towels from the 40’s is designed to fade gently with washing. The illustration was created using Adobe Illustrator. Erin Boyd at Redboots Design was hugely helpful with the process and really helped me create a good finished product. Thanks Erin!

silkscreen print tea towel

Detail of the illustration and one of me and the dog in Erin’s studio. The towel is nice and big, almost covered me, almost.

Redboots Design

 

Sticker Mad!

Tralier meet sticker

A fun little sticker I made for a great group of  creative “Friends” who like to drag their obsessions around. My husband and I got into vintage trailers totally by accident back in 2011 or so and have never looked back. Except when we are actually backing up!  The nice people at Stickermule did a fine job of printing this up for us. This design is based on an old sign I have from my childhood, traveling around British Columbia in my parents VW bus. One of the best things about my job is making people happy by creating items like this one. Check out my services here.

Welcome to Chickenlandia is here!

design by Doublemranch design

I am pleased to unveil this super fun little project I have been pecking away at. Welcome to Chickenlandia is the magical imagining of Dalia Monterroso local Chicken whisperer.Welcome to Chickenlandia is her creation and I was happy to help her realize a visual identity for an imaginary place. Check out the website we put together for her which also showcases the set of visual assets created for Ms. Monterroso’s project. Included in the group is this terrific photo taken by Seattle based photographer Rick Dahms. We wanted the best shot of the President of Chickenlandia and we got it. Enjoy the website here. We design, and manage websites as well as create content for them.

Dalia Monterroso

Lake Whatcom Triathlon Poster

180215_LWT_poster

No Change

Sketch not for reproduction

I have always tried to embrace change, personally and professionally. On a philosophical level change is only a new set of problems to be solved. As a designer I am hardwired to find solutions. So 2018 is well underway and I am doing my thing, working with my clients, welcoming new ones on board and saying good bye as well. It’s easy to talk up newness but there is something beautiful about saying good bye too. Lately I have been assembling an archive of about 15 years worth of work to present back to the client. I began building this archive some time ago in a moment of clarity, endings are inevitable. I feel very honored to have been able to work so long and so diligently, and to see the evidence of all that work in one place was terribly satisfying. I have never spent much time looking back but now and again it can be a very informative activity. So while the faces and problems of clients ebb and flow my job is to keep showing up. Here are 2 things I found when I showed up to work today. Enjoy these two sketches from my ever expanding archive of ideas.

Sketch not for reproduction

Form for a Reason

Doublemranch design for Sustainable Connections Toward Zero Waste

Banner series designed for “Toward Zero Waste” an initiative campaign of Sustainable Connections Sustainable Business Development. The vertical banners are designed to act as the background to a waste receptacle. That meant all the key information needed to exist in the top third of the vertical space. Dealing with waste can be a complicated and nuanced process so sticking to colors that are familiar was important. Rather than choose the deeper blue that is often associated with recycling we chose instead our paler branded blue to signify renewal. Using the branded color palette instead, a fresh modern look is achieved. I wanted to present the idea of sorting items to dispose of as a simple and also nuanced process. The clean lines suggest simplicity while the unique line detail of each item address the nuance of the process.

So often projects like this are handled the same way, lots of color photos and too much language. These posters ultimately do have some language of course but it’s nice to look at the pure idea first. Enjoy the large simple objects, on the fields of bold color. They’re approachable and easy to comprehend visually, the lines are playful and memory provoking.

Seemingly simple jobs like this one are a joy to do. I see them as ways to exercise and explore the power of the branded elements.

17 Sustainable Connections Toward Zero Waste

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Advertising Local

160509_mal_ad_nwadv

This in-progress series of ads talks about the collaborations, partnerships, and relationships my client, Mallard Ice Cream is having in the local community. The design of each of these ads needs to reflect not only the Mallard Ice Cream brand but the partnering brand as well. I worked with a different group of people on each ad to help me weave the visual story of the collaboration.

 

Mallard Fresh Made Ice Cream

Sylvia Center for the Performing Arts

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