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.
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.
I will miss working with Michelle Grandy and I wish her all the best at her new position with Acme Farms and Kitchen in Bellingham. We worked together for the better part of 10 years and it is our partnership that produced much of the branding success of Sustainable Connections. These really superb collaborations don’t come along that often and this was one of the best so far. The work helped to change a community and in so doing changed us a lot too. I am a better designer as a result of my work with SC because Michelle was able to bring a lot out of me with her enthusiasm, and direction. Together we created a unique visual language. In January I helped make a commemorative gift for Michelle, a record of our work together, condensed down into a dozen symbols. At the end, I was so pleased to see what I had created, a graphic journey for both of us, still in progress and going strong.
I wish you Love, Luck, Prosperity, Creativity, Freedom and a good buzz!
More about collaborations with Miss Grandy.
Launching this month—a collaboration of 10 Whatcom County and Washington agencies and non-profits—The Bellingham Energy Prize Campaign. These organizations banded together with my client Sustainable Connections (SC) to participate in the Georgetown University Energy Prize competition. The winning city will get 5 million dollars to use as they see fit, the goal being to save energy. Bellingham partnered with the City of Anacortes to the south and I was invited to develop the branding.
The project timeline was short and added to the stress of delivering a campaign I learned that my wonderful Sustainable Connections, Creative Director, Michelle Grandy, was leaving her position. Despite the short time frame and sweet sadness of this being our last project we forged ahead together and produced another fine campaign. This campaign, at it’s core, is meant to be playful and engaging, and swift to motivate local citizens to save a bit more energy and in so doing help the community to win big! The look needed to be separate from Sustainable Connections brand while still relying on it. The color palette is a departure from that of SC, and is meant to be a little more primary and immediate. I drew inspiration from High-voltage warning signage for the palette and also the simple angular symbols pairing the whole thing with an irreverent font and cats! No one would ever suppose these materials came from a local government or public utility! Not that there is anything wrong with those things! We met our goal of creating the brand and launching a website in under a month over the 2015 Christmas holiday.
These are 3 of about 70 banners I designed for Publix. The client found me via some abstract compositions I was selling through Getty Images. The challenge was to create multiple compositions using an existing color palette. The pieces were to be used as environmental graphics in two Publix locations in central Florida. I designed the compositions and then printed each one with my Vandercook Proof Press. I had just begun using polymer plates which make the job of printing these multicolored one offs achievable. See more signs here.
For me, inspiration comes from different places. I tend to avoid looking at design when seeking inspiration for design. Instead I pay attention to what sparked my attention to the various details of a project. I am designing a book cover at the moment, the title contains a word that is also present in the title pictured. Part of my process is to repeat the title and subtitle over and over to visualize the words while also holding gently the direction from the author, the words from the manuscript, and my own experience of reading them, all the while staying vigilant for images that may appear to me. The central idea of the memoir led me to this book which was given to me as a gift many years ago. I have cherished the book but had not looked at it in some time. Today I leafed through it and also looked at Duchamp’s painting “Nude Descending a Staircase” and I was able to approach the work with purpose. None of the covers I produced remotely look like any of these other elements but they served to give my mind flight to make connections and decisions about the initial look of the comps.
In observance of the anniversary of D-Day I give you “Our Finest Day”. This 36 page book with removable documents sets the scene of that infamous day. The book includes a handwritten statement from Eisenhower accepting full responsibility if the whole thing should fail. Maps and handwritten notes are just a few of the tasty items residing in this book.