Archive for October, 2010

peter huntoon – artist

Featured Items, Identity, Portfolioon October 16th, 2010Comments Off on peter huntoon – artist

This was a pretty intimidating assignment. Not because I haven’t done my share of logos or brand materials but because it was going to be collateral for an artist for crying out loud—and a darn good one at that. Peter Huntoon is not only a local guy, but an extremely successful water colorist throughout New England. His unique technique is instantly recognizable and very energetic. The task of capturing the energy and enthusiasm of Peter’s art in his print collateral was more than a bit daunting.

I started by interviewing Peter and getting a sense of what he wanted to represent as well as getting an idea of how much latitude I would have in putting a face on things. Peter proved to have as big a spirit of adventure as his art and had no problem with exploring a variety of expressive avenues. What a relief. The results are a look and feel to the materials that I think captures what Peter’s art is all about.

I can’t help it, I really love this stuff.

woodstock high school

Portfolio, Publishingon October 16th, 2010Comments Off on woodstock high school

I do quite a bit of work in education, partly because I have the opportunity but also because I like the idea that the work contributes to the community good. In a small state like Vermont, schools are struggling to keep funded in a tight economic environment and being able to clearly communicate the benefits the bring to the table helps them make a case for local support. I’ve done quite a few view books and I always enjoy working on them. But, I wasn’t prepared for the unexpected turn the Woodstock High School assignment took.

I almost always start these projects by interviewing as broad a spectrum of faculty, staff, students, and parents as I can manage. It’s a good way to get to the core of what a school is about and to develop a rounded view. And so it was with this book. I spent a few days interviewing, then dumped the interview transcripts into a mash-up from which I typically edit down the final copy. That’s when things took a weird turn. While reading through the interviews I was struck by the absolute authenticity of the voices. Truly, there was no way I was going to be able to improve on the interviews and I approached the school’s principal with an idea—to make the book a series of vignettes featuring the best of the material. I think it takes a lot of courage on the part of client to try something that is clearly out of their comfort zone, but the headmaster agreed.

The result was a uniquely personal and powerful view of the school through the eyes and voices of those to whom it mattered most.

mount st. joseph academy

Portfolio, Publishingon October 16th, 2010Comments Off on mount st. joseph academy

This was one of my favorite assignments—a view book for a small Catholic private school—because of the latitude given to develop a presentation that spoke to both the benefits an education from this prestigious academy as well as the faith that drives it. It didn’t hurt that the school and a 125 year history of preparing young men and women for careers and colleges. It was more than a bit humbling to be given the responsibility of representing not only the current students but also the alumni and the community as a whole.

I wanted the unique qualities of MSJ to be represented not only by the pages but through the pages, communicating the respect, achievement, and opportunity that are a Mount St. Joseph education. Through a collaboration with a local photographer who was sympathetic to the budgets constraints of the project, I was able to afford the publication the benefit of original and purposeful images. I think the results peaks for itself. It’s a view book with depth and  weight. A book that honored the school’s past while looking to its future.

overland outdoor

Portfolio, Publishingon October 16th, 2010Comments Off on overland outdoor

Of all the disciplines within the design spectrum, catalog layout and production with it’s tight page layouts, precise space usage requirements, and formatting has to be one of the most challenging. Add to that a photographer in Colorado, copy writing in Iowa, art direction from Vermont, and printing New York and you could have a project management nightmare.

But not so with the Overland catalog thanks to 37 Signals’ BaseCamp webware. This handy tool made communication simple and effective despite the geographic diversity of the design team. The result? On time performance of a demanding design with a  tight (and immovable) deadline.

vermont youth rugby association

Portfolio, Web Designon October 16th, 2010Comments Off on vermont youth rugby association

Community service is a big part of what drives me. So when I was approached by VYRA to build a small web site to help them with recruiting and communication, it was easy to say “yes”. Now, I don’t know diddle about rugby other than it has a ball, is played on a field, and vaguely resembles American football but I do know how to build easy to maintain, straightforward web sites. Good thing to, because it looks like a mighty rough game.

As with most (maybe all) of these shoestring budget sites, it was going to be self-maintained so site updates and administration needed to be simple. Enter WordPress. Not only is the WP platform a snap for web newbies to work with, the availability of off-the-shelf themes makes for quick work of site construction. The VYRA platform is one of a number of semi-custom platforms I’ve developed over the past few years and it’s a clean, crisp presentation with good visual appeal.

So, while it’s a pretty sure bet I’ll never step onto a rugby pitch, I was still able to help them with their game.

timberwolf advertising

Advertising, Portfolioon October 15th, 2010No Comments

A rough and tumble market driven by straight forward men, and no amount of b.s. is going to move them. They want to see the product, understand how it works and more importantly…what it will do for their bottom line.

After studying the media plan and the inquiry results, I decided to user larger ads and less frequency. And it’s working. Business is stronger than ever with significant growth in the commercial sector and selling larger machines means less work for the sales staff which results in more efficiency and higher profits. Go big Red!

timberwolf planning

David's Portfolio, Planning, Portfolioon October 14th, 2010No Comments

Timberwolf Manufacturing Corporation ran into a challenge that most successful businesses face—where to grow next. For years this wood processing equipment manufacturer had enjoyed steady growth, becoming one of the leaders in their industry. So, they asked for help with the next step most successful businesses take—toward the future.

Getting a bead on what people thought about the industry and Timberwolf in particular was the first priority. Timberwolf relies on an extensive dealer network to get their products to market, but there was something missing—the company wasn’t getting any feedback from their end-users. Why? Because dealers weren’t filling out the warranty cards and sending them in.

A simple dealer and customer survey provided information that was used to identify opportunities for Timberwolf to reach new markets and expand their dealer network. The next step was putting it in place with a concise media plan and budget, a prospective dealer map, and a new warranty registration system that would enable Timberwolf to speak directly to the end-user of their products.

The result—a clear and documented plan that would provide direction for the next five years. And beyond.

r.k. miles company

David's Portfolio, Planning, Portfolioon October 14th, 2010Comments Off on r.k. miles company

Before you spend a dime on marketing or advertising: know why you want/need to spend it. Establish outcomes that support your business goals. Know your audiences and how they get their information. And understand the effects this kind of effort can have on your company infrastructure and develop a plan to manage it.

The planning tools developed for the r.k. Miles Company included a market survey and analysis, creative concepts, advertising and marketing schedules, budgets and timelines. The plan gave them clear benchmarks by which to measure the results of their efforts and help them make crucial decisions if and when that plan needs to be changed.

When it comes to helping a business grow, a good plan is never done—it sets the stage for the next one.

Westminster Crackers Warms to DCT

Newson October 4th, 20101 Comment

New Westminster Retail Packaging

Long time Vermont success story Westminster Cracker Company has chosen Townsend Graphics LLC to execute a re-design of the gourmet cracker company’s retail packaging. To help raise the visual appeal of the popular specialty food, DCT reached back into Westminster’s past, bringing elements of several of the company’s classic packages from the last 100 years.

“I wasn’t looking to make it a ‘retro’ look”, said Townsend Graphics managing member David Townsend, “but loved the simple, classic elegance of some of the older packaging designs from the 50s (and earlier). “The new designs borrow many elements from the past—color, graphic flourishes, and even language—to help create a distinctive, more upscale look.”

Larry Cirina, Westminster Cracker Company’s president, said, “The new look is definitely in synch with the character of our product.” Cirina continued, “We couldn’t be more thrilled with discovering a company like DCT in our own backyard, able to share our vision and execute on it.”

The new relationship was struck as the result of a happenstance mention of the company during a conversation with Westminster Cracker employee Roger Johnson.

The new packaging will begin appearing in select retail locations in the next month or two.

For more information on Westminster Cracker Company visit: