Archive for July, 2013

here, let me draw you a picture…

Second boxon July 26th, 2013No Comments

Everything old is new again, so the phrase goes. And so it seems, it’s true.

Vintage 69 Lockheed Sebring Decal

I started out in this field as an illustrator back when my tools were pens, markers, and papers—not a computer and software. Over the years, I’ve continued to practice my illustration skills, eventually adapting them to my new electronic environment. For the most part, it hasn’t been something I’ve made a point of pursuing as business although I still execute 3-4 random illustrations assignments each year—mostly technical illustrations or renderings. read more

the most fun you can have with your pants on

Blog, Second boxon July 10th, 2013No Comments

…at the risk of offending any some of my (limited) readership. I like—no, make that love—working on cars.

To me, playing with things automotive is, as the title says, the most fun I have besides that of conubial bliss. I particularly enjoy working on the MG based vintage rally car that’s been taking up space in my garage for the past four years or so. I keep threatening to finish it but, so far, that goal has eluded me. Why cars? I guess because they represent, in many ways, an opportunity to use and extend some of the same skill set I use at work. It’s just a different platform that presents new frontiers of problem solving and a different level of satisfaction in successfully solving those challenges. read more

Once an illustrator…always an illustrator

Newson July 10th, 2013No Comments

Lockheed-featureI get to work on a tremendous variety of projects during the course of any year but I have a really soft place in my heart for anything illustrated—whether it’s cranking out technical illustrations of high voltage motors for Isovolta, renderings of various client projects or, in this case, recreating a lost decal of a famous MGB GT factory race car for a fellow fanatic.

Apparently the decal represented a two-race sponsorship for the #62 factory MGB GT car fro the Sebring and Nelson Ledges races only. To top it off, the roundel appears only on the right hand side of the car.

The challenge to recreating the sponsor decal was less about the overall layout—that was simple—but finding out exactly what all of the verbiage had been. In the end, I had only two very low resolution photos to work from and, even though enhanced, the best I could gather from wither of them was the two primary sponsors. The checkers motif, the tag line for Lockheed, and the “AP” in the center round were all “artistic” liberties taken to replace undiscernable material. It was a fun little project that made both the client and myself very happy guys. Men can be really silly.

isovolta trade display

Display, Featured Items, Portfolioon July 10th, 2013No Comments

This was one of the most fun assignments I had in 2012. I just love to work in a big scale…it gives you a whole new challenge as well as a lot of room to solve it.

For this example, I was blessed with a truly fine set of graphic standards provided by the parent company in Austria that gave me, not only some working parameters for the display, but a ton of ideas on how to creatively  use the new identity materials. For the backdrop, I selected a shot of the company headquarters then aggressively reworked it to suit the purpose of the display, incorporating the new swoosh graphics.

For me, the scale was the thing though. That, and getting to use other parts and pieces to work in three dimensions. I generally don’t have a “favorite” project but, if I did, this one would be on my short list. What a blast.

flipped out

Featured Items, Portfolio, Publishingon July 10th, 2013No Comments

Practically elegant sounds like a contradiction but, in this case, that’s exactly what this sales tool for Isovolta is. It’s a field tool that shows customers the company’s product categories. Because it’s a piece that gets used—a lot—it needed to be not only very sturdy but easy to use as well.

The ringer here was the low quantity needed which meant that I needed to get clever about the printing in order to preserve some economy of scale. I did that by using a trick from early children’s book where the pages were often printed as 4/o then folded in half and bound. The one-sided printing provided some economy of scale back in the day before most printers were running perfecting presses and the folded page added some heft and durability.

The result was both a unique looking piece that could take some abuse…and look great doing it.

vermont law school fund mailer

Featured Items, Portfolio, Publishingon July 10th, 2013No Comments

First, it’s a law school, then it’s a piece of direct mail. Really, how exciting could it possibly be?

Really exciting, actually. Let’s face it, the client who lets you do what you’re actually capable of is a rare thing. I’m not complaining, just saying that most clients never let you really explore the boundaries of what could work. So, when you get those opportunities, you want to make the most of them. It was all the more unusual to have that very chance with, what most folks would think, was a conservative client.

This turned out to be one of those simple but elegant pieces that I love to do. Black and white photography contrasted against vibrant blocks of color and spare text.

stratton magazine

Featured Items, Portfolio, Web Designon July 10th, 2013No Comments

Building a web site for a well established print publication is no mean feat.

…but it’s been an adventure. In addition to working with someone who had/has very well entrenched print sensibilities, there was the whole strategic thing about exactly how the web version was going to compliment and support its print counterpart. Fortunately, this site project has been staged so the publisher has been able to grow his web knowledge and understanding as the site matured. In the process we’ve added features— a mobile version, an app, several new site features— and been able to keep it and it’s audience growing at a respectable—and rational—pace.

Check it out at Stratton Magazine.