Archive for Portfolio

Isovolta Technical Drawing

Featured Items, Portfolioon September 23rd, 2013Comments Off on Isovolta Technical Drawing

As Yogi Berra was attributed to say, “It’s deja vu all over again.”

40 years ago I started out as an illustrator, longer if you count interning in a refrigeration engineering firm doing interior renderings. In the last coupe of years, I’ve resurrected (maybe resuscitated is a better term) my illustration skills and it’s been like meeting up with an old friend. My first illustrations were technical drawings of high and low voltage motors for Isovolta but since then I’ve expanded out into automotive illustration—something a little nearer to my heart.

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.

westminster cracker company

Featured Items, Packaging, Portfolioon November 15th, 2010No Comments

This was one of the assignments that was just plain fun to do. There was no direction other than, “see what you can do with this.”

In truth, the existing packaging had been around for a long time and, over the years, had undergone numerous changes, edits, and tweaks until the original files were completely lost under all of the modifications. What a perfect opportunity to begin entirely anew. Westminster Cracker has been around for over 125 years so, to get things started, I visited the company offices where they keep a nice selection of packaging from years (decades) past. There were some really cool old-school boxes in the collection—everything from the old chip boards covered in wax paper to more contemporary designs from the 50s. It just seemed natural that the new look should honor the company’s past—but with a modern sensibility.

From the old packaging I borrowed the color palette of black, mustard yellow, and burnt red, from the really early cartons, I took the text style and a few of the engraved touches and then combined it with a modern ‘hero’ shot on the front and product vignette on the pack. Something, old, something borrowed, something new.

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.