Color Titles

My buddy Jeff Finley asked me to contribute some titles for this WMC Fest video by filmmaker Aaron Freeder. I accepted the request as “make letters look cool,” which is basically all I really want to do in life. So, naturally, I obliged. As I tend to do, I overdid it. I got on a roll, and before I knew it, I had made 25 titles.

I mentioned I would post all of these titles on my blog, and I’m a man of my word. So, here’s the goods. Hope you like them as much as I did making them. You can also check out the Go Media post about the video and titles.

WMC Video Recap

WMC 2011 was a huge success, and I cannot wait to get back next year. Click the image above to watch a recap video, which I contributed many of the title graphics for.

Awesomefest 2011

Here’s my contribution to the Star Wars Themed Awesomefest 2011.

AwesomeFest 2011

Typography Samples

Typography Samples
A while back, I was using Cargo Collective as my main portfolio site, until I launched this website. I figured, at this point, having the two was quite redundant. I had the idea of taking different logotypes that I had created for use in other pieces, and strip them down to just the type, to finally showcase the type by itself. So, I’m trying out this new idea, to use my Cargo site for my typography samples. I do plan on adding quite a bit more soon, this is sort of a test run.  Check it out, let me know what you think. Visit the typography samples.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

One of the many reasons I love living in Columbus, Ohio is Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. Once or twice a week, my wife and I will indulge. This is a required stop for anyone passing through. Check out this little video. Or just click the image below.

New Work

Just posted a big batch of new work. Take a look around. Here are a few of my faves…

Photo Explosion

Lately, I’ve been freaking out on Instagram. I’ve just realized how neat of a tool it is to collect all the rad stuff I see throughout my day, like that little wonderful 3-Dimension thingy up there. This stuff kills me, much like the legendary Draplin. While Instagram is iPhone only, it also posts these photos to my Flickr page. So, one way or the other, feel free to follow along, and see some of the stuff I’m seeing from time to time.

The One-Trick-Pony Steals The Show

I think it’s important for us as designers to be a bit insecure about our work from time to time. It pushes us to improve and to push our boundaries. There is a difference between sulking or whining about not being good enough, and what I’m referring to – which is the statement “Dang, they’re better than me. I must get better!”

I deal with this from time to time, for different reasons. I’m a true lover of graphic design, and I have a physical reaction in my chest when I see a piece that is just done right. Good design hits you, and I want my work to be able to hit people the way good design hits me. Continue reading 

Stay Creative

Stay Creative
I’ve been finding myself using hand-lettering as a way to relax throughout a very stressful season in design. Everyone needs their stuff yesterday, and I’m doing everything I can to accommodate. Much like a smoker takes a smoke break – I find myself taking a break to just write a word or two down. Is that weird?

Anyway, I had an idea to record myself doing some lettering. It’s even neat for me to watch it back. Click the image above to watch the video.

…and here is another one.
Don't Talk About It...

The Power of the Doodle

With my new found spirit to be a little more regular with this blog, will come a little more willingness to be that much more transparent with you readers. One of the ways that I can do that, is to be honest about some of my insecurities as a designer, and the ways in which I hope to improve.

My recent showing at WMC Fest was a quick, but enjoyable one. There were so many extremely talented designers, whose work I could drool over. As many designers do, I found myself wishing more projects like that came through, allowing me to be a little more free and experimental with my design. In band merchandise, I often care way more about the band’s needs and aesthetic, than forcing my own agenda on to the piece. This is an attribute that I believe is imperative to be able to sustain your occupation over time. However, a life without doing work that expresses your unique aesthetic gets quite mundane and creatively taxing over time. There has to be a good balance of both.

Phone Call Doodles. We have to be more willing to doodle. There are several ways I can go into doodling, and how effective it is. When I think of doodling, I first think of being on a long phone call, with the pad and pen you were ready to take notes with. You realize you had one tiny thing to write down, and the rest of the page will be filled with doodles. Whether you write the name of the person you’re on the phone with in a ton of different styles, there is something to be said about the natural doodles you create with less than half of your concentration.

Don’t Be Limited By Fonts and Software. In the same spirit, it’s important to do this with your projects, when time allows. I often find that part of my job is about working quickly, and managing my time accordingly. Because most of the time, every band needs stuff all at the same time, and it comes firing in at me. I have to do my best to do good work, and do good work quickly. But when I get time, I try to make sure I get the sketchbook out to be able to freely try certain compositions out, without the limitations of the computer. This concept is an obvious one, and most designers are aware that a big portion of their work should be done off the computer.

The Pen is Mightier Than The Pen Tool. Another way I’ve found myself doodling over the years is with type styles. The rise of the popularity of hand-drawn styles has many of us designers stepping back from our font collection, and going back to pen and paper. Since I’ve been doing this, I’ve found that I’ve been creating more end-product pieces, as opposed to sketches that I will improve on in Illustrator. The lines that I am drawing will be the lines on the final piece. I’ve been getting more and more excited about continuing to do this type of work. I’m realizing that the way I’m writing each of these letters are much freer than any attempt at moving anchor points in Illustrator. These doodles are becoming superior to my fonts. There is more heart and soul in this stuff than the perfection of even the greatest fonts. Some good examples are some of the recent lyrics tees I did for the band, Train. I also did a dribbble post about the project.

One of the greatest experiences I’m having doing hand-drawn type styles is how many times I will draw the same logotype, over and over again. I find myself doing one after another, changing something tiny each time. Or, just writing it over and over again, until one just stands out. I’ve found so much freedom and satisfaction from the ability to create a completely unique typeface with each attempt.

Work For Yourself …… Sometimes. Every once in a while, we have to be able to “doodle” with our own work. What I mean is to design the stuff that results when you just want to “mess around” with your work. Sometimes there is no client, yet, but a really good idea. So you find yourself getting in and designing a poster for no one. Or a album cover for a made-up band. There’s no other opinion to think about here, just you doing what you enjoy doing.

In my opinion, some of my favorite designers’ work seems to come from this place. They’re designing in realms where the client’s strict needs aren’t present, and they have this freedom to do whatever they feel. The drawback, however, is that many of these designers can get pigeonholed into one aesthetic. But, they’re staying happy creating what they really love to create.

I’m hoping to doodle a little more. I’m hoping to get back to whatever natural aesthetic my brain comes up with. I’m excited about what may be the result.