Urban living.

I made some recycling signage for my apartment a while back using really simple white type on black backgrounds. I was inspired by (read: ripping off) Jesse Kirsch's amazing brand project. While helping a friend brainstorm ideas for her projects, I had the thought of taking what I made and making it an entire lifestyle set. It would have not only labeled trash and recycling bins, but also storage containers for dry goods and possibly even artwork.

I've moved away from Helvetica and into the world of Din. And having been inspired by Always with Honor's illustration work (and my recently love of dots), I thought I might apply some iconography in the vein of their What a Relief project.

So far, I've just worked on the labels for the recycling and trash containers, but it's a decent start and there might be something there.


Reaction magazine semi-realized.

Here's what Reaction might look like if it were a real magazine.


Superstar Graphic Designers of the Past and Present Day.

I was probably hiding these from you guys for some good reason, but whatever it was, I don't care so much now. These are graphic designer trading cards I made to be used as a promotional piece. They're modeled after baseball cards, with statistics on the back and samples of each designer's work. Mine's the rookie card. Isn't that just a face you could pinch/hire?


Required reading.

Eyeballs hurting.
Head aching.
Fingers cramping.
Must upload latest version of book series.

It's now called Required Reading, and is published by a company called New School Books. There's a new logo. They all have adjusted palettes, including an additional color on each. The illustrations on most have been updated. Furthermore, the first three books are going to be part of a collection called The New Dystopia Collection. The band at the bottom (not to scale) would go around the three books, unitizing them. I've got some copy on the back, which is still being worked on. All in all, I think it's really turning out and it's sure come a long way.


Timberati business package.

I finished the business system for my dad. He writes about environmental issues and sustainability. In order, there are two sides of the business card, the letterhead with sample text, a large mailing label and small to and from labels that fit adhesive labels he already has.

note: this is, of course, not to scale.


A reminder.

Photo: one I took when I first moved to Portland.
Quote: a line from the film Time After Time that has always stuck with me.

Reminder #4.

Good Books.

I've expanded the book series idea. It's a now a collection of contemporary classics marketed as such. Right now, the name of the publishing company is Good Books, which I'm not totally happy with. If anybody has a good idea for a non-existent but real-sounding publishing company, leave a comment.

I'm pondering the idea of putting an informational blurb somewhere on the cover that lets you know why it was chosen for the collection as well as possibly the year it was published.

The bottom one has a band across it. This would be a physical band that would go around the books. There could even possibly be a band that goes around multiple books that have some sort of similarity, such as three dystopian novels or three books from the same author or time period.



The 11 songs I've listened to the most…

…since I got my Mac. You were totally wondering. Admit it.

10. Cut Copy - Hearts On Fire (31 times)
10. Cut Copy - Out There On The Ice (31)
8. Kings of Leon - Sex On Fire (32)
8. Echo & the Bunnymen - Bring on the Dancing Horses (32)
7. Does It Offend You, Yeah? - Epic Last Song (33)
6. Vampire Weekend - White Sky (34)
5. Vampire Weekend - Oxford Comma (35)
4. La Roux - Fascination (39)
3. Phoenix - 1901 (41)
2. Digitalism - Pogo (42)
1. Hot Chip - Ready For The Floor (52)


Timberati biz card updates.

So my dad selected a business card design for his identity. The more I looked at it however, the more I got to thinking, "this could be better." There's an illustration from Kitsune Noir (a site detailed in this post) that I've been using as my desktop background, and it got me thinking about adding some illustration to the cards. Nothing too crazy. Just some simple shapes with some texture. I made four different tree styles, added a paper texture (to keep the paper theme going) and put them in the designs. I think they make nice natural arrows that point the eye back up to the text, which is the important part of a business card anyway.

The last image is an alternate back, which displays his web address. This would be in lieu of a ".com" on the front of the card. What does everyone think?


Another friendly reminder.


Re-examining the book series.

Since my portfolio can contain whatever 10 pieces I want essentially, I've decided to re-explore my book series idea from last year.

I've taken the original basic template, added some texture and a logo. Those illustrations are going to be hand-drawn high-contrast illustrations instead of simple vector art. I'm exploring different type treatments for the cover and spine. Which do you think works best?


A reminder.

You may be seeing things like this around the internet.
Soft images with friendly phrases on them.
Usually with impeccable typography.
Maybe they're over done.
Maybe they're trite.
Or maybe they're nice.
Maybe they're helpful.
I'm not sure.
But I made this.
And I quite like it.

Feel free to download the full size and use as a background.
If you like.

Top 100 Songs of the Decade: 50–41.

50. Basement Jaxx - Oh My Gosh
Single 2005
If you wondering if Basement Jaxx was serious all those years, this should put an end to any doubt. No, they're not serious, and they're very serious about it.

49. Justice - Stress
Cross 2007
Someone once told me to turn this song off because it was too stressful.

48. Simian Mobile Disco - Sleep Deprivation
Attack Decay Sustain Release 2007
On an album full of terrible titles, this one is shockingly appropriate. The track is like the experience of getting your second wind on the dance floor when a track you've never heard before blows your mind. Cyclically, this could be that track.

47. Daft Punk - Harder Better Faster Stronger
Discovery 2002
First minute of listening to song: what a goofy song.
Second minute: this is actually kind of good.
Third minute: this is actually totally awesome.
Fourth minute: it's done? Press repeat.

46. The Chemical Brothers - Star Guitar
Come With Us 2003
This song is made infinitely better by a perfect music video my Michel Gondry. By itself, it's a gorgeous rolling track that gains momentum quickly and knows how to hold it. My love of handclaps may have started here.
note: the Star Guitar included in the playlist is not the original (as it wasn't available) but it's a pretty sweet cover

45. The Radio Dept. - 1995
Lesser Matters 2003
So sweet.

44. TV on the Radio - Crying
Dear Science 2008
How do they make those sounds pop so much? This song is just so tight, so organized, but still so emotional. It is called Crying after all.

43. Plaid - Squance
Double Figure 2001
Only total nerds could make dance music this pure.

42. Matthew Dear - Fex
Leave Luck to Heaven 2003
Man I like my music organized.

41. Cut Copy - Far Away
In Ghost Colours 2008
It took me a while to enjoy this album because it's so overproduced. But underneath that production (some of which is awesome) are great freaking pop songs.

VIIF business cards.

The next step in my package for the Victoria International Improv Festival (the first step is this web banner) is a business card. I already showed them three versions, and I liked this one best, with just a few changes. And I made some changes of my own to things that I wasn't happy with. To save money, the front side is full-colour and the back side is black only. Does it work?


The Portland Alliance.

About a month ago, I was riding the bus on my way to an art show. This girl about my age started up a conversation with me. I discovered she was the brand new editor of The Portland Alliance, a progressive newspaper. She discovered that I was a graphic designer. She accompanied me to the art show (where she won an art piece made by my friend's boyfriend). We exchanged business cards and she suggested that I work with them on the new layout for the newspaper. I said that might be cool.

She checked out my blog and called me to say she liked my work. We met up at her office this past Sunday to discuss what they're looking for. I was going to suggest we do more of a magazine look than a newspaper look (because magazines are cooler and inherently more progressive), but she suggested it first. And now I'm the layout designer for The Portland Alliance.

I'm not making big bucks off this one (we'll call it a labor of love), but this is definitely going into my final portfolio.

Here's the layout of the Dec/Jan issue…
And here's what I've been working on…
(Note: the dotted line simply shows where the fold is; it doesnt print. Everything above the line would be what you see in a newspaper box.)
And then the different banners/nameplates I made for the front page…

Rifflandia 2009 catalog
Colours magazine Teenagers issue
a 1980 issue of The Daily News from Longview, WA
various articles from Things As They Are, a compilation of photoessays
Julie Dery's business card