Research / Layout / Brand Development
Here is a glance at a couple websites I recently designed for two communities on opposite sides of the country. Working with the team that would implement the coding, the trick was to build the pages out in a series of interchangeable blocks so as to maximize the design within their rigid framework. The design work here went beyond just font, color and informational hierarchy, and included defining the community demographic, working with a copywriter to develop the community “voice”, and balancing stock imagery alongside existing site photography to develop each community’s distinct brand.
Design / Brand Deployment
This was a fun project to be a part of, with some smart stakeholders and a quick turnaround time. The goal was to create a logo mark and brand that had a clean and modern look, and imparted the idea of a service that provided immediate results. We wanted prospective clients to feel as though the service being presented was of high value to them and that the work to be done would be executed impeccably. Here’s a peek at the steps I took in my own development process of both the brand design and deployment through assisting collateral.
Storyboarding / Design
Ads are everywhere now in the online world. To stand apart, eyecatching graphics accompanied by movement can really set your product apart. I’ve long loved animation, and with a background in video editing, the two interfaces are strikingly similar. The process from concept through execution entails many steps. The process starts with pitching storyboards to stakeholders, and then I build out layered artwork in Illustrator for all the various sizes the ads will be upon delivery. Those artboards are then brought over into Animate CC and broken out into separate timelines to construct the final animations. The final step sometimes involves fiddling with code in Dreamweaver before it’s ready to go online. It’s not the quickest process, but I think the end results are worth it.
Seeing your design work physically printed - off the screen and in the real world is immensely gratifying. Seeing large format work produced is even moreso. I love the effect that large scale design has on an environment. Sometimes the work is purely informational, but I think when it is done right, it can be a real work of art that viewers interact with. Here is some of the large scale work I’ve done to date.
There is something wonderful about the constraint of designing for digital ads. They must be clear, eye catching and to the point, but also must take up a relatively small amount of real estate. With Google Ads, there are a variety of shapes that the messaging must take, and working hierarchal information into their funny boxes can be a challenge.
Within social media, there is a bit more room and opportunity for storytelling with larger canvases and options for sequential images.
Here are a few recent digital ads I have created.
I love the printed piece! I enjoy working to create designs across multiple mediums, but there's just something about a piece of work you can take with you. Here are few that I've created.
Branding is a huge idea that extends its reach into every aspect of a business. While a logo is definitely a part of a company’s brand, it does stand alone as it’s own piece of work. Several logos go on to live long lives, while others get shuffled into new things in the creative process. Here are a number of logos of mine that are out in the world as well as others that never made it. I love the work that goes into them all. It’s such an investigative process with the client in making a symbol of their mission and service.
While map making may be one of the more tedious design tasks, there is definitely something to be said about the feeling of getting it right. More often than not, designing a map is about the details - what you keep in, what you leave out, what you choose to highlight, and how you draw the eye to the important pieces of information. The tiny lines can make you a bit cross-eyed in the design process, but the finished results can be very satisfying.
Liquid Galaxy is an interactive presentation platform developed by Google. It’s a curved 7 panel display that can display a huge amount of content with beautiful clarity. Each instance of the presentation is designed in Indesign with each of the 7 screens being an individual artboard. It feels a bit unwieldy in it’s creation, but the end results are really pretty fun to watch.
Design / Illustration
Aside from the externally facing work I've produced for Aimco's marketing team, occasionally internally facing work needs to be created for Aimco's corporate offices. Over the past few years I've created a number of graphics for various departments in the form of posters, handouts, T-shirts and retractable banners. Here are a small selection.
Cover Art / Jacket Design / Illustration
New Order is an incredible book by LA based Organizational Guru, Musician and Actress, Fay Wolf. I had the pleasure of not only collaborating with Fay to create over 20 hand drawn illustrations for this book, but I also had the opportunity to work with the designers at Random House to create for them the book's cover as well as lead the layout of the book jacket. It was a long process overall that had quite an evolution, but now in it's third printing, it's amazing to think of how far these little stick figures have come. My own work aside, the book itself is phenomenal, and I can't wait to see what Fay comes up with next.
More than just a branded piece, I love working with sign makers to create signs and dimensional pieces that exist out in the world for a client to interact with. Monuments, museum banners, A-Frames, directionals and vinyl graphics are just few of the ways a message can be shared.
Design / Illustration
The Wayfaring Band is an incredible, Denver-based non-profit dedicated to creating experiences in the form of road trips to a community of adults who experience intellectual and developmental disabilities. Every few months they hit the road with a new group and travel to some truly spectacular places. As part of their tour, each traveller receives a commemorative poster of the trip, which tour members sign as a memento of their experience together. Since 2015, I've illustrated the poster for each tour, which is meant to feel as a hybrid between a promotional rock poster and a vintage postcard. Alongside each tour poster, I also create corresponding imagery for the group’s social media accounts. I love this work and am consistently amazed by the various destinations the band visits.
Design / Art Direction
Aimco owns and operates over 120 apartment communities across America. I was asked to design and art direct a "Brag Book" to highlight each community's features and history. After completing the initial design, I managed the workload of 3 separate designers to complete the final book which clocked in at 272 pages. It is now being used to display Aimco's portfolio to potential investors. It was a beast of a project to juggle the enormous amount of content with a lot of high level stakeholders, but I'm really proud with the look of the final product. Each US market had an identifiable palette, and we worked hard to create a design that while bogged down by data, employed enough negative space to give the viewer some breathing room.
Bay Parc Plaza is a gorgeous apartment community down in Miami, Florida. This booklet was created to inform prospective residents of the community's offerings as well as showcase some of the inherent beauty of the surrounding neighborhood.
Illustration / Layout
I had designed a poster for the Vineyard Playhouse on Martha's Vineyard about a decade ago, so I was excited to hear form them again to create an image for their 2017 production of Julius Caesar. The production was performed by an entirely female cast, and after a discussion with the production's director, I felt I had a grasp on some of the main points that the production was trying to get across. In the final illustration, I was working with the concepts of duality and ghosts. The story of Julius Caesar begins with the murder, but the murder itself isn't the solution the main characters had hoped. That action cascades into a series of other events, and the ghost of Caesar lives as a shadow over all that follows.
The final illustration was delivered in 3 sizes and formats for promotion across the island.
Layout / Design
Lewis Brown Sr. is a pastor from the Denver area who is an astounding musical talent. Meeting him, hearing his passion and translating that into package design was a fantastic project to be a part of.
Design / Deployment
Twin Lake Towers is a beautiful property in the village of Westmont, Illinois. Built in the late 70's, the community is well established, but their branding was a little dated. The previous brand wasn't consistent in its execution, and didn't seem reflective of either the community's demographic and that of the local competition. We went through quite a few rounds as we attempted to zero in on a look that was more appropriate for the community, and felt as though it belonged in the village of Westmont. As part of my branding work, I like to do some pretty exhaustive research into competitor branding, present several possible directions for the final mark, and deliver my final art with accompanying guidelines on how the brand is to be utilized in practice. We covered a lot of territory during this particular process and my work went through more rounds of revision than I am used to, but I'm pleased with the final look that both myself and the community's management team landed on, and the way that branding was eventually rolled out into the assisting collateral and signage.
The EPs are an Denver based organization committed to supporting a number of local non-profits. The logo itself was designed as a nod to vintage vinyl pressed EPs. The certificates are printed annually to recognize the charitable commitment of the organization's members, as they work together to aid in the good work being done in the Denver community.
A few printed pieces I've created for clients - posters, postcards and double sided flyers. The trick for me seems to be keeping on brand, while getting as much information as possible on such a tiny piece of real estate.
ArtSpark is an amazing art studio in Littleton, Colorado that specializes in teaching kids and adults how to be artistic thinkers. Modeled after a Montessori based curriculum, the instructors here let attendees discover their own artistic methods in a studio packed with artistic tools. This mark was fun to develop with the studio owners as it needed to feel both modern and professional, while containing elements that also felt wild, playful and vibrant. Some of our earlier exploration focused on some of the "spark" elements of creative inspiration or the cerebral piece we discussed while exploring the idea of art thinking. Ultimately, that avenue created marks that felt too technical, and so we went back to the drawing board to create something that conveyed a sense of spontaneity. I love the color of this, and having seen the work being done in the space, I believe it captures that playful energy of artistic discovery.