EBook Design // Young & Fearless

My latest Ebook cover and interior design project was with counselor, life coach and author Honestly Becky. She has written a workbook inspired by the thousands of young adults that she has worked with over the last 16 years. The workbook includes all the juicy questions that she asks in her coaching sessions. It contains the equivalent of four sessions of career coaching in one book (with audios!) for people looking for the career that will fulfill their soul (and their bank account). The title says it all: Young & Fearless: How to Create The Career You Love When You Have the Guts.

If you are ready to dig deep, get clear, and determine your career path with confidence, check out Young & Fearless now. I wish I would have had this book back before I started building the career of my dreams!

Cookie Label & Holiday Card

Cookie labels and corporate holiday cards were custom branded and illustrated to send a message of cheer and goodwill to valued clients. And… there’s nothing better than homemade chocolate chip cookies shipped to your door!

Flora & Fawn

Acrylic and resin coated painting also inspired by the Sleeping Beauty fairytale. Original is available on Etsy.

Color by COLOURlovers

Hello World Clothing Company Brand & Web Design

It’s here! Say Hello To A New World of Children’s Clothing! Hello World Clothing Company™ has recently launched their new website. Hello World has developed an infant clothing product to help make parent’s diaper changing days and nights a little easier. It’s called the SmartZip™ Sleeper. It’s a footed sleeper with a two-way zipper. It unzips from the top like conventional sleepers, but also has a zipper pull at the ankle allowing you to unzip for access to the bottom only when changing a diaper.

Congratulations to Cindi Wise for patiently navigating her way through a 2-year long ideation, manufacturing and branding journey! Please stop by the site to learn more about the product and the story of how it all began… and continues.

Needs More Gingham!

Friends don’t let friends send out pastel birth announcements. So, I made up a custom checklist of favorite names and common stats so that they could just check off the boxes once the little one was born. Now isn’t that better than associating a new family member with picnic tablecloths?

Illustration Friday: Clutter

Fellow designers, I ask you, why do I always see font clutter and lack of kerning in graphic design? Over the years, I have noticed artists and designers moving away from using materials and methods to do their design work. Too often, the project brainstorm time, design time, and iterative process time is replaced with an immediate jump into production. Creativity never really happens — just production. The design process is watered down to simply a decorative art. The computer has discounted the craft of the human hand. If “everyone can do it”, then our typography should be perfect.

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Illustration Friday: Foggy

Fly Foggy Bottom Airlines. This was an illustration I entered in the 2004 Design for Chunks air sickness bag design contest. Virgin Atlantic partnered with the site creator for the competition. Hundreds of entries were received from around the world. The top twenty designs were printed and distributed on Virgin Atlantic flights. You’re less likely to get sick if you have a well-designed bag to look at, right? You’ll be reassured by a coordinated corporate identity where the barfbag matches the stewardesses’ uniforms and the tailfin of the plane.

Awash in a Leaky Raft…

Since the theme of the week is “worry”, I wanted to show off a series of direct mail pieces that I concepted and illustrated. The illustrations were created using Illustrator and Photoshop as a photomontage. However, my favorite part is the powerful copywriting that engages the senses. I included an excerpt from each of them.

Adrift in the South Pacific night. Awash in a leaky raft. And you’ve got company.

Unenviable circumstances. Raw. Exposed. Unseen visitors cut a course through your ebbing confidence. Circling. The bumps and brushes are purposeful. Sensing your vulnerability. Tread water and fall prey. Embark upon a panicked swim to safety only to find that the nearest solid ground is two miles straight down. Rather than becoming someone’s entree, take a stand before calamity befalls you. Proactively face the unforeseen by preparing a sustainable plan for survival.

You’re lost in the Amazon. “Armed” with a flashlight. And you’ve got company.

The night is alive. It creeps. It slithers. It glides effortlessly awaiting your next breath. Your skin crawls. And without warning, your one beacon in the jungle ink–like a dying ember–flickers out. Darkness drops like a curtain. Panic prods you to run. Reason reminds you that a merciless river snakes its way between you and safety. The water ripples. The branches constrict. Uncertainty reigns. Yet you needn’t succumb to the “safety” of inaction–where one’s lack of choosing ultimately decides one’s fate. Before all means of escape are inextricably closed off, proactively face the unforeseen by creating a sustainable plan for survival.

It’s pitch black on the African savanna. You’re “equipped” with mosquito repellent. And you’ve got company.

Night has fallen. And “here kitty, kitty” isn’t going to get it done. You’re on their turf. And they’re watching your every move. Fail to act and fall prey. Panic and you’ll face a predictable end. Rather than becoming someone else’s entree, take a stand. In the midst of crisis, face the challenges by adopting a sustainable plan for survival.

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Illustration Friday: Theory

I decided to cut up a crusty old marker comp and create a brand new collage. I’ve been sharing my old work with a portfolio class at my old high school. I’ve come to realize that somehow, we’ve allowed the perception that our technology tools drive our design process and are mostly responsible for the results. While I celebrate the demise of comprehensives and press type, it is still my theory that a good graphic designer should have some of these basic skills and competencies before they attempt to gain entry level employment.

  • Identify steps in the psychological model of the creative process (analysis, incubation, inspiration, verification)
  • Explain major methods of creativity (brainstorming, free association, etc.)
  • Identify basic principles of design (unity, contrast, proportion, etc.)
  • Identify basic color theory
  • Prepare thumbnail sketches
  • Prepare a comprehensive using pens and markers
  • Spec’ing type

Illustration Friday: Theory

A Survey for Designers

I’ve had quite a few young designers emailing me lately asking questions about design, requesting critiques, and just general advertising agency career advice. So, in an effort to streamline the process of answering all those emails, I went back and reread some of the surveys from the 2004 Graphic Design USA and 2005 Graphic Design USA magazine. In order for designers to truly understand where they can they can go, they need to know themselves a little bit better. Too often, young designers are focused on interface design and their software skills without any reverence for the underlying strategy. The GDUSA surveys were devoted to “Insights and Opinions from the Best and Brightest.” They asked several designers the following questions:

1. Do you have a design hero?
2. What would be your dream design project?
3. How and where do you find inspiration?
4. What do you do in your time away from work?
5. What are you currently listening to, watching or reading?
6. Is there one product, tool or gadget you cannot live without?

In the responses, the designers who stood out were the ones whose passions helped influence others they worked with. I think that is a pretty good exercise for any designer or illustrator for that matter. I would have gone deeper with the survey, but this is a good starting point. I may add to that question list myself at a later date. Take some time and think about how you would answer the questions. If you really get inspired, feel free to post your answers.