An educator bloogging about graphic design.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

My Blog Has Moved

Click here to go to my new, improved blog, including free downloads, design projects, and more.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

All the Whos in Whoville

Fah who for-aze!
Dah who dor-aze!
Welcome Christmas,
Come this way!
Yesterday I filed my grades. As I clicked “submit” I thought I heard the distant sound of all the little Whos in Whoville singing for joy.

Last night Karen and I celebrated with the chicken fajita quesadillas special and a pitcher of margaritas at our favorite Mexican dive Senor Tacos. Chloe performed interpretive dance and practiced her 4-year-old spanish on the waitress. Stella fussed, but nobody complained. Despite the strangely spring-like weather, we were ready to deck some serious halls.

When we got home Chloe and I wrapped presents. She is learning to tuck the corners of the wrapping paper the way my mom taught me, and she’s getting pretty good at it. This morning I’m working on DIY Christmas gifts. More on this later — I don’t want to tip off anybody who’s on my gift list. But I will say that it involves grocery shopping and dumpster diving. Two things that don’t normal go together.

I’ve mailed my AIGA holiday cards. I’ve helped Chloe email Santa. I’ve listened to the Blue Hawaiians’ Christmas on Big Island. I’ve watched my neighbor Ethan’s DVD of White Christmas with Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney. I’ve read How The Grinch Stole Christmas to Chloe. There’s a a week and a half of shopping days left.

Welcome Christmas, come this way!

Monday, December 11, 2006

New Links

zoomIt’s exam week, and I’m catching up on a few things here…

Threadless MySpace meets T-shirt design. The participants submit, view and vote on designs, then they are screen printed and sold via the same site. I want all these shirts!

The Design EncyclopediaThis would have come in handy for the Typography review last week. Want to know whether Bauhaus is a style, a school, or a magazine? You can find out here. it looks like a work in progress…

Carbonmade Nifty free portfolios in a social online space. Looks good for my students. Cute graphics, DIY interface, tagged by category. Suggests freelance work but probably doesn’t attract that much. Lots of wannabes.

Good is Dead Chip Kidd’s personal website. This is the only place I’ve ever seem web so much like print design, all the way down to crop marks and a CIP page. I’ve got to get Chip Kidd: Book One

Research Studios The studio that Neville Brody founded that has redesigned the legendary London Times, rebranded Macromedia before Adobe bought them, and lots of other nifty projects.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

ka-chink. RrrrrrrrrrrrrCHUNK!

vander4I heard the sound of a Number Four Vandercook proofing press in my car this week during the commute home after teaching. It was recorded as part of the NPR Sound Clips series on All Things Considered. When I was an MFA student at Cranbrook we had a Vandercook in the basement, right next to a MacIntosh loaded with Pagemaker and hooked up to a dot matrix printer. They made a strange pair: an outmoded printing machine and one still coming into its own.

A few years later I was designing books at University of Illinois, where larger letterpresses and linotypes were still in use. A trained operator gave me a tour, setting my name in 18 pt. Futura and tossing me the heavy, hot slug of metal fresh out of the typesetting machine. Ouch. That’s why they call it hot type, kid.

For more on letterpress, check out…

Saturday, December 02, 2006

George Lois Interview

Esquire.Ali.St. SebastianI just heard a terrific interview with the creator of this 1968 magazine cover. AIGA Design Legend George Louis depicted controversial boxing legend Muhammad Ali as the arrow-pierced martyr St. Sebastian. Lois had to persuade Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad to allow Ali, a converted Muslim, to appear as a famous Christian martyr. After he managed that and they were shooting the photo, Ali started astutely named each fake arrow after one of his critics, beginning with Lyndon Johnson. Lois has edited a new book on Ali. And speaking of books, Lois’ Ali cover appears in Megg’s History of Graphic Design.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Ad Campaign Pitches

Today my Design II students presented their ad campaign ideas in class. Now that the presentations are over, students and others will choose the three best pitches by clicking on the “comments” below their favorites. Students should use their first name when leaving comments. Winning students will select a team member and complete their campaign, with at least three pieces and two media. The losers will be interviewed to work for the winners, sharing the work and the grade.

Julian Baker: Progressive Auto Insurance

hgm 1This campaign will promote how Progressive has lower rates for drivers with a clean record. These ads will have different types of photos like this one, that have the really posed, sort of awkward suburban portraits. The headline may very from “I” to “We” or whatever the photo pertains to.

Congratulations! Julian's pitch was chosen and he is now an art director, creating a campaign based on this ad. Jessica is on his team.

Patrick Killeen: Amnesty International

PatrickK_pitchAwareness campaign to raise knowledge/profile of AI in the US. Avoiding the divisiveness of the US political landscape by concentrating on AI projects to eliminate child executions and the use of children as soldiers.

Rosie McGee: General Electric

Rosie-1My company is General Electric. My focus is the new Select Edition series, a WalMart exclusive series that is very stylish and futuristic. My campaign will include direct mail, a news ad, and a magazine ad.

Adam Sullivan: Pottery Barn

Pottery BarnI’m designing for Pottery Barn, and I chose to do print ads for there christmas decor. I also want to make postcards/ christmas cards from Pottery Barn mailed out to certain buyers such as the more sophisticated home decorators. I would also like to make web banners, and mini catalogs for the christmas season. I want to keep it simple with the headline “inspired giving” and “christmas 06” I want the product to speak for itself as they do on pottery barns website and catalog.

Teela Fleeman: Altoids

zenWith Altoids having such a strong campaign currently I decided to expand within that campaign. I created a mini-campaign with the underlying idea of the many things you can do with the Altoids tin when finished with the mints. The ideas ranging from do-able things to comical uses. My chosen mediums are magazine ads, billboard ads, and direct mailers.

Congratulations! Teela's pitch was chosen and she is now an art director, creating a campaign based on this ad. Adam, Bailey, David and Rosie are on the Altoids team.

Rosalie Hadley: Jet Blue

Rosalie Hadley pitch 1Each ad refers to classic songs related to travel destinations that Jet Blue has connections. The Hook: If you go to the Jet Blue website ( you can download the song as a ringtone for your phone. Once you go to their website you will see all the fabulous perks of flying Jet Blue.

Congratulations! Rosalie's pitch was chosen and she is now an art director, creating a campaign based on this ad. The Jet Blue includes Elizabeth, Heather, and Mike.

Melissa Parker: American Apparel

American Apparel 1Congratulations! Melissa's pitch was chosen and she is now an art director, creating a campaign based on this ad. The American Apparel team includes Dennis and Patrick.

Ashley Martin: Brewtopia

Martin Pitch1The only beer company Built by the People for the People. This campaign will bring attention to the main point in hand…Label your own beer! This company entitles each individual to create their own label to go on the beer they drink. Order on line and in 7–9 days the product arrives at your home or business. This is a perfect idea for businesses that serve alcohol, individual purchase, special events, or even personalized gifts. The media that I intend on utilizing are print ads, billboards, web banners, and possibly direct mail.

Mike Reedy: Candie’s Vintage Clothing

MikesCandy1My campaign targets women from 15 to 55 years old. This is a demographic which Targets women who began wearing Candies apparel in the early 80’s and still like the Fashion styling and young women who are just beginning to appreciate the style of the Vintage look. These ads would work best, in my opinion, on billboards, bus/transportation adverts and Any place where they would be displayed in large format due to the vibrance of the Hot Pink and purple color scheme.

Heather Burson: Nabisco

heatherpitchAd Campaign for Nabisco’s Pure White Fudge Covered Oreos (a limited edition for the winter months) Campaign slogan: Nothing this good lasts forever. The campaign will have a nostalgic, winter–inspired feel with limited body copy. It will be presented in the fields of print, web banners and packaging.

David White: Biowillie

biowilleadMy client for my campaign is Biowillie. Biowillie is Willie Nelson’s own company that sells Biodiesel, a alternitive form of diesel fuel that mixes conventional diesel fuel with a soy bean extract to form a cleaner, more efficient fuel. My campaign will consist of bumper stickers, city bus ads, print ads, and a direct mail piece.

Dennis Burchfield: Rock the Vote

DennisBurchfieldPitchThe campaign should center itself around the web site. It should also directly approach the audience to make a sailing point. It has to be creative, cool, interesting, and Informal but in no way condescending to the viewer. One way is to set up a “Rock the Vote” booth with voter registration cards and information on local political issues. The best way to reach the audience is through things that appeal to them. Music, Art, Internet, and local issues. There could even be an essay contest on “Why Vote”, the Articles could be placed in a popular magazine and the grand prize could be something like a “Stars and Stripes guitar by Gibson Lespaul”.

Matt Lewis: Urban Outfitters

urbanoutfitters1As I was doing research, I looked at companies similar to Urban Outfitters like banana republic, Hollister and American Eagle I noticed that they never advertised any certain products it was mostly concentrated on brand awarness and getting their name out, I decided to stick with that same idea with my campaign. My campaign is going to consist of print ads and direct mailers to raise brand awarness targeted to both male and females ages 16-25.

Congratulations! Matt's pitch was chosen and he is now an art director, creating a campaign based on this ad. Ashley and Jessica are on the Urban Outfitters Team.

Jessica McLaughlin: NLA's Banned Books Week

JessicaMcLaughlinPitch3This campaign is geared to reach a widespread demographic, from the young, to the old. I wanted to do a strong, eye-catching design that would stand out against other poster or billboard designs. The message I wanted to get across is that the censoring of these books is not taking away the problem, it's simply putting a blindfold over a problem that you don't feel comfortable dealing with. This piece will be delivered through public libraries with my poster and bookmark design.

Elizabeth Vanderford: Ikea

Elizabeth pitch 3Ikea Home Account is an original product I've developed for this particular account. The home account will be marketed to 20-30 year olds entering their first marriage, and establishing their home for the first time. This product will be marketed through web banners as well as magazine print ads using the slogan "the gift of home."

Bailey Smith: Sonic

sonic billboard roughthis campaign is targeted at reinventing the look of sonic. points of emphasis are convenience, high quality-low cost, and a fun atmosphere. this will be communicated by using vector graphics and clever slogans. media types include billboard (shown here), direct mailer with coupons, and product packaging.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Voices Poster


It’s all smoke and mirrors: a blue blur and a bunch of curlicues. My latest design for the annual Voices dance concert just came back from the printer, and I’m happy with it. I’ve always wanted to use the Missionary font in a design, and I think it works here. This wispy, elegant design by Miles Newlyn blew my mind when I saw it in Emigre’s catalog in 1991. The thin, ornate victorian strokes outline implied postmodern letterforms. Here I resort to using London Between by François Bruel to punch up the readability. I got a guilty pleasure out of downloading a free font. Ah, the smell of ink on paper!