Woodworking has been around my entire life. From wandering around in the wilderness around my parent's house to watching my dad build houses from scratch. Though I didn't embrace it as a child, I've always had a respect for my dad's carpentry skills, Oak & Dagger is my way of embracing my roots & putting my spin of what could be seen as our family trade.
Armed with a Dremel & ideas, I carved & drew everyday. Keeping my personal illustration style & a minimal style choice of only using black on wood, I created some of my favorite pieces to date. Lucky for me, it also paid off when I decided to open an Etsy. The opening was a surprising success (selling out of most of the large pieces) and I hope to add more pieces soon.
Motor City Open is an annual squash tournament in Detroit. It's very exciting, as the best players from across the globe come out to compete. However, their old site didn't communicate that at all. I had a lot of fun here capturing the movement, passion, and style of the sport in this design. Utilizing textures and motifs from squash culture and mixing them with my old web design style was key here, and I couldn't be more pleased with how it came out. Look for this redesign to take over their site before 2016's tournament.
Sometimes the simplest things on paper can become the most involved and thought out projects in practice. This was the case for me with Sally Hershberger 24K. The initial idea was to take multiple social accounts and merge them in one cohesive unit, showing product, lifestyle, and salon content. In doing so, I proposed a general style for the designed pieces: touches of gold.
To me, it's a no brainer to play up the brand's trademark in these social posts. However, I am proud of the amount of variance between posts. For proudct shots, I utilized black and gold assets like dust, paint, and liquid to not only tie in with the brand & style, but also reinforce what the product is all about (such as dust for sprays, liquids for conditioning treatments, etc). With this, we also integrated touches of gold into editorial shots of models whose hair Sally personally touched. These ranged from the subtle flecks of gold to the bold paint splatters or bars.
With Magic Moments' quick 3-step process, users will be able to choose a product, customize it, and turn these magical moments into tangible keepsakes forever. You can choose from a ton of products, such as personalized hats, mugs, iPhone/iPad cases, t-shirts and more. It's the quickest & easiest way to make personalized products from your favorite photos.
For this project, I was given a logo, colors, and a brief on the general style. From there, I went to town, creating all of the styles and deciding the structure of the application. Through trial, error, and putting myself in the user's place, the process and style was refined to make things as easy as possible.
Fun Fact: my boss appeared on Shark Tank with his partners. The concept was torn apart by the sharks, but I'd like to think they'd like the design.
Metabolic Nutrition is the real deal. In a world full of supplements that may or may not work, Metabolic backs their products with science. The difference in quality is clear, and their customers know that. The trick is getting those who don't know to pay a few more dollars for an premium product.
At Blue Wheel Media, we explored Metabolic's competitors, as well as what made them different. One of our takeaways was how you can feel the product working right away. This sparked the 'Unleash your Superhero' campaign, utilizing their Metabolic Man mascot and letting viewers know that their potential is infinite, but Metabolic can help them become the best they can be.
With this new campaign came a new, responsive web site design. We removed the massive clutter of their old site and opted for cleaner, impactful imagery and styles. A big concern was making the scientific information readily available to the public, so promoted this with a science center and 'ask our scientist' feature to answer the tough questions.
Along with typical product pushes, we also added a hall of heroes, further showing off how normal people and fitness elite alike can achieve greatness with Metabolic Nutrition.
Please take a look at the full site here.
My father was a carpenter & now he flips houses in his retirement. I've helped him a bit, and I know that any sort of remodeling is NOT cheap. However, there are ways to cut the costs down, and using Cabinets To Go is one of them. This document breaks down remodeling costs, cost vs. value, and costs by region. It then goes on to compare cost to value and how much can be potentially recouped later on. In the end, the advantage is clear, CTG just flat out wins.
For the style of this, I really wanted to take a DIY styling to it; rough and real. With most major content pieces, we have the license to focus more on the 'cool factor' and less on branding. No matter how cool something is, if it's overly branded, no one wants to share it. Anyway, I focused on laying everything out as simply as possible, using the best tool for each job. In the end, this is one of my favorite content pieces.
Salads UP is a fast-casual restaurant in Ann Arbor, MI. While at Blue Wheel Media, I was able to brand Salads UP from the ground up. I created & refined the logo, site, menu, flyers, ads, and so much more. I even consulted on interior & exterior design, as well as packaging. Blue Wheel was completely integrated on all design decisions.
You can view the live site here & pick yourself up something fresh next time you're in Ann Arbor.
The Detroit Opera House had a lot going for it. The interior was breathtaking (and I don't use that term often). It was a treat just walking around the inside, viewing the ornate details & sculptural aspects, and just feeling surrounded by class. The shows that they put on were also top-notch & entertaining even to those who would never feel the urge to see them otherwise. The main issue DOH wanted to resolve is getting a younger crowd to the scene. For that, my project partner & friend Nick Moore got to work problem solving and rebranding DOH.
The first step we saw was to upgrade their logo. It worked, but it lacked a definite flare and could easily get lost in the crowd. Taking inspiration from the shapes & imagery within the structure, as well as the feelings we had while there, we decided that the logo should contain both class & structure. We simply shortened Detroit Opera House to DOH, but in our minds each letter also meant more than that. The D referred to Dance, the O is (of course) Opera, and the H stands for Histronics (a fancy word for Theatre). In the structure, we saw Opera as taking center stage, with Dance & Histronics protecting & supporting it. This was a metaphor for how we saw the company. Opera was it's main appeal, but Dance & Theatre also helped it flourish. Without all of these pieces, DOH would not be able to survive. We also added the "crown" at the top as it's default. The crown system comes into play in the next image, but this top hat simply emphasized the "class" of DOH, while acting as an official mark (this seal would be used for anything dealing with DOH as a whole).
Here we move onto the different categories of DOH. We pulled the colors straight from the decor inside & developed different crowns for each of the main aspects. Dance was represented by the tiara, as well as the deep red. The red symbolized the energy & passion of Dance. Opera was represented by the viking helmet, as well as the gold. The gold symbolizes both the class associated with opera, as well as makes it stand out most out of the three. Lastly, Theatre is represented by the deep blue, as well as the king's crown. The deep blue represents the various feelings that Theatre can invoke from you, such as sadness.
We found it important to create these specific crowns / sub-logos to allow the viewer to know what is relevant to their interests, as well as to allow them to subscribe to just one category of entertainment. This allowed people to support both the Detroit Opera House as a whole, but a certain aspect as well. This is later employed further through pins & letterheads.
The business cards kept the official seal & shape of the logo. The diamond it creates further emphasizes luxury & class that DOH is all about, as well as sets this card apart from others, making it memorable to anyone who receives it.
The back side is intricate & detailed, much like the decor within. While the copy side is simple & elegant, like much of the entertainment. The crown system is also employed here, because most letters sent would be in reference to a certain show or donate that a patron made who belongs to a certain area of interest (like fans of Dance, fans of Opera, etc).
The envelopes were kept very low-key, but also eye-catching. We used the logo & simple lines of other pieces but made it appealing to the eye by making everything gold. "Who wouldn't want to get a gold envelope in the mail?" was our motto for this. I know that if I got a bunch of letters with this in the mix, I'd open the gold one first.
These pins would be sold to raise quick cash from patrons, as well as to spread the word of DOH. We created several shades of each primary color (deep, regular, light) with crowns. This allowed people to be fans of & show support for both DOH as a whole, as well as a certain aspect.
For patrons who donated a large amount, we created a thank you card & small gift of a monocle. This also showcases the employment of our mascot. My partner for the project & I both believed that any company needs a mascot, so we employed a moustachio'd face to DOH. He acted a merchandising agent, as well as a way to get a younger audience involved.
We end with the t-shirts of our mascot (screenprinted with the help of Nick's brother, Nate Moore with VG Kids in Ypsilanti, MI). These would be used to raise money (much like the pins) and to show support. We wanted to create something that most people would want to wear (as well as ourselves) but also distinctly showed support for DOH.
In fact, I still wear mine.
'Your Detroit' started as a reference booklet given to any members of the Bedrock Real Estate family of companies in Detroit. While it never came to fruition due to a rebranding effort which resulted in a complete rehaul of the booklet in-house, The booklet got through every step shy of production, including a 'final' proof.
The process was long and intensive. The style of the booklet did not reference Bedrock's old, colorful and eclectic style. We came up with and presented many different styles, ranging from colorful and artistic to muted and modern, finally ending at a sleek black and gold.
The entire production process was handled, from discussing possibilities with local printers, initial ideation for materials and treatments, digital mockups, and samples & proofing. The process was long and, while this concept wasn't used, I am still proud of the result.
Pretty clueless when it comes to home decor? Don't worry about it, the Cabinets To Go - Cabinet Selector is here to help. I worked closely with the editorial team at Blue Wheel Media to put together a web quiz to find the perfect cabinets for your tastes. It's a quick 5 step process that narrows your taste down to the CTG style that best suits you. As you go through, you can select each option to preview it, then select it to move on. Once finished, you have the option to share on social, find out more about your perfect cabinets, or even take the quiz over again.
While at Blue Wheel Media, we had a ton of diverse clients. Ranging from cabinets, to beer, to sex toys, and nutritional supplements; We really had a range. That's why social posts were always a lot of fun. Weekly I would get a batch of requests from the social team & would create a batch of posts. I worked with them to think up the best ideas & approaches to get the most engagement. Here's is a mixed bag of my favorite posts from our clients.
Beer quotes were my specialty for Frankenmuth Brewery. For personal quotes, we used images of their faces to have a personal touch and relation to the viewer. For more vague quotes, we used beer & lifestyle images.
Nitro-Pak is a prepping powerhouse. We centered the strategy behind a few series. The first is the 'What to do' series. I would make images for different bad scenarios and the caption would give advice. We also had a quote series, which is fairly constant for most clients, as they tend to get a lot of engagement. Lastly, we had a Prepping 101 series that both pushed product and also gave survival tips.
It was always a treat to design social posts for Lover's Lane. Our sex position series was a blast, which I thought would be nice to theme for different times of the year. That's why you see Santa giving it to Mrs. Claus and the Creature From the Black Lagoon riding a Zombie. The other is a 'Hump Day' series that illustrates quotes in a very stark, tongue-in-cheek style. Whatever the series, Lover's Lane images were always a blast.
The Kitchen Survival Guide was a major content piece for Cabinets To Go. The main intention here was to create an infographic about typical dangers in the kitchen & steps to be safer. It lived on the CTG website as a research and was also made a branded standalone graphic for partner sites. I worked closely with the editorial team at Blue Wheel Media to make sure the content and design were in harmony, each of us sharing ideas and making adjustments as needed. It was a lot of fun!
I teamed up with Nick Moore on this project & it was tons of fun. We have both lived in Detroit for a few years and noticed that while it gets a bad reputation, it has plenty to offer. No one should be sad to live there & we wanted to make sure that they weren’t! Drawing inspiration from the hand-painted signs of local businesses, we created a series of seventeen hand-drawn & painted posters. We wheat-pasted them (shhh) in different locations around the city (but strictly on abandoned buildings). We believe that a few kind words can really turn a person’s day around (even if it is from a poster). Our aim is to make the city happier, one poster at a time.
Check out other shots of these posters on Cheer up! Detroit's tumblr!
I've been drawing as long as I can remember. Whether it was Garfield & Bart Simpsons as a kid (& adult), to more refined stuff later on, I've never gotten tired of it. Good or not-so-good, drawing chills me out & makes me feel accomplished. Here's a bit of a taste into some of my favorite recent illustrations that I've done.
The Shadow Art Fair was a celebration of all sorts of unusual, offbeat and creative works, with music and more. A variety of local artists, crafts people and other creative types would get together to sell & buy art. They had a poster contest each year & submitted a design for the summer of 2010. I created a poster with my two favorite things at the time: hand lettering and monsters. Needless to say, I won (why else would I post this here) and was pleased to see my design printed on a ton of posters & t-shirts. RIP Shadow Art Fair, you were one of a kind & I am glad to have been a part of it.