I've designed it all, including logos, brochures, posters, advertisements, business cards, billboards and multi-page publications. I've done it for convention and visitors bureaus, holistic health counselors, jewelry makers, gym owners, bands, and presidential campaigns. I've won some awards for it, too. If you're interested in effective work for a fair price, e-mail me and we can talk about how Northcoast Zeitgeist can help you.
When things break right, design can be a classic case of "one thing leads to another". The first of the above logos is the symbol of the Liberal Blog Advertising Network, a group that boasts more than 100 members and several million views each day. When Taegan Goddard, himself an influential blogger, saw the logo, he sought out my help for banners for three of his sites, Political Insider, Political Books and Political Stuff. Both projects were quite enjoyable and presented the perfect opportunity to combine my interest in design and progressive politics.
When I worked for the Convention and Visitors Bureau of Greater Cleveland, we sought to expand support for the city's many cultural opportunities through the innovative Late Out/Late In program. Employees of local companies participating in the program could, with a ticket stub from a Cleveland arts offering, arrive late to work the next day. The inspired idea, with its "Get Late" tagline, needed an equally edgy identity, and I think the Barbara Kruger-esque logo suited it quite well. This logo option for San Francisco Natural Medicine - done for sometime collaborator David Kerr - includes a nice mix of earthy colors and a simple, yet effective, icon, the bridge/leaf combination.
I'm a sucker for simple shapes combined with evocative typefaces. The first for health counselor, cooking coach, and guest-of-Emeril Cindy Klein brought together her chosen symbol, the apron, with a slightly off-balance seal. The middle logo, for Casey's photography, brought together the bold square and an inviting typeface. Finally, who doesn't love cupcakes? When your signature product has such a recognizable outline, your design choices are as easy as a good cupcake is tasty.
I love when type itself is all you need to get your point across. The logo on the left is for an individual who provides bookkeeping, accounting and administrative services. She wanted to explore a look that was strong, yet feminine, and with a modern color scheme. I love the final outcome - how the "R" and "Q" interact, the color scheme, etc. - and working with this client was a pleasure. Moving to the right, the job was to come up with logo options for a local high school's sports collective. The school's old logo was an interlocking "U" and "S", reminiscent of the Notre Dame identity. For this look, I wanted a more up-to-date, more aggressive pairing of the letters.
Keeping with the sports theme, the above two logos were a part of a larger package for one company's regional meeting, at which its employees would be split into teams. Provided with only team names as direction, I sought to fuel both my love of crest-like identities and subtle visual puns. With the Patriots logo, I wanted to combine a red, white, and blue color scheme with a vaguely Eastern Bloc typeface. For the Cyclones, incorporating the hurricane warning flag led to a simple solution.
While working for Ohio University and participating in a graduate-level sports marketing class, I helped create the O Zone, the official student cheering section for the Bobcats' sports teams. When the group wanted a new logo, I didn't let the fact I had left Athens and no longer worked for the university get in the way of providing several options. In these, I love the mix of school colors and a collegiate typeface. I'm also a sucker for thinking of as many combinations of logos for each project as possible.
When I design logos, I often start in black and white, or a shade of gray, because I think that an effective logo should work in one color. Sometimes, these logos never stray too far from their monochromatic roots. I love the structural nature of the Frank Blau logo, while the industrial look of the Metalplay logo served as a great complement to the jewelry itself. Above, too, is an early version our own logo, intended to put our home state at the center of the universe. Ohio pride!
The Foundation for Community Betterment
The Night of a Million Stars cover served as an e-mail invitation for The Foundation for Community Betterment, a great organization. Since the event was held at Washington's Madame Tussauds was museum, the atmosphere lent itself rather nicely to a celebrity, tabloid look. The two pieces below were parts of an online invitation the organization sent to promote a casino night to commemorate its 10th anniversary. I really enjoyed playing with the classic Las Vegas theme.
Sick Around the World
After all of the work we did during the election, my first return engagement in progressive-minded design came with the opportunity to design the poster promoting a local showing of the FRONTLINE documentary "Sick Around the World". I produced this for the Portage County Democratic Party.
12 Crafts of Christmas
These were logo options I provided for a holiday-themed, paint-centered craft project initiative. I wanted both a different take on the traditional seasonal colors and to avoid an overly decorative appearance.
I had the opportunity at work to participate on the label design process for a then-new paint product by Dutch Boy, Refresh, which comes infused with Arm & Hammer Odor Eliminating Technology and 0 VOC. It was a fast-paced, challenging process, and the above label was one of the finalists.
My Yard Our Message
In 2008, The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, mnartists.org and The UnConvention, a nonpartisan group seeking to foster the free exchange of ideas surrounding that year's political conventions, came together to sponsor My Yard Our Message. This contest took the election-year concept of yard signs and spun it to allow artists, designers and anyone else to submit their designs for yard signs around the theme of "what it means to actively participate in a democracy".
From there, the public voted on submissions. The top 50 chosen were available to order as a full-sized political yard signs, available for free download and - even better - were printed and placed in the neighborhoods throughout Minneapolis/St. Paul, where the 2008 Republican National Convention was held.
I submitted five signs, and art directed five others with copy written by Scott Eaton, a copywriter friend and colleague. Of our 10 total signs, seven earned a spot in the coveted top 50 (the top seven depicted above). For perspective, there were roughly 300 final submissions and more than 24,000 votes cast.
We're two things at Northcoast Zeitgeist. One, we're in love our planet, and try to be good stewards. Two, we're in love with the design of the past, especially the posters of the New Deal-era Works Progress Administration. One weekend this winter, trapped inside thanks to another gray, rainy Kent weekend, Casey and I collaborated on these two posters, our tribute to the past.