Wednesday, December 2, 2009

wall art

Remember back in the day when we took pictures and had to bring our film to be "processed"? Only to find out a few days later that there were really only a few good pictures in that whole roll of film we shot of the kids.
Yeah, well here they are.
Seriously, I have boxes and albums filled with pictures of life. Kids at all stages, family vacations, holidays, the house, the garden, you name it. Sitting high on the top shelf in my closet, safe and sound, is a life chronicled for future generations to study.
I recently hauled out those boxes with the intent of pulling some pictures out to enlarge, frame, and decorate a suddenly empty wall in my family room (I'd just had a furniture re-arranging "episode"... another story altogether).
Here’s my humble advice if you too, have an archive of family snapshots boxed up in your closet and an empty wall...
First, when sorting through your collection, look for people pictures where the head takes up most of the picture area. If you try to enlarge a tiny head it will get fuzzy, and the drama in these images comes from cropping tight to the subject so the focus is on the expressions rather than the backgrounds.
Second, either scan the images in grayscale (black and white) or convert them to black and white after they are scanned. Most scanning software includes some basic editing tools that include this option. Explore any other options you have within your scanning software, until you are satisfied with the results. I edited these in Photoshop- adusting the brightness and contrast, and sharpness. You can achieve these effects with any basic scanning software.
Third, frame and hang. Matted grames are a must for an artistic look. I used basic black frames bought at Kohl's on sale.

Monday, October 26, 2009

This is a design I did recently for a T-shirt. Simple in concept, simple in execution, and a direct hit with the client. So straightforward, I really don't think I need to explain the thought process. Sometimes it goes like that and you are upgraded from "illustrious" to "goddess". Thanks, Principal Fidler, for the opportunity to design without constraints.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

recent work

Poster recently completed for the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center in Hartford.

Friday, July 24, 2009

she calls me her personal graphic designer

...and she typically calls be the day before her design project is due. It’s usually a program ad for a production that one of her kids is in. In the beginning she would come over with her pictures in hand, text mapped out on a piece of scrap paper, and a bottle of wine. She would sit beside me while I put my spin on her ideas. There would be some back and forth about type styles and sizes, and on occasion it would take more than one glass of wine before we were both satisfied.

Somewhere along the way she began to trust me to weed through a selection of pictures and a pile of words by myself, without wine. She understands that more than likely the perfect quotes or song snippets that she sought long and hard for would be ignored and replaced by a word or two that marry perfectly with the visual. One look, that’s all it should take to communicate the essence of a message.

Our history together as designer and client is not unlike most of the relationships I have with my design clients. Clients typically start out hovering, convinced that they need to over-provide direction and details. It often takes at least one project before they understand that they need not provide the solutions– that’s my job.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The company I've been keeping...

After literally being consumed with t-shirt design and printing for nearly two months, I've taken a break and gone back to my print design roots to work on this exciting project for Sells USA. Sells Goalkeeper Products has developed an undeniable brand across the pond- their gloves are worn by high profile keepers like Ben Foster of Manchester United (pictured above). My friends at Goal Sporting Goods have become the exclusive distributor for Sells here in the US and I have been fortunate enough to be able to design the US marketing materials.
Pictured below are some of the spreads from the catalog we're working on. Nothing quite validates the product like having the big guys wearing the gloves on the same page you're selling them!
Oh, and about the title to this post... I wish

Below is a full-page ad for Eurosport. The future of goalkeeping is in good hands. Good to know.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Duke's Closet: First Printing

It was a big day in the print shop today.
The t-shirt designs I have been working on for months on end finally went from my computer screen to ink on cotton, so to speak. While years of experience in the graphic design industry have prepared me for what to expect when my designs go from computer to traditional print, I was somewhat apprehensive about what the results in the screenprinting shop would be.
The ink colors, chosen from my trusty PMS swatch book had to be mixed from our screenprinting inks by eye without the advantage of any formulas.
Flip did an awesome job, I compared his Tupperware containers of inks to the swatches and decided we were ready for the next big step- putting them on cotton.

At this point I'm still unsure though as to how these colors will "sit" on the t-shirts. Will they need an underbase of white to show their true colors? I didn't plan for that. We had enough screens to burn already without making extras for a base coat of white for each design.
Time to stop second guessing and ink up!

We started with the Ladies' collection since most were one color. We had a couple of t-shirt color options for each design and tested colors on additional t-shirts just for future referece. Overall, the results were just as I had envisioned them.

Now for the challenge of the mens' collection. Most of these designs are three color, and the images themselves are more "complicated". This is one of three screens for the "Woodies" design.

We ran into a little glitch on this one. While I like the colors, the design. particularly the Woodies in the background became a little difficult to read. This one is going back to the art department for some revisions. This is R&D!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

more found art

Apparently Justin is making good use of his vacation week time. I love this artwork-a combination of two photo images turned graphic. I could learn a thing or two from this kid. The best creative discoveries are made when we have the time to play and experiment. Those times are just too infrequent.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Friday, February 6, 2009

a couple for the guys

Stock image converted to grayscale, bumped up contrast and bitmapped, combined with surfer silhouette- traced in Illustrator from another stock image. Waves scanned from a surfing magazine, contrasted and otherwise manipulated in Photoshop. I don't suppose I could retrace my steps if I had to, but that's the gist of how this evolved. Now, how to translate to a t-shirt?

Same basic technique here. (RI highlighted for the Rhode Island surf crowd)

Ladies’ Collection

That's it for now. We can expand from here to offer different color t-shirts and hoodies, but it's time to pull the design plug and start printing samples. "BEACHTOWN USA" is the "placeholder for the name drop. Five weeks to showtime! (click on any image to enlarge)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

weekend work

Some early proofs of the new men's line for Duke’s Closet. We have a booth at the Cape Cod New England Gift Show in March. I'm really scrambling to get some samples designed and printed. And I have all sorts of ideas about how I want the booth to look. Did I mention that it was March 2009, not 2010?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Found Art

If you leave stuff on my computer it might show up on my blog.
I'm just sayin’.
This is a project Justin made for his latest facebook profile picture. Kinda cool. He is graduating from high school in June and plans on going to college to study graphic design.
The only real advice I gave both of my sons regarding college and careers was “Do what you love- you’ll spend a good part of your life working.”
They both listened.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

In the name of research

We added a screenprinting studio to our design business five years ago. We design and print t-shirts for a growing number of local businesses, schools and organizations. I spend a lot of time on the web researching the screenprinting industry- particularly ways to make our operation more eco-friendly.
Well, I’m easily distracted sometimes... and, you know how it goes when you are surfing the web... one thing leads to another and ultimately your “research” leads you to something like this:

Monday, January 19, 2009

What's your pledge?

As we approach the inauguration of Barack Obama there is much talk of all Americans pitching in to help fix what’s wrong with our country. Very reminiscent of JFK's inaugural address that prompted us to “Ask not what our country can do for us, but we can do for our country”, Obama’s call to service speaks to each and every one of us.
I have taken the call to heart and have been giving a lot of thought to what my pledge will be.
I’ve been volunteering at some level ever since the kids were little- helping 3rd graders with math problem solving, participating on the board of the daycare where Justin and Curt went, and serving as Middle School ski club chaperone for 4 years. Later, and currently I volunteer as secretary of the East Hampton Soccer Club, founder of EHSC Friends of Soccer and president of the East Hampton High School Sports Boosters.
Where do I go from here? While acknowledging that my plate is pretty full right, now, I somehow still feel the need to make a new commitment. I have an idea what it will be, but I'll think it through before I share.
How about you? Have you thought about a pledge?
MySpace Celebrity and Katalyst present The Presidential Pledge