April 22, 2013

America Loves a Comeback Story

I’m going to resurrect this here blog. The deeper into advertising and my professional career I get, (ironically) the more cool tidbits and whatnots don’t make it out the door.

They need a home, so stay tuned. Or Don’t. 


April 5, 2012

Typography: Spade & Archer

for a project I was doing with designer/pal Brandon Schaefer. Thought it was worth sharing.

(Source: spandenarcher)


November 1, 2011

Making Things

old photo I like that I took of a former co-worker.


September 23, 2011

PUBLISHED: Boxed and Labeled 2

I recently had the good fortune of being published alongside my longtime partner in crime Brent Anderson in a book about labels and packaging by excellent German publisher Gestalten called “Boxed and Labeled 2”. 

They feature some advertising work on a liquor-store takeover for my old comic strip Middlebrow (RIP) where we (illegally) re-labeled existing beer boxes with our own custom “Middle Brau” label. Fun times. 

You can purchase a copy of the book and see all the other excellent work from far superior designers than myself HERE.


September 14, 2011

ALBUM COVER: Relient K

I was recently hired to do the album artwork for pop-punk act Relient K's forthcoming covers album “K is for Karaoke" and I’m really pleased with how it came out. The concept is pretty self-explanatory, but I think it’s got a fun vibe their fans will appreciate, and the custom lettering was an exciting challenge.

If you’re a fan of pop-punk in general, and covers of Justin Bieber (that are better than they have any right to be) in specific, you should pick it up.

Available in-stores and online October 4th.


July 25, 2011

Comm Arts

I recently had the good fortune of being featured in Communication Arts “Fresh” section. Head over there to check it out and hear a few thoughts I’ve got rolling around. 


April 1, 2011

Silver Screen Society: The Third Man

Making a rare foray into film design for the Silver Screen Society with one of my favorite films – The Third Man. Check out the other great work for the film at Silver Screen Society.


March 29, 2011

Album Art: Hidden Pictures – Synchronized Sleeping

Hidden Pictures, a band I’ve been working with for a few years now, is launching their first full-length of super-catchy indie pop in about a week titled “Synchronized Sleeping.” I’ve finally got my hands on a physical copy and wanted to give you the first look.

I had a lot of fun working on this project as I hope you can tell.

The music has lots of layers (horns, keys, glockenspiel, steel guitar, etc.) so I wanted to do something that felt really eclectic, with no discernible era. A lot of the illustrations are pulled from the lyrics, which are thankfully very visually evocative. 

One concern was not making it too cluttered, and pacing the style across the different panels, as to not exhaust the viewer. I limited the illustration to two main panels and I think it solved the problem well enough, with an extra solid hit of color for the disc face to break up any feeling of monotony.  

So there you have it. It was pretty labor-intensive, but I’m really happy with the result and feel privileged to work for a band that allows a ton of creative freedom.

*note: special thanks to Brandon Schaefer and my brother Austin for some helpful advice/inspiration. 


January 5, 2011

Logo: Stir

A buddy of mine recently started his own branding firm called Stir, specializing in the food and beverage industry, and I helped him out with some design (such as this logo). I’ve done business cards and some other stuff, but until I get some decent photos taken, this will have to do.

If you follow the link you’ll probably recognize some of my own work, as the proprietor Brent is a frequent collaborator. 


November 2, 2010

Hidden Pictures – Whitney Houston

One project I’m consistently pleased to be a part of is working for Hidden Pictures, a band in my home town. I’m a legitimate fan of the band, so it’s easy coming up with work for them. For a couple of EPs they’ve put out, I collaborated with ultra-talented New Zealand photographer Andrew Smith and the latest (now available for purchase) is called Whitney Houston. Amazingly enough, more than one of the songs actually has a Whitney Houston reference. 

It’s been good to collaborate with such a talented photographer. He really does most the legwork, with me mainly contributing typography. I essentially found his stuff online, hit him up, and he was willing to work with me. Not every day someone is that approachable, so you need to acknowledge it when it goes your way.

I highly recommend the album itself, which you can purchase at the bands BANDCAMP website. It’s pretty straight-forward pop rock, but well crafted and catchy as all get out. Also check out their previous EP Choosing Sides


September 2, 2010

Medicine + Science

An iron I’ve had in the fire for a great many weeks (months?), is the new redesign of Kansas University’s medical journal Kansas Medicine + Science. The project was an embarrassment of riches in respect to working with enormously talented illustrators and photographers. Keith Negley Nazario Graziano, and Michael Forester especially brought their A-game. I designed and Art Directed the whole issue, and I even got to do a few of my own illustrations, including a paper-sculpture of a brain (that was then photographed). It was a lot of fun to work on, and I’d definitely consider it a success. Head over to my portfolio to see more (and larger) images, and for some running commentary check it out below…

Cover Illustration by Keith Negley highlighting a story about children’s prescription medicine.

Photography by Kenny Johnson. This is the “news and tidbits” section at the beginning of the issue. I tried to create a photo-concept that was highly structured and would encapsulate the new, more refined and clean approach to the redesign. 

Illustration by me. For a story about the uncertain future of electronic medical records, I wanted to create an image that drew from popular iconography like the monolith in 2001 and 1984, to show how intimidating the future can seem to those at the foot of the mountain.

Detail of my illustration

Illustration by Nazario Graziano. Trying to come up with imagery for a story about Native Americans isn’t the easiest without seeming patronizing or offensive. Using a foreign citizen like Nazario lent some much needed objectivity to the matter.

Illustration by me. I assembled this out of paper, foam-core, and transparencies. I wanted a less-conventional approach for a story about the brain’s impact on over-eating. Each layer has bits of foam to give it depth. Then I photographed it. 

Detail of my illustration.

Photography by Forester. This was an interesting shoot, because this guy is extremely short, and the concept called for making him look like a bit of a badass. So we shot him at the top of a downward sloping hallway, keeping his head aligned with the top of the windows, giving the illusion of height. Also, the story has to do with the impact of oxygen (or lack thereof) on cerebral palsy, so the layout is inspired by an oxygen molecule.

Photography by ForesterFor a story about a family with a 3-year old diagnosed with Leukemia, I wanted to show how the family keeps a light heart in the face of overwhelming difficulty. The solution was a “photobooth” set up in the family’s living room. The central figure was understandably uncomfortable with being put on display, but after some coaxing (and making lots of funny-faces and light-saber noises) he came around and the whole family seemed to enjoy the experience. 

So those are some of the highlights. if you want to see more, head over to my homepage

 Created at Design Ranch. Creative Directors Ingred Sidie and Michelle Sonderegger.


August 26, 2010

Redesign and Relocation

Salutations and welcome to my once and future blog. Mercy killed the wordpress blog and now I’m going to be doing things good and proper here on Tumblr. I redesigned my personal brand and I have a new Website as well. 

ad astra per aspera.