Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Information Graphics: Government Style

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has created a redesign of its Fuel Economy and Environmental Comparison labels that are legally required to be posted on all new vehicles for sale in the U.S. Information graphics are a challenge on any given day but especially so when it's dealing with such a hot button topic.

All new cars and light-duty trucks sold in the U.S. are required to have a label that displays fuel economy information that is designed to help consumers make easy and well-informed comparisons between vehicles. Most people recognize the current label (or “window sticker”) by the gas tank graphic and city and highway Miles Per Gallon (MPG) information. EPA has provided fuel economy estimates in City and Highway MPG values for more than 30 years.

EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are updating this label to provide consumers with simple, straightforward energy and environmental comparisons across all vehicles types, including electric vehicles (EV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), and conventional gasoline/diesel vehicles. The agencies are incorporating new information, such as ratings on fuel economy, greenhouse gas emissions, and other air pollutants, onto the label as required by the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007.

The agencies are proposing two different label designs (see right) and are eager to gather public input. Specifically, which design, or design features, would best help you compare the fuel economy, fuel costs, and environmental impacts of different vehicles.

I voted already! For your chance to do the same, go here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The House That Nat Built.

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While working for Capitol/EMI as an in-house Production Designer, our Creative Services department was eventually moved into the legendary digs of the Capitol Records tower in Hollywood. I couldn't have been more thrilled, of course, especially when I was granted my own office on the 8th floor with windows and a full view of the Hollywood sign and its rolling hills.

And not unlike Richard Dreyfuss in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" with Devil's Tower, I had a penchant for drawing the tower during meetings, at home, etc. Thankfully, of course, I never worked into mashed potatoes or worse. Included above is one such drawing of mine from 2008, done from memory.

As a buff of both history and music, I reveled in the every square inch of its circular interior, as designed by architect Welton Becket. From attending staff mixers in the historic Capitol Studios having access to Frank Sinatra's microphone and Nat King Cole's piano to seeing the likes of Barry Manilow and more in the lobby and thinking of every artist who walked those halls from The Beatles, Beach Boys and Les Paul to The Band and Beastie Boys. Indeed, the tower and its past were a constant source of inspiration for both me and my design.

* All photos by yours truly except lower right, taken by Steve Silvas.

To download a 34 page, 4.5mb PDF I created featuring historic images, postcards, beautiful pages from the grand opening booklet from April 1956 and more – simply email me at and I'll send it your way.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


(click image to visit portfolio site)

Looking ahead to a new calendar year, I wanted to create a PORTFOLIO-specific site that would allow my work to be viewed with ease while also allowing the blog to stand on its own exclusively as a blog. New work, along with a weekly blog, will continue to appear here at the Blogspot address of course. To visit the portfolio in the future, feel free to click on the links to the right to access the portfolio site at any time.

While always a tedious venture, going through one's professional archives is a fun experience to see what pieces stand out after all of these years. Naturally, I focused on work over the past 3-4 years but occasionally an oldie-but-goody will appear now and again for good measure!

Check it out at your leisure and, as always, thanks for stopping by. – Cheers, Tom b.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Roger Gorman & I at PCA&D

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On Friday, November 12th at 10:00 a.m., I'll be hosting an open-to-the-public Q&A between Roger Gorman & I in the Atrium at PCA&D. Roger's work has been honored with design awards from the Art Directors Clubs of New York and Los Angeles, the Society of Publication Designers, the American Institute of Graphic Arts, ID magazine and Print magazine. His music clients range from Metallica and Helmet to David Bowie and John Lennon while his corporate clients include MTV, VH-1, Coca-Cola, Bacardi, Exxon, and more.

As the founder of Reiner Design, graduate of St. Martin's College of Art & Design in London and Grammy-winning designer of David Bowie's Sound + Vision box set – Roger & I worked together on several projects, most notably the highly-acclaimed coffin box set for The Misfits where Roger brought to life my vision for the packaging as I cared to my A&R duties.

Together Roger & I will be discussing his entire career, sharing anecdotes of designing for the music, corporate and publishing industries, and delving both verbally and visually into many works from his archives..

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

2010 Collage Annual Report

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Featuring cover art by students Sean Marley (left) and Julianna Jordi (right), the 8-page, the 2010 Collage Annual Report is complete. Front cover art is above while the back cover is below.