Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Best Music Of 2011

(click to enlarge the awesomeness that is Sweden's Ghost)

Music plays a major part in both my personal and design lives, of course. Could I forge forward through a long night or a tough day of design without the help of music? It's possible but very, very hard to imagine.

2011 was the year that saw Ghost's debut album being released in the U.S. and subsequently locking in my Album of the Year award. With that said, here's an overview of my favorite music released in 2011.

• Adele, 21
• The Atlas Moth, An Ache For The Distance
• Book of Black Earth, The Cold Testament
• The Civil Wars, Barton Hollow
• Ghost, Opus Eponymous †††
• Graveyard, Hisingen Blues
• PJ Harvey, Let England Shake
• *Shels, Plains of the Purple Buffalo
• Thrice, Major/Minor
• Times of Grace, The Hymn Of A Broken Man

††† Album of the Year

• Adele, "Rolling In The Deep"
• Anathema, "A Simple Mistake"
• The Atlas Moth, "Holes In The Desert"
• Book of Black Earth, "Road Dogs From Hell"
• The Civil Wars, "20 Years"
• Death Ray Vision, "Get Lost Or Get Dead"
• Fucked Up, "Ship Of Fools"
• Ghost, "Ritual"
• Graveyard, "The Siren"
• My Morning Jacket, "Wonderful (The Way I Feel)"
• PJ Harvey, "On Battleship Hill"
• The New Recruits, "What Have We Got To Lose"
• Radiohead, "Codex"
• Rival Schools, "Shot After Shot"
• *Shels, "Butterflies (On Luci's Way)"
• Thrice, "Blinded"
• Times of Grace, "Where The Spirit Leads Me"
• Chelsea Wolfe, "Friedrichshain"

Happy New Year, everyone!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I've Got This House Under My Skin

(click image to enlarge)

Commissioned by a Chase Manhattan Bank heiress and completed in 1951, this beauty is all I'm asking for come Christmas this year. For a mere $12 million, I could be living in the long-time home of crooner-turned actor-turned cultural icon, Frank Sinatra.

He began renting it from Dora Hutchinson in the 1950s, during the height of his Rat Pack days, and lived within the 10,000-square foot, four bedroom main house that features a pool, a 1,000-square foot, one bedroom guest house with its own pool, and painstakingly gorgeous views all found on 14 acres that also include a vineyard and parking for up to 200 cars. It's surrounded by 3,000 acres of nature preserve and can apparently only be seen by helicopter due to its unique, hilltop locale. Did I mention Frank used to sublet the guest house to his close friend, Marilyn Monroe? Her pool was also the site of her final photo shoot while the the guest house is rumored to be the meeting spot for the late Monroe and President John F. Kennedy's affair.

How amazing is this place? Very. Now, if I could only reach 12 million people willing to send me just $2 each, I'll be able to not only buy the property but also pay for the taxes, upkeep, and a slew of great parties to thank everyone!

For more images and insight into the property, visit the Forbes online story here.

Also of note, for a post by Steven Heller featuring beautifully designed pages detailing the vision behind "The Town Of Tomorrow" at the 1939 World's Fair, go here.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hipsters In Print (Magazine)

(click image to enlarge)

I received the 2011 Print Magazine Regional Design Annual before the Thanksgiving holiday. With that said, I've got good news and bad news. Good news first, you say? No worries, let's have at it (hoss)…

The first bit of good news is that the Regional Design Annual is void of any mis-guided, sophomoric guest art direction and design. It's been an awful year for Print in this matter and I'm still trying to figure out who was worse: Metahaven or Kokoro & Moi. In the end, it wasn't the idea that was bad, it was simply who they picked to execute it that was.

Our second nugget of good news is that, as always, the design competition section of the book is chock-full of inspiring design work. I've always loved how the annual is split into sections by region, seeing as how each section of our country is greatly affected by its own vast and varied cultural influences. It's great stuff, by enlarge, despite it's largely hipster-leaning tendencies – which is nothing new for Print. And that leads me to the bad news…

The hipster frenzy within the design world of the 21st century continues to spiral out of control. Mind you, even the biggest hipster in the world isn't a hipster – or at least in their own mirror. To a hipster, it's always somebody else that's a hipster. It's funny how that plays out, but I digress…

In the design sense of the term, "hipster" is commonly defined by, but not limited to, your college pedigree, your musical tastes, where you live, who you know, how ironic you attempt to be, and – in recent years – your use of letterpress. For example, when we "Meet the Judges" on pg. 44, we meet 8 people chosen to review the work submitted this year. Here's a breakdown:

The Far West was curated by a German-born NYC-based designer who studied at SVA. The Southwest by an LA-born, Brooklyn-based designer. The Midwest by an NYC-based RISD graduate. The South by an NYC-based MICA graduate. The East from another couple of NYC-based designers who studied at MICA and SVA respectively. Ironically (and hipsters love irony, by the way), the NYC region was judged not by an NYC based designer but by Pam & Jake from Washington D.C.'s fantastic Design Army. Breaking all of the molds, they attended Radford and Penn State and are the exception to every rule set forth in this commentary. A welcome, and well-deserved, respite from the predictable patterns found in the other judges.

Now, this is not an indictment of the judge's themselves or their obvious talent, it's an indictment of Print Magazine and its limited, metro-bubble approach in representing both the graphic design world and all of the tunnel vision its actions generate. Three-quarters of the judges combine to represent only one city and 3 different schools. That's about as fair and balanced as network news. Which, in fact, is not balanced at all. That is, unless you believe there's nothing more balanced than NYC's design community judging the entire country's aesthetic from their cramped studio quarters while sipping coffee, eating vegan sushi, and bitching about the rest of the country's failures. Mind you, all of this is coming from a vegetarian designer who's lived 11 fantastic and inspiring years of his life in NYC and LA.

There's more hipster-related bad news that punches even harder at your (not-so) humble narrator's heartstrings. On pg. 21 you'll find "The Best Album Art of 2011," as chosen by a certain Portland, OR-based music critic named Douglas Wolk. It's worth noting that Portland is second only to Brooklyn in the world of hipster-mania. It's also worth noting that the quotation marks around pg. 21's headline in this paragraph were placed there as much for sarcasm as for proper punctuation.

Not unlike Pitchfork Media, a scenester-ridiculous website he also happens to write for, Douglas also breaks out of his 80% hipster band list with a token hip-hop title in order to show us just how well-rounded he is. Now, the Jay-Z and Kanye West album cover may be the cream of Douglas' crop this year but the Roseland and Battles covers are absolutely horrid and uninspired selections. His other titles, Fucked Up and The Weekend, are both solid work but not exactly "best of" material when culling from an entire year in the music industry on a worldwide scale. Assuming, of course, that that was what Douglas was indeed doing (which it certainly was not).

In the end, while album art is a creative outlet that faces different challenges than it did even 15 years ago, this is not a proper "best of of 2011" by any stretch of the imagination. Next year, Douglas might consider getting out a bit more and experiencing music beyond that of the elitist bubble of indie rock. And finally…

Typographical widows, or orphans, seem to not be a problem for the in-house staff at Print Magazine. Now, perhaps I'm missing the new trend here. Perhaps this wave of typographical anti-discipline that Print is cunningly generating in 2011 will make its way to the backwoods of America where the rest of us can join in one day. Until then, however, I'm going to continue both believing and knowing that widows are the result of lazy designers who are willing to accept less from their work.

There, I said it. I feel better.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

You Say You Want A Revolution?

(click image to enlarge)

Photos by Srfrjff

I recently spoke on the "Digital Media" panel at the Revolution Music Conference at Lebanon Valley College. Created and run by the students of the college, the conference featured live performances and 12 panels covering everything from music therapy, law, publishing, and beyond.

I joined fellow designer Mat Samuel, also a professor at LVC, and Andrew Pomeroy, a sound designer for MTV Studios and a former LVC student, to discuss the concept of visual and audio design and their influence in the industry. Moderated by Carrie Becker, a student seeking a dual-major in both Digital Communications and Music Business at LVC, I found that I wore two hats during the near-hour-long panel, drawing upon both my experience in the music industry as well as my design career.

After fielding a couple questions from the attendees regarding shifts in the industry and what an average day is like for us, I spoke at length with a father of a young man attending the event as well as another group of students with interest in the future of music. If only we knew what that was exactly, of course.

Overall, I had an excellent time spent on a beautiful campus with the politest group of young people I've been around in a long, long time. Oh, and a free (vegetarian-friendly) lunch to boot! Good stuff, for sure.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Contain(ing) My Excitement!

(click image to enlarge)

For more images from the package, go here.

I had the immense pleasure of creating a very deluxe package for the Devin Townsend Project which is now being shipped to fans around the world. What a treat to work on a project of this levity and intensity, for sure. The package's features include a 12" x 12" charcoal linen slipcase, a 64-page book, a 45.5" x 11.75" gatefold centerpiece, 6xCD, 2xDVD, and more.

Throughout the process, I received nothing but the fullest support for my concept from everyone involved – most notably Devin and the almighty Steve Joh. Much respect and many thanks to two of them and so many others. Now that it's made it through production, I'm beyond excited for fans to pick up a copy, dig in, and have fun experiencing everything for the first time.


My quotes from the press release:

Upon getting the call to work on what would become the "Contain Us" collection, I saw this as a chance to bring everything – both released and unreleased, seen and unseen – together in one clean, elegant, and utterly deluxe package.

I immediately began the process of developing a plan to bring that vision to fruition. As we all know, Devin is anything but cliché so eliminating dripping blood and the "none more black" approach was easy. Instead, I leaned away from all things metal and turned my aesthetics toward that of fine art, museums, and high-end printing methods. From the texture of the book and its slipcase to the feeling of the paper itself, I wanted everything to exude "class."

Devin & Co. were touring the states this past summer and I joined him in Philadelphia to both review my plans and to make sure we're on the same page. From the get-go, Devin & I were 100% in sync. To put it simply; the meeting could not have gone any smoother. For instance, the DTP albums and their concept inspired several aspects of my design concept and seeing those musical and lyrical ideas shift into the visual realm excited us both.

Hanging with Devin that day also gave me an opportunity to photograph both himself and the band behind the scenes. Several of those photographs can be found inside the album-sized book that contains approximately 250 rare or never-seen-before images culled from the band's personal archives, professional photographers from around the world, Devin's hand-written lyrics and studio notes, tour laminates, and pretty much everything in between.

"Contain Us" was no small task to coordinate, for any of us involved. However, seeing it all come together made it all worth it. Especially for me when I received an email from Devin saying: "Beyond cool. Seriously, way to knock it the FUCK out of the park bro!" Worth it, indeed.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The "Modern/Vintage" Look Book

Note: To view properly, click to "expand."

Recently, I had the opportunity to photograph a vacant building in the Financial District of Manhattan, NYC. Known simply by its address, 5 Beekman, the building had me wanting to not only capture my own photographic work but also to shoot something special for Sally Jane Vintage. Upon doing so, I put together a "look book" with a focus on the fashion and photography.

THE HISTORY: Designed in April 1881 as The Kelly Building (after builder, Eugene Kelly), christened Temple Court in March 1882, and built to completion in 1883 of brick and terra cotta, Temple Court was 165,000 square feet featuring 212 office suites, a vault of safe-deposit boxes, an atrium topped with a glass pyramid, and much more. It was the first-ever fireproof building in the city of New York and the third with an elevator. Due to (of all things) fire code violations, the atrium was boarded up in 1940. Hidden behind the drywall, tenants from that point on would never even know of the atrium's existence. This drywall, despite its sad aesthetic, served to help preserve the railings and their character for future use. Vacant for the last decade and obscured in the New York skyline until 2010, the (likely) future hotel is now in the midst of finalizing its ownership and subsequent plans for redevelopment.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Zombie Boy vs. Dermablend

Whoever conceived this is a genius…

Dermablend takes you behind the scenes at the "Go Beyond The Cover" video shoot with Zombie Boy (a.k.a. Rico Genest), shot on location at the Tuxedo Agency in Montreal.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

In The House Industries Cul-De-Sac: Pt. 2

(click image to enlarge)

As part of our annual retreat, this year the Typography 1 students, Maria Cummings-Miller, and I traveled through Amish Country en route to Yorklyn, DE and the House Industries studio. This year, co-founder Rich Roat headed up the tours that also included fantastic insight from type designer Ken Barber, illustrator Chris Gardner, and all-around guru Brian Awitan. It's worth noting that co-founder Andy Cruz is in Japan for a month working on projects with Hermes, Vogue Japan, and much more.

Much was discussed regarding their business' history, internal process, present and future projects, and how they've approached type and the letterform as works of art. I love having a yearly excuse to hang with old friends while introducing the students to a world where type is seemingly limitless! Overall, we had a beautiful day for the field trip and while I didn't bring my dSLR this year, these photos will do the trick this time around.

Note: The post for last year's visit can be found here.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

AIGA Central PA: FEED 2011

(click image to link)

This past week, the Central PA chapter of the AIGA hosted their annual FEED Conference. Featuring booths for Finch, Mohawk Neenah, the .918 Letterpress Club, and more – I also discovered a local letterpress printer in that of Thomas-Printers. The night also hosted the Moveable Type Truck, which got professionals and students alike super-psyched. One of my students, Jessica Messerschmidt, actually won Adobe CS5.5 in the drawing. Too cool. All in all, a nice night to nerd out with the regional design folk.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Process Behind: Gone Forever

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Back in 1999, upon receiving a freshly-mastered copy of the band's Reject the Sickness album from long-time friend, Alan Douches, I began the process of signing God Forbid to Century Media Records – where I was then Director of North American A&R.

Three years later, for their sophomore effort, I put together a futuristic/apocalyptic concept based on the original ideas set forth by guitarist Dallas Coyle for the "Better Days" single artwork.

As art director and designer for the project, I brought in Travis Smith to illustrate my ideas. I wanted a tri-fold front cover for the booklet that, when folded inside the jewel case, would display only one of the panels but when opened up would reveal the entire 3-panel landscape. On the back cover, we move forward slightly in time as the raven flies into the distance towards the ruined city.

In order to aid Travis in my vision, I created some seriously non-epic sketches in which he turned into several ridiculously epic illustrations! However, the sketches were a major part of the process and therefore set the tone for the final packaging.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Like A Rolling Stone (And Far Beyond)

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Best known for her 15 year stint at Rolling Stone magazine where she started as an associate and eventually became senior art director, Gail Anderson not only spoke at PCA&D's graduation ceremony but she returned this month to speak to the college as a whole.

An AIGA Medalist, Gail worked at length with fellow medalist, Fred Woodward in her years at America's longest-running and most influential music magazine. Later, she joined SpotCo, an entertainment design agency and has since written several books with Steven Heller (who may or may not have written several hundred himself) on my beloved topic of Typography.

She was honest, raw, and spirited – like the life of an artist should be. I laughed, I cried, and she even played some music that had a beat I could dance to. Not a bad way to spend a Monday morning, let me tell you. For photos and insight into her post-speaking engagement time spent with several juniors and seniors in the classroom, go here.

(All designs by Gail Anderson, or Gail Anderson & Fred Woodward)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


(Sketches and notes for Contain Us [click to enlarge])

I revamped and rearranged my studio this past summer in order to give myself a more inspiring workspace. New paint color, found objects, new (old) furniture, and a slew of framed collectibles and photographs now adorn the walls. The best part is that I also covered the main wall in black chalkboard paint. This allows me to sketch, make notes, and paste up inspirational pieces.

Above is a photograph of the current state of things immediately surrounding my computer monitor. It's the sketches and notes that really helped me organize an upcoming slipcase-bound, 8-disc, 64-page hardcover book that I both created and designed. With so many pieces to keep track of, I relied on these quite a bit to keep my head straight. The book will be out in time for the holidays and is now officially 100% into production. Fingers crossed that it's the beast it's lined up to be! More on this project soon…

(With my constant companion, Buddie [click to enlarge])

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Field Trip, NYC Style (2011)

(Matteo Bologna @ Mucca Design in Soho)

(click collages to enlarge)

As part of PCA&D's yearly trip to New York City – along with department chair, Pam Barby – I put together a day of art and design for our graphic design students. We split up into 2 groups; my group stopping by Mucca Design for an agency visit and Pam's to 2x4. These studios represent two of the best in the city and both students and faculty alike were thrilled at this opportunity.

For the record, Mother Nature did her best to rain on our parade. Literally. However, let it be known that although she succeeded in roughing up our plans and soaking all of us to the core, she failed at dampening our spirit.

I headed up the Mucca Design visit and we were able to spend nearly an hour with founder and principal, Matteo Balogna. Filled with all the vim and vigor of an Italian ex-pat and an undying love of custom typography, design, branding, and style – Matteo delivered an inspiring talk about all things modern graphic design. Before leaving, I shared with him a few locally made "thank you" gifts Pam & I put together; namely 2 PCA&D mugs, Wilbur Chocolate Buds, and 2 half-pounds of cheese made here in Lancaster County. Good stuff.

Although we then stopped by one of my favorite families of galleries in that of Morrisson Hotel Gallery, I did not take any photographs there. Just know that if you're ever in NYC, find one of their locations and hit it up! Only the best in music photography from the likes of Jim Marshall, Hendry Diltz, Danny Clinch, Clay Patrick McBride and more.

(@ the AIGA Design Effectiveness exhibit)

After walking to the fountain in Washington Square Park, we dispersed for 2-3 hours in order to grab lunch, shop, and dry out in cafés. Myself, Sally, and Kirk made our way over to one of my favorite restaurants in the world; Vegetarian Paradise. Pure bliss, great company, and lots of excited discussions about art, design, education, and family.

We met up again and forged forward in the (thankfully) lighter rains as we made our way up 5th Ave. to the AIGA Design Center. Launched this past week was their 365 exhibit; Design Effectiveness. The students were immediately immersed in every single piece of the display, which thankfully allowed you to pick up each work for a truly hands-on inspection and experience. And although the exhibit was curated with effectiveness as their first and foremost trait, the design aesthetic was incredibly high. Overall, an inspiring and fun exhibit that left an impression on the whole lot of us.

(@ the AIGA Design Effectiveness exhibit)

The final "official" stop of the day was the Center for Book Arts in the Fashion District. Loaded with several, excellent small exhibits that opened only 2 days before we arrived – the Center also surprised all of us with a fully-functioning letterpress print shop. We spent a bit of time comparing our favorite ampersands from the drawers of lead type and enjoyed hand-made books featuring gorgeous wood block prints, custom-process music packaging, paper works by Su Blackwell, and more before we settled on plans for the final 2+ hours before the bus was to pick us up.

I decided to march nearly everyone up to Times Square (a tradition in the making, mind you) for people-watching and to share in the spectacle that is one of the most famous couple of city blocks in the world. This year, we ran across Japanese television cooking shows being filmed (think "Iron Chef") and a big ABC promotion for the upcoming "Pan Am" television series.

This trip, like several other events throughout the school year, offers a chance for me to lift the veil off the classroom and to form a deeper bond with both students and fellow faculty alike. Already my head's already spinning on what to put together for next year… starting with a Sunny, 70º fall day!

(@ Center For the Book Arts [top] and Times Square [middle, bottom])

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


(click on image to enlarge)

I was asked to submit art for a book titled Classic Rock Posters 1952-2012 which "aims to cover all the key musical genres, graphic artists and performers during the last 60 years in poster form." It's worth noting that it's being written by Mick Farren (Underground Press, NME) along with Dennis Loren (artist, former art director for Creem magazine).

When push came to shove, however, I found that designing posters is something I haven't done a ton of to-date. Well, that's not entirely true, I did a lot of designs for record labels that were very product-driven and not gallery-ready. I've also worked on so many catalog projects that never required a poster or I was Project Manager for the bands and hired out collateral designs. In-between all of that, I found some time to create a few posters I was proud of.

Regardless, in digging through the archives, I dug up a few of my favorites to submit (several of which have been seen here). I may even dig into the rolls and rolls of music posters I've kept since the 1980s and see what I find! Ah, a trip down memory lane…

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A World Of Color (Courtesy Of Buck)

This is exactly how I see the world; inspirational color everywhere. Here's a series of 3 beautiful commercials directed by the Buck agency for HGTV's line of paints with Sherman Williams. I always stop to watch when these commercials come on (in my DVR-less lifestyle). If only these were Pantone chips, you know? Anyway, stop by Buck's library and check out their deep and rich portfolio of work. It's well worth your while.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Immerse Yourself In The Floyd

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In the season of Pink Floyd that my summer has been, I was called upon to quickly create a 4-page series of new release book pages for several upcoming Pink Floyd collections. These are very sales-oriented pages but I try to never approach them in that dry of a sense. Instead, I also hope to treat them more editorially, or book-like.

To sit back, crank up non-single classic Floyd tracks like "Summer '68," "A Pillow of Winds," "San Tropez," "The Gold It's In The…," and "Childhood's End" while working on these "rush job" pages is something to embrace. For full details (of which there are many), click on the images to enlarge, and go pre-order them from your local record store or

It's worth noting that the Immersion sets for the legendary Wish You Were Here album hits stores on November 8 while The Wall sees the light on February 28, 2012. It's also worth noting that I'm creating the sales pages for these titles as well.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Inspirations 2: Wood Block Printing

Target teamed up with the monstrously beautiful Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. After the design team caught Typeface, a movie documenting the museum, they became focused on creating a line of clothing based on Hamilton's aesthetic. For more on how they came together, go here. To view the collection, go here.

An extended trailer for Typeface, the movie. See it…

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Inspirations 1: India Block Printing

"After meeting the world's great hand-block printing artisans on a recent trip to northern India's Rajasthan, we asked them to make a special collection of quilts just for us. Watch here as they create an array of striking designs, all printed using intricately carved teak blocks and richly colored pigment dyes."
– West Elm's Craftmark Collection

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Process Behind: Admissions Poster

(click image to enlarge)

Every year I have the pleasure of working with Natalie and the outstanding Admissions department at PCA&D. Every other year I get to redesign the look for their office, which is also coincidentally the best year! This year was of the "every other" kind so I dug in and began the process of tackling the first piece we dive into every year; the poster.

(click image to enlarge)

STAGE 1: You've got to start somewhere, and for one reason or another, I often start conservative. However, the color scheme, fonts, partial obscuring of imagery and general guidelines of the final piece appeared instantly in the process.

(click image to enlarge)

STAGE 2: I'm all about type-driven design so I busted the type out of the box and began to arrange it flush-left then flush-right and scaling it up and down all the while. I wanted to create a grid but then smash it, while also respecting it. No small feat.

(click image to enlarge)

STAGE 3: The break-through stage, for sure. Back came the horizontal strip, now with a friend, and a healthy dose of a -11.75º angular tilt. I pictured this on the walls of schools and offices, knowing the tilt will demand attention and cause it to leap off the wall. Also, my goal now was focused on creating the sense that this poster captured merely a small segment of an otherwise on-going, ever-growing massive world of student artwork created at PCA&D. The poster, unlike previous years, was not about a few pieces – but the student work as a collective.

(click image to enlarge)

STAGE 4: Naturally, I had to try the positive 11.75º angle as well. Unlike the -11.75º attempt, where I was all about it and attempting every logical type alignment I could muster, it didn't take me long to know this was not the better solution of the two.

(click image to enlarge)

STAGE 5: And finally, instead of angling the bars and type, what about angling the artwork? This brought an all-new feeling to the poster, while utilizing something I was gravitating towards all along with the tilt. It came down to a matter of playing with the composition of type over top the imagery and the removal of specific artwork for reasons such as theme, content, and redundancy. The changing out of imagery was trickier than in previous years, of course, and often times I wanted to kick myself for painting myself into a corner with this approach. Regardless, I was very excited that they picked this version while, honestly, I also would have been very happy if they selected Stage 3 (far right). A good position to be in, for sure.

And with the final approval, the poster set the tone of typography, color and composition for the rest of the Admissions materials to follow. I truly do love this project.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

For Your In-Flight Pleasure.

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For the first time in my life, I created an ad for the legendary magazine of extreme in-flight consumerism; SkyMall. Psyched. Thousands of people bored to tears whilst stuck in an over-crowded tin can at 30,000 feet will be able to check out just how precisely and artfully I squeezed a headline, 5 pack-shots, 486 words via 2,284 characters into a 7.375" x 10.5" ad (minus the SkyMall footer, as required by the publication). Lucky bastards, all of 'em.

I'm actually very excited to have something in the magazine but, all kidding aside, Tom Recchion & Co. are delivering some beautiful special editions. I had a great time this past May sitting with Tom in his office in Los Angeles, exploring many of his present and future projects. Much respect.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Man Alive Creative: The Portfolio

(click images to link to the portfolio site)

I'm excited and proud to have created a portfolio site that, for the first time ever, sees my design and photography together in an easy to navigate, beautiful fashion. It's a thrill for me to see all of this work together under the moniker "Man Alive Creative." I welcome you to stop on by and tour the new portfolio. Feel free to share it with your friends, your family and (without hesitation) utterly complete strangers. I do love having good company stop by. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Great Gig In The (Summer) Sky

(click image to enlarge)

This summer has been filled with lots of great work; be it creative or production design. Some projects have been both.

Case in point; I was hired to design a series of merchandise boxes for one of my Top 5 all-time favorite bands, Pink Floyd. At first, due to the major rush status of the job, taking the straightforward "flat color, no playing around" route was looking like the best option. However, as I explored the artwork – I simply couldn't help myself. With approval from my contact, I began to play with texture, album imagery, and more until the series quickly came together. Look for these shirts on an end-rack in Target stores soon.

Not unlike getting approvals from Apple Records before, receiving the band's management's approval brought both my life and musical journey full circle.

P.S. After catching the most incredible live production I, or anyone else, has ever seen with Roger Waters
The Wall tour – I beg of you to watch this historic event unfold.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Art Imitating The Lives Of Heroic Women

(click on image to enlarge)

Vintage war posters have always been a favorite of mine. They're truly the result of true artisans; rich in high typographical and design aesthetic. And although I, like many, tend to drift towards the striking imagery of war and political intrigue – I recently found myself enamored with the imagery of the woman's role in World War II. Imagery that sought not only to attract women to get involved in the country's efforts but to reflect their importance to the men on the front lines. To take things further, I wanted to connect the dots between the artistic styling of the posters and the photography of women actually performing these tasks. The result is imagery that is often equally as striking in reality as it is in fiction. Those were exceptional times for both the U.S. and the world, and exceptional times make for exceptional efforts. To unveil their full detail, please click on the images to enlarge both the manufacturing and nurse collages.

(click on image to enlarge)