And then there was that time I made a bunch of icons for Walmart.


illustrated infographic of the Walmart annual enrollment benefits landscape

category divider icons for Walmart annual enrollment materials

Walmart's benefits, mystified.

color variations on icons for healthcare industry

lots and lots of icons

PROJECT NOTES

This library of icons, infographics and spot illustrations was used in Annual Enrollment materials for Walmart. // Annual Enrollment explains the benefits provided by an employer to all levels of employee; the content for the various pieces relied on variable content. // The illustrations were developed in the Walmart brand palette. // The work featured is a snapshot showing about one third of the illustration work completed. // All work was created for Liquid Agency with CD Kylie Emers & ACD Aldo Mollinedo for the end client Walmart.

Well Vegan Brand Refresh


Six years ago marked Well Vegan’s launch when Bureau developed the brand from scratch for food-entrepreneur Katie Koteen to market her vegan meal plan subscription service. This spring, with a ton of new site features and her first cookbook under her belt, Katie wanted a refresh for the logo and website.

The first thing on the docket was a logo update. The friendly hand drawn script was a keeper, but legibility was increased by redrawing it on a level baseline and separating the two words with a visual – one of Katie’s favorite illustrations from the initial branding, a white radish. A pop of green was retained in the radish leaves, but the overall impression was more toned down.

before and after logo for well vegan, from a smiling pea pod to a white radish

The inaugural 2011 branding for Well Vegan included lots of hand drawn elements, borders, spot illustrations and illustration as main images (see it here). In 2017 Katie wanted to update the site based on the increase in photography and recipe posts, as well as make the site feel a bit simpler and cleaner rather than the homespun start-up it used to be.

well vegan hand drawn logo in black brush pen with a radish illustration and green color pop

A major area of focus was paring down the use of illustration and color to allow the food photography to shine. Instead of being the main focus, illustrations were used as accents and often in black & white instead of full color. The fonts also were refreshed – headline and accents were kept in the friendly legacy font (Skolar) while body and informational text was updated to the lighter, brighter Mr. Eaves.

Well Vegan blog post design

In the instances where illustration is used for main effect, we stuck with the black line-work style with color accents. This also left room for future promotional illustrations which had been a heavy favorite over the years with subscribers and the Pinterest crowd.

Illustrated grocery bag for Well  Vegan's plan page

The new streamlined feel was leveraged lightly throughout the site and in the cookbook design, featured on the cover and as page accents. The book is currently available.

well vegan plan page and promotional Frugal Vegan cookbook page

Frugal Vegan Cookbook


From full-frontal meat spectacular to a dense foliage-laden tome of vegan cooking knowledge, my last two projects were on opposite ends of the food spectrum. This time the project at hand was designing a vegan cookbook: The Frugal Vegan! It’s no wonder half my blog posts are tagged MMMM, FOOD.

Well Vegan - Frugal Vegan cookbook cover with custom photo and hand drawn cover title

A friend and colleague I’ve worked with over the years recently published her first cookbook. Well Vegan is Katie Koteen’s online vegan meal-planning service. It was launched in 2010 and had been a side project of hers for several years, growing slowly with the addition of Kate Kasbee, then expanding the recipes and features on the site, and finally becoming a main focus of work which led to a book deal: Frugal Vegan: Affordable, Easy & Delicious Vegan Cooking. One of the most exciting parts of working with small business owners is seeing them grow their business and what direction(s) it takes over the years – this one is definitely on an upward trajectory.

frugal vegan cookbook salad introduction page for healthy vegan recipes

Katie & Kate tested and refined 99 recipes that focus on budget-friendly vegan cooking. I got to taste a few recipes along the way, witness an upgrade from an unreliable stove to a gas-top range, and in the end was asked to help with the book design. The project scope was limited but made a nice difference – developing a cover with photo direction and hand drawn typography reminiscent of her Well Vegan brand and creating an inside template for recipes and chapter introductions. Photography was shot by Wonder Jam. The end result is a fresh and easy-to-read cook book with accessible recipes that even (gasp) I could make. Probably.

Frugal Vegan is currently available for pre-order.

vegan pineapple scone recipe spread for Frugal Vegan cook book

The Whole Shebang from Olympia Provisions


A client that continues to provide fun and interesting projects, Olympia Provisions, recently commissioned the Bureau create a holiday gift guide (more to come on that another day). One of the main photo spreads was a compilation of all of their charcuterie in the shape of a pig, with the products placed approximately where it came from on the pig (give or take an artistic license or two).

olympia provisions charcuterie selection in the shape of a pig - the whole shebang!

The image was created by salumist Elias Cairo of Olympia Provisions placing all the meats in their respective areas, then myself adjusting the placement until it looked like your friendly neighborhood oinker if you were looking at it with X-ray meat vision. Photographer David Reamer shot the piece from a ladder, top down on a white sheet. The white marble was added in post production to give the pig a neutral background and showcase the variety of colors and textures (apparently fat marbling is a big deal in the meat world).

Now, I’m not averse to meat. I eat it. I enjoy it. I’ve even spent time in slaughter rooms on Eastern Oregon ranches during my youth and had my dad chase me to the hay barn brandishing a cow’s tongue (scary for an 8 year old). But in my last two decades of life I haven’t handled that much meat because a) I’m not the main cook in the house, and b) I live with a vegetarian. But handling 50 pieces of meat several times each for over an hour is a bit beyond what I ever though my job as a designer would entail. Suffice to say, I fulfilled my meat handling quota for the year on this project!

And, since this was a small part of their annual consumer-side catalog project, you can indeed buy The Whole Shebang (which is technically classified as a “half pig”) when holiday season rolls around. It’s a no-lose situation, and as we described this unique offering in the catalog…

Last minute dinner guests? Need to throw a party for a hundred of your best friends or business associates? Fear not—with our half pig, you’ll never experience a pork shortage again. Includes everything listed! Assembly required.

Ceek Logo and Website


An interesting client I have been working with recently is Ceek, a product design and development start-up that provides innovative solutions for frontline women’s healthcare. Bucking the historical trend of men making products for women to varying degrees of success, this company focuses on products created for women, by women. Definitely an approach I could get behind!

Ceek custom logotype in lavender.

Their logo was an exercise in custom typography and compactness as it needed to reproduce well on a variety of materials in small format (for example, as a deboss on a rubber handle grip). To aid in keeping the logo as big as possible at even the tiniest scales, a monoline x-height was implemented so the logo wouldn’t have to scale to accommodate the tallest character (since there are none!). A simple petal icon went through many iterations to become soft yet bold, feminine and somewhat regal, and have the right proportions to scale as well. A metallic lavender was chosen as the main brand color, differentiating it in the medical field which tends to employ blues (HEALTH!) and pinks (FOR WOMEN!) across the board. A broad palette of supporting colors were added to increase vibrancy and flexibility for future product lines and create a more nuanced palette than competitors, making the brand more approachable than clinical.

3 image banners for Ceek homepage, healthcare innovation for women.

Ceek’s first foray is tackling the age old device of every women’s annual visit – the speculum – with a range of patient and doctor friendly updates in their product design. Shockingly, the device hasn’t had major updating since its invention in the 1800s. From a graphic design perspective, it was also not the most inspirational visual matter to present front and center. To communicate Ceek’s intentions and story, we focused on their leading goals and featuring a wide variety of portrait stories and subtle growth focused imagery. A complementary logotype for Nella, the first product line, was also created. In addition to design, Leighann Franson aided in brand copywriting and Katie Koteen implemented the website.

Product page for Nella, Ceek's first product for women's healthcare.

Ceek Women's Healthcare about page and business card.

Pin That Sh*t


Like most kids I collected various things throughout my childhood, including buttons and pins. Most of my pins were from family travels, my parent’s political involvement in education, or participation in school events (see the full array here). Ramblin’ Rod would not have been impressed, but it was my collection and I was proud of it.

A few buttons and pins were collected of my own volition, and one of my prize pins was found in a deserted lot near my home around 8 years of age – a unicorn with gold metal accents and a multi-colored mane. Between childhood activities of building forts out of firewood stacks and popping tar bubbles on recently repaired roads, finding a monogram unicorn pin was a highlightable moment – even if it had a G on it instead of an M. Many days I wore this pin and thought “if only my name started with a G”. Alas. Here are a few favorites from my childhood collection.

pin collection from my childhood including a unicorn with multicolor mane

So, it seemed destined that one day I would participate in a group art show called Pin That Sh*t during Design Week Portland 2017. Over 60 artists from around the world donated pins, all of which will be for sale with funds donated to support arts education. Once I learned I would be a part of the show, I revisited my 1980’s collection and started on designing something new for the show.

My brainstorming ran the gamut from textures to animals to random icons. A theme of birds became apparent which guided a more specific exploration of several bird pins, of which the top three were considered for the final piece. After feedback from studio mates, the simplest bird was adjusted to have bold black outlines, taking inspiration from my childhood unicorn pin but modernizing it in style. And really, what better way to converge ‘put a bird on it’ with the new hip trend of pinning everything in sight?

preliminary bird pin brainstorms

love bird with heart speech bubble and rainbow wings for WeMake Pin That Sh*t Show

Love Bird is a tiny yet highly visible fashion partner to any wardrobe or backpack choice. With a nickel metal detail and flat polished surface, its minimal design seeks to spread love and acceptance. It’s a bird with a meaning, but it’s also just darn cute!

Two larger collections are also a part of the show from Kate Bingaman-Burt and from Brian Stowell, and many artists donated more than one pin so that there will be over 600 pins on display. For a more comprehensive list of artists and their bios, visit WeMake’s event page.

The show opens April 27th at Tillamook Station (665 N Tillamook Street in PDX, OR), from 4-9pm. In addition to the pin display there will be activities and beer. Most pins will go for about $10, also known as very affordable art. Time to find a bigger jean jacket…

participant pins of Pin That Sh*t art show

The pin was produced through GS-JJ who make custom pins, patches AND belt buckles. To transport/display the love bird pin, I ordered custom cards from Moo. A square, rounded corner card with spot gloss on the title and white clouds was the perfect fit for the bird with both shiny and matte surfaces.

love bird pin with cloudy spot glass Moo Cards background backer