Et Cetera

A Blog

  1. Shoes! Shoes! Shoes!

    Over the past few years I have made many black & white pen illustrations of my outfits (special or not) and the stories that go along with them. Taking just an excerpt of these drawings – the shoes – makes me pause at the volume of visual recording I have done on this subject. And makes me think…if I owned all the shoes I have drawn, I would need a bigger closet.

    all sorts of black and white shoe illustrations in pen

  2. Upward Partners Branding

    A recent collaboration with a Portland-based consultant resulted in rebranding his small company to present a more cohesive visual front. Upward Partners is a company that builds infrastructure for fast growing companies, and its founder, Brian, wanted a brand that reflected his way of doing business: results driven but also fun and innovative.

    Working primarily with numbers, data, money, and other cold hard facts doesn’t always lend itself to an inspiring logo. To stand out in the field of CFO’ing and COO’ing we opted for a Northwest influenced motif of a mountain range. With a ‘slight chart & graph’ vibe, the icon also reinforced his positively-geared business name.

    A geometric mountain range.

    Geometric and data based mountain range inspired logo for Upward Partners.

    The typography was set to focus on the action part of the name and give it the same uplifting feeling as the mountain icon. Combining that with a nuanced color palette gave plenty of options for leeway in future materials. The font Adelle proved its worth by being both approachable and serious in its serif and sans versions.

    A friendly yet respectable color palette and serif/sans combo of typography.

    A friendly yet respectable color palette and serif/sans combo of typography.

    Various illustrated elements were combined into a banner graphic that did some heavy lifting on the homepage, which had previously been bare of graphic elements save for a background pattern.

    The path of running a business can be long and winding.

    The path of running a business can be long and winding.

    A large part of this project was determining Upward Partners’ written voice, as the previous site had been a somewhat dry list of business ingredients. Jargon-free speech and easily digestible explanations of complex business scenarios made it easy to understand their approach and work. A mantra-like introduction was created to describe the essence of the business, leaving the technical points for sub copy.

    Mantra text summing up what Upward Partners brings to the table.

    Mantra text summing up what Upward Partners brings to the table.

    Using icons to support key areas of expertise upgraded the straight-forward content from bullet points, and let the new long-form content call out the key differentiators Upward Partners asserts – a pre-engagement fit assessment and no middle-men in the work process leads to tangible results from their consulting efforts.

    Sixteen icons visualizing main areas of expertise.

    business icons for forecasting, funding, partnership, growth, documentation, launch, leadership, planning, transitions, cash flow, modeling, profitability, sales, strategy change, and internal implementations.

    The culmination of writing, designing, and organizing resulted in a new website to be used in presenting Upward Partners’ work to both current and prospective clients. The site was built in Squarespace to allow full editing capability by the client. Check it out at www.upwardpartners.com.

    Homepage design with all elements in play.

    Homepage design with all elements in play.

    And because before and after shots are so satisfying…

    A before shot of the Upward Partners website.

    A before shot of the Upward Partners website.

    I’m excited to debut this small business rebrand and hope it helps Brian go forth and conquer. I look forward to expanding this flexible and fun brand to bring a fresh look to a category of business I don’t usually work with. Maybe I’ll even pick up some additional business acumen along the way…but for now I’ll just keep on keeping on with some kpi and metrics creation to optimize securing some series b funding. Or something like that.

    upward-partners-mountain-range

  3. Bear Explains the Obvious

    On the tail of Penguin Explains the Universe and Fish Explains the Facts of Life, here is a colloquialism my dad was apt to throw around if I asked a silly question. Feel free to use it when the chase must be cut and the answer is yes.

    penguin explains the universe

  4. Mod Burger Concept Menu

    Trying new illustration styles is always fun, but sometimes there isn’t time or budget for experimentation, or a client has a specific style they want from the start. On this recent project for Must Have Menus, there was plenty of creative leeway to create something from scratch.

    The Must Have Menu’s website provides editable online menu templates for restaurants so that they can manage, update, and print their menus directly. The assignment was to use their menu building tool to show how templates can vary from the stock set of layouts provided online.

    Mod Burger typography.

    Mod Burger typography.

    The concept of a modular burger restaurant influenced a mod-retro type treatment and a layered “paper cut” digital illustration of iconic burger parts. Choosing any ingredients from a long list of options and building your own perfect burger? Get me a reservation!

    Mod Burger exploded view diagram and six sub-category icons.

    Mod Burger exploded view diagram and six sub-category icons.

    Hoping to photograph the piece turned out to be too time consuming for this small project’s limited budget, but using textures and Photoshop did enough of the trick to get the idea across.

    Testing, testing…early paper cut photo didn’t make the cut.

    Testing, testing…early paper cut photo didn't make the cut.
  5. W is for Wavelength

    W-is-for-wavelength-brainy-alphabet

    “W is for Wavelength” is part of an on-going alphabet series for kids using math, science and geography vocabulary. Have an idea for a good word? Send it my way!