Ali Shapiro Branding


Working with small businesses and entrepreneurs is a solid portion of my design projects, and a recent collaboration was with Ali Shapiro. Ali works with clients to help unravel their eating patterns and to have a whole body / whole mind approach to food and nutrition. Ali wanted a modern, approachable, personal and research-based feel to her rebrand.

Ali Shapiro logos - an AS monogram with a modern A and a windy feather arrow S.

Working with Ali, we created the basic brand building blocks needed for her to grow her business: a logo, website, and support graphics to populate the site with. The chosen direction from the design exploration phase focused on a simple, bold and hand drawn series of editorial images to support her content. The logo itself was a traditional monogram with a friendly twist, focusing on the theme of upward momentum, making your own path, and optimism. The color palette is limited to bright/dark blue, red and black – all strong colors used sparingly.

Insatiable Podcast blurb with illustration of a woman eating and thinking about eating.
Program icons of: plate of hearts, eye dropper conversations, arrow through chaos, conversation bubble support, winding fork path.

With five main programs available to clients, a series of icons representing each of these topics: Truce With Food®, Truth Serum, Why Am I Eating This Now?, The Insatiable Community, and Freedom From Cravings.

I worked with developer and project manager Katie Koteen to create the site. The site is fairly content heavy, so a series of icons was made to help break up content and give some visual markers when reading.

Snapshot of Ali Shapiro website with sidebar, portrait, signup area and illustration of Russian nesting dolls.
Icon set for Ali Shapiro using iPad pro Adobe Sketch program pastel brushes, all in the light blue, dark blue and bright red color palette with black ink line work.

This is one of the first projects where most of the artwork was done exclusively on the iPad Pro. It was an interesting way to use drawing technology to take out some labor intensive steps of scanning and editing, and being able to create more content for a start-up client.


Flight School Books


Earlier this year I worked on this fun book series project for Mattt Zmuda, author of a series of guides for various coding and development topics. As founder of Flight School, he explores “essential topics in iOS and macOS development through concise, focused guides created for advanced Swift developers“. Mattt previously founded NSHipster and worked for Apple as a technical writer.

A technical writer I am not, but I do love to create visual systems for interesting topics and people, and this project was no exception. Mattt came to me with the brief of 1) wanting to stand apart from the standard look of development books, and 2) having the book series be flight/aviation themed (as many examples in the books use aviation to explain things). After some exploration we landed on a bright, eye catching, somewhat retro-inspired poster-like style for the covers.

Although there are three books currently available, the entire series will total eight books once they are all released. It was fantastic that Mattt already had a plan for all 8 titles as it allowed me to have freedom to build a cohesive system, which at the end is meant to be a set.

Each title has a number of planes on it (1-8), corresponding to the sequence in which it is released. The cover image in some way supports the general idea of the book topic, and between titles there are shared elements that bridge the landscapes together (for example, the volcanos on the back of book #1 become the foreground mountains on the front of book #2).

As the series progresses, each cover gets more complex with the number of planes, organization of their flight paths, and color overlays. I can’t wait to show the entire series, but for now, here are the first three volumes: Guide to Swift Codable, Guide to Numbers, and Guide to Strings.

Book covers are a type of project I always enjoy – they combine learning about new topics, condensing large amounts of information into a visual time capsule (the cover), and finding interesting and unusual interpretations of content. As a bonus, sometimes they also allow you to explore new styles of design or illustration that don’t pop up in other work such as branding projects.

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Founded in 2018, Flight School is an independently-published book series whose “mission is to write the kinds of programming books we wish we had when we were first starting out — material that connects the computer science theory with practical insights from experience working in the software industry.”

Get the guides at flight.school. Follow at: @flightdotschool / @NSHipster / @mattt.

Partnership Poster for French Paper


Here is another collaboration with WCP Solutions (previously: wrapping paper and an Oregon Duck VS Beaver Rivalry Beer Poster), this time with French Paper Company also a part of the project.

Each year West Coast Paper hosts a paper show, and this year’s theme was “Partnership”. Designers were paired with WCP’s various paper suppliers to create a poster on that mill’s stock in the theme. I worked with French Paper to create this playbill format of circus performers embodying the idea of partnership and working together.

Trio of framed posters, blue ink on pink paper, of french circus performers.

The poster (left in the image above) is printed by Stevens IS on French Paper Pop-Tone “bubble gum” and will be available in a limited run of 100 to attendees of the WCP Paper Show. If you don’t know French Paper, well it’s a mill that has the most fun promotion materials with a very design heavy focus that complement their fantastic colors and various paper collections. The mill is family owned and has been since its inception 6 generations ago in 1871. French is also very focused on sustainability.

Trio of framed posters, blue ink on pink paper, of french circus performers. Left image is three women under a banner (French Paper Company), right image is two women chatting closely.

This project was drawn on the iPad Pro in Adobe Sketch. It’s the biggest project I’ve done so far in this way and while I do use technology to draw, I do it in the most antiquated way possible (using a program that only has 20 layers and fixed paper sizes). The fun part of using the iPad was that a pencil sketching effect could be achieved in a consistent way – on paper this would have required so much erasing.

Trio of framed posters, blue ink on pink paper, of french circus performers. A pyramid of women and two swinging trapeze artists surround an FP monogram for French Paper Company.

Jefferson County Cultural Coalition


I grew up in Madras, surrounded the dusty high desert of Central Oregon. It was a small town when I lived there, and it’s still a small town, although the last two decades has seen the town acquire a few stoplights, a prison, and even a swimming pool and performing arts center.

However, Madras has never been a place that is about the typical amenities. It’s about the various cultures that live there and the natural environment that they share. Originally called “The Basin” from the valley it sits in, with craggy plateaus on all sides, this geographical feature was the visual center of designing a logo for the Jefferson County Cultural Coalition.

A modern style was used to render a logo and a seal. The main hero is the topography of the area that typifies Madras, which forms the “J” monogram for the county seat of Jefferson County and ties back to the previous logo’s monogram. A palette of dusty tans, golds and burnt brown keep things neutral so that any other internally created imagery won’t compete with the branding.

Logo redesign for Jefferson County Cultural Coalition.
Willow Creek trestle in Madras, Oregon.

This project was pro-bono, for my mother and other board members who work to support the arts and heritage of the area with project grants.

Island in a Box


Over the past two years I’ve worked on and off in “box format” – drawing on small wooden boxes. The first series was creating 69 “I think I need a New Heart” boxes for a Magnetic Fields tribute show. The second series were black and white lettering/illustration representations of magical or fantastical products (new heart, dream dust, and several more including my favorite “pocket rainbow”). In its newest iteration, I’m working on landscapes that use the box to emphasize the infinite space of these vistas. My first attempt is an “island in a box” – the box itself being the island – and I’m curious to see where this leads.