And then you can pretty much figure out what happened between a pandemic and public schools shutting down for over a year and trying to teach a 6-year-old to read (note: it worked) because all assignments are online and also just working like “usual” but except not like usual at all because my studio space shut down forever and ever and therefore I sat in my basement for over a year thinking…I probably should have remodeled this in 2019.
So, this is no longer a blog. And that’s OK. Maybe it will be a blog later, but for right now I’m focused on clients I like doing work I like. Find me on Instagram for slightly more regular updates @fromthebureau.
A long time client-collaborator – Tofurky – has recently launched both a new product and their new website that feature lettering work by the Bureau. The new product line is called Moocho, which I worked on with Art Director Gary Huck to create a handlettered logo for Tofurky’s new division of dairy-free vegan options. The first series of product are 3 cheesecake flavors. We hit a balance between being bold on package, having a similar personality to other lettered & illustrated elements, being fairly non-gendered and feeling like the word.
A technical portion of many packaging projects is fulfilling the legal requirements of packaging. This means that the brand name (Moocho), product name (cheesecake), any specific claims or identifiers (Dairy Free), and flavor (goes in the banner) all have to work together in a specific way in certain size proportions and order. To achieve a balanced look, the product name was lettered in mixed case with a very high x-height, and the claim was also created with a high x-height so it didn’t have to be very large compared to the brand name.
A part of the project was determining the right hierarchy between the parent brand (Tofurky) and the new sub-brand (Moocho). For that reason, Tofurky is represented by a lettered banner instead of the classic black box + logo combination on their other product lines, of which I’ve also created lettering for to differentiate their artisan sausage from the regular old sausages.
The design in general is clean and features the product next to their character illustrations, with color blocking and the brand name being the main on-shelf visual. This is a great way to create a big shelf presence and a recent trend in packaging as new products compete for scannability.
In addition to the new Moocho brand, Tofurky has also launched their new website that uses various brand lettering I’ve designed as their loading images and visual support throughout their recipe and several about pages. So each time you switch pages, a variety of randomized sayings will pop up…Taste Bud High Five!!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.