“The Warriors” Poster Series

“Waaarrriiiorsss, come out to play-ee-aaayyy!”

“The Warriors” has fascinated me since I saw it as a young teen in the years shortly after its release. The 1979 NYC gangland classic defined the sub genre of films dedicated to “chronicling” the noble, lawless urban decay at the center of cities like New York as the decade gave way to the 1980s. I loved all of it. Imaginative, iconic, indie and imminently quotable, the film continues to find new audiences.

I am playing tribute to the film with a series of 6 posters portraying 6 iconic “sets” from the film :: The Warriors, The Baseball Furies, The Lizzies, The Punks, The Hi-Hats and The Rogues.

In the immortal words of Cyrus… “Can you DIG IT?”

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PRINTS FOR SALE AT :: http://society6.com/davidedwardjohnson/prints

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“What if They Were ‘FACTORY?'” Album Cover Series

Peter Saville was the Creative Director / Graphic Designer at the legendary Factory Records from its founding in 1978. His work for bands on the label like Joy Division, New Order, A Certain Ratio and Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark (among so many others) coupled with his post-Factory work for a full range of acts including Roxy Music, Ultravox, Duran Duran, King Crimson, Wham! and Peter Gabriel was nothing short of seminal. Just gorgeous, highly influential work that helped inform and shape so many of us in the field “of a certain age.” You can see a solid sampling of Mr. Saville’s work here :: http://www.hardformat.org/designers/peter-saville-designer/ — AND — http://www.petersaville.info/sleeves/

In tribute to Mr. Saville’s work and in the spirit of Mr. Saville’s sense of exploration, I have taken 25 classic albums and redesigned their album covers in answer to the question “WHAT IF THEY WERE ‘FACTORY?'” It is always VERY fruitful to explore a master’s work from the inside out like this. The awesome thing at this point in my career is that projects like this become a strong fusion of my own sensibilities and the master I am “conversing” with through the project.

One other note is that all of the photography in these designs is my own. I love to take photos and it was a ton of fun to purpose-shoot with these covers in mind.

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“The Golden Age of James Bond” Poster Series

Since I was a wee lad, I have loved the films of the “golden era” of 007 — think Sean Connery, George Lazenby and Roger Moore. There’s something terribly ridiculous, wonderfully infectious and timelessly ultra-cool about these films.

For this collection, I wanted to create a series of posters that looked like it might have come from a creative union of the legendary graphic designer Saul Bass with Frank McCarthy, the man behind so many of the iconic James Bond poster images that we associate with the image of “the man with the license to kill.” Bass would be the hands-on Designer here, with McCarthy acting as Creative Director. I know that would never happen, but hey…

I have also made them available here :: http://society6.com/davidedwardjohnson/

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“80s Teen Movies” Poster Series

Yep, I was a teen in the 1980s — Irondequoit High School, Class of 1989, baby. LOL! I know… I’m old.

The 80s were such a unique time in our American culture and an awesome time to be young simply because so much of our pop life was focused on being a teen. In tribute to the iconic films, actors and directors of the 1980s and in loving memory of that time, I offer this poster series: “80s TEEN MOVIES.”

As cheesy as it may sound, creating these brought back so many memories. My daughter just entered her teen years and I hope she has as much fun as I did. She’s already way cooler than I ever was and a much nicer person to boot, so she has an awesome start.

THANKS and PARTY ON, DUDES!

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PRINTS FOR SALE AT :: http://society6.com/davidedwardjohnson/prints

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“A Century of Horror Classics” Apparel Series

The 19th century gave us some of the most indelible images and stories of the horror genre. The monsters and men set forth in the books of that era continue to haunt us today and form the basis for our modern scene.

As I have mentioned here, I’m a total horror fiend. I thought I would share a concept that I have created to pay homage to the great horror masterworks of the 19th century. I designed and illustrated shirts representing 7 incredibly seminal works from that era. Here a list of the works in chrono order ::

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> “Frankenstein; Or, The Modern Prometheus” :: Mary Shelley (1818)
> “Melmoth the Wanderer” :: Charles Maturin (1820)
> “Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde” :: Robert Louis Stevenson (1886)
> “The Picture of Dorian Gray” :: Oscar Wilde (1890)
> “The Great God Pan” :: Arthur Machen (1894)
> “Dracula” :: Bram Stoker (1897)
> “The Turn of the Screw” :: Henry James (1898)

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Annnd… Here are the designs in an order I thought presented well for the folio ::

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“The Roots of Horror Rock” Poster Series

Simply put, I LOVE horror and I am a HUGE lover of music of all kinds. This work is part of a series I have created paying homage to the bands that fused horror imagery and themes with rock and roll to kick start the sub-genre that we call HORROR ROCK. These are the bands that started it all; the foundational pillars that so many after them have built on. Here’s to the chills and thrills that each of these bands have brought us over the years!

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PRINTS FOR SALE AT :: http://society6.com/davidedwardjohnson/prints

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UPBrand Hawaiian Holiday Poster Series

Just something that was pure fun, these large-format pieces were created for a 60’s-jet-set themed winter event that UPBrand was hosting. The goal here was simply to capture the spirit and style of the era’s travel advertising with a touch of the warmth and flavor of the island experience itself. Aloha ke akua! 

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UPBrand Shirt

The great thing about extending the brand for a creative branding agency is the freedom. With agency branding, breaking the rules in unexpected ways is expected. At an agency, being off brand is essential to the brand.

That’s where this shirt comes from. Bold, avant-garde, progressive and hip this one says a lot about where UPBrand is headed as a brand and the fun one can have with just one color.

Shown Here: Front and Back Shirt Designs

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“One Foot in the Graveyard”

I LOVE horror in general and I have always had a serious weak spot for the Gothic and the classically macabre. So, it only follows that Halloween is a a special time for me. Perhaps I never shook the thrill of a season dedicated to things that whisper at your shoulder on a crisp, Autumn eve.

In honor of my favorite season, I have just launched a new personal project, “ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVEYARD.” I am posting daily computer wallpaper creations for each of the 31 days of October — as the site says, “31 Days, 31 Wallpapers, One Scary Season.” It’s a ton of fun and it’s been wonderful to explore further the rich, layered, textural compositional style that has been a hallmark of one of my signature personal approaches.

Please visit the site to follow along for the month of October (and after — I’ll leave this up). There, you can click through to full resolution images. It really is worth viewing them full size in full detail.

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Precision Foods / Chick-Fil-A Promotional Materials

Dry blending and packaged foods specialists Precision Foods and beloved chicken franchise Chick-Fil-A both have a reputation for unmatched quality. Really, a perfect match. This awareness in-store campaign promotes one of Chick-Fil-A’s best-kept-secrets: hot cocoa. It’s not on the menu, but thousands of customers already know about this delicious drink option on cold days. Here are two concepts for the campaign.

The first concept takes a rich tantalizing approach; juxtaposing bold, contemporary “chocolate” typography with dramatic photography and cheeky attitude. The second is an illustrative, immersive take leveraging texture, humor, color and a classic typographic layout to rich effect. The campaign contained in-store signage, tray liners and drive through window clings.

I also functioned as concept lead and copywriter on these as well.

Shown Here: In-Store Signage

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The Salvagery Brand Package

Portland, OR improv jazz trio The Salvagery’s July 2011 release “Triage” is a triumph of experimental work. At once contemporary and exuberant, “Triage” builds on the heritage of great albums in the improv tradition. The work is pure fun.

These designs built around the album build on that iconoclastic spirit and birthright. The look and feel here balances personal, custom-created typography and illustrations with rich color to create a bold approach that captures the essence of vintage 40’s -60’s  jazz album covers from great labels like Columbia and Blue Note. I loved working on this one!

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Connexio Media Presentation Materials

Connexio Media offers college and university campuses a new way to reach students, faculty and visitors with information and alerts. Each campus gets its own network of state-of-the-art outdoor digital displays to connect the campus community with vital information — providing both safety and better engagement.

On this project, the client came up UPBrand with a logo and nothing more. As part of our storytelling approach, we took Connexio through a full discovery process, giving them a complete brand platform to work from. These presentation materials came out of that.

Bold, engaging, dimensional and textured, the visual “signature style” I developed was devised to convey a strong sense of movement and inter-connectivity. Coupled with a system of iconography, the overall approach balanced clarity with excitement and engagement. This rich style was a natural fit for a motion graphics piece and the animation I created leverages the dimensional overlays and shapes to interesting effect.

Shown here: sample presentation screens, iconography samples and motion graphics company overview

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UPBrand Brand Package

Recently, I started my tenure as the Vice President / Creative Director of UPBrand, a St. Louis-based agency focused on building brands through storytelling. I’ve already been having fun with great design and concept and one part of that has been establishing the aesthetic and visual brand for the agency itself. A good friend and talented independent designer Ben Franklin had started the proceedings with identity work before I arrived. I have taken the mark that Ben established and created a look and feel for digital assets, packaging, presentation materials, apparel and motion / video.

The work strikes a balance between a very clean, linear, type-driven, Bauhaus-inspired approach and found ephemera and organic, hand-wrought design elements used both metaphorically and to bring a human touch to the designs. It’s always very rewarding to bring a brand that I am close to like this to life.

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Hardee’s 50th Anniversary Campaign + Tour

50 years of great Thickburgers, beautiful girls and good times, now that’s something to celebrate. When Hardee’s was looking for a unique way to spread the word about it’s 50th anniversary, 4ORCE got the call. This concept incorporates a heavy brand push into a buzz-generating tour and social media campaign. The central idea: building the ultimate girl country band for a national Hardee’s 50th birthday party — “Electra Starr and the Heartstrings” (and then “Stealing Angels”). The campaign is a home run for Hardee’s midwestern values with a mildly sexy wink and builds on existing brand sentiment while providing bold new texture to Hardee ’s reputation in the marketplace. I lead the development of all aspects of this brand campaign. From co-development of the campaign’s central theme and brand integration down to design of all touchpoints personally, I had a ton of fun with this one. Sadly, a merger left this campaign unfinished.

I’ve included just a few selected examples of my design work for the campaign for flavor below. Shown here :: Posters, Vehicle Wrap, Apparel and Digital Assets

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Save-A-Lot Licensee Campaign Concepts

Targeted at potential store owners, this campaign is about making a difference for the future. Current Save-A-Lot store owners express a marked pride in the business they are building to pass down the generations within their own families and a pride in the good they are doing in the economically challenged communities they serve. These designs are a call-to-arms, inspiring through real owner profiles, imagery and stories providing a window into what store ownership can mean for a licensee’s family and for the communities they work in. The design itself is a more progressive and elegant take on the main SAL brand, leveraging basic brand elements, but amping up both elegance and touch.

Shown here: Collateral Cover + Inside Spreads, Site Design and Trade Show Application

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4ORCE Feature Wall + Interior Design

This project has been not only a labor of love, but also pure, unadulterated fun for me. I have acted as the interior designer / installation artist / signage artist for NGAGE / 4ORCE. I worked with agency owner Dan Curran and architectural firm SPACE on the main layout and it was Dan’s vision to move beyond creating just another loft space in St. Louis. That vision was the basis for my work.

The main signature feature of the space is a large sculpture wall in the lobby that is entirely my concept and design. The wall uses light, texture and materials to create a truly dramatic effect with a bold, almost overwhelming presence. Though visitors comment on the space as a whole, the wall is the most talked about portion of the entire space design.

The rest of the space uses a mix of bold and muted color blocks over a base of bright white to establish an almost museum or lab-like quality. The artistic accents in the space are a mix of architectural salvage and poster art including one large 9-piece authentic Soviet piece from my personal collection that acts as a major accent in the main conference room. I personally selected a vast majority of the art and I placed all of the artistic features in the space based on lines of sight and the space as a whole. The overall effect is very much an homage to the interiors of the German Bauhaus school with a splash of the sensibilities of American Pop artists of the 1960’s.

The signage for the space uses both oversized lightboxes with 3-D lettering for impact and door applications with extensions of the 4ORCE brand on them. They round out the space with a clean, usable visual language with a wink and a chuckle.

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Brainfül Wordmark + Mark + Shirt

With a speakers series featuring luminaries like the head of the FBIs cybercrime division for Missouri and Dr. Elaine Mardis of Washington University’s Genome Center, internal training initiatives and great workshops, BRAINFüL is a compelling way that 4ORCE keeps its employees informed and inspired.

This logotype, created to echo the main 4ORCE wordmark, was built with all custom letterforms. The result is progressive and futuristic with a slight retro appeal.

The mark itself is both eye-catching and whimsical and speaks to the other 4ORCE iconography I developed for the brand. The juxtaposition of imagery within the mark brings a smile.

The shirt design is bold and clean, everything a truly memorable t-shirt should be. Pure fun.

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“It’s A Totally DIfferent Experience” Brand + Campaign Materials + Video

Faced with a target enrollment pool that were either attending the “feeder” Principia private boarding high school or being pushed by their alumni parents to attend, Principia College had an image problem. The college needed a way to differentiate itself from its’ high school “sister” while conveying to an international student audience that this was definitely not their parents’ Principia College.

To combat this, I led the “itsatotallydifferentexperience.com” campaign. The fully branded campaign featured a compelling site with real stories from real students wrapped in a progressive design that differentiated itself from the more stately main Principia College brand. I also created video motion graphics pieces set to music recorded by college students themselves to help convey the “PC” experience. Live events at unique locations also carried the brand and the campaign directly to select groups of prospecive students with video pieces and live Q / A sessions with current Principia College students. other promotion materials such as posters and a “Summer Survival Kit” helped prospects take the brand home.

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Hardee’s “French Me” Campaign Package

How do you connect with guys 18-27? Well, there are a few ways. Namely, hot girls, huge burgers and live events. with the Hardee’s “French Me” campaign, we gave guys all three.

To promote the launch of the new featured “French Dip Thickburger” (the lovechild of a Thickburger and a french dip sandwich), we put 4 hot maids on the road on Segways at the hottest events of the summer, on local media and heavily in the digital social media space. guys loved it. Period.

I led the full brand / design effort here. My site design drove the look and feel for the whole campaign. I also took this to social media skins and created the video  style and motion graphics portions. I creative directed the photoshoots for the campaign, collateral, promotional items including a vehicle wrap and signage, a full social media video initiative and the mark for the campaign.

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Astound Sound Brand Package

They just don’t make audiophiles like they used to. Those gigantic room-filling systems are a thing of the past. Two channel headphones, computer speakers and stereo televisions rule the rooms and apartments of the young men of today.

That’s where the technologists at Astound Sound come in.

Using “psycho-acoustics,” Astound Sound has found a way to “broaden the stage,” making your two-channel speaker systems powerhouses of full sound. The technology also allows sound to match time and distance. For gamers that means hearing the click of a trigger behind them just in time.

I led a full rebrand of Astound Sound, including a new identity system, a new site, collateral materals, ADS and environmental design. I set the style for the entire brand. Here, I am showing the pieces I directly designed here. I creative directed the rest.

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Hanes “Dave’s Detours” Campaign Package

Hanes needed to reach males 18-34. But the brand assets they had weren’t going to work. Outtakes from Michael Jordan ads? I don’t think so. To the target they were looking at for this campaign, Kobe Bryant was an old player. They needed something brand new.

We sent an average guy (Dave — a real estate agent from Illinois) on the road to challenge celebrities to feats of smarts, strength and skill to show that anyone can be comfy in their Hanes Comforsofts in any situation.

The results were overwhelming. Dave arm wrestled rapper 50-Cent for watches, Challenged Paris Hilton to a pose-off, jumped rope with Cuba Gooding Jr. and got in Tom Brady’s face to name a few. The campaign lived on Dave’s site, in social media and on affinity sites like ESPN and Comedy Central.

I was a design and creative direction lead for the full campaign. I have shown two selected elements here.

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David McCullough at Principia College Event Package

David McCullough: best-selling author of historical hits including “1776”. “John Adams” and “Truman.” Recipient of numerous honors and awards including 2 Pulitzer Prizes, The National Book Foundation Distinguished Contribution to American Letters Award, the National Humanities Medal, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. ONE heck of a nice guy.

I led a branding effort for this celebrated author’s events at Principia College. The campaign bridged the gap between the subject matter of our nation’s early history and a contemporary college audience through bold, unexpected imagery and a wink. I took the campaign to NPR advertising, a full banner inititative throughout campus, a postering campaign on and off campus and into the digital space as well.

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Principia College Speakers Series Brand Package

With a roster of luminaries like Margaret Thatcher, Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama, Jane Goodall, George H.W. Bush, Corretta Scott King and Erin Brockovich among others, the Principia College speakers series is a truly unique opportunity. Consequently, it needed a brand that reflected that uniqueness as well as communicated the nature of the confluence of ideas that the series represents.

The resulting brand uses a spectrum of colors and concentric rings to communicate that confluence and black and white photography and clean, simple typography to underscore an unadorned sense of equality. The campaign lived online, in posters, banners and in NPR ads.

I was the Designer and Creative Director for the campaign.

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