Case Study :: Swizl :: Identity Design

When developing a new brand, the mark and wordmark are the jumping off point. I believe in a creative-led / data driven process whenever possible on this. With Swizl, we were able to really engage at this level — designing, gathering sentiment data, refactoring, listening again and zeroing in on final solutions. As it happened here, one of the original concepts ran the gauntlet and came out on top. That’s a bit rare, but when it happens, you’re totally confident in the result because it’s been so strongly pressure tested. I not only led the process on this, but I was also a very active participant. The full design team participated, but I’m only showing my own designs here. One of my original concepts ended up being the final selection.

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Case Study :: Swizl :: Brand Standards

After the identity itself was developed, I led a style tiling process with selected designers to explore the overall look and feel for Swizl. That process gave us some great inspirational guardrails for the visual brand. I then codified everything into a comprehensive brand standards manual. This ensured that the brand had a central “North Star” that we could all work from when creating anything moving forward. It is a living document, designed to grow and change as those new materials are developed. We’ve had several adult bev industry leaders ask to see the document and they’ve given us very strong kudos on the work and style throughout.

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Music League Identity System and Digital Experience Design

Anyone who knows me knows that I love music. I like it so much, that I actually consider it a vice on some levels. (LOL!) So, when a friend approached me about joining something called Music League, a weekly thematic competition for music lovers (think fantasy football, but with music), I was all in. After playing a couple of seasons, a talented member of the league approached me to develop an icon to mark the game (thanks, Nathan). That very quickly became a full brand, featuring custom mark, lockup, tagline, avatars, glyphs and full system redesign. I was in hog heaven. I have collected a small portion of the assets I developed for the brand and the system. We’re already talking about a healthy second phase to the project (let’s go native mobile), so stay tuned for updates. I loved this one!

Shown Here :: Mark, Lockup, Colors, Type, Avatar Set, Glyph Set, Sample Desktop, Tablet and Phone Responsive Digital Experiences

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Hopster Rebates Brand Development and Digital Design :: A Case Study

I’m proud to announce the launch of a new brand in the digital savings space :: Hopster Rebates. This marks an important milestone for Inmar (where I serve as design leadership) as it is a consumer-facing brand, app and site for a company not traditionally known for that. I led the design effort on this one and was so pleased to collab with very talented folks in that endeavor. Romeo Mariano on my team absolutely rocked it with the synthesis on the final mark and the Android designs shown here. Javon Greaves totally killed it on the illustrations that, in many ways, made the brand distinct and ownable. He also did the iOS designs. Nice work, all.

I thought for this post, I would use it as a case-study in process, detailing what we created from a brand standpoint and how that was actualized in the digital space. This was a process I led and I was very pleased with the results. I also created the web portions personally, other aspects and provided strategic oversight.

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Logo Roundup

Though I work in the digital space and am very product-driven, I am focused on building brands as an essential part of my process. It gives consumers a crucial foothold in a rapidly changing landscape. These are just selected samples of my identity output as a part of that exploration.

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The Celebrated Cold Brew Tea Situation Brand Package

This was fun, fun, fun. In conversation, a former colleague and friend mentioned that he was exploring the world of cold brew tea. I loved the concept and offered to develop a brand package in support. These are the results. This reflects all of my work, from naming to branding, packaging and digital.

Shown Here :: Identity, Branding, Packaging, Apparel, Responsive Web Designs

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TasteCrate Full Package Development

This was the flagship of Inmar’s consumer exploration into subscription commerce. This one is very “me,” folks. I devised and sold the original concept, developed the identity, created the overall style, generated and designed the sales materials, scripted and directed video production, wireframed and creative directed web assets and acted as lead designer on a range of things from outdoor applications to packaging (crucially important for this concept) to “selfie walls.” We were working with a “sensible” budget, but that only added to the challenge and the fun. Though we couldn’t ultimately do everything we wanted, this was playtime to an extent for me. Fun!

Special thanks for working with me on the web for this, Javon Greaves. You are a talented gent! Romeo Mariano got a shoutout on the Baby Bundles work, but he was the man on the video work here. Thanks for putting up with my direction, my man. Big ups to Chris Dick on this one, too. His crazy animation skills were brought to bear.

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Propper Tactical Brand Launch

I’m pleased to share the final result of the Propper Tactical brand launch. In an earlier post, I shared a colorful and engaging exploratory concept for this assignment. In contrast, the selected approach shown here is rich, textural and “engineered” with a clear lifestyle focus. It was paramount with this brand launch to do something genuinely different; something real for a real, savvy consumer target audience. The iconography and brand elements here speak to the concept of a “tactical system” with integrated imagery and clarity of purpose. Sleek, tactile textures bring touch and a decided sense of quality to the piece while the white graphic bar overlays underscore the central concept of the rank of “officer.” This is a bold, smart brand for well-engineered gear for today’s intelligent tactical law enforcement professionals.

Again, I was the hands-on designer for all of this, a co-concept lead and wrote the line descriptors (“Be Cool.,” Blend.,” “Perform.,” and “Move.”) for the brand.

Shown Here: Teaser Videos, Brand Identity Elements, Hangtags, Sample Advertising, Site Design

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Baby Bundles Brand and App Design Evolution

I’m doing something a bit different with this one. I’m showing evolution here. This was a part of an exploration of subscription commerce concepts for Inmar. This concept was (obviously) focused on new mothers. The important thing to note is how the process is made manifest in these designs. The initial identity shown at top was a runaway success in consumer testing, but the name didn’t make the legal trademark gauntlet. The app designs shown below that were also not a hit. That means refactoring. The identity was originally mine (as were the less successful app designs), so I reworked that myself and also creative directed the app refactor performed by a VERY talented member of my team, Romeo Mariano. Thanks, Romeo!

Shown Here :: Identity, Round 01 App Designs, Revised App Designs

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Logo Roundup

Identity exploration for products in development!

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Brühaus Trademark Style and Digital Package

“A DIFFERENT KIND OF BEER FOR A DIFFERENT KIND OF BEER DRINKER.”

This trademark style and digital package for boutique beer brand Brühaus, pays off that tagline in spades. Eschewing the traditional trappings of “olde” beer, Brühaus speaks to a targeted audience with a signature look and feel that says “iconoclast.” Underscoring that central concept, the mark, type and style elements here all communicate a strong sense of the hand-done. Our content throughout and the focus and style of the app all do the same. It all adds up to a collection of fun design elements built on the DIY ethic so prevalent in skate culture.

Shown Here: Marks, Wordmarks, Custom Typography, Colors, Packaging, Web, App Screens

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Snkrslktr App Brand / UI Design

Is there anything like a fresh pair of kicks? Forget the power tie… Nothing completes a fly outfit like a pair of the right sneakers, just tight and right.

The “sneakerhead” culture rose in the hazy glory of the 1980s, born of Basketball, songs like the Run DMC classic, “My Adidas” and the legendary Air Jordan brand. Its become a worldwide phenomenon encompassing tens of millions in sales and trade commerce. “SNKRSLKTR” (SNEAKER SELECTOR) is aimed at that target, giving sneakerheads a place to gather, strut, admire, sell and trade.

The brand itself offers an approachable, iconic take on the phenomenon, establishing a relatable visual language for the project. Our colors derive from the pop and simplicity of the original sneakers of the 1980s that birthed the movement while our custom glyphs underscore the sense of fun inherent in the mark. The app interface attempts to strike the balance between something high in utility and rich and layered in visual feel with a strong nod to the concept of the “quantified self.”

“Pop” is the focus in the kicks game and that’s our watchword here as well. Fun!

Shown Here: Mark, Wordmark, Colors, Glyphs, App Screens

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Midmodernism App Brand / UI Design

I am a huge devotee of the Mid-Century Modern movement. It was a time when design thinking was king, spurring optimism and creativity across the world. New and progressive approaches were everywhere and perhaps at no other time more than that period, did we strive for that perfect balance of utility and artistic form.

Our house is almost entirely vintage MCM (we have a little 70’s and 80s thrown in for good measure) and every piece we have acquired inspires us every day. Speaking from experience, the process of “doing” a house MCM is BIG fun. AND… It all starts with inspiration. That’s the impetus behind this app: “MIDMODERNISM.” These designs show how that focus comes to life in a way that attempts to strike that same balance that the movement attempted to :: utility made beautiful.

The brand itself draws from the clean, modern geometry of the style, using type, placement and form to create the staccato conversation of pattern so prevalent at that time. Our colors and our custom glyphs here are inspired by the period as well, driving home elegance, richness and whimsey in turns. The system itself leverages simplicity to achieve solid user interaction and seamless flow. In all, a fun and inspiring project inspired by an amazing time in design.

Shown Here: Mark, Pattern Sample + Colors + Glyphs + Inspiration Photos, App Screens

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Whole Foods Market Wine Club Digital Brand + Experience

Whole Foods Market devotees already know that we sell some really great wines. Simply put, our curation team on that front is truly peerless. We’ve created a new WFM Wine Club subscription experience to capitalize on that unique expertise and to promote that offering, we have built a brand and responsive digital presence that communicates essence of the club is all about.

I acted as the design lead on the project from brand inception through digital design. I am telling that story here, showing both my design for the sub-brand’s mark and color palette as well as a bit of the process of how I brought the digital side of the project through concept to approval.

On that process :: I am a firm believer in taking a very Agile approach to the digital space. So often however, those agile principles are only applied to the development side of the equation. That’s a mistake, in my humble opinion. Agility can be applied through the creative concepting process as well, standing up multiple options that show the possibilities and allow for rapid iteration towards build. On this project, I took stakeholders through a style-tiling process, giving that balance of a solid view of potential futures while allowing us to iterate flexibly and quickly on the march to approval. That ended up being a pretty short march in this case. We were ready to head into full production design in just two meetings. That’s the process at its best!

Shown Here: Mark + Palette, Style Tiles and Final Site Home Design

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STL Symphony Save Powell Hall Campaign

The Boston Symphony tweets: “Ha. Ha. Amazing. :-)”

The Riverfront Times says: “Save Powell Hall: Concert Marketing Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This”

From STLToday: “SLSO begs public: Save Powell Hall!”

An LA arts and music blog crows: “…By far, the best orchestral marketing and advertising effort I’ve seen lately — probably ever — is St. Louis Symphony’s “Save Powell Hall” campaign.”

STLMag.com states: If we don’t take action now, Powell Hall is going to explode.

And… The St. Louis Business Journal, too.

I love creating disruptive marketing solutions. I feel it’s been a hallmark of my career. This very recent campaign for the St. Louis Symphony was a wonderfully fun example of that.

I acted as the concept, design and copywriting lead for the campaign, creating the initial idea, flowing it out to a signature style for the campaign, penning copy throughout and creative directing any other moving parts with the Symphony’s internal team and contract specialists. The campaign featured postering, an engaging website that acted as a hub for the campaign, outdoor applications (both for billboards and metro transit stops) and a “viral-style” video shot by Brant Hadfield with SFX and production by Terry Coolidge.

All of the coverage for the campaign was gratifying to see, but the fact that sales were up was the real “reward,” here. In all, a fun and engaging solution for a gem of the nation’s arts landscape.

Shown Here: Campaign Video, Mark Design, Sample Poster & Wheatpasting, Website, Sample Outdoor Applications and Poster Concept

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Bocek Bros. Brand and Product Launch

You have to love working for clients that really feel your creative work on their bottom line. Clients that see the impact of your ideas and designs very directly. That’s the case in spades with Bocek Bros., a charcuterie start-up here in Missouri that I recently branded. Anyone who knows me, knows that I have always had a deep love for great charcuterie and let me tell you, the product Bocek Bros. is selling is great. Smoky, authentic and artisanal, this stuff is the real deal.

I was involved in all aspects of this one, from naming, to positioning to brand design and packaging (even copywriting and tagline development in the mix for me here as well). Self-performing isn’t something I do everyday with my role as VP / Creative Director; most of the time I’m trying to give the best creative opportunities to my team. I don’t say that solely altruistically, it’s just a great way to keep them motivated and engaged as an integral part of the agency. HOWEVER, this one was too much in my sweet spot on a variety of levels to pass up. LOL!

The goal was to create something that was hip and irreverent, but that retained a high-end “Napa Valley” artisanal sense to it. From the tagline and copy attitude to the mark and wordmark themselves to the site and packaging designs, I think that balance was conveyed.

Shown Here: Identity and Tagline, Brand Colors, Packaging Designs (with Detail), Photography Style (THANKS to Vince on my team for shooting), and Site

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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 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.

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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Wilburn’s Glen Brand Package

These brand launch materials for boutique natural spring water bottling start-up, Wilburn’s Glen, convey the natural sense of authenticity inherent in the Llano, Texas brand. Based around design principles expressed the Deco, Moderne and WPA architectural jewels studded throughout the Texas Hill Country region, the brand style has a classic modern strength with a hip twist. I created custom typography for the name “GLEN,” giving an ownable center to the identity. Geometric angled lines update and leverage forward classic deco graphic design thematics and symmetry while creating subtle “W”elements throughout the designs. Fun and elegant with a touch of whimsey, this was a joy to work on.

Shown Here: Brand Identity Elements, Packaging and Advertising Samples

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Blood Moon Records Identity System and Digital Design

This ID system for an indie label, complete with digital assets, was pure fun. I loved bringing the juxtaposition of elements here, from the clean mark and type to the vintage etching style to the clearly edgy attitude.

Shown Here :: Identity, Colors, Illustration Style, Apparel Designs, Responsive Web Designs

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The Goddard School Rebrand

In this business, we all have projects that are as rewarding as they are challenging. This rebrand for peerless early childhood educational leader The Goddard School falls directly into that category.

At once contemporary, approachable, bold and authentic, this new approach to the brand breathes a very fresh wind into the sails of the 25+-year-old franchise education provider. I was a creative lead on the project, filling the roles of Creative Director, Lead Designer, On-Set Director, Producer, Motionographer and (in some cases) Copywriter. Operating on a tight timeline, we executed a full rebrand plus campaign-driven materials to better tell the Goddard story. I was very blessed to work with a very talented crew internally at UPBrand that brought the signature style established here to a variety of additional projects not pictured here, a totally first-class DP and shooting crew, a really great editor / video team and a savvy and very hip client on this as well and I wanted to give props.

When the brand was rolled-out to both internal and franchisee stakeholders at an annual event in Florida, I am gratified to say that the work actually inspired some tears from those closest to the brand. A rarity, but always fun to see.

Shown Here: Sample Television Advertising, Brand Identity Elements, Responsive Site Design, Collateral, Print Advertising

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Logo Roundup

I thought I would share a montage of recent ID work that I hadn’t yet shared here. I so love creating projects like these and this is a fun collection. Solid identity work should speak for itself so I’ll let this one do just that.

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Propper Tactical Brand Concept

Sometimes I showcase here the concepts that aren’t selected. I believe strongly in presenting only options to clients that are both artful and viable. However, of everything presented, only one can make it. This concept for military and tactical icon Propper International is a great example of something that was not selected, but that retains a strength and beauty that makes it worth sharing.

Let me just say, I love these guys. This assignment was a hell of a lot of fun to create and trust me when I tell you that though I really did love the work featured in this post, the concept they selected (and I have since executed) was the right choice and is VERY compelling. Frankly, I can’t wait to show you that work. We’re all very excited for the official launch.

This concept brings a heavy infusion of lifestyle to a powerful new tactical line of gear Propper is bringing to market. Colorful, iconoclastic and real, the work treats the target audience here with both the intelligence and consumer savvy so often absent in this sector. I was the hands-on designer for all of this, a co-concept lead and wrote the line descriptors (“Be Cool.,” Blend.,” “Perform.,” and “Move.”) for the brand.

Shown Here: Sample Advertising, Brand Identity Elements and Site Design

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Flying R Mopeds Brand Exploration

Warm, chewy pizza, soft velvety gelato, the very beautiful Monica Bellucci… The Italians have given us so much that makes our lives rich and rewarding. And very few things maintain the cosmopolitain, outsider sense of cool that the Italian moped does. That’s exactly what fledgeling Flying R Mopeds of Menlo Park, CA thinks, too.

This brand package exploration draws its inspiration from all of that history and savvy sense of cool. Fun and quirky with a clear nod to the classic moto Euro style of yesterday, the package brings a whimsical elegance and pop to the brand and communicates its essence. I also created custom, hand-done typography for the “R” and “FLYING R” portions of the identity. The other elements in the mix add up to a collection with both a classic flair and a sly wink. Fun.

Shown Here: Sample Advertising, Brand Identity Elements, Business Card (Front and Back), Apparel and Site Design

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Paric Corporation Rebrand

It’s VERY gratifying when a client simply does it right. Not only when they engage creatively with a progressive solution in mind, but also when they build out the solution across touchpoints from the macro to the micro. Regional construction leader Paric did exactly that. I was grateful to act as Creative Director and design lead throughout the process, designing both identity materials as well as a full signature style for the brand.

A revisioned Paric wordmark was at the heart of a new visual approach for the brand. The conceptual center of the design for the wordmark is within the “A.” The interplay of positive and negative space creates a dual image of both the cupola of a building, capturing what Paric builds every day and also a red pencil, representing the pre-construction process, a planning cycle that Paric is a recognized industry leader in.

Coupled with the revisioned wordmark is an iconic new logo. The new mark takes the building / pencil shape from the wordmark and builds on it, further driving the concept home. The mark leverages design touches from the international Art Deco period to echo a rich history of building; a nod to a time of fascination with and belief in the power of construction worldwide.

These core elements form the basis for a wide range of materials.

I also personally wrote the new tagline: “EXPERIENCE. EXCELLENCE.” The periods within the tag allow it to be read two distinct ways. Both “experience” and “excellence” are elements essential to a great build process and the periods allow us to call those qualities out in a specific way. The tagline does also read as a directive for clients to “experience excellence.”

I also acted as Director and Creative Director on video pieces for the new brand. I had the VERY distinct pleasure of working with Brant Hadfield as DP on the project, Susan McMichael who crafted the overarching story arc and Kyle Dufendach as editor. I LOVE framing up architecture in-lens and this was wonderful to shoot. The resulting style is progressive and elegant in turns. The motion graphics elements within the piece are also the result of design and motion direction on my part with Kyle using his great skills and knowledge to give it nuance and touch. I am showing a slice of the long format video here with the motion graphics logo build.

Shown Here: Mark, Brand Colors, Site Sign, Advertising Sample, Hard Hat, Truck Concept, Safety Logo, Business Card (Front and Back) and Selected Video Samples

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PCL Construction “Horizons” Magazine

Another awesome project for $6 billion building giant and corporate mensch PCL Construction.

This contemporary refresh of PCL’s flagship magazine, Horizons, gives the company a great new outreach tool built around engaging storytelling and confident, progressive design. Evocative, full-page photography gives viewers a unique glimpse into the projects themselves while rich color overlays and forward-looking typography underscore the firm’s commitment to innovation. The grid elements throughout also hearken back to the nature of design-and-build projects.

In all, a wonderful example of the power of design to communicate the intangible aspects of a brand and the heart of an enterprise.

Shown Here: Front Cover and Selected Inside Spreads

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LER Brand Concept

Laclede Energy Resources is a subsidiary of the Laclede Group focused on buying and selling natural gas from and to a wide range of industrial and consumer customers. These style frames were built to communicate the unique position LER holds in the marketplace and their commitment to their client base. Bold, strong, and progressive with a strong sense of movement, these designs give a fresh, compelling and honest face to the organization.

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Pear Tree Dressing Packaging Suite

Carrying forward the packaging redesign I started for gourmet brand The Pear Tree, I recently created a new packaging suite for their signature dressing selections. Fresh, clean, contemporary and eye-catching, these designs capture the spirit of the brand while generating new interest in the product among a sea of sameness in the supermarket refrigerated dressing section — see in-store photos below to get a sense of the “pop” inherent in this graphic approach.

Shown Here: Flat Label Designs and In-Store Photos of Packaging

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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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UPBrand Storybook

Delivering world-class creative and brand clarity across the full range of channels and client areas of focus is the UPBrand mission. This “storybook” for the agency tells that story.

Built upon the “signature style” I had previously developed for the brand, this piece acts as the most complete exploration of that style in print to date, bringing an artful flair to the Bauhaus-driven grid present throughout the agency’s materials. The piece balances iconography and razor-sharp typography with rich photography, color blocks and whimsical vintage illustrations to create a unique approach. Overall, it’s a very inventive and engaging piece and was a ton of fun to create.

I also functioned as concept lead and copywriter on a good portion of this as well.

Shown Here: Cover Detail and Interior Spreads

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Parkway Schools Rebrand

Founded in 1954 and now serving over 17,000 students, the award-winning Parkway School District has long had a reputation for excellence, innovation and advanced thinking. However, Parkway was ready for a new face to the world to coincide with an exciting new strategic direction for the district.

The excitement of a “new day for Parkway” catalyzed my work and provided inspiration throughout the process as I developed everything from a progressive new visual brand platform with a new identity and brand standards to new print and video applications to tell the story of the galvanizing change redefining this educational leader. Overall, the approach is fun, clean, classic and friendly.

The mark itself carries a double meaning through a hidden image. At first glance, the strength of a sunrise image provides a clear link to the concept of a new day. With a longer look, the image of a open book, with pages actively spread reveals itself.

For video, I personally created the motion graphics aspects of this including the logo sting and type and graphic animations. I acted as director on shoots for both video and still photography for all district rebrand materials and also directed the edit of video elements. Editor Christina Geisen acted as the video editor here and I had a ton of fun working with her on this. Brant Hadfield and John Fedele did an amazing job of shooting video and still photography respectively and I really enjoyed working with them as well.

As the father of a daughter in the Parkway district, I was thrilled for the opportunity to create such an exciting new face for a brand I care so much about personally.

Shown here: Brandumentary Video, Mark / Wordmark with Color Choices for Individual Schools, Brand Standards Book (In Spreads) and Strategic Plan Book (In Spreads)

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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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Children’s Home Society of Missouri Site

Another recent launch I was very pleased to see was the site for the Children’s Home Society of Missouri (CHSMO).

CHSMO is a treasure on the Missouri non-profit scene. Founded in 1891, the Society has been focused on providing children with safe, loving and happy homes. Strong families, counseling, education and advocacy have also become hallmarks of CHSMO.

The site dovetails with an identity evolution being explored by Heidi Jost and leverages the brand’s central colors while building interest through simple use of type, graphics and bold, evocative and immersive imagery. Both this and the recently posted Trailnet site (see below this post) demonstrate the proverbial “Holy Grail” of web design for me — a mix of informative and organized information design, typographic hierarchy, supporting graphics and beautiful photography. For me, that’s a perfect mix and I think this site does a great job of illustrating the elegant power of those elements. Who says great usability, system fonts and information-oriented sites can’t be beautiful?

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Trailnet Site

I was thrilled to see the recent launch of a project I provided the design and digital brand for.

Trailnet is a great Missouri organization that focuses on building healthy, vibrant communities through activity and community connections. I led and creative directed the team that established new brand standards and messaging for the organization and was pleased to be able to personally design all of the digital extensions of that brand, breathing life to a great platform for the print world created by Rob Hutti, a team member.

The result is clean and evocative, bringing both an approachable feel and a sense of simple honesty through scale, clarity and organization of design and typography. Shown here: homepage (original design), second level page (as launched) and sample interior page detail.

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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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Duo + Quintess Brand Package

The most beautiful vacation homes in the world’s most coveted locations totally staffed to meet your every need. That is Quintess — a luxury club for discerning vacationers with resources. I recently had the opportunity to offer up site designs for the main Quintess site as well as both identity and digital brand assets for a new vacation club within the Quintess house of brands called “DUO.” The work strikes a balance between sleek elegance and a rich, textural approach. The site designs themselves use a mixture of gorgeous photography of the properties themselves, clean, elegant typography, deep, evocative color scheming and custom damask patterns. The DUO identity is at once bold, contemporary and rich. The split “O” at the terminus of the mark signifies the concept of “II,” speaking to the brand’s direct relationship to the main Quintess offering. I really enjoyed putting these together.

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“Friday Night Fights” Title Sequence

This is a title sequence for “Friday Night Fights” — a series of social usability “deathmatch” videos where live lab footage is shown pitting two similar websites against each other to determine which is more usable. The FNF wordmark is also mine. It’s all custom letterforms and ties in with the suite of other 4ORCE wordmarks for various initiatives.

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Ad Week STL Poster + Mark

These initial designs for a fledgling concept here in St. Louis are pure fun. Speaking as a creative, I will say that we can be a pretty annoying and self-absorbed bunch. So often, groups and events designed to build  a sense of community can devolve into pettiness. That’s where AD WEEK STL comes from — a desire to stop the complaining and infighting and to move forward, building something vibrant in the St. Louis creative community.

I led the theme concepting on this as well as the brand development itself. A senior writer at 4ORCE landed on the title of an Aerosmith song as the perfect way to convey our central idea — “Shut Up and Dance.” The supporting mark and poster materials leverage the edge of the creative mind while cutting through the lethargy and ennui that plague the scene. Fun.

I will be flowing this out to more materials and digital assets. Shown here: Poster + Detail and Mark.

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Purina Petcentric Redesign Concept

This redesign of pet products giant Purina’s Petcentric website is about the balance between clean, usable layout and gestural design touches. The site uses a “boutique-ish” feel to establish visual interest and build on the popularity of the personal touch of neighborhood pet stores — giving a more personal face to the Purina corporation. Overall, a very fun approach to the rework.

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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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Express Scripts “Wise Up” Campaign

This campaign, targeted at large organizations, uses the concept of “social norming” to increase participation in a home delivery prescription plan. The idea was to devise a catchy, punchy way to engage consumers and encourage a “bandwagon” mentality to spread through a company, increasing participation and bringing both the consumer and the organization large savings.

We came up with the concept “Wise Up” as a playful and attitudinal way to bring to life this “social norming” idea — “everyone is doing it and you should too because it would be stupid not to.” Visually, the campaign uses bold, visually arresting graphics to cut through the clutter of the corporate / retail end environment. I brought a custom campaign identity to the mix, digital and print executions rounding out the package.

Mark, site and poster collateral shown here. Campaign goal poster also shows end-user-generated handwritten text to show participation progress.

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White Hat Advisors Brand Package

Marketing consultancy White Hat Advisors was looking for an identity that pulled in President / Founder Stuart Jenkins’ Montana ranch roots while building on the idea that “good guys wear white hats.” My solution was bold, iconic and memorable. The mark itself has a timeless quality that brings home the “good guys wear white hats” idea with a white hat that echoes the shape of a halo. The business papers are also designed so each employee’s initials could be a part of the design. In the words of the client, Mr. Jenkins, “I don’t know how you conveyed everything we wanted to, but you nailed it.”

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4ORCE Brand Package + UX Lab Brand Package

NGAGE has become 4ORCE. It’s a compelling rebrand that embodies a reimagining and broadening of the agency scope and capabilities.

I created the new 4ORCE mark as a subtle nod to the existing NGAGE brand I developed. It is bold and progressive and uses custom-created letterforms to convey a sense of “digital.” The brutish nature of the type also brings a decisive strength to the brand as well.

One major portion of the agency’s expanded service offerings is the opening of our new User Experience Lab. I created custom brand elements for that as well, building on the main 4ORCE letterforms. The result has the same sense of presence as the main mark with a touch of “science fiction” sprinkled over the top.

I also created custom iconography as a part of the overall brand to show the unique blend of services present at 4ORCE. Though capturing complex concepts like “Insights and Intelligence” might appear difficult, I approached this with clarity and a touch of whimsey at the forefront of my thought. The icons are stylish and do capture both the essence of the departments themselves with a smile.

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NGAGE Company Guidebook

As Creative Director and Vice President, I take great pride in having been a fundamental part of the growth and development of NGAGE, a progressive digital agency in St. Louis with a very progressive culture.

This piece, targeted at all NGAGE employees, gelled both my personal thoughts on culture as well as agency owner Dan Curran’s attitudes, feelings and approach to running an agency. This content, coupled with policies and perks, made the book a wonderful statement about the ethos and soul of the agency. I acted as both the copywriter and the designer on the piece. Bringing together straightforward, boldly stated copy, whimsical photography and a heaping helping of attitude, I leveraged forward the NGAGE brand in a new way that reached audiences both internal and external as the content found a home on the NGAGE site.

Shown here with cover spread and selected inside spreads.

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MOZO Shoes Brand Package + Site

With brands like UGGS and Simple on their roster, the Deckers Corporation had a PROVEN track record for bringing great “brands on the verge” into their brand family. MOZO was no exception.

Designed with the belief that chefs are lateral athletes — moving fast on their feet for grueling 14 hour shifts, MOZO delivers unequaled comfort. Like a Kershaw Shun knife or an Imperial gas range, a MOZO shoe is an essential tool for the professional chef.

I led a full rebrand of MOZO. It started with a rework of the mark and wordmark, progressed to packaging, business papers, collateral and a complete relaunch of the MOZO site. In this case, all of the work was my personal positioning and design work.

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Principia College Athletic Hall of Fame Interior Design Concepts

Designed to convey a sense of history while serving as an inspirational “call to arms” for current Principia College athletes, this installation was a bold and textured tribute to the “gold and blue” of Principia. lauded poet painter of the Midwest Frederick Oakes Sylvester gave the colors of gold and blue to the college to stand for “purity” and “courage.” It is in the spirit of these qualities that I created these designs.

Full-bleed custom wallpaper featuring Principia athletes from the past treated in the school’s colors serves as the anchor for the installation. Stainless steel doors were added throughout the space with custom door pulls styled to reflect a new athletic mark I designed for the college. three-dimensional panels, display cases and glass walls completed the design.

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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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Daily Me Brand Package and App Design

Daily Me was another consumer subscription commerce exploration focused on women. This was not a popular concept as a CONCEPT, but the identity, app designs and overall look and feel were quite universally loved, so I am sharing it here.

I also wanted to share it because it features a powerful tool in my arsenal on the branding and digital sides alike :: the STYLE TILE. I love these. They exist somewhere in between the loose gestures of a mood board and the specificity of final designs. I have shown them on the Whole Foods Wine Club work as well. I use them whenever I can.

Shown Here :: Identity, Style Tile, App Designs

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Wampyr Band Identity System and Digital Design

Rock and roll should feel dangerous and what could feel more that way than a blend of horror and metal? Bands like The Misfits, Alice Cooper, Bauhaus, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and others have lived at that intersection, marking their careers with a unique, spooky quality. That’s what this ID system is designed to do. It leverages a custom blackletter approach to the mark and wordmark into an entire system that feels somehow both modern and at home in a mouldering castle with coffins in the crypt. I created all of this personally and had a great time doing so.

Shown Here :: Mark, Wordmark, Colors, Apparel, Responsive Web Designs

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