Austin Film Society Teen Summer Filmmakers Program

I had a TON of fun creating this illustration to anchor AFS’ Teen Summer Program. Pop, attitude and style to spare. Applied here to apparel.

“Annabelle Lee” Sarah Jarosz Music Video

This was a labor of love that I created both inspired by and in tribute to the amazing work of three amazing artists ::

First off, the bone-gleamingly pure Sarah Jarosz who adapted a macabre classic into this bit of musical perfection. The second is the man behind that definitive poem, the peerless master Edgar Allan Poe. The third is less well-known (and it’s a crime). Lotte Reininger was a filmmaker and animator from the early 20th century, who’s seminal works include the oldest surviving full-length animated feature film, “The Adventures of Prince Achmed,” from 1926. That’s 12 years before Walt Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” was released!

PLEASE view this in full HD either below or at this (preferred) Vimeo link. It’s meant to be viewed that way.

Words and Music — ©2011 Sarah Jarosz and Sugar Hill Records
Inspired By — “Annabel Lee” by Edgar Allan Poe
Video Concept, Illustration and Animation — ©2016 David Edward Johnson

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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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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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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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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“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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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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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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