Logos for a restaurant that ended up being renamed and reconcepted before opening. The client wanted a logo that referenced the age of the building (late 1800s) and felt rustic, but still reflective of the fact that it is a relatively nice restaurant. I completed these nearly a year ago, but I’ve been waiting for the restaurant to finally open before posting these…just in case they ended up deciding to use this name after all. This is the first (and so far, only) project I’ve ever been paid for in full that never ended up being used.

When I was given the opportunity to design the cover (and interior) of the new 826CHI book "The Windows Reflect Anything", a collection of stories by Chicago high school students, I knew I wanted to incorporate two things: a literal reference to the title of the book, and hand-drawn typography. Originally I was hoping to combine the two by putting some piece of hand-drawn lettering in a window and staging a carefully taken photography, but time and logistics just made that too difficult. Instead, I decided to do the two things separately and combine them later.

The photo was a result of an afternoon walking around Wicker Park, to have the photo be someone relatively close to 826CHI. After taking dozens of ugly photos along Milwaukee Ave, I ended up taking the photo of the reflection of a CTA train window with myself and the 6 corners artist lofts in the reflection.

The lettering was a little more complicated. The final product wasn’t too far from my initial sketches, but it was discovered after I had finished my first comps of the cover that I had been given the wrong title for the book, and I had to change my lettering from saying "The Windows Reflect Anything to "The Windows Reflect Everything. Unfortunately, that meant I had to lose the interlocking W and A from my earlier version, which was a bit disappointing, but it allowed me to add some different type styling. As a result I had to adjust the W in Windows and draw a new lower half of the cover. I kept all of my previous lettering that wasn’t affected and drew the final word within the same space as the original drawing, then combined the two drawings on the computer. Adding some coloring and laying it over the photography was the final step.

Stop by The Boring Store at 1331 N Milwaukee Ave to see the book, and lots of other not-boring things.

Main view View from across the museum. Michael C. Place on the left, Marian Bantjes on the right. Head on view

I recently completed this new anamorphic typography installation for the Chicago Design Museum, a pop-up museum set up in downtown Chicago through the month of June 2013. Anamorphic typography is a spatial experience in which an arrangement of letters look perfectly set from a single point within a space, while looking wildly distorted from any other perspective.

My installation was in amazing company, as this year’s ChiDM exhibition featured the work of Wolfgang Weingart, Marian Bantjes, John Massey, and Michael C. Place, as well as a number of amazing local designers. It is truly worth the effort to get there if you are in the Chicagoland area.

Helvetica Logos Poster Helvetica Logos Poster Detail

My Etsy store is now launched to sell the posters pictured above. The “Best Things” poster is available in both black and white for $25 and is gold foil stamped. The Helvetica Logos poster is offset printed in silver ink and is $20.

The “Best Things” poster is something I had the idea for years ago. It is an expression of the uneasy relationship I have with branding, and the fine line between communicating the values of a brand and selling a dishonest image. The logos used are:

T Mobile, H&M, Internet Explorer / Beats by Dre, Electronic Arts, Sony, Twitter / Texaco, Hasbro, IBM, Nintendo 64, Gucci, Sega / iPhone (iPod, iMac, etc.), New York Times / Louis Vuitton, Zippo, Ford, Dell / Acura, Toys R Us, ESPN, Netflix, Chili’s, Starck / Toyota, Hewlett-Packard, Tropicana, NY Yankees, General Electric, Subway

The Helvetica poster is a demonstration of the lack of creativity in using helvetica in branding and the ubiquity of helvetica in general. If the variety of brands shown in the poster all use the same general identity, how could it possibly express much about any one of them?

I’m happy to announce that I’m part of the Re/View exhibit in this year’s Chicago Design Museum pop-up exhibition. I’m doing a new anamorphic type installation, which you can see a pre-paint glimpse of above (Can you read what it says from the painters tape alone?). The other ChiDM exhibits this year are insanely good: Marian Bantjes, John Massey, Michael C. Place, and Wolfgang Weingart. The museum opens up on June 1st at Block 37 (108 North State Street, 3rd Floor, Chicago, IL). Check out the Chicago Design Museum site for more information: link.

Behold, the power of tumblr! I started this tumblr less than 9 months ago, just filling in old posts from my previous blog. My anamorphic typography post caught the eye of someone in charge of the #design tumblr tag and spread around tumblr in a way I never would have imagined. Yesterday, it passed the 40,000 likes/reblogs mark. Thanks to all of you tumblrers!