Blitz

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I was in a meeting at work (about a ‘marketing blitz’ - hoping to get residents in a specific neighborhood in Philadelphia to sign up for a program) and doodled the word ‘blitz’ in my notebook.

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I don’t do a ton of hand-rendered type in Illustrator, but this felt like a nice challenge.

My vector-ized attempt is below:

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Sunrise XI

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😑 not feelin’ it lately & not feelin’ these colors (Sunrise #11) : Leaving the gym, around 6:45am, looking east on Market Street. (L to R: 9/20/18; 9/21/18; 9/24/18; 9/25/18; 9/26/18; 9/28/18; 10/1/18; 10/2/18; 10/3/18; 10/5/18; 10/8/18; 10/9/18)

Sunrise X

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Late summer (Sunrise #10) : Leaving the gym, around 6:45am, looking east on Market Street. (L to R: 9/4/18; 9/5/18; 9/6/18; 9/7/18; 9/10/18; 9/11/18; 9/12/18; 9/13/18; 9/14/18; 9/17/18; 9/18/18; 9/19/18)

Sunrise IX

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August mornings (Sunrise #9) : Leaving the gym, around 6:45am, looking east on Market Street. (L to R: 8/18/18; 8/9/18; 8/10/18; 8/14/18; 8/15/18; 8/16/18; 8/17/18; 8/27/18; 8/28/18; 8/29/18; 8/30/18; 8/31/18)

Blue Stoop (Logo Process)

Blue Stoop: Or, how Philly's new literary hub (inspired by a poem, inspired by a photo of a stoop) came to be.

When my close friend, Joshua Demaree, mentioned he had a project he wanted to talk to me about, it was an offhand comment. Quickly, on his way out of my apartment, he breezily noted "Oh, I have a possible design thing I want to chat with you about soon..."

Cut to, a few weeks later, and I meeting with Joshua and Emma Eisenberg (Blue Stoop co-creator, fellow Philly-based writer & all around cool person) hearing about their vision for Blue Stoop, Philadelphia's new literary hub.

They wanted a logo – something that represented a sense of community, meeting space, inspiration, and that would feel at home amongst other literary hubs in the nation (The Porch; The Loft; Grubstreet, etc.)


I started with getting my thoughts out on paper: frantically jotting down words, phrases, and notes from my conversation with Joshua & Emma. As I wrote out words, I also was thinking through some visual ideas - some of the obvious, first-thought things that immediately bubble to the surface and need to escape. 

Here are some of those first sketches:


When i turned to the computer and started my next process of translating sketches to digital sketches and working through initial thoughts on screen, I was finding I had plenty of ideas, but how many were viable options that I could present to Joshua & Emma for review?

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I took a few days away from the project and came back with a clearer vision for the mark. I was happy with two concepts, but struggled to find a third – until I tried something unrelated to the stoop entirely and found my third concept in about 30 seconds (far right, below.)


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Something i've learned is how important context is. How does a design translate to the real world? Even if the logos I was pitching worked nicely on screen, they would likely eventually need to be turned into a shirt, or notebook, or tote bag as a gift to donors.

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To be honest, my favorite part of the whole project (and development process) was mocking the potential logos up on canvas totes. I found a great mockup, from GraphicBurger, and put it to good use. 


Joshua & Emma responded positively to my three marks, and immediately liked components of all three concepts. They shared some helpful feedback and guidance, which led me to some more retooling, sketching, and development.

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Again, Joshua & Emma were happy with all three proposals, but were immediately drawn to the third mark. Before I knew it (and had even shared final files) the logo was popping up on Blue Stoop's various web accounts and it was live.

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Since we first met in late June 2018, Joshua & Emma have received a ton of press and buzz (Philadelphia Weekly; The Inquirer; UC Review, etc.) and are launching their first series of coursework this fall.

It's all very exciting :)

www.bluestoop.org / @bluestoopphl (Twitter) / @bluestoopphl (Instagram)

Sunrise VIII

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Keeping it 💯 with my 100th visit to the gym in 2018 (Sunrise #8) : Leaving the gym, around 6:45am, looking east on Market Street. (L to R: 7/19/18; 7/20/18; 7/23/18; 7/24/18; 7/25/18; 7/26/18; 7/30/18; 8/1/18; 8/2/18; 8/3/18; 8/6/18; 8/17/18)

PWD Friday Studio (Counter-less typography)

Every few Fridays, the incredible team of talented folks I get to work with like to get away from our desks and screens and focus on some hand-done mini-projects. 

A recent "Friday studio" pulled inspiration from Sketching Type: A Guided Sketchbook for Creative Hand Lettering by Lee Suttey and an exercise on 'counterless type' or creating letters without the counter ('inner or enclosed space' of a letter, like the enclosed space in an 'o' or 'B').

These are some of the counterless letters I sketched out:

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PWD Friday Studio (Collage)

Every few Fridays, the incredible team of talented folks I get to work with like to get away from our desks and screens and focus on some hand-done mini-projects. 

A recent "Friday studio" focused on collaging old, soon-to-be recycled paper products (out-of-date drinking water quality reports, old advertisements, various outdated outreach material, and some beautiful Communication Arts magazines from the 1960s.)

I immediately covered most of my 7" x 7" square with a swash of PWD blue (the back of a report from 2015.) From there, I was drawn to the old and beautiful relics of past design (that illustration style! the typography! the halftones!)

I ended up really liking the asymmetry of the collage, and leaned into the misogynistic/sexist undertones found in some of the source material (lookin' at you, 1960s Communication Arts...) 

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Sunrise VII

Some fine summer sunrises 😎 (Sunrise #7) : Leaving the gym, around 6:45am, looking east on Market Street. (L to R: 6/29/18; 7/2/18; 7/3/18; 7/6/18; 7/9/18; 7/10/18; 7/11/18; 7/12/18; 7/13/18; 7/16/18; 7/17/18; 7/18/18)

Snail Mail "Pristine"

I heard "Pristine", the lead single from Snail Mail's debut album, Lush, on an episode of NPR's All Songs Considered and was instantly struck by the lyrics. The honesty and ripe emotion in Lindsay Jordan/s (who is... 19!?) writing is stunning.

It feels appropriate for being 19, or 14, or 22, or 27. 

Don't you like me for me?
Is there any better feeling than coming clean?
And I know myself and I'll never love anyone else
I won't love anyone else
I'll never love anyone else
If it's not supposed to be
Then I'll just let it be
And out of everyone
Be honest with me
Who do you change for?
Who's top of your world?
And out of everyone
Who's your type of girl?

It's obvious that I'm finding inspiration in the clouds and how the sky changes during the day, month, and year (see Sunrise posts.) The background photo was taken in late June at 2nd & Washington in South Philadelphia (flipped vertically.) The photo/texture from the text is a mistake that was captured via iPhone camera (you know when you accidentally take a picture out of focus, in motion, or of nothing? Yes, that.)

So, find inspiration anywhere and everywhere. Cherish what speaks to you.

 

SUNRISE VI

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See ya, June 👋🏼 (Sunrise #6) : Leaving the gym, around 6:45am, looking east on Market Street. (L to R: 6/11/18; 6/12/18; 6/13/18; 6/14/18; 6/15/18; 6/18/18; 6/19/18; 6/20/18; 6/25/18; 6/26/18; 6/27/18; 6/28/18)

Sunrise IV + Sunrise V

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Sunrise IV

Leaving the gym, around 6:45am, looking east on Market Street. (L to R: 4/25/18; 4/26/18; 4/27/18; 4/30/18; 5/10/18; 5/11/18; 5/14/18; 5/15/18; 5/22/18)

Sunrise V

Leaving the gym, around 6:45am, looking east on Market Street. (L to R: 5/23/18; 5/24/18; 5/25/18; 5/29/18; 5/30/18; 5/31/18; 6/1/18; 6/4/18; 6/5/18; 6/6/18; 6/7/18; 6/8/18)

Los Angeles [May 2018]

After a couple of days in San Francisco, we took the shortest & most convenient flight down to LA (well, the Hollywood Burbank Airport) to continue our California adventure.

Highlights included: Driving around Silverlake + tacos at El Siete Mares / Runyon Canyon Hike / the delicious Korean BBQ feast that was Genwa / hangin' with Chelsea + Will (with a special shoutout to doggo Roscoe) / fun times in Downtown LA / the Bradbury Building / Frank Gehry's incredible Walt Disney Concert Hall / crazy good dinner at Bowery Bungalow / and the worth-it-but-trendy SQIRL (go on a Monday at about 9am.) 

San Francisco [May 2018]

Our trip to San Francisco in early May was a dream. It was beautiful, fun, tasty, and interesting. The weather was a brisk, but sunny/overcast 60º – which made the city feel bright and energized.

My favorite things mostly centered around food, but included: fancy toast at The Mill / the beautiful, multi-colored homes / a lazy, delicious lunch at Zuni Café / lush plant life / Musical Night at The Edge with Joe / fun, weird dim sum inspired American food at State Bird Provisions / walking a lot (nearly 57,000 steps over 3 days) / wandering through Golden Gate Park / seeing great (old + new) art at SFMoMA

Here are some of my favorite photos from our days exploring (and eating) our way through the city.

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While exploring SFMoMA (which was closed/being renovated when I visited SF in 2014), I was struck by how exciting and expressive all of their exhibit graphics were. Each exhibit had a unique and thoughtful identity or entrance graphic.

Sunrise III

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Loving these pastels! Leaving the gym, around 6:45am, looking east on Market Street. (L to R: 3/23/18; 3/27/18; 3/28/18; 3/29/18; 3/30/18; 4/4/18; 4/5/18; 4/9/18; 4/10/18; 4/11/18; 4/23/18; 4/24/18)

No use crying over spilled milk...

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While waiting for the trolley recently, I saw this abandoned + splattered cup of coffee. It looked so violent and extreme, I had to take a picture of it.

I added some text and played around with adding some color. Just something fun -- an ode to caffeine. 

Sunrise II

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Another batch of sunrises — leaving the gym around 6:45am, looking east on Market Street (L to R: 2/20/18, 2/21/18, 2/26/18, 2/27/18, 2/28/18, 3/6/18, 3/9/18, 3/13/18, 3/14/18, 3/16/18, 3/19/18, 3/20/18)

Drink & Draw Sketches

AIGA Philadelphia hosts a series of events called "Drink and Draw." Various artists chat about their process/work and inspire those in attendance to do some drawing themselves. 

The February event was hosted be MECRO, who is known for his use of dynamic, bold, and layered typography. He encouraged us to explore how different styles of text layer on top of one another. I was struggling to come up with words to write (do I use song lyrics? do I think of clever words that look appealing? what about random words? or one category of a thing?) So I instead turned to a summary of the event & my experience at the event.

After spending about half an hour working on this – adding in comments, overheard conversations, observations, and details, I was ready to move on.

 

For my second sketch of the night, I wanted to try something completely different but still in line with MECRO's thinking. I chose to treat the word "Fluxy"(an obscure reference to a song by the band The Early November that i've adopted and been using since 2008.) I drew some boundaries and started layering and adding type (playing with scale and density). The "final" piece is weird, imperfect, and fun.

Sunrise

This is one of the benefits of getting up early and going to the gym – leaving around 6:45am and catching the sunrise and changing sky as you look east down Market Street. (Left to right: 1/3/18, 1/8/18, 1/9/18, 1/10/18, 1/29/18, 1/31/18, 2/5/18, 2/9/18, 2/12/18, 2/13/18, 2/14/18, 2/19/18)