T3 Design

Very Grateful

by on Nov.24, 2014, under Misc

“not what we say about our Blessings but how we use them, is the true measure of our Thanksgiving.” W. T. Purkiser

Thanksgiving may be my favorite holiday (or at least even with July 4th). I find that the solution to many of my problems begins with gratitude. Anger, resentment, envy, and more can often be banished simply by recounting to myself the vast list of blessings I can be grateful for. For every unmet expectation, there are a thousand things I have received that were undeserved.

So on Thanksgiving Day I like to honor the traditions of family, fellowship and feasting. This year I was making the list of things to be carefully and lovingly prepared so my 5 boys (ages 10 to 20) and various relatives from cousins to great grandma could devour them seemingly without coming up for air. As I wrote the list it reminded me of a Prix Fixe menu. One thing led to another and I ended up making my own menus to put at the place settings for our feast.

Unlike a fancy (and often overpriced) establishment, our home is a warm (read noisy and chaotic) and inviting (read we don’t turn anyone away) place. I started with a font for the menu, but realized very quickly that what got my attention in the first place was the hand penned list. So I wrote out the menu using my Lamy medium nib pen (the orange one of course) and then scanned that in and used it for the design. My printer came up with some fantastic pearlescent card stock and the result is exactly representative of the meal.

The finished piece is 4.25″ x 11″, not because it had to be, but because I find that we expect things to be whole or part of a “standard” letter sheet. It feels right when we hold it in our hand because we are used to the dimensions. Often a design wants to evoke a feeling that is unique or surprising, but I wanted to generate comfort and familiarity. The back is an adaptation of the 136th Psalm which we will read together with my father reading the verse and all of us responding with “his love endures forever.”

My youngest son and I found wonderful leaf printed paper plates and napkins and together I think it is perfect (and I won’t have to do dishes!)

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Pancho says “Yellow”, I say “Giallo”

by on Nov.05, 2014, under Misc

Pancho is one of my very good friends. During a drive back from Stilly where we had lunch with another friend, he lamented the fact that he had not a logo with which to represent himself.

I offered to help him fix that. I just need something to start with… nothing. “Well, do you want a graphic image logo or a text based icon?” I ask… “I like the text thing I think.” He answers. That’s about all I got from him.

During a conference call I started playing around and about 17 versions down the road I offered him a concept in black & white. I alsways start logo design in B&W because a good logo has to be useable in monochrome. This text message exchange then occurred:

Him: Good, Maybe we need color instead of black and white.

Me: What colors do you like?

Him: Red and Yellow

Me: Red red. Orange red, Maroon. Yellow, Gold, Lemon.

Him: Red red

Me: Ferrari Colors

Him: Yes, Never thought about it that way.

So I used Rosso Corsa (CMYK 10,100,100,3) and Giallo Moderna (CMYK 1,17,91,0), both Ferrari colors from the early years when life was simple and fast cars came from overseas and were yellow or red.

The concept was a simple drawn font using his initials, BP, with the same symbol reflected to make both characters. I intertwined the letters and indexed one to the right and made the whole thing “square” so it would make a good icon as well.

When I ask him how he was going to use it he wanted an iPhone background, so I made a couple of those, but somehow I ended up making a caricature icon from a pic he sent me. Overall it was a really fun project, mostly because I enjoy working on stuff with my friends.

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Brite Lites

by on Oct.26, 2014, under Misc

As part of my T3 logo wallpaper design project I photoshopped a “Lite Brite” wallpaper pretty early on. But that’s not the really the same as actually doing it in real life. So I started looking for a Lite Brite to use… Turns out it’s more complicated than that (if you’re OCD that is).

Lite-brite

The Lite Brite was introduced in 1967 (same year my wife was born). The original Lite Brite had two plates with a hexagonal grid of holes (1735 holes to be exact). To play, one put a piece of black paper with white letters outlining the pattern between the plates and then pushed translucent plastic pegs into the correct holes to make a picture. The paper kept the light from coming through the unused holes.

Letter Peg Sheet

Because of the two plates, the vintage pegs were long (1.125″). At some point the toy was changed to only use a single grid and the pegs were shortened. Modern Lite Brites use even shorter pegs that are not completely translucent.

Lite Brite Peg History

So, several versions of the toy, at least 3 major variations of pegs…what’s a boy to do? I decided to get an original 1967 Lite Brite and first generation vintage pegs. It took some work, but over 10,000 pegs purchased on eBay later, I had the 596 Orange and 288 Clear vintage pegs I needed. The result is very cool and especially so if you were a kid in the late 60’s or early 70’s.

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Branding (cows, not products)

by on May.26, 2014, under Misc

The son of our very good friends is a rancher in training. He works with his grandfather as often as he can caring for the cows, mowing and haying, and all that other “farm” stuff.

He is starting to manage his own cattle and was working on ideas for a brand to mark his cattle with. His father plans to set up a company using his initials (RJA) and so he was playing with ideas using his initials as a brand.

As it turns out there are some guidelines where branding is concerned. There are recommended widths of the brand “stroke” and sizing guides for different age cattle. Also, there is a need for there to be no closed spaces (like an “O”) or else heat and steam cannot escape.

We worked together a little and came up with this…

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CCS Senior Funny Money

by on May.12, 2014, under Misc

I was asked to design and print some playmoney for my second son’s senior class party (to be held after graduation). I tried to create a Monopoly money feel using Marks from the school brand and incorporating little details like the serial number is the date of the party.

The pictures are the Headmaster ($20), his wife (also the Director of Spiritual Formation for Girls) ($10), the Academic Counselor ($5) and the Curriculum Director ($1)

 

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Football Anyone? (that’s soccer to me….)

by on Apr.17, 2014, under Misc

The Oklahoma City FC has officially opened shop and promises to bring a top tier soccer oasis to waiting fans in this midwestern desert. I’m not really a sports fan. Soccer is fine. Watching soccer in a bar in Mexico City is awesome. I will withhold judgement on OKC soccer until it has had time to mature. I wasn’t an NBA fan either but now find myself inexplicably drawn to Thunder Basketball…

When they announced a design contest for the inaugural soccer scarf (I have to admit I had no idea that the “scarf” was such a sacred part of football fandom) I decided I could get on THAT wagon.

Rules are simple: one design per person (which is the way it should be), have to use the elements of the logo and word mark, maximum of five colors (there are four colors in the team color scheme). Oh, and you have to sign away every single right to any design you submit forever and ever amen.

Not being familiar with soccer scarves, I decided to do a little research to see what was “fashionable” and was not surprised to find that like all design there is a lot of variation. I chose to approach the design from an old school view with just a little modern thrown in for good measure.

I might add here that the people putting on the contest frustrate designers by failing to designate the font being used in the design, providing only low res versions of logos and word marks and not specifying minimum line weights and color separations based on production technique. It is highly likely that some designs will be rejected for considerations that could/would have been avoided if we knew more.

All that said, here is my design (already submitted and signed in case you get any ideas about copying…)

10 minutes after I submitted my design I got this back:

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Movies that go “BANG”

by on Apr.14, 2014, under Misc

I like movies. I like guns. I like movies that have guns in them. I like the guns that are in movies.

I started collecting gun models that are in the movies I love. Both the 6.5″ and 8.375″ barrel Smith & Wesson Model 29 .44 Magnums from “Dirty Harry”. The nickel plated Star Model B 9mm with pearl grips and the chromed .45 Auto-Ordnance M1911A1 with pearl grips from “Pulp Fiction”. A pair of silenced Beretta 92FS’s from “Boondock Saints”. The compensated Beretta 92FS from “Leon the Professional”. The Russian AK-47 from “Lord of War”. The tricked out 1911 Model from “Sucker Punch”. Several guns; S&W 29, S&W 36 snub, S&W Escort and the Astra Constable from “Taxi Driver”. Just to name a few.

I started looking for a way to display these in the context of the movie they were from so it would make sense to others. I don’t have room for lots of cases and such, so I envisioned a lighted display case with peg board in the back. I could create a backdrop piece on foam core with holes for rubber coated pegs to hold the guns in the appropriate spots. Then I could put a backdrop in and hang the guns. Every so often I could trade out the backdrop for a different movie and that movie’s guns. A rotating display.

I have several backdrops started. For each one I tried to match the style and feel of the movie while highlighting the gun(s). I will post more here as they are completed.

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Chicken and Waffles

by on Apr.14, 2014, under Misc

My dad was talking about opening a chicken and waffles place here in OKC. Every so often the story comes up of us trying to find a Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles in California and ending up in Compton (keep the windows rolled up and don’t stop…) The last time, dad decided we needed a place like that here. Only this place would sell a boneless fried chicken breast in a folded waffle as a sandwich. Great idea! We even talked about seasonal variations, i.e. substitute turkey and add cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving. Since I have a hard time thinking about anything without creating graphics for it in my head I decided to make a logo for dad’s imaginary restaurant. Of course, our phones are tapped because shortly after we had this idea Burger King came out with their Chicken Waffle Sandwich…

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Cornerstone Project

by on Apr.14, 2014, under Misc

I work for Kimray. I have all my life. My grandfather founded the company in 1948 and the first location for the company was a little building on Western just south of Britton Rd in what was then the incorporated town of Britton, OK. Around 1951 he moved the company to it’s present location where we have grown from utilizing half of the original 10,000 sq ft building to occupying 255,000 sq ft spread over 16 buildings.

We have decided to move. Project “Cornerstone” will move the entire company into 312,000 sq ft of manufacturing space and 60,000 sq ft of office on a new 136 acre campus only 4+ miles north of our current location.

I helped create the logo design for the project:

I am also working with the architects to design the building. If I hadn’t had a job waiting for me as a mechanical engineer I would have gone into architecture. I love building design. We are going for a retro industrial look for the office facade. Something that makes you think of the old brick factories. I was looking at pictures of the original Kimray location (modern photos unfortunately) and decided to incorporate a design element into the new building to tie the original location with the new one.

First I recreated a pic of the old building by photoshopping a current photo:

Then I created a unitless drawing of the parapet that could be used to design a similar treatment on the new building:

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Carbs & Cabs

by on Apr.14, 2014, under Misc

I have run each of the 13 Oklahoma City Memorial Marathons. It might have something to do with the fact that I was a cofounder of the race….

I had the idea this year that instead of going to the pasta party and wearing myself out, I would have a few people over (runners and non-runners) for an early dinner the night before the marathon.

I was working on invitations (ending up going evite) when the idea for party favors surfaced. After some bouncing around I ended up deciding to label some wine with custom labels and give each couple a bottle to take home. The front label is shown here. There will be a back label with some additional info including the actual wine info for what is in the bottle.

I was playing with “logo” designs when I came up with the wheat in the bottle using negative space. The picture in the background is the race as the runners climb up the Walnut St bridge in the second mile of the marathon. I think this might become a yearly ritual…

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