October 27, 2023

Go Viral for Something

When I've had free time I've been working with my old collegiate debate society to create a new ad campaign for them to use on campus and their social channels. I pitched them a few platforms, but they settled on one I called "TikTalk." The core insight being that today's youth are missing out on necessary communication skills as they've migrated from real life interaction to digital.

From there I gave them a few campaigns and they chose "Go Viral for Something You Can be Proud of." With a long list of famous alumni who have achieved fame in their fields, it made sense to highlight that there are a lot of bad ways to go viral but when you are an effective communicator you have the chance to become famous for something positive.

Below are the print and social. I also pitched them on working with University Archives, as the school's oldest student organization, to host an exhibit under the same name featuring artifacts of the society's most famous alumni.

As far as design, I took cues from design in the 1800's, since the society was founded in 1803 (200 years before Facebook). I also used a font named Philosophers my friend Eric Doctor made. The letter forms, glyphs and even name were spiritually perfect for the project.

October 27, 2023

Street Fighting Baby

Some more fun with Izzy.

October 5, 2023

More Baby Art

One of my challenges to myself is looking at the various photos I've taken of Izzy and trying to figure out what her pose reminds me of. Then I take the photo into Photoshop and use a combination of Generative Fill and good old fashioned manual workmanship to make the image. I posted one the other week, but here are a bunch more since then.

September 17, 2023

Mandala

Finding ways to entertain yourself that don't require massive amounts of brain activity between baby feedings led me to try making a mandala using Procreate on my iPad.

September 7, 2023

Generative Baby Art

Last week my wife and I welcomed our child into the world, which honestly provides an opportunity for me to play around with the generative fill feature in the Photoshop Beta.

August 25, 2023

There’s plenty of Crying in Advertising

I really do believe that certain "taboo" subjects should be talked about more openly so they won't be taboo anymore. I've done it in the past when I posted about pay ranges for full-time and freelance and I thought it was time to do it again for one of the mental health issues plaguing the industry.

You normally only see people posting about crying in the office on places like Fishbowl where they can be anonymous. Everyone in advertising fears being seen as weak. I thin it's funny though, because to be truly great at it you have to be empathetic. You need to be able to feel emotion and relate to how others are feeling as well.

Being honest about being humans is the first step, so we should be able to talk about those moments of humanity we have without fear or being seen as somehow lesser than those who don't. And that's before we even get into the underlying conditions at agencies that cause it to happen to begin with.

August 23, 2023

Maternity Shoot

I convinced my wife to let me take some maternity photos of her before the baby drops. You can find a few more photos from the shoot here.

August 15, 2023

Minimal Alphabet

The other night I wanted to see if I could design a type face as minimally as possible. Starting with a base rectangle and seeing how I could distinguish each letterform with as few visual cues as possible. This was what I cam up with in my first 2 hour pass. I see a few things I'd maybe have done differently now, but as a thought experiment I think it shows what's possible.

I know more than a few people have tested their own minimal fonts/typography against the word minimum as well because of the similar letterforms so I thought it was a good test for this as well.

August 14, 2023

The Remix Edition

The other night I had a thought about how my wife and I are dropping a remix and what the tracks would be, all alluding to our incoming baby. Went ahead and mocked up the album art. I used a photo I shot of us when we were in Portland last summer. When I overlaid one of the ultrasounds, I realized it looked like either a scratch or a reflection and either way I liked it. Enjoy.

August 8, 2023

Baby Shower Invite

I designed the invite for my wife's baby shower a few weeks ago. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

I made all the elements except the base font for the type. However, I did customize it a bit using some of the glyphs and then going in and removing parts of letters as accents so the glyphs would read better.

August 7, 2023

FreeLAnce Drinks

I've been working with Stephen Reidmiller to host a happy hour for freelance creatives in Los Angeles. Tomorrow is the first one and to that end we created some social assets to help advertise it. Whenever you're building a brand from scratch, no matter how small, it's an interesting exercise in figuring out what makes the most sense for the people you are trying to talk to. Especially creatives who are going to be ultra judgy about whatever you post.

The first post needed to be the most basic. It was a new idea and we were posting 2 weeks before the event so we needed to spoon feed what to expect a bit more. Whenever I teach classes I always tell my students that the journalistic 5 W's actually make a great brief: who, what, where, when, why. You don't need much more than that honestly. I employed it here as well.

Who: Advertising Creatives
What: Happy Hour Drinks
Where: Los Angeles
When: Aug 8th @ 7pm
Why: To meet other freelancers

As mentioned, since this was the first communication I made the decision to have the visual be more simplistic. Emphasize the drinking part of what we are doing and let the subhead be more playful.

I also wanted vibrant, bright colors to stand out on LinkedIn which tends to be more drab.

The second post gave us some room to play. With the idea already established and a week before the vent, we used the design language from the first post. Same fonts and layout which works well for LinkedIn's preferred aspect ratio. The preferred aspect ratio is important even though if you upload something different because when you share the post, it'll pull the image.

You aren't really dropping the image for the feed, you're designing for the share. If you're outside the aspect ratio, the image will get cropped which isn't great if you are trying to exercise the most amount of control over what you are making.

We decided to get a little meta with the visual, showing someone working at a bar on the graphic that is actually showing in the feed. And on the screen we can see they are working on the same in the same. Again, subhead is fun and should appeal to our target audience, freelance creatives who will thus understand what a day rate means and infers.

Our final post ran today, a day before the event. We wanted to reinforce the core idea that this is a social event while also playing with some of the absurdities freelancers are familiar with, requiring people to be on-site when it's not necessary most of the time. In this case, repurposing that language and showing the affect of what being remote to a social event would look like.

We'll see how many people show up but the response has been good. Honestly, my guess is 10-20 people. I'll be pleasantly surprised if more than that come but you never know.

August 5, 2023

Free Headshots

The other week I made an offer on LinkedIn to take free headshots of any out-of-work creatives who wanted a refresh. I only had one person take me up, so everyone else's loss. Brandi and I met up this past Wednesday over in Santa Monica and these were the results.