Category Archives: mbtween design

UA Holiday Snowglobe 2014

Now that the 2015 card has been released, I’ll post the 2014 holiday card for University of Arizona Student Affairs & Enrollment Management. To get the best experience, click on this link with a mobile device as the snow globe shakes and new scenes appear when you tap it. Nerd fact: the original animations all had to be under 200k to flow through the mass email system, and that ain’t much. cool fact: won a Silver Addy for this.

animated snow globe

Thanks, Neil Armstrong

This just about says it all, though I will quote from the book “Rocket Men” referring to those that have gone into space:

“They have something, a sort of wild look. I would say, as if they had fallen in love with a mystery up there, sort of as if they haven’t got their feet back on the ground, as if they regret having come back to us… a rage at having come back to earth….. did you know that for months [they] went around looking at the sky? You could speak to them and they didn’t answer, you could touch them on the shoulder and they didn’t notice; their only contact with the world was a dazed, absent, happy smile. They smiled at everything and everybody, and they were always tripping over things. They kept tripping over things because they never had their eyes on the ground.”

Neil Armstron Apollo 11 flag at half mast on the moon

 

Bianchi’s Restaurant Doorhanger Design

Bianchi’s Italian canvassed the neighborhoods near them with door hangers we designed and produced for them. It needed to be eye-catching and it had to hold a lot of information. Bianchi’s is another Tucson original, first opening in 1977 and now run by their son. Using some earthy imagery evoking old Italy and sharp use of the green/white/red of the Italian flag resulted in an attractive door-hanger. Each coupon is readable at a quick glance. Just looking at it makes me want some garlic bread for a mid-afternoon snack.

Goodbye, 2011. Hello, 2012!

With this year pretty much wrapped up, I am not only looking forward to continued the partnership with our clients where I get to help them succeed, but also thankful for the very very full year where I have done just that: helped people succeed. I will be posting more in the coming months about this process that I enjoy, and it has been a great year. There were the usual projects, the logos, illustrations, posters, newsletters, email blasts, vehicle graphics and so on, but there were some new ones as well. There was the 240 page book now being sold everywhere, several business proposals that help land 150 miles of rail line in Oregon as well as a spot in a huge retail chain that I can say nothing more except that it is one a story of a small business hitting the big time in a big way. How can that not be exciting? There were other books as well, paired with music cds [there were lots of those] and a lot more cycling jerseys and race clothing. Add into all of this a personal project of adding onto my home where I was able to spend time on deciding how the space was to be used which included a 3 foot by 12 foot walk-in shower. Maybe better than that was laying 1800 sq ft of slate tile. It may seem crazy, but I sorted, piled, and chose where each uniquely colored stone was going to rest for the next 30+ years. I don’t often get to sculpt or build things, so this was a bit of a treat. A long, tiring, knee-busting treat. Nearly every surface of the interior has been painted a different color, but that may be what I do best: color. The early morning sun lights the main room on fire, calling the family to curl up on the couches and enjoy. After a whole year of a lot of destruction, there was plenty of construction for the family to enjoy.

Yes, it has been a good year for getting a lot of work done. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Thank you for letting me create for you – 2012 should be even better.

Our Free 2012 Wall Calendars are here [almost]!

This is our 14th wall calendar in a row, with some of the prior years being much funnier than others. Last year was all about the 50th anniversary of man in space [go Yuri!], and this year it is about the Olympic games. It also has a bit of the sailing theme as we happen to be sponsors of the U.S. Sailing Team. Go, er, floaty-boats! Okay then, first up: get the sailing team a mascot so that cheering is more than just “Go U.S.A.!”

Let us know if you want a calendar [and are local] or we can let you know when we are done with printing them and you can swing by and pick a few up.

Click here for a pdf version that is easier to read, but sorry, you can’t print it out. We aren’t scrooges, we just know that the final calendar is going to be much better than what can be printed out on an office printer.

AlphaGraphics Tucson 2012 Wall Calendar

Goodbye, Mrs. Tiggy Winkle’s

After a few decades of being in business, Mrs. Tiggy Winkle’s Toys has closed its doors. Much could be said about this being the result of the poor economy, online stores cutting into local stores profits and the loss of small businesses, but they were our friends and now is not the time. They did so many things that were just plain right.

They weren’t so much a store to find the lowest prices as a store to experience the toys. You were guaranteed a request by one of the staff to sprinkle pixie dust on you our your children, and if you came back often enough, you might find yourself in the midst of a raging sponge rocket battle taking over the entire store. So many of the toys were out to be played with, including large wooden train layouts where there would always be a handful of toddlers pushing trains around the tracks. The books they stocked sparked the imagination, as did their toys. At closing, staff would sometimes come around an aisle and find all the knight figurines set up in a battle against the dragons and cute little toys from Japan.

They brought in musicians, helped sponsor shows, had repeated visits from animals from the zoo and their staff-created puppet shows were the best. The big tree would be pushed aside as well as several aisles and the store would be packed out. Mrs. Tiggy Winkle’s was always a place to have fun, no matter your age. Tucson has lost a little bit of life with their closing.

Years ago we helped create their website, wanting an original illustration. With a little bit of Flash, we had some fun, especially on their staff page.

[kml_flashembed movie=”http://www.mbtween.com/p/tiggytoys/staff_xs.swf” height=”311″ width=”512″ /]
Each page had a different illustration, and they were all going to have a lot of animated items, but we held off on that as the economy began to sour. Bubbles were supposed to float up, the bulldozer was going to push the clouds around, the giant bear was to rise up and the slowly return to peeking out over the landscape. The goldfish crackers were to swim around while the hook tried to grab them. In the bottom was a little outhouse, and you would have had to gone to Mrs. Tiggy Winkle’s and used their bathroom to understand. For some children, they didn’t want to go to the store for the toys, but to go see the bathroom.


Mrs. Tiggy Winkle is a hedgehog, and we had her living in a tree stump. The leaves would fall, the door would open and she would peek out. Later on we wanted to have a herd of elephants run behind the stump and have a portal appear and the elephants would run into it and disappear. There was also going be a rocket balloon tower that would rise up and launch a rocket balloon [still one of the best toys. ever.] and more.


It would be wonderful to think that one day they would reopen, but the chances of that are less than slim. Someone else will have to give it a shot, making another toy store one that you don’t just visit but experience. Read their farewell here.

Welcome to mbtween – Tucson’s complete creative design, marketing and production solution

First and foremost, mbtween design is about giving you my best in design, creativity, and marketing. I aim to exceed my client’s expectations for each project, and that includes the value of services rendered as I am highly efficient and cost-conscious*. Nobody likes to waste time, and I am no exception. I have learned more tips and tricks to getting work produced in the last twenty years [and produced beautifully] that clients watching me work on my three screens have made the comment that it looks like a scene from Minority Report with windows and artwork sliding around and coming together in a very short time. As a result, extremely short deadlines are no problem. The constraints of time and budget are no problem with efficiency and talent.

Detail and results oriented, you can expect the best as mbtween design works within a production facility that is more than capable. Digital and offset presses, large format printers and finishing equipment – all run by talented and professional coworkers. We are continually coming up with creative solutions to unique production problems and it  is a bonus to you to have both creation and production exist under the same roof. If it is designed here, it can be produced here – no problem. Everything you can imagine for a restaurant start-up? Sure. Every piece for an international conference? We’ve been doing one yearly since 1998. From small projects to the insanely large ones – we have the experience and know-how to get it done, hopefully without breaking a sweat.

I stay busy and this portfolio is often on the short end of things. I must have a few hundred more pieces to put up, and I always want to make the next project better than the last. Once the amount of work has reached critical mass I will go back and redesign the site to be better broken up by project types. I enjoy being creative and coming up with design solutions that communicate well and are attractive. On one side it is information that needs to be communicated and on the other is making it something worth looking at, a work of art. Combine those two and if you can make it a successful marketing piece, it is a success for everyone involved.

Why use mbtween design? We are professionals that are results driven with endless creativity.

*True story: a client came to us with artwork that had been created by their friend that was a designer [probably a rather generous description]. They were charged $10 an hour [a great deal!] and it took them 30 hours to complete [whoa, not a great deal]. The artwork was poorly crafted and the images were unusable – it had to be scrapped. In just over an hour I created a new piece – both better looking and producable – and we were able to produce it in-house in no time.