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.

Brochure Redesign and Self Published book Design

It happens more often than we would like to think – “I had this designed elsewhere, but I don’t like how it turned out”. Just because someone or someplace has a computer and software [in this case, Word] it does not mean that the result will be professional design. I’ll hit on this some other day, but when I had my kitchen redone, I did not build my own kitchen cabinets. There is a reason we have professionals. I’ll climb down from my soapbox though I do feel bad for people that get burned.

I’ll start with the redesign – clean, bright, inviting and relaxing. The blues capitalize on the various social media icons that are blue [more about that further below] and it helps make Bardi the focus of the brochure. Click on the images for a larger image.

Did I mention this was done in a time crunch as well? It was just under a 3 hour job, including stripping out the images from the provided Word doc, masking out images and formatting. See, speed DOES matter. Just think what it would look like if I had 20 hours to work with…

Below are images of the provided artwork. Blocks of color with little flavor, text without any flavor, though I kept the basic layout as that was fine with the client.

After this project, our book design services were utilized in the form of a 240 page book that needed to be laid out and prepped for printing first with us and then through Amazon. The cover came to us with this design but it was also a bit flat.

I still had several photos I had taken early one morning for another project, and the rolling hills worked great for the image beneath the title. I also moved the cover from being a list of information to something more dynamic and identifiable.

Formatting the inside of the book took a bit longer as any well formatted project should. I always take the time to create style sheets so that I can change any aspect of the book in a moment. Need the text larger? Done. Need a different font? Done. The light bulb was a nice touch to break up the chapters.

You may look through more pages at the listing here, and you could purchase it as well.

Last in the list of items came several months later in the form of a quick handout/rack card. I pulled all the social media logos I could find and piled them in an attractive manner, keeping with the blue from the first brochure. The variations of pale yellow and white on the blue helped form a sense of urgency which was what this call to action piece was to be about.

Our last championship was in what year, 2007?

Every year I try to mix up the look and feel of the artwork for the pieces I get to work on for the Athletic Department. This year I went old school for that great trading card look. Now that we are entering the championship tournament, it is hard to believe that the University of Arizona softball team has not won a national championship since 2007. Really. 2007. That seems like forever ago, considering how often we make the finals and/or win the national championship. I dug in the archives to find the first credential I designed for the University of Arizona. I think Arizona could go for some more celebration as seen in that background photo. Then there could be some Arizona Baseball celebration in the wings as well, maybe some Kurt Heyer in the major leagues as well.

First up, the credential from 2008.

And then our current season of images. Arizona baseball and softball have a long history with the national championships.

Oh yes, there was a renunion going on for Opening Day in the old Toros ballpark. My dad played baseball and softball until he couldn’t [and coached for years] and my uncle played for the University of Arizona. Ah, history. Click on the image for a larger version.

Six Banner Stands for Conference Registration

The Carondelet foundation needed six banner stands that would be easy to read behind the registration tables. We could make nice banners, but one must always consider the restrictions: tables covering the bottom half of the banners, people sitting in front of the banners – sometimes standing] and a lot of people milling around. This makes for a very visually-busy area. Practical solution: bright colors at the top that are easy to read and then imagery that will stand out in a crowd [literally] while still remaining very attractive. Using a handful of photos provided by one of the doctors, these six banners will look great for registration as well as calling people to the correct tables. They were also all produced by us, which is always great for our clients. We like to keep the production of all our work under one roof.

And then all 5 of the registration table images side to side. Though we produced all of them in-house, we didn’t assemble all of them for a photo op [sorry]. Click on the image to see it larger.

Pima Air and Space Museum Wright Brother’s Exhibit Design

Pima Air and Space Museum had a full size replica of the Wright Flyer with a stack of old photos and were needing the museum graphics designed for their exhibit. This project was thoroughly enjoyable from beginning to end. A museum exhibit? In my family, every vacation had us stopping at state and national parks along the way, with extra stops at pretty much any museum we could find. Did you know there is a firehouse museum in downtown San Diego? Sure, everyone else goes to San Diego for the beaches… okay, back to the story. The great guys over at PASM had already designed the stand to hold the aircraft, and I needed to create the graphics to showcase the aircraft. It stands just inside the main doors to the exhibits, the first plane you will see when you walk in. What better imagery to use than the plane just lifting into the air in the middle of the dunes, two brothers out to prove that man could fly. Colorize it a bit to warm it up and it became a wonderful centerpiece to the exhibit.

Their story and photos complete the rest of the exhibit, all with a scratchy background of antique paper and imagery. Below is the rear of the exhibit with a copy of the motor used as well as a cross section of the wing to help explain how the brothers turned their plane by warping the wings.

Part of the exhibit on the left hand side, presumably for reconditioning.

2012 USA Triathlon Duathlon Championships T-shirt Design [whoa that was long]

Once again Oro Valley and Tucson host the USA Triathlon Duathlon Championships on April 28, 2012 and we’ll be there with a T-shirt design. In case you were wondering, a duathlon is run-bike-run not swim-bike-run for a triathlon. I suppose that makes my bike riding just an athlon. I have yet to see the completed shirts and their may be embroidered shirts as well. is sponsoring the championships, just as they most every race in Arizona. Not only are all of athletes very appreciative of their investment into our sports, they are also highly involved with our community, our environment with their huge water harvesting barrels look like missile silos and their solar energy panels providing shade for their entire parking lot – smart move there. I could go on, but it has to be mentioned that the entire company is made up of [and owned] by great people. Below are less than half of the ideas I came up with for the t-shirt design. I’ll be cheering on a teammate who already has multiple state cycling championships as he races tomorrow, adding his 4 minute mile skills to his riding. It would be great if he pulled off a podium finish.

All in all, it is a win-win-win-win-win for our cities, athletes, and other local businesses – and for those of you that pick up a commemorative championship t-shirt.

I started of simple with some imagery specific to the southwest [saguaros and chilis – suprise!]

With the course up in Oro Valley, adding the backside of the Catalinas with Table Mountain helped tie in the location a bit more than just cacti, and a runner and cyclist were added. The shirts need to appeal to both women and men so I kept the feel right down the middle.

A quick two color version for embroidery was created, and dealing with thread always comes with limitations.

When it was all said and done, 3 designs were chosen and I am waiting to be surprised on which was used [all 3?] when I pick up a shirt. The logo was changed to include location and date. Of course I am hoping they sell out of them, but only after everyone that wanted one got one.

Spring Fling After Party Card

The University of Arizona’s Spring Fling Carnival is the largest student-run carnival in the nation [probably in the world?] and has been a regular event for nearly 40 years.  I once won an inflatable airplane while playing roulette at one of the booths – I am sure you wanted to know that. The end of March through most of April is usually one of the best stretches of weather in Tucson with plenty of sponsorship walks and sporting events taking place.

Enough of the pitch for Tucson – here is a quick card for an after party in one of our local clubs. Rich colors, interesting type – an overall good looking piece. You need it, we design it.

Port of Coos Bay Trains

ARG Trans, already running a  successful short line in Benson, Arizona, was asked to submit a proposal to restart the Coos Bay Rail Link [CBRL] on the coast of Oregon after 4+ years of sitting idle. Being a bit of a railfan myself, helping design a proposal that would stand out and be more than a long list of information sounded great. Of course, the folks at ARG Trans put together a great proposal so my part was just making it look good in a very short amount of time.

The initial proposal was a short one, followed by a much larger proposal with both projections and financial records for ARG Trans. For the cover, even though the people of Coos Bay Rail Link knew exactly where the 133 miles of rail lay, an illustration of the route was a great solution.

All the pieces worked together well, along with the proposals, slide presentations and documentation on a matching cd.

After a successful presentation by ARG Trans, they made the cut from five to two and in the end were selected as the Operator of CBRL – and against much larger operators as well. We had talked about creating a really cool paint scheme and a vehicle wrap as well [who wraps locomotives?] for the line but the timing to get service was tight — REALLY tight. There would be less than 45 days to get locomotives purchased and repainted and running, but the reality was there was less time than that as the sooner they could get out on the line the better. Some of the initial ideas were rather simple, though the dream was a full wrap of a imagery from the area. Forests, bridges, and the Pacific Ocean. Oh, it could be beautiful. Time to mock up a lot of simple ideas that can be quickly painted.

The vehicle wrap didn’t happen, at least not this time. When it becomes an option and the locomotives can be pulled out of service, expect something grand. I know, “Oh, white text on blue – is that even classified as ‘design’?” – sort of. Easy to read, stands out well – yeah, I would suppose so. It worked well enough to get this email from someone seeing a train while on the way to work:

Subject: Great marketing
Hi guys,

I passed the train this morning on my way to Eugene. Even in the dark, the CBR locomotives are impressive. Whoever designed the paint job – the way the logo and colors are presented on the engines – did a great job.

I look forward to treating Coos Bay to some amazing eye-candy some day. Until then, check out some of the photos from CBRrailfan on Facebook. I think you’ll agree, the train’s color scheme makes them pop out of the forest, and after seeing photos like the one above, I wouldn’t mind a leisurely ride on the line. Just gorgeous.