The circular badge-style of the logo allows for the longer business name to eloquently wrap around the symbol. Keeping future years of business growth in mind - the location text at the bottom of the design is easily modifiable.
The Canadian indie-folk collective Dark Mean released their single Settle Down in September, 2016. Given the band's dry sense of humour and the track's laid-back yet expansive sound, I came up with the idea of juxtaposing the song title with the early stages of a volcanic eruption.
About the Design
A blazing volcano attracts the gaze of even the weariest eyes while scrolling through the minuscule icons of music streaming apps.
Settle Down has since surpassed 200,000 plays on Spotify.
Entering its third season, Series 10dB is the in-house concert series of the LIVELab at McMaster University. I designed the logo for the series as well as re-usable templates for posters and newspaper ads.
About the Design
I chose a modern serif font paired with an EEG waveform which some people may assume represents heart monitoring - fortunately, either of those options works in this case since the LiveLAB is capable of multi-person EEG as well as physiology monitoring. The colour palette follows the LiveLAB's pre-existing logo as well as the parent brand - McMaster University.
The Mulberry Coffeehouse drink vessels show how thoughtful design can drive sales. Also, the success of this project makes my coffee lover's heart happy
About the Design
Photo by Eddy Edgar
These are the original Mulberry Coffeehouse travel vessels from 2011-2012. Mulberry asked me to them source mugs that would delight their customers. They were a sold-out success! We did many re-orders of the same vessel and design.
I acted as both consultant on this project as well as designer. I worked with a trusted supplier of mine to locate a quality product that would work for the brand of the coffeehouse. With a bit of detective work, we located a fantastic, double-walled stainless steel vessel that worked with both hot and cold drinks. The sturdy lid and seal stays shut, doesn't leak, and isn't annoying to clean!
(It's November 2017, and I still have mine. It's the perfect size for commuting or transit.)
The simple type-based design was sparked by a row of Dr.Seuss books sitting on shelves of the coffeehouse. I suggested that rather than using a boring logo for the mug - like any typical coffee franchise would do - that we use the title of a Dr.Seuss book.
It worked. People bought a lot of mugs!
Hotel Hamilton Sign
I used to rent studio space in Hotel Hamilton on James Street North, and one day my landlord hired me to design a new sign for the building. The old one was burnt out, busted up, and covered in pigeon poop.
I started the project by photographing the old sign and creating my own design template. Not every designer does this! But doing so makes things easier for the sign-maker/installers.
I used a deco-style font to to nod to the electric history of Hamilton during this era. I heeded her advice on the font choice, and flipped the last S upside down to add something quirky and unexpected. Shortly after the sign was installed, a 20s-something artist spotted me on the street near the hotel and asked me: "So, did you flip the S upside down on purpose?"
I said: "Yes."
He said: "I'm so glad you flipped it. I love it."
Also, there are many, charming open-air produce stands and Portuguese shops on the same block as the hotel. Their signs are all "stuck in the 1980s" - which some may view as a negative thing - but in the case of this case I could see how their older signs had retro-cool appeal going on. The finished hotel sign definitely illuminates some of that comforting, 80s nostalgia.
Feminist Playing Cards
Feminist Playing Cards is a deck of playing cards featuring illustrations of influential feminist musicians by 14 feminist artists. The cards were created to provide a unique and fun way of preserving a part of history that is often overlooked and undocumented.
The project has been featured in Rolling Stone, NME, The Guardian, Bust, Bitch and Pitchfork and many others.
I designed the tuck box as well as the reverse side of the cards and illustrated 4 card faces - Sinead O' Connor, k.d. lang, BeBe and Leisha Hailey. It was such an honour to be apart of such an ambitious and worthwhile collective project.
I put Homoground's logo into a symmetrical design that works for the back of playing cards.
Bebe is a Spanish singer, songwriter, and actress who speaks to social issues specific to women.
Leisha Hailey is an American actress and musician known for her work on The L Word and the bands The Murmurs and Uh Huh Her.
k.d.'s is a Canadian pop and singer-songwriter. Her visibility for LGBTQ people is historically significant.
Sinéad O'Connor is an Irish singer-songwriter who is outspoken on organized religion, women's rights, war and child abuse.
CBT The Golden Retriever is the central character for a deck of CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) cards featuring bold and emotive digital paintings. Other creatures featured in the deck are Mood Penguins and Nonsense Goblin (not shown).
This deck of cards is an ongoing personal project of mine, which - when complete - will help others learn and remember the skills of CBT with a few elements of DBT (Dialectical behavior therapy) included. These aren't intended to replace professional counselling but to be used as a tool.
The artwork development phase of the project was successfully funded during a crowdfunding campaign earlier in 2017. I will be posting more information on this project in 2018.
Cinquefoil is a Hamilton-based concert series and podcast founded by Steve McKay. Five Artists, One Theme, Every Third Friday at Church of St.John The Evangelist. The series features music styles ranging from medieval to modern pop.
A yellow cinquefoil which is a regionally abundant, flower-like weed represents the five artists who perform each week. The lettering is inspired by the Fell Types collection — printing types which were collected by John Fell, A Bishop of Oxford in the seventeenth-century.
Photo compositing can be a powerful technique to draw someone's attention to a social media ad. In this case, over 8,000 impressions and countless positive comments on VG Meat's Facebook page.
About the Design
VG Meats, Thanksgiving Facebook ad, 2015. The over-the-top Patrick Swayze/Road House homage definitely stood out among more typical, seasonal ads. I did the photo selection and compositing work on this piece. Ad copy by Meg Baird with direction from Morgan Van Groningen. This image belongs to VG Meats. Used with permission.
I provided photography services as well as layout design for Agro Zaffiro's waterfall booklet layout which was designed to give a breakdown of the firm and the areas of law which they practice.
The Redhill Valleys hired in the spring of 2016 to design their self-titled debut album, silkscreen poster, guitar picks and t-shirt. The band supplied the photograph which had some focus issues - so I additionally did some very-careful sharpening work in photoshop and additional colour-grading to bring out the vintage look the band was wanting.
(In a past life I used to work for a photography studio doing retouching and finishing work. Those skills still come in handy from time to time!)
Born 1952 in Calgary, Alberta, Bruce is the author of five books of poetry, a collection of short stories and a novel. Bruce hired me to create a new website.
The colour scheme for his website was inspired by a photo of Bruce wearing a kilt - because with a name like Bruce Hunter... you can make the easy assumption that Bruce is overtly Scottish. His old website was not mobile-friendly — in other words the design, text and graphics did not adjust to various screen sizes that are now so abundant in our modern world (tablets, phones, laptops, and desktop computer monitors). So the new site that I created for him has the technology to do just that.
The design of the site is intended to share Bruce's writing and biography while also being easy to read and to navigate. Bruce wrote thoughtful captions for every photo on the website, as we wanted to make sure the visual elements of the website were still accessible to people exploring the website with a screen-reader.
Website testing zone at my desk. Just a few of many devices used to test the website.
Freedom Train, a Hamilton music institution since the 1989. Featuring Carl Jennings on vocals and bass, Tim Jennings on drums and vocals and "Big Ed" Mitchell on guitar. If you're a Beatles or Led Zep fan... you need to go see a Freedom Train show. They are definitely a cover band that transcends cover bands.
I was hanging out in Carl's Westmoreland Recording Studio with some musician friends, and learned that Freedom Train had no merch. I said to Carl "Why don't you have merch?! You have a cult-following of devoted fans... and no merch?" It was hilarious. It was like seeing the best band you've ever seen... not have merch.
So I convinced them to hire me to design some shirts. They paid off their van insurance with sales. Beanies and tank-tops ensued.
"I get by with a little help from my friends." — The Beatles