The Cambridge School of Weston is a progressive, coeducational school with an active and engaged alumni. This invitation for all alumni to attend their annual spring reunion took their existing modern and colorful branding and added the suggestion of celebration and fun.
The invitation needed to include the itinerary as well as reservation and accommodation information, so a tri-fold self-mailer was a successful solution. (the image illustrates the invitation as you open it. Left to right, cover, first two panels, full spread)
I have needed to build a portfolio site forever. I had one associated with my personal blog years ago, but then my son hit puberty and I was forced to take down my site full of great, albeit embarrassing stories of his youth. With it came my portfolio site and I’ve neglected replacing it ever since.
The problem is a common one for designers, we want everything to be perfect. To be a good graphic designer that’s a job requirement. We need to identify every flaw and fix it until there is nothing left to fix—then look in the mirror and remove one accessory before leaving the house, right? But when perfection becomes the bottleneck that keeps you from moving forward, it no longer serves its purpose.
So, I bit the bullet and started with a wordpress template. It hurt. I felt like the master seamstress buying her daughter’s wedding gown at David’s. It’s cheating, right? But I’m tweaking the template, I’m identifying flaws, I’m making it work for me—the client—and I’m getting my portfolio online where people can see what I do and maybe pay me money to do it for them.
And that’s the purpose of communication—not to show off how clever your designer is, not to recreate the wheel—to get your message out there and build your business.
So, this is my site. It’s not perfect, but neither am I. But it’s good and that’s something we have in common.
The Clown Shoes Tramp Stamp illustration had to be sexy and flirty, without being trashy. The graffiti backdrop and the sassy pose suggests our model knows that you’re checking her out, and she’s just fine with that. The Clown Shoes tattoo on her back was produced as a temporary tattoo to be given out at events and tastings.
The Clown Shoes Eagle Claw Fist has one of the best sidebar stories, “At Clown Shoes we do Kung Fu, junior high playground style. One morning a move was busted and an ale was born…”
As a girl with two little brothers, I saw a lot of playground Kung Fu growing up and I knew our label protagonist had to have that Karate Kid, Enter the Dragon, Mortal Combat, kid fantasy style to him—but with Clown Shoes.
I still remember the creative brief for Brown Angel. “Sexy, hip-hop, in your face, with wings, a thong, and Clown Shoes. But make it elegant…” That, my friends, is a design challenge!
The result is your hottest girlfriend giving you a private dance, with an amazing body and a sense of humor, kind of like Clown Shoes beer!
The Clementine White Ale is my favorite Clown Shoes beer and my favorite Clown Shoes label. Clementine is a summer drink, sunny, bright, with a strong citrus infusion. The label illustration references vintage orange crate poster art and is notable as the first Clown Shoes label without a person to wear the ubiquitous shoes, not that I let that stop me.
Hoppy Feet Black IPA is Clown Shoes Beer’s flagship product. The illustration sets the tone for the brand, relaxed, silly, enjoying life, and loving good beer. The original label was designed by artist, Alan Pearsal, and wasn’t really working with the rest of the brand, so I kept that ‘put your feet up’ quality and focused your eyes where they should be, on the Clown Shoes, and the beer, and that wonderful feeling of ending a long day with a good pint.
For their first anniversary, Clown Shoes Beer brewed an up-size version of their flagship black IPA, Hoppy Feet. The illustration for the Hoppy Feet 1.5 label shows our hero, still relaxing, feet up on the porch, but if you look closely, the sun has set, his pint is almost empty, and his Clown Shoes are 1.5 times bigger than they were on the original label. It’s a darker, more powerful image for a darker, more powerful beer.
Smiling Dog Pet Services of Connecticut is in the business of happy puppies. They offer both trained puppies for sale, as well as in-home training services for your dog. Their logo is animated without being a cartoon and is flexible enough to be used in print, web, and embroidered on wearables. It’s a good example of the benefits of working with a graphic designer who is also an illustrator.
In 2008, HiWired, Inc. had two related operations, the first, HiWired, (see preview version of this logo) was a consumer-facing computer technical support service that was offered remotely through the internet. The second, HiWired, Inc., was a B2B white label version of the same service offered through brand names such as Sony, Office Max, Comcast, etc. I was asked to take an earlier version of this logo, refine it, and develop it along with the rest of their corporate identity.