Sunday, my son and I stopped into our local grocery store to pick up some rolls for the Hawaiian Pulled-Pork sandwiches I was bringing to my nephew’s high school graduation party. As we walked in, we ran into a guy in his twenties with a bushy beard, wearing skinny jeans, Chucks and a black vest over his retro concert tee. His wife was right behind him, tight pixie cut with a streak of pink, flowing sundress and Doc Martens. Their eyes were down, their faces grim. Last came their little daughter, skipping in her pink rain boots, loving life. We passed them and my son said quietly, “We were gonna be hipsters for-EVER and then SHE came along!”
It’s tough to be the grown-up, especially when you still feel like the new kid in school. I spent the weekend at high school graduation parties and faced my own mortality with the grim look of those grocery shopping hipsters. Then a friend of mine posted to her Facebook asking advice for choosing the right high school for her daughter who wants to work in “multi-media design and art.” Should she chose a vocational and career school? A private college prep school? Or just her local public high school?
I have no qualms with vocational schools, my son attends one. But when I toured his school I remember the graphic design teacher asserting that, “your kids don’t even have to be ‘good drawers,’ because the software does that for you now.” I came home and told him he could go to the school, but only if he didn’t want to be in the graphics program!
This industry is full of people who can use Photoshop, but if they can’t think, if they can’t draw, if they can’t solve communications problems with creative solutions, then what service are they providing exactly? Give me the graphic designer who is well-read and well-rounded and I can teach them how to use the latest technology.
And that’s what I left as my comment to my friend’s inquiry. I suppose one of the benefits of being the grown-up with experience is passing it on to the next generation. That said, I still wear my Chucks pretty much everyday because I’m gonna be a hipster for-EVER.
One of the cool things about having a graphic designer for a parent is you get a pretty spectacular yearbook for your graduation from elementary school. I designed the book, illustrated the cover and photographed all the students and faculty. But more importantly, I suggested a digital printing solution that allowed the books to be produced under budget. The quality of the books were such that the parents were able to sell many times more sponsor ads than in any year previous and the additional income negated the need for the children to hold a car wash to pay for their class graduation party.
The Bradford Mercantile is a brick and mortar store in Rhode Island, well actually it’s in a historic yellow barn. It is a uniquely New England shop specializing in wares for the colonial and primitive homes. I worked with the development team to design the visual elements of the site to compliment the style of the shop.
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)
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.