One of my dream goals as a designer is to get my foot through the door of book publishing, specifically book design. I have to admit I haven’t been working hard enough to make this happen, but “grace” has allowed a door to open. One of my church members who works for one of my former employers, The Urban Alternative, contacted me for help designing an upcoming book for Tony Evans that will be published by Moody Press. She provided the necessary elements and sent some samples of what she was attempting to accomplish in the design. She asked me to apply my creativity in giving the cover a better look. The photo didn’t require much work, but I got away from using any hard edges around it and the dark gradient provided that solution. Then I focused on the text. I followed up on her choice of font, but refined it with size, layout and colorization. The green emphasis on the word “race” not only illustrates the focus of the book, but also relates it to the tagline beneath his name. It was truly a privilege to get this opportunity and I’m pursuing more like this in the future. Dr. Evans informed the congregation that it just hit the bestseller’s list! That’s cool — not only because of the cover that I was able to work on, but also for the content of the book! (View my book design folio HERE to get a better look.)
thankful for the gift of sight
you know, it’s super easy to take the most obvious things for granted. for those who can (and that’s the point) we can all say that we’re thankful to be able to see. but for someone like myself who uses his eyes to not only see but to make a living – it’s huge! not only do i have the privilege to see, but also to see what i see – colors, shapes, lines, fonts, people, animals, nature. and then to be able to take many things that i can see and create something new or unique for others to see. there are many who can’t say the same. they are either partially or totally blind. to be real, not i nor anyone else who can see is better than they. i’m blessed and privileged with the grace of having sight. just because i have eyes does not mean i’m supposed to see or deserve to see even though i have them. in light of who i am and knowing my place in this world i will humbly say i deserve nothing, especially to have my core senses working. i wear glasses, but even with that i’m still thankful and privileged because i can see. as i said at the beginning, it’s easy to take obvious things for granted. hopefully after reading this post, no one else will. you were able to read this post – be thankful for the gift of sight!
font law #1
what inspired me to write this post? as i’m driving to work this week i notice a van for some local service company whose name i won’t mention and their name and logo are obviously on each side of the van. the problem? the logo is made up of the initials of the company name using the two letters “C S” – both in all caps in a script font!
in a word: U – G – L – Y!!!! please, please, pleeeeeeaaaasssee DO NOT use script fonts of any style as ALL CAPS in either a logo or a heading of some sort! that looks soooooooo bad and it’s hard to read. this is also seen on the rear windows of some cars where people like to have their family name or nickname in all caps in either a script or old english/gothic font. and then to polish it off, have it stylized in an arched shape! do i need to say it again…. U – G – L – Y!!!
there should be a font law for something like this. all offenders will have their lettering immediately scraped off their vehicles and have mandatory design done by court-appointed graphic designers!
there should be a political office for this. design congressmen or congressional creatives. i’ll vote for that! 😀
logo design 2: FPI
here’s another identity job from your’s truly. this project came from another former co-worker who was doing some contract work for an organization focused on assisting Christian ministries and other similar non-profits in their fundraising and to achieve proper financial status in order to better help their communities. i was then put in contact with the president of the FAITH & PHILANTHROPY INSTITUTE who was in need of an effective identity. an important element for my creative juices with projects like this a slogan or mission statement. once i received it the word that stood out the most to me was “grow.” that’s where the sprout and color green came from (which also could represent finance, hence the term philanthropy). it then seemed proper to incorporate brown for the earth or dirt but in the shape of an open Bible. the original “sprout” had a single, vertical vein on the face of it, but the president asked if i could incorporate a cross somehow. i then completed the full version with stylized text using same color scheme and it was approved! i finalized the job with icon, full logo, full logo with slogan – 2-color and b/w versions with different formats. all this was soon followed with collateral (stationery and brochures) to complete the brand!
logo design 1: AART
one of my former co-workers who does part-time acting contacted me about designing an identity for a local theater company. based in desoto, texas the AFRICAN AMERICAN REPERTORY THEATER was already gaining a following and was named by The Dallas Morning News as the “best new start-up theater company of 2008!” after meeting with one of the founders and gathering information i began brainstorming. the first idea that came to me was using a shape of an african tribal mask, duplicating it and putting a smile on one and a sad face on the other. the point was to create sort of the comedy & tragedy image that is familiar with theater arts. after sketching it out i realized that it wasn’t really working. they need something that would be african american, yet mainstream for theater. the founder i met with made it clear that the first letter in each word spells out the word “art” but with 2 a’s. i then went font searching for something that looks somewhat african and artsy. the name of the font is lithos, from the word lithography, which is a particular style or process of printing. i thought, “sure, that’s art-related.” for the “a” i turned the uppercase “v” upside down and doubled it for the 2 a’s, but put them close together to appear as one. that way it looks like the word “art.” and, of course, there is the incorporation of african colors (black, red, green, and gold). what you see in the animation is 3 versions of the logo (icon, full icon and text-only), although i created over 30 different versions for their variety of uses. the 3 founders loved the work as i loved designing it.