Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Inside the {Logo} Design ~ Buck Daddy Blog / Part 2 / Collected Inspiration

I have collected a lot of graphic design and logo inspiration over the years, but as I approach each project I browse through my collection again and start a new search for the latest ones to find those that best inspire that particular design. See the logo / identity / branding examples below with explanations of what ideas can be extracted from each and tested in the BuckDaddy blog logo or similar client type.

Although this is more of an internal step for me to begin experimenting and testing ideas, I do find it useful to share these sources of inspiration with the client along with my own examples of completed work to communicate the standard of quality and style I want to achieve in the end. Be careful with this though, as expectations are being set, and you need to be prepared to meet or exceed them. The client may be expected to comment on whether the direction is on track or if something in particular you've shown them is great or not, but with certain clients, they will want to wait until some form of their logo is produced before being able to confidently offer up comments.

{ Symbol Becomes Letterform }

Idea} Even shown partially, the kayak still reads clearly as both object and letter. The two words can also sit side by side with the one difference: the color. Nice color scheme: bright green/yellow with dark gray. Generally, one accent color is all that is needed unless multiple colors or patterns are part of the identity of the client.

Idea} Even though the letterforms are not in perspective, the illusion of a 3-D perspective is added with the 3-D object. Secondary line is placed and spaced very well.
Idea} The perspective is emphasized with the angle of the letterforms matching the typeface "o". Letters now look as if you can hold it. Nice blend of photo and letters but this is more suitable for a blog banner but will need some modification for actual logo.

{ Creative Symbolism }

Idea} The meaning of the words is strengthened in the "demonstration." Letters can be thought of as objects that can be broken or carved.
Idea} 1. The arrow symbol is composed to create a larger symbol that both work hand-in-hand in communicating the identity of the client. 2. The reflection of the dog is another strategy for adding a 3-dimensional quality. The logotype "Creative Dog" thus appears like an object floating almost held by some force from the dog.
{ Exploring Perspective / 3-D }

Idea} 1. Use of shadow to create 3-D quality that further strengthens the identityof the client. 2. Execution of the overlap also creates 3-D quality.

Idea} Just a slight darkening of the red and careful shaping of the label instantly creates the "box".

Idea} The "S" is expressed by the perspective view and strategic coloring of the carved box.

{ Morphed Letterforms }

Idea} The example above caught my attention since the first letters of buckdaddy blog are of similar construction: bdb. The letters can be composed to create a unique symbol.

{ Connected Letterforms }

{ Logo as Label or Stamp }

Idea} Although the logo may not end up being printed as a sticker or made into an inking stamp, the notion of allowing the logo to appear that way just makes it more tangible thus more permanent. The example above also has a great color scheme using red and blue as the accent colors very well. Below: the study and transformation of the logo is a great reference for me.

Idea} Not only is the logo designed like a label, the label morphs into a more 3-d object. The letterforms are beautifully layed out.
{ Fonts Creating Personality }

Idea} The 2 examples in this category generally address that picking the right font is key, and sometimes if there isn't one that exists that is just right, as in the case of the Andre Balazs logotype, just design one yourself. With the font style conveying so much personality, you will notice a symbol or other image is not necessary in the client identity.

{ Placement of the Symbol and Architectural Inspiration }
The logo below is one that was hard for me to categorize. Originally it was with a group of logos inspired by architecture, but for this project, what I take is the way the symbol is pushed between the letterforms instead of above or next to as I'm used to seeing. The symbol is a simplified version of a modern building form, but in my background of architecture, the inspiration I take from architecture is that type {letterforms} can be treated like real building blocks that are subject to real forces like gravity, weight, tension, and compression.

{ Color Schemes }

Idea} Red is such a bold color and the examples above use it effectively. It looks great on white and with black and gray. Top right image: It also can look great with a muted blue or green or blue/green.

Idea} Bright green as an accent looks great here with the gray and layered over the background. Might work but we'll have to just test it out.

Idea} Strong, classic color scheme. Instead of black, the main color is a dark shade of blue/green. Examples below also start to see possibilities for a blue or blue/green color scheme. Dark brown can also be tested as a background color. Very last image on bottom right: love the gradient of color over a black and white image.

Sources for Graphic Design Inspiration {and Images} Above
Graphic Exchange *Incredible catalog of only the best.

Others Worth Mentioning
Stay tuned for Part 3 / Experimentation ~ Putting the Inspiration to Use.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Inside the {Logo} Design ~ Buck Daddy Blog / Part 1 / Understanding the Client

Welcome to the series Inside the Design done just a little different than before by following the process of a particular design step-by-step. For this series, everyone will be invited to follow the logo development of the of BuckDaddyBlog as it happens. Buck Rogers is a father and blogger about fatherhood and will be the client for this series. We have agreed that posting the inspiration and ideas I develop can be an efficient and fun way to communicate. Hope you enjoy watching the design develop and that you will suggest any ideas or offer up any comments as well.

{Step 1} The Q&A
Below are the initial questions and answers in understanding the direction to take. {The current blog banner design is above. Click on photo to visit his blog.}

1. What is the actual name to be marketed and expressed in main logo?
BuckDaddyBlog is the main name to be expressed and marketed.

2. What color schemes do you know you want or don't want?
No Orange. Red, Black, Grey, I am trying to convey parenting, dad, and trust. Some of the mom blogs look very professional but are a little girl and cartoony. I want to be similiar but manly.

3. What's the attitude you want to convey? Such that graphically can be modern, traditional, cutting edge, handmade, or rough.
Modern Cutting Edge but soft enough to be a parent.

4. Who's your audience?
My audience is parents both men and women. I also want to be taken seriously by companies.

5. What are traits about you or things that define you that can inform the design? State which of those is most important.
Most importantly I am a parent but that I am a dad.

6. Where will it the logo appear? List all: blog banner, business card, letterhead?
The logo would be used in the blog header, business cards, and a button for other blogs.

{Step 2} Interpretation
Interpreting the desire of the client based on the responses above.

The main words that jump out at me are professional, parent, and manly or dad. To be professional, the quality of the logo design needs to be on par or beyond the level of what the big guys are doing. This means just being aware of more than the big name bloggers but big time companies such as Apple and 3M. The challenge I see is balancing the softness of the parent with the strength of being a dad. The design is not apparent yet but with experimentation the design will emerge.


{Step 3} Client's Examples and Interpretation

Below are some logos that Buck has sent as examples of his taste and ultimately the minimum level of quality he is trying to achieve. Below each banner are the clues I am taking and have confirmed as the client's desire to be applied to the final logo. {Click on banner images to visit site.}

Idea} 2 colors essentially: a personality color and white. simple font. nice graphic symbol representing communication.

Idea} Fatherhood is clear. Logo has some play with composition. Colors are bold.

Idea} Initials start to inform a bug, the C B, which can be used separately on material. Simple font.

Idea} Themed. Use of a recognizable symbol to define strength.


Stay tuned for Part 2 / Collected Inspiration.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Motivational Mondays : Helping Kids Conquer Cancer

{Dine at Chili’s Today September 28 and Support St. Jude}

Have lunch or dinner at Chili’s today, and they will donate 100 percent of profits from participating restaurant sales to St. Jude as National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month comes to a close. Read full article here.

Before I saw information on this fundraiser, I had been thinking how grateful I am to have such a strong and healthy son. Just imagining him battling something as fierce as cancer just makes my insides turn over, so the children and their parents who actually fight the battle are so inspirational to me. The incredible work of those at St. Jude Research Hospital are none overlooked. So many supporters have reached out to help out kids from all over the world fight their battle with cancer. Today, you can be one of them just by eating out.

Photos from St. Jude website.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Memphis Tonight ~ The Takeover of Goner Fest Begins

Billed as the “Wildest Show on Earth,” Goner Fest probably held this title well before its sixth year this year. Fans from as far as Japan and Australia will have plenty of opportunity to see the best in Memphis rock and around the globe during the four day festival which begins tonight.

Today, I welcome Zac Ives, co-owner of Goner Records and co-coordinator of Goner Fest, to talk about this weekend’s Goner Fest and Memphis music in general. He’s been my source for local music and good music since he helped me with a project last year for my niece in Alabama to learn about life in Memphis. And since he is also a father of two beautiful kids being raised in Cooper-Young, I took the chance to ask about family in regards to Memphis and music too.

See the Q & A below.

It's an excuse to visit Memphis and see lots of cool bands. I think that's what makes it such a destination.
~ Zac Ives on Goner Fest's international attraction.
Goner Fest
How does the line-up get built and selected every year?

Eric {co-owner} and I do it. We pick bands we want to see, and pair them up with local bands we think people should see. We always try and vary the lineup from year-to-year - so it's a different experience each year. Obviously there's some overlap - but we try to avoid it when possible.

What band/musician have you wanted to come play Goner Fest and has not yet performed? Maybe fans can rally for them to play next year.
We've brought in lots of our own goofy heroes - The Leather Uppers, Head, and Donny Denim. We tried for two years to bring in The Clean - from New Zealand and thought it was going to work out this year - but it ultimately fell apart. So yeah, there are a few we haven't made happen yet. There's always next year!

Is this the first year a film showing {i.e. Cigarette Girl} has been linked to the festival?
We showed another film a couple years ago - a documentary by Ron Franklin about Mr. Jeffrey Evans called The Man Who Loved Couch Dancing. We always try and have something ancillary going on - we've done art exhibits, photo exhibits, and guest-star Sun Records tours. We try and keep our folks on their toes.

I have seen highlighted this year that Goner Fest is international with bands and fans from around the world. Because of that, I have researched to find whether there is another festival like this. I didn't really see anything like this anywhere. What exactly do you think is the distinctive features of Goner Fest to attract this international attention?
I think a lot of it has to do with Memphis. It's an excuse to visit Memphis and see lots of cool bands. I think that's what makes it such a destination.

When did the festival start seeing the attracting international fans?
We had people fly in from Europe and Japan for the very first one. but each year we see more people coming in from outside Memphis, both nationally and internationally. We love that.

How did they hear about it and what motivated them to travel that far to attend?
We've built a pretty big community through our website and on the board. Plus our label has grown, our online store has grown, and the festival has grown - and all of those things have given us more exposure - both in terms of press and otherwise. So I think all of those things kind of roll together.

Goner Fest Coordination
How many people are intensely involved to pull something like this off?
We've got a good crew of 10-15 volunteers that help pull it off every year. John Hoppe (our one full-time employee), Eric and I do most of the event management. But we also work with local screen printers, art directors, T-shirt makers, photographers, videographers, and audio techs to make everything happen. Plus, the staff and management at each of the venues, and sponsors. It takes everyone.

Attending Goner Fest
If you can only see one band, which one would it be? {Question via Kerry of the blog I love Memphis of the Memphis Visitor’s Bureau}
Depends on what you like!!! Right now the one I'm looking forward to most is Davila 666 from Puerto Rico. They always get compared to the Black Lips in the press - but there is way more of a South and Central American vibe going on in there stuff - more like Os Mutantes or Los Shakers or something like that. I can't wait!

My son Atticus loves live music. Are there any kid friendly day shows?
Not necessarily - we've talked about trying to add this though. Maybe next year we'll have something built just for kids. But the day shows at the shop might work - especially Sunday's show w/ Jeff Evans. I think my kids will be up on Thursday for King Louie. It'll just be really tight in there.

Goner Fest and Goner Records
Do all of the festival artists have albums available at Goner?
Most of them have either a single or an album up at the shop - so yeah!

Was the Goner label started with the store?
The label existed before the shop - actually - Eric ran a mail order biz and the label out of his house before we opened the shop together in February of 2004. Basically we put out records by bands we like and think people need to hear. It's a simple as that.

Memphis and Music and Family
What are some family friendly Memphis events you get them involved in? Is music a big part of your family and in raising the kids?

We've got some really great family friendly options here. Between Rock n Romp and the Shell - families can enjoy all sorts of different music. It's great. We've also set up a couple of successful neighborhood parties on our block that have been a lot of fun too. Both my kids seem to really like music. I haven't pushed them too much one way or another - but Anna will sing Nobunny and the Go-Betweens just as loudly as she sings Hannah Montana and Taylor Swift, and Aron's developed some pretty great full-body-shaking dances for his favorite jams. So we've got that going for us.

Do you have any music insider suggestions for good kid’s music? We haven’t been able to avoid Barney or the Wiggles (who I admit are actually good musicians).
Yeah - our favorite is the Luv Clowns - which is an all-star group of Memphis musicians (Tim Prudhomme, Harlan T Bobo, Doug Easley and Alex Greene) who recorded and played out some goofy self-penned kids songs a bit a couple years back. We hope to release an album from them at some point next year. We also listen to lots of Music for Aardvarks. Unfortunately, we can't avoid the Disney soundtracks and Demi and Taylor and Hannah and all that stuff either. Oh yeah - the old "Greasy Kids Stuff" show that used to be on WFMU is really great. All kinds of fun goofy stuff and they have downloadable archives!

Listen here. They may also have CDs for sale here.

Thanks Zac!
Opening Ceremonies starts tonight at 5:30pm at Goner Records
2152 Young Avenue in Cooper-Young
Ticket info here. / See the basic schedule below and full schedule in the official program here.

Sample Goner Fest music from Memphis Flyer’s Chris Herrington here.
Photos from Goner Records. Banner photos from Jim Hayes via Fallout Records {left of Memphis band The Reatards} and Bullcity Records {right of Puerto Rican band Davila 666}. Banner graphic layout by Sophorn McRae.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Inside the Design ~ The Clanjamfry Aye Tunes Poster

I just noticed the poster {shown above} posted around town for the upcoming Memphis Scottish festival Clanjamfry. It took everything in me to not snatch the poster off the wall and keep it for myself. Not even an image of this creative and well-executed poster existed on the web, but luckily I was able to seek out and find the poster designer to request an image and to learn more about the concept and its execution. I'll post more details on the actual festival later this week.

{ The poster theme is } "a snug fit with the mission of Clanjamfry, and of Evergreen Church in general — to appeal to 'McEverybody' ”
~Creative director Jeff Blankenship on the 2009 Clanjamfry poster theme

The Poster Design
Obviously, the design is an homage to iPod brand imagery. Teens, twenties and thirties get the reference instantly. That’s a snug fit with the mission of Clanjamfry, and of Evergreen Church in general—to appeal to “McEverybody”, not just to those of Scottish pedigree (in the case of the festival), or to those steeped in church tradition (in the case of our church). The festival has somehow managed over the years to attract and entertain a mix of people who are culturally oceans apart. Dyed-in-the-wool Scots come to dance, shop, eat and mingle right alongside the full diversity of our curiosity-seeking Midtown neighbors. That spirit of community is so rewarding for the church members who work so hard on the festival.

The Photo Shoot
I was concerned going into the photo shoot that Ian would be reluctant to perform the exaggerated poses I had in mind. Pipe bands are, after all, dignified. Formal. Turns out he was a really good sport, totally uninhibited, willing to do every goofy thing we asked him to do. Like rocking repeatedly back-and-forth on his toes. And twisting, Chubby Checker-style, in order to capture movement in his kilt. The final image is a composite of four different shots.

Poster Credits
*Photography was done in-house at Oden by Jerry Plunk.
*Concept/design and image composition by Jeff Blankenship, also of Oden.
*Piper model is Ian Seivwright of Wolf River Pipes & Drums, official bagpipe band of the festival.
*Poster image ©2009 Evergreen Presbyterian Church.

Wear the Poster Image

T-shirts ~ 100% cotton and black, with the poster image will be available at the festival on Saturday, September 26 for $20.

Special thanks to Jeff Blankenship of Oden for the poster image and sharing the design concept.


Jeff Blankenship / Vice President, Associate Creative Director
ODEN / Developers, Communicators, and Stewards of Brands
119 S Main Street
Memphis, TN 38103
ph +1.901.578.8055
ph +1.901.260.6513 direct

Loof for Oden on Facebook

Memphis Tonight ~ Chocolate & Wine Tasting for a Good Cause

The Knoll "Generation Chair" is one of many silent auction pieces available for bid tonight. Other products and artwork including one of my abstract photographs will be available. This public event offered as part of AIA Memphis Architecture Month for the first time will be a rare treat in Memphis tonight.

Heather Baugus Koury
Executive Director
AIA Memphis
2282 Madison Avenue
Memphis, TN 38104
ph +1.901.525.3818

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Motivational "Mondays" : Age is not a Limit

Congratulations to my 84 year old Cooper-Young neighbor Sarah Overton for representing Memphis well in the National Senior Games this past August. I met Sarah by walking past her house during our frequent walks to the Cooper-Young corner; and when she sat through a photo shoot portrait session for me 4 years ago, we talked about her love for pole vaulting. What’s more amazing than her snatching the gold is that she had only started pole vaulting a few years earlier.

This past August in Palo Alto, CA she won gold in the women’s over 80 division of the high jump, discus, and javelin throw. She also ranked 2nd in the pole vault and 3rd in the long jump. See more of her stats here.

We just saw her this past weekend just as spritely as ever. If she's not motivation to succeed no matter your age, I don’t know what is.

Sorry for the delay in this posting. I guess you can say I wasn't motivated enough on a Monday to post anything. The portrait session with Sarah was when I discovered a faulty mechanism in my camera so the photos disappointly did not come out at all. I hope to do an interview and new photos of Sarah in the future.

Photo from College Publisher website.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Hound Dogs at Cooper Young Fest and A Humble Fundraiser for the Church Health Center

This posting on the Cooper-Young Festival is really to talk about Hound Dogs and it's mini-fundraiser for the Church Health Center because everyone has the skinny on the festival and is going to be there, right?

Christopher and I will be working the Hound Dogs hot dog and refreshment cart selling his kosher dogs and signature limeades at the gazebo right on the corner of Cooper and Young. With one of the biggest festival attendance in Memphis, Cooper-Young Fest will be a great opportunity for us to have a small fundraiser for a good cause.

The Hound Dogs tip jar will become the donation jar for the Church Health Center. You can also put your name in to win an autographed CY Fest poster {shown above} signed by musicians performing at the festival** or collectible Rock for Love concert posters. Drink and food prices will not go up. Please come by for a snack, lunch, or a drink with us and still have money left over for your art purchases. Raffle purchase is with any size donation - $1 minimum. Winner does not need to be present to receive the prize. One raffle per donation. First name drawn chooses prize.

Follow Hound Dogs on twitter to get the latest info and special deals.

Others To Check Out
*The crochet group in front of Loudean's.
*Grace Restaurant The new Southern cuisine restaurant from Chef Ben Vaughn in the old location of Sweet next to Burke's Books.
*Elise Clifton Screen Prints
*Goner Records
*Church Health Center Booth near House of Mews
*All 3 Stages of Music ~ Click here to see Line-up

Special thanks to Marvin Stockwell for donating the Rock for Love posters.
**Poster artists' Mary and Jonathan Postal have also agreed to autograph the poster.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

O-wow #6 ~ Modern Jewelry Incorporates Wood and 3D Technology

Jewelry designer/artist Anthony Roussel has taken a process and technology, that I have only used to make plain ol' topographic study models, to create mesmerizing organic forms with delicate layers of wood and sometimes cork. It is a fitting expression of an organic material. Roussel's experiments with 3d software, CNC routing & milling machines, laser cutting/etching, water jet cutting, and rapid prototyping have won him many awards including an innovation prize. Small photos above show his bangle designs, 3 in birch and 1 in cork, next to a large photo of my favorite piece ~ the Branch Bangle.

The rings shown above are also made from birch using the same cutting and layering process as the bangles. On top of great design, Roussel also practices an ethical and eco-conscious business, sourcing materials from their origin and from ethically responsible suppliers. Unfortunately, it is not clear whether this wearable art is available for purchase, but please visit the sites below to see where his work is currently on exhibit.

Special thanks to Allison for sending me the link to this site.
Photos from Anthony Roussel website. Graphic label design by Sophorn.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Motivational Mondays : A Call for Help

One of the biggest fundraisers of the year for Dress for Success Memphis is the upcoming Upscale Garage Sale now in its fourth year. In previous sales that I have participated in, there were many donations of brand new items from local high end stores that were being sold at a bargain. I got a pair of $120 jeans that were made from sustainable fabric for just $10 that DFS put aside for me {since I was a volunteer but more likely because no one else would probably fit into the size 0.}

Dedicated shoppers to this sale came early to snag great items for a good cause. It definitely is a don't miss event. If you don't want to wait until the day of the Upscale Garage Sale to help Dress for Success Memphis, please “turn your closet inside-out” to find items you can donate or become a volunteer who in essence gets a sneak peek of the inventory. Hope to hear from you soon!

Item Donations
The date of the sale is Saturday, October 24th and as the planning is well underway, we still need your help by donating items you would consider “upscale.” Other than clothes, shoes, coats and accessories; we will also accept houseware, home d├ęcor, books, toys, and any other items you see fit.

Food Donations
If you would also like to donate food or drinks such as sodas, chips and popcorn for the event, please contact DFS Memphis as well.

Volunteers are needed the day of the sale to set-up, sort, assist customers, and clean-up. Please contact Tiffany at DFS Memphis to sign-up.

Deadline for donating items
October 5th

Upscale Garage Sale
Benefiting Dress For Success Memphis
Saturday, October 24, 7am to 2pm
Located at Dress For Success Memphis
2730 Colony Park Dr. #7, Memphis, TN
ph# 901.363.3100
Contact Tiffany Smith with any questions.

Related Link Dress for Success Memphis Website / On Twitter / On Facebook
Related Article 2007 Commercial Appeal Article Read more about the Upscale Garage Sale and Dress for Success Memphis and why I volunteer with DFS Memphis.

Graphic Design by Sophorn. Bottom photo by Kathryn Behrenroth.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Memphis Music & Heritage Festival ~ Unlisted Performer

Although there were so many great local bands and performers at last weekend's Memphis Music and Heritage Festival, I still didn't expect to see the last performer pictured in color below.

Saturday, September 5th, 2009 / 3:30 pm Atticus / Center for Southern Folklore Cinderblock Stage
I enjoyed all 30 seconds of Atticus' one-line song and air guitar accompaniment on the doorstop he really did call his stage. Oh, how I love this music festival especially since it has further instilled in my 3 year old a love for music performance. Make sure to check it out next year.

Photos by Sophorn.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

RELAX Chicago Favorites

We really only took advantage of 2 places to relax in Chicago ~ Millennium Park and our bed at Hotel 71. There are only a few photos in this category to share probably because I was too exhausted to lift up the camera and snap many photos.

Millennium Park / The great lawn at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion designed by Frank Gehry / East of the N Michigan & E Randolph Corner
I took a good 10 minute power nap here while Atticus and Christopher shared some snacks. Our friend Juan strongly suggested the Tai Chi classes offered here at 7 am during the weekends but it was raining and honestly we were too tired to wake up that early even if it wasn't raining.

Hotel 71 / 33rd Floor / 71 E Wacker St.
We only saw the inside of our hotel room during our before-dinner naps and at bedtime, and I’m quite impressed Atticus wanted to spend more time looking out the window than watching the tv.

There were other ways Atticus relaxed. He rode like a king in his stroller with his blanket and did some ballet-like stretches at the hotel window but the most common picture of relaxation is below.

We really enjoyed our 4-day family vacation in Shee-ca-go, as Atticus would say. He talked about it for days after we returned home, and as you can see I’ve talked about it for 2 months after the trip.

I’ll continue to edit my Chicago guide as I find more useful links and suggestions.
All photos and graphic design by Sophorn.
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