Beautiful words

Over the last several weeks I have been working on my submission for the Beautiful Words poster art show. The quote below is taken from the movie Gummo, which explores the lives of the citizens of Xenia, Ohio after a devastating tornado ravages through the town. The Narrator whispers this quote at the beginning of the film, setting the dark, but somehow still hopeful tone that resonates throughout the film. If you haven't see it, it's pretty weird but I still recommend checking it out. 

Beautiful words is hosted at Blockfort and sponsored by the Columbus Society of Communicating Arts. The show Opens April 2nd and runs until the end of the month. 

Skull practice

Skull study. Always trying new textures and techniques. Hope to do something else with this bad boy in the future!

Getting in the way of yourself

A self-fulfilling prophecy is one of the hardest internal struggles a person can deal with. For creatives this seems to be amplified by the continual self doubt that looms over us to begin with. The constant pressure to one-up yourself can be devastating to the creative process and it can result in a dry spell or worse.

How do you work through the doubt? The creative rut? Many people suggest taking some time away to let your mind bridge the gaps in the background while you focus on other things. Take a walk, read, exercise. There are a lot of things you can do to get your mind off of the problem. But what if that isn’t an option? What if your delivery date is tomorrow and you have no choice but to work through it and produce something. Get it done, do it the best you can and get it out the fucking door. There are always opportunities to learn and correct in the future. Besides, you never know until you put it out there. 

Type scale references

When I start a new project I always start with a few basic decisions: grid, type styles, color and image treatment. These things can change based on the content, but I like to at least have a place to start. One big part of initial layout exploration is type scale. For the purposes of this post I will define type scale as the relationship between size and weight of type used whether they are similar or contrasting. There are many determining factors to solving this problem and there isn't one solution. However, to make my life easier I tend to start with perfect 4th, augmented 4th or perfect 5th intervals. 

If you are clueless as to what all this means, paying a visit to will clear it up pretty quickly. Although I love this tool, I find it cumbersome to go back and re-type my values over and over so I made a quick reference for those of you who might like that sort of thing. 


Click on the image to scroll through and happy type scaling! 

Design resources

If you are a collector, like many other designers, than I’m certain that your bookmarks are overflowing with links to how-to videos, new placeholder text or mock ups for presentations.

Looking for new resources and learning opportunities is part of the job during those non-billable hours and should be. Expanding your design vocabulary in those off hours will help you to be more efficient during client work, and over time, make you, yourself a resource for other people.

Below, I have compiled a short list of the resources that I use on a regular basis.



How to:


Excellent class-based learning. Most of the courses are high quality and focus on one or two techniques. They offer everything from marketing to technical tips on file prep. 


Mt. Mograph

This guy has saved my ass more times than I can count. He has some of the best motion graphics tutorials out there. He even works with developers to create custom plug-ins and tools that are fairly priced (they also include free updates for life) 



The Noun Project

The noun project is a community dedicated to creating pictographs and icons for just about anything imaginable. Most of them have a creative commons license for free use. A good source for inspiration if you aren't looking to download. 


Social Good Ipsum or Meet the ipsums

Lorem ipsum sit amet....We get it. Here are some alt solutions when you need real words to make the content feel a bit more complete. 



If you are on Adobe CC and you aren't using this, then I don't know what to tell you. They offer an overwhelming amount choices for your project. However, not all of them are available for download to your machine. 


Inspiration and design thinking:

AIGA eye on design

Keep up on some of the best new designers and projects. This is one of my daily sites for inspiration and design news. 


Under consideration

Great resource for inspiration. They publish a few blogs under this title including Brand New which focuses on the good the bad and the ugly of the brand world. 



These guys are incredible. They publish books and a quarterly magazine on top of the website, they always deliver fresh articles on design thinking and process. 


This is only the beginning so keep checking  back for more links to resources

Canal Market District posters

We recently had the opportunity to create a poster for the newly opened Canal Market District out in Newark, Ohio. This poster pays tribute to the once flourishing economic and agricultural past. 


The posters were screen printed in CMYK by Jess at Upright Press right here in the capital city of Columbus, Ohio.  

The posters were sold at the dedication event on May 27th and all proceeds go to helping fund the Canal Market District. There was a huge turn out and we couldn't have been more excited to see people lining up to buy posters and other merchandise that we designed to help promote the cause. More on that in the weeks to come! 




pinchflat logo

Every year in the late spring a few local business help promote up and coming artists and designers with a bicycle themed poster show known as Pinchflat. 30 artists, 30 posters, 30 bucks. The show is hosted during gallery hop in the short north and is split up between Wildgoose Creative and Paradise Garage. 

Typically they have musicians preforming, beer on tap and a good crowd around the posters. This year was no exception. 


As someone that started out my career in screen printing and letterpress, this event holds a special place in my heart. This year there was a wide variety of approach, in both printing method and illustration style. 


Here are a couple of my favorites:

Jeremy Slagle - 3 color Screenprint

Jeremy Slagle - 3 color Screenprint

Carl Filer - 2 color Screenprint

Carl Filer - 2 color Screenprint

Sam Russell -  3 color Screenprint

Sam Russell -  3 color Screenprint

Over all, it was a really fun show with some stunning work! 

I’ve never submitted a poster to Pinchflat, but after seeing all of the great stuff this year has really inspired me to submit in the future. 

See you next year!

Read more about the event here




Not always, but, every once in a while some really great, nationally recognized, designers will come through Columbus, Ohio and offer up a little bit of insight into how they got where they are and how they do what they do. Recently, poster designer/illustrator team DKNG rolled through the CSCA meet up at Gateway Film center. They had a poster pop-up shop where dozens of fans and fellow designers crowded around. They brought their best work and a friendly attitude. 


As a former screen printer I was floored by the quality and detail applied to each print and we even chatted about process and logistics a bit. They brought over 20 different prints to sell which made my choice difficult to say the least. I had it narrowed down between space and camping…I opted for the former because, well, I have a thing for space stuff. 




There was a short introduction and a drawing for a chance to win a poster. And wouldn't you know it, I won the camping themed poster from their explorer club series! 


During the talk Dan Kuhlken and Nathan Goldman took turns speaking about their backstory, rise to fame and process. After it was all over they even had a little time for some Q&A. 

Over all, this is one of the best design related talks that I have ever been to. These guys are humble, hard working designers that just want to make good work for good people. I couldn't help but to admire how they are so transparent about process and their willingness to share. If anybody deserves to be in such a good place, it’s these guys. 


Check out more of their work at: