Monday, April 20, 2009


This is a newsletter that I designed for the American Red Cross; it was a monthly publication called "The Coffee Break". Again, the creative approach:

concept: "Travel" (July 2008 edition)

background: The newsletter was created to develop a sense of community between local American Red Cross chapters scattered throughout the continental United States. Each month, the newsletter would take on a new concept; these concepts related to a circumstance associated with that month (ex. current events for the organization, seasons, etc).

approach: Since this issue was July 2008, I wanted to emphasize the freedom of summer. A postcard seemed to be the perfect icon of travel but since photography is used extensively within the American Red Cross, I created a custom illustration that mimicked the rather busy nature of some postcard images. All of the headers, to include the newsletter title, were created using handwriting to emphasize the personal nature of postcards; on the back, there was space for staff and volunteers to jot down comments about their own personal travel and vacation moments.

materials: The headers, newsletter title, quotation marks, and illustration were drawn by hand and scanned; in Photoshop, color and composition were added. The stamp, postcard details, and background texture were scanned and arranged in Photoshop.

(top: front, bottom: back)

Out of all the newsletters I created for the American Red Cross, I enjoyed creating this one the most. The design was an exciting process that merged concept, art, and message into a fun print piece.

Friday, April 17, 2009

a human voice

This is a poster that I designed for the American Red Cross, it promotes their Safe and Well program. What follows is a detailed description of my creative approach.

concept: "a human voice"

background: The Safe and Well program gives disaster victims the opportunity to register on the program's website and select one or more phrases that can be displayed online, letting loved ones know they are ok. These messages can be accessed by loved ones outside the affected areas based on the disaster victim's name and pre-disaster address.

approach: What I wanted to convey was the idea that this website can give a voice, that's surrounded by chaos and confusion, the ability to communicate to others outside the affected areas. I wanted the idea of communication to be emphasized, with hints at speech but the overall focus being on the actual act of communicating.

materials: The typography and abstract/human forms were drawn by hand. The dialogue bubble was cut from paper; the background is scanned packing paper. All the handmade elements were scanned and composed in Photoshop, with the red/black/green as well as the distressed features added in the computer.


I decided to post the design that was submitted; although I liked the revision better, it needs a few more adjustments in order to allow the revised copy to function more effectively.

Monday, April 06, 2009

found ice cream

This is one of those subjects that you stumble upon and luckily notice. How this imagery found its way onto a wall in a Civil War era town I have no idea. But it makes a great narrative.

subject: wall imagery
location: Harpers Ferry, WV
equipment: DSLR, 18-55mm lens with polarizing filter

Thursday, April 02, 2009

"caffeine talk"

After a long hiatus from serious drawing and fine art, I've completed a new piece.

title: "caffeine talk"
materials: pen, pencil, and paint on canvas
dimensions: 10"x8"


Paint was applied to the blank canvas, then I used a blank piece of heavy paper to distress the base coat. A sponge dipped into dark brown paint added the darker distressed accents.

The coffee cup and steam were cut from carving block and dipped into paint, then the forms were applied to the canvas. Miscellaneous specks of paint were added as accents. Pen and pencil were used to highlight certain aspects of the forms and to add the saucer (unfortunately, you can't see the pencil line that connects the saucer to the right edge of the canvas). The quotes were drawn and filled with paint


For some reason, the background isn't coming out as warm as it should be; granted, this is a photograph and not a scan. I'll try scanning it and post a new image if the results improve.

With my inspiration coming from narrative, I usually try to incorporate words or typography in each piece but with this one, I used the minimum amount of typographic elements (quotes). Not my usual approach but to add anything else would have deteriorated the composition. The coffee definitely adds a sense of conversation so I feel comfortable with the outcome.