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Minions 2 – The Rise of Gru Style Guides 2021

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For the upcoming 2022 movie release of Minions 2 : The Rise of Gru I worked on several style guides during 2021. Originally the movie was due to release in the summer of 2020 but has been pushed back several times due to Covid19. Style guides are designed to give manufacturers and product partners worldwide an opportunity to use pre-approved art to create their product. The art in these guides gets used on thousands of products globally.

These guides are relatively new but they were still used substantially around the globe in 2021. You can see all four of the guides here.
Iconic Mayhem 0.2 – Based on the success of the first style guide I designed I was asked to provide a new version. This time I focused on a new color palette and contemporary typography.
Stay Trippy – This guide was born out of a piece of art I created during the development of the movie. It was originally designed as a movie development piece that was then built upon to create a guide. It marries vintage looking cosmic design with tripped out floral seventies minions.
Momo’s Minions – Working with the incredibly talented Momo Wang this design was created to support the halo partnership business. Momo is a very established animator and artist and it was a pleasure to work with her interpretation of the minions characters.
Iconic Mayhem 0.3 – By the end of the year Iconic Mayhem one and two were so well received and used by partners, I was asked to make a third. This one was focused on color and texture as well as the introduction of rendered 3D minions.

I was the creative director on these guides, creating graphics, mood-boards, patterns and icons. The art and production was supported by Lincoln Design Company, Tatiana Krasovski, Momo Wang Adam Highton. Character art support was provided by Sean Millard.

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Katsubō Branding

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Katsubō hand crafted tea is a new brand based out of Orange County California. I was asked to work with them to develop a logo and branding for packaging, retail space, uniforms and products. The logo went through many iterations but the client decided on a Samurai as it reflects the service part of their business. On every Katsubō cup you will find the face of a Samurai. The word samurai comes from the Japanese verb saburau, which means “to serve”. The typography needed to be clean and fresh with the ability to run vertically and horizontally for product application.

Packaging is the largest part of the brand because the cups, bags, foil seals and boxes are all very client facing. These items are what are taken away from the retail space. The cups also had to be mostly transparent so the beautiful drinks could be seen. The tea is really the show stopper for this brand. Sourcing only the finest Premium teas, using only the freshest ingredients and supporting organic farmers Katsubō’s teas are very special. The tea is a multi-cultural new-age fusion beverage that takes influences from: Japan, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Belgium, France, Korea and Italy. I have tried many and they are all unique and delicious.

The items designed included Logos, cups, lids, cup sleeves, bags, cup carriers, stencil, staff t-shirts, aprons, masks, drink holder, gift cards, Taiyaki box, store signage, window decals and marketing graphics for social media. A lot of the packaging utilized a pattern I created with many icons and images related to the brand. When the design was complete and the stores opened the branding worked very well together for a consistent customer experience. This project was a good change of skill sets for me. So often I am employed to do similar things but on this occasion I got to work on something very simple, yet had to tick many boxes. They have stores in Mission Viejo and Fullerton, CA. I really enjoyed this one and having tasted the products I think Katsubō is poised for a lot of growth. You can see more of the work here.

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My Favorite Mini Sketchbooks

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Sketchbooks are something I consistently carry and draw in, almost daily. I have many. Over the years I have tried all kinds of sketch book. Small, large, bound, lined, textured the list goes on and on. However a few years back my wife got me some mini sketchbooks from Ugmonk. If you don’t know Ugmonk, you should. It is owned and run by Jeff Sheldon, a designer with a love for the simple elevated aesthetic. I’ve been buying tees and other stuff from Ugmonk since their launch in 2008. I was the Creative Director at Design By Humans and we featured some of Jeff’s art on a few tees. When he launched his own label I was instantly hooked.

Anyway, history a side the three pack of sketchbook my wife gifted me became part of my daily doodling. They are the perfect size and I can fill a page relatively quickly. I’ve doodled a double page over a lunch break before! That’s how handy they are. They are small, lightweight and easy to store or travel with. The quality is great and although they are scattered around my work space they never fall apart or tear up. The sketchbooks are on their 4th version now, I had 1-3 and I am almost done with them. The interior pages have a dotted grid on the 4th version, which i like the idea of.

I doodle constantly so these are very much a part of my process. Why? Why doodle so much? Well many of my doodles make up final designs for clients. If I ever hit a creative block on a project, I can leaf through these mini sketchbooks and remember a little character or piece of line art. That find might end up being relevant to my current project. It also provides a way to de-clutter my brain creatively. I find there is something cathartic about drawing without purpose or paycheck. Just raw ideas spilling onto a page. Try it, in a mini sketch book. Finally, I get asked a lot about the markers/pens that I use. I like the Zig writer pen and Marvy Le Plume markers.I also use random pens I find around my house or my kids pens.

To see my daily doodles and sketchbook art you can follow my instagram account here.

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Creator Toronto Modular Denim

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Creator Toronto has developed a modular denim jacket that allows wearers to change the back panel of their jacket to feature artists designs. This jacket was two years in the making and I was pleased to be invited to help last year. Creator sourced artists from around the globe to create the bespoke panels for the back of the jacket. I have five designs available and I hope to add more soon. Panels can be switched to match outfits, reflect moods or just to support an artist.

Creator launched this project recently via kickstarter and quickly raised their target amount. As I type this they have surpassed their target 3 times over and it doesn’t show any signs of stopping! Hopefully the popularity of the jacket means artists will be supported by this brand for many years to come. You can see all of my design here at my personalized profile on their store website. Right now you can support their kickstarter and get a jacket at a reduced price!

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Ballsy Valentine’s Day Branding

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Building on the success of my work with Ballsy for a limited edition line and a holiday line, I was asked to design some branding for the valentine’s collection. The collection consisted of a new Valentine’s body wash, a gift box set, boxer shorts, and socks. A pattern was created in keeping with my past branding, as well as a new cupid character. As always, Ballsy was an awesome brand to work with. They also took great photography and marketed the product really well. It’s always great to see my art on product but when brands present it so well it makes it all the better.

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Land O’ Lakes Character Design

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Land O’ Lakes approached me in early 2019 to work on a project for their Food Service division. Land O’ Lakes supplies dairy products to retail, kitchens and schools. I was asked to create a set of characters to encourage young people to make healthier choices when eating at school. I created 5 characters based on popular products that are made available to schools from Land O’ Lakes. Cheese, vegetables, fruit milk and mac n’ cheese were the products I was given to create characters.

The final characters were a broccoli Lucha Libre, a mac n’ cheese super hero, a cow professor , a family of cubed cheese and a dashing strawberry hero. These characters needed to be bright, bold and full of movement. Using the brand’s existing color palette I tried to make each character have an individual story. Launching in 2020, these characters were used to create posters, stickers, trading cards and other promotional items. Schools across America will have these characters adorning their cafeteria walls and kids will trade these cards. Hopefully it will encourage kids to eat better and add a splash of color to their dining experience.

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