January is a real garbage month here in Washington. But here are some fun posters from the month...
First up is a three-color screen printed poster for the New Pornographers at The Neptune. Inspired by an old airline poster, this one shows the arm of a formal waiter serving up Mt. Rainier–it even has a festive little flag on top. You can buy a copy right here.
The second poster of the month was for Tomo Nakayama and Ings at the Fremont Abbey. This show had the coziest theme in the world and even included a candle exchange.
This next one is my third for design for Ben Gibbard in the last few months and one of my favorites I've designed. A while back I came up with a similar design, but ultimately I wasn't as happy with the color choices and overall design, but this one for Ben fixed that. Later in the year it'll be screen printed and available for purchase.
While I did grow up in the 80s, the decade generally doesn't have much influence on my design work. But this poster was for an 80s-themed evening at the Showbox and came out pretty well.
Last but not least, the best photos I took during the month of January–as voted by me.
There were a few fun little projects in December, with a whole bunch more coming next month. First were two pins for Cone & Steiner, the locally-owned neighborhood market with three locations. For one, I designed gold plated cat, holding a ball of string with a semi-subtle "C&S" in it. For the other, a proud little seagull sailor in silver.
Before starting Cone & Steiner, owner Dani Cone opened a great long-running coffee shop called Fuel. She asked me to miniaturize the iconic Fuel mug as a pin to sell at her shops.
I'm constantly designing new, small things around Porchlight for physical and digital updates and recently I needed to let folks know about a couple seasonal things: our Thanksgiving hours and some brand new apple cider.
The Pacific Bonsai Museum opened in 1989 just south of Seattle. Earlier in the year I designed a pin for the museum based on one of their bonsais, nicknamed "Captain Hook". Last month, they asked me to create a new one in the same style.
And to finish off 2019, some of my favorite photos from December.
'Tis the season for festive design stuff. First up, I designed these ornaments for Westland distillery and had them produced with my factory partners. I then finished and packaged them in house. Westland has always been a pleasure to work with in every sense and this ornament was no different. They're for sale down at their SoDo distillery and tasting room for $10.
Another ornament I came up with this month was inspired by one of the greatest neon signs ever made. Also produced with my direct factory partners, it is gold plated and hand tied with festive red string. The elephant ornament is available at Porchlight and online at Porchlight Design Co. Because these are displayed prominently in-store, I wanted to make sure the packaging looked nice and professional, and could be used for past and future ornaments as well.
Corrie is a former teacher and brilliant cook. At the end of October she asked me to come up with some branding for her private chef business. She envisioned incorporating a wheat stalk without looking too cheesy or overused. With some unique type, stalk placement, and colors; we agreed that loved it and it didn't fall into the aforementioned cheesy category.
I've designed quite a few fun things for Sera Cahoone, and this fun wintery one was inspired by the Monorail and its route here in Seattle. The show is coming up on December 21!
Neal Haley is a fitness instructor with a big style crush on the 60s and 70s. She's also an avid boxer who trains non-stop. To launch her personal training venture, I came up with some branding inspired by classic ringer tees of the 1970s with a color palette I knew would appeal to Neal. Taped hands are a signature of boxing and I wanted to incorporate a taped, gripping hand for a tiny bit of grittiness in a pretty easy riding design.
The grand finale of the month is something I actually designed a year ago. Urban Artworks is a Seattle-based non-profit that provides opportunities for underserved youth to partner with artists to create public art. When Urban Artworks asked if I wanted to design a small mural in honor of the late Dave Niehaus, I was beyond excited. I grew up listening to Mariner games on the radio, watching them on TV, and going to the Kingdome; so Niehaus and his voice hold an incredibly special place in my heart. I'm not much of a painter, but I designed the entire mural, then helped outline the design on wood which was later painted by some great Seattle teens. Initially the mural was set for a square wall in SoDo, but due to some building issues, the mural was moved down near the Starbucks headquarters on Occidental to a much larger wall (which makes the square mural look a wee bit small).
And as always, my favorite photos from the month...
Early in the month, I was asked to design a couple posters for Ben Gibbard's solo shows out in the Midwest. The first shows a little flower shop on the ground floor of an apartment and some lucky person that scored an armful of plants.
The next was a drive-in movie inspired by movie titles of the 50s and 60s, as well as children's author M. Sasek.
I wanted to update the Porchlight gift cards in time for the holidays, so I came up with a new design on a thick, textured card stock.
Another poster from the month was Yoke Lore at Neumos. The venue and I had decided to keep the design to two colors and they were printed by the talented Broken Press, here in Seattle.
At Porchlight, we have a small display of greeting cards at the counter, all of which I've designed at various times. I was feeling antsy for a couple new designs which include the celebratory long dog with balloons and the for-no-particular-occasion seal balancing coffee dishes.
To finish off the post, my favorite photos from the month:
Summer in Seattle is very, very dead now so it'll be a little easier to stay inside and work on design projects. First from September is a two-color 18" x 24" print for the sold out Cigarettes After Sex show at The Neptune. Most of the band's imagery is black and white, so I wanted to keep it simple with a two color, minimal approach. The band name itself is pretty obvious and sexual, so the design didn't need to get too literal, beyond the cigarette pack imagery.
Next up, another poster—this one was for Elder Island playing at the Fillmore in San Francisco. The band has used a lot of 70s/80s audio/electronic-looking imagery in some photography lately, so I wanted to play into that for this design.
The third poster of the month is for AJJ in December. The show is being put on by The Vera Project, but at the larger Neumos on Capitol Hill. Back when I played music, my band played with AJJ here in Seattle at a couple DIY spaces, and down in their hometown Phoenix. In the earlier years of Porchlight, they played an all-ages in-store as well, so I was happy to do this poster when the Vera Project asked. My illustration style isn't perfectly aligned with the bands on the bill, but I think everyone wound up happy with my weird laundromat illustration.
The nice boys of Cataldo have a really great new record out called "Literally Main Street". This year I have done a handful of designs for them and this Cat-aldo shirt is one of my favorites. The idea was the band's, so I can't take full credit.
The nice folks down at Pacific Science Center let me go in and take a ton of photos of the Minoru Yamasaki-designed courtyard (possibly my favorite spot in the entire city). To read more and see all the photos head right here.
Over a decade of Porchlight, I've designed around 6 or 7 different diner mugs that are available to purchase in the shop. This time I went a very, very serious route...
September also brought a new round of Clif Bar pins—a few thousand of 'em. The folks at Clif Bar are really great to work with and always make the process super smooth.
Lastly, my favorite snaps of the month. A few are from an Ebbets Field Flannels photoshoot I helped out with (if you're curious about those sporty NFL photos).
The folks behind the long-running Sasquatch! started a brand new festival called Thing. It featured Kurt Vile, Jeff Tweedy, De La Soul, Violent Femmes and more at Port Townsend's Fort Worden. The sold out festival was a big ol' success and I was lucky enough to design a tiny piece of merch for it. A focal point of Port Townsend is the iconic Point Wilson lighthouse. The folks at Thing asked me to create an enamel pin that represented the city more than the festival itself, so I decided to use the lighthouse. As a fun addition, the backing card was made to reveal a flying bird once the pin is removed.
The main reason anyone follows my Instagram, is just for photos of my fluffy orange cat Junior. For a new slipmat design, I decided to give the people what they want--a two-color screen printed slipmat featuring a curled up orange cat. It's available via Porchlight Design Co.
Musician Jeremy Elliot is transitioning his music and giving it a bigger sound, so he and his management asked me to come up with a logo. Along with some desert imagery and branding influences, they showed me some of the new music and this is what I came up with.
Earlier in the year, I released Visitors, a collection of maps and brochures of Washington from decades ago. The cover features a confused traveller and I created some stickers of his image to throw in with online orders.
And for the monthly photo recap, my favorite photos from August:
First up is a reprisal of the "Coffee & Records" design I had originally made for crew neck sweatshirts. This month, I brought them back to Porchlight on super comfy tri-blend t-shirts for Summer. This was also the first time I decided to go with custom printed tags on the tees. Since I'm in the process of consolidating Porchlight merch over with Porchlight Design Co. it seemed like a good time to make the tags applicable to both. These are available at Porchlight and online at porchlightdesignco.com!
Next, a logo and business cards for my pal Rachel Demy. She is a wonderful photographer and specializes in tour photography, giving insight into green rooms, tour buses and side stage. She's taken great shots of Death Cab, Chance The Rapper, Jenny Lewis, The Shins and more.
Rachel's initials are R.A.D. and without being too obvious, I wanted to incorporate the initials into her name, so you can see that it obviously spells her name, the logo goes from "r" to "a" with a connection down the "d".
Another logo I created was for Part-Time PR, a small firm focusing on punk, indie and DIY bands. The branding is very different from the one I designed for Rachel and shows a little more playful, gritty imagery.
To continue celebrating 10 years of Porchlight, I spent two days giving away enamel pins of Dandy Man, the coffee-and-record-toting happy guy. The miniature man was pinned to a celebratory birthday candle card.
As always, my favorite photos from the month:
A big June highlight is the release of Mid Seattle Volume Three. For each issue, I include an enamel pin and postcard in the orange/red/white color scheme of the Mid Seattle logo. I made a quick promo video to show the pin and interior pages of the new volume, and recorded a super brief instrumental soundtrack to go with it.
In June, Cone & Steiner asked if I would have a little Porchlight Design Co. pop up at their Pioneer Square location. I designed the poster and organized a Happy Hour and Mariner game outing to go with it as well.
Whenever I get to make stuff for Cataldo, it's a good time. Eric asked me to help with their lyric video for "They Don't Know About Us". The lyrics and illustrations were meant to look like a high schooler's sketches, done in scratchy ballpoint. I also lettered the video's titles and credits. KEXP premiered the video right here.
As an exclusive for the Porchlight Design Co. pop up at Cone & Steiner, I designed a Dave Niehaus/Mariners-inspired "My Oh My" enamel pin. The shop is in super close proximity to the ballpark, and a lot of attendees stop in C&S before games, so it seemed like a good fit.
I also designed new labels for the candles I make for Porchlight Design Co. Over the years I've had a couple different label designs for these, and this brand new one is sure to stick as my favorite.
The final June design was for the Spanish Ballroom in Tacoma. The poster will be used for a monthly DJ night featuring Sub Pop founder, Bruce Pavitt. Umbrellas are probably overused in Northwest-based designs, but when it's raining records, I think it's okay.
Last, but not least, my favorite photos from the month:
One of my favorite people/musicians to design for is Sera Cahoone. Whenever I'm designing for a client, I'll ask if they have any imagery in mind for their poster and luckily Sera and I are always on the same page. She mentioned the flicker, a bird in the woodpecker family, and I snuck it into the signage of a mid-century building. The show is coming up June 21 with some great openers as well.
RIght before Dave Hause was leaving for a European tour, I was asked to come up with a shirt design to take on the road. Dave and co. had an idea for fireflies in a jar, loosely based on one of his songs and this two-color print is what I came up with based on the idea.
Next up, some more fun stuff for Cataldo. I designed these two-color shirts based on the red Volvo wagon I put in their show poster in March.
To go along with their new album and shirts, we stuck with the teenage, post-high school theme and came up with an 18" x 24" art print filled with pieces of younger years such as an old iPod, rolling papers, a lighter and pocket knife.
And here are some of my favorite photos from the month:
Last fall, I sent a copy of the first Mid Seattle along with a letter to now-retired architect Audrey Van Horne asking if she'd let me take photos of her home for the next issue. The house that she and her husband John designed in 1953 is one of my favorite residential buildings in the city. It has huge windows, but still feels private. It's classy and elegant while still feeling genuinely lived-in and Mr. and Mrs. Van Horne added little touches of playfulness that make the entire home so well-rounded.
I was beyond excited to get a call from Audrey Van Horne and quickly found out how warm and welcoming she is. Her home is only a couple miles from Capitol Hill in the Portage Bay neighborhood, so it was a quick trip down the street. We chatted for hours in her living room. She told me about her old office, we talked about Architecture West (the now-defunct magazine where my grandfather worked) and the geometric structure in their yard that her grandchildren played on.
The one request she asked of me was that I show her the photos before I publish them. A few weeks later I brought her a one-off volume that showed all of the edited photos I took, with 5 or so in consideration to be published. We looked through it together, she pointed out some of her favorites, and smiled a bunch. Since only four photos were ever published, I wanted to share the rest.