Because I was too slow to post my February recap in time, and due the fact that many of these projects blurred from February into March, this will be a little two month recap. First off is a beer can for Neshaminy Creek Brewing. The main guideline for this design was to feature mischievous skeletons causing trouble. I decided to have those rapskullions hijacking a delivery truck full of hops, jumping out of windows, and one even left an arm (and some hops) behind. The beer is only available on the east coast, but it's getting great reviews.
Back in February, a wonderful organization leading the charge in documenting and preserving modern architecture in America, docomomo, asked me to create a small Seattle guide and takeover their Instagram for a day. I chose five of my favorite pieces of architecture within a five mile radius and used photos I've taken over the last couple years. Read more here.
At Porchlight, we sold out of almost all of our mug designs so it was time to come up with a new one. Inspired by old matchbooks, I made a little Northwest-joke mug advertising Porchlight's close proximity to the oh-so-warm waters of Puget Sound. I used the same design to update our light box sight at the shop as well.
As a big ol' fan of the Devil, I thought he'd make a good coffee salesman. These 18" x 24" prints were expertly printed by Broken Press here in Seattle. You can find them at Porchlight Design Co. To promote the new print, I made a quick video and recorded a soundtrack to accompany it.
Recently a client commissioned a print of the historic Delware County Courthouse in Iowa. This one took a long, long time.
And lastly, a handful of my favorite photos from the last couple months.
The literal big one of the month is a 40-foot billboard banner on the side of the Oddfellows building on Capitol Hill. When Oddfellows decided to go into COVID hibernation for a couple months, they asked me to come up with a design to let people know it was only temporary. Luckily, I am a big fan of older advertising, which was often based around "large and eye-catching" which translates well to billboards, banners and murals of that size. In the late afternoon, I walked down the street to see it in person and took these photos.
Lake Street Dive has a new album coming out on Nonesuch and asked me to design a poster to accompany the pre-orders of Obviously. The design was meant to show a couple bustling Brooklyn buildings while giving nods to new song titles and lyrics.
The holidays wiped out most of the Porchlight merch and I wanted to bring on a couple new designs. Because I've been drawing cats for the last 30-ish years, I figured I would draw some more. These new shirts are aptly titled the "Harmonicat" shirts (for very obvious reasons). They're available at Porchlight Design Co. and in-store at Porchlight Coffee.
After a few requests for photo prints over the holidays, I decided to start stocking some at Porchlight Design Co. They're standard sized 11" x 14" so they can be easily and affordably framed.
Lastly, a few of my favorite photos of January...
Some fun ones to finish out the year...
The big one from December was the cover of Death Cab For Cutie's new record, "The Georgia E.P.", which features five songs originally recorded by artists from Georgia. When the band announced the digital album, it was only to be available on December 4th for 24 hours–and 100% of the proceeds would benefit Fair Fight and their work to help Democratic nominees make their way to the Senate. The fundraiser came up with over $100,000 in 24 hours.
Since the victory, the band decided to put the record out on vinyl. In addition to the cover art, I've been working on the entire vinyl packaging, which will be released later this summer.
When I was first asked to design the album, the only real guidelines were that the album artwork be centered around the state outline and that it be fairly legible for a digital release (which for most people, is seen on an iPhone). I was inspired by an old jazz LP by Eddie Heywood, that had a few pieces of torn construction paper strewn about the cover. So slowly, but surely I created Georgia with the look of collaged construction paper with torn edges.
The album can be pre-ordered here on 180-gram peach-colored vinyl!
King County Public Health enlisted the help of the Vera Project to reach the youth of Seattle and spread the word about stopping the spread of COVID. Part of the campaign was live streaming four shows for free. I designed the posters with snowglobes as bubbles, full of different types of homes to remind everyone to stick to socializing within your own household.
Lucia Eames was the sole daughter of famed designer Charles Eames. Not only was she responsible for forming the Eames Foundation, which maintains the Eameses' legacy (as well as their house), but she was admired for her own art as well. The Eames Office recently released her starburst designs as ornaments and asked me to help with the packaging. You can buy the ornaments in sets of three right here.
Yoga studios have (obviously) had it rough this year, with very few being able to teach at all. A couple months back, I posted my designs for Take Care Yoga, and since then, co-founder Anna has also started Yoga School Collab. YSC brings together three yoga teachers to remotely train those that want to become yoga teachers themselves. You can find my logo design on their website on their Instagram.
Photographic Center Northwest is a vibrant part of the Seattle arts community, offering classes, workshops and exhibitions–they also have a darkroom (a rarity these days). I designed a shirt and a tote bag for them, based on tools used in the aforementioned darkroom.
Last, but not least...my favorite photos of the month.
November brought the release of the fifth volume of Mid Seattle. The cover features Dick's Drive-In's Lake City location on Christmas last year. It's one of the only times to catch Dick's completely empty, and it happens to be on our route home from my parents' house. The accompanying pin was inspired by a roller rink featured in Volume Five.
I also made an promotional video to show off what's inside. Using some stop motion, I rolled the roller skate pin through some scenes from the issue and recorded a soundtrack using acoustic and electric guitars. You can watch below.
I've been impatiently waiting for a couple months for this project to become real, but now it's here–the postcard that plays on your turntable. I've been familiar with this technology since I was a kid and my dad showed me a 1962 Seattle World's Fair playable postcard, but it wasn't until this year that I thought to do one myself. You can write on one side and affix postage, but the other side has fine grooves that'll spin like normal on your turntable. It even features a short song by Seattle's own Cataldo, written specifically for the postcard. Grab one in-store at Porchlight and online at Porchlight Design Co.
Years ago, I designed a howling wolf pin to be sold at the shop. Soon after, someone from the Wolf Conservation Center in New York got in touch to stock them in their gift shop. This month, they asked for new custom colors in addition to the original white wolf. They're exclusively available in their online store. Support the wolves.
I design all the greeting cards sold at Porchlight, and each year I add a new one for the holidays. The latest one shows Santa Claus comin' to town (in a van). If you look closely, you may see a couple nods to Christmases of my childhood: the Beach Boys Christmas album and a little bit of gum under the snow globe, Wet Bandits style.
Most Seattleites are familar with the gigantic hat and boots in Georgetown's Oxbow Park, but in the 1950s they were designed by Lewis Nasmyth as a gas station (hat) and restroom (boots) in another part of Georgetown. They served their gas pumping, facility-providing purpose until the late 80s when they were left abandoned. They were restored and moved to their current Oxbow Park location in 2003. I made these 3" wide ornaments for the holidays this year and you can get yours at Porchlight Design Co.
Late in November, I also brought back the Elephant ornament–which immediately sold out like last year. Another run was put into production immediately and they're scheduled to be back on December 21. Pre-orders are still going at Porchlight Design Co.
Speaking of ornaments, my frequent collaborators at Westland Distillery wanted to bring back the snow globe ornaments I made for 'em last year. Get one of your own and a delicious/fancy bottle online or at the distillery.
I also designed a tote bag for 'em this month. The design features a hand, a whiskey glass, and Mt. Rainier. While I don't normally sign designs, they asked and I gladly obliged. The fine folks at Night Owls printed the totes and did a perfect job capturing all the details.
Lastly, my favorite photos from the month...
October's recap is coming a little bit (almost a month) late. But the day after I said out loud how much I miss designing show posters...I got an email regarding a show poster. This one was for a show that would have no audience, but would be live streaming from Neumos and featuring Macklemore. Posters are 18" x 24" screen prints.
Next up are some shirts I designed a while back for Take Care Yoga. They've been building out their beautiful space, but unfortunately a big ol' pandemic came along to mostly spoil it. They recently opened with limited capacity and then had to close down again due to the new restrictions. You can support 'em by buying some merch here.
A while back I completed the branding for Good Luck Bread, a multi-faceted baking/cooking service. They have since spent a long time perfecting a well-made, nourishing, and surprisingly affordable frozen delivery pizza and asked me to create the packaging. They have appropriately named this the "Best Ever Frozen Pizza" and they are correct. Order your pizzas every Monday over at their website. Pizza photography by Jenny Jimenez.
And lastly, my favorite photos from the month, including a film roll I had developed...
Throughout the spring and summer, I was working on collecting old slides taken by vacationers throughout the US in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. I came up with an idea for a photography book with the main theme of "American motels" and kept thinking about all the ways travel and vacationing were different in the mid-century. American Motel is the collection of those images. It's available at Porchlight Design Co.
In the past we've given out small stickers for free at Porchlight, but I wanted to create a cohesive package this time around. A couple years ago I had taken some photos of some very old packaging of little plastic army men, cowboys and jungle animals from his childhood and I used those photos as inspiration. The Porchlight Sticker Pack is available in-store or at Porchlight Design Co.
This month had me working on a lot of projects for other businesses (many of which will be shared over the next couple months) but I also took time to work on some personal art. This first print is very obviously inspired by the Space Needle. The Needle is one of the most photographed and illustrated buildings in the state, so tend to feel compelled to photograph and illustrate it in ways that aren't as common. If you'd like to snag a print for yourself, they're also available at Porchlight Design Co.
The Elephant Car Wash neon sign has been a beacon of familiarity in an ever-changing city. For the last few months it had become pretty obvious that the Denny Way location of the car wash (along with the sign) was in jeopardy. One night I had been looking through older photos of Denny Way near the car wash and was inspired to create a silk screen print of a Denny Way of the past. Available at Porchlight Design Co.
I've always designed the greeting cards we carry at Porchlight, and whenever I have the time (and a decent idea) I add to the stock. Here are the three new designs...
Lastly, a few of my favorite photos from the month...
The biggest, happiest design of the month was the Big Happy Yellow Mug. Slightly larger than the normal Porchlight mugs, these are beefy and bright.
Record Store Day is a little wonky this year, as it's spread out over three days over the next couple months. To remind folks that Record Store Day didn't die like all other plans this year, I came up with this poster...
Over at Porchlight Design Co, I keep a photo journal of different trips and outings. There are collections for road trips from Seattle to Boise, Arizona, Kauai and more. The most recent is from a quick couple of days driving from Seattle to Western Montana to see Flathead Lake. Some of the photos are below, but see the rest of the Montana photo set right here.
The nice folks at fruitsuper asked me to put together a tour of modern architecture in the Seattle area. Kelsey and I came up with the list of spots we like and divided the writing between us while using photos I had taken over the years. See the whole tour over at fruitsuper.
Just in time for the end of summer...the Porchlight Summer Shirt! A comfy cotton white tee that is now almost sold out. There are still some sizes available in the store and at Porchlight Design Co.
Last but not least, my favorite photos from the month...
Over the last couple months I've been working on a whole bunch of brand new enamel pins for Good + Well Supply Co. Each pin in this big ol' set is meant to represent a feature of a National Park and is accompanied by a backing card to give it a backdrop. They're all available right here.
Spending so much time designing show posters for venues and bands, I sometimes forget to create art prints. This new little 8" x 10" was inspired by the uptick in houseplants and my affection towards 1960s Mustangs. You can grab one over at Porchlight Design Co.
Porchlight's ELEVENTH anniversary snuck up on me this year. To celebrate I came up with this poster to use digitally and as a print.
I can't help but personify everyday objects. Sitting around doodling a coffee mug, I came up with a super happy coffee mug whose splashing beverage emulated hair. The result was this enamel pin, available at Porchlight and online at Porchlight Design Co.
Another enamel pin/backing card combo for the month was for Microsoft to use internally within the company. Without revealing the entire design, here is a sneak peek.
As always, some of my favorite photos I took last month (most photos were taken on film this month, but a few are digital).
Aside from posting in support of Black lives and the ongoing protests, I stayed mostly silent throughout May and June on social media to try to avoid cluttering up the internet with irrelevant information or content.
I was staying busy with a variety of projects during those months though. The finished projects I can share are all of these below.
Most importantly, I designed a poster to put up in the Porchlight shop window. Andy at Broken Press offered to screen print them so that we could offer them free to businesses because we believe that at a bare minimum, those that wish to enter our places of work, need to acknowledge that Black lives matter. This is an absolute bare minimum. The screen printed posters are all gone now, so I made a downloadable version for home printing. These will print at 8.5" x 11", making it easy for any home printer. Print one here.
Next up, two pins for Hello Robin and their delicious desserts. You can eat a Birthday Cake Cookie or a Mackles'more while you wear their likeness on your jacket. Swing by one of their locations to grab a pin!
To spice up our mug selection at Porchlight, I decided on some colors that are way too close to the tiles in my 1949 bathroom–pink and maroon. Grab one from Porchlight Design Co. or swing by the shop.
In early 2020, I went on a little trip down the Washington Coast with Westland Distillery to visit their cask storage and bring back a special whiskey. In addition to Westland's staples, the distillery experiments with a variety of casks in which they finish aging the whiskey and occasionally the distillery bestows the honor of choosing which upon a lucky outsider.
I've been lucky to collaborate with Westland throughout the years and we've all become buddies, so this overnight sounded like a great time from the start. For anyone familiar with Northwest coastal towns, you know they're an acquired taste. The water is almost always too cold to swim in, there's plenty of wind and in most months, a certain indescribable mood seems to meander down the coast from Washington through Oregon. They're not California beach towns, but they feel like home to a lot of us.
On our drive down we stopped for food, but we also stopped for photos when I spotted a sight out of the car window that I thought needed documenting. Once we made it to the rackhouse, we grabbed samples from a few different casks, roamed the facility, talked about the whiskies and then headed back to the house. In addition to snacks, board games and very classy conversation, we sat around the table for a tasting. Ultimately, my favorite was a whiskey finished in a marsala wine cask. That cask sold out super fast, but you can see all the photos right here (sneak peek at a few below).
Liv Lyons is a super talented photographer and luckily we see eye-to-eye on design. I made these ultra-thick cards for her in mid-May. Head to her website to see her wonderful work.
Smith Tower was once the tallest building in Seattle. While it's now dwarfed by the much taller (and often uglier) buildings around it, Smith Tower remains a beloved architectural staple of the city. Built a little before my usual mid-century preferences, it really is one of my favorites. Printed by Broken Press here in Seattle, these are 18" x 24" (standard size for easy framing) and available at Porchlight Design Co.
Because the world needed a reminder that you should always keep your shoes tied around your cat...
Printed here In Seattle by Broken Press, these are also 18" x 24" (a standard size for easy framing) and available at Porchlight Design Co.
A new window sign is a project I had been meaning to tackle for a while now. I found a great vintage x-ray box, drilled holes and hung it in the window with some brand new signage.
Lastly, Porchlight is a fairly small shop, so I decided we needed some social distancing stickers to remind folks to back it up every now and then. I didn't want to settle for stock ones, so I made some 7" stickers from the album "Plague Hits".
Last, but not least...my favorite photos from May and June.
Another month of pandemic-era work has included a LOT of work behind the bar at Porchlight, but also some fun design projects.
Early in the month I released a series of four 8" x 10" screen prints: a little bit of a punny play on my favorite "Washington" abbreviation, a little reading and coffee-drinking guy, a romantic night drive and a motel. They're all available over at Porchlight Design Co. for the oh-so-low price of $15 each.
April brought the release of the latest Mid Seattle and to promote the new issue, I made a weird little stop motion video and took some photos. I recorded the background music from home as well. Volume 4 features the Pacific Science Center, which is one of my all-time favorite places in the city, designed by Minoru Yamasaki who graduated from Garfield High in the 30s. You can grab a copy at Porchlight, or online at midseattle.com or Porchlight Design Co.
Across the world, pandemic-relief funds are gathering donations, but not many folks are raising money for small DIY spaces–but luckily, The Vera Project is doing just that. Makeshift venues are important safe spaces for all-ages music and give a voice to those that deserve to be heard. I designed this poster for Vera's event featuring a whole bunch of lovely musicians playing from home in order to raise money for Seattle's DIY spaces. The event was a big ol' success and raised over $10,000.
Stay Inside The Lines has made a downloadable coloring book to keep folks occupied during their time at home. I adapted a poster I made for Sera Cahoone a couple years ago into a timberwolf coloring page. You can download the book right here.
Lastly, some of my favorite photos of the month...