September brought a fun custom project–a wedding "show poster" for a couple in Chicago. The soon-to-be-newlyweds are big fans of the Northwest, Midwest and some of the bands I've designed posters for, so they wanted a poster that combined these things and looked like a concert poster. I drew inspiration from old travel posters to combine their love for the two regions along with their love of travel in the form of an illustrated paper airplane.
The City of Seattle and the Vera Project commissioned me to design a shirt welcoming folks back to the city after long COVID closures. This design was printed by the folks at the Vera Project in limited numbers.
I love designing for Take Care Yoga because I so often and so easily see eye to eye with owners Anna and Joel in creating what they're envisioning. We have a great understanding of the "vibe" one another sees and it makes for a fun design process. I also took these photos after the printing had been completed.
As a very casual, very bad golfer, I loved coming up with these fun designs for Nation Golf in Southern California. Nation is an incredible brand that doesn't take itself too seriously while enjoying the game. Grab one of these tees or one of their mid-century-inspired polos at nationgolfco.com/
Lastly, a few of of my favorite photos from the month...
August brought a variety of fun stuff. First was some repeating fencing for the VIP area of Marymoor Park's concerts, hosted by AEG. The Pines provides a sweet, comfortable VIP experience and I was more than happy to create the fencing (based on their signage) to add to the ambiance.
Next up is some branding for interiors organizer Mess Mgmt. I came up with a logo featuring two hands arranging the words "MESS MGMT". The hands are meant to evoke the organizational way we tidy up a countertop or mold shapes the way we want them.
A fun poster for the pals in Hey Marseilles, playing their first show in a LONG time.
This month, I also did something I haven't done in quite some time–I released an album. Every now and then I record some lo-fi music and get help from friends. The project is called Pretty Old (a name stolen from a Jawbreaker song). I also created a little video for the first "single" from the album, which premiered on KEXP. Read the article here.
Lastly, a few of my favorite photos from August.
July was a bit poster heavy. It started off with a poster for El Corazon, a venue I grew up going to, even back before it changed from Graceland to its current name. See Tickets recently took over the ticketing duties for a handful of US venues and commissioned this "show poster" advertising El Corazon becoming part of the See Tickets family.
Next, a poster for New Pornographers. The band planned a tour in which each city gets two evenings to celebrate their first two albums.
This show has since been postponed to October, but I designed this Northwest-focused ferry show poster for my pals Ben Gibbard and David Bazan, two of the best the Northwest has to offer.
I designed this one for Tomo Nakayama so that we could finally celebrate and have a release show for his wonderful album "Melonday" on Porchlight Records. In my opinion, a disco ball moon is the best way to represent it.
To round out the month, a fun shirt that only the few and proud will understand: Seattle Swim Club.
Lastly, some of my favorite photos from July...
I've been a bit busy and haven't had a ton of time to recap the last few months, so here's the June 2021 recap being posted at the end of August...
Brand new Porchlight two-color tote bag design featuring a server's hand bringing all that you could ask for–a plate of vinyl and coffee. They're available in-store at Porchlight, as well as online at Porchlight Design Co.
A fun little square poster for the pals at Fast Times Presents, featuring French Cassettes, Juan Wayne and Caitlin Cobb-Vialet at the Rickshaw in San Francisco.
The folks at Take Care Yoga started hosting the Belltown Barefoot Market, a literal barefoot makers market inside of the yoga studio. I created the logo for the event and incorporated their standing logo which features an eye inside of a silhouette.
This month I also created a couple happy pink two-color prints, available at Porchlight Design Co.
My biggest project yet took me about two years to complete and in June it finally came to life. "Washington" is a book of amateur photography taken between 1942 and 1979 in the Evergreen State.
The images inside are intended as glimpse of the state's structures, people and life during the 1940s through the end of the 70s in Washington State. You'll find Pike Place Market in 1966, downtown in earlier decades, Volunteer Park in the 1940s and 60s, and a whole lot more throughout King County and all over Washington.
I found, scanned, retouched and researched every slide in the book to fill 166 pages and couldn't be prouder of how it turned out. The book is a softcover with raised glossy lettering on the cover, a printed interior cover and full color throughout.
Below you'll find a video I made to show the details as well as an instrumental soundtrack I recorded earlier.
And lastly, my favorite photos from the month of June...
Finally getting around to the May recap...now that it's July...
First, was a poster for Sammy Hagar and and his annual fundraiser for the Pediatric Cancer Program at UCSF. Typically a large live event at San Francisco's Fillmore, this year's Acoustic 4 A Cure was held in a much smaller private residence and then live-streamed. The poster required a lot of text and also needed to stick with the theater theme of past posters. This was the result:
This month also brought a couple new greeting card designs for Porchlight, which are available only in-store.
Next is the third bonsai enamel pin I've created for the Pacific Bonsai Museum here in Washington. They're a wonderful organization to work with. If you need pins for your own company, just get in touch here. All pins that I design are produced in partnership with a small factory with which I have a wholesale relationship, so you get the best deal with the least amount of legwork.
Splitting time between a very, very social job running Porchlight and very screen-heavy design work, I'm often looking for quick and quiet road trips alone. This last one started in Seattle and went through Eastern Washington, Bend, Redding, Eureka and back up the coast, almost entirely on highways other than I-5. I took a lot of photos, listened to music, listened to Mariners games, and ate a lot of burritos. A fairly curated selection of photos is over in the Porchlight Design Co. Photo Journal and others are below.
Last month I finished up some branding for Crabbleboard Club–the folks that will teach you how to sustainably and safely go crabbing from a paddle board. The design was inspired by old seafood menus and matchbooks from way back when. Follow 'em and be ready when the warm weather comes around!
Next is a small addition to the Porchlight Design Co. shop. The perfect little companion to spare keys–The Motel Keychain. Enjoy your stay.
While in-person music is slowly starting to be scheduled, the drive-in movie/music combo has been a go-to in early 2021. San Francisco's Roxie hosted a viewing of the Talking Heads' "Stop Making Sense" with live music by Andrew St. James. This poster was for digital marketing, as opposed to actual poster printing.
When Oddfellows decided to go into a restaurant hibernation for a couple months due to the pandemic, they asked me to create a giant billboard to let people know that they'd see 'em soon...and soon has already arrived. That meant it was time for a new billboard. I wanted to tie in with the first billboard, so I used the same sunshine happy guy in the background, but with new colors and a new slogan. I suggested "We Saved You A Seat!" with the Oddfellows bright white bistro chairs and drew inspiration from European travel posters.
Lastly, a handful of photos I took during the month of April:
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...