The Blog


Friends and neighbors inCOMMON Community Development hosted a walking tour for the Neighborhood USA national conference last weekend. In preparation for it, and to help support their mission (which includes introducing a lot of people to Hanscom Park’s fair neighborhood), we designed a walking tour map for them, along with some temporary wayfinding for the conference tour. We used temporary chalk spray paint and custom laser cut stencils from the good people at MTRL, and with the help of inCOMMON’s Evelyn, marked each stop.

At the heart of both project is 13 unique logos for a selection of the community assets highlighted on the map and featured on the walk. These are part of a larger suite of logos (40-50 in total) that will be part of a project we launch later in the summer (consider this a sneak peek).

 

 

 

The sun is out, baseball season is in stride, and the College World Series is a month away. To celebrate, I teamed up with the good people at Omaha Screen Co. to revive the logo of the 1927 Omaha Buffaloes for a long-sleeved baseball-T. Snag one at the Ak-Sar-Ben Farmer’s market this summer, or here.

 

We recently finished up a logo and website build for Urban Restorative, an Omaha home restoration business. The client wanted a mark and typography that matched the early 20th-century homes she specializes in restoring. So we started by digging through Landmark Heritage Preservation Commission’s excellent archive of building blueprints and culled all of the nice vintage type we could find.

From there, we settled on typography from the cover of a brochure prolific Omaha architect Everett S. Dodds published in the mid-1910s.

From there, it was a matter of reviving the hand lettering from the brochure. But with a little graph paper and patience, it’s pretty easy to break down the letter forms.

After that, it was a matter of creating a logomark based on the patterns of this salvaged door escutcheon.

After piecing all of the elements together, we ended up with a unique logo with a nod toward the history the client works to restore and preserve.

We helped one of our favorite clients, The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, launch their quarterly newsletter, Time + Space, this month. We love the modern, uncoated look and its unique size. At 8″ x 13″ and 16 pages, it stands out in readers’ mailboxes but is small enough for museum patrons to pick up and carry around the galleries. Visit the center to pick up your own copy.

For the past year or so, we’ve been designing the gallery guides for The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts. We worked with them to come up with a format that is compact enough to be easy to carry around and fit in a standard brochure rack. They had to fit in with the Bemis’ now year-old practice of opening three or four new exhibits in their galleries at a time. It’s a whole new center every three months, so these needed to fit together while having a distict look. They’re printed on a nice, heavy stock so they hold their creases well and are anchored with a key spot color that fits the themes of the new exhibits.

Today the great state of Nebraska turns 150 years old. To mark the occasion, I drew a little logo.

The issue of Hail Varsity on newsstands now, which covers the Huskers’ signing day and 2017 recruiting class, focuses on the strong connection the program has with California. It’s been dubbed “Calibraska,” so for the cover, I imaged the connection as a rail line bring talent to Lincoln. So, I illustrated the cover with a train engine using the style of mid-century travel posters.

HPS’s most fun project of the early part of 2017 has been a series of six full-page illustrations featuring more than 60 Omaha landmark buildings for The Omaha World-Herald‘s annual Outlook section. The goal was to use uniform, thin stroke weights to create a heavy image with lots of contrast. Similarly, the buildings were simplified elements in a sea of dense pattern and detail. The very simple color scheme (four colors: blue, green, black and grey) kept things from getting too noisy, and also suited the newsprint background. Even the slight shifts in registration help its simple, lo-fi but highly detailed look.

A few highlights from the lot.

Transmississippi Exposition Arch of the States

Warren Buffett’s home


UNMC Medicine Fred and Pamela Buffett Cancer Center

Plattsmouth’s Carnegie Public Library


Omaha Central High School

Creighton University Administration Building

Dundee Theater

Dundee Elementary


Mercer Block No. 3 (M’s Pub and Nouvelle Eve)

Mutual of Omaha

Storz Mansion

Vinton Theater

Henry Doorly Zoo

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I generally don’t relish glibly criticizing others’ design work. Designing a logo is a hard enough job, and artists who design logos for bowl games likely have far more stakeholders influencing the design than a typical project, which is generally a recipe for a weak product. But I decided to have a little fun by ranking and briefly critiquing all 41 bowl game logos for Hail Varsity this year.

The Blackstone District hosted their (generally) annual festival fundraiser last month, and this year I drew the poster a little more organic than the 2015 version. Based on the Mitchell Block on the corner of 40th and Farnam Sts., the two-color screen-printed posters turned out pretty sharp, I think.

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