As Nebraska continues to do well in Big Ten play, Hail Varsity has had some fun design opportunities. The team is stacked with Kenny Bell (the most charismatic and popular player in a generation), Ameer Abdullah (who has been in the Heisman Trophy race for much of the season) and Randy Gregory (who may well be the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft if he leaves school early), among others. We’ve had a good time putting together the past few issues.
After a few weeks of work, the my new home office is ready to use. Fresh paint, new drywall (in some spots), new crown molding, new picture rail, new light fixture, new switches and plates, new shades. I added an old door on rails to close off the bedroom. Liz found a sweet typewriting desk for a few dollars at a thrift shop and helped me pick out a couple new rugs. I picked up a new (to me) desk chair from The Humble Home to complete the look. There are still a few finishing touches that need to be completed: refinish the white door, build a transom above it and install molding on the curved part of the wall above the bay windows. But it’s pretty close.
Look at the middle of this post to see some pictures of the office at move-in a few years ago.
Our friends with Lincoln Calling asked us to design a new logo for the annual week-long festival that draws more than 5,000 people. Playing off the shape Nebraska capitol building, the idea was to keep it simple and easy to use and apply year-after-year.
The football season is in full swing, which means Hail Varsity is, too. For the most recent issue, we tried a new approach with our cover: we did two of ’em. Art directed by Ken Jarecke and photographed by Paul Bellinger, we were inspired by Richard Avedon and worked one of the covers up in the style of his 1968 Look Magazine cover portrait of John Lennon. The interior spread is full of Kenny-Bell-meets-GQ-style fashion images with him wears a bunch of gear (and sometimes not very much gear at all) from Omaha men’s stores. The whole thing was a whole lot of fun to put together.
One of the most fun projects we’ve worked on all year went live last week. We designed, drew and built a database for the more-than three-quarter-million combinations of Oregon Ducks uniforms from the past two decades. You can look at every one worn in every game, or see what the Ducks’ record while wearing particular helmets or jerseys. Go play with it for a little.
We fulfilled one of our dreams in life yesterday: we bought a little tiny letterpress. It’s a 5×8-inch Kelsey Excelsior O that dates to the late 1920s or early ’30s. We ordered new rollers today, so with a little luck, we should have it up and running in a couple weeks. Thanks to the good folks at Porridge Papers in Lincoln for rescuing it from the scrap heap and selling it to us.
We decided to build matching dining and coffee tables. So we modified A Beautiful Mess’ plan and build to suit our needs. A friend delivered a bunch of century-old 5.5-inch tongue-and-groove fir subflooring from Lincoln’s old Bike Kitchen. We used that as the table tops, and some harder oak as rails for contrast and durability. Also, we used hairpinleg.com’s badass (and affordable) legs on both.
The past couple weeks we’ve been working on a simple logo for and a detailed drawing of a cool new space: The Pella at Blackstone. The guys over at Iwen Exposures are rehabbing the 100+ year-old Pella Lutheran Church (whose roof was torn off by the 1913 Easter Day Tornado hours after hosting its first service). The chapel will be a rental hall and the basement is going to house some pretty awesome sounding creative spaces. As for the logo, we kept it simple (you can’t go wrong with Emigre’s Brothers), but to add a subtle unique detail, we used one of the trefoils featured prominently on the exterior of the building in the negative space of the “A.”
The asked us to make a digital drawing of the building in addition to logo. This is always one of our favorite things to do.