The Blog


Lincoln calling logo
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.

Lincoln Calling logo

Lincoln Calling Logo

The theme of the new logo continues in the illustration for this year’s poster:
Lincoln Calling poster

Kenny Bell Hail Varsity cover

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.

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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.

letterpress

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.

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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.

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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.

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It’s always a rush (in every sense of the word) to put out Hail Varsity’s annual yearbook. The 2014 edition hit newsstands this week and features a fantastic feature of senior Husker I-back Ameer Abdullah by Brandon Vogel with photos by one of our favorite shooters to work with, Alyssa Schukar. They spent a few days with the Abdullahs in the their small hometown in Alabama. It alone is worth the cover price, but it’s also chock-full of previews, breakdowns and analysis, plus the best Husker football photos of any magazine out there.

They’re on the stands until Christmas, but football starts in only three months! Go get it!

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Hail Varsity teamed up with the Creighton Athletic Department to create a rush-job 120-page commemorative magazine for the Bluejay’s NCAA tournament run and their star player, Doug McDermott. The deadline was tight, but we think this is one of the best publications we’ve designed in the past year.

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This Friday marks Arbor Day, and we’ve had this block print in mind for months. We took a slice of an old landscaping timber, cut out the shape of Nebraska (home to Arbor Day) with a bandsaw and used that as our block. Simple, grungy, texture-y. We love this sort of stuff. Arbor_Day_Card_2014_main Arbor_Day_Card_2014_detail3

St_Pats_2014_card_mainThe latest in the block print holiday card series.

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