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One of the annual projects we’re always proudest of is the 200-page Hail Varsity Yearbook. This year’s is no exception, and on newsstands now through the end of the year.

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.

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.

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.













We’ve teamed up with the awesome guys at Omaha Screen Co. to create a limited-run shirt. It’s printed with a design adapted from the 1941 Nebraska License plate. They’re available here in a range of colors and sizes, in both t-shirt and sweatshirts. The pre-sale runs through Oct. 23, so make sure to get your order in this week. Use the promo code “HanscomPark” to save a few bucks at checkout.

I spent most of last winter gutting and remodeling the main bathroom in my 1890 Victorian home. It appeared to have been modestly redone in the early 1990s with linoleum flooring, a pressed-steel tub insert and small vanity. I wanted to take it back to the early days of indoor plumbing: hex tile floor, cast iron tub, subway tile walls, etc.

Getting it there involved removing half the drywall, and the entire floor, which revealed two surprises: a layer of asbestos tiles and a 10-square-foot area that was completely unsupported. The only thing holding up the previous bathtub was a 1/8-inch sheet of plywood.

After adding some joists and hiring a crew to remove the tainted tile, I was able to get the whole thing done in a little under four months.

The tub (with all its hardware) was a Craigslist find from a Bemis Park foursquare. Kay Dee custom milled the door and window casings to precisely match the rest of the house’s trim. Friends from Des Moines graciously gave me the console sink from their 1950s ranch after they updated their own bathroom.

I built the medicine cabinet around a mirror I found at an antique shop, and built the toiletries shelf out of brass fittings in a style matching the living room bookshelves I built last year. I rebuilt the transom based on one of the originals in the house.

The sconce came from Conner’s in Lincoln, and the 1913 stool is original to the house.

The light fixture with built-in exhaust fan is new, and before setting the floor tile, I installed radiant floor heating.



















specht building
Photo by @eastof72nd

Last night was a victory party for saving the Christian Specht building. A few months ago, I posted the logos I designed for the campaign, but since then the project has grown a little.


Around the time the threat against the Specht was emerging, the amazing Yates School in the Gifford Park neighborhood was also being threatened, by Creighton University, one of the more aggressive predators of historic properties in Omaha. The effort to save the school didn’t have as much immediate momentum as the Specht, though. Looking back at the past five or six years, each time a historic building has been unduly threatened, there’s been a backlash against the threat. Most have been led by members of the neighborhood with an assist by Restoration Exchange Omaha. Since the efforts have often been more localized than the Specht campaign, they’ve ended up having desperate marketing campaigns, each with varying levels of success. Each of the responses to these demolitions — The Clarinda-Page, the Johnston Funeral Home, etc. — looked like their own local effort. One way to, I hope, increase the success rate of these preservation efforts is to make their visual identities part of a larger campaign. So, when I heard Yates was threaten shortly after I did the work on the Specht building, I broke out my pixel grid, my contrasting san-serif type and drew up a logo for the Save Yates group. They’ve taken the image and run with it and now hundreds of people around Gifford Park and the city have signs in their front yard showing their support, and it sounds like promising news may be coming out of that battle as well.

With a little luck, tying the visual identity of all of the threatened buildings in Omaha together will help us save more of them. The fact that the inaugural campaign to use this look was successful can’t hurt the cause, either.



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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One of our dearest clients, OBC, asked us to design a wool cycling jersey for cooler weather. We love bikes. Steel ones. With vintage parts and toe clips. So this was right in our wheelhouse.  OBC_wool_jersey_main

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