During the mid-late 90’s, while working with Bleecker and Sullivan Advertising, I had the pleasure of working directly on the ASPCA New York City Subway Poster proposal. This was a follow up to a previous award winning campaign that the firm had done for them.
Due to the previous campaigns success, it was decided that we would tailgate and heighten the “cat vs dog" theme. Their were some challenges. We were limited to the use of one color and surprisingly, had a very limited selection of stock photography that we were authorized to use. It was clear, that the solution would have to be a strong and focussed tag line that would draw the viewer in. Something that would be engaging, smart and quickly understood.
After some long brainstorming, the two main tag lines which we had come up with for the Subway Poster campaign were "Dogs Are Boneheads..Adopt Me!” and “Cats Sleep Around… Adopt Me!” . We had more risque tag lines in our arsenal (Cat’s are pussies, Dogs poop everywhere), however it was the clients wish to play it safe. The clients were so enthused about this, besides Subway posters, they also had postcards made and distributed throughout New York City.
This was a fine lesson in working collaboratively with a team and with strong limitations. In addition, this was the first “BIG” professional assignment that had ever worked on. It will always have a special place in my heart.
CLIENT: The Elvites
MEDIUM: Logo, Postcard Campaign, Web Banner, Promotional Materials
The Elvites were an Elvis impersonation troop that was in need of both a branding scheme and materials to help promote themselves as they started receiving more notoriety after numerous television appearances. The task at hand was difficult. The three main members of the group could not agree on any one direction which led to a lot of frustration. I took it upon myself to reign them in and project manage the process so to better come up with a slick product and to achieve their goals.
LOGO: This was a lot of fun to do. I had so many great directions and ideas to choose from. I really could not go wrong with any of them. However, in the end, this solution for the Elvites made the most sense. It was inspired by an Elvis Live concert album (Can’t find the link at the moment). My version of it is both colorful and a lot more playful. It serves as strong recognizable visual that can be carried throughout in all mediums.
POSTCARD: These postcards would serve as mailers and fliers to be handed out at various events. With that I came up with a campaign that was both humorous and and concise. Including the logo and call to action, I would have a tag line in place with a one word being the profession of the troop member followed by a recognizable noun from the Elvis mythos. This would be a smart and humorous way in letting the viewer know exactly what the Elvites were. After nailing the concept down, it was pure fun from there. With all the fantastic vintage type fonts to choose from that the rockabilly scene employed during that time period, again, I could not go wrong with any direction.
OTHER MEDIA: From there, I designed and developed online postcards, stickers and T-shirts and put together a temporary myspace page that would also serve their promotional needs.
The Elvites were pleased and in agreement with this direction. However, as I started implementing our agreed marketing strategy, the troop disbanded. Apparently one member got into an altercation with an other over who had the better Elvis costume….. Sigh.
CLIENT: Havana Alma De Cuba
MEDIUM: Logo, Signage, Business Card, Menu and Promotional Materials
Havana Alma De Cuba is a cuban restuarant that was(is) in need of a re brand. This was an assignment from a 3rd party vendor thus making it a long shot pitch, which would probably not see the light of day. Fortunately, the end result of this became one of my most well received pieces in my portfolio.
LOGO: With focusing on branding and the restaurant’s theme, finding a color palette was not difficult. I looked to the art and food of the cuban heritage. It’s zest and unique fusion of Latino and African culture made for interesting and enjoyable research. I wanted the logo to be tasteful, vibrant but not too upscale. I was struggling with ways to make it look hand made. It then occurred to me to do it by hand, thus making all the difference in the world.
After the logo for Havana Alma De Cuba was done, flushing out the rest of the items was easy. Putting the design in context with other recognizable restaurant items (signage, menu, matchbooks etc) and matching the style of the logo shows how well it carries through out in the brand.
Research was critical for this projects success.
CLIENT: Bella Blu
MEDIUM: Logo, Business Card, Signage, Website Proposal
Bella Blu, an upscale Italian restaurant located on the upper east side was one of my first freelance graphic design assignments. I executed a logo that was used for their outdoor signage and business cards. I never was too fond of what I did. It was amateurish and unrefined. Several years later, as the restaurant underwent a new interior makeover, I had the opportunity to pitch them a new logo and branding scheme.
LOGO: For their logo, I wanted it to be sexy, spirited and intimate. I chose a party font (the exact name escapes me at the moment) for it’s gorgeous European curves and adjusted the baseline to create a bouncy feel. I then placed an ellipse behind type treatment to give the illusion of the moon which tones the design down some. The main logo would be utilizing the color blue for it’s namesake, however, it lends itself for flexibility and different colors.
WEBSITE: With the Italian cuisine palette being so vibrant and tantalizing, I decided the color blue should not be too prominent for the website. The sensual feel of the logo would still carry over without issue. I focused on matching the tone of the photographs of the various dishes in regards to background color. It makes for an eye pleasing feel without compromising the zeal and focus of the images.
MEDIA: The above mentioned for Bella Blu would carry throughout the rest of media whether being signage postcards, matchbooks.
The client was extremely pleased with the overall treatment.
CLIENT: Trinity Boxing Club
MEDIUM: Poster and Flier Campaign, Online Postcard and Animated Web Banners
After the closing of the Waterfront Boxing Gym, they would relocate to Trinity Place in heart of the Financial District and return as Trinity Boxing. Being in a highly more visible and bigger space coupled with the clientele they already established, business was off to an excellent start. So well, that a West Coast branch was opened. However, after the economic challenges of 2008, new business initiatives were needed to solidify their positions. They created new service products for existing and new customers. Creating these products was one thing, advertising them was another.
Numerous strong attempts were made in advertising the services that Trinity Boxing were offering. They were done via social networking, email blasts, etc. After being seemingly unsuccessful, it was decided that old fashion print advertorials would be most effective. Like I did for Waterfront Boxing gym, I looked to Hatch Poster Art for inspiration for the designs. The real challenge was staying within their brand guidelines. It required that I played it a little safe which was frustrating. However, the simplicity of the advertorials (postcards, flyers, posters) were very successful. Business shot up several percentage points. The message was concise and clean. One of the services, (Bootcamp) did so well it led to a write up in “Time Out NY”which led to a spot on “Regis and Kelly”. Can this success be attributed to these advertorials/postcards? Who’s to say but… yes!..lol
This project for Trinity Boxing was a great eye opener in regards to media. In my opinion, Print is NOT dead. If done right, print can still be the most efficient way of getting your message out there effectively.
CLIENT: Pole Superstar
MEDIUM: Logo, Print Advertorials, Promotional Materials and Website Proposal
Polesuperstar was an organization which hosts pole dancing competitions through out New York City. With a high end clientele, celebrity judges and developing a niche in the European markets, the organization was poised for massive expansion and in clear need of being rebranded.
OVERALL TREATMENT: I decided to go with a direction that would be more recreational and colorful. Being that the organizations ultimate goal was to make pole dancing a legitimate sport, I felt it was something that was needed to be made clear. Many regard pole dancing as a seedy “stripper thing” and for it to be taken as a serious competition, the branding would have to remove that stigma and yet still remain sensuous.
LOGO: For the logo treatment, I created a hand made a script font (inspired by the NY Yankees) and utilizing their star from their previous logo. I placed the logo on an angle, which creates a dynamic effect that would carry throughout all media being print or interactive.
WEBSITE: For the website, I wanted to bombard to visitor with gorgeous, sexy yet tasteful photography. Their previous site was very video heavy which made for slow user experience. The photography would be the hook to the site and lead into visiting the video page and anywhere they would want to go.
PRINT: Same thing. Sporty, sexy, taseful and dynamic. Almost Cirque du Soleil-esque. Just carrying on from what was done on the website. It translates well.
The client was excited and sold with Polesuperstar’s new rebranding direction. However, due to unforeseen financial restructuring, the project and company was put on hold indefinitely. I was very proud and pleased with myself in how i handled this assignment. It’s a reminder to when taking on a project of that level, having confidence in my ability goes a long way which normally yields excellent results.
CLIENT: Pete "Kid Chocolate" Quillin
MEDIUM: T-shirt Designs and Animated Web Banners
My client, owner of Trinity Boxing, hired me to design a various logos/T-shirts for up and coming boxing sensation Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin. I was excited by this assignment. “KC” is an amazingly talented boxer and there is no doubt in my mind that he would be successful.
With very little direction, I went ahead with the assignment. Playing with classic boxing imagery, vintage fonts, American patriot imagery etc. I was able to put together some nice designs. Two of which I really believed in. One being a parody design of a Hersheys Chocolate Bar and one which was an illustration, of my doing, of him with a thorn like halo/crown around his head. I applied that imagery knowing of his strong religious beliefs. In addition, I did some banner ads for him that would be placed in the Trinity Boxing website.
Kid Chocolate Pete Quillin was 24 and 0 when this project was completed. He went on to become a super middleweight title holder main eventing Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. I went a couple of rounds in the ring with him once. It was an epic confrontation. He did Michael Jackson/James brown dances as I feverishly tried to get in one jab. You think he was toying around with me? Maybe…lol
CLIENT: Waterfront Boxing Club
MEDIUM: Poster and Flier Campaign
Waterfront Boxing Gym, once a down and dirty gym for the white collar worker in the Financial District had a special niche in the boxing community. They hosted non sanctioned bouts called “Grudge Match”. Basically, people (men and women) who wanted to fight each other in the boxing ring, could receive 4 weeks training and then would be able to compete against each other in an event for their friends and families to watch. The client was shocked to see that “best friends” were coming in wanting to fight each other rather than those with actual grudges. This made the events to be both light hearted and fun. As this service was beginning to really take off, I was asked to come up with a poster/post card to help promote it.
My inspiration for the Grudge Match Poster was classic Hatch Poster Art. Classic Heavy set letter press design which is very bold and rich in visual, yet terrifically simple. For this project, I came up with two directions. I incorporated zany stock photography, bold colors and classic boxing magazine pages that the gym used to decorate the walls of their basement. I felt these solutions to be visually striking, humorous and still informative. This assignment helped me discover Hatch Poster Art and rediscover my love of Graphic Design.
CLIENT: Blackstone Properties of New York
MEDIUM: Logo, Website Proposal, Business Cards, Catalog Cover and Print Advertorial Campaign
Blackstone Properties, a luxury realtor group advertised a crowd sourcing assignment for what was to be a new rendering of their logo. Their existing logo was a basic Helvetica type treatment with a website that did not at all represent them well. It was (is) clunky and cluttered and was not at all upscale.
I took it upon my self to not just redesign Blackstones logo, but do also place the logo in it’s context and redesign their website, advertorial campaigns and business cards making for a compelling and thought out brand scheme.
CLIENT: Marion Scott Inc. Real Estate
MEDIUM: Logo, Business Card, Animated Web Banner and Website Proposal
Through a 3rd party vendor, I was hired to design a logo for Marion Scott Inc. Real Estate.
With very little direction, and the need for a quick turnaround I came up with several different solutions for the assignment. The one I found most successful was a play with the letter “M”. Positioning it within a square, reversed and applying a brown palette with hot and cool tones, it ended looking clean, contemporary, upscale yet lending itself for play. I then took the logo I did for Marion Scott Inc. and placed it in it’s proper context and branding solution. This includes, redesigning the website, business cards and flash banners.
MEDIUM: Print Advertorial Campaign and Animated Web Banner
With a new state-of-the-art facility that AIRBUS was opening in Mobile, Alabama, at Posner Advertising I was assigned the task of coming up with a campaign to announce the various employment opportunities that would be available. Being that these openings would vary in different areas and specifics of the positions were not solidified, I felt that this needed to be not just a recruitment campaign but also treated as an announcement as well.
For the design, I incorporated wonderful photography of Airbus’s gorgeous luxury liners and included various images of Mobile, Alabama.
The headlines incorporated with the visuals and a call to action, achieve in delivering the dual messages in an effective an pleasing manner. This campaign for Airbus lends itself towards other mediums, including a flash banners.
MEDIUM: Poster, Billboard, Website
"The ninth floor "was a division within a company that I worked for that produced outside chance assignments. They would serve as side projects when our department had some down time. It served two purposes. ONE: to help keep staff creative (as one would go to a gym to exercise) TWO: If a lead produced, a possible meeting may be had to pitch the product that was already put together. I have done several projects for this division. My favorite however, was the one I did for the Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner.
After seeing how the Boeing 787 Dreamliner was being marketed, I thought this was an ideal project to run with. Their branding scheme was inconsistent, poorly designed and not playing to the strengths of the aircraft. I wanted to focus on the it’s luxury. So to do this, I took liberties with the Boeing Logo by adding on to it, coupled it with a modern design solution partially inspired by apples original ipod campaign coupled with a sky blue color palette. This created a very modern, luxurious look that better defines the product.
CLIENT: Young Survival Coalition
MEDIUM: Branding, Poster, Web Banner, Invitation and Promotional Materials
YSC (The Young Survival Coalition) is a non-profit womans support group who deal with the struggles of living with beast Cancer. My wife Stephanie, who is an accomplished and talented designer, was hired to design the branding for their annual gala. Though she had come up with two fantastic design directions, she needed to present five to them. Being that the two design solutions were both very involved and coupled with the deadline being bumped up earlier, she needed my help in coming up with several more.
The name of YSC’s gala is “In Living Pink”. They wanted that years theme to be “Speak Easy Casino”. I looked to the Art deco movement that was so popular back in the 1920’s. In addition (of course) I looked to Hatch Poster Art and 1930’s Jazz influenced design. I struggled with this assignment on many levels. It needed to be sophisticated, playful, feminine and smart. That was very hard to pull off as a branding scheme that would translate across all mediums.
This particular design solution I did was YSC’s second choice. They chose a direction my wife did which was the amazing. This was a fun and challenging assignment. I feel strongly in it’s place in my portfolio. In addition, I am so proud of my wife Stephanie. My mother passed away of Cancer when I was 5 years old. This is personal for me. The tireless effort that she (and YSC) have put in for this cause has been inspiring.
MEDIUM: Logo, Brand Identity, Poster Design and Promotional Materials
“Bulldog” is a movie treatment that is about a young punk rocker and his dog which takes place in the backdrop 1980’s England. The story overall is “Sid & Nancy” meets “My Dog Skip”. I was asked to design some promotional materials that would serve as a selling tool for the final script.
This was a fun but challenging project to work on. The client was really pushing for simplicity and clean while I wanted to go crazy and gritty. I was able to meet them half way. In this case, compromise really worked.
The project was put on hold indefinitely. When the writers strike ended, the client had to abandon “Bulldog” so to take on paying work again. I guess, it will have to wait until the writers next strike.
MEDIUM: Logo, Promotional Materials
WFMU is an independent non-commercial traditional radio station located in Hudson County, NJ. They are the longest running freeform radio station in the country and regarded as being the finest by the leading industry publications (Rolling Stone, Village Voice etc). The station were accepting open calls for a new logo design to be used for their website and other media platforms.
I was very surprised that WFMU were approaching a search for a new logo in this manner. What I mean by that is that I have seen so many amazing design products come out from that organization, that being bumper stickers, fliers etc, I am shocked that they felt the need to have an open call when clearly they had many resources already to pool from. Regardless, I decided that I wanted to give it a try.
After designing several WFMU logo concepts, the one I felt the most strongly about is the one that you see right now. With the bouncy use of vintage fonts, and old fashioned illustration of a radio and antenna lightning surrounding it, I felt it was a simple, clean yet edgy solution. I then put the logo in it’s proper context, that being stickers, patches, hoody sweat jackets, website etc.
I was directly contacted by a representative and was praised for the many strong concepts that I submitted. What can I say. It was fun.
BARNES & NOBLE
CLIENT: Barnes & Noble
MEDIUM: Print and Online Advertorial Campaign
With the declining retail sales in the book industry, Barnes & Noble were having trouble recruiting quality talent for their outlets. I devised a small campaign that would address their recruitment needs. It would serve as a Print advertorial and interactive web banner.
Not just selling the idea of potential future growth with Barnes & Noble but an atmosphere in where one would want to be a part of. The chosen images are of young people who look happy and content in where they are. I then would apply the logo and call to action. That is it. Nothing else would be needed. The message is clear, clean and fresh.
MEDIUM: Print Advertisement Campaign and Online Animated Postcards
While working with TMP Worlwide, the then parent company of monster.com, the department I was stationed in received this very unusual assignment. I had to design a mid sized advertorial campaign announcing the new monster moving service. This initiative was to assist clients as in regards to relocating when finding new employment. The challenge: We were to ONLY utilize the monstermoving.com logo and a brand character. Nothing else. In addition, I was charged with creating the tag lines as well.
Clearly a smart, whimsical copy campaign was needed to make this series work. I’ve done several mock ups with the layouts and then just had fun with playing with phrases and expressions that dealt with the labors of moving at a very personal level.
In addition, I designed and Art Directed a animated email blast campaign. This was done in a short amount of time advertising their their online survey services. That was fun and furious.
MEDIUM: Print Advertisement and animated Web Banner
Mothers Against Drunk Driving is non-profit organization that brings awareness of the dangers of driving while under the influence of alcohol. The group formed in the 80’s and was and still is a staple force in regards to delivering this message. While at Bleecker and Sulivan, after what we accomplished with the ASPCA, we wanted to attract more non-profit clients.
For MADD, I devised a copy driven print advertorial campaign that would not just create awareness of the organization and their message, but to remind the masses that MADD is still out there. They still are a thriving organization and that they are vigilant in their cause.
This solution to this campaign is a clean, simple and strong one. It reaches at a personal level and has the legs to go on for a very long while.
CLIENT: New York Shamanic Circle
MEDIUM: Print Advertisement Campaign and Online Animated Postcards and Banners
This was a small grass roots campaign to help bring awareness to the Shaman Community of New York City. I wanted this to be fun but still reach people at a very personal level. Nothing to heavy, I played with ironic contrasting graphics and negative space to make it feel light. What makes this great is that it i s campaign that can just keep on going. It achieved it's goal in bringing in new members. A successful solution to a problem.
CLIENT: Athos Cakiedes
MEDIUM: Book Jacket Design/Illustration
The Winged Sandals of Skyron, a young adult story written by the talented Athos Caliades which depicts Greek Mythology with a modern and whimsical twist. The author was in need of an illustration/graphic solution for the book jacket cover. It was to be used to excite and seduce potential publishers.
I felt the cover to Winged Sandals of Skyron needed a more graphic solution than what the author wanted. To introduce this story and to also act as a presentation, it needed to be simple, strong, and yet light. I executed layers upon layers of texture to feel like painted marble for the background coupled with a sky blue palette. I brought about hand made vintage type fonts that are both playful and strong. In addition I incorporated classic Greek mosaic icons for an overall Greek mythological tone. For the centerpiece, I created a comic like illustration of a young Theseus running. This made for a gorgeous, bold yet gentle solution for the book jacket.
The author was incredibly excited with the the final product for the book cover. I was glad to have succeeded with this. It’s a really great novel and am very thrilled to be a part of it.
FRONT COVER, SPINE and BACK COVER
SKETCHES and LAYOUTS
MEDIUM: Digital Posters
These are part of a design series that is based on words that I would find on various grammar sites (dictionary.com etc). This helps to keep me sharp with both my graphic and typographic skills while keeping me comfortable with the various Adobe Suite programs. Among the chosen are my favorite layouts. This has and continues to be one of my favorite on-going projects.
CLIENT: Various Professional Wrestling Blogs and Performers
MEDIUM: Digital Poster Cards
This is a series of poster designs that were hatch based themed fantasy competitions that were done for various wrestling blogs. They were highly praised in their respective communities.
This led to me being charged with coming up with some tribute posters for performers who are either retired or passed on. Due to it;s success and my passion for it, I stuck with the hatch based direction. I want to keep pushing the envelope in what I can do with this, yet maintain that style of sensibility.
This series over-all is a labor of love and have enjoyed doing it.
This is a design series that I have just started. I am drawing inspiration from classic 1980's arcade games (mainly atari) to create a series of posters. This is a self-promotion project that is coming along nicely thus far.
This page is dedicated to various book cover concepts that I composed over the years. Either as self-promotion or propositions, I feel that these selections are strong approaches that showcase my various styles and sensibilities.
All covers were designed with using Adobe Creative Suite.