Chaz Vitale

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Chaz Vitale of Skeleton Key Tattoo asked me to design a business card for him. He expressed a desire to have the overall design bring to mind the old playbill styles of the old west, as well as vintage carnival advertisements.

Chaz had a few color palettes and specific font-types that he wanted me to pull from. After researching the varied styles of theses late 19th & early 20th century adverts, I began laying out the front and back of the business card and narrowing down the color choices.

Chaz also expressed a strong desire to incorporate ornamental flourishes — something I love to to do. Using existing ornamental vectors for a basis, I then began editing those ornaments and using the pieces to build more elaborate borders and corners,  exclusive to Chaz’s business card.

Finally, I narrowed down the color palettes to just a few prominent tones and chose their associations. The more elaborate typefaces, such as the one used for Chaz’s name, were hand painted too tone and with gradients to really make them pop out.

Since typography is one of my favorite avenues of design, I am grateful for the opportunity to work on this piece. I thoroughly enjoyed designing this business card and am proud to have it as part of my portfolio.

Estrela

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ESTRELA Sustainability Consultants is an ecologically conscious consulting firm located in Portland, Oregon. ESTRELA tailors a ‘green’ sustainability master plan for each business and organization they work with, that meets the abilities and needs of each respective client in an effort to reduce our carbon footprint.

Click here to view an internal page.

Design of the ESTRELA website began with a number of pencil & paper sketches, resulting in two distinctive styles & layouts. The final design (shown left) focuses on the need for urban business and development to integrate with nature on both an aesthetic and globally beneficial level.

It’s sometimes difficult to design around an existing logo, especially where a specific look is desired, but I believe that the design and layout I have developed for ESTRELA Sustainability Consultants marries well to their established brand.

It has been a pleasure to work with both Robert Carlson and Linda Scarlett, and I am thankful for the opportunity to work with them, delivering an attractive, user-friendly, and Eco-conscious web-presence.

BioCrest Remediation

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BioCrest Remediation was a business that offered an inexpensive and environmentally friendly product to help clean up ocean oil spill distaster.

Because they were eager to meet the needs of the BP oil spill of 2010, I was crunching to deliver their logo and website within a 7-day window – from conceptualization through to the building. The site design ended up saving me in the end, a they were in the market for something extremely minimalist: header image, menu bar, and single sidebar with limited content. Since that was fairly easy to achieve and still meet the deadline with room to spare, my bigger focus was on the logo.

Their ideal branding objective was a soft, ‘green’ influenced logo that evoked Eco-consiousness. The image shown here is one of the two final versions. The other is a shortened acronym version, which can be viewed here.

The folks at Biocem Remediation were quite pleased with the final product, expressing that their needs had been more than met. I was happy too!


JAR

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JAR Magazine was an online, subscription-based magazine covering the topic of alien abduction. The magazine and website are no longer active as of the beginning of this year (2013), though I am told past issues will be made available in the near future.


Kiktavi

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Kiktavi.com is the website of a Southern California landscape artists, Cynthia Kiktavi. Cynthia that provides sustainable, “green” landscape designs of all styles, including Contemporary, Craftsman, Art-Deco, and European.

I wanted to give give this site an organic feel and tried to stay away from too many rectangular elements.  After designing the sloped frame of the header and content area, I decided that I didn’t want to use the standard social networking icons, so I created custom ones and adjusted the colors so that they still represented the basic tone of each social networking site, while working nicely with the Tuscan color scheme.

Kiktavi.com is built on top of WordPress for ease of content management, and includes flash galleries, a contact form, social networking links and video (coming soon!).

Currently there is a temporary hold on the site’s content, while the company is writing new copy for each page, as well as developing video presentations.

Hideout Magazine

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Hideout Magazine was a photography-themed blog created and managed by Portland, OR photographer, Kina Williams. The site has since changed ownership and design.

The original high resolution images are lost, perhaps forever – the unfortunate casualty of a dead hard drive, and so the image to the left is the only one available.

Originally an online community for photographers around the world to talk, educate, laugh, learn, and develop friendships, Hideout recently made the transition from forum-based community to online magazine. Hideout Magazine offers tutorials, interviews, galleries, educational articles, and other photo-related goodness!

Kina approached me in February of this year in hopes that I could meet her design and development needs which included a custom-themed CMS-based site (WordPress). I quickly began working on sketches and mock-ups based on her initial desire for Hideout Magazine to actually look like a magazine, one with a more retro feel.

I began pouring through magazines I had around the house to get an idea for quote box designs and other types of page decor and layout, and shot some custom photos of a 1968 issue of Rolling Stone magazine to create the seam and layered page edges that I incorporated into the design.

As for the logo, Kina expressed an interest in vintage-eque typefaces. I eventually chose Bebas for the logo — a strong, bold type that invokes the feel of mid 20th century print publications.

To add some flavor to the home page, I used one of my favorite plug-ins, Featured Content Gallery. It’s an interactive image rotator that serves up photos associated with chosen featured articles.

Other implementations include social networking functionality, a flash gallery, homepage excerpts and a contact form.

Kina is very pleased with the final product and outcome of our business relationship, and has received some great feedback on the look and feel of the site. I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to work with Kina, and highly recommend her for any of your photographic needs!

OWCS

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I had been discussing a new logo and a web design re-haul of Oregon Women’s Campaign School (OWCS) with board member Liz McCann, for some time now, and finally reached a point where we were able to move forward with this project in January. The planned launch date was set for February 1st so they could begin receiving registrations for this years School in March.

First, here is a little about OWCS from their site:

“Originally created as part of the Oregon Women’s Political Caucus over 25 years ago, the school is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit organization run by a board of volunteers and financed entirely through voluntary contributions. The Oregon Women’s Campaign School, while dedicated to getting more women involved in politics and elected to office, isn’t just for women! Any pro-choice person who wants to learn more about running for office or about working on issue and candidate campaigns is eligible to attend.“

OWCS is another perfect example of why I love Portland, right along with Our Oregon and Defend Oregon, and the overall feel of the city itself, which is largely focused on progressive thinking.

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Business Card Presentation

Before beginning the site design, I wanted to focus on the logo first, since that could very well dictate the design. I had been sketching ideas for the logo on and off since October, with a new set that I presented in January. While none of my original designs were picked, a combination of two of them was decided upon, resulting in a nice clean brand, – simple, yet unique, bold but not loud, and what I feel is both modern and relevant for years to come.

The website design came shortly thereafter, having sketched a number of layouts on paper first – a practice that has really freed me up to put down what I think up, immediately, avoiding some of the drawbacks to ‘sketching’ in Illustrator or other graphic programs.

site_sketch
Conceptual Sketch

I came up with three variations, one of which was toned down quite a bit in case they wanted a more simplified design. The version chosen was the one I had really hoped for, and to make things even easier, they chose a color scheme from one of the other mock-ups.

The header image required the most work. The images they wanted used were of different resolutions and a few of them pretty low quality, so I had to employ the use of some filter effects to get them all working more or less together.

Designed on top of WordPress for ease of content management, I was able to find a couple of plug-ins to help OWCS better manage their registrations, such as the inclusion of a form plug-in to meet their need for a brief questionnaire on the registration page. The site also includes a contact form, something I like to include in most of my WordPress designs. Typically, I don’t like to use too many plug-ins within a CMS, since the more you add, the more chance for code to become invalid and other conflicts to arise.

I had never worked on a politically-oriented site before, so I was a little concerned in the beginning about creating a unique look that still gave that ‘political’ kind of feel. But in the end, I am very pleased how the OWCS website turned out and very happy that the board members of Oregon Women’s Campaign School love the new design!

Typography: ETH

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The ETH is an acronym for “Extra-terrestrial Hypothesis”. However, some tend to forget that the word “hypothesis” is in there when they rattle off these 3 letters. This is a reminder.


Typography: Women

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I had been wanting to create a typography block for some time and had decided on one that was dedicated to queer women in design, using words that I felt helped empower. This is the result of that endeavor. The layout was done in Illustrator and the final output was finished in Photoshop using a paper texture, lighting source, and layer blending.

You can see the raw vector image, here.