It's a lonely life...that of the necromancer, er freelancer

A blog by a designer and illustrator, for designers and illustrators which may contain musings on art, movies and random weirdness.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

ICARUS Banners get a mention in the New York Times!

Back in May I did a post about a project I was working on for the Liars & Believers Theater production of  "Icarus". The show had a successful Boston premiere and was then invited to premiere the show at the New York Musical Theater Festival. Well they took the show to New York, where it ha been a success and was also reviewed favorably in the New York Times Arts section for Thursday July 25. The writer and director of the show Jason Slavick, e-mailed the article to the cast and crew last week . The link to the online article is here:
The banners that I designed and painted were mentioned in the article:
"The world-weary Minnie (Aimee Rose Ranger) runs the show, separating customers from their nickels to peek at Turbo Frog Boy or to step into the Monster’s Maze (George Courage did the flavorful midway posters)...".
This is the first time I've ever been in the New York Times or had my work described as flavorful! I thoroughly enjoyed the show as well as the experience of producing these posters. Congratulations to Jason, and the entire Liars&Believers cast and crew!

Neil Plumbing Logo

I recently developed a logo for local plumber and friend Jonathan Neil. He is a Christian and was looking for a logo that would not only speak to his new plumbing business, but would also reflect his values and belief that his excellence as a plumber not only serve the customers needs, but honor God.
With plumbing we knew that there would be water imagery, but we wanted to avoid the usual images of pipe wrenches,  drains, sinks, toilets or bathtubs. Jon and I discussed Bible stories and images that involved water vessels and service. I looked at water-related images ranging from Aquarius symbols to images of ancient middle-eastern water vessels. One image that caught my attention was a painting illustrating the Biblical story of Rebekah at the well.

I liked the feeling of the image, but realized it was too complex to make an effective logo, however after seeing this album cover for Come to the Living Water.

I decided that focusing on the hands would be the key. The client liked the idea and I produced a sketch in pencil and marker.

The client liked the sketch of the hands pouring water from a simple wooden bowl. It was a simple strong image which represented plumbing in a masculine, un-clich├ęd way but also referenced a biblical tradition of service. I proceeded with redrawing it in Illustrator, trying some different styles and colors, however when I refined the sketch in Illustrator it lost some of it's energy.

After reviewing these Jon and I decided that the original sketch, although it had a less refined line, had a rugged quality that we actually liked better. I went back to the original sketch and I re-did the drawing careful to keep the rougher, wood-cutty look of the original sketch.
I produced what ended up being very close to the final version of the logomark.

Then it was on to incorporating the logomark with text and laying out the actual business card. There was some discussion of what to call the company, at first it was Jonathan Neil Plumbing, but we decided his first name seemed unnecessary. So then it was just Neil Plumbing. I developed this simple lock-up with the type, a clean, strong, bold, sans-serif face.

Then he decided it should say plumbing and heating. Then there was the finalizing the exact color blue for the final card. Blue was a given from the client from the start, but what shade? We went with a Pantone 285, a kind of softer, pastel blue.  After some minor tweaks, this is the design I came up with for the final card. It was printed on uncoated stock with rounded corners. So far the reaction from the client and his customers has been positive.

Front of card
Back of card