The cover for FAMISHED: THE FARM is now ready for public … consumption.

I promise you there are no such puns to be found in the actual book.

Artwork by Shane Tyree; designed by Apocalypse Ink Productions.

It’s an interesting experience, being both a graphic designer and a writer. Of course, any author’s going to have ideas and visions about what their book will look like; and I’m no exception.

This time, though, I made a conscious decision that I was not going to do any more than give a basic idea of what I thought an effective cover design might be. I’ve often found that fresh eyes will find things in your work that you overlook, or bring a new area of focus to light.

Shane Tyree definitely managed to do that. I’m very pleased with my decision to hold back and allow others to drive the design cart this time around.

The use of the light in the hayloft is what grabbed me first. That’s a touch I would never have thought of; though the loft plays an important part in the climactic scenes of the book. The warmth of the light does an excellent job of balancing the cooler palette overall. While I use the term “warmth,” there’s quite a sinister quality to the color scheme in that light as well.

The darkness of the barn below is another nod to the conditions of the Farm, as well as the cracks in the upper walls which give a slight vision of what lies beneath. I get a sense of gradual rot and decay which works more effectively than a blatantly ruined building from Shane’s barn, and that speaks well to several themes within the story.

Of course, the axe and its resting place are the most arresting of the images, and leave no doubt about the type of story you’ll be enjoying …

I’m very grateful to Shane for his hard work and his immense talent, as well as to Jeff Meaders of Apocalypse Ink for his fine design work.

Logo: Sage Studio; Raue Center for the Arts

In April, the Raue Center for the Arts reached out for another logo development project. This was for the Sage Studio, their educational arts programs for all ages.

In this case I was given an existing logo and asked to develop something similar; a two-tone logo which included text clipping and masking. I delivered three thumbnails for their review:

Sage Sudio initial thumbnailsThe top left was chosen as the baseline, though the client did emphasize that they would like more clipping and masking of the text. As a result, I delivered four new treatments based on the thumbnail:

Sage 2nd DraftsThe client then asked to add a film-style clipboard in the background, operating off the top right of the four above logos. I found that keeping the “Studio” in place naturally failed when implementing the clipboard, so bumped it up in line with the “e” in Sage.

Sage with clipboardsThe bottom left logo was chosen as the final, which was delivered in .ai, .eps, and .jpg; along with versions for black, white, or transparent backgrounds. The entire project took less than five days.

Final treatment of Sage Studio logo

Logo: Lucy’s Cafe, Raue Center for the Arts

This logo was an emergency project for Raue Center for the Arts, a local theatre with whom I work regularly. The request was for a creative direction that included the keywords: “Younger, retro tin signs, weathered, cool, hip, exclusive, underground.”

The project had a three-day deadline, which included delivery of full-color, black and white, greyscale and layered versions of the logo. Working with the marketing manager, I delivered two concepts in greyscale:

Rejected logo treatment for Lucy's Cafe.Initial draft for Lucy's Cafe

A brief discussion followed, and the second was chosen. Some back and forth on color and fonts later, we landed on the agreed-upon logo:

Lucy's Cafe

Logo design for the Raue Center for the Arts: Lucy's Cafe


Site redesign

It’s been over two years since I turned my hand to my own Web site. I’ve been busier with other things, and frankly, the amount of posting I was doing didn’t seem to justify making any big effort to spruce up what was working fine.

However, in the process of porting Triskele Moon Studios and Le Petit Marche to WordPress blogs, I got to see a good deal of how far their themes and widgets had evolved over the past year or so. That, combined with the new activity on the writing front, led me to go ahead and redesign the site.

Let me know what you think!

Harvest Moon / Fall Equinox Posters

Another poster for Triskele Moon Studios’ upcoming show at Evolve. The show will be held on September 24 & 25, the same weekend as Art of the Land. It’s going to be a busy weekend for two little black ducks!

This treatment was based on an original design by Robert Proska of Poland, whose excellent personal website is (naturally) in Polish. His designs are also available on Stock XChange, which is where I found them.

I layered the imagery onto a harvest orange screen and added some noise and texture to the background. For the first time I decided to use a text treatment on some of the information, since the curves of the vines lent themselves to a certain fluidity.  Robert’s use of a thick line around one circle led me to mimic it in the upper right corner for the Studio name, and locating the three photos of Leanne’s jewelry was a snap thanks to the color combos. She works so well with autumns!

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