Personal Branding (2015)


I wanted to create update my branding into a new identity that is more fleshed out – combining my interests and experiences – yet is clean and contemporary.


Originally, I wanted to work with iconography to develop a logo combining my initials but didn’t like any of the concepts I came up with nor felt they best represented my style. Instead, I opted for using my full name (sans middle) and gave it a sleek modern treatment through use of font and minimal shape.

The final result (see above) is Gill Sans type with a light kerning and a combination of solid color and white space boxes. Since I planned on using the logo as a resume header, secondary type was used to give a brief explanation of my services – graphic design and branding.

Of course, I knew the full logo would be too long to use in some instances, so I simply created a “condensed” version that uses only “B” and “O” in the same style. To my delight, this shortened logo basically fulfilled my want for an icon-like logo.

The graphic below displays a treatment for both logo types: full and condensed.



Since the logo does not use a concept, I decided to insert themes elsewhere: the color palette.

Taking cues from a very, very old version of my branding, as well as swatches picked from photos taken at UX camp last Summer, I attributed themes to three colors, which I’ve dubbed “Charcoal,” “Cloud” and “Moss.”


I also combined my love of collecting inspirational/insightful quotes, and hand-picked ones that went with each theme.


Way back when I was a green designer, I had chosen Futura as my main font for my website. This is in part because it referenced one of my favorite styles of design – Bauhaus – and because it was a clean sans-serif that wasn’t widely used by other designers (such as Century Gothic or Helvetica).

The problem with Futura is, while it’s a simple, clean typeface, it becomes hard to read at smaller sizes. I kept this in mind while researching a new typeface to use, and happened to stumble upon Gill Sans.

Gill Sans was created by English artists Eric Gill in the 1920s to compete with Futura and similar fonts that were on the rise in Germany. Modeled after the Johnston typeface (which Gill also created) while combining influences of Roman inscriptions and sans-serif cleanliness, Gill Sans is a typeface with roots in both tradition and modernity.

By choosing this font, it resolves the readability problem present with Futura, yet is similar in aesthetic. It also comes pre-installed on most computers today, eliminating the need to update documents opened across systems.


I enjoy street art and am fortunate to call the city of Boston my home. I wanted this subtle urban influence of my identity to come through in the photos I picked from my own backlog. Random murals, alleyways and the skyline are all used in combination with the colors, typeface and logo to further express my present self.


Design Challenge: Album Cover #8

It’s sure been a while, hasn’t it? Life has a funny way of not going according to plan, and designing something for 365 days -consistently- sure is an undertaking.

Of course, I couldn’t stay away from this person project for long; all the new music I discovered and recent life events breathed new inspiration into this aging growing mind (and it’s pretty dang fun).


Allegory of the Long Spoons – Work or Play

The band name Allegory of the Long Spoons comes from a parable that shows the difference between heaven and hell by means of people forced to eat with long spoons:

“The story suggests that people have the opportunity to use what they are given (the long spoons in this allegory) to help nourish each other, but the problem… lies in how the people treat each other.” – Wikipedia

When making these covers I don’t necessarily let any one thing dictate the art direction. I try to imagine what genre the artist plays, paired with the what I think the sound of the album is based on the title, and then edit the stock to match as closely as possible with my inner vision – all while listening to music from the assumed genre.

In this case, I felt that Allegory of the Long Spoons could be a post-hardcore or alternative/indie rock-type band (think early-mid 00s). Many bands of the former genre were influenced by religious, literary/poetic, social/political and romantic themes. I mainly listened to Australian post-hardcore/prog band Closure In Moscow for the main influence, but also tapped into the more lax, indie sounds of Wilco’s new album, and Coheed and Cambria’s new song for quirky, sarcastic vibes.

I wanted the fonts to play into that, using Tall, Dark & Handsome for the band name as a modern, bold statement and then contrasting with Crazy Killer mixed with my own brush strokes for a playful, graffiti-like effect.

In close, I aim to get 10 covers done and present them all together in a volume in my portfolio. I have some neat ideas for down the road as more covers are made, but I don’t want to jump the gun or spoil any surprises just yet. ;)

I hope you enjoy these posts, dear reader, and that they share some insight into my creative process.

From Around the Web | Spotlights & News

It certainly has been a while since I last posted here. Life has a funny way of turning on a dime, and I’ve been busier than ever ! …until my home city started accumulating record snow this season. So now that I am stuck inside for a few days, now’s a good chance to catch up on all things design that have been missed over the past few months.

Below is a collection of articles and tools to boost your design knowledge. Enjoy!


1. Avocode

Avocode is a program that imports your Photoshop or Sketch files and let’s you easily prepare them for the web. Some features include:

  • Open up PSDs for coding without Photoshop, and without emailing or uploading files.
  • Select layers, groups and move around in a design.
  • Generate CSS or preprocessor code for elements in your design.
  • Get accurate dimension measurements with which to build your layout.
  • Copy out text content for easy placement in code.
  • Extract color palettes and hexcodes from PSDs.
  • Export images, even from multiple layers, without having to deal with the slicing process.

2. Bjango hosts numerous apps that that assist in designing for mobile platforms. My favorite one has to be Skala Preview:

Skala Preview sends lossless, colour accurate image previews to any iOS or Android device. Previews are pixel perfect. Colours are identical to how the final app or website will look on the device.  If you’re using Photoshop CS5, CS6 or CC, Skala Preview can preview your canvas as you edit. No saving, no keyboard shortcuts, just lossless previews in realtime.”

An app that lets you view Photoshop designs in real-time?! If you design for mobile and don’t already own a smartphone (rare, but possible), this app may justify the price to upgrade.

3. Butterick’s Practical Typography eBook

Need a quick refresher on typography? Butterick’s got you covered! This ebook has all the essential info you need to study up on typography: what it is, why it matters, what the rules are, composition and more. Whether you are a seasoned designer or a student, this is a must-read source (and it’s FREE!).


4. Should I Work for Free – Infographic

A funny infographic that takes answers the question: should I work for free? A “sailor mouth” and downloadable JPG version are available!

5. Are Print Designers Doomed?

I personally started designing print, and it’s a personal preference with my own projects (in addition to digital display) – mostly because I enjoy having a tangible object to hold in my hands. But what if you wanted to focus solely on print in your career?  This article gives some foresight, and the answers may not be what you expect!


6. Comic Sans Typewriter 

A typewritter that uses a specific font? Sounds like something that would make any designer geek out… until you learn that this particular typewriter uses Comic Sans. No matter what you think of Comic Sans, designer Jesse England developed this product, saying:

“While making it, I thought a lot about the Comic Sans typeface and how ridiculed it is. But it is also a mark of sincerity for those who do not have graphic design experience. I’m not particularly enamored with this font, but I don’t think it deserves the flak it gets.”

I think the font has it’s uses (comics, perhaps?), but I’ve seen too many flyers abuse and misuse it to the point where I can’t help but gag when it rears its face.

7. 22 Netflix Movies Every Designer Should Watch

If you’re snowed in like me and have lots of time to kill (and/or have a Netflix account), these 22 movies and documentaries should keep you occupied and deliver a dose of inspiration.

8. Pantone Color of the Year – 2015

I wasn’t even aware of Pantone’s “Color of the Year” until I saw this article. I won’t spoil what the color is if you haven’t seen this either, though I wonder how they came about their decision…

9. FIFA World Cup 2018 Logo Reveal

Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) unveiled their logo for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and it’s pretty sexy – and certainly better than the previous logos from 2014, 2010 and 2006. The article also features a break-down of what parts of the logo represent.

10. Dyslexia Font

Dutch designer Christian Boer created a font for people with dyslexia called Dyslexie: 

“‘When they’re reading, people with dyslexia often unconsciously switch, rotate and mirror letters in their minds,’ said Boer, who is dyslexic himself.”

Dyslexia is a neurological disorder that causes a disconnect between language and visual processing making it difficult for the brain to process text, affecting an estimated 10% of the Earth’s population. The article explains how Dyslexie was designed and how it works.

11. Pantone Hotel

In Brussels, capitol city of Belgium, there is a hotel that lets you sleep in a room customized with any one of 7 color palettes of your choice – starting from $223/night.

“The colorful treatment comes down to even the smallest details, such as snaps by photographer Victor Levy that are suitably hued to match the room’s color scheme and Pantone coffee mugs.”

Wait until you see the photos! Time to save for a trip to Brussels…


12. Reddit Design Assets Portal is a great site to get lost in an information high – but why not use it to access great design assets and tools? This portal does just that – gathering a slew of info, tools, downloads and more from around the web.

13. Infographics by Nicholas Felton

Work with infographics? Need inspiration? Want to get blown away by amazing design? Check out Nicholas Felton’s protfolio! Nicholas was one of the lead designers of Facebook’s timeline feature, as well as creator of iPhone app Reporter that measures aspects of your life via daily surveys. He is also featured in the Wall Street Journal, Good Magazine, WIRED, and is part of the permanent collection in MoMA. Wow!

There’s a lot of ground to cover, but I hope these snippets prove to be interesting and informative to you, dear reader.

Design Challenge: Album Covers #5, 6 & 7

The challenge continues! Below are album covers 5-7:

Cover #5: Fernando Romay – For Love of It 


Cover #6: Mom & Me & Mom – Why Can’t the Robots Help Us?


Cover #7: The O’Reilly Mercenary Army – The Sweet Sounds of Criticism


I’ve expanded beyond the rules laid out for the challenge a bit; if I see a word, phrase or quote that sounds good/weird/interesting, I’ll most likely use it for the artist or album “name”.

Such was the case for The O’Reilly Mercenary Army – The Sweet Sounds of Criticism. That was inspired during the brief controversy when Fox pundit Bill O’Reilly came up with his solution to defeating ISIS in the middle east (and Steven Colbert’s reaction, and Bill’s reaction to his reaction, etc.).

I’ve also started experimenting with 3D:


Yes, I have a pair of 3D glasses to test this.

It’s nothing to spectacular – yet. It’s more finding out how to get the effect to work; then comes the creative ways to make the image “pop”.

Happy National Coffee Day!

It’s #NationalCoffeeDay (though really, every day is National Coffee Day for me). To celebrate, I’ve decided to collect some fun and interesting coffee-related articles from around the web:

The Oatmeal: 15 Things Worth Knowing About Coffee

The Boston Globe’s Matt Viser gives 5 quick tips to brewing a better cup

I’m a huge Keurig fan, but this article was an eye-opening read

Mashable enables my caffeine addiciton

Fox spreads the coffee love and gives some great treat ideas

Design Challenge: Album Cover #3

Oh time, why do you move so quickly? Album cover #3 is finally here, featuring Battle of Morotai‘s album “From Work Not Done”* – clearly meant to be a little darker and heavier:


Probably something to be played on a rainy day.

I mean, if you were going to name your band after a battle in the Pacific War you probably wouldn’t play, like, lounge music or something, right? I’ve also worked in a watermark that looks like an advisory sticker, probably something I’ll keep doing from now on. This is the internet after all, and we all know the internet is full of pirates.

I would love to keep trying to make one of these per day, but as life likes to remind me: things are not always going to work out as planned. I’ll keep at this design challenge when I can, focusing on the album covers, but with where I am currently it’ll be a little more spread out. That said, already working on the next one and should be ready Soon™.

*Reminder: These aren’t real bands (yet?), but random article titles selected as per challenge guidelines.