Vibrant Together Logo

Vibrant Together is an update to Downtown Grand Junction’s 2019 plan of development. The goal of the project is to outline a strategic plan for the multiple areas of Downtown Grand Junction including the River District, Rail District, and the Central Business District.

Vibrant-TogetherDowntown Grand Junction wanted a logo for the project that represented more than just Main Street. For the design I choose to color block abstract representations of the various districts included in the plan. The orange buildings represent the brick buildings on Main Street, the red building represents the warehouses in the Rail District, the blue building is the Los Colonias Amphitheater in the River District, and the green building represents the Business District.

The bold color choices are meant to reflect the creativity and vibrant energy of Downtown Grand Junction. As the project develops, the goal is to use the colors to represent the individual downtown districts.

Downtown-District-Map

New growth is already taking place in the River and Rail Districts so it was important to highlight those areas as much as possible in the design. The new Los Colonias Amphitheater sits at the center of the design, just above two bold blue lines meant to invoke the prominence of the Colorado River. Anchored on each side of the logo are the brick buildings of Main Street. This adds balance to the design and is meant to unify the districts and show that the strategic plan is focused on the entire area, and not just the Central Business District.

Vibrant-Rack-cards

 

Dia de los Muertos

Bold colors, big ideas, these are the types of projects I love working on. This year for Día del los Muertos I got the chance to create some artwork for a Spanish celebration. The first image is a alebrije, which is a fantastical creature from Mexican folklore.

My take on the alebriije is a cat with antlers and raptor claws. Not really sure where this idea came from but the client gave me free reign to create something unique and wild, and this was the result!

Dia-de-los-Ninos-Alebrije-2018-2

The brightly colored creatures in the excellent Pixar movie Coco are all alebrijes. I used the movie for color and pattern reference and based this drawing off the general shape of an ocelot. I also textured the alebrije with a watercolor paper pattern to give it a textile feel.

The second image is an owl done in the Día del los Muertos style. Here the image is framed with marigolds, the flower traditionally placed on alters during Día del los Muertos.

Spanish-Story-Time-Square-2016

Boneshaker Adventures

Boneshaker Adventures is a mountain biking skills camp and adventure tour group based in Grand Junction, Colorado. Boneshaker focuses on teaching kids skills to navigate mountain bike trails safely.

This design project is more of a design update than a total redesign. Boneshaker already had the essential idea for their logo sketched up and asked us to update the overall look. For the update we focused on three things: redrawing the skull while still using the essential elements, updating the typeface, and adding color.

Boneshaker-Before-After

Starting with the skull element, our goal was to simplify the art and make it more legible at multiple sizes. We kept the main bone shaker bike as the eyes but redrew it slightly to add symmetry to the art. We also resized elements like the bike seat nose and chain link teeth for simplicity. The over all shape of the skull was also reimagined to give it a more classic and easily identifiable look.

As you can see from the original Boneshaker design, a majority of our effort was spent working on a new typeface that captured Boneshaker’s youthful spirit and was more legible at distance. The only instruction was to create something bold and something that wasn’t overtly masculine. The new Boneshaker typeface is bold, shows movement, and can work as a stand-alone element.

The overall design update is impactful in one tone but we also wanted to add color. The orange and gold color scheme is inspired by the natural sandstone features and sunsets that dominate high desert landscape. Adding spots of teal, purple, and white add a vibrancy to the logo and again, match the playful nature of Boneshaker Adventures.

Boneshaker-Purple.png

Grand Valley Cat Coalition

I love partnering with non-profits on projects, especially those that benefit local communities. The The Grand Valley Cat Coalition is a collaborative effort of six local animal welfare agencies and shelters and several committed community members. The project goal is to complete targeted TNR activities for community cats as well as barrier-free spay/neuter surgeries for pet cats in the 81501 zip code.

This artwork is for an upcoming t-shirt fundraiser. I took their sketch for the design, cleaned it up, and prepped the file for screen printing. It’s my little way to give back to an organization doing thankless work for the Downtown Grand Junction community and vulnerable pet populations.

Goe + Toman Wedding Invites

Of all the projects I’ve worked on, this might be my favorite and most personally satisfying. Earlier this month my brother and his amazing wife Lindsay got married in Detroit. They asked me to create their wedding invitations and RSVP cards.

In preparation for this project I took inspiration from the Fisher Building, an architectural gem in New Center, Detroit. Built in 1928, the Fisher Building is known for its exquisite design, ornamentation, and art deco details. The building itself is truly a work of art and touring the interior arcade was hugely influential in the design of these invitations.

Mike and Lindsay wanted a classic and elegant design that would match the formal designs of their wedding. Gold was an obvious color choice, as was the dark blue tone found in the interior of the Fisher Building.

With a style and color scheme selected, I worked on developing custom art that would carry meaning for the couple. In the planning stage I discovered that the columbine flower grows both in Michigan and Colorado, Mike and Lindsay’s home states. This gave me the idea to create glyphs for Mike and Lindsay, with the central columbine flower glyph as the element uniting the couple.

Mike’s glyph represents the iconic Rocky Mountains of Colorado and Lindsay’s glyph are select buildings from Detroit’s skyline, including the Fisher Building (far left).

wedding-invite-2

Read as a triptych, the glyphs tell the story of Mike and Lindsay in a simple and elegant way. I’m extremely happy with the overall design. It’s the kind of artwork I love to develop: meaningful design that will last a lifetime.

Downtown Music Fest Poster

Earlier this year I teamed up with Andrew Watson, a good friend and artist, to create limited run screen print posters for the Epic Rides Downtown Music Fest. These prints are 18 x 24 inches and a total of 50 were made.

Andrew created the boarded and laid out the band text, and I created the bike collage and finished the overall layout. Collaborating with other artists is one of my favorite things to do as a designer. Hopefully this is the first of many collaboration projects.

Viper Club

“Viper Club,” starring Susan Sarandon, Matt Bomer, and Damian Young, is about a war correspondent who is taken hostage by a terrorist group while on assignment. Impatient with the government’s lack of concern, the reporter’s mother takes matters into her own hands.

I got the chance to provide graphics and some set decorations for this movie and I’m excited to see how they look on screen. “Viper Club” debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 10, and is set for wide release on October 26.

Comic Con

IMG_9551

From the success of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe to the rise of comic conventions all across the world, nerd culture is taking over. I for one, could not be happier about it.

Mesa County Libraries Comic Con is an annual event that keeps growing year to year. Now in its fourth year, Comic Con is one of the largest events in Mesa County. I’ve been lucky to work on the organizational team from the start, aka Team Awesome, and get the chance each year to design the main poster art.

Like most children of the 80s and 90s, I grew up watching X-Men cartoons, X-Files, and playing video games. Those memories, plus the rise of throwback shows like “Ready Player One” and “Stranger Things,” inspired the design of this poster.

The arcade cabinets are heavily influenced by my time pumping quarters into games at Aladdin’s Castle in the Mesa Mall. Note the carpet detail, a design only found in arcades and perhaps bowling alleys.

Other throwback influences include Marty McFly’s jacket from “Back to the Future 2,” the lens flairs from “Poltergeist,” and one of my favorite video games “Street Fighter II.”

Special edition prints of the poster will be for sale at this year’s Comic Con. If you’d like to get your hands on one, message me and we can work something out.

970West Studio Lounge

I wrote this article for the Summer 2018 issue of Spoke + Blossom magazine.

Mesa County Libraries are challenging the definition of what a library is, and more importantly, what it can be for the community. Just like every library, they offer a wide selection of books and top-notch reference help, but outside of those core library services, Mesa County Libraries offer a radically different library experience than the one you probably grew up with.   

For proof, look no further than the new Studio Lounge project.

Studio Lounge is focused on showcasing the area’s talented local musicians through high-quality video productions. Each month, a musician or band is invited to perform their original music at the 970West Studio, a multimedia production facility located at the Central Library campus in downtown Grand Junction.

Using the studio’s state-of-the-art equipment, each performance is captured in HD and then shared in the library’s digital collection and YouTube channel on the fourth Thursday of the month. The library also debuts the new featured artist during its “Library Beat” radio show KAFM Community Radio.     

“I grew up watching MTV, and this recording experience made me feel like I was fulfilling my dream of having my own MTV Unplugged moment,” Charles King said. “As an artist, the opportunity to record your heart out in such an intimate setting and tell your story was a priceless experience.”  

King, who performs under the name Chaz Roi, recorded three songs from his latest album “If Truth Be Told” during his session. The finished Studio Lounge videos were helpful in both promoting his album release party at the Mesa Theater and as assets when applying for music festival slots and larger shows.    

Launched in January, Studio Lounge has featured local bands across a number of different genres. From Americana to R&B, bands Freeway Donna, The Fox & Hound Duo, Shaun Ray and Willie DeFord, and Chaz Roi have all been featured. All lounge videos are discoverable 24/7, and the library encourages bands to share them with their fans through social media.  

The next two lounge performances have already been recorded and scheduled for release. Rockabilly trio The Tankerays will be the featured musicians in May, and metal band Sworn Us Under will be featured in June.  

“970West gave us the best business card we could have ever hoped for,” Brian Mora, leader singer and guitars for the Tankerays, said. “Having a professional video is like having the ultimate press kit.”

Echoing the same sentiment as King, Mora also grew watching MTV and remembers watching his favorite music come to life through video. Now as a musician and featured Studio Lounge artist, Mora got to make his own video, an experience he called “instant magic.”  

“It’s amazing to be able to help local musicians and showcase the capabilities of 970West Studio,” Studio Coordinator Adam Lopez said. “Studio Lounge is good exposure and it’s a new way for musicians to reach new and broader audiences.”

970West-Logo

Read with the Rockies

Summer time means different things for different people. For some, it means hitting the road on a family vacation. For others, it’s a chance to catch a baseball game and route for your favorite team. At libraries across the country, summer means summer reading programs.

Libraries have traditionally hosted summer reading programs to prevent summer set-back. When kids are out of school they typically don’t read as much and therefore, lose valuable literacy skills.

To keep kids engaged with summer reading in Mesa County, the library partnered with the Colorado Rockies Grand Junction rookie club, the GJ Rockies, to create custom “Read” posters.

Featuring Corky the Coyote and future Colorado Rockies stars, the posters are free giveaways at a library sponsored minor league night game. This community collaboration is a fun way to promote reading, libraries, and the MLB. Some would even call it a home run.