Shack Tactical identity proposal

A speculative identity manual for Shack Tactical, a member-driven event organization with a large digital presence in a particular small pond. The straightforward but bold logotype and branding distills the the core values of the group, "serious fun," and allows members with little formal design training or experience access to the design principles necessary to independently produce video, written, or diagrammatic material to supplement the group's growing volume of internal and public-facing content with a unified visual language.

The logotype in the four key 'official' colors.
Mark and logotype accompanying the brand objective statement.
Scale variations of the mark.

The organization itself grew from the hard work of a single man, but its identity and brand have been limited to an imprecise color palette and a series of ad hoc logotypes, while dozens of content producers have only loose guidelines and imitation, creating disparate visual content.

A series of branding deviations with corrective explanation.
Headline and body text guidelines, with introductory typographical concepts.
Scale various of the logotype, given for print and digital applications.
Usage recommendations for the logotype and its relationship to surrounding whitespace.

As an organization, it is primarily digitally-based, and its culture thrives on maturity, horizontality, and most of all, teamwork - its longtime motto being "Serious fun." As a contrast to groups with similar aims, I intended to eschew the military trappings borne from the group's history which I felt emphasized hierarchy and humorlessness. Looking to the iconography of professional sports teams, a cousin to military units by way of English city regiments and their associated football clubs, the bright heraldric color fields and bold lines were stripped down for a digital environment.

Color hierarchies with different ground colors. Each color can be used in each role as necessary, with defined relationships.
Key color variations and definitions, both for print and digital. Pantone™ values are not listed, but may be included in future versions.
Sample applications and treatments for merchandise.

Using only a limited, energetic palette with strong but friendly typography, likewise many content producers would not have access to paid typefaces, so a common key typeface and more common alternative are given. The manual is partly didactic, giving examples of easy mistakes, and templates for emphasizing hierarchy with typography and color choice, as well as guidelines for type with image. The logotype is abstract, the center void made tangible by the cooperation of individual equal elements, with a gentle nod to the three Sergeant's Stripes used as the previous logo.

full pdf (2.8 mb)

Booklet, 38 pages
8.5 x 11 inches

Speculative work under Donald Tarallo

CCA exhibition series posters

A series of three posters for the Canadian Centre for Architecture, each 24" x 36" with client-given copy and subject. Each poster prominently features found photographic details from the work of each subject architect and a single key color to emphasize the distinctness of the events, while maintaining a rigorously consistent visual language and typographic hierarchy toward the unity of the series. The choice of photography and typography intends to strike a considered balance in the historical timeframe spanned by the series.

All three posters in a diachronic series

This project was prominently an exercise in systemic thinking. I quickly nailed down that the contemporary architectural roots and the language of the client organization indicated Crystal Goblet simplicity. A singular image would need to speak as much about the architect as any of the pull quotes, and after distilling each one down to a simple analogy, I searched for photographic poetics that represented the floridity of Louis Sullivan, the pure geometry of Richard Neutra, and the plasticity of Frank Gehry.

Louis Sullivan, 1872 to 1920
Richard Neutra, 1921 to 1970
Frank Gehry, 1962 to present

Each image was selected as emblematic of the recognizable style of the subject, while the clarity of the type allows the eye to recede back into the deep space created by each image. In this way, I intended interpretation of the posters' edges as the exterior of each "building" (unified by the motif of the colored squares,) while the darker image draws the eye and creates a forced sense of interiority.

full size (380 kb)

36 x 22 inches each

Speculative work under Ernesto Aparicio

Illegible text

The book and sculpture together.
Title page of the book, hidden without exploration.

A tightly wound length of paper whose edges create the image of a spiraling city, paired with an unlabelled book that provides a detailed instructions to interpret the sculpture. Upon reading the book, the reader will come to understand that not only does the sculpture literally portray the first section of Homer's Iliad, but how to understand the form of the sculpture, including learning not only a new alphabet, but possibly a new way to interpret alphabets. The overall affect is one of a slowly unraveling mystery.

A closer view of the sculpture in isolation.
The full 'text' of the sculpture transcribed in a more observable format in the book.
Isographic grid showing pronunciation of various forms in the sculpture.

The seed of translation germinated into the idea of developing a visual representation of how words are pronounced, instead of how they are spelled. I intended to provide an opportunity to literally teach the viewer. Being familiar with similar systems used in academic and scientific disciplines, I explored other approaches used by linguists, steganographers, and cryptographers. Devising a system that was completely formally linear, I devised the spiraling, bare, inscrutably raised form as a counterpoint to the familiar, flat, linear companion guidebook.

The four translational steps from Homeric Greek, to the 1898 Butler translation, to the author's broad pronunciation, and finally to the constructed alphabet.
Diagrams illustrating how consonants are articulated in the mouth.
A basic introduction to the history behind the very concept of the alphabet in Western civilization, and how it relates to the interplay between form, meaning, and sound.
Another view of the two pieces together.

The choice of the Iliad, the foundational work of Western literature, seemed powerfully resonant with the themes of this form. That the first written version of the work appeared some 1,700 years after the genesis of the oral work rhymed well with the themes of my system, and with the work itself - the sounds of words literally constructing a city, an immediate echo of the purely oral tradition of the source material. While the piece is at first completely enigmatic, the companion book is thoroughly didactic, and would even allow a completely unfamiliar viewer to understand the sculpture so intimately that they might be able to correct even my own translation mistakes.

full book (414 kb)

Book 85 pp. 5 x 8 in.
Sculpture 14 in. diameter

Under Sophia Sobers

Various drawings and smaller projects

Logo for REV Robotics, a designer/manufacturer of hobbyist and educational robotics parts.
Emblem for Perimeter Breach, an Austin-based "spy-rock" band that blends all the various excesses the 1960s has to offer.
Board game map, based on 14th c. Catalan cartographic style, digital.
Detail: Hierarchical organization of various elements, including names and icons.
Detail: Calligraphic forms and treatment, taken from historical style and materials.
Detail: Ornate compass rose with overlaid gold leaf, mimicked digitally.
Detail: Illumination of caravaners in contemporary North African dress.
'Power Nap', digital painting
Live model portrait, vine charcoal
Still life with single accent color, oil pastel

Anderson Robotics

Since the Fall of 2015, I have been mentoring with the Anderson High School robotics team called the ausTIN CANs, FIRST Robotics Competition team 2158. Being one of the first media-oriented mentors the team has had at their disposal, I spearheaded a more solid identity for the team that emphasizes its core values: friendliness and aspiring professionalism.

A redesign of the legacy logo and mascot in key colors.
Version for single-color environment.
Version on a dark ground.

Aside from a logo and logotype, I developed supporting ephemera and platforms, including apparel, a social media revamp, and a brand new, CMS-driven website aimed at parents and prospective students. In all this, I managed to learn a fair amount PHP, as well as the foundations of building a site around a CMS framework.

Additionally, I started a small program within the team to teach students the principles and practicalities of photography outside of a studio environment. In the process, I learned a fair amount about photography myself, as well as the process involved in building an educational program from scratch.

Team members at competition as captured by a student photographer.
Buttons to be distributed at competitions, as advertised on Instagram.
The team website, built on a completely proprietary WordPress theme.

Finally, each competition, a three-day affair, requires teams to gather as much information about their fellow potential allies or opponents as possible.

Over the course of a week, I quickly developed the front-end of a web app, geared toward high school students in order to help collect data about teams' performance. The app itself is designed to function on a very poor network connection, totalling less than 120kb, and will store information locally until it can be offloaded to a database and interpreted later.

Core information about which team and match the student is taking notes on.
The game itself has four categories of defenses, each of which may change per match.
Once the match has started, the interface allows a student to quickly pick an action, then qualify it through a modal overlay.

RISD Museum Parking Assistant

An iPhone 5 app for the RISD Museum, the 20th largest art museum in the United States. Allowing users to make an advance appointment to reserve a street parking space, the user is guided to find a specific marked staff golf cart occupying the space already. Visitors, frequently families, may then be shuttled to the museum itself by staff, avoiding walking down the treacherous College Hill. The experience is largely linear, providing limited information about street parking, and allows for easy contact between the museum staff and the visitor.

The home screen, presenting a primary call to action and three subordinate options.

The initial investigation with the client led to parking being a commonly cited complaint from visitors with only cost-prohibitive solutions. Instead of augmenting the museum visit itself, I felt it more important to refine the quotidien frustrations that bookend what can be a transcendental experience. Examining how the existing experience of parking at the museum works, I ideated a system that would allow the user to reserve a spot, know exactly where it would be, and allow the staff manning vehicles to know exactly what vehicle to look for.

User experience flow chart.
Screens from the booking process.
Close-up of topmost interface elements.
Interface element states: possible, recommended, and denied.
Unique appointment code.
Progress indicators in the booking process.
Mock-up of staff vehicle with identifiable logotype in back window.

The user may pay for a reservation well in advance, or even the day of, but needs to notify the museum, in-app, that the reservation ought to be cancelled or delayed, then later that they are near enough their space that staff should be manning the space itself. While the booking process is much more extensive, requiring payment input and a four-factor vehicle description, safety concerns about the use of a phone while driving led to simplificiation of the interface while the user is driving. Ancillary features, such as a map of street parking and nearby lots, as well as museum hours, are available for ease of planning.

Speculative work under Hans van Dijk

Headmaster Magazine

Between January and April 2014, I was a design intern at Headmaster Magazine in Providence, RI, assisting in the production of their sixth issue. To commemorate the completion of their first "six pack," I designed and produced a series of slip covers for the complete box set that complements the magazine's spare, raw aesthetic. I also designed a set of Headmaster-branded tallboy beer can labels that were produced and used in a promotional video. In addition to other smaller duties, I typeset two of the articles found in the issue, one a nostalgic confessional short story, the other a mock academic paper submitted to a fictional scientific journal.

Headmaster branded tallboys to celebrate the 'Six pack', used in a promotional video.
The 'Six pack' slipcover with logo window.
A short story by Alexander Chee.
Ted Gideonse's academic paper about men's underwear as a phenomenon of male sexuality.

Slipcover 10 x 8 x 2 in. chipboard
Can labels 10 x 6 in. vinyl decals

All work under the supervision of Jason Tranchida and Matthew Lawrence, and is my own work unless otherwise noted.

Typotherapy

A toolbox that contains a set of 36 of laser-cut words and a rectangular "ground" board, designed for use with talk therapy as a means to express and relate abstract and emotional ideas and spark conversation between a therapist and client. The user, whether client or proctor has several scales of the same word at their disposal, and the heavy board makes the pieces - emotionally neutral though they are - playful and tactile, inviting handling and experimentation.

Components of the kit.
Largest and smallest wordforms in relation to the ground.
The patient and proctor pick from a total of 36 wordforms in 3 different scales.
The three scales of words available.
Detail of the depth of both the pieces and ground.
Wordforms packed into the accompanying box.
The closed box with components packed inside, smaller than a laptop.

14 x 9 x 2.5 in. 38 pcs.

Speculative work under Oded Ezer

A portrait of curiosity

A white box, three feet tall, mounted at approximately eye level with a void cut into the center. Intended to provoke the viewer to approach the object and peer inside, the viewer is met with no resolution. The austerity of the object itself and the focus on an absence limits the viewer to either ignore the work or invade it to satisfy their curiosity.

Arches paper, chipboard
36 x 22 x 11 in.

Under Clement Valla

Battleship Potemkin

A poster for the 1925 film 'Battleship Potemkin' that attempts to communicate the themes and context of the work without resorting to tired historical pastiche. The famous iconography of the film and incident it portrays, namely the Potemkin Stairs, are barely intimated, instead relying on the foregrounded foundering hulk to dominate the space.

Full view of the poster.
Detail: 'Potemkin' shadow.
Detail: texture and color.
Detail: director credit.
Detail: type and texture.

full size (238 kb)

36 x 24 in.

Speculative work under Mark Laughlin

Mkhedruli: the Georgian alphabet

A poster providing a brief overview of the Georgian alphabet, called "mkhedruli" by its users in the southern Caucusus mountains. The text was researched and written by the designer, while the beauty of the letterforms are highlighted by their scale and uninterrupted clarity, and the color palette reflects the nation's centuries-old standard. The pureness of form intends to inform that the alphabet is as much a contemporary artifact of Georgian national culture as it is a historical one.

Full view of the poster.
Detail: Headline typography.
Detail: Dot leaders and running alphabet.
Detail: Text contrast detail.
Detail: Text and color contrast.
Text of the brief essay.

full size (209 kb)

36 x 24 in.

Speculative work under Douglass Scott

The Bald Soprano

A poster about Massin's seminal book "The Bald Soprano." The short essay, researched and written by myself, provides context for the production and influence of the work, while the supporting images and typesetting provide the viewer with a thumbnail of how the work functions formally. The large offset color letters at the top give the viewer an impression of Massin's large, energetic personality and his huge role in the often improvisational publishing culture of postwar France.

Full view of the poster.
Detail: Heading section.
Detail: Essay and image
Detail: Subtitle and colophon.
Detail: Pull quote.

full size (397 kb)

34 x 17 in.

Speculative work under Beth Weaver
and Douglass Scott

'Random' Magazine

A mock-up of an art and culture magazine with a cover, index, and three articles of a variety of topics. Text and images were provided for all three articles, while the logotype and the separate identity of each piece are my own work.

Cover inside 'Living Fashion: the Photography of Katrin Thomas'.
Front cover with original logotype.
Table of contents.
Spread inside 'Living Fashion'.
Cover spread of 'Danseur Étoile'.
Spread inside 'Danseur Étoile'.
Cover spread of Philippe Starck interview.
Spread inside Philippe Starck interview.

full size (2.8 mb)

A4 size, 41 pp.

Speculative work under Ernesto Aparicio

All content on this page is produced by the author, except where noted. This site was lovingly handcoded.

Typeset in Lato by Łukasz Dziedzic