Catalog Update

Finished recently, this 5.5" x 8.5", 12 page catalog was done for a client who was extremely open-minded and forthcoming with any information I needed and any creative ideas she wanted to convey in this business venture. We connected through my very talented agent/interpreter and even without meeting her in-person, started with a few product samples, a business card, and a few ideas (and a tentative schedule, of course). I started on some ideas for a layout and after approval, went ahead (unknown to the client) and developed a logo. Seemed like the catalog would be faceless without some sort of company branding. Everything went relatively smoothly throughout the entire project and there were very few revisions.


Softly Sketching

I'm very excited to start work on illustrating one of my friend's newest books and here's an early sketch. Without a deadline this time, I'm now able to take my time and illustrate with the detail that I enjoy. It's starting out very well and can't wait to design the accompanying layouts. I'll post updates as I go.


Seasonal Work

One of my past employers contacted me a couple weeks ago asking if I could help out with some photoshop work. Evidently the issue was that their due date on a couple of their largest catalogs was moved up an entire month. My role was to help out with imprinting products (usually on of the most time-consuming tasks). This involves designing an imprint, warping it to fit the perspective of the shot, and applying any relevant filters (depending on the focus and grain of the photo). Some of these can be quite labor-intensive when the frame area is quite detailed and needs a clipping path. In certain circumstances I need to apply an adjustment layer just to locate the borders I need to work within. And to make things even more difficult, 20-30% of the shots are on reflective materials which means doubling the work. Click on the image to see a larger view.


Blog Header (Fall issue)

Here's my completed Fall version of the blogger's header design (see previous post).

Pat Balder

A former colleague's friend had exhausted his original graphics budget on something he wasn't entirely pleased with. After talking with him about his unique situation and some of the details, I agreed to spend a limit of 3 hours on this (left) flyer in exchange for future project consideration. He was pleased with the outcome and I will post our future projects when they're completed.


Final Logo Design

After taking a little break, I decided to experiment with alternative styles and rethink the theme behind the logo. A majority of the time, I see company/client names involving actual subjects making it much easier to brainstorm ideas. This name was more of an idea focusing more on the service the client provides than the actual name of the company. In addition, I needed to find a compromise between an effective color combination based on her initial ideas, and one that will work with the website template she had already chosen. I started with a simple new idea based on an old illustration of an open door. That's it. I then toyed with the relation between the emitting light and the negative space while attempting to retain the shape of the house/building.


Blog Header (Pt. 1)

This is a quick blog header idea for another client. There was a little back and forth on the details, but painless in terms of revisions. This scrap booking blog will have multiple/revolving headers depending on the season, so when I finish the "fall" version, I'll post it.

Early Concept

This is an early sample of one of my logo ideas for a client's new endeavor. I liked it at first, but her? Not as much as I did. Anyway, since it's been eliminated from the process, I thought I'd post it.


Project Update(s)

Some disappointing employment news has been counteracted by a couple new projects. One illustration (starting on a new children's book) and one logo (which I'll post once it's finished) are keeping me busy and keeping my skills sharp.


More Motorcycles?!

My wife needed me to quickly illustrate a vector image for a charity/memorial project she's working on and above is what I came up with. She will add colors later today and I will post the final project when it's finished. Right now I'm working in a warehouse to pay the bills, but projects like these remind me how much I can't wait to get back to full-time design.


Latest Catalog Work

Here's an online sample of my latest catalog work.

Online Page Layout Sample

Here's a sample of just one of the pages I designed. If you'd like to see more, visit


See the book!

Here's the online version of our most recent book. Please let me know what you think! I'd love comments.


Realtor Logo

The client that requested a magazine ad (displayed in the earlier post, Key Concepts) requested a couple logo concepts. These are a couple ideas that I had so far. Some elements they wished to retain were the key element and the letters K, D, and T. Haven't heard anything from the client for a while, but I'll post any updates if I do.


New Business Cards

For some reason I'm more comfortable designing business cards for others than my own. I finally decided on this design to match my resume and (future) website. I took the illustration (that I used for my profile picture) and converted it to a framework-like design for the background.



This surprisingly labor-intensive project is done... for now? This children's book is my first, and from the experience, hopefully not my last. It's been a while since I've done this much illustration outside of Photoshop or Illustrator, but with a deadline, it's been one of the most time consuming and rewarding projects I've worked on in a long time.


Illustration Project Update 4.22.09

Here's another sketch from the book I'm working on. This project is turning out to be more labor-intensive than I originally thought. But it will probably be one of the most rewarding when we're finished.

Illustration Project Update

It's been a while since I had the chance to work on a project like this, but after meeting with the author and reading her book, I couldn't help but get excited about it. A small book (16-24 pages) with at least one illustration on each page, starring a young girl and her grandmother. It's been fun developing the characters and working with the author on the story. I'll post updated images as they develop.


Full Throttle: Part 2

I received an update on this project recently. After considering the original design, the customer forwarded an illustration of what image/style they specifically desired. After hours of work on the original submission, I wanted to see how I might be able to alter my illustration to better fit their idea. After some trial and error, I simplified the design and roughened the stroke on each and every shape that makes-up the motorcycle. The effects made the illustration look more hand-drawn and still allowed for personalization (difficult to see on this posted image). No confirmation yet on whether the client approved of this version or not, but the Creative Director I'm working with said it would work. 


Key Concepts

After a couple different versions, this is the end result of the design of a Realtor's magazine ad. Initially the client was looking for some ideas and the Creative Director and I developed 3 solid designs to present (see below). After a few days of inspection, the customer came back with a rethought design. Above is the final ad.


Sheepish in Wolves Clothing

I'd never volunteered to participate in a photo shoot, but this was my last project at this job and I wanted something to remember this one. We (the photographer and the co-art director) hired two hockey players and reserved time on a local rink to get some great shots for our high school sports catalog. After about 45 minutes of taking product shots it was time to have a little fun with the time we had left. So I put on the mascot costume and had to take a few minutes to get used to working with oversized feet on the ice (definitely not made for that). I took a few turns as goaltender (thankfully using soft foam pucks) then getting checked into the boards. Only thing I was really worried about was loosing a couple toes. Thankfully that didn't happen and I made sure to keep a couple raw images to remember the project.


Full Throttle

I love those projects that I can really get into. This one didn't start that way, but it helped when things went right. A friend who I've worked with before requested I do a motorcycle illustration for something he was working on and I jumped at the chance to work on something unique. He said not "cartoony" and not too detailed, but something he could later dismantle and change the color if he wanted to. This took a few hours, but like I said, it helps if you enjoy what you are working on and things seem to be "going well" (like shapes seeming to fit together well, colors and shading turn out good, etc.) as you're working. Haven't received word back from him yet, but I'm hoping it's something he can use. We'll see.


Blast From The Past

After seeing one of Minute Maid's recent TV ads, I thought I'd post one of my designs/illustrations that I produced in college. This was a promotional poster done for the Central Minnesota Arts Board back in 1997/98. I was never paid for the work, which is never good, especially for a college student, but I was just starting to experiment with computer graphics and design (as you can probably tell) and was just excited to hear that they chose my idea to produce. At that time, that was enough.


COMET Advertisement

After finishing the trailer graphics (see previous post), the sales staff needed a flyer to attract customers (mostly schools) to schedule a presentation. Attempting to remain within budget and because the trailer had just been completed, no shots had been taken for publication. It might not have been the best weather (raining), but I grabbed the company's digital camera and took various photos from outside and inside, making attempts to shoot from angles that would make the trailer appear larger than it is. I even recruited a coworker for demonstration purposes. Due to the poor lighting at the time, Photoshop was used to clean and brighten-up the images that I chose to use.

COMET Graphics

A caravan of trailers were purchased as part of a plan to streamline the presentation process for the company's sales staff. Eager to tackle this project, I worked on some concepts (bottom) by acquiring images from the manufacturer and using various Photoshop tools to mock-up designs and present them to the company. A reduction in the project's budget meant some simplifications to the original design, but I modified the design to a version that pleased everyone involved (top).  Illustrator and InDesign were also used in the transfer of any complex image files to the installer.


Catalog Referee

To continue the sports theme for a School Spirit catalog, I developed and illustrated this referee character. Inspired by an old sports reference book which visually illustrated each of the referee's hand signals, I created various symbols for quick shipping (shown), a guarantee, customer questions and others. 


Tradeshow Button

As part of a promotional campaign for distribution at an annual tradeshow, I attempted to design all the requested information onto one 3'' button. With a website address, catalog logo, phone number, as well as the name, year and theme of the tradeshow, it seemed like it might get a little crowded. But using the longest line of information more as a border ( it freed-up some space for the rest. 



These trucks were a quick return on a request for a realistic, but simple-looking illustration. This is an example that sometimes it's easier (for me) to sketch an idea first, then recreate it in Illustrator.


Bears Don't Wear Shoes

After a deciding on which photo to use, there was still an issue with this mascot. The costume was nearly complete but the feet were not available at the time of the shoot. I used Photoshop to clone existing parts of the costume, dodge and burn tools to add or subtract highlights and shadows, and color hue and saturation adjustments to match the "new" fur to the existing surroundings. Shadowing effects were then used to simulate the legs overlapping the new feet. 


Return Postcard

A business reply postcard meant to communicate how the customer (schools) can use funds to purchase products and supply or request additional information by tearing off, filling out, and sending in the questionnaire.

Product Diagram

A design that is meant to show how a group of products related and operated with one another. Check out more of my illustrations and page concepts on


A sketch from an early drawing class in college when I thought I would go into illustration (rather than Graphic Design).


After illustrating a list of standard mascots, I attempted to incorporate a different character into the lineup. This design wasn't produced, but thought the file was worth holding onto.

Product Instructions

Travel Illustrations and Symbols


Varitronics Logo

Company wanted to update their original logo (bottom) to a more modern design (top) to accompany it's new product line logo. This meant incorporating similar characteristics while producing a design that is strong and looking as though it predated the existing logo.

Product Line Art

This line art was produced in Adobe Illustrator and is to be used for various uses, most likely for fax communications and solicitations to customers. Since it was not for a technical use, more emphasis was directed more toward visual perspective.

Prom Catalog Frame Layout

Always looking for something to make certain layouts and products stand out, I attempted some overlapping effects and a transparency to some of the copy backgrounds.

Prom Catalog Glassware Layout

Incorporating the colors of the photographs in the layout, I developed a ribbon-like border style which replaced the hard-edged layouts the year before.

Prom Catalog Theme Layout

After working with the photographer in directing the shoot and choosing from the group of shots from that day, I placed the image, then sampled a key color in the shot for the ribbon of color that borders it.

2006 School Spirit Catalog

This cover was complex because some of the products, when originally shot, did not match in terms of color. This issue was resolved through some work in photoshop. The main logo was time consuming, but worth the extra effort. Through photoshop it was recreated to appear as a jersey or letter jacket patch.

2005 School Spirit Cover

This was also a fun cover to produce. We hired the best models that we had worked with throughout that year's production, had one of our coworkers put the eagle mascot costume on, and supplied them with some ideas of what we were looking for. After choosing the right shot, I photoshopped the snowflake and wind effects, but wanted a warm look for the logo which appears directly over the models who are wearing winter clothing.

2002 School Spirit Cover

This was one of my favorite covers. Glow products were the highlight of that year's products and my project manager requested that showcase them in some way. I worked with the photographer and, with a delayed or open shutter (operated manually), I made a "scribble" background for each product. Then, with a combination of multiple shots and some photoshopping, created the title background.

PLATO Projects

This is a group of illustrations I designed for various freelance projects for a local company.

Tradeshow Souveniers

Project Managers needed various items to hand-out or giveaway from their booth at annual tradeshows. Here are two pins (lapel pins) and a merchandise tag (center) that were developed.

Animal Pin Concepts

These Adobe Illustrator files were in response to a request for a line of animal pins for development and sale in a company catalog. These weren't produced, but I didn't want to discard these original files.

Wobble Top Development

I designed these "Wobble Tops" for production (top), and later, for sale in some of the company's catalogs. Multiple versions of each were sketched until final designs were sent for final production. There a few others that was never made, but were developed (bottom).


In my first professional Graphic Design position, I started with a wide range of illustrations for various products. There were many different ideas that needed to be developed, which helped in developing versatility and a productive work ethic.