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Starlight Cleaners & Tuxedo

The same team behind Spring Lake Manor (also featured in my portfolio) tasked us at S'more Brands with giving life to their latest endeavor: Starlight Cleaners & Tuxedo. As with SLM, a full branding package was in order, including business cards, social media graphics, and a website, to name a few. (Click to read more...)

Because of their location and the type of business this is, it was established right away that a “beachy” feel was the way to go. The client informed me that their physical space would be going a distressed wood route flooring-wise, and that they were imagining a blue and/or gray palette, so it was important to keep all of this in mind as I put my concepts together. In addition, a sans serif logotype was in order, as part of a desire for a clean, timeless aesthetic, and to appeal to a broad audience (comprised of lawyers and prom-goers alike). Ultimately, with the inclusion of some brilliant input from S’more Brands Camp Director, Erik, we arrived at the version you see here.

Oh, and I also wanted to sneak in one of the other options we had included along the way—just because it’s another personal favorite of mine (see “Additional Views” down below).

The website is a responsive WordPress one (like pretty much every site we do these days), and I used the Divi theme, starting from scratch using the Divi Builder for an easy editing experience on the client side in the future. Overall the website is on the small and minimal in fancy functionality, serving as a means of linking to their tuxedo catalog so users could find out how to reserve tuxes from them, as well as find out a bit about the services they offer, what specials are going on, and how to contact them. I also wanted to dress up the newsletter sign-up area a bit to get people in the loop with all things Starlight. All the while, I got to do my favorite thing which means brand the website from head to toe, so no complaints on the fun scale for me over here. 🙂

The same was the case with the business cards and other collateral—fully branded; full of Starlight personality. The logomark made for a playful and eye-catching pattern so we didn’t skimp on implementing it in different ways whether on the business cards or social covers. We balanced out the heavily-applied blue-toned palette with bright, colorful photography and clean line icons where appropriate. I think it’s safe to say we met our objective with a professional yet catchy identity, while putting the “clean” in “cleaners”… (Sorry, had to!)

Role(s): design; development

Lemon Wing

Lemon Wing, a wedding and concept photographer, knows how to stand out from the crowd. To match Amy (the business owner)'s whimsical and warm personality, and the stunningly creative photography her business produces, we needed a brand identity that would be eye-catching and in no way lacking in color. It also had to be clean and modern. (Click to read more...)

I took to the drawing board and after having a little too much fun I came up with a few contenders. One of which came so close in the end that I wanted to share it with you here, in the “Additional Views” section further down on this page. (Hint: it’s the flying lemon concept.) But the logo that made the most overall sense for Amy’s business was the lemon slice/feather concept, which was a perfect opportunity to weave in a lively, varied color palette, including some of her favorite colors. It also presented seamlessly in clean and contemporary contexts. The lemon and feather are two objects that have historically held meaning for Amy, so having the literal connection to the business name was all the more important.

The website was all about showing off Lemon Wing’s photography, and of course being easy to navigate said photography, for instance through breaking up their different types into categories and highlighting these categories on the homepage. When it came to the galleries themselves, Amy wanted to make sure the images flooded the page, but in a tidy fashion, and this is where a masonry display for the image thumbnails came into play, along with going full-width. We also learned how to use a new WordPress header plugin for this site, to meet a somewhat unique objective with the header positioning throughout the site, as well as some other neat features.

All other branding played out fairly straightforwardly. For the business cards, we set them up for one side to be one of Amy’s photos (one of Amy’s genius creative ideas), and for her Facebook cover art, one of her photos served as the perfect backdrop for incorporating her logo and tagline, leaving her profile image as her friendly face per her request. This was a S’more Brands project which means we worked with Amy in real time; I’m pretty sure her positive energy added a lot to the final outcome of her branding!

Role(s): design; development assistance

Dan Bushkin Photography

The tagline "For the wild untamed hearts" tells you a lot about what the right direction for Dan Bushkin Photography's branding was going to be. A traveling wedding photographer, Dan's business is all about candid moments for couples who don't hold back, ready for their weirdness and adventurous spirit to shine through. And this is why a unicorn-themed logo just made sense as the official selection. (Click to read more...)

Dan liked the idea of something clean, and that worked well as a standalone icon, but also something that acknowledged his outside-the-box nature, and the logo that we crafted for him possessed these traits with its geometric aesthetic and—of course—subject itself.

The color palette was for the most part black and white but with touches of bright “highlighter” yellow when the occasion called for it, except for in his new pricing booklet where we made the yellow a key player in the bright and lively presentation. (We also brought in other classic “highlight” colors when it came to his Instagram Story Highlight covers.) When it came to the typography, a rounded sans serif typeface was the ideal choice, to literally soften out and complement the clean lines throughout the branding collateral. Similarly, we introduced some “organized chaos” with crisscrossed line graphics in some of his materials, balancing out the logo’s more structured nature.

Following our classic S’more Brands protocol, the website along with other items were built in real time with Dan there with us through video chat (more about the process here), which allowed us to work with full transparency and step by step feedback to ensure he was happy with everything by the end of the day. Photography was of course the focal point throughout the website build, and using the WordPress Divi theme, we worked diligently as a team to showcase his photos in a fun and organized manner.

Role(s): design; development assistance

Spring Lake Manor

With Spring Lake Manor, a recently-restored historic reception venue, we were tasked with two primary objectives: 1) modernize their existing visual identity, and 2) create a fresh, new, responsive website that wouldn't leave out their numerous mobile-oriented visitors. (Click to read more...)

When it came to Spring Lake’s branding, the key was to give the look and feel a makeover without straying far from their original color palette (mainly a gold and maroon pairing). All the while we aimed to convey an elegant aesthetic that would echo the charming, historic nature of the manor. We achieved this by doing things like drawing more attention to the lovely dove and laurel graphic they already had in place, as well as going with a timeless font (Playfair Display Italic in particular) and giving elements more breathing room with a generous use of whitespace. The end result was a more contemporary and sophisticated version of what had originally been in place, and we at S’more Brands couldn’t be prouder.

The website was definitely a labor of love! In addition to making sure everything was seamlessly responsive, we packed it with a bunch of features including a “full screen” image slider on the homepage, easy-to-use contact forms, streamlined photo galleries, and dynamic event listings, to name a few. It was important we make the user’s visit aesthetically pleasing and place an emphasis on the beautiful new photography throughout, but also make sure potential guests could find answers to their questions as quickly as possible, whether on a desktop computer or a phone.

Role(s): design; development assistance

Center Long Beach

Brochure, outside — all panels.

The LGBTQ Center of Long Beach needed a new set of brochures made to outline the services they offer in a visual identity context that aligned with their new website design direction. For their main brochure (along with a template for the others) I echoed a few elements existing in their website such as its color palette and decorative and colorful border treatment to construct a final product that I felt was as visually engaging as their lovely new site and made its substantial amount of information all that much easier to digest.

Hank Minor Professional Tarot

Branding example context (notebook). Mockup provided by GraphicBurger.

Hank Minor Professional Tarot was one of the most straightforward logo design processes I’ve gone through to date. I also had the pleasure of designing a corresponding business card and letterhead a while later. Keeping the graphics simple was preferred, but a way to include the Star element of the Tarot deck was ideal which also allowed for a subtle touch of color in the form of a timeless gold. The client was quite happy with the final logo which easily worked well in a range of contexts, such as one full side of his business card, and across the top of the letterhead. Further example contexts, such as an alternative version of the business card as well as a business exterior stamped with the logo have been included here, just for fun.

Jordan High Graduates

What the banners might look like in context. Mockup graphic provided by behance.net/Samuelladlow.

For this project, via Councilmember Rex Richardson, 9th District, I had the exciting opportunity of designing a template for seventy-three 3’x8′ banners that were to line the streets of North Long Beach. The goal was to visually convey the celebratory mood of 146 different graduates moving on from Jordan High to various universities. Along with designing the template, I was responsible for the layout of all students’ names and their respective colleges, one pair per banner. The design encountered a few changes in direction along the way, resulting in some significantly different concepts such as the ultimately unused one shown.

Humane Project Kick-off Fundraiser

Ticket design in context. Mockup graphic provided by GraphicBurger (graphicburger.com).

Designing this fundraiser ticket for Humane Project was a particularly unique opportunity in the sense that I got to explore branding possibilities at the same time, since HP’s branding had not yet been fully established. I took to the website and logo for a starting point with the design, using the same green as the base color and the condensed sans-serif typeface, which I chose to complement with the ever-trusty script font, Pacifico. Since the completion of this ticket design, various other graphics have incorporated the same design elements, from slides on the website to promotional social media graphics to HP’s brand new hang tags.

Humane Project “Friend, Not Food”

What the designs would look like in one context.

I was approached to create some kid-friendly baby animal designs for Humane Project, an apparel company that donates a portion of their proceeds to animal welfare causes, and while illustration nor t-shirt design is not my focus, I strove to come up with a couple designs that matched each other in style (so as to possibly serve as a “series” that could grow later on) and possessed a clean and professional, yet appealing aesthetic that would relate to a young demographic, or anyone who is simply on the lookout for a “cute” shirt to wear.

Mitsuwa Summer Family Day

What the game tickets might look like in action. Mockup graphics provided by GraphicBurger (graphicburger.com).

For this kid-friendly event held by Mitsuwa Marketplace, the Mitsuwa mascot Mi-Taro was the star of the show. I let his colors, as well as a fun typography combination, inspire my proposed design for the game tickets that would be used for Summer Family Day, coming up with two concepts meant to convey that classic game ticket feel in different ways.