Hip-Hop Logo for DVOTED

 

I used to be a rapper, so I have a lot of love for hip-hop. In 2017 I got to meet my favorite rapper, Immortal Technique, in Oakland at a Hip-Hop for Change event.

At that same event, right after taking a picture with Immortal Technique, I ran into a real great guy who called himself DVOTED. He was wearing a cool shirt that said NAmaste. I got the reference, so we hit it off real quick. I told him I was a graphic designer, and he immediately employed my services. In the following month I created an awesome logo focusing on the two Bs in his last name Dubbel.

Dubble Logo-03

During the process of designing the logo for his record label we became good friends. Since then I’ve done a couple of CD covers for him and most recently another logo, so that he could sell shirts and hats. Derik is always the visionary behind the designs, and I’m the homie G who gets to implement the visions.

I’ve been doing DVOTED’s design work at no charge and in the name of the rap game.  Honestly throughout my teens and early 20’s I wanted to be a famous rapper. Derik still does! I want him to succeed. That would be enough to satiate the thirst of my prior desires. You can check out some of Derik Dubbel’s music videos here.

2018 California Ambassador Rally

31277616_10213139039603744_4352939493251088384_nDid you know that the Davis Chamber of Commerce was formed in 1905 to lobby to have UC Berkeley’s new extension located in Davis? That’s right, I’m talking about the once University Farm that is now UC Davis.

I’ve known that little fact for quite a while, but what I didn’t know was that chambers of commerce have a long history in impacting great change in their communities, something I learned more about last month at the 2018 chamber ambassador rally in Lodi. It turns out that the first flight across the Atlantic and the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge were also spurred on by chambers of commerce—So cool!

I’m grateful to the Davis Chamber for encouraging a group of our ambassadors to attend the rally. Raul Zamora, Amanda Mason, Julio Paniagua, staff member Bobbi Vaughn and I were pleased to rep our city. We were happy to see some of our friends from the Woodland chamber were also in attendance. Our host, the Lodi Chamber of Commerce, delivered inspirational talks, fueled great brainstorming sessions and shared about times in history when chambers brought about great change. Toward the end of the festivities the Lodi Chamber honored 3 of their local businesses by doing ribbon cuttings and anniversary celebrations in front of us all. Here is an article by a Lodi newspaper on the event: http://www.lodinews.com/business/article

In the next 2-3 years I hope that the Davis Chamber will host the Northern and Central California Ambassador Rally. Whether on our own or teamed up with Woodland, Winters or West Sac, I know Yolo County would be an excellent host.

2018 California Ambassador Rally

31277616_10213139039603744_4352939493251088384_nDid you know that the Davis Chamber of Commerce was formed in 1905 to lobby to have UC Berkeley’s new extension located in Davis? That’s right, I’m talking about the once University Farm that is now UC Davis.

I’ve known that little fact for quite a while, but what I didn’t know was that chambers of commerce have a long history in impacting great change in their communities, something I learned more about last month at the 2018 chamber ambassador rally in Lodi. It turns out that the first flight across the Atlantic and the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge were also spurred on by chambers of commerce—So cool!

I’m grateful to the Davis Chamber for encouraging a group of our ambassadors to attend the rally. Raul Zamora, Amanda Mason, Julio Paniagua, staff member Bobbi Vaughn and I were pleased to rep our city. We were happy to see some of our friends from the Woodland chamber were also in attendance. Our host, the Lodi Chamber of Commerce, delivered inspirational talks, fueled great brainstorming sessions and shared about times in history when chambers brought about great change. Toward the end of the festivities the Lodi Chamber honored 3 of their local businesses by doing ribbon cuttings and anniversary celebrations in front of us all. Here is an article by a Lodi newspaper on the event: http://www.lodinews.com/business/article

In the next 2-3 years I hope that the Davis Chamber will host the Northern and Central California Ambassador Rally. Whether on our own or teamed up with Woodland, Winters or West Sac, I know Yolo County would be an excellent host.

Woodland Chamber of Commerce logo contest

Woodland Chamber of Commerce Logo

Woodland Chamber of Commerce Logo Design by Smartz Graphics


I am thrilled to have submitted my design for the Woodland Chamber of Commerce logo contest. The purpose of my design is to encapsulate the greatness of Woodland, including its government, agriculture, industry, community and culture. I spent more than 25 hours on this worthy project and absolutely every element, save the font, is original.

I have submitted this blue version of the logo that is my favorite, but also 2 green versions since green is popularly considered the color of Woodland. I think blue is a sibling of green and will fit the Chamber well.

I received feedback from over 20 different people during the design process before submitting my final design. A handful of the reviewers were from Woodland and the rest were from Davis. The logo has been well received and almost everybody recognizes the elements. They say things along the lines of “That’s the new courthouse. That’s a tractor, representing agriculture. That’s a victorian home like you’d see during Stroll Thru History, and there’s a train, a common sight in Woodland. Perhaps it’s carrying rice from one of the silos?”

The trees were a must as Woodland is the City of Trees, and the negative space in that section of the design pleasantly look like architectural arches.

I made sure that the words “WOODLAND” and “CHAMBER OF COMMERCE” were very easy to read, even at smaller sizes.

I tested the design all the way down to .5″ and though one cannot discern the details at that point, I believe the logo to be recognizable to any who have seen it before.

Final submissions for the contest were due on, December 8th. Now a panel will review the logos and choose 3 finalists. Then, finally, there will be a public poll to determine the winner.

I haven’t seen any of the other submissions, but I’m happy to have delivered at least 1 great option for the Woodland Chamber’s new logo for 2018!

 

Woodland Transportation Guide and Bike Map

Woodland Bike Map-Final-Oct-17

Working for The Bike Campaign and Bike Garage has been very rewarding. I’ve gotten to know Maria Contreras Tebbutt, been inspired to start biking around town again and gotten to work on projects that are making a difference in Yolo County.

The most recent project we’ve completed is the New Woodland Bike Map and Transportation Guide. It’s the official bike map of Woodland. The guide side, that I designed with the help of Maria and Russell Reagan, is a compilation of some of the most important information that will help make biking more appealing for Woodland residents and visitors, and the map side, that was created by Russell, was designed specifically with bicyclists in mind.

The guide emphasizes how convenient biking can be as a primary mode of transportation. Why drive when biking has benefits for the rider and the entire community? You might even questions owning a vehicle when you realize the corners of town and even Yolo county can be reached by more environmentally friendly transportation?

The guide also offers help for those unfamiliar with urban biking. One can find tips and explanations that cover some of the most common predicaments bicyclists will encounter, and the guide helps bikers learn more about The Woodland Bike Loop and what other resources are available to become a more avid bicyclist.

Contact The Bike Campaign to get your own copy. Display sizes are also available for offices,  laundry rooms, lobbies, etc.

Woodland Bike Map-Final-Oct-17

Davis Transportation Guide and Bike Map

Davis Transportation Guide & Bike Map

Working for The Bike Campaign and Bike Garage has been very rewarding. I’ve gotten to know Maria Contreras Tebbutt, learned lots about the benefits of biking and worked on projects that are making a difference in Yolo County.

The most recent project we’ve completed is the Davis Transportation Guide and Bike Map. There’s nothing else in town quite like it. The guide side, that I designed with the help of Maria and Russell Reagan, is a compilation of some of the most important information that will make biking more appealing for UCD students, Davis residents and visitors, and the map side, that was created by Russell, was designed specifically with bicyclists in mind.

The guide emphasizes how convenient biking can be as a primary mode of transportation. Why drive when there are trains and buses that can transport you and your bike? Why own a vehicle when the corners of town and even Yolo county can be reached by more environmentally friendly transportation?

The guide also offers help for those unfamiliar with urban biking. One can find tips and explanations that cover some of the most common predicaments bicyclists will encounter, and the guide helps bikers learn more about The Davis Bike Loop and what other resources are available to become a more avid bicyclist.

Contact The Bike Campaign to get your own copy. Display sizes are also available for lobby’s laundry rooms, offices etc.

Davis Bike Map

Silk screen and embroidery design

HP Custom Threads Logo

HP Custom Threads Logo

Recall your favorite t-shirt, you know, the one that has the superman logo on the front, or says I ❤ New York, Cute Kittens or…well, you know the one. How about your favorite hat, the one that has “Make Cornbread Not War” embroidered across the front. Ever wonder how these designs make it on to your favorite garments? Most of the time it’s through a silk screen or embroidery process, and above you’ll see examples of the machines that make it happen. These machines are parts of an elaborate logo I designed for HP Custom Threads.

HP Custom Threads is an embroidery and silk screen company that also offers DTG (direct-to-garment) printing as well as other services. They created a custom t-shirt for me with their DTG process and I’m in love with the quality and durability! A quick plug for DTG: With direct-to-garment printing you can print high-quality full color photographic images onto garments. This allows designers like me to be more creative and less restrictive during the design process by not worrying about exactly how many colors can be used or whether to use Illustrator or Photoshop.

This logo design was an awesome challenge. I started by taking a lot of photos of the machinery at HP Custom Threads while figuring out the best angles and the positions of the machines. The company owner and I also had to decide what garments should be shown being produced and how to position them. Later at home I uploaded my favorite photographs onto my computer and started a tedious tracing process in Adobe Illustrator. Tracing may sound easy, but when you’re dealing with blurry pixels and minute details it is actually madness. Mid-way through the design creation I decided to add screens to the printing press, and I had to use my imagination for their size, structure and placement.

After my first proof to the client, she and someone she was consulting decided that they would like to have an eagle shown printed on the t-shirts, so I manipulated the design to show an approximation of how the printing press and screens would actually be set up in reality to produce the eagle. This was a very fulfilling process and speaks to my attention to detail.

Now is where I’m going to bring up one of my supposed faults as a designer, and it is that I can’t seem to keep it simple. At some point in history everybody decided to get on the bus that proclaims that logos should be simple, well I missed that bus, and now I’m blazing my own path down the road less traveled. My designs are often very elaborate. Alas, I care about my customers and decided not to completely ignore popular opinion, so I worked into the design a breakaway piece that can be used whenever a simple logo will work better. See below how “HP Custom Threads” is used by itself as a logo.

My client also wanted to try different colors, so I have included two color examples as well as the greyscale version of the design.

Being a graphic designer is a trip. When you are zoomed in to the maximum zoom capability of Adobe Illustrator to make sure objects are perfectly aligned or to work on aspects of a logo that will never be reproduced at a size large enough for others to notice, you feel like you’re a co-creator of the universe. I’m so happy to have received this project from HP Custom Threads. They had a creative vision that I gave my all to manifest, and I hope to see this design on some of their custom t-shirts soon.

HPCustomThreadsLogo  HPCustomThreadsLogo-GreyscalePrintHPCustomThreadsLogo-Bar-Greyscale