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Move That Bus

The word is out and I have the all-clear from ABC TV to talk freely about my involvement in the Extreme Makeover Home Edition, Gibbs family home in West Union, Iowa. It’s not everyday that Hollywood comes to Iowa—so that alone made this a pretty big deal. Better yet, was the opportunity to help a family in need—making this a great project all the way around.

I received a call from Architect, Christian Prasch (representing ABC) on Friday September 30, 2011 at 4:00 pm. We discussed the Gibbs family home project in depth. Christian was one of many designers on the project and our mutual task was the design of youngest Gibbs son Danny’s bedroom. I was to design a mural extending across all four bedroom walls and the ceiling, while Christian took care of the dimensional items and room propping. The Deadline was a killer—Sunday, October 2 at 5:00 pm.

Danny Gibbs is a typical Iowa boy—interested in the outdoors—specifically fishing. The bedroom was designed with his interests in mind. The bedroom floor was the river bottom, the bed frame a rustic dock, with the walls an underwater mural.

Here are clips of the artwork with a few of the finished room photos. To watch the two part episode see:

Extreme Makeover Home Edition Gibbs Family Part One

Extreme Makeover Home Edition Gibbs Family Part Two

Mural-1

Mural-2

Mural-3

Gone Fishin’ Sign

extreme-makeover

DSC00166

DSC00157

Dannys_Bait_and_Tackle

Fluid. Refreshing. Continuous—Without Beginning or End. No Interruption. Non-linear.

What a great name. We have been called on to develop an identity based on this one, simple word. We can’t exactly disclose the who, what, where of this project just yet. Rest assured, we will reveal the details of this company very soon. Until then, here is a first look at fluid.

Fluid has a positive vibe. Free flowing. Continuous. Without beginning or end. Without boundaries. Our solution is a handcrafted script for the fluid wordmark—a very simple wordmark. To keep the graphic simple, we confined our solution to a couple of rules:

  • One single line…as though it was drawn without lifting pen from paper.
  • One line weight.

We’re pleased with the result. It looks right. And perhaps more important, it feels right.

fluid

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Hip Cat? Hepcat.

If you’re new school you say hip cat. Old school, hepcat. Either way, this Iowa City Jazz Festival Program ad for M.C. Ginsberg Jewelers is about cool as they come—a well thought out headline, and smoky, ethereal design. Advertising becomes magical when it seems this simple.

Chris Lien was the copywriter on this piece, with design handled by Bill Basler. Typographic elements are Clarendon—a current and long-term studio favorite.

IC Jazz Half Page-Horiz.pdf

KRNA 94.1 Iowanarock
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94.1 IOWANAROCK

A number of years ago we designed everything for legendary classic rock station 94.1 KRNA. Founded by a couple of University of Iowa students, Rob Norton and Eliot Keller. KRNA grew from grassroots to powerhouse. Hell, they played a lot of Grass Roots.

Rob and Eliot sold off their lifelong project in 1998. Prior to doing so, we kicked off a new look for KRNA, with a new logo and positioning line. In a sea of tired rock station taglines, we wanted to create something fresh, maybe even a bit odd, but definitely regional.

The result? KRNA. 94.1 IOWANAROCK.

KRNA-Hat

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G. Fine Living in the Lake Geneva Style

Our involvement with quarterly magazine, The Brass Bell, caught the attention of a Boca Raton, Florida-based client interested in establishing an upscale lifestyle magazine for the Lake Geneva, Wisconsin area. This was a great opportunity—the chance to establish a vertical, niche publication for a legendary tourist destination.

For those not familiar with Lake Geneva, this small community on a lake is nestled just north of Chicago, and just west of Milwaukee in southeastern Wisconsin. The area has more interesting history than any small Wisconsin town should have—the playground of the Schwinn’s, the Maytag’s, the Wrigley’s, and yes, Guns ‘N Roses lead singer Axl Rose. Hugh Heffner even established one of his legendary Playboy Clubs in Lake Geneva.

The first issue of G is the result of many hours of interviews, sweat, and mental gymnastics. It’s not the easiest task assembling a magazine from vapor, but given G’s overwhelming debut, I think we hit the mark.

G Magazine Masthead Script

Van Ness Engineering
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Van Ness Engineering

I have known David Van Ness of Van Ness Engineering for many years now. He is very well-known in the antique boat niche, and has a reputation for being among the best engine restorers in the business. David has worked on a few projects for me, and I have worked on a few things for him. Recently we were asked to take a new look at his advertising and marketing communications with the goal of creating a presence given today’s dynamics within this small niche.

Here is a look at the first creative in this ad new series. The concept focuses on several types of enthusiasts:

  • Those interested in totally rebuilt internals with museum-grade external restoration for Concours-level competition.
  • Those interested in a partial rebuild with good (but not necessarily Concours-level) exterior cosmetics.
  • And those interested in building an ultra-reliable vintage motor, with little regard to exterior detailing.

This is a very straightforward concept executed in a very clean style. There are several other ads in the series that we will show soon.

Van Ness Engineering Ad

Haberdapper on Broadstreet

For about the last year or so, we have been working with Haberdapper, a men’s clothing store in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Basler Design Group developed Haberdapper’s identity program, signage, store interior and point-of-sale needs, as well as email marketing and advertising components. We have quite a lot of work to show for Haberdapper. We’ll start by showing a few of the basic identity components.

The Haberdapper wordmark was given a vintage retail flair by way of its “Milk Bone” dog biscuit background shape. A color palette of dirty orange, cream, and cool gray rounded out the look.

Haber Logo

The storefront sign was designed within the strict parameters of historic Lake Geneva’s building and sign ordinance. The sign was designed to fit within a 2-foot x 8-foot space, with a maximum area of 16 square-feet. The solution was to manufacture a painted and aged wooden sign with gold leafed letterforms. While newly manufactured, the sign looks as though its been hung for years. The background was distressed, using cracked paint, rubbing, and glazing techniques. The Haberdapper letterforms are dimensionally carved and guilded with real gold leaf.

The goal was to create an identity that looks like it could have been in place 75 years ago. We love using manufacturing techniques that the machine age offers, but finishing the artwork with “elbow grease” patina.

Move Over Barbie…

Barbie, you’ve had your time. And after three years on the road—through rain, sleet, snow, sand, and salt, —frankly, you’re looking a bit haggard. Your time has come. Go freshen up, and let a new day begin.

    Good morning starshine, the earth says hello
    you twinkle above us, we twinkle below
    good morning starshine, you lead us along
    my love and me as we sing our
    early morning singing song

    gliddy glub gloopy nibby nabby noopy
    la la la – lo lo
    sabba sibbi sabba nooby aba naba
    lee lee – lo lo
    tooby ooby wala
    nooby aba naba
    early morning singing song

The new Z Bus is truly unrestrained. This concept started out as a “green and outdoorsy” kind of theme. It eventually became kind of a dare between designers.

“I’ll bet you won’t put a happy face on the clouds.”
“Oh yea, I will, and I’ll even put in a volcano.”
“No way. How about an undersea world? Bet, you’d never do that.”
“Oh, I will for sure. And how about some toadstools?”
“Toadstools? Are you kidding me? Well, if you’re gonna do that, you might as well throw in a unicorn…”

Z102.9 Magic Bus

ZZZZ

How do you promote Z102.9 to a University of Iowa, music download inclined/payment averse student population? This ad was specifically concepted for this tough crowd, and was featured in the U of I’s student newspaper, The Daily Iowan. The concept for this ad, hit students right where they live—in the world of free music, and wireless connectivity. This ad also ran about the time the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA) was clamping down on illegal music downloads. Given this, a healthy dose of paranoia drove the ad home.

Z102.9 Daily Iowan Ad

Z102.9 Daily Iowan Ad