Smart FM Radio Logo

This Smart FM Radio Logo marks the sixth radio station identity that we have done to date. You can listen to Smart FM radio online at http://v6.player.abacast.net/5335, or at 95.1 Cedar Rapids, 98.5 in Iowa City on your tried and true FM receiver.

Our brainstorming discussions for this new identity referenced 1960s underground radio station, KAAY out of Little Rock, Arkansas—and specifically their night time program, Beaker Street with Clyde Clifford which had a very unproduced, underground feel with low-fidelity cosmic sound effects and other oddities.

Through the marvels of AM radio evening hour transmission, KAAY’s signal reached Iowa City, Iowa on many evenings, becoming a favorite of eastern Iowa listeners.

Smart FM’s logo features a custom designed type font and a cosmic 1960s sci-fi-ish antenna. The logo should feel a bit vintage—and a bit odd—but fresh at the same time. Is that even possible? #baslerdesign #smartfm #smartrockin #radio #logo #graphicdesign #oddisgood

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, this was an 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.

extreme-makeover

Mural-1

Mural-2

Mural-3

Gone Fishin’ Sign

DSC00166

DSC00157

Dannys_Bait_and_Tackle

Angels With Dirty Faces Title

I am a typography nut—especially interested in type history. Our studio has a collection of old graphic arts books from the 1900s through 1950s that we use for inspiration from time to time. As well, I have always been interested in the typography of old movie title and end stills. They are a typographic feast.

OK, some of you won’t get it, but I know this will be of interest to my designer friends, and a few fans of old film as well. Just click on the title still below. You’re in for a treat.

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 word mark. To keep the graphic simple, we constrained 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

I love upstarts. They offer all sorts of unique opportunities and challenges. This upstart, Offshore Concepts, came to Basler Design because of our experience in the boat building niche—especially given our experience with smaller volume, regional builders who put craftsmanship at the top of the priority list.

Typically companies like Offshore Concepts are less concerned about making their first million than they are in producing the best product around, and getting their first couple of orders.

Basler Design created a very unique identity, getting Offshore Concepts off to a fast start. The letterhead incorporated an innovative two-sided approach. A large version of the Offshore Concepts “shield” was printed in a very intense magenta ink on the back side of the letterhead sheet. The shield was sized in such a manner that it perfectly aligned with front-side artwork and also fold lines and margins. The super-sized shield graphic shows through the paper, creating a ghosted image on the front side.

After the basic identity components were in place, we proceeded to the design of print ads and brochures.

Basler Design was hired to create a new visual branding program for regional jeweler, M.C. Ginsberg. We started small but quickly progressed to the big stuff—outdoor board big. Here are a few of our concepts.

Great outdoor is not easy—but we love the challenge. These boards were written by good friend, Chris Lien. The visual elements are light and transparent, emulating the feel of looking through a gemstone. The MC ligature gives the logotype a very monogram-like element. The ligature was supported by the Ginsberg name—well-known amongst regional jewelers.

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 Ad

 

KRNA 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.

Rob and Eliot sold off their lifelong project in 1998. Prior to them 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 and definitely regional.

The result? KRNA. 94.1 IOWANAROCK.

KRNA-Hat

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

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