May 27, 2016

AmericanMuscle Pet Accessories

A few months ago I designed a few items for a new AmericanMuscle Pet Accessories line. There was a need for a few items that included a bandana (sizes small and large), a pet leash, and a folding pet bowl. The bandana and bowl lead to some unique creative, whereas the leash was much more simpler with just using the brand's logo. All were vector designs in Adobe Illustrator. The bandana originated as a sketch that I scanned and tossed into Illustrator to vectorize and adjust to get the final design. Below are the final products available for purchase at AmericanMuscle.com.















May 26, 2016

ExtremeTerrain Memorial Day Sale

Memorial Day Sales are pretty critical creative campaigns that the design team puts a lot of effort into each year. This year I worked on the ExtremeTerrain Memorial Day Sale graphics. The concept of this years graphics took a few terns because of several different variables, but I ended up going with the "Jeep Parade" concept. We had some in-house photos of the Bantam Jeep Festival that included lines of Jeep Wranglers rolling down the roads. I found one I particularly liked for its composition and began adding some additional American elements, mostly flags. I lined the street with stocked photos of flags and added one to a Jeep too. These graphics spanned through numerous marketing channels including email, paid search/display, social and on site graphics on ExtremeTerrain.com. Below is the main image I used for the graphics.


The on site graphics now also include desktop and mobile versions since the company recently went to a responsive platform. The on site graphics typically include live, system text that includes an Adobe TypeKit font. For graphics such as email and display, we are able to get more creative with the typography. Below is an example of a Google display banner used for paid search marketing that includes the typographic treatment I designed for Memorial Day.



Various compositions were used in this creative along with different text layouts based on each Marketing channel's needs. Feel free to see the on site graphics and the sale (through 6/1) on Jeep Wrangler parts at ExtremeTerrain.com.

May 25, 2016

Throttle Down Speed Co's 51

Steve Murray rode his YZ250 this weekend at the Polka Dots MC Motocross practice day (Saturday) & race day (Sunday) that has fresh new graphics for this year including the Throttle Down Speed Co. logo. The 51 went 5-5 on race day & looked pretty sharp.






May 16, 2016

Early Photo Shoot



Today was the perfect day for a photo shoot. I am currently working on a project for summer that involves a dirt bike. This morning at 7:30 we had a photo shoot where I had my rough composite/sketch for inspiration & we went out to create the real deal. Stay tuned to see where the final creative ends up.

May 14, 2016

Dan Bromley Loses His "A"

Today at the AMA Pro Flat Track Arizona Mile, Throttle Down Speed Co. rider Dan Bromley made the GNC1 main event. This is a huge accomplishment for any rookie rider and it means next year Bromley will no longer have a letter on his number plate. Not only did Bromley make the main event early in the season, but he finished the race 11th out of 18, which is also an impressive statistic. I couldn't be more proud of Dan Bromley for representing TDSC in quality fashion. Below is a photo taken by mrsjjfive (Jodi Johnson).



Logistically speaking, now that Dan Bromley will be rocking a new number without his "A", I will have to revise his logo that has the 54A incorporated. It was definitely something I had recognized would eventually become out of date, in fact I hoped for it. I'm positive I can handle the revision, well worth it! Much congratulations to Bromley on losing that "A".

May 10, 2016

Professional Seminar

Today I attended a professional seminar in Cherry Hill, NJ for work to gain more knowledge around leadership, communication and management. I found it to be an extremely informative session and would recommend it to all professionals within any industry. SkillPath's Excelling as a Manager or Supervisor Seminar, led by Janet Kirch, covered a variety of topics including personality assessments which is what I found to be one of the most interesting aspects. While I am not a manager or supervisor by title, I have had a great deal of experience managing projects, specifically brand websites, that include working with others, delegating tasks and overseeing the entire process while checking in with my manager. The seminar was filled with 79 other professionals, most were managers, but some were not and all came from a variety of employers. I am looking forward to reviewing the booklet we went through today and applying newly learned skills in the work environment. Overall, my goal is to have a better understanding of different personality types and how to communicate and engage with those different personalities to focus on the overall company mission. It was a great day and I look forward to future seminars.


May 09, 2016

AmericanMuscle Catalog: Customer Spotlight Editorials




Above are the three Customer Spotlight editorial articles that are within the insert of the 3 different versions of AmericanMuscle catalogs that arrived in mailboxes all over the US today. The first image of the yellow 2015 GT Mustang has a similar design to what I have shown in a post before. This is one of the most successful designs since it features several images in addition to a large image. I intend to design more like this in the future to show several photos of the customer car instead of just one or two like the others shown above. Customer Spotlights can be more difficult when it comes to design freedom because these rely heavily on the photo assets. These photos are all taken by their owner and submitted to our Marketing department, so the reliability of perfect assets is not guaranteed. The Marketing team does a great job at selecting the customer cars that are photographed the best, which makes my life easier. The copy is written in house and provided, along with a list of product skus to include with product images. Editorial pieces are one of my favorite pieces to design and it allows me to brainstorm and inspires me to create different layouts each time. I am currently designing the next series of Customer Spotlights for our next catalog drop, so there will be more of these designs to come!

May 08, 2016

Aid to Injured Riders 2015 Flat Track Trading Cards

In 2014 I joined the Aid to Injured Riders to design projects for their fundraising efforts to support injured flat track motorcycle racers. We designed a 76-card deck, that was a successful project to say the least, that included the national numbered racers of the 2014 season. When the following season ended, there was a need to design a set for the 2015 season. This season saw several new riders make the main event to earn a new national number for the future 2016 season. There were also a set of rookies all gunning for The Saddlemen Rookie of the Year award, riders with X-Games medal stats and also a brand new national #1. With all of these riders with new accomplishments, we brainstormed to find the most efficient way to include the new riders in a 2015 set. I had thought of an idea of an "expansion pack" that could be included with the original 2014 set. We still had some unsold 2014 decks, so to make a full new deck in 2015 seemed like it would waste the 2014 set. Therefore, the additional 2015 "expansion pack" could be sold individually or alongside the 2014 set. The 2015 set included 17 riders with new statistics and is shown in a flyer design below:


The 2015 and the 2014 sets are available for sale at the race track typically in Jake Johnson & Chad Cose's pits. They are also available online at mkt.com/aid-to-injured-riders. Check them out and get yourself a full set. Also follow AIR on Facebook because we're all working very hard to put on several exciting events this year while supporting the sport of Flat Track. Another huge thank you to FlatTrakFotos for providing the killer action shots for the fronts of the cards.


May 06, 2016

Rose Paintings


This weekend the plan was to set up at a flea market in my hometown to sell a bunch of clothes, odds and ends and a few of my paintings I've been working on. Being that it is Mother's Day weekend I chose to paint a few roses in a traditional style on an 8"x10" canvas. Unfortunately, the weather does not seem to be favorable for an outdoor flea market, so the sales may not be high. However, if you would be interested in checking out the original paintings for purchase or have a piece for commission, let me know! I intend on also getting prints made of paintings and drawings in the future as well.



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May 04, 2016

The Brintlinger Foundation

About a month ago or so Throttle Down Speed Co. was asked to create something special for The Brintlinger Foundation. The Brintlinger Foundation was created to honor the lives of two very important people within the Flat Track community, Dave and Tyler Brintlinger. Without any hesitation, we took on this project to design a t-shirt that the Foundation could sell as an additional way to raise money. Despite the fact that the Brintlinger Foundation is fairly new, it has made great strides to raise money and pump that money back into the racer's pockets in the Flat Track racing scene. It's proving to be a truly great organization that is focusing its efforts into supporting riders of the sport that has been a love of mine for a lifetime. Needless to say, I wanted this design to be spot on. I wanted it to be something I would be extremely proud of, so I put a lot of time into the concept phase to get it right.

I began with a design of a vectorized colored image of two hands fist bumping based on the initial design direction from the Foundation. At first, I particularly liked it, however, when we received additional design direction to have one of the hands be wearing a glove, I knew the initial design did not quite hit the mark. I let the idea "simmer" as I tend to say, for a few days to visualize a strong design that could be easily transferred to a screen printed design. Eventually that idea was turned into a sketch on paper:



From there I took the drawing into Illustrator to convert the line work into vector shapes and paired it with the initial hand drawn text, "forever remember", that I had written when working on the first version of the idea. When adding the text I realized the image would be better flipped horizontally since the glove hand was larger than the bare hand as shown below.



Once it was all placed together I was happily surprised to see how it worked as a whole. The design was ready to be shown to the Brintlinger Foundation to see the response and if any additional revisions were to be made. The design was well received to say the least and is now currently being screen printed in brite blue like shown below.



I'm really looking forward to seeing these shirts help raise money for this positive organization that is benefitting the Flat Track community. It's an honor to be a small component of their fundraising efforts, and I look forward to seeing what else the organization brings to the dirt track world. Be sure to check out their Facebook and Instagram accounts to stay up to date with what the Brintlinger Foundation is up to next. And be sure to order your shirt either online or at the race track.

May 03, 2016

F-150 Upgrade Shop

AmericanMuscle's F-150 product line has been rapidly growing over the past few months. Along with that comes new marketing campaigns and more graphics for the design department to create. Since the AM Mustang and ExtremeTerrain Wrangler Upgrade Shops have been proven to be a successful way for customers to shop various products, there was a need to add an F-150 Upgrade Shop. This required a similar logo design, yet one that was slightly unique from the previous two. The F-150 Upgrade Shop launched on 5/2/16 and is currently on the homepage as the main image. Below is the 2015-2016 version:


Each upgrade shop comes with a specialized landing page that includes 10 categories of products. This requires 10 unique lifestyles for each generation of F-150. We currently have products for the 2009-2014 and 2015-2016 body styles of F-150s. Below are their unique landing pages with various lifestyle images. The photos included in these are a mixture of in house photography and vendor photos.


When a customer clicks one of the categories, for example "Most Popular", the shopper is then taken to a page of products that represent that category. Each category gets a banner to match the original icon from the previous page at the top like below.

As you can imagine, each upgrade shop requires a large amount of graphics due to the variety of categories. This creative includes various on site graphics, several email graphics, social images and display creative. Overall I believe this is a nice addition to the AmericanMuscle F-150 site as it continues to grow.  View the 2015-2016 Upgrade Shop here, and view the 2009-2014 Upgrade Shop here.

Below are the original base images I had started with. The red 2015 F-150 was the original shot that I retouched in Photoshop and added a few additional aftermarket products on the truck (ie: the grille). I ended up changing the color to "Blue Jeans" to add variety to our website since most of the web graphics are typically this dark red. To create the 2011 F-150 version, I removed the 2015 from the scene in Photoshop and selected a similar angle from our various in-house photographs. I manipulated the shadow and lighting while added aftermarket parts (ie: grilles & headlights) to the 2011 as well so it fit well in the scene. Having this image with a lot of background included in the shot, allowed this image to translate well to the various sizes and dimensions of the graphics needed for this campaign. 



May 02, 2016

AmericanMuscle May Sale

Yesterday on AmericanMuscle.com was the launch of the fresh new monthly deal: the May Sale that I had designed. When it comes to concepting, it all typically originates from the copy that the Marketing team agrees upon. With "boosted" being in the headline, I knew it needed to be an action shot that showed power. I browsed through our in-house photography lifestyle shots and came across this shot of our blue 1998 Mustang.


I thought this shot would make for an awesome base shot and wanted to get back into Keyshot to keep my skills fresh and to make 3D renders for the other car generations. I ended up rendering all 6 generations of Mustangs that AmericanMuscle sells parts for, including the 1998. I chose to make the cars yellow to fit in with the spring colors of green and yellow. We also usually show cars in a variety of reds, oranges and blues, so yellow made for some nice variety. Below is an example of one of the rendered tiff files.



Once I got all of the cars rendered out with the proper HDRI mapping, I popped them into the original scene that had the blue 1998 Mustang in it. I removed that car in photoshop so I had a nice clean background, but kept a layer for each of the visible wheels. To recreate wheels spinning is a little tricky in Photoshop, so I find that the best method is to keep the original moving wheels if available. I added some subtle motion blur to the overall car, while comparing it to the original blue car to make it look as realistic as possible. Below is how it looks currently on site for each generation. These images were used on site, via social media and display platforms, as well as in email newsletters.







To see the scope of this particular project, which is rather small in comparison of our other projects, below is a screenshot of the various versions of this creative that has been placed in the variety of email, social, display and on site graphics.


You can check out the sale the entire month of May on the Deals page at AmericanMuscle.com.

May 01, 2016

Throttle Down Speed Co. Logo Within The Industry

It's pretty cool to see your logo integrated more and more within the motorcycle industry. Even just the other day, an old friend of mine said he saw a Throttle Down Speed Co. t-shirt being worn at a swap meet down around Baltimore. Not only is it exciting to hear people representing our apparel, but it's also great to see it on the race track. 


GNC1 racer Dan Bromley is sporting our logo on his AMA Pro Flat Track leathers and jerseys this year. Above is one of his leathers with the Throttle Down Speed Co. logo printed and stitched onto his throttle arm. 


Our newer GNC2 racer Tristan Avery sported one of our Throttle Down Speed Co. stickers on his helmet at the AMA Pro Flat Track Daytona Short Track season opener this year. Photo by mrsjjfive.


Our new GNC2 rider Charlotte Kainz got our logo worked into her 450 graphics for this season, and we've got to say it looks killer. Having your logo mixed in with respected brands that have been in the industry for quite some time is surely an accomplishment that I'm proud of.


Aside from flat track, we also have our logo on Steve Murray's 450 motocross bike that he races in the amateur motocross races in Michigan. In 2016 you can find our logo back by the air box, also mixed in amongst reputable brands.

The intentions are for the Throttle Down Speed Co. brand to continue to grow within the motorcycle industry including on the tracks and in the stands. Our goal is appeal to the racers, the fans, the riders and anyone embracing the two-wheel culture. We'll see where our logo turns up next!