June 29, 2016

Blue Rose Painting

I put in a bit more time into the blue rose painting I've been working on. It still seems unfinished so I'll let it simmer for a bit until I figure out some sort of solution.

June 27, 2016

Turn5 Block Party

Saturday was the annual Turn5 Block Party. The summer party is always a good time when you get to have a fun day outside with the people I work with. I happened to also do a lot of the creative for the party including the logo, fliers, internal web posts, employee car show ballots, etc. Last year a committee was formed to brainstorm ideas for the party that would make it enjoyable for all. Various people from various departments went back and forth on the name and eventually landed on "Block Party". With that I was set out to design a logo that represented a fun, family-friendly party. I landed on an idea of sketched signage being the overall shape and a blocky slab-serif for the font, (I'm a total sucker for a solid slab-serif typeface). 

For the information that would go on a poster, I decided to just add more signs to the post. Details such as the date, time and location would get their own sign. At the time the Turn5 logo was red, black and grey so those were the party theme colors as well. Below is the 2015 poster and the 2016 poster. Both are extremely similar with some subtle differences.

Our in-house vinyl department took the signage a step further and printed out directional signage for the event. These graphics were printed, applied to wood and attached to poles throughout the event providing as navigational signage. They fit the theme of the party extremely well and also functioned well for guests to find different activities and events.

Once again everything came together for the party, and it was a successful event at Turn5, Inc.

June 25, 2016

AIR Snapchat Filter

As I posted before, the Aid to Injured Riders fundraising event in Oklahoma City last weekend was a complete success. It required a lot of creative and promotional materials that all came together to aid in the success of the event. One element AIR wanted to have was a sponsored Snapchat filter during the event Friday at the go kart track and also on race day Saturday. This required some research on my part to see how it all works and if it would be attainable. As it turns out, the on-demand Snapchat filters are very simple to create and easy to purchase. I took on this task and created the filter below:

The design included elements such as the OKC city skyline from the autograph poster I had designed for the fundraising event. I wanted to include a simple graphic of tire tread to appeal to the motorcycle racing community, and of course I included the AIR logo to brand the filter and have it come all together. It has a subtle gradient behind the overall design at the top so it is visible on a variety of backgrounds and colors depending on what the user takes a photo of. I could have experimented with the location of the graphic but chose to keep it at the top based on conversations with the AIR members' preferences.

After uploading it, choosing the time and location that the filter would be displayed and giving payment information, I waited for the filter to be approved by Snapchat. When it was the next step was to wait and see if it would work at the location and be successful.

When the event time came, we all anxiously opened our Snapchats to see if the filter would be available, and sure enough it was! I have to say that it was a fairly exciting moment since it was the first attempt at creating a filter and having the public be able to use it. Overall it was an additional way that AIR was able to brand the event and get their logo out to the public. AIR then repeated the process for Saturday's race day and below are some snaps we saw with the filter during the two events:

In total, the two filters were used 119 times and viewed 5,840 times within the 11 total hours the filters were live. Those are pretty impressive statistics considering the sizes of each event. In doing this twice now I have found some learnings and best practices that can be applied to future On-Demand Snapchat Filters for various upcoming events.


Now and then I get to do some goofy side projects for fun. It doesn't get much goofier than a #TeamBurrito logo that a few motocross racers wanted for some hoodies.

The logo above started out as a sketch on paper. If I find the original doodle, I'll be sure to add it to the post. I scanned the sharpie sketch into Adobe Illustrator and vectorized it. I kept it one color thinking it would be for screen printed apparel. The moto guys took it to the next level-and got leather patches made for their gear. The person who made the patches added color and they turned out pretty killer.

In order to get some hoodies made, I'm going to add some color to the Illustrator file and do direct to garment printing (DTG), so we can do one-off printing and get as many colors as the guys would like. It's definitely been a fun little project that will soon hit the race tracks! Best of luck to any Team Burrito members racing this weekend at the Loretta Lynn Qualifier at Baja Acres.

June 24, 2016

#67 Flat Track Trading Card

I've shown the two series of Aid to Injured Riders Flat Track Trading Cards in previous posts and they continue to be a successful fundraiser for AIR. Ever since we launched the first set of the 2014 series, we've been getting some heat from one rider in particular that was not included in the initial set. When we chose who was included in the 2014 set, we based it off of who currently held a national number (along with a few additional rules such as if the rider made a main event in 2014, etc.). Again, unfortunately this one rider was not included in those rules, so a card was never made. It took a solid year of hearing the disappointment from this rider until we decided to surprise him at the OKC AIR event with, in fact, his very own "special edition" card below:

The ladies of AIR were really excited to present this "special edition" Mike Hacker card for many reasons. Personally, I was excited because I grew up watching and rooting for Hacker. Since retiring from racing, he is still very much involved with the flat track community and is currently wrenching for the Harley-Davidson Factory Team. It has been an honor to make the card and have it printed for the OKC event. Nicalee and Jodi presented the card to him as I took a shaky poor-quality cell phone video of the action, it was a great moment. I would like to shout out again to Flat Trak Fotos for providing the photography to make this project possible. So here you go, be sure to get your very special #67 Mike Hacker card, he is more than ready to sign them!

June 22, 2016


One of my close friends got engaged in Florida this past weekend and asked if my friend and I could decorate their place while him and his girlfriend were away. He had a bunch of ideas to make the room very special when they got home. Of course we said yes, and so did his now, fiance.

I ended up making them a "Congratulations" banner out of ripped canvas. I had seen some ideas on burlap but had extra canvas around for when I would stretch them for paintings. I made each letter have a square of canvas that was torn on the sides to give it an unfinished look. I simply used sharpie for the hand letters. They were strung together with a brown hemp-like string and tied to each side of the room. My friend and I hung a string of white lights with it. On the other side of the room we hung photos with small clothes pins. It's simply a 'just for fun' kind of project that came together quite well that I thought I would share.

June 21, 2016

Aid to Injured Riders Event Poster

Last Friday (June 17, 2016) the Aid to Injured Riders held their autograph event at Pole Position in Oklahoma City. The organization and I did a lot of work to prepare for the event, and I created several design pieces including the flyer shown in a previous post. An additional item was requested-an event-specific poster that would be available at the autograph event. The concept was to include previous Oklahoma racers (black and white photos). The other riders shown are those who had confirmed early to be at our event. It was important to me to include elements of Oklahoma City since the location was important, not only to the president of AIR, but also because it has been so many years since there was a national flat track motorcycle race in the city. I was able to tie all of these elements together in the image below. The limited edition poster was 16" x 20" and 100 editions were printed.

AIR had a very impressive turnout at the autograph/go kart event. I personally was overwhelmed by the support of the many riders that showed up and friends and family around the area. AIR managed to raise a decent amount of money through donations, raffles and a silent auction piece. Thank you to those who came out and joined in on the fun. I hope the AMA Pro Flat Track racing series comes back to the OKC Mile again next year and many years to come.

June 20, 2016

Bret Sowders #81G

Last month I had the opportunity to design AMA Pro Flat Track motorcycle racer, Bret Sowders' autograph sheets. It was decided to go with an 8x10 and we used a photo from flattrakfotos.com, a very talented photographer within the flat track racing scene. From there I chose a bold italic typeface that was similar to Bret Sowders' number plate.  I was given the several sponsor logos to include on the autograph sheet and incorporated some vector elements in the right corner to really make those logos pop. The vector elements added some dimension and a graphic feel to the overall design. On race day in Oklahoma City I had Bret sign one in the pits.

June 17, 2016

AIR's Meet the AMA Flat Track Stars at OKC Event

Nicalee Sowders and I of AIR have been diligently working on making sure we have everything pulled together for the Aid to Injured Riders' Meet the AMA Flat Track Stars at OKC autograph signing. If you find yourself in Oklahoma City tonight (Friday, June 17th), be sure to come by Pole Position between 5-8pm. Riders will be there throughout the night to sign autographs. There will be food by Mutt's and it's at an indoor karting raceway, so strap on a helmet and get racing! The ladies of AIR have worked hard on this event, so I hope everyone enjoys themselves. See you there!

June 15, 2016

ExtremeTerrain Catalog Content: Drop 5

ExtremeTerrain also released their latest catalogs that featured new covers and new content. I was responsible for designing an editorial spread that features in-house copy and in-house photography. Check it out below:

June 14, 2016

AmericanMuscle Catalog Customer Spotlights: Drop 5

Yesterday fresh AmericanMuscle Mustang Catalogs were delivered to homes with new covers and content. For this year's drop 5 I designed three Customer Spotlights for three generational catalogs. Similarly to previous Customer Spotlights, these feature lifestyle customer photos that I make sure to retouch, in-house product photography, a Customer Spotlight logo I have previously designed, copy written in-house by our marketing team and a layout designed in InDesign. Below are the designs.

June 13, 2016

AmericanMuscle F-150 Top Summer Mods

Brand new AmericanMuscle F-150 Catalogs are being delivered today that showcase the F-150 and dirt bike creative on the cover for our Top Summer Mods campaign. About a month ago I showed an image from the photo shoot our in-house photographer and I worked on, and the creative is also live on the AmericanMuscle homepage. I'll backtrack a bit to walk you through how the image evolved from conception to completion of the entire campaign creative.

In our monthly meetings the creative team brainstorms creative concepts based on the marketing campaigns and copy the marketing team creates. I personally pull a lot of inspiring imagery from motorcycle related publications and websites, so incorporating a dirt bike with an F-150 was a natural idea. Being that this creative would be for the AmericanMuscle F-150 Top Summer Mods campaign, I found it fitting to create an image that showed the power of an F-150 and the lifestyle of someone heading to the racetrack in the summer time. 

The initial idea was approved so then I found a photo that had been taken before of a rolling F-150 with an angle that would show off the bike as well as the truck.

I knew the creative would be used for web graphics and a catalog cover so that affected composition decisions and I knew I needed a wide back plate to accommodate horizontal and vertical graphics. I roughly clipped out the rolling shot I found and used several stock images to use with the original 2015 rolling shot in order to compose a background for the truck. Below are the several stock images I used.

I found a low-res dirt bike image to use for the rough mock I had approved through the various departments. Once approved, I worked with the in-house photographer to get the composition as close to the mock as possible.

Our photographer shot the dirt bike in the 2015 and 2009 F-150 in the company parking lot, making sure to match the lighting in my original concept image. With the matching lighting, it made the entire photo composite go much more smoothly since lighting reflections and shadows would be more accurate to fit the scene. 

I clipped out each photographed truck with the bike in it and added it to the scene. For the 2015 I was able to use parts of the initial rolling shot I used as inspiration to get accurate motion blur on the vehicle and especially the wheels. I added a number plate to the bike as well as some AmericanMuscle branding to the graphics on the side of the bike. A few environmental elements such as photo filters, lens flares, reflections on the truck, and dirt kicking up was added to complete the Photoshop composite. Below is what each truck looked like in the scene when completed.

Because I needed to include a wide background scene to accommodate the variety of graphics this would be used for, a lot was clipped off in the actual graphics. Essentially, no graphic showed the entire background as shown above. Below is what the on site graphics look like currently at AmericanMuscle.com

This creative spanned across various web graphics, email newsletters and social images. The 2015 also was used as a cover on our AmericanMuscle F-150 catalog below:

I don't believe I could have been happier with how these graphics turned out throughout the entire campaign. It's always gratifying to develop an idea from conception to completion and have it turn out exactly how you imagined it. Not only did this creative reach the digital channels but it also made it to a printed form, which cannot be said for all of the campaigns we create. Be sure to check it out either when the catalog hits your mailbox or online.

June 12, 2016

CB360 Progress

This weekend was a good one for the CB! I went on a shopping spree at my local hardware store to get a bunch of things for the garage. I also polished my front wheel that will get its new tire this week along with my rear drum. I am forever fascinated by the power of Mothers Aluminum & Mag Polish. I camped out outside in the shade and polished the wheel and spokes for a good hour and it looks brand new. I have a few more things to purchase and then it'll be time to get down and dirty in the garage.

June 11, 2016

Vector Transition

I've been working on a project that includes some vector work and I thought the transition from the photo to vector was visually interesting. See it below.

June 09, 2016

Raxiom.com Updates

This quarter I have been making updates to the Raxiom.com brand website. Raxiom has been pumping out more new products for the existing Mustang and Wrangler product lines. In addition to that, Raxiom has been producing and selling F-150 lighting as well. With the addition of F-150 products, I needed to incorporate F-150 imagery throughout the site and update any information. Essentially each page of this site was in need of an update.

For the homepage shown above, I added the F-150 light bar lifestyle shown in the bottom right hand corner of the first parallax "slide". In the "sticky footer" shown on desktop I added new imagery to Gallery and In the Media. 

Featured Products, shown above, got a fresh new row of products including Wrangler headlights, new Mustang lights and several F-150 products.

Who is Raxiom is probably my favorite page of the site because of its layout and imagery so I gave this page a complete overhaul. The first image is a composite render I made using Keyshot and Photoshop. I selected new lifestyles to use to illustrate the varieties of products within Raxiom. The Gallery now showcases all new images that the creative team has made and used throughout various projects and promotions. And finally, a few articles were added to the In the Media section that include some of Raxiom's newer products.

The Where to Buy page above also got a new design that shows where you can purchase which products.

Overall I am really pleased with how this site has evolved from its original state. In updating the various brand websites they continue to get more and more polished as well as house up-to-date, lasting information. The intent of these sites are not to keep updating them often, but rather hold information that is relevant overtime so changes only need to be made on occasion, for example when a new line of products is offered for a new vehicle. Managing these sites, making the design changes and seeing that all of the pieces fit in their proper places within a timeline has been an enjoyable and successful task. See the current Raxiom brand website here.

June 06, 2016

AmericanMuscle Fox Body Catalog

The last round of catalogs that went to press (drop 4) included our Fox Body Mustang catalog. The 1979-1993 Fox Body model is the oldest model we sell parts for at AmericanMuscle. Because this is an older generation Mustang, the creative team has the least creative photography compared to any other generation. That being said it can be one of our more challenging catalogs to design while wanting it to look as nice as our other books. The book manages to come together quite well every time we refresh the creative and products. Below is the exterior section that I had designed and laid out.