August 29, 2016 Labor Day Sale

Who can believe that Labor Day is right around the corner?! The only way I can believe it is the fact that I have been working on several Labor Day Sale graphics for our various stores. The sale has just begun and I'd like to breakdown the steps that I had taken to get to the final creative of the Labor Day Sale that is currently running here:

The project started off as a simple concept that the creative team and the marketing team decided on: red Wrangler on the beach with a nice blue sky to have a more subtle approach to the red, white and blue theme. I pulled some inspiration of jeeps ripping around on the sand and began my composite. I started with a rolling Jeep shot from our in-house photography collection.

This shot would be my base image for the rolling Jeep and I would begin to build out the sandy beach background around it. I first clipped the jeep, making sure to feather the selection when appropriate to keep the blur effect of the moving image. From there I went and purchased some stock imagery to compose the background. I have to say, you'd be surprised to know what the original photos look like that make up the final image.

All of the shots above were used. The first beach image was the starting point for the graphic. Then I used various pieces of the sand from the two ATV shots. The one was the perfect angle for the kicked up sand. Finally, the last one I used just some portions of the sky because I liked the feel of the clouds. Bet you never thought a photo of a bicycle and dog would be needed in a composite like this.

All of those photos combined with the correct color balancing, blend modes, color changing, photo retouching and added Gaussian and motion blur, got the creative to look like this:

At it's core it's exactly what the doctor ordered: Red Jeep on the beach with a blue sky. While it might be what was requested, it still felt like we could tie in a little more of the red, white and blue imagery. Instead of resorting to tacking an American flag on the back of this Jeep, I decided to go with something different. Jeep Grillz has come up with some grille vinyl to quickly change the face of anyone's Jeep to show off that American pride. I decided to remake one of their vinyl projects on this Jeep image to make this sale pop. It was a delicate process to get the vector shapes to feel real on this image, but I believe it gave it the added touch it needed.

From there I placed the image in various site, email, social and display-sized graphics to see if the composition would work. Once approved I could make the other version needed (TJ). I used the same methods as I did with the JK image above, where I clipped out a rolling Jeep at a similar 3/4 angle, color changed the Jeep, added reflections and grille vinyl while compositing it in within the beach background.

On our ExtremeTerrain website, a lot of the graphics include live copy where the designers do not have control of making it unique. Below is a mock of the homepage that is live right now.

As you can see, the text is strictly our store's font with no additional styling. This is done for many reasons, the main being SEO. While this is the case with most of our on-site graphics, our social, display and email graphics have free range when it comes to type treatments. I wanted to stylize the type in a subtle but noticeable way to enhance the look of the sale. After presenting three variations, I settled on the treatment below.

All together, the copy and the text work well together.

Be sure to hurry on over to to take advantage of the Labor Day Sale from now until 9/7!

August 20, 2016

Chip Foose Autograph Card

Last week at this time I was already busy working at the AmericanMuscle Mustang Show. I still haven't gotten around to posting all of the creative I worked on because it really kept me busy leading up to the event! Every year we have special guests that are important in the automotive and Mustang community. Chip Foose attended again this year and I got to put his autograph card together. It was simple in design. I took a pre-selected photo that had been edited for previous promotions and added the bar with various logos needed. I unfortunately did not get a signed copy, however, I believe his line was continuous throughout the entire show with excited spectators waiting to meet Foose and get his autograph.

August 19, 2016

AmericanMuscle Snapchat Geofilters

This year we wanted to have unique Snapchat geofilters at the 8th Annual AmericanMuscle Mustang Show. With my experience in using them at Aid to Injured Riders (AIR) events, I took the lead with this project from conception to completion. 

I began with meeting with the social team to talk about getting involved in the geofilter community and showed them the process and data I had received with the AIR filters. Overall the process of uploading usable filters is very simple and easy to obtain. I also saw it as a fun project for the creative team, where we could come up with unique ideas and enjoy the creative freedom. I then met with my fellow five designers and worked with our creative coordinator to assign two filters for each designer. We took some time to design and regrouped a couple weeks later to review them. I went through the designs, tweaked them based on best practices I have found, got the file sizes down and we ended up handing over about 12 geofilters to the social team. From there the social team had to upload the filters and do some trial and error with uploads to see exactly how many we could get into the Maple Grove Raceway territory with strategic mapping. It turns out they only managed to get 4 filters in that location due to Snapchat's restrictions on quantity. The filters, however, were successful and got a solid amount of usage! See below:

With the above filter I wanted to use pieces of our existing car show elements (vector marks) and blend it with an AM logo. The AM graphic is actually pulled from a t-shirt design I made for youth girls, but for this I used the traditional AM blue and orange coloring. It features a subtle gradient that forces the logo to pop over any background color or image.

This filter was used by 380 individuals and seen by 18,805 Snapchat users.

The filter above was designed by combining various tire tread and splatter vector elements tossed together with the show logo on top. This design didn't necessarily need a gradient to have it pop over backgrounds due to it's design. Initially I wanted this image to be larger, however, due to small file sizing restrictions I did have to scale it down more than I had hoped. Ironically enough, I made this design very quickly with no intentions of actually using it. The purpose was to include this in the inside front cover of the program to tell our guests to look out for our snapchat filters at the show. It turns out the design was liked and we made it come to life!

This splatter filter was used by 428 individuals and seen by 22,002 Snapchat users.

This filter above was a different approach and was targeted to only be used at the race track while people were in the stands watching the racing events. With it being a smaller location and a shorter time of availability, naturally it had less uses. Despite the usage, it was a lot of fun to make and made for a very different kind of filter I hope fans enjoyed.

The helmet filter was used by 37 individuals and seen by 1,875 Snapchat users.

In the midst of working at the show I managed to snap a photo of people gathering at the dyno for a run and used a filter!

August 16, 2016

A few months ago I had posted about some updates on the brand website when F-150 imagery was added throughout the site. At that time there was talk about revising the warranty page to make it the same throughout all of the Raxiom products, regardless of what vehicle the products would fit. While the internal teams worked out the specifics, I put in a photo request to have three different vehicles photographed together for an image at the top of the warranty page. As of now Raxiom products fit Mustangs, F-150's and Wranglers. Our in-house photographer shot all three vehicles in the studio while bracketing and then shooting each vehicle individually. I selected the base shot that worked the best, clipped out the vehicles and did some retouch work. While the lights were on in the photographs, I added some flare to balance out each vehicle and took lighting pieces from other bracketed shots. I added Raxiom windshield banners to each of the vehicles and popped in a lighting effect behind the three so they would pop on the dark background of the Raxiom site. Another designer redesigned the "2 Year Full Warranty" logo and it fit quite nicely with the new page design. Below is the new page that the ecommerce developer coded based on my Photoshop file and slices. Feel free to check it out here:

August 15, 2016


I'm proud to report that the Eighth Annual AmericanMuscle Mustang Show, tagged #AM2016, was a total success. A team of us spent a solid three days setting up for the show in blistering heat and the day of was no cooler. A big shout out is deserved to all of those who showed up to join in on the fun on that hot Saturday. All in all the show went very smoothly and people had a blast. 

Most of the set up days involved setting up and organizing the three novelty tents that displayed various shirts, tanks, hats and pet items. Below is a shot during set up.

It was awesome to see some of my most recent apparel designs sell out. It was even better to see them sprinkled throughout the crowd. We got some feedback on what items customers would like to see, so we'll go back to the drawing board, and come up with some new designs and items for next year.

Clean up went pretty smoothly as I handled most of the vinyl banners-taking them down, organizing them and getting them back into the tubes to be sent back to the warehouse for next year's event. Maple Grove proved to be a great venue once again and I am thrilled to have been apart of the show. A chunk of money was raised for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and a wish was granted that day at the show. The other events were a hit as well. Now it's time to recap for what we can do better for next year and soon enough we'll be planning for the ninth annual show! Until then, we're all going to take a mental rest from it all!

August 13, 2016

Eighth Annual AmericanMuscle Car Show Program

Today is the day of the Eighth Annual AmericanMuscle Car Show! I am working in several spots today including the Registration, selling Raffle Tickets and clean up. We've been setting up for a few days now and today it'll all be worth it. Below is the event program and a few of the ads I designed to complete it all. The program is a 40 page 5x7" saddle stitched booklet. It contains event highlights, a charity call out page, numerous vendor ads our vendors submitted, an event schedule and several in-house ads.

August 12, 2016

Eighth Annual AmericanMuscle Mustang Show

July was a busy month at work and you may not have been able to tell by the lack of blog posts. The lack was in good reason, I was working a LOT on creative materials for the Eighth Annual AmericanMuscle Mustang Show. A lot of preparation was needed for the show taking place on Saturday, August 13, 2016, so there will be a chain of posts in relation to the creative that I've been working over the past month. What better way than to start with our staff shirts that we will be rocking on Saturday? The design is similar to last years with an emphasis on the event hashtag on the front of a bright orange shirt along with our charity logo. The back is simple and to the point with STAFF lettering and the AmericanMuscle website URL.

Come on out for the show tomorrow, Saturday, August 13th from 11am-5pm (gates open at 9am). Be one of the 10,000+ Mustang enthusiasts at the Maple Grove Raceway (30 Stauffer Park Lane, Mohnton, PA, 19540). Additional info here:

August 11, 2016

New AmericanMuscle Tank Tops

Apparel is still one of my favorite aspects of graphic design. To prepare for the AmericanMuscle Mustang show, one task we wanted to complete was to design additional branded apparel items that would be designed, proofed, printed and ready to be sold at the show. There was a lack in the tank top line for the women's apparel line, so that's where I started. 

The first design I wanted to do something classic, not get crazy with the logo. In the past we have typically only offered white tank tops, so I wanted to do change it up. For the first I chose a light heather gray so that it would still be a tank top you would want to wear in the heat. Personally, I am more inclined to purchase a gray top before a white one. Below is the 3-color logo on the front and one-color logo on the back.

For the second tank I wanted to do something on a very bright color. We currently don't offer anything too bright with the exception of a turquoise v-neck. The merchandising department ordered a few samples of bright tanks to get the bold color I was looking for. We ended up choosing a bright raspberry pink where I added a one-color white graphic to the shirt.

This logo I refer to as "turmoil" and was a lot of fun to make. I took the stacked AmericanMuscle logo had had a lot of fun messing around with textures. It's meant to look distressed and include some honeycomb textures. Finding the balance between a worn look and keeping it very legible was key.

Overall I believe these two tank tops make for great additions to the AmericanMuscle clothing line, especially the apparel for women. I look forward to designing more apparel for future events and promotions.

August 10, 2016

New AmericanMuscle Men's Shirt

Turmoil: turbulence, disorder, uproar. "Turmoil" is what I have decided to call this vector art I created for a men's AmericanMuscle t-shirt. This design was limited down to a two-color screen printed logo that has an overall distressed feel. It features shred marks, vintage textures and automotive honeycomb textures. The two gray shades of ink blend well and the knock outs create a third color in the design that reveals the dark gray shirt. 

In choosing the garment all along I was envisioning a lighter logo on a darker shirt. AmericanMuscle currently offers some black t-shirts and I wanted to stay away from another one. In addition, this shirt would be added to the novelty tents at the Eighth Annual AmericanMuscle Mustang Show August 13th. Typically the show is on a very hot sunny summer day and the thought of purchasing a black t-shirt is far down on my list. This slate gray makes for a good option and adds variety for the AmericanMuscle apparel line.

This logo was more experimental and essentially evolved as I overlapped textures and colors and patterns within Adobe Illustrator. Experimental logos that develop through creativity is one of the greatest aspects of design. Needless to say this is one of my favorite designs I have created.

August 09, 2016

AmericanMuscle Youth Tee's

In preparation for the Eighth Annual AmericanMuscle Mustang Show that will be taking place at Maple Grove this Saturday, August 13th, we wanted to add to our apparel line for mens, womens and youth to have more variety and more branded clothing designs for attendees to purchase. 

The AM brand recently added a script font to the style guide and I thought using it in a youth design would be a perfect starting point. The first design below is a girls shirt. The cut is specific to girls and features a two colored design on the front.

The second design was geared more towards boys but would be appropriate for either girls or boys. The shirt is a standard youth cut on a heather gray featuring a single color shredded vector design.

August 07, 2016

August 06, 2016

Aid to Injured Riders (AIR)'s Charlotte Snapchat Filter

Last weekend was the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship race in Charlotte, NC. The race was held at the Dirt Track in Charlotte and was a really great event from start to finish. I personally love that area, it's booming, a well-kept city and is centered around racing. This year Nicalee of Aid to Injured Riders (AIR) came to me with an idea for the non-profit. Since it was such a success in OKC, she proposed designing another Snapchat filter for this racing event. Charlotte has a bit of history within the flat track community and is home to one of the greats, the late Will Davis. Not only was Winkin' Will Davis extremely well-known within the flat track community, he was by far my favorite racer to watch growing up as a kid going to races with my dad. His life was taken at a race in 2001 at Sedalia, MO, and the flat track family took a huge loss that day. The following year Davis' number plate and boot print were added to the grounds at the Charlotte Dirt Track and his legacy lives on. With all of that, Nicalee's goal was to have the Snapchat filter link to Will Davis in some form.

That direction was simple enough, it was finding time to come up with something great that was more of a challenge. One evening I took a pen to paper and sketched and image of Will Davis racing from a quick online photo search. From there I tossed it into Illustrator and then Photoshop using the Adobe Shape. I cleaned up the line work and got the image below:

From there I added the AIR logo in the "dust" and added a subtle gradient in the background of the filter so that the image would be more visible on a variety of different backgrounds, colors and times of the day. Below is the email from Snapchat after I submitted it and it was approved.

The filter was live during race day from 2pm-11pm while all of the action was happening. I used it several times and according to the statistics, it got a solid amount of usage that evening. It is surely a design I'm proud of, and it's always great to add something to the flat track community that I've grown up loving. The only thing I would do differently would be to include a larger location fence where the Snapchat filter could be used because I underestimated the size and dimensions of the racing pits, so most areas of the pits were out of reach for the filter. It did however cover the stands so fans could enjoy it. Below is one of several shots that I had taken with the filter, I personally think it looks pretty rad!