February 28, 2017

Project Management: Brand Logos

Delegation has been the name of the game for my new Senior Designer role, and I really got a taste of it leading a project to develop a few brand logos. I was tasked to manage a project where we would design up to five new logos for new brands for various products. These logos would need to be developed by the end of Q1. Each week the design team would meet, present logo designs and critique them. Revisions were made and eventually we finalized designs. Once we landed on one, I made a few minor tweaks to clean up the files, got the proper approvals and got the files ready for our internal style guide. Four out of the five logo designs originated from other designers on my team.

The fifth logo took an additional round of designing as the initial direction wasn't entirely clear. Because of that though, the process was revised a bit to include the client earlier in the design process so that a logo wasn't finalized and not used for subjective reasoning. SpeedForm was the logo that took the most work to finalize, and overall it did turn into a solid design. Another designer had made the initial logo, but when it came time to redesign it I took a stab at it. Below is the finalized design after a few rounds of critique.

These logos will now be implemented onsite and within our various print catalogs. Most of these brands span across both of the ecommerce stores: AmericanMuscle.com and ExtremeTerrain.com.

February 21, 2017


I've had Milwaukee, WI on my travel bucket list for a few years now, and an opportunity came up to hitch a ride this past weekend that I could not resist. Riders Dan Bromley & Jeremy Orr were heading in a race van to the Flat Out Friday race happening during the Mama Tried Motorcycle Show, and they picked me up on the way last Thursday morning. We drove all day, making it to Wisconsin that night after making some stops along the way. 

We stayed with Dan's legendary tuner Bill Werner in Wisconsin and headed to the track Friday morning. We started to pit outside, the sun was shining and it was 50+ degrees in Milwaukee in February, who would have thought. 

Eventually we moved inside and were set up for the day. Eventually more and more riders and people showed up to the event. Racing had begun and the crowd started filing in.

While there was big money tossed in for the Charlotte Kainz Memorial Race that the pro's would compete in, the main event was the show put on by the Hooligans. I have to say my favorite Hooligan rider was Carey Hart, hands down. I had to have a fan girl moment and get my photo with him in the pits, too, of course.

The pro race shook out to be a good one with Jared Mees dominating the field. Jake Mataya road the #35L bike and surely did it justice. Bronson Bauman and Dan Bromley were scored 3rd and 4th. As usual it was great to see familiar faces of the race family from around the country. It's been a long off-season, but Daytona is right around the corner, and this trip to Milwaukee helped break up the racing drought.

The road home was as long as the trip out there, but I was so stoked to have been able to make the trip. It was a short one, and I'll have to go back sometime to explore the city a bit more and check out the Harley Museum. Until next time!

February 17, 2017

The Helmet Reveal

Here's a quick shot of the painted 6D helmet Dan Bromley will rock tomorrow at Flat Out Friday at the Mama Tried Show. Additional photos to come.

February 15, 2017

AmericanMuscle Presidents' Day Sale

When there is an American-related holiday, AmericanMuscle likes to make sure the creative reflects strong American imagery that includes the flag and red, white and blue. For this year's Presidents' Day Sale imagery I began with a photo taken by our in-house photo department a few years ago.

By using the bracketed images, I made some quick retouches to the photo, as shown below.

To make it more festive, I retouched the front car a bit more, added red white and blue accents to the plane on the right, and popped a flag into the background.

As all campaigns go here at AM, this image would serve as the concept and need to be made generationally. The plan was to keep the car in the back as is, and swap out the car in the foreground. Therefore, renders had to be made, so I jumped into Keyshot to make the other five Mustang generations. I used an under passage environmental map within Keyshot to get the reflections as close to the original as possible. I also added additional light pins to add and subtract light accordingly. I made all of the other cars silver and got the front wheels turned as well. Below are the five additional render composites.

The composites went fairly smoothly since the renders turned out so well. The floor in the original is so reflective I had to make sure I revised those reflections, particularly the wheels. The cars all being the same silver coloring made it overall easy to match, and the cropping of the graphics showed less of the reflection on the floor. In fact, for some graphics the crop was tight and only revealed the main car. Below is an example of a display banner with the tighter crop.

For some display banners and email graphics I got a bit more creative with the typography. Below are two examples of some additional design elements I added to the copy.

An additional piece to this campaign was to A/B test the Presidents' Day Sale emails. I have previously been working with another designer and the Email Marketing team to come up with new ideas and designs for promotional emails. We looked at a bunch of examples from other retail brands. Below are the A/B a-spot email graphics, but there are additional design elements being tested within the full emails as well.

The main difference is the location of the CTA in relation to the image and the incorporation of white space around the text. I'm looking forward to seeing how the new layout performs in comparison to the one we've been using. These graphics are currently on site at AmericanMuscle.com as the hero banners. Feel free to check them out!

February 13, 2017

When In Doubt...

These words have been dancing around in my head for a while now, and I finally got them properly down on paper. When in doubt, be rad.

It began with a 4H graphite pencil sketch followed by a 005 micron outline. The 01 micron gave more definition to the letterforms with the help of a ruler to straighten some of them out. From there I roamed freely with a 005 blue micron to fill in the RAD.

February 08, 2017

6D Helmet

Below is a time lapse GoPro video of me adding a clear coat to flat track motorcycle racer Dan Bromley's 6D helmet. I am customizing his helmet for the upcoming race season with a variety of paint pens, 1shot and vinyl. Stay tuned for the final product!

February 07, 2017

AM F-150 Rugged Ridge Rebate

I created a few graphics for a Rugged Ridge rebate for the AmericanMuscle F-150 site. The rebates and details can be found here at AmericanMuscle.com. Below is the on-site banner featuring the Rugged Ridge rebate. The following image is another on-site banner that viewers are directed to from the rebates page. An email graphic was also designed based off of this creative.

Overall this was a quicker project and all imagery used is in-house product photography. 

February 06, 2017

Winter Grays

I've got to be honest, I find that winter can be a huge drag. Here in PA it's mostly gray dreary and gray and cold and gray. I enjoy that hermit lifestyle of minimal movement and socialization. However, this season I've put it a bit more effort to move and also attempt to appreciate the winter grays. Below are some unedited iPhone snapshots from when my friend and I wandered around Green Lane Park on a very foggy winter day.

February 05, 2017

TDSC Tear Off Talk: Charlotte Kainz

Last Tuesday Throttle Down Speed Co. launched the second video in the new Tear Off Talk series (view original blog post). This video features Emma of TDSC interviewing Charlotte Kainz at Rolling Wheels Raceway flat track national on August 20, 2016. Emma crafted her own fun questions and asked them to a bunch of riders that day during open pits. Not only was it Emma's first interview experience, but it was also her first motorcycle race she attended. Emma was one of Charlotte's biggest little fans, and we are grateful to have this footage and share it with everyone. 

See the video on the Throttle Down Speed Co. blog, and stay tuned for more Tear Off Talk!