August Recap
 The auditorium in the Old Chem Building at the University of Cincinnati.

The auditorium in the Old Chem Building at the University of Cincinnati.

Teaching

August is always in the back of my mind. That’s because class starts in August. As much as I love teaching, I’m often full of anxiety leading up to the first class. However, once the first class begins, I remember why I said yes in the first place. Most of the fear goes away. At least, that’s what I am experiencing this semester. It’s my second time teaching Interdisciplinary User-Centered Design at the University of Cincinnati’s DAAP program. Now that the content is more familiar I can focus on creating a more engaging learning environment. That’s not exactly an easy task with 230+ students in a basement auditorium of the Old Chem Building. Still, a little goes a long way. One method that seems to be working is momentary pauses for reflection during class. I’ll ask the students to ponder how they can apply the content to their profession. At the very least, the pauses are a departure from the rambling nature of my lectures and a rare moment of silence in the stress-ridden routine of a design student.

 Single-page Squarespace page for Scroggins.

Single-page Squarespace page for Scroggins.

Workshop to Website: Scroggins

We’re excited to share the outcome of our partnership with Scroggins, a custom home builder based in Loveland, Oh. Our work began with a Mindful Brand Workshop that uncovered the overall direction of the brand identity and led to various collateral items including a single-page Squarespace page. Our services included copywriting, logo design, web design, stationery design, and the design of a custom icon set. We collaborated with Colin Moore on the website copy, and Anna Maffy on the icon set. We’re proud of the results and anticipate working with Scroggins even more in the future.

 Poster design for the Wine Over Water Wine and Food Festival in Chattanooga, Tn.

Poster design for the Wine Over Water Wine and Food Festival in Chattanooga, Tn.

Wine Not?

We designed the artwork for the Wine Over Water Food and Wine Festival in Chattanooga, Tennessee for the third year in a row. This year we gleaned inspiration from Arp and Matisse. We’re always in favor less literal, and in this case, we got to go pretty abstract. A big thanks to Jon Flannery of Cryptogram for suggesting we draw the shapes with a sharpie attached to a dowel rod purchased at the local hardware store.

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We’re Contracting…

We’re exploring what it would look like to contract a young graphic designer for two half-days a week (8-10 hours total). Hopefully, the need would increase, but we’re starting with baby steps. Ideally, the person would have typographic skills, a handle on the creative suite, and some experience with Squarespace. If you’re interested, click the button below.

July Recap

July was full and enjoyable. It kicked off with the studio’s summer vacation in the Pacific Northwest, mostly walking in the mountains, and substantial time with family and close friends. Now we’re back in action and grateful for several things we had a hand in during July. 

 Lyric Morris-Latchaw in front of the banner she for All Thing New Festival.

Lyric Morris-Latchaw in front of the banner she for All Thing New Festival.

All Things New

Mandy Smith, head pastor at University Christian Church (UCC), had a wild idea while visiting the Oratory at Grailville. She wondered out loud, “What if we had a barn dance?” The Oratory is a former barn that was converted into a sacred space by William Schickel (see June recap for more on Schickel). One thing led to another and All Things New Festival was conceived by a small group of people over several meetings, often in a church basement. D.J., being a member of UCC, was asked to design the Brand Identity for the event. The abstract shape (thing) behind the name represents “things,” from All Things New. It’s a simple mark, but the intention was for it to be easily replicated, as displayed above by the banner created by Lyric Morris-Latchaw. 

 Business cards for Scroggins.

Business cards for Scroggins.

Build Beyond

In May we shared about a Mindful Brand Workshop with a local custom home builder. Throughout June and July, we used the information gained from that workshop to design the Brand Identity. Steve Scroggins, the owner of Scroggins, is known for his bow ties. Hence the shape of the logo mark. We tried not to go too literal. That’s why it's more abstract, acting more as an identifier and reminder of Scroggins' underlying collaborative process. We’re still working with Scroggins on their website and will share more after it's finished.

 Original mockup of an early version of Chatype.

Original mockup of an early version of Chatype.

Unexpected Type

Sometimes a side project takes on a life of its own, even beyond the project’s lifetime. That’s the case with Chatype, the first custom-designed municipal typeface in the United States. D.J. worked on the project in 2012/2013 while living in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He and his former business partner, Jonathan Mansfield, teamed up with local type designers, Robbie de Villiers and Jeremy Dooley to launch the project. Just this month, some five years later, the typeface was highlighted at London’s Festival of Architecture in a City Identities Exhibition curated by Place Press. It was a delightful and unexpected surprise, to say the least.

 D.J. facilitates a Mindful Brand Workshop - Photo by  Chris Glass

D.J. facilitates a Mindful Brand Workshop - Photo by Chris Glass

Food For All

Earlier in June, we kicked off a Brand Identity Design project for a local restaurant with Mindful Brand Workshop. More than a logo, a Brand Identity includes all of the elements that communicate the most authentic self of a company, organization, or person. Often times, it’s easier to create a visual or verbal facade with cool graphics and words that lack any real connection to a core meaning or intention. We’re not so good at making things up. That’s why the Mindful Brand Workshop is at the very beginning of the Brand Identity process. It’s where we mine for the gold, the true self, within our client partners. That’s precisely why the workshop with the restaurant was so exciting. Going into it, there was some pressure on the client team to create a fancier restaurant from their previous ventures. After all, the new spot is in an old elegant bank building. However, after four hours of facilitated conversations, one thing was for sure, fancy’s not their thing. That’s not to say they’re cheap and messy. It’s just that white table clothes and fancy-pants place settings would cramp their lovely, every day, personalities. Likewise, similar considerations will apply to their future name, logo, menus, signage, aprons, decorations, etc. It’s too soon to show anything yet, but stay tuned for progress on the Brand Identity in the coming months. 

June Recap

We’re off for a two-week summer vacation by train to the Pacific Northwest. That means the studio's closed (even our inbox). It’s an exciting time for Trischler Design Co. because of adventure ahead and because there’s a lot of great work to look forward upon our return. But, let's not get too far ahead ourselves. Instead, here’s a few good things to reflect on from an abridged month of June.

 Painting by William Schickel

Painting by William Schickel

William Schickel on The Web

We were introduced to the late artist William Schickel earlier this year. It was on a visit to the William Schickel Gallery run by his son Joe Schickel in Loveland, Oh. We were immediately struck by the depth and array of William’s work. There was great excitement when we were asked by Joe to make a website for the gallery. Up until this point, he hadn’t been much of a web presence. The goal of the new site (created on Squarespace) is to introduce people to William's life and work, make it simple to schedule a visit the gallery, and to sell resources, prints, and merch via an online shop. Ultimately, we hoped to give others a glimpse into a man's life who, in only a few months time since our introduction, has had a profound impact on us both inside and outside of the studio. 

 Photo:  D  aniel Smyth

Welcome to Pamland!

If you live in Cincinnati and don’t know Pam Kravetz, well… you should. Pam’s one of the Cincy's greatest cheerleaders along with one of it’s most dynamic artists and educators. We launched a Squarespace site for Pam earlier this month to help her share her story and works with a broader audience. Meg Farmer worked with us on the copywriting. Beyond words, Meg  helped push the site design to another level. Collaboration for the win.

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New Work!

We’ve been working with Breakthrough Cincinnati on their 2018 Annual Report (as mentioned last month). It was printed and shipped last week. For those of you on their mailing list, keep an eye out for a square envelope. The rest of you can link over to the work section of this site to see images.

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Looking Forwards/Backwards

My fellow Northside Depot studiomate, Chris Glass, and I joined a group of Cincinnati based designers to create flags for Cincinnati’s 52 neighborhoods. The project will crank up in July with neighborhood convenings where designers will listen to community member stories, and perspectives. In the meantime, please go to the Cincyflags website to share what makes your neighborhood unique.


P.S.

Here's what we enjoyed reading and listening to in June. 

Was introduced to Michael Chabon’s writing after listening to an interview on FreshAir about his new book on being a dad/son, “Pops, Fatherhood In Pieces.” Proceeded to get that book from the library, enjoyed it immensely, and grabbed a couple others for vacation (The Mysteries of Pittsburgh and Werewolves In Their Youth). Feeling good about fiction-only books for the next two weeks of travels.

This article on personalism by David Brooks was a captivating short read on the complexities human beings. It’s a call to not treat each other as “data points” or stereotypes, but instead as equal individuals. Complementing this article well is a podcast interview of Brooks by Tyler Cowen. It’s a deeper dive into his spirituality and political viewpoints. There’s also some especially good thoughts on vacation and calling shared.

Last but not least, one more long, but good podcast. Hadn’t listened to Tara Brach before. Wishing a connection was made sooner. Her episode on radical self-honesty was a breath of fresh air. The premise, that we need to connect with the realities of our life (both the hard stuff and the good stuff). Meditation or mindfulness is a way to do that.

How does this all connect to design? Maybe it doesn’t. Perhaps it does. We’re whole people, not just our titles/stereotypes. What we read, contemplate, and consume influences what we produce whether it’s a logo or loving-kindness towards a neighbor. All that to say, and without getting too deep, remember, you are what you eat.

Enjoy, 
D.J.