Posts tagged drop&branch
September Recap
 
Branch (Restaurant) & Night Drop (Basement Bar) Logos.

Branch (Restaurant) & Night Drop (Basement Bar) Logos.

Branch & Night Drop

Over the last several months I’ve been working with The Littlefield Group on the brand identity design of their latest venture, Branch & Night Drop. Branch is a beautiful, naturally lit, restaurant and Night Drop is the dark, basement level, bar below it. They're housed within the old bank building (formerly Central Trust) in Cincinnati’s historic East Walnut Hills neighborhood (next to O-Pi-O). Branch & Night Drop will serve up unexpected combinations of food, drinks, and art. Their doors are scheduled for this winter (2018). Sign up to be the first to know when at their site. And, also be sure to check out the window mural by Jon Flannery and Julia Lapowski of owls on a branch next time you drive/walk by the bank.

 
 
Examples of Assignment One - User-Centered Design.

Examples of Assignment One - User-Centered Design.

User-Centered Designer

As the first assignment for my User-Centered Design class, I had the students write about a professional designer who practices User-Centered Design in some shape or fashion. As a requirement, the students had to interview the professional designer or a person who has used or experienced the output of their work. I most enjoyed reading their takeaways from the assignment. Often, students shared how it was valuable to see how practicing professionals actually utilize the methods and tools learned in class. I pulled some of my favorite essays and used them in a lecture on modern day UCD practitioners. I’d notice a big smile in the crowd each time a student realized that the person I was presenting was the person they wrote about. Teaching continues to bring me joy, especially in the little moments like that.

 
 
Want to be a good design? Read.

Want to be a good design? Read.

What are we reading?

I’ve been reading the Man The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat by Oliver Sacks and The Gift by Lewis Hyde. Both at a snails pace. The Man Who Mistook HIs Wife For A Hat is an entertaining, highly readable, look into what it might be like to lose different physical and sensory abilities. The Gift is an anthropological deep dive into gift giving and receiving. The book’s written specifically for creative people who make things and share them with the world (like designers). As someone who hopes to become more generous and less scarcity driven, it’s been enlightening and encouraging. 

Here’s a quote from each book: 

"What is more important for us, at an elemental level, than the control, the owning and operation, of our own physical selves? And yet it is so automatic, so familiar, we never give it a thought.” - Oliver Sacks

“Any exchange, be it of ideas of goats, will tend toward gift if it is intended to recognize, establish, and maintain community.” - Lewis Hyde

 
 
Tell are you friends!

Tell are you friends!

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.