52 Failures is a little project designed to get me out of my comfort zone. Poetry is too self-serious to be considered cool, and it is possibly the creative medium most vulnerable to ridicule and humiliation. So what better way to expose myself to a little creative risk? In 2019 I’m going to be publishing one poem—good, bad, or blush-worthy—every a week for a year.
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I was just reminded of this anti-smoking PSA ad that I put together during college, so I dug into the archives and found it. It was one of my favorite projects of that time period.
The idea behind the ad is it can be easier to do really hard things, like quitting smoking, if you are doing it for the people you love rather than just doing it for yourself.
Unfortunately, I have no idea who originally took the photo, so I’m not sure how to credit them, but it has a stomach-dropping emotional effect that carries the ad. Technically it’s not a flawless image—the focus on the girl is even a little bit off (hitting her shoulder, just missing her eyes)—but it is a such a remarkable photo I’m having trouble describing how perfect it is. Innocence…despair…everything.
I don’t think the other ads I made for the campaign were quite as powerful as this one, but this ad really nailed what I was going for. Such a nice example of how art and copy can work in elegant harmony.
This is the Portfolizine. It’s sort of like a portfolio, but it is more ambitious. It exclusively features my own work, but has a loose editorial structure and reads like a magazine. It’s designed to showcase a wide range of my skills in an interesting, integrated, and humane way.
The print version is the most fun to handle, but you can check it out online here.
Home Farm Brewing Co is a branding and graphic design exercise that draws on the culture and vocabulary of the upper-midwest American family farm. The simple, bold designs are a nod to the graphic style used in the agricultural industry of the 70s—the peak of the family farm as an American institution.
‘The Home Farm’ is the name that many farmers, including my own grandparents, would use to refer to the plot of farmland tied to directly to their homestead. Most people think of a farmer as just having one farm, but it’s typical that a farmer will have multiple farms with distinct names. I grew up hearing about places like the Home Farm, the Kenedy Farm, and the Back-40, for instance.
I think using this sort of specialized vernacular is an interesting approach to branding, because it allows you to create something that taps into something larger, and introduces people to a version of the world they didn’t know existed if they are interested. The perfect brand is one that you can engage with at any level—it provides a good experience for those who only brush against it and for those who want to engage with it more deeply, as a piece of culture.
An illustration used to illustrate a poem called Jagged Sky in my portfolio project, the Portfolizine. You can check it out at http://bit.ly/portfolizine.