Out of the 17 designs I submitted to the client (all of which could have been used for this project), only ONE was approved for printing. Now I feel like a no-talent piece of shit who should just go flip burgers at McDonald’s.


Eye & Ear Candy [Dark Edition]

Finally finishing up Dark on Netflix and I gotta give a shout out to the main title designers (ARRI Media VFX and Lutz Lemke). I am a sucker for a great title sequence and I gotta say that Dark has one of my favorites. And, yes. I quietly judge people who skip title sequences.

Ben Frost has composed some wonderfully ominous music for the show … which you can sample below and purchase here.

Dark also has an insanely great music supervisor (Lynn Fainchtein). I know I am not alone in wanting an official of a complete series soundtrack of songs used in the show.

Here’s the full version of Apparat‘s “Goodbye” which is used for the main titles.

Eye & Ear Candy [Dark Edition]

Designer Blues

A few months ago I got asked by an acquaintance to design some artwork for a production he is directing of Three Tall Women. I put together something I thought was beautiful, elegant and really captured the feel of the show.

Here’s the original art …
Three Tall Women

So, imagine my annoyance when he posted this image to Facebook the other day. It seems like the theater that is presenting the show took my art and added some branding and dates. Notice anything wrong?
Three Tall Women Butchered

They used a chunky, bold, serif font (for the branding and dates) that doesn’t match the look of the art at all. Gross. But most egregious is the fact that they cropped the art and then stretched it vertically. Ugh.
Three Tall Women How It Was Butchered

This isn’t the first time I have had something I designed changed for the worse by another person. So, I guess I shouldn’t be so sensitive. It’s just super annoying to see something you spent your time and energy on getting butchered like this …. especially when I would have added this information in a tasteful way had someone only asked me. Needless to say, I will have to think long and hard before I do art for this person or organization again.


[Okay … Rant Finished]

Designer Blues

Survivin’ It

So, yeah … the first Christmas after Dad died. Survived it. My step-mother decided to still have the annual Christmas Eve Breakfast for Dinner Gathering. The familiarity of it was nice but sad at the same time without Dad running around handing out presents to everyone. Nobody got weepy which was good. I saved that for a few of days later.

I was in Walmart on Friday evening and walked past a guy who was wearing a uniform from the place my dad managed right up until he got too sick to work. Dad generally wasn’t seen out of his work shirt the last few years. The loss and sadness really hit me. I managed to make it out of the store and back to the car before breaking down and creating a scene.

Saturday we tripped over the Gatlinburg with Graham and Kristen for moonshine and an escape room adventure. The usual places were visited … Ole Smoky, Sugarlands, and Doc Collier.

Big Maw Bertha’s Fussin’ & A’ Feudin’ Moonshine Hill Hootenanny
Graham and Kristen are big into escape rooms and wanted to check out MOONSHINE HILL HOOTENANNY at Gatlin’s Escape Games. The room was fun and way more high tech than I thought it would be. I felt like we overthought some of the puzzles and that got us behind time with only one hour to break into Maw’s shack, sabotage her moonshine recipe, and blow her ‘shine still to smithereens. SPOILERS: We failed (and found out that Kristen’s desire to win is both awesome and a little scary). But it was fun and I am looking forward to trying another escape room sometime soon.

And yesterday, I was bummed to read about the passing of Vaughan Oliver, mastermind designer of some the most iconic album sleeves of the 80’s and 90’s. He provided the visuals that went right along side of some of my favorite albums of the era (most notably for me are Cocteau Twins’ Treasure, The Pixies’ Surfer Rosa and Doolittle, and The Breeders’ Last Splash).

Vaughan Oliver

Survivin’ It


Yeah. I am alive … somewhat.

I have had a freelance induced stress headache since last night … but it appears that the most stressful of projects is finally out of my hair and at the printers.

Sometimes the stress outweighs the money. So, I am going to have to think long and hard about whether to put myself through this particular project next year.

This is funny and somewhat true …

Meanwhile, here some other things that have happened.

Good Friends
I got take a night off and see Michelle while she was in town. It’s always awesome to see this truly special person.

Stranger Things 3
Binged Stranger Things 3. It was thrilling, funny, soul crushing, and oh-so 80’s. I loved it.

Hazelwood Farmacy
Went and had a burger and a milkshake at the Hazelwood Farmacy with A&A. Yeah. That burger is slathered in Pimento cheese. Yummy. And the mint chocolate chip shake was also tasty as fuck.

And caught Spider-man: Far From Home. The movies itself is fun, fun, fun. It’s just too bad that Jake Gyllenhaal didn’t get an obligatory shirtless scene like Tom Holland did. Bummer.

AND! I am not sure how I missed hearing this Pet Shop Boys/Jean-Michel Jarre collaboration from three years ago. I guess that means I am not as good a PSB fan as I thought I was.


Bad Design [Batman Edition]

The original four Batman movies are coming to the 4K UHD format. Exciting!

And, the art for the covers? Terrible!

It looks like the design decisions were turned over to a 19-year-old intern that didn’t give a shit. Ugh. C’mon, guys. There are plenty of talented graphics designers out there that would love to take a crack at something like this … and would do a much better job.

Bad Design [Batman Edition]

Monday Blah’s

I woke up late this morning and that discombobulated the whole day. Ugh.

And it’s not like the weekend was super busy to make me exhausted so that I slept through the alarm. It was actually pretty lazy. I mostly just a lot of sat around and watched stuff.

Here are Some Things that Happened Over the Weekend:
– Saw Red at the theater.
– Drank some Lagunitas Brown Shugga’. It’s a damn fine beer.
– Started watching Penny Dreadful. So far, so good.
– Walked around the Lake.
– Took a nap!
– Watched Hell Fest. Mindless but fun.
– Watched The Strangers: Prey at Night. Annoyingly stupid at points.
– Did a very, very small amount of freelance work.
– Watched Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Amazing animation!
– Bought four hex bolts and Blueberry Cobbler Cheddar Cheese.
– Watched Crooked House. A fairly descent who-dunnit.

Thank goodness we had some sun on Saturday. Any break in the monotony of the dreary, rainy weather that has become the standard here is like a life line. We went from Dreary, Rainy Friday to Sunny Saturday to Cold, Gross, Rainy Sunday. Today was also cold and gross. Quadruple Ugh. I am over it!

Isn’t talking about the weather exciting?

Meanwhile … here is something pretty for you to purchase.

Waxworks Records has released CRUISING Original Motion Picture Soundtrack and Score. It’s a 3-LP colored vinyl edition of the complete soundtrack to William Friedkin’s controversial 1980 movie. The package is designed by Aesthetic Apparatus and looks amazing. Get it!
CRUISING Original Motion Picture Soundtrack and Score
CRUISING Original Motion Picture Soundtrack and Score

Word on the street is that Arrow Video is going to be releasing Cruising on Blu-ray sometime in the near future. I am pretty pumped about that! Check out the trailer …

Monday Blah’s

Logo Thoughts [Political Edition]

Clinton/Kane logoTrump/Pence Logo
It’s interesting (in retrospect) to go back and look at what the logos for Clinton and Trump were saying about them as candidates. Both logos are colored in the traditional red and blue against white. Both use sans-serif fonts. But that is where the similarities end.

The Clinton/Kane logo feels more modern and doesn’t rely upon the typical “stars and stripes” tricks that most political logos rely on. The “H” includes and arrow pointing right suggesting forward momentum as it points to the two people who will provide that. It’s also notable that”Clinton” and “Kaine” are the same font size (suggesting they will be equal partners in governance of the country).

The Trump/Pence logo is very different in that it plays firmly with traditional political design elements. The five stars at the top suggest something military (a 5-Star General) or maybe is suggesting that Trump will be the best ever (a 5-Star President?). The logo also includes the “Make America Great Again!” slogan which says we need to look backwards to the past and not forward to the future. Again, names sizes are notable. “Trump” is twice the size of “Pence” which firmly states that Trump is in charge and that Pence is totally secondary.

So, there it is. Just some of my thoughts on the logos from this past (mind numbing) election cycle. If you have thoughts to share, click that “Leave a Comment” link.

[As a Side Note: I do wish whoever did the Clinton /Kaine logo had used better kerning between the “K” and “a.”]

Logo Thoughts [Political Edition]