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Zombitos Racing Team

A recreational racing team was looking for a two or three color identity, that would be easily transferred to T-shirts.

Option 1: Identity

Option 1: T-shirt

Option 2: Identity

Option 2: T-shirt

Option 3A: Identity

 Option 3A: T-shirt

Option 3B: Identity

Option 3B: T-shirt


Grad Work; BlackBook Contact Manager II

Below you will find screen shots of the presented application design.

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Grad Work; BlackBook Contact Manager

This past semester, while pursuing my Graduate Degree at Academy of Art in San Fransisco,  I was assigned the task of creating a feasible bid presentation for a web-based contact manager application. While the client was fictitious, we were directed to approach the project as an actual job whose deliverable was to include a fundamentally working prototype. In the early stages of development, my mind often wandered through thoughts of branding and establishing an identity for our project.

Three refined concepts were presented to the group, including this first, simple, yet bold, design. The exterior containing shape is intended to resemble that a 'tab,' from an address book, while the color was chosen based on it's engaging qualities. The letterform's placement is deliberately off center to intrigue the viewer, while the right alignment of the text eases branding usage as a compositional element.

Concept A

In 'Concept B,' the main letterform was molded around a simple book translation and set inside of a 'tab,' shape, similar to 'Concept A.' Adding a gradient also helped give the brandmark a bit of dimension through subtle color usage. Font choice, as is the same for all three presented ideas, was intended to call back to the basic sans-serif found in most address books, however a conscious effort was made to stay away from the over-popular Univers and Helvetica.

Concept B

The chosen logo focused more heavily on readability and avoiding cliche. The translation in this piece stayed away from the obvious book imagery already over-used in hundreds of popularized brands. Instead, it focuses on an abstract interpretation of address book 'tabs,' a representation found in the negative space of the 'B,' letterform. It is simple, direct and intricately delicate, which keeps the viewer interested.

BlackBook Brandmark, 2010


DaimlerChrysler Capital Ventures, Auburn Hills, MI

Working for DaimlerChrysler a few years back, I was able to be part of their Capital Ventures Presentations, held in 2007. This particular year, I was paired with a wonderful group of engineers who had developed an idea to sell an energy-drink sponsored by HEMI.

HEMI Energy Drink Can Design Concept, 2007

After consulting with our local print vendor, we were able to produce a small run of 'label covers,' with a laminated matte finish that allowed them to be temporarily submerged in ice without damaging the printing. This clever solution allowed the judging panel to enjoy and experience the product, ice-cold, while the team presented their concept.


Amber Lou, Boston, MA

Vocalist Amber Lou, recently requested some identity work to help brand her new blog and supporting print materials for a new career in cosmetic artistry. Sketches started typographically-based, but evolved through common symbols found around her work-place.

Sketchbook Photo, Erik Hartley

These sketches gave way to several draft pieces, however the most successful of these became a heart-shaped option developed through typographical investigation of the letters 'a,' and 'b.'

Concept A

Further investigation yielded a few more solutions, but this final design was ultimately selected by the client. The surrounding translation is intended to resemble flower petals, while the star within the flower's interior uses negative space to create the letter 'A.' Color choices were simply based on the client's preferences.

Amber Lou Brandmark, 2010


MixOne Sound, Mission Viejo, CA

While working on a recording project for Orangehart Records (identity work to be posted in weeks to come) in Mission Viejo, I managed to pick up a great new client: MixOne Sound.

Owned and run by Spenser Bishop, this great, little studio has already put out some great records, including the newest from Ernie Halter. Not quite happy with their current branding (seen below), Spencer had expressed interest in creating something more recognizable with a stronger brand presence.

Existing Mix One Studio, Brandmark

Excited to start working, I began sketching on the long flight home with some good starting points. Check back for project updates.

Sketchbook Photo, Erik Hartley


The Strutt; Kalamazoo, MI

The Strutt Bar, Kalamazoo, MI

A popular bar and cafe in south-west Michigan, The Strutt presented this project as an open call. The chosen identity would be rewarded with free drinks; quantity to be determined. Obviously, I couldn't pass up the chance.

The Strutt Brandmark, 2009

Presented to the small establishment, the rooster translation was used in reference to a large aluminum sculpture placed inside the Strutt bar area. The obvious relationship being that roosters are known to strut. The typeface and colors were selected to mirror interior design elements and style. The branding was simplified to “Strutt,” in order to simplify the visual presence.

Concept A

This variation divides the selected brandmark into two distinctive parts; the logo and the type. This allows for a more versatile and easily recognizable visual. Using two equally impactive parts gives designers the opportunity to use the mark individually or both pieces together to create more interesting branding compositions without compromising viewer recall.

Concept B

The Strutt uses it’s front house as a cafe, giving locals a comfortable environment to relax and grab a cup of coffee, while the back area serves alcohol and has built a reputation for great live music. 'Concept B,' is intended to reflect each alternate personality of the Strutt while also hinting at the widely recognized triangular shape of the building.

Concept C

Though a complex translation, the use of a peacock feather in 'Concept C,' was another attempt to create a visual representation for the act of strutting. Similar to the rooster, the peacock is also known to strut about, making noise and showing off it’s colors. A bold, simple typeface was chosen to balance the complexity of the feather.

Zuma Bar; Kalamazoo, MI

Zuma Brandmark, 2009

Named after the California beach made famous by Neil Young, this logo was chosen for it’s masculinity and architectural accents. Though initially presented in a different palette, the colors were changed later
in the process to reflect the hotel’s existing interior design motif.

Concept A

This variation expands on the bar’s intended “class upgrade,” by utilizing a more dignified font choice and pairing that with a translation of wine pouring into an empty glass. As a brandmark, it creates iconic recognition while quickly establishing the nature of the environment.

Concept B

Creating this dimensional option gives depth to the mark and expands the color palette without creating an overly complex design. The playful interaction of shapes in this logo was intended to mimic light gels used on a dance floor while highlighting the boxy nature of the bars interior.

Concept C

Following the fluid nature of the selected brandmark, this less organic option contains defined edges and crisp corners. It’s angled lines invoke action while drawing the viewer’s eyes back to the logo’s center. Together, with the bold, stable interior structure, they balance the mark visually, while still retaining some ambiguity to draw the viewer in.