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Moxie Sketch Up!

Posted on June 5, 2012

This was a little ditty created for a local animal shelter. The caricature was drawn from a photo provided by the shelter, and we put our spin on it while staying true to the original German Shepherd.

Projects like these keep our drawing skills sharp and, let?s be honest, are just plain FUN!


? Post written by Cristy Wiza.

Learning to Sketch All Over Again

Posted on July 10, 2009

The last two weeks have been devoted to working a brochure for a new customer. This is the first project we’ve done with this customer, the product is brand new and the sky is our limit. Normally when I begin a new project, I typically do one of two things. I browse though design annuals for ideas or I take a trip to Barnes & Nobel or the local cool flower shop hoping that the new environment will spark an idea.

But this time around I decided to try something new. Sketching. I know, it?s a ground breaking idea. But over the years I found myself getting further and further away from sketching. It seemed quicker to just jump on the computer and start design away. Everything is at your finger tips after all, stock photo resources, fonts, etc. Who needs to sketch when you can do it all on the computer?

Well, what I found out is that I need to sketch. And more than that, I enjoy it!

I was skeptical at first. I thought it would add MORE time to the project, just like stopping at Starbucks on my way to work adds more time to commute (but it?s totally worth those extra few minutes!). But to my chagrin I found that it made the entire process faster, more efficient, and ? dare I say it ? resulted in better designs. Why haven?t I been doing this all along?!?

Thinking back, I used to sketch ALL THE TIME. It was drilled into me in college. Before we could even look at a computer, we had to submit sketch books for critique. I think that being forced to do it for so long, my rebellious streak too over and demanded ?NO MORE SKETCHING!? And so I stopped, and it seemed to be working. That is, until I went back to it.

All of a sudden sketching opened up this whole new world. It was like I was living in a pitch black cave and suddenly the lights were turned on to reveal that the cave is actually a stunning rain forest. Before I even got near a computer, I picked up my pad of paper, some design books, competitor literature, my thoughts and went to work. And an amazing thing happened. Instead of using only what was available to me on my computer, I thought more closely about the project and what the best solution for it was. Not just what would look good, but what would be the most effective way to sell the product and reach the target market. And I sketched?and sketched?and sketched until my mind was empty, my body was exhausted and my creativity was tapped out. But it was worth the effort because I had tons of ideas and I was able to quickly weed out the ones that would not work. So when I finally did make my way over to the computer, the comp-ing stage went much smoother and more efficiently than before.

What did I take away from this experiment? I?d like to say that I will never again begin a project without first sketching. But let?s face it, habits are hard to break and sometimes you have a clear enough picture in your head that going straight to the computer will work. The biggest lesson that I?ve learned is sometimes you have to take a little more time at the beginning of a project to produce better work, and to sometimes it even saves time in the end. So many times it?s ?go, go, go!? without stopping to question is this the best solution that I can come up with? Is it the best solution for the project at hand? I’m going to slow down, spend more time brainstorming, researching, and especially sketching. And if I?m working away at the computer, struggling with a layout or logo concept and nothing is working, I?ll step away from the computer, sketch book in hand, and see what ideas start to flow when I spend some quality time with the project.

Do you need a creative team that takes the time to think about your project? A team that learns it inside and out? Visit our web site to learn more about what we do, and how we can help you.

Designing Logos: Less Really is More

Posted on June 30, 2009

I can?t say that I always agree that less is more. I mean, less chocolate definitely does not equal more, who in their right mind only wants a little bit of chocolate? Less coffee does NOT help you get moving and shaking (in fact, it can give you one major  headache, which I do not need more of). But I do have to say that less is ALWAYS more when it comes to creating logos.

You?re probably wondering how I can make a statement like that about logos, let alone anything in life. You might be asking, doesn?t it depend on the subject matter? Doesn?t it depend on the target market? Doesn’t it matter what the latest trends are? And my reply is a resounding NO (no, no no?).

Designing logos is a labor of love and often one of the most difficult,most inspiring projects that we do. And I’m not ashamed to say, it sometimes results in a few hours of banging-my-head-against-the-desk-in-frustration. Logos are personal, reflecting both the company/product and the person (or people) behind the company/product. Often times, customers want to cram everything that they can into the logo, believing that the more they include, the stronger the logo will be. Boy, are they wrong.

It might be hard to imagine why exactly that is. Let?s pretend for a minute that we?re making a pizza (mmmm, pizza). WAIT! Before you run out to order a pizza, hear me out. I LOVE veggie pizza. Black olive, tomatoes, green peppers, onions (but never, ever mushrooms). But I also love ice cream, chocolate, peanut butter, pretzels, french fries, blue corn tortilla chips, and coffee, just to name a few. Now, just because I love all of these foods, and all of them are important to me, doesn?t necessarily mean that will should be combined into one sticky, melty, cheesy, crunchy, drippy, sweet mess. In fact, I think it would be rather disgusting (although I do know one or two people who would be willing to at least try it). The same concept goes for logos. Just because you like a design style, or two, or three, doesn?t mean that they should all be combined into your logo. And just because your product provides many fantastic services, it doesn?t mean that your logo should include a piece of each service in it. Just like pizza, simple is better.

©Apple, ©Nike, ©Starbucks, ©Target

©Apple, ©Nike, ©Starbucks, ©Target


Think of some of the most successful, most recognizable logos out there. Apple, Nike, Starbucks and Target are just a few of the most obvious and most well know companies and logos. And why is that? Because they have simple, easy-to-recognize and easy-to- remember logos (oh yeah, having great products doesn?t hurt either).

So when you need a new logo, or possibly a logo redesign, keep this in mind: Less is more. Simple is the key.Simple makes your logo easy to remember. Simple makes your brand easy to recognize. After all, isn?t that what you want for your brand?

If you are in the market for a new logo, or if you have any other print or web design need, visit our web site to find out more about what we can do for you.

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