9 Volt Visuals is a one-man boutique graphic design shop.
Handcrafting graphics & developing branding from my studio in Long Beach circa '96 lets me know one thing about myself. That I have exceeded the 10,000 hour expertise threshold by a solid factor of at least four.
Now don't let my size fool you. From a hierarchical corporate structure to mano a mano with an owner or a marketing director, I flourish.
If you like what you see & find your company in need of a distinctive & compelling design that completes your business goals, let's talk.
I See You Got My Card
PAST & PRESENT CLIENTS BY MARKET
Marylin Manson · Interscope Records · Hardcore artist
Jurassic 5 · Interscope Records · Hiphop group
No Doubt · Interscope Records · Ska band
Tupac · Interscope Records · Thug artist
The Offspring · Timebomb / Rebel Waltz · Punk band
Mike Ness / Social Distortion · Timebomb / Rebel Waltz · Rock artist
NoFX · Epitaph Records · Punk band
DragOn · Interscope Records · Rap artist
Faith No More · Warner Bros. Records · Heavy funk band
Deftones · Warner Bros. Records · Hardcore band
LOX · Interscope Records · Rap group
Orange County Drum & Percussion · High end custom drum kits
Stage Tech · Staging, lighting and sound construction and operations
The Deconstruction Tour · Destiny International · German tour booking
Numark · Consumer & professional DJ equipment
Focusrite · Electronic music equipment manufacturer
Droors · Skateboard clothing manufacturer
Dub · Snowboard clothing manufacturer
Three Dots · High-fashion women's & men's garments
Proto 23 Clothing / Breakdown / Factor · Pacific Sunwear corporation
Pound Clothing · International Cartel Inc. · Skateboard clothing
Jadie Kadletz Couture · International Cartel Inc. · Junior fashion clothing
Counter Culture · Clothing designed for the hardcore surf market
Sp2 · Action sports clothing manufacturer
25 · Boutique clothing manufacturer
Perfectly Imperfect · Cutting-edge women’s clothing manufacturer
Wing · Swedish-based action sports clothing manufacturer
Senate · Inline skate clothing manufacturer
Aveo Shoes · Skateboard shoe company
ModCloth · Online clothing retailer
Lokar Inc. · Manufacturer of hotrod car products
MA Audio/Thump/Visonik/Ultralinear/Clif/Korr · Anaba Group · Car audio
MHT Alloys / Driv Wheels · Custom automotive wheel manufacturer
American Bass · Competition & consumer car & marine audio equipment
HKS Motorsports · Monde ́ Communications · Performance auto upgrades
Klasse Engineering · Monde ́ Communications · After-market motorsports
Yamaha Motorsports · Golin-Harris Communications · Grizzly quad release
Land Rover USA West · Monde ́ Communications · Public relations division
Jettrim USA · Watercraft after-market seat manufacturer
EVS · Manufacturer of action sports safety gear
SEMA · After-market automotive trade show organization
Renegade Racing · Online motocross racing gear
Simply Displays · Point of purchase display design
Lab Clean/ Bayes · All-natural consumer cleaning product line
AdAge · Retail display & signage manufacturer
Grower's hands · Cleaning solution for hands of marijuana farmers
Apex Group International · Importer of high volume, low cost goods
Open Bookstore · Used book retailer with a select collection
Cavalli · Local men’s wear retailer focusing on men’s suits
Power Kick · Martial arts training & academy
Barginreef.com · Local web-based saltwater tank retailer & servicer
Vapor Star · Vapor cigarette manufacturer
Tattoo Removal Inc. · Laser tattoo removal & counseling
Redhot Make-Up · Make-up manufacturer for fashion & celebrity market
Play Fragrance · International Cartel Inc. · Fragrance for skateboarders
Nature’s Better Body · All natural age-eluding eye cream
LeKitch Salon · Boutique hair salon
Earth’s Apothecary · Natural haircare products
Bad Boys Monster Gel · Hair gel manufacturer
Nature's Repair System · Natural haircare product line
Jova Labs · Cosmetic & hair product lab developer
Advanced Orthopedic Solutions · Manufactures orthopaedic trauma products
Colic Calm · T.J.L. Enterprises · Homeopathic medication for infants
Tummy Calm · T.J.L. Enterprises · Homeopathic medication for children
Gastro Calm · T.J.L. Enterprises · All natural acid-reflux medication
Action Medical · Medical supplies & national sales force
ParaQuad · Paraplegic & quadriplegic supplies
Tiarra Wellness · Sound immersion Reiki sessions
Animal Medical Center · Orange County animal hospital
Steinberg · German-based music software company
Logic Brush · Professional animation software
Univessence.com · Developer of automated web production overseas
Lasting Hearts Dating · Online dating
Blast Athletics · Social site connecting high school team sports
1800taxiusa.com · Aggregating consumer-to-taxi services nationwide
Starmarks.com · Collects & displays the bookmarks of celebrities
KHS Bicycles · Mountain, road and downhill bike manufacturer
Free Agent Street Bikes · Street & BMX bike manufacturer
Manhattan Cruisers · Street cruiser bike manufacturer
23 Skateboards · Bounty Hunter Distribution · Skateboard manufacturer
Body Glove · CWIC Marketing · Snorkeling manufacturing division
Juxtaproduction · Action sports production company
Ignition · Action sports media service
Legacy Foods · Produce distributor
138 Foods · Advanced whey protein supplements
BamBao · Bamboo cutting board manufacturer
Rib Lake Bakery · Local & online fresh retail baked goods
The 9 on Vine · Hollywood & Vine restaurant & entertainment
Taco Bell Corp. · Wunderman, Cato & Johnson / Young & Rubincam
Uncle Al’s · Soul-food restaurant introducing sauce to US chains
Noritz · Residential & commercial tankless water heaters
Bird Barrier · Manufacturer of specialized devices keeping birds from landing
Gardena Sofa · Manufacturer of custom and inventoried sofas & chairs
John Kendall Design · Modern & minimalist furniture design
Signate Custom Homes · Custom residential housing design & building
Freeconferencecall.com · Free conferencing service
Wired Distributing · Server, networking & storage solutions for enterprise
Belkin · Aquent · Manufacturer of consumer technology
O.K.G. International · Free public internet access through kiosk development
Article lll · Online legal assistance
Abrams, Mah & Kahn · Deposition & court reporting agency
Mottaz Video Productions · Legal video production agency
Alcor Life Extension Foundation · Cutting-edge life saving techniques
Cells4Life · Long-term storage of human DNA
Forensic Analytical · Forensic lab servicing legal, science & structural markets
David Fukumoto Photography · Professional portrait & product photography
Melinda DiMauro Photography · Music & fashion photography
Michael Forbes Photography · Photography from around the world
C2O Coconut Water · Manaufacturer of various coconut-based products
Blend/Kombucha/IntensaTea · Fluid Ounce Brands · Beverage startup
Aquamantra · Water beverage company with a focus on healing
VitaLife · Specialized vitamin & mineral infused beverage for kid health
Accutite Fasteners · Industrial hardware distributor / manufacturer
Howard-Turner · Large equipment manufacturer - oil/water drilling
Dental Alloy Products · Manufacturer of dental alloy castings
OraLucent · T.J.L. Enterprises · UV electronic toothbrush
Auto Sound & Security Magazine · McMullen-Arcus Pub. · Auto stereo Pub
Inside Roseville · A Roseville, California regional magazine
Teenage Mutant Ninga Turtles · Playmates Toys · Golin-Harris Comm.
Radio Shack · Super Street · Remote control toy division
Bizarre Films · Writer / Director Bret A. Arnold & alternative indy films
The Paramount Network · Offshoot of Paramount films
Mondé Communications · Leading edge PR shop managing auto accounts
Devkom International · New economy high level corporate B2B relations
Mortgage Acceptance Corporation · Lending & financial corporation
U.S.R.C. · Children's Hospital LA · Fund-raising bike rally across US
Market Diversity Yields
I Hope to Compel You
9 VOLT CAPABILITIES
Print · Campaigns · Direct · Social · Gorilla
Complete or Limited Company Evaluation & Makeover · Guides · Research · Merchandising
Web Sites Designed in Adobe Muse (No WP/No Templates) · Responsive · Fluid · Social Ads · SEO
Logos · Icons · Naming · Trademarking · Typeface
Stationary · Brochures · Catalogs · Reports · Plans · Forms · Manuals · Booklets
Die-Cut · Shipping · P.O.P. · Blister · Bottles · Tags · Labels · Containers · Handmade
Events · Outdoor · Vehicle · Signage · Posters
Illustrations · Photography · T-Shirts · Technical · Portraits
Unorthodox Done Just Right
An AI human speech-to-speech system. The small red arc on the left signifies a human caller, for example, speaking. The computer on the right hears the voice with its gray computer ears, and then answers the query back in a natural voice, red. The Tellme font and text were chosen because they have an inviting feel with the bounce of a good conversation.
Taking a scientific research company and applying to it’s brand a medical stance was my focus for Cells4Life. Using a hint of the 1864 Geneva Convention ‘Red Cross’, I used its inherent cross-like divisions to separate and jostle the type's natural word breaks into a unified yet legible name system. The colors speak of earth and sun as a rebirth rather than the traditional red as this company is involved in human cloning.
A parent company logo is often a mark that brings together daughter companies with a stance of solidity and strength. I achieved this with Fluid Ounce, a company who produces beverage lines, through keeping the brand one color. FlOz wanted to promote its commitment to safe consumable products so I found the reflective clean room look answered that concern.
A pair of long-time friends of 9V and new business owners started a project in Long Beach called Open. A book store who found and resold used books that they thought should be available. Curated to perfection, I saw their variety and attempted to illustrate that feeling into the multi-font look of the logo. Taking the tag line and turning it on its head is what Se’ and Shea were doing to the people who walked into their store.
No Doubt came to me to design the logo for their new record label, Sea Creature. Being avid environmentalists, they wanted to promote their love for the ocean while communicating the band's unique musical opinions that emerged from their keen vision in which bands they chose. I felt a fish popping out of water promoted that thought and the large eye, their successful picks.
A daughter brand to Fluid Ounce, Cyan Water needed a high-end logo to reflect the brand’s premium price and design aesthetics. Matching the mark with the name, I opted for two shades of the color, cyan, to drive home the clarity of the communication while showing the one simple form of liquid as the underline to the text. Placing the line at the bottom shows a square cup almost empty thus enjoyed.
Another Fluid Ounce brand who's tea line focus’ on a varied tea experience through timed brewing suggestions, needed to show this product feature in its mark. Taking the typical color of their tea and showing it from it’s average brew color to most steeped flavor color was an obvious direction I needed to take. I then chose to split up the word into two, thus drawing the viewer across its pronunciation by keeping the Intense dark on the more common tea flavor of a vermilion.
Attempting to align with a blue-chip competitor as a start-up might drive a company to a brand direction that emulates rather than differentiates. This is the path that FreeConferenceCall chose as it had AT&T in its sights. Both services offering were generally the same product, yet FCC took the route aimed at the consumer market rather than enterprise. This directed my choice of the traditional phone icon. Then I went beyond the AT&T sphere by floating it and making it solid for the suggestion of ease and reliability, as those two concerns are forefront in any conference call. space.
Making sure a logo can be memorized on the go was what 1800TAXIUSA brought as its primary issue. I first made sure that, no matter where the logo was placed, it looked like a taxi. Second, I split the primary words, taxi and USA into two and reversed their contrast. Then I illustrated the two words with backgrounds that matched their meaning, a silhouette of the US and the chevron yellow and black of a taxi. The font I chose reminds one of a very standard race car font which gives the feel of speed without leaning the letters which could feel unsafe.
Giving a clothing line a logo can be risky as styles move around. I chose a font that I saw had strength in staying power balanced with flare and fashion. I came up with a tag line as I worked on other parts of their branding, added the final touches of the sharp underline and the logo came to life. Monochromatic allows for clean embroidery production and placement.
As you can now see, I've worked on many brands for Fluid Ounce. This one was their highest quality line of teas available from locations hand picked around the world. Illustrating comfort and quality, I took this brand in a direction that spoke to a female target audience of 30+. Color and font were chosen for that demo as the top view of a filled cup of tea with bubbles was designed.
The car audio industry has its share of typical aggressive logos. I took an approach that spoke to the essence of Korr Audio’s line of speakers. Their innovative magnets. The black sphere symbolizes the magnet that is placed in the center and behind their coiled drivers which is shown as the layered box. The box can be removed and the black sphere and type face stands on its own while the shadow is then moved up closer to the sphere.
Modular trade show booth products are what SP2 offers. They focus on markets such as action sports and fashion so I came up with a treatment that can hold its own in those industries. Their cube-based systems are depicted in their logo and the 2 adds a flare that their discerning clients can appreciate.
Tattoo Removal Inc. is a Los Angeles company that hired me to create a clear logo for its process. They utilize billboard advertising and wanted a mark that says it all as drivers pass on local freeways. Something with just a little edge was also a part of their request for the design as most tattoo owners possess a style about them that pushes boundaries.
Alcor is in the business of freezing people at the time of death for later revival. Their logo depicts the two stars in which Alcor is the star behind Mizar, the larger circle. The story is, if as a navigator of centuries past, that you could spot that dual-star system amongst the myriad of other stars, you were fit with the clearest of vision. Something that Alcor feels it has with its visionary process. I kept its color a no-nonsense gray as it matches their attitude.
Blend came up with a patented brewing technology that took a normal tea bag and placed it on a stick so as to remove the spoon in the brewing process. I took that achievement and worked it into their logo and as an element proceeding the company name while matching the shape of the first letter but matching the silhouette of the "brew stick", which I also designed. A bright orange evokes the feeling of a morning cup of tea. The modern font matches the futuristic packaging that Blend Juice Tea uses.
I know skateboarding. Senate is a skate clothing company. I made them a cool logo. Can’t explain why it looks this way. I just know it should. ;)
An animal hospital which needed to illustrate its love for animals and its medical services without spelling it out. Even though I included the words in the logo here, remove them and it speaks for itself on the side of their building.
A Texas-based company needed a logo for their development firm that reflected their Christian values they felt they incorporated into all of their products along with their eco-friendly construction processes. What came from that information was a leaf with three veins suggesting the trinity while incorporating a home into the leaf to tie it into their concern for nature. A yellow light in the evening signifying warmth and coziness.
Alcohol made from tea? Yes. And since it is not well known, I matched that as if the drink was developed on a far away island by using the word colony. I went with that vibe and made a logo that one might find when discovered in such a land. Very natural but organized as these people might be. And the suggestion of a tea leaf at the top of a brewing and distilling process which is the maroon K. A little bit of a reach but once explained, sticks. This depth works for alcohol as it is often discussed in such fashion.
Located on the remote Kauai island, The Palmwood bed and breakfast is a wonderful place to explore. But most visitors probably don’t stray far from its walls as they would be leaving the hospitable comfort of the owner and her amazing dishes served. This logo was inspired by what The Palmwood brings to the plate.
A series of wheels made by the company, MHT, that were clean and stylish required a logo that was sharp, simple and defined. The owner wanted it to remind him of his best sellers so I took pictures of the rims he chose and assembled a number of renditions that might work. He decided on this one.
A one man shop consisting of an animator who's capabilities warrant movie titles such as Pirates of the Caribbean was in the market for a logo. Legibility was not an issue and something that showed his cutting edge style along with his ability to organize amongst all the chaos of animation was drawn up.
Paramount came to me with a new channel they were offering to tweens that needed a branding boost. I brought many ideas to the table and this one was chosen due to it ability to be animated and coloring swap-ability. The only requirement was that it resembled and amplified Paramount logo.
A line within a line, Droors made a jean called Droors Denim and wanted to brand it with a separate Droors logo. Being a skateboard clothing company, I knew it had to be clean with a catch. Droors loved it and was found on many of their leather labels and ads.
An action sports video channel with topics that cover the industry. Crash and burn is the name of the game, so showing the crash in their logo through a burned out match worked. The type face mimics the match tip and a logo is born.
Here you see an example of the progress of a typical logo design. Shown is Earth's Apothecary logo minus the large amount of alternate versions that just didn't make the cut to even show the client and all of the extraneous graphical elements that it took to manufacture the design.
TJL Enterprises developed a ground-breaking LED toothbrush. They needed a logo specifically designed to be back-lit. This image shows the iterations shown to TJL as to what might technically work with their product material specifications and packaging needs.
This is an example of Animal Medical Center's logo extended through a the beginning of a corporate branding process. This helps keep the company on track over time and when dealing, in the future, with outside contractors and new company employees.
Last Hearts, a new dating site, came to me with the need to depict both words of its name into the logo. Here I show the messy page from which I work to highlight my typical work flow in color variation, font selection and concept direction. Actually, this page is quite clean. They get nasty sometimes.
26 - 32
No Doubt T-Shirt
A New Dawn
No Doubt T-Shirt
No Doubt T-Shirt
Stone Henge Alive
Where Skateboards Come From
Dead Wood Is Good Wood
Turning a New Leaf
PowerKick Promotional Art
PowerKick Promotional Art
Girls Kick Too
Dub Brand Clothing Tag
Real to Reel
Dub Brand Sticker
Mike Ness Merchandise
Mike Ness Merchandise
DRS Skateboard Brand T-Shirt
DRS Skateboard Brand T-Shirt
DRS Skateboard Brand T-Shirt
DRS Skateboard Brand T-Shirt
Faith No More Merchandise
The Offspring Merchandise
Fuck Blood Suckers
Mom Can Kill
Logic Brush Stationary Art
Bargain Reef Site Art
SEMA Promotional Material
D.C. Drags Event Merchandise
HKS Co-Branding Art
Honda & HKS
Shown is the degree of examples from which to choose when 9V designs your company's logo or illustration.
Shown is the degree of examples from which to choose when 9V designs your company's logo or illustration.
Free Agent Street Bikes
Shown is the degree of examples from which to choose when 9V designs your company's logo or illustration.
1 - 29
Blend Juice Tea
Focusing on the product in use was the requirement of this spread ad launching the beverage product, Blend. I felt my beauty shot of the tea brewed, yet blurred, as the yummy shot next to other shot of one of the demographic targets in a modern light with an alternate product in hand. This ad was built for initial trade release then split into two - the left for trade and the right side for consumer publications.
My challenge was to shoot and design the ad of the flagship Focusrite product by showing off the anodized finish of the Saffire line while making sure to cover, primarily, its input and output capabilities. Secondarily, illustrating the use of the product as fully digital and analog through supporting background imagery was achieved with mic and software integration.
EVS wanted to build an ad that modernized its sporty brand with futuristic imagery that went along with their logo's look and feel. This led me into a tech direction that they loved allowing EVS to expand their other supporting imagery like retail merchandising and packaging. As with the team, rider which usually plays a larger role in ads, I chose to play him down which, I feel, plays him up.
Clif needed to stand out from the clutter of the car audio industry. Their products were priced at a premium so my communication had to match. I opted for white space and a detailed shot of their product. This along with a message, "Of course there's four" speaks only to in-the-know top-tier consumers in the car audio industry that understand the technical details of the inputs found on premium competition speakers.
Again, standing out with white space with a shot I commissioned with my photographer, David Fukumoto, this shows just how this unusual product line is. It seems like a rack mount for a studio studio. But Clif made news with a rack mount car audio solution that I communicated with the words, "Yes, car audio". This, I felt, answered the question as to why a rack mount system was being showed in a car audio ad. Nuff said.
Showcasing team riders is at the heart of the action sports industry. I added quality to this shot by making it into a black and white image. And with their product lines leaning toward a camouflage look, I used colors and a font that represented a military direction with a slight industrial construction and layout.
The beverage industry found a new line of water that claims to actually function beyond its intended use. With its' power of imprinting messages on water, Alex at Aquamantra developed a line which I enhanced with an ad that had both a feeling of soothing water and the essence of a meditative state. I hired a model and matched her eyes with the ad thus drawing in the demographic connection.
The only fragrance made specifically for skateboarders was released. I decided to use the spokeswoman for the line in conjunction with Play's top team rider, Eric Ricks, to design an ad for a skateboarding magazine that comes closer to resembling an ad found in W. Purely branding without even a domain listed creates supreme impact. I feel consumers know when I are gifting them rather than selling them.
Radio Shack & Super Street
Radio Shack and Super Street Magazine were developing a co-branded calender featuring Radio Shack's new remote control cars. They hired me to put together a clean and pronounced grouping of concepts to show off the cars in detail with images of models doing abstract things with them. Keeping the shot white allows for focus and having the models doing interesting things took this from a girlie calendar to something more.
Radio Shack & Super Street
Having product to shoot and a great photographer can make all the difference. With the models interacting with the little vehicles, I brought focus to the cars and away from the model which is usually not the goal. This along with the model's interest increased the value of the remote control cars.
Alcor Life Extension Foundation
In the strange world of fringe science, getting a clear message of intent across is difficult. Especially when the subject is controversial. This cover of Alcor's monthly magazine was designed the simply state to reason why people join the cryonics movement.
Alcor Life Extension Foundation
Dealing with controversy is one of Alcor's constant hurdles. I attempt to address the topic of religion and its rub with human reanimation with a question that will hopefully attract new potential members. Members who are religious but also see the science of Alcor as valid and worth investigating. Pushing the religious button gets them to open the magazine and read.
Helping people with a push or a prod sometimes is the way direct mail works. Action Medical requested a device which would do just that. Addressing concerns of individuals who are home-bound and living check-to-check or through state assistance through a reminder to self-assessment seems harsh. But with some markets, this way is the only way to truly help people get back to earning a living,
Again, this might seem extreme, and it is, but polar aspirations and fears are motivators. I hope that I went far enough to not take literally but to communicate a way out of thinking that some individuals can't seem to shake. My effort is to show that there is a system available to them and that Action Medical can truly help.
Action Medical's goal here was to address the client's feeling of being trapped. They offer their clients a way to utilize their medical needs and knowledgeso that they may help others with similar issues while earning money as a rep for Action Medical. It's a grass-roots movement which has already seen success.
As seen in contrast to the previous slides, I decided to build this ad to educate Action Medical's audience so as to expand the campaign. I found a design that encourages clients by showing some of the basic benefits Action Medical offers and ease-of-entry concerns that might keep them from calling or clicking.
Noritz Tankless Water Heaters
Noritz wanted an ad that shows a very modern yet natural bathroom and the joy of using their tankless water heaters. Placing an attractive model into the ad is something that they had not tried before but worked out very well. The modern look spoke well to the upscale customers who use their products.
The car audio industry is an industry who's products look stunning but its graphic design is generally a little less modern. I addressed this by showing an ad which easily stood out and spoke to the younger 'drivers' of the industry. People who are really leading their particular peer groups. Showing an advanced ad in a stale industry is often looked at with appreciation by the consumer.
Talking to top-tier consumers remains a focus of ours at 9V. I feel that often time a trickle down effect works best when building grass roots support for a brand. I did so, almost too clearly, in this ad, by separating the movers from the followers. This should give the feeling of exclusivity and allow MA Audio a top-down market dominance.
Leading the import industry for years, I brought HKS a simple message to give to its huge consumer base. HKS parts fit on Honda's which made this tongue-and-cheek admission to submission and direct reliance of the Honda Motor Corp. by HKS.
An offshoot of HKS, Klässe after-market automotive performance attempts to sway their European racers into the family with an upscale brand that has a slightly cooler feel in comparison to its parent, HKS. I highlight one of the three auto makers Klässe produces parts for on the left of the ads so that ad, overall, looks like an Audi ad but still informs the audience that other makes are covered.
I know that this ad seems, um, sexist. But my attempt to take car audio to an extreme level through the request of the use of 'girls' for Visonik advertising took a good turn. I found that I could show a Visonik girl, a new nude model in a normal magazine by showing her in control and powerful. This resonated well with the magazines who had concerns about the ad campaign which ran nationally. All went off well.
Again, running a model to this extreme in national magazines took work in communicating the psychological effect of what I felt such an ad would promote. My photographer, David Fukumoto shot and I manipulated this juxtaposition of sexuality and power which, everyone eventually agreed, was very interesting and sound.
Bad Boys Monster Gel
Showing the process of the ads introduced to the client, Bad Boys needed a photo-centeric ad campaign that was tight on budget but striking in it button-pushing effectiveness. These ads were shown to the client in three basic directions: Bad Girls Love, Celebrity Vibe and Too Hot. They chose Too Hot (the ones along the top) and used they not only as ads but as retail posters to support the product at point-of-purchase.
12 - 25
Clif Designs is a specialty car audio company with a new twist on car amplifiers. They are building them as rack mount units similar to server cages. This six-page catalog showcases this small but high-impact product line with clean white backdrops and equally inspiring imagery. Clif’s products are very clean with minimal design aesthetics so the catalog, from a design standpoint, needed to reflect that sensibility. A nearly blank cover and back cover emphasize the high-end nature of the product and brand with the mantra, less is more.
The complete layout.
MA Audio needed a catalog for their yearly release which supported an ad campaign I did for them the previous year which introduced their star model, Nicole. Instead of showing ads from that previous year in the catalog, as one might expect, I gathered outtake shots from the many photo shoots, culled them and allowed the industry to see behind the scenes of this very famous ad campaign.
The complete layout.
For a car audio manufacturer to enter into the marine industry requires a branding introduction. Bob at American Bass approached this opportunity with an open mind and a desire to speak to the high-end portion of the market. I brought him images which I felt conveyed a stance of premium products and then laid out a treatment that reminded one of the wonderful feelings one gets when experiencing a truly great sunset or shiny water glare while boating. Or better yet, yachting.
The complete layout.
I'd like to show you a sample of concepts offered to a new client as I learned about their brand and dug into the work. Debbie at Lokar found herself without her in-house designer and contacted me to take over their yearly catalog cover. What you see above are the outside covers on either side and the inside covers in the middle. I came up with these outside cover versions with various reasons in mind. Perhaps they make sense to you if you're from this particular industry.
Skateboarding is very keen on procuring styles from unrelated industries. Sometimes the further in relation, the better. With Pound, I developed the brand's soul through the adoption of the couture world. I did so by using models in typical fashion poses and even helped illustrate some of their product designs like t-shirts to carry this direction as far as possible. This flip book catalog was a great challenge to produce.
Pound reeled from the production cost of the previous flip book catalog and found a simple saddle-stitched version did the job. I took photos of their clothing and, instead of using manikins or blank space, I used everyday objects and placed them into the necklines and bodies of their gear through photoshop.
Carrying the look of their last two catalogs, I stayed with the chipboard cover and brought back a simpler version of the spiral binding. Again, changing the format of the catalog, I felt, kept the skateshops interested in the company's offerings. In this version, I brought all three of there lines together which were previously separated into individual catalogs. Also seen above is their very clean price list made from the same chipboard material.
LCD products are what Optiview manufactures so I started their catalog design off with a suggestive illustration of an eye with additional 3D drawings of abstract sharp liquid crystal-colored shapes to convey smoothness and sharp detail. The white dots on the cover represent a close up view of pixels. Inside this product-heavy catalog I arranged things in a very clean grid structure and used only the dots from the front cover as graphics due to budgetary restraints.
Visonik Car Audio
Following the droid campaign you can see in my ad section, Visonik Car Audio's catalog needed an aggressive and space-age roll-out. I went dark and cryptic with fine line schematics. I supported the droid ad campaign in a different way in comparison to the MA Audio catalog by showing the reader an ad that I did not release, giving them an insider view and a little bit of knowledge to spread amongst their peers.
Ultra Linear is a brand that was developed with the environment in mind. I made a catalog that emphasized that effort by using earthy colors and natural textures. Keeping the product layout on a clear and printed grid allows for focus while the translucent panel housing the product text also has a warm hue.
Illustrating the power and sound of Thump was the goal for the first catalog. The cover, with its multi-logo design, gives the reader the action of it's speaker performance. The thumping look and feel goes, also, into the catalog pages with line art that's centered and translucent behind each product grouping.
The jet ski market is rife with companies allowing consumers to modify their toys. Jettrim focus' on the upholstery parts of the boats. I show, in its catalog, the product line and the various colors and details the consumer can choose in not so typical ways.
Jadie Kadletz Couture
A clean catalog to emulate the style of the popular Prada line, specifically in color, was what was required for the Jadie Kadletz Couture. I then hired models to show off its line in a simple and clear fashion.
Perfectly Imperfect designs clothes that are engineered with subtle flaws, reverse pockets and inside-out stitching. Jadie wanted a very clean holiday look book so I butted the shots I took back-to-back and overlaid onto each shot an outline of a Christmas theme object as similarly seen on the cover showing the tree. I made it a point to crop each model at the bridge of their nose to focus the viewer to the product and not the person wearing it.
This very limited catalog is the size of a holiday card and folded in half as a portrait. It is a fragrance specifically designed for skateboarders. I injected skateboard sensibilities into the photo of the scientists shown on its cover to heighten the products uniqueness with their delicate touch and humorous fear of the handling of the product. Inside the product is zoomed at different levels with thin line male and female symbols showing floating over each page as one is for boys and one for girls.
Jon Kendall Furniture
Hand-made end and coffee tables from Designer Jon Kendall. In his catalog, minimalism took the wheel. Once the layout was completed, I focused in on how to make the catalog convey the feel of the substantial weight of the individual products he makes. I did so by quadruply laminating the pages to a thickness of about .125" thick. Then binding them on edge and by hand with binders tape made for a half-a-pound coffee table catalog.
Steinberg partnered with Guitar Center and Sam Ash to offer a new product release along with a promotional software clinic. This piece was used for that event. In a nutshell, Steinberg’s software, Cubase, is a well known music creation package that was having a problem showcasing all of their extra add-on packages, also known as plug-ins, in one simple customer handout. My job was to bring an idea to them that highlighted each plug-in package around their central Cubase product with a feel that brings a bang. This and additional sale information was to be crammed into a folded postcard-sized print making the size the primary restriction.
Bird Barrier Inc.
Here I show the scale of concept directions with which I introduce, for this particular project, a cover design for the newest Bird Barrier catalog. They produce the guts of their catalog in-house and contract 9V for the cover. This not only brings a well-thought through cover from somebody from the outside, which can bring a freshness to a company's look, but also supplies the in-house designer with graphical ingredients for the inside elements. Colors. clarity & emotional feel are explored.
Bird Barrier Inc.
Chosen cover for the Bird Barrier catalog cover.
5 - 23
Mac Loan Eduction Booklet
MAC Loan came to me as a new company with the need to design a bi-lingual booklet showing strength, longevity, cutting-edge and precision. With those criteria, I introduced an ancient granite mountain direction with a vast foreground landscape showing the company as the top and it’s capabilities below. Keeping the colors duo-tone kept the production costs down while delivering a piece that screamed professional. I addressed their concern for precision with subtle sharp lines and refined borders . These along with a font that was modern yet upscale aligned properly with the the creative and advanced loan packages that they offer.
Mac Loan Corporate Brochure
Developing the Mac Loan corporate brochure allowed me to really highlight their financial look. A feel that included not only design aesthetics that the industry would respect but also a rich touch with a UV matte laminate and extremely high quality card stock accentuated the company's premium loan packages. I opted to show photos of the principals and their actual location to bring a degree of reliably to an industry that is challenged in that perception.
Forensic Analytical Laboratories
Developing a brochure for FA Labs required research into the specific scientific offering FA delivers. First, we needed to consolidate the company's services that were spread over four different brochures into one cohesive square fold-out booklet. The square shape fit well with the more modern feel we developed. The large number of categories FA covers naturally segmented into three primary groups. Colors and abstract imagery were chosen to show accuracy and sterility.
Mac Loan Tradeshow Brochure
Mac Loan needed tool to give to consumers at tradeshow and other events that would carry over its brand's value. I went with a heavy card stock in a trifold that, when folded closed made the cover overlap half of the body of the booklet. I also made the overall dimensions greatly oversized and the colors and artwork rich in texture and hue. All this with inspirational copy made this vehicle a success.
Yamaha Media Kit
Thomas Myroniak at the Golin-Harris PR agency got a hold of me to put together an interesting trade show promo that launched Yamaha’s new Grizzly ATV. I showed numerous concepts and they settled on my favorite. A design that really showcased the size of the vehicle - a folder with a foldout poster that, when opened, automatically unfurled a massive 20” x 36” print of their bike. Regarding the project's execution, I hadn't ever designed and assembled a piece of collateral like this so I worked very closely with my contracted printer and bindery house to make sure that they knew exactly how the folder was to work making final tweaks along the way to have such a complex design come off without a hitch.
FreeConferenceCall Corporate Sample Pack
A cohesive sample pack of the complete and quite large existing line of services and products was needed for not only new client acquisition but also to secure strategic partners and inform the press. A new color gradient tab system was developed to carry simple product categories together and as individuals. All FreeConferenceCall product line titles were reformatted into a single visual direction that appear approachable, friendly and with clear definition.
FreeConferenceCall Tradeshow Handout
Getting the message out to consumers in one concise package is often managed through such tools as a trifold brochure explaining, in brief, a company's products. In FreeConferenceCall's case, I went for not only textual but demographic matching through like-minded imagery of models using the product. This, I felt, showed that not only is this product easy to use but is used on phones other than land lines which means the service can be accessed anywhere.
Engine 7 Films Media Kit
Engine 7 Films was a start-up music documentary production and creative group with talent consisting of powerful individuals but not as a collective. They wanted to communicate grouping together in the form of a train. All board plus more room to fit others as time and success progressed. I came up with many treatments and the one you see here, they thought, really encapsulated their drive and slightly hardcore stance.
Playmates Toys Media Kit
Another assembly challenge came from Golin-Harris for a project with Playmates toys who's primary Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles product was about to launch. The launch was to happen at the toy industry’s largest toy fair so impact was critical. Their design spec was that they were entering the movie industry and wanted to convey that in the design. So I chose, among many directions, a clean and communicatively clear movie light theme. Even though commonplace now, one that showed the Playmates logo in a light which their toy industry peers had rarely experienced. It included a Rolodex card be placed in the press kit folder into slots so that, when used, the folder itself did not look like it was missing something. A nice touch, I feel, that Golin-Harris appreciated.
HKS Corporate Brochure
HKS, one of the biggest leaders in import car modifications, hired me, among other projects, to develop their US corporate profile. Being known for their quality and longevity, strength and age was the theme. I settled on what seems to be the best marry of both thoughts. Aged raw steel and rivets with pages of checked flags and examples of the company’s past year-to-date in imagery and charts. Many revisions were needed due to textual changes but the project was finally released and HKS was thoroughly pleased. So much so that I continued do produce ads for them for years.
4 - 11
If We Gel, All Bottom Lines Rise
Tummy Calm Packaging
The goal of the Tummy Calm package design was to arrange the text on the front in a hierarchical fashion, make changes to side of the box and to make the younger baby on the front more realistic. I understood what the text on the front was offering and laid it out in a more vertically linear fashion. Then I made changes to the side by using the company logo rather than just normal text and other small changes. And finally, I did heavy research in composing a baby image that would work for the front,
Colic Calm Packaging
The Colic Calm box design was put together to introduce this new natural treatment of baby colic amongst a slew of products out in the market which work through more traditional means. The design needed to convey a combination of a trusted commercial brand along with the more natural homeopathic look and feel.
Play Fragrance Bottle, Packaging & Display
A fragrance made specifically for skateboarders was a fun product to work on. I designed not only the box it came in but everything that was used in the product. The bottle, it's box contents and even its vacuum formed display. The result was a fashion product placed in counters at skate shops next to wheels and trucks with a back-lit display and sample bottles to test.
OraLucent Product Logo Integration
For OraLucent, I needed to combine the company logo I developed into the product. As with many electronic devices, I had the opportunity to make the product shine by incorporating the logo into the on/off switch. Above are a few versions I introduced.
MA Audio Shipping Box
MA Audio needed a large box to hold a number of its smaller product boxes. I thought that it would be a good idea, if the budget permitted, to brand the outside of the pallet box. This was agreed to so I added a white sleeve along with graphics that promoted one of MA's direction in its new catalog.
Visonik Product Box
Visonik was entering into big box retail and needed a package that spelled its products capabilities clearly. Above you'll find two examples of what I showed Visonik. They went for the one on the right which surprised me because the one on the left seemed to communicate a clearer message. Sometimes, no matter how much research I at 9V do, the client inevitably knows its market best.
Visonik Product Box
To illustrate how 9v introduces concepts to a client and how polished they are when introduced, I thought I'd show you the entire offering I submitted.
Clif Designs Product Box
The Clif Design department of the Anaba Group had me put together a chipboard product box. They wanted to reflect the high quality of the product so I kept the design minimal and upscale in appearance.
Visonik Product Box
The Visonik product box requirement was that it matched the ads I produced while taking their logo and turning into a graphical element. Also, the product needed to be in pictorial form which would be swapped out per product.
Earth's Apothecary Hand Cream Container
EA needed a design to support their modern yet high-end brand direction. They asked for a wide range of choices so that they could start the branding process of their entire line. This is what I showed them.
Shown above are example of cover concepts for the Action Medical product box. They wanted to explore types in neutral color ways and with looks of technical, soothing and compartmentalized.
3 - 12
Action Medical Stationary
Anaba Group Stationary
Michael Forbes Photography Business Card Concepts
Sammy Tran Stylist Business Card Concepts
A Variety of My Business Card Design
1800TaxiUSA Application Design
Visonik Product Inserts
Clif Designs Product Inserts
TJL Enterprises Thank You Card
FreeConferenceCall Tear-Off Calling Card
FreeConferenceCall Tabletop Trade Show Promos
3 - 14
Colic Calm Site · Home Page
This image shows the Colic Calm web site's home page. The reason you see multiple versions of the same page is that I am showing you what it takes to make a modern responsive site. The versions of this particular page are, from left to right mobile in portrait mode, mobile in landscape mode, tablet and then desktop. My task was to create a clear and highly informative page that shows various elements which support the Colic calm brand. Things like demographic imagery, results imagery and an overall natural yet modern feel gives Colic Calm's customers a soothing and informed experience. View the site at coliccalm.com
Colic Calm Site · Second Page
This is the same display as the previous image, a page on their site, from left to right, the mobile-to-tablet-to desktop versions of the page. The gray lines denote that the page continues to the right of the gray line but where the gray line is not you've come to the end of that page example. If you resize you browser window or view it on a mobile and desktop platform, you will see the site's content move around and reposition itself. This is the hallmark of a responsive site. And above is the inner workings of how a responsive site is laid out. View the site at coliccalm.com
Colic Calm Site · Third Page
Here, again, is a single page of a responsive site. Colic Calm's third page which highlights their product manufacturing and ingredients. As you can see when comparing the far left mobile page to the far right desktop page, the content shifts, enlarges and decreases so that it can be comfortably visible on any platform. Another goal was to keep the page count down to a minimum. Getting surfers to click is getting increasingly difficult. Scrolling is the new click. View the site at coliccalm.com.
Gastro Calm · Home Page
As with Colic Calm, I feel that it helps to not just give you a link to a site I designed but to show the Gastro Calm site in it's raw overall design form. Here you see the home page of this responsive site. Separating the site into blocks is how modern sites are developing. I went a little less blocky on this site in comparison to the Colic Calm site you saw in previous slides by intertwining various foliage between sections. This lends to the products goal to the feeling of soothing the customer's acid reflux issues. And with the understanding that the female demographic is the greater purchaser of this product, I skewed the design for their taste. See it here at gastrocalm.com.
Gastro Calm · Home Page Expanded
Here is the responsive home page shown with mobile being on then far left, tablets in the middle, desktops off to the right. Please excuse the repetitive backgrounds as they must tile to show you the site in one view. Again, you can see how things change in a drastic yet predictable way when viewing the page on a mobile device in comparison to a desktop computer. Images move, text reformat and charts rearrange all to give the viewer an easy to view site, seamlessly, as they move from device to device. Go to gastrocalm.com.
A single page site designed to address and simplify statistical information about colic. What you see above is the entire page for desktop and mobile. On the left starts the page and the gray lines depict the page stopping and then starting again to the immediate right. This way an entire page can be shown here in one simple image. You can go to colic.com to see it in action.
Gastro Calm · Original Home Page
I am showing you an image of the original home page I designed a number of years ago to illustrate where Gastro Calm was in comparison to where it is now. This multi-tabbed site worked but as device sizes increased, this site did not read well on some of them. Constant zooming on phones irritates and doesn't allow for all of the content to be viewed in a controlled way. This and the understanding that Google has now implemented a penalty to sites who don't offer responsive sites to users really turns up the heat to get a site like the ones in my previous slides up and running.
Gastro Calm · Alternate Responsive Design Directions
I love the direction Gastro Calm chose to go with but I wanted to show you a couple of the designs I proposed. I'm doing this to show you that a responsive site can look very different. Menus don't have to disappear as seen in the long vertical menu above. These types on menus can slide in and out and can take you to parts of a single page as if they were taking you to normal pages, thus keeping the user on one long scrolling page. Objects can move such as the sliding 1234 tabbed selectable menu above things can scroll at different rates such as what was planned in the darker leaf concept on the top right. It's really turning into a new more fluid web experience.
3 - 9
Don't Be Shy
C2O Coconut Water Branding Plan
C2O was in need of a branding system that allowed their company to stay consistent along all of their marketing materials. This plan offered to them brought all of their assets together, made changes and created a book that was given to every employee and contractor. A brand identity style guide consists of elements like color ways, logo variations and general usage. Most see this product as something a large corporations use but I find that it's even important for smaller companies as human resources are limited.
Blend Juice Tea · Business Plan · Pages 1-12
Blend Juice Tea was looking for venture capital to start up their newly developed cold-brew juice tea which also included the 'brewstick', which I developed as a patented new way f brewing tea without a spoon. The front cover above is in the upper left corner and the business plan progresses from left to right showing all of the plans of Blend. I created 3D product boxes as seen on the lower right and illustrated the action of the brewstick on the lower left.
Blend Juice Tea · Business Plan · Pages 13-24
Each section of Blend's business plan is shown in a district overall look so as to differentiate topics. I gathered stock photography needed and shot photography myself such as the brewstick in action and the prototype of the product. Another task was to develop tag lines and section headings to highlight the company's offerings.
Blend Juice Tea · Business Plan · Pages 25-36
For the most part, I used stock imagery of models to drive home the target demographic while also shooting my own models holding the product and then inter-dispersed them while adjusting them all in the same fashion so that they blended as one complete photoshoot.
Blend Juice Tea · Business Plan · Pages 37-48
The plan took less than a year to complete as business plans require a lot of revisions and reorganization. The completed project is shown here and is one of the largest endeavors I have ever taken on. I have recuperated and are ready to do it again. Please let me know if you'd like to view the plan in person. I have a number of copies I could loan out for review.
3 - 6
Give Me a Shout
9 Volt Designer · Bobby June
9 VOLT TRANSPARENCY
I don't have employees and this good for you. Your project will not get handed off to a lessor junior designer. I focus on designing two to three projects consecutively. In most cases, please prepare to book your project a week or two in advance. Concepts can be discussed in person, via web cam or by email.
I acclimate*. Clients can choose between three options:
1 · an hourly rate of $85 per hour
2 · a quote for a project in its entirety (invoices average between $500-$10,000)
3 · retainer at $1000-2000 per month (the feel of an off-site employee sans baggage)
In my experience, the billing processes generally feels like this in a Yelp-like fashion:
Hourly = $$$ Project = $$ Retainer = $
By handshake or a simple contract, your choice. No matter how you roll, flexibility with changes, client needs & no up-charges keeps project costs extremely predictable (except when billed hourly).
When we start a project together, proof-of-concepts are shown before any money leaves your books. This means no deposit will be due until initial comps are approved.
Once they are approved, a deposit of 50% is due. The remaining 50% is due upon project completion. Hourly bills weekly. Retainer, monthly.
Projects completion time average at two weeks. If billed per-project or retainer, the invoice will match the original quote regardless of revision quantity you throw at me as it is my job to extract your thoughts in as rich of spectrum of objectives and images as you see in your head.
*I added this footnote to expand on my acclimation to business billing preferences to add their size as a factor. I enjoy mom and pop, small manufacturers and large corporations. But let's be real, budgets vary and so can my fees. If there are gaps in my workload, small projects fill them nicely.