Printed Paper

Wrapping gifts for special occasions has been something that I’ve always taken serious. Buying wrapping paper is quite the event for me because I’m not like the normal wrapping paper shopper. Like most designers, I’m sure, I am particular about the weight of the paper, design and color composition that will adorn the gifts I wrap. Perhaps a bit of ADD, but I don’t care, the package itself is just as exciting as the gift that’s inside.

Below are a few of my own wrapping paper designs – each showing my personality and character, something my gift-receivers appreciate.


Doyald Young – Typography Designer

Such a fascinating man. I stumbled across this article which inspired me to search the web for more about Doyald Young. Here are two inspiring brief videos about his life and work.

A Decade of a Brand

I recently took an in-depth look at my personal brand and decided it was time for an overhaul. My brand has slowly evolved over the years and has matured into what it is today, but a review of it was needed.

I’ll be honest, I’m a bit hesitant to post some of my original branding, but there is something quite liberating about putting it out there. The preparation of this post has allowed me to take a step back and see where I could strengthen my brand. Recognizing the history and development of any project is a necessary practice to tweak and improve – whether it’s done during the creative process or after the creative has been executed. So, let’s get started.


Based on an abstract composition using organic shapes and forms, my first web site design was dated and a design of its time. Poor typography and no structure, this site is quite the embarrassment, but is a great starting point to show the progression of my identity that spans a decade.

Another version, in a similar style as it’s predecessor, this design didn’t even reach the development stage.


For several years, my web site was stagnant, but this was the year I dropped the organic shapes and moved into something more modern and simplistic. I decided to retire all the green since it no longer defined who I was. Without muddying the message with so much noise, I turned to a simpler layout and introduced a serif font. Overall, the design became more unified and began representing where I was as a designer.

My first business card printed within this design concept was a vertical card printed with a dark charcoal background and white and teal (PMS 319) text.

Through the middle of the year, I introduced a simpler, softer business card. The new card was printed on white stock and mounted on thick, black art board, using the same teal (PMS 319) for the text as the first card. This is my current business card.


With the content refined and grouped for easier readability, the new web site design speaks more to my personality and voice. I evolved the font to a sans serif font to create more movement between the font and the harsh angles of the content boxes. To reinforce that movement, I’ve also added a textured background, unlike the gray in the previous design. Because I have a bit of an adoration for gray, black and teal (the combination of these colors create emotion for me), so naturally I wanted to maintain that scheme. By adding the lime green, I’ve attempted to achieve a balance that doesn’t focus on the use of two calmer colors.

So, that’s where my brand currently stands. As I grow, so does my identity and with those changes, I’ll resurface this post and show how I’ve evolved.

Pepsi Throwback

I’m a bit behind with this, but it’s never too late…

I like the concept, but I’m not sure how I feel about the designs for the Pepsi Throwback campaign. The retro ad is fun, but nothing exciting. I did take a second look when I saw the packaging on an end cap, though. That was enough of an interest for me to buy a 12 pack and dedicate a blog to the designs. :)

Olive & Sinclair Chocolate

I was cleaning up around my desk the other day and came across a label that I’d saved and tucked away under a pile of papers. I don’t remember the taste of the chocolate (shame on me), but the Olive and Sinclair Chocolate label was worth putting in my “inspiration folder”. A beautiful design in that retro-style that I love so much, this packaging is well composed and consistent between the various flavors of chocolate. A Nashville based company, I wonder if they have a cafe or retail environment – I didn’t see any mention of it on their web site. I’d love to see how they incorporate their brand into a retail space. Could make for a fun place to visit and hang out.

The Die Line blogged about them earlier last year. Jump to their posting to view more photos of this beautiful design.

OOMPH! – Retro Package Design

I went shopping with a friend today and while walking through the automotive department (where you’d not normally find me – my friends would laugh at the thought), my eyes were drawn to a label for OOMPH! Cleaner & Degreaser. I have a sentiment for retro-style design and this label fits the bill. While I’m not keen on the fist logo, I like how the overall design is simple, clean and packaged in a plastic yellow and red container, finishing off the retro-style.

But, perhaps part of why I like this label so much are the emotions I had when I saw it. Even though I’ve never seen or used this product before, it reminds me of something I’d expect to find tucked away in my dad’s garage from years ago. My dad is a woodworker so rummaging through scraps of wood in the garage was a common activity as a child. I recall finding old canisters of spray lubricant for his tools and tins of wax for the car, all with labels similar to the style of OOMPH! Cleaner & Degreaser.

I love when designs unexpectedly ignite a memory. If only I had a garage today, I’d have bought the last bottle on the shelf.

Starbucks Re-branded

Starbucks Rebrand

Starbucks recently unveiled a logo redesign. As a simpler, refined version of their current logo, they have stripped their brand name from the familiar circle symbol. Initially, I had a WTF moment, but the more and more I took in the new design, the more I began to appreciate it. I do wonder, though, are consumers understanding and familiar enough with the symbol of the Siren for this to work?

Consumer recognition is something that can’t be taken lightly, and while I believe customers can in fact associate a symbol to a brand, it takes patience and time to evolve to such a place. Through the history of Starbucks, they have slowly refined the Siren, taking her from a detailed etching-style image to a clean, graphical symbol, making the current redesign something of a natural birth. But as with any new logo launch, the success of the new logo goes hand-in-hand with it’s execution. For me, a Starbucks experience is not solely about the coffee, but is also represented by the white paper cup that my pipping hot Vanilla Latte is served in. That cup is just as iconic as the logo itself, so if consumers haven’t respond particularly well to the logo as it has been introduced, I have no doubt they will understand it once they hold that white paper cup in their hand with the green logo printed on the side.

Starbucks Evolution

It’s a positive evolution for the coffee brand we couldn’t be without. Congratulations on the success, Starbucks!