Monday, September 21, 2009

A Business to Keep Your Business Safe

I was approached by a small start up company to create some business cards for them. After meeting and talking with the owner it was apparent that they also needed a logo to help brand their web site, business cards and other materials. The company helps other businesses recover from disasters, back up their files and make sure there is a plan in place so a company can keep working even in an emergency.

We talked about various images for logos and settled on an abstract safe tumbler.

We also talked about what colors to use to represent her company. We went with a deep, rich burgundy and a dark blue for the main colors. For secondary colors we went with lighter more pastel colors that contrast and play off the other colors. The burgundy represents strength, leadership and respect. All good things for a business continuity consultant. The blue plays a counterpoint to the red and represents harmony, trust and confidence.

After deciding on these things I came up with a design for the business cards. I had a couple designs. The one I preferred didn’t have any of the bullet points on it, but the client felt it important to keep those on the card so people would understand the business quickly.

Over all I was pleased with the final result and look forward to working on similar projects.

Monday, September 14, 2009


If you follow me on Twitter you know I love BBQ. Not grilling, but BBQ. The difference you ask? Grilling is hot and quick and BBQ is low and slow. Both are good, but the flavor you get in BBQ can’t be beat.

I helped a friend at a couple different BBQ competitions and got to thinking, “With all these people walking around, not many are wearing cool BBQ shirts. Someone needs to make some.” So I created some.

My original idea was a line called “Q-wear.” I shared my idea with a couple friends who are designers (I have found as an independent designer it is important to have a network you can share ideas with). I used their feedback to refine my image and ideas. After going back and forth I settled on just Q. It can use it in multiple ways - from shirts, to sauces, to rubs. It was also pointed out to me “Q-wear” could be misread so just “Q,” short for BBQ, was the way to go.

I had done some sketches and played with some fonts and flames with various results.

After some revisions and redoes I created this.

I can use it in a variety of ways, like these:

It also looks good on t-shirts.

If you would like to purchase a t-shirt you can do so at

Friday, September 4, 2009

Design Thinking

The other day I was listening to the Reflex Blue Show from 36 Point. They were interviewing Bill Grant and he used the term “Design Thinking.” I had never heard of it before. Being a designer, it piqued my curiosity so I did what anyone else would do. I Googled it. I came across the Wikipedia entry and they defined design thinking as -

Design thinking is a process for practical, creative resolution of problems or issues that looks for an improved future result.[1] It is the essential ability to combine empathy, creativity and rationality to meet user needs and drive business success”

After doing some more research, I found there were various number of steps for the process ranging from four to eight. Also the process when applied is not a start and stop process but a continual one. The final step leads back to the first step so there is constant improvement and refinement.

I laughed to myself as I thought, “Hey that’s what I’ve been doing for a while now and never even realized it.” In fact it is part of my design process. When I started my design business I knew I needed a process or a way to explain how I work. After much thought I boiled it down to four words, each encapsulating a different part of the process - Imagine. Explore. Design. Create.

Imagine. Defining the problem. Identifying the audience. Determining the goal.

Explore. Examining solutions. Creating options. Considering and researching possibilities.

Design. Brainstorming options. Refining and selecting the direction. Putting ideas on paper.

Create. Reviewing the goal. Choosing the best design. Executing the final product.