Friday, July 16, 2010



Create a banner to be used at trade shows.

AIMCAL serves as the global forum for the flexible metallizing, coating and laminating industry by providing resources, services and information. AIMCAL collects and distributes information to increase industry knowledge, while fostering an environment that builds relationships and a spirit of cooperation between member companies worldwide (from

The turn around on this was very quick as they needed to get the art work to the printer within 3 days. The banner size was 35x84. AIMCAL wanted to incorporate their logo, a specific tagline and highlight what they do for the converting industry all while being able to grab people’s attention.

Being AIMCAL is an international organization I played off that with the “reel” globe at the top and had it unwinding down the length of the banner to draw people’s eyes down to read the highlights. The client was pleased with the final results.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Building Creativity

LEGO. Those small blocks our kids leave on the floor so in the middle of the night we step on them with bare feet thus waking the household. Oh, the memories. I grew up with LEGO. Never knew a day without it. My parents were studying language in Switzerland many years ago and invited some friends over for dinner. As was the custom, they brought the hosts a gift which happened to be LEGO for my older brother. That was when the collection started (40+ years ago).

Ever since I can remember, I have played with LEGO. It was always my brothers until I turned four. That was when I got my very own set. It was a small blue rally car, probably supposed to be a Fiat. I built the car and played with it, slept with it, did everything with it… for about a week. Then I pulled it apart and started to create new things with it. It was swallowed up by my brothers LEGO, but that was ok. Since that point until much later a birthday just wasn’t a birthday unless I received one LEGO set, large or small it didn’t matter.

My imagination would run wild with LEGO. I built cars, ships, houses, forts, castles anything I could think of. Then they started to release the theme LEGO. Castle LEGO, space LEGO and city LEGO. All those cool parts just waiting to be explored. I would get the set build it according to the directions play with it for a bit and then tear it all apart and build something bigger and better.

My buddies and I would build Star Wars ships (yes, this was before Star Wars LEGO) and reenact scenes from the movies. We would have all out wars with space men being knights and races with cars we built. My brother and I even built a LEGO chess board.

Now my kids and nephews play with the LEGO and when they are playing and I’m around I get, “Uncle Steve will you play LEGO with us?” I’ll sit down and find a bunch of random parts and start building. One Saturday one of my nephews actually called me to ask if I would come over and play LEGO with them. They are in awe of whatever it is I come up with. Sometimes they ask me where the instructions are and I answer, “In my head.”

Playing with LEGO as a kid has helped me to think a bit differently, to imagine and create. It has inspired me as a designer. The LEGO set you get in the box is fun. You can build it, set it on your shelf and play with it every now and then, but the true fun of LEGO is to build the set then tear it apart and make something new.

Design is similar. You have to learn how the basics of design work, how your corporate and branding guidelines work before you can break it apart and create something new. Your basics of design and guidelines are your building blocks that you can put together infinite ways. Like having one LEGO set you get certain bits, but you can create and put it together infinite ways. It takes time, but as you build new designs and play with the blocks you have, you get better.

Got to go. There's a pile of bricks waiting to be turned into something cool.