Miscellany

This is a catch-all post.
I used to have a page for corporate identity, a page for advertising and marketing, and a page for web. But I don’t really want to do that kind of work except on special occasions. There’s a little bit of all of that below, fun stuff that I had samples of. I’m trying to stay busy just doing books and print publications – kind of like working to save endangered species. But if you have a project that you’d like to try to talk me in to, go for it. I can be kind of gullible at times.

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This is a logo that I made in 2009 as part of the identity of Electric Literature, a quarterly literary journal out of NYC. These guys are doing some great work keeping lit alive in every imaginable format. I also design the journals and site for them.

electric-literature-logo

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Here’s a cover I designed for L.A. CityBeat around the end of 2006. More CityBeat stuff below.

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This is one of several brochures I created for the National MS Society, North Carolina Chapter. I think it was on an A3 sheet, the other side is a poster for the event, the MS 150.

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An ad designed for the Humanitarian Law Project to benefit victims of Hurricane Katrina.

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I got to create the prototype and templates for the launch of L.A. CityBeat and ValleyBeat. I’ve done several jobs like this, including OC Weekly, San Diego CityBeat, Studio City Sun (below) and Mean magazine, but L.A. CityBeat has to be one of my favorites. I think I described the aesthetic when we were pitching it as letterpress meets American thrift store. Here are some of the original pages from the printed prototype and editorial templates.

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The most rewarding part of creating the look of a publication is to see how the art directors and designers exploit it. CityBeat’s former art director, Dana Collins – with whom I worked closely to develop the template – did an incredible job bringing it to life each week. And the new art director, Matt Ansoorian, is creating some amazing covers and pages as well.

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I’ve done dozens of invites in the past, mostly for L.A. Weekly. Here’s one for a swing dance party at The Derby in Hollywood.

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Here’s another invite for a literary event. I like this one because there was very little waste. The invite folds around the RSVP card which was made from the cutout corner. Not rocket science, but we usually produced these in less than a couple hours.

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Here’s a printed prototype for a magazine that never made it into production. It was a glossy saddle-bound music magazine being developed by Village Voice Media in Los Angeles.

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I got to design a chocolate bar! It was really just a Hershey bar that a marketing company printed custom wrappers for. We gave out thousands during music events hosted by the newspaper. I named it too!

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I’ve done a few video projects. A title sequence, a low-budget commercial… all very bad, I’m not being modest here. But this is one I really liked. It ran for a month on the jumbo video screen on Sunset in West Hollywood. It was advertising a summer issue of L.A. Weekly. I asked friends and colleagues for old home videos of vacations etc… most came in as VHS transfer of 8 and 16mm film. I edited the best footage together and created three separate clips that would loop with the tagline “Remember Summer?” followed by the Weekly logo. The goal was to insert nostalgic, idyllic imagery into one of the busier and more style-conscious blocks in Hollywood. There’s a lot of bad traffic there, it worked great.

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Another logo/prototype designed for the launch of Studio City Sun.

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After The Village Voice went on its alt-weekly buying spree, it was put on the market by owner, flea collar magnate Leonard Stern. A group of shadowy Dutch investors bought the papers and Village Voice Media was born. I got to create the first corporate identity for VVM.

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Another corporate ID! This one for Southern California hydroponics supplier, BetterGrow Hydro.

Different applications of the logo.

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Letterhead and screen cap of the first web site. They quickly outgrew this site and the code and design was updated by Scott Ford at Twerp.

This is not very exciting, but it’s an example of a color guide for the ID.

Outside of the first store after changing colors, etc…

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A logo named “Besty.”

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Old logo for a restaurant guide.

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Logo for a dating service.

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Logo for Jon Wheat Worldwide. The logo – playing with the owner’s name – is a stylized head of wheat. I know it looks a tiny bit like the old Adidas logo, but I was actually thinking of stylized art nouveau and deco plants. Also was thinking a little bit about Frank Lloyd Wright’s hollyhocks, though I know it looks nothing like that.

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—Bill Smith

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