Archives for category: Production
The Real Joe Brokken

The Real Joe Brokken: we sometimes step away from the desk.

UCDS identity!!!

UCDS Identity: I've been working on this ALL QUARTER!

Inside Spread #1

Inside Spread from the Graphics Standards Manual I created

Inside Spread #4

Collateral. I didn't realize I took so many pictures of this thing...

Breakfast for Dinner!

We literally had cereal 2 out of 3 meals today.

From The King's Speech

My friend made this for his boyfriend in like 3 seconds.




TOM SAYS jump and we say HOW HIGH?

Nigh on done (with one final)! Here are some images from my night. And week. More to come at a less crazy time.

Inside Spread #2

Another spread

Inside Spread #2

Some UNACCEPTABLE logo configuration examples.


The other day, I was production assistant to my Design School BFF Courtney Comfort. He is interning at Equal Rights Washington, and needed to make a poster for Equality Day, coming up on March 22. (If you pick up a current copy of the Seattle Gay News, you’ll find his half page ad in there, using the same graphic you see here. His first real print ad!)

Naturally he decided to screenprint these. This means: a 3 color run of 60 posters. Which means pulling a squeegee through the thick ink on the screen at least 180 times. During this time, it is necessary to run back and forth bringing wet sheets to the racks to dry, making sure the screen has enough ink on it to pull, etc. I did all that running , etc., not to mention all the prep beforehand. I mixed the inks, which was fun, and prepped the screens. Courtney had the hard jobs: making the film and burning the screens so they would register correctly—and then the printing itself. Registering 3 colors isn’t easy, neither is all that hard work on the hands after designing on a computer all day. You forget how to use your hands. This is why I love this class.

Mixed Inks

Mixed Inks

Final Product!

Final Product!

The posters turned out great, and Courtney’s pulls got better and better as he printed. We were such an efficient team, and it was great fun.

Sometimes I get to help on my own projects! Unfortunately, some of the screens are so long, and I am so short, that it can be hard for me to get a decent pull, which is why I’m glad I have tall friends.

Allerina or Crocodancer

Allerina or Crocodancer



Screenprinting is what led me to Graphic Design in the first place; a friend and I taught ourselves from an old Dover title and a kit. I fell in love with printing. From there I learned linocuts, then woodcuts, then monotype, then etching… and then I decided I could do more and applied to SCCA.

Best $15 investment ever.

This is what my desk at school looks like right now.

This is what my desk at school looks like right now.

It’s been a crazy week. I have been sick, and so has everyone else.  We had a huge project due Monday, then a huge project due Tuesday, and now the rest of the week just keeps chugging along, like it always does. This is the way it goes:

UX/UI (excellent). Posters (excellent). Logo/Corporate Branding (Pretty good). Flash/HTML5 (Eeek). Screenprinting (Best day ever). Lather, rinse, repeat.

Here on my desk, you can see two other versions of posters, as well as my final Wrath, in the foreground. You can see my logo concept sketches for my rebranding project. You can see a witchy grab-it tool, courtesy of a classmate who isn’t coming back till next year, and you can see the colossal mess that is my desk.


Wrath Poster, final

Element of Surprise

Window Cover-up Concept for the MAC, SCCC's Activity Center

Close Up

Close Up

Close Up 2

Close Up 2

This is a prototype window covering for the Charles H. Miller Activity Center, AKA the MAC, or the gym at my school. Behind the actual windows is the saddest, emptiest pool. Gym authorities want it covered up so no one wants to swim and then is disappointed. I worked with my friend, Kevin Cox, to come up with this concept. The idea was to bring both light and humor to a dark and very drab hallway. The hope is that passersby would at first see people in action, getting their sports on, and maybe see something more if they looked closer. We wanted to put a little smile on someone’s face, a little question in their head. I hope it works!

Racecars and rockets, oh my!

(Warning: this post is subject to both nostalgia and the memory of a child.)

This book reminds me of my younger brother. He’s a civil engineer, well he will be if someone hires him (anyone? Looking for a really smart and forward thinking engineer? Just checking.), and when we were kids, we literally played in cardboard boxes. But it was Joe who put them to the best use.

One time it was a boombox, another was a spaceship. He wouldn’t just sit in the box, he would try and make it look like it looked in his head. And he would try to make working parts. Of course it was cardboard, so it never did anything, but he would try.

I love the paper choices they made!

Why are you sitting in that box?

This book, by Antoinette Portis, is the embodiment of Joe, as I remember him, with his blond curls and concentration face. And so I love it.

It's not a box.

But it’s also totally beautiful! Look at this! So spare, so simple, and did you notice, on the cover, the little net wt. in red? Nice touch!

So many options for just one box!

This page has the most color in the whole book. Imagination! A theme I love in children’s books. So important to keep as you grow older. It’s what keeps me laughing every day.

Written by Albert Bitterman, with illustrations by Chris Raschka

Oh I love me some Chris Raschka illustrations. And these might be some of my favorites. This time they are housed in an interactive book with a charming story; something about them shines in Fortune Cookies. This is Albert Bitterman‘s first book. And what a book! A book that itches to be read aloud, a book with a message that doesn’t suck and some really cute kittens and a little girl, a book to be proud of. And worthy of the rockstar illustrator Raschka, too.

In school they always tell us to do our research, read the copy before we select a font and lay it out, know who said that quote we’re putting on a poster and why. Immerse yourself in the company you’re creating an identity for.

Blogging is somewhat less serious than that, to be honest. It’s late, I should be in bed, but I decided to post first. And I could have rushed it. I almost clicked past it. But in the end, I’m glad I did my research, and read the article I almost dismissed about bookseller Pete Cowdin.

He’s a bitter bookstore owner in Kansas City, co-owning children’s book shop Reading Reptile with his wife Debbie. He hates the same megagiant predatory bookstore that I do (as an independent bookseller, how could you not?), he wishes that children’s books were taken more seriously and given real criticism. This guy is awesome. And he can write. So congratulations Mr. Cowdin, or Mr. Bitterman. You’re an inspiration to all of us bitter children’s booksellers out there, especially the writerly ones.

Oh, I love it! I do, I want to read this one aloud.

The Tree House, by Marije & Ronald Tolman was an instant hit at the kids’ desk. Another in the wordless book trend that’s been happening, this one is rich in color and imagination. A tree house through the seasons, watch how it changes. I’d love to look at this book with a child and listen to their observations.

Here are a couple of images from inside.  The scale of the book is pretty large for a picture book, so I focused on smaller parts of the whole illustration. This is one you’d really benefit from holding in your hands (although, I say that about every book, to be fair); the quality of the paper is good, there is so much to find in each illustration. These pictures here are some of my favorite things that I found.

Detail, with books

Flamingo Detail

Detail of Sky with Flamingo

The Tree House came out in May of 2010 from Lemniscaat USA.

When we saw the F&G (preview from the publisher, not bound, just Folded and Gathered) version of Little Owl Lost, by Chris Haughton a while back, my boss was mad for it. She showed us all. She wasn’t the only one who liked it, but certainly the most avid about it. I thought it was cute, but nothing out of the ordinary. Great illustrations, to be sure. Good colors, etcetera, etcetera. Just nothing that pushed it over the edge.

When the book came to us in August, however, it was a different story. Was it the spot UV on the cover? The gorgeous quality of the paper inside? This little detail?

It was all of those things. It just proves how important production can be in design. The F&G was just a sample. It was made from some low quality paper stock, it didn’t show the little flip page action, and the cover didn’t have the shiny type. One woman didn’t even remember seeing the F&G. As soon as I touched the real book, started flipping through the pages, I had an instant appreciation for it. It changed so much in my mind from F&G to fruition. An I’m glad it did. Beautiful book. And now I can hold in my hand a reminder why production is important.

I’m going to leave you with this.

How can you resist a tall, pink squirrel?

Candlewick, August 2010.