What’s the Frequency…

One of my other hobbies, albeit less attended to is, is Amateur (“Ham”) Radio. I’ve had my license since 2008 and have a few handheld radios. At work, we have a group of Hams (in more ways than one) that chat about a lot of things including radios. The other day, one of the Hams was talking about how a garage sale was interrupting his contesting time. Contesting for Hams is trying to collect contacts within a certain period, usually trying to reach certain regions of the country or world. Being the snarky person I am, I proposed a sign to essentially scare people away from a Ham’s radio area. The results are the signs below.

Trigrams, an expanding collection

Decided to use some of the artwork from the Trigrams card deck on other items. Yes, it’s a tie-in type thing, but also gives me another outlet for some of the designs besides cards. First item is simply a mug with the graphics from the court (A, J, Q, K) cards of the Water suit. Format is simple, one side has the art from the Q card, the trigram (from the A) with its name (from the K) above and ‘water’ in Chinese and Korean below, and the compass from the J (with the direction in both languages). Nothing real fancy, but brings the elements together. I’ll try and work on the other 7 suits at some point.


Design Capital

To quote Yogurt from Spaceballs – “Moychandising, moychandising, moychandising”

As you saw with my Best Woman design, I’ve tinkered with the print-on-demand (POD) idea before. So, now with my expanded portfolio compared to my early Cafe Press days, I’m contemplating building another store for the monkeys and other designs.

Now comes the question of which provider to use. While Cafe Press was my first go at POD products, I may try a new vendor this time. I’ve played around with some of the various ones, but still doing some product exploration.

I know t-shirts are prerequisite for POD (pretty much), I’m also thinking of other things to offer like mugs, electronic cases, maybe skateboards (one vendor does offer those).

I also need to figure out which designs to offer. Stencil, cheeky, and flying monkey are already on the list. I may also throw in some of the more irreverent designs.

Dropping Coin

I’ve recently expanded my design work into challenge coins at work. My first real creation was for a recent conference at work, which received rave reviews, requests exceeded the number produced, and netted the conference a hefty reserve for next year. Since it was for work though, that specific design won’t be appearing here or in my portfolio though (one downside to having a hobby that sometimes bleeds over).

So, what’s the deal with coins? Challenge coins are a popular way to recognize service, performance, etc. in the military and now across even the corporate world. Used literally as tokens of appreciation, they are handy rewards.

Are there differences in how I design a logo, etc. for coinage versus a patch? Certainly. While coins can be enameled with color, so far I’ve stuck with a basic two-tone approach, mimicking how the coin will be made. Does this present challenges? Most certainly. It’s essentially creating black and white art, which requires translating colors into a binary representation and still making it understandable.

Another important factor is the size. Unlike my patch designs which have run in the 3-4 inch height range, the coin I designed topped out at 1 3/4 inches. Thankfully, coins are usually made with a die, which can handle most details (but not all).