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).

Paramedic Class of 2019 Patches

As mentioned in a previous post, my sister is becoming a Paramedic. Proud of her for the long hours it takes, plus her dedication to helping people. In honor of her class, I decided to take elements from one of the patches I worked up for her district and make a patch for her class.

Today she got them and sent along a photo. These are the flat PVC patches and they turned out great.

Load, Lock, Light

This one came to me after seeing a lot of “live, love, laugh” type stickers and such. Snark should be no surprise to anyone by now. This one takes a more tactical approach to life. And as a quick explanation, this is the general process for loading a weapon, locking your bolt and target, and lighting it up (aka firing).

Design Darwinism

Do designs just magically pop from mind to screen? Lord I wish so. Any artist will likely tell you that design or art is a process. A thought or inspiration sparks in the mind, then the fun of making that spark into something real.

My prime design, the data monkey, was no different. Born about 7 years ago, it started off in a much different fashion. The concept was fairly simple: make a path with a monkey and tabs to say ‘secret’ and ‘data monkey.’ Seemed easy enough. Well… As you can see below, the early attempts were pretty basic. You’ll also see a multitude of spin-offs that came quickly from the original.

Most of these early iterations were very much design, not so much art. Combine elements to get a thought across. Since then, as you can see from the overall theme of this blog and my portfolio, I found a little more art to use with the design.

I admit at times to fixating on the initial design/concept, but have learned to sometimes stop and let it rest for a bit. While elements may carry through, the difference between initial and final can be striking at times.

Tradition Breaking

When I married my lovely wife (no, not in the doghouse), we went a little a little non-traditional. Due to other unfortunate circumstances, my wife was walked down the aisle bu her mother. One of the happier changes was not having a best man, but a best woman. My best friends have been for a long. One of them I’ll be writing a small memorial for in the future. The other stood next to me at my wedding, in a tux. As a token for her, I created a simple graphic. This was fairly early in my graphic design foray mind you. Since creating this for her, I’ve had a few sales on Cafe Press with design.