A New Season of Events

Fall brings a new batch of events for the remainder of 2011, from all the familiar faces plus some new and some returning. We thought we'd take a look at some notable upcoming happenings...   "Hang In There" Poster Exhibit October 15 (Opening) – November 12 Hygienic Art Galleries, New London, CT Designer Patti Murphy of Seed Factory is a resident artist at Hygienic Art Galleries in New London. When she was charged with putting on an art show, her mind turned quickly to showcasing design work, something Hygienic hasn't done in the past. The theme Murphy landed on, "Hang in There," came with a double meaning. "I really like the idea of hanging art on hangers," says Murphy. "It is a simple solution to decorating homes and workspaces — easily hanging something that you like or prints that you've purchased." "And I love collecting positive words, quotes, illustrations and images — I think, as designers, we are taught and trained how to evoke or represent a certain emotion or feeling, and I thought it would be interesting to see how each designer will create something that they see as uplifting or positive." The show will display (and offer for sale) 12x18 posters by a variety of Connecticut and Rhode Island designers and artists, including Patti herself, Susan Hickman, Kat Murphy, Troy Monroe, Mark Bevington, Tomaz Kazmierczak, Julia Balfour, Katie Kerrigan, Vaughn Fender, Eric Panke, Nick Healy, John Lepak, Magdalena Lutoborska, Richard Hollant, Tracie Valentino, Karli Hendrickson, Chris Piacik, Noemi Zalanski and Amy Graver. "I chose the participating artists based on who I have collaborated, connected with or worked with before," says Murphy. "Though sometimes we are all competing for clients, this is a great opportunity to come together as a community of designers and create artwork for each other and ourselves." "I am excited to see all the work hanging together on the walls at the gallery and I know I will have a hard time choosing the posters that I want to take home with me!"   Young Turks vs. Old Dogs November 5 Union Station Great Hall, Hartford, CT A self-proclaimed "once-in-a-career opportunity," Young Turks vs. Old Dogs is a reunion / networking event to give younger creatives in the state the opportunity to "rub elbows with the old guard. And vice versa." Old dog Jack Lardis organized the event as a benefit for his organization Oil Drum Art, a not-for-profit grass roots art movement that seeks to change human patterns through meaningful artworks. "There are three ex-advertising people on the Oil Drum Art Board," says Lardis. "Dave Murphy, one of the Directors, came up with the idea to have a small reunion of ad people as a fundraiser.  We thought it was a great idea and it quickly mushroomed to a major event with all four major ad and design clubs co-sponsoring the event." "It has become a fun, networking reunion party for the ad industry and the donated funds will go to Oil Drum Art to help underwrite its Spring 2012 art exhibition in the Hartford Union Station Great Hall.  It will feature 40 drum artworks created by regional artists and 30 Trash Drum Artworks created by about 240 inner-city Hartford students. The finished drums will be placed in city parks to collect trash and provide public art." Creative for the event (including the name of the event) came courtesy of Adams & Knight Creative Director (and fellow Old Dog) Don Carter, who worked for Lardis as an art director at Lardis, McCurdy & Company in the early 80s. "First off, I got involved because Jack is an old friend. He taught me so much about art direction that I feel a lifelong indebtedness to him. And second, this is a great idea." "For me personally, after 30 years in the business, club events have lost their luster. This event will draw from all of the organizations and hopefully attract a lot of the old-timers like myself back into the fold. We’re hoping the evening will be an opportunity as well for younger creatives to mix with the older generation and share ideas and maybe even spark some future collaboration." The event will feature a number of fun and creative distractions above and beyond the networking, including food and wine samplings, door prizes, a silent auction, live music, and an art display. Attendees are also encouraged to bring photos from "back in the day" for display on the "Reunion Board," and to design their own name tag (for prizes and bragging rights). "We hope it becomes a yearly reunion that will get better and better," says Lardis. "Don't miss it... and bring your camera."   Ad Club of Connecticut Holiday Party December 1 Holiday parties are a staple of Connecticut creative organizations, but no one does it bigger than the Ad Club. "The Holiday Party has been a favorite of mine for years now," says Fred Caserta of Casterta Design Company. "Where else can you rub elbows with some of the top agency folks in Connecticut, get introduced to great vendors and let the creative community know what you are all about?!" "Last year I was fortunate enough to share A Chair 4 Charity with the Club. With very little promotion we were able to raise a couple hundred dollars selling photo opportunities in Don Draper’s office chair from the set of Mad Men. Now what’s cooler than that?” Besides plenty of elbow rubbing, there's great food and an always-great raffle. And in the spirit of holiday giving, the party asks attendees to donate arts and crafts supplies that will make their way to the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center ArtReach Program.   The BoNE Show (Best of New England) Traveling Exhibit TBA The AIGA Best of New England (BoNE) Show is a biennial design competition and celebration of New England design. This year's winners were announced at the awards ceremony and exhibition opening, held in Boston on June 9, 2011 at Boston University's 808 Gallery. This year, the BoNE Show is hitting the road — making a stop in Providence, Rhode Island and then in Connecticut later this year. (We are watching the AIGA Connecticut website for details!) Connecticut was well represented at the show — Ethan Bodnar won for his work for Cultivate; Keiler & Company for their work for Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford; and CO:LAB for their work for Bated Breath and Design Is Love.

Paul Rand’s CADC logo

Paul Rand's ties to Connecticut are widely known, from his home for years in Weston and his tenure as a professor at Yale University. In 1986, Rand left even more of a mark on the Connecticut design community with the design of the Connecticut Art Directors Club logo, still in use today. "I had just joined the Board of the CADC," recalled Nathan Garland (a friend of Rand's and editor and contributor to many books on Rand) in an essay in 1998. "At my first meeting I learned that the Board was unable to select a logo from any of the various designs submitted by members in an open competition. Several of the designs had interesting aspects, but none were able to attract wide support. "I suggested that Paul Rand […] might solve the club's problem. I offered to ask Paul […] who agreed on condition that I oversee the application of his design. "Several weeks later he called to say that he had it. Without having seen the earlier attempts by CADC members, Paul had combined several of the best ideas in one resolved configuration." Rand would say, "If you show them more than two ideas, you weaken your position. […] You make one statement, and this is it." Legend goes that Rand presented one solution in a "take it or leave it" kind of fashion. "I do remember there were a few members who hated the design," says Peter Good, an active member of CADC's earlier years, and creator of iconic Connecticut identities for the Mark Twain House, UConn and the Wadsworth. "I think it's an elegant, typically modern design, exhibiting graphic wit, simplicity and grace." "Paul's design was an appropriate homage to both letter forms and symbols." wrote Garland. "The familiar acronym CADC was varied by submitting the playing card 'club' sign as a rebus in place of the last letter. In order to avoid reading CAD, the misleading word made by the remaining three letters, he arranged the four elements in two rows of two each, which also made a simple square. This was reinforced by diagonally alternating two colors — solid black for the C and the club sign and red (or a grey screen of black) for the A and the D." The rebus was familiar territory for Rand, most famously in the Eye-Bee-M poster (an announcement for an in-house IBM event) but also in an unused AIGA logo from 1982. Alexander Isley jokes, "The first time I saw the CADC logo, I thought, 'That's funny, they got someone to do a Paul Rand-style logo. Too bad they weren't able to get the real guy.' Now I'm older and I know more things." Wayne Raicik, designer of such notable identities as the Connecticut Lottery, Centerplate,  and the Ad Club of Connecticut, admits, "When I first saw the logo I remember not being terribly impressed. At the time I was very young and Paul Rand was considered the 'old guard' — I'll admit that it was a bit of young ignorance. It felt a little too simplistic and a little obvious and cliché with the club symbol. "Over the years, as I became more aware of Mr. Rand and his legacy, I developed a deeper appreciation of the logo. I now have a deep regard for its simplicity, elegance and the equity it has built. Of course, the other half of the equation is that the CADC has done a masterful job protecting the brand and adhering to elegant solutions in the usage of the logo." Good adds, "In this post, post-modern environment, it now does look a little dated. It is somewhat ironic that a design executed in the spirit of timelessness, ultimately succumbs to the whims of popular style. "But I do think that the Rand logo should continue to be used. How many Clubs can say that their identity was created by one of the greatest designers of the 20th century? Besides, what could be better?"

John Lepak

John Lepak

What do you do and where do you do it? By day I’m a Designer with WondriskaRusso Associates in West Hartford. By night I operate a freelance gig called Fourfivesix. What inspired you to choose this profession, and what makes you stay in it? I’ve always loved drawing, and about halfway through high school I committed to the idea of going to art school. I used to screw around with flyers for bands or inserts for mix-tapes before I ever had any idea what “graphic design” was. Shit like that was a lot of fun. I connected the dots shortly thereafter. Why I stuck around? I've had the privilege of working with some pretty inspiring students and professors at school and that’s just continued through my professional experience. That, and the fact that I just really like doing it. Why not, right? What is your single favorite piece in your portfolio? I’d really have to split it down the middle between a poster series I did for my senior project and a website concept I did for Hartford Art School. The posters were cool because it was a ton of thought work followed by a ton of handwork. I didn’t take it to the computer until after I’d cut and stitched what felt like an infinite number of chipboard letters. It was nice to “make something,” instead of just pushing a key or clicking a mouse. The website concepts get to share top billing because it was a legitimate opportunity to use a jackalope in a project. For real though. Can you believe it caught the ax? What/Where do you want to be in 10 years? Career-wise I’d like to have my graduate degree and a short list of awesome people that I like to work with. Or be an off-the-bench shooting guard for the Celtics. Either would be pretty cool. Who/What are your biggest influences? Everything. For better or worse, I like to think that anything I’m doing is a direct product of my environment—where I come from, the city I live in, the books I read, the food I eat, the music I listen to, the people I know, etc. It’s all present and accounted for. What do you wish you did better? I don’t think there’s a single thing that I’ve maxed-out on, that I can’t do better. I guess it’s about learning and applying and then repeating the process, for everything. Not to say that the trying isn’t there, I just don’t like to believe that at 25 years old I’ve perfected anything. Why Connecticut? I grew up here, and Hartford was the place I wanted to start my career. The city gets a bad rap, but you know what? It’s sick, and I love it. Who are the best creatives you've worked with? Danny Mercadante and Jeff McCarthy who I was lucky enough to come out of high-school with; Devin Scheffel, my boy from the Pratt days, who could both draw and rap; Anthony Acock, Vaughn Fender, Porto, Caitlin Schiller and Wojciech Pirog from not-so-far back; Finally, I’ve had the pleasure of living/working with my lovely and talented girlfriend, Kat Riehle. She’s also an ill designer though she’d frown upon my use of the word ill. What are your loves/passions outside of this field? I’ve got a terminal case of the wanderlust. You name a place and chances are I haven’t been there, but I’d probably shake my already loose morals to do what it takes to change that. I also like playing basketball, and my rabbit, whose name is Bunneh. What do you know now that you didn't know then? The strength of street knowledge, when keeping it real goes wrong (and when it’s fully appropriate), and that the Wu-Tang Clan ain’t nothing to fuck with.

Kevin Hall

Kevin Hall

What do you do and where do you do it? I am the principal of a graphic design firm called Kevin Hall Design that I have managed out of my home office since 1993 here in Milford. I provide concept, layout, design, art direction, production and the managing of projects from concept to print for a wide range of companies and small businesses. Our specialty is logo development, the design of packaging and sales promotion materials for food & beverage companies and sports team branding. What inspired you to choose this profession, and what makes you stay in it? A love for creating imaginative and compelling graphics. I remain in the profession because there is nothing in life I'd rather do more. For those of us in the graphic design field, our greatest joy is visually solving our client's problems and exceeding their expectations. What/Where do you want to be in 10 years? In 10 years from now, I'd like to continue to work and participate in the graphic design field. You never know what surprises and challenges lie ahead. Who/What are your biggest influences? Paul Rand and Saul Bass have been my greatest influences. Their methods and style for designing logos and corporate identity programs has shaped the way I work. The body of work of these two designers is extraordinary and have influenced many generations of designers over the years. The writings of Paul Rand have helped to shape how many graphic designers think and navigate through our profession. What is your single favorite piece in your portfolio? One of my favorite pieces was a logo I designed for a company called "Market Snatchers". A visual of a hand is shown lifting up the letter "M" to imply how this marketing company assists other companies in obtaining a greater market share of their niche market. What do you wish you did better? Delegate. I tend to want to work on all aspects of a project, but that way of thinking is not always in the best interest of the project. Why Connecticut? When I took a position as Art Director for Marketing Corporation of America in Westport, prior to opening up my own studio, we decided the time was right to leave our 2 bedroom condo in White Plains and move to a home in Milford. My wife is originally from Connecticut and so are many of her family members, so it seemed like the logical choice to make. Who are the best creatives you've worked with? Pat Frankel, Art Scholz and Tim Dvorak. These are three highly talented designers and illustrators I worked with during my years as a designer at the General Foods Corporate Design Center. What are your loves/passions outside of this field? Watching reruns of "Seinfeld". Following the New York Knicks. Going to see the band "Chicago" at least once a year. Taking walks along the beach with my West Highland White Terrier named "Shamus". What do you know now that you didn't know then? How important it is to know the specific type of design job you want after college graduation. In other words, if you want a job in package design, then pursue that. If you have to take another type of design position in the meantime that's okay, but don't loseWeight Exercise sight of your dream job and continue to pursue it. You can only be happy if you are doing what you love to do and doing what you are best at.

Keiler Develops Theme for Boys and Girls Clubs of Hartford 2010 Fundraising Gala

Keiler and Company of Farmington has developed marketing materials for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Hartford's 2010 fundraising gala. With this year being the 150th anniversary of the Boys and Girls Clubs, the pressure was on to make the 2010 fundraising gala memorable. To accomplish the task, Keiler’s Executive Creative Director, Gini Kramer, came up with a single-word theme…"YES." “As one of the most powerful words in the English language, YES can have a ripple effect and impact the lives thousands of children, especially when used in phrases like ‘Yes, I will mentor you,’” states Kramer. This theme, which was used in all marketing materials for the gala, was incorporated with the Boys and Girls Clubs’ national campaign “Be Great” for the centerpiece of the gala’s promotional program — a two-minute video. “We thought that the 'Be Great' campaign was a nice complement to our ‘YES’ theme,” states Paul Emery, associate creative director. “By adding our own twist to ‘BE’ and combining the two, we felt that it would be a good way to communicate what the Boys and Girls Clubs stand for and inspire the audience.” For the production of the video, Keiler partnered with Content Pictures’ cinematographer Derek Dudek, who shot the footage with the RED digital camera at the Asylum Hill and Northwest Clubs. By using the RED digital camera, Dudek was able to eliminate film processing and maximize shooting time. Emery and Dudek essentially accomplished two shoots by using this camera because it also allows you to pull still shots from the video, which were used in other print collateral. “Keiler and Company has not only been an advocate, but has actively participated in the marketing and promotion of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Hartford for over a decade,” states Don Wilson, managing partner at Keiler and Co. and chairman of the board of trustees for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Hartford. “By contributing to community organizations, it allows our staff to participate in something they’re passionate about, create powerful and emotional work, and give back to the community at the same time.”

New Milford Photographer Featured on USPS Stamps

The US Postal Service recently unveiled "Animal Rescue: Adopt a Shelter Pet" commemorative postage stamps and announced the "Stamps to the Rescue" promotional campaign. The pets depicted on the stamps were photographed by Sally Andersen-Bruce near her home in New Milford. All had been homeless at one time; all but one had been adopted when they were photographed. The stamps were introduced to the public on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The Postal Service is working with DeGeneres and Halo, Purely for Pets, a holistic pet care company she co-owns, to promote the campaign and to bring greater attention to the cause. Sally Andersen-Bruce, a 1973 honors graduate of the Art Center of Design in Pasadena, California, has been president and sole proprietor of a photography business for more than two decades. From her studio in Connecticut and from many foreign countries, she has produced photographic art for corporate executives, products, annual and financial reports, Web sites, and United States postage stamps. She has, as well, worked with the International Folk Art Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the Museum of American Political Life in Hartford, Connecticut. In the late 1990s, she lived in Seoul, South Korea, while documenting global design workshops created for Samsung multimedia by product designers James Miho and Gordon Bruce. Assignments from clients such as IBM, Polaroid, AT&T, Pepsi, Fortune, and The Wall Street Journal have taken her to India, Germany, England, Italy, France, Sweden, and Mexico.

Adams & Knight Honored with Fifth Marketer of the Year Award

For the fifth time in six years, Adams & Knight was named Marketer of the Year at the Connecticut Chapter of the American Marketing Association's annual awards ceremony, winning the prestigious top honor for a Web site it created for Dreyfus, Ashby, a global wine importer based out of New York. The Avon-based integrated communications firm also won 12 Mark of Excellence (MOE) awards across a wide array of marketing disciplines -- integrated marketing campaigns, public relations, research, Web site development, special event promotion, television and radio advertising. The Dreyfus, Ashby Web site was the only entry to earn a perfect 50 out of 50 score from the panel of nationwide judges based on the site's strategy, execution and results. The user-friendly Web site enables different types of users to "tour" Dreyfus, Ashby's wine cellars however they prefer. Not only does the Web site create a distinctive brand image for this importer of wine from the world's most prestigious wine families, it's increased unique visitor traffic by 60 percent and increased contact requests ten fold. "We are pleased that the American Marketing Association has recognized Adams & Knight as Marketer of the Year five out of the last six years," said Jill Adams, president of Adams & Knight. "More importantly, we're thrilled that we have been able to deliver measurable results across all media and across all types of clients." Adams & Knight received 57 percent of the total MOE awards handed out at the ceremony. The agency was also recognized for its work for SunLife Financial, Dreyfus, Ashby, UMass Memorial Health Care, KBE Building Corporation, Connecticut's CHET 529 College Savings Program, Girl Scouts of Connecticut, Avon Marketplace, United Way and the Council for Disability Awareness.

DesignisLove.com Launches

Design is Love is a new community website from Troy Monroe, CADC President and creative at co:lab of Hartford. "Design is Love started as a response to conversations with creatives across the country," says Monroe. "So much of the dialogue revolved around building businesses and fear of competition that we felt like odd-birds talking about the value of working from the heart. Above all else, building emotional connections through design has been at the core of our design process here at co:lab. It's such a rich, empowering experience that we wanted to share it with everyone." Registered membership at the site gets you access to three main features: Helping Hand is a match-making system that brings creatives and non-profit organizations together; Inwords invites members to post answers to thought-provoking questions posed by the site; Design Fund invites members to create a piece of art/design on a given topic that will be sold to support other Design is Love initiatives. "We want to provide stimulating opportunities for our members to explore their creativity through funded projects and engaging communication."

Fathom Launches New Website for Girls Inc. of Southwestern Connecticut

Girls Inc. of Southwestern Connecticut — the first and original Girls Club of America established in 1864 in the United States and affiliate of the national Girls Inc. organization — has worked with Hartford-based Fathom to launch a new web presence online. Girls Inc of SWCT provides after-social, educational and scholastic enrichment programs for girls as young as 5 years old to age 18 in Fairfield County, New Haven County (Greater Waterbury) and Litchfield County area. "Girls are the most influential and transformational contributors to society. It is the duty of the whole community to support their exploration and growth," said Adrienne Wallace, Executive Director and CEO. "The new website helps us further the organization's own opportunities to reach supporters and the community, as well as families, to elevate our mission of empowering girls as future leaders and agents of change. I am also grateful that we also received some direct support from the Timex Group to build the site." Open six days a week during the school year, Girls Inc. of SWCT offers both summer and after school programs in safe, girl-only empowerment zones. Each girl can learn, explore, create, and interact with their peers and overcome any challenges. The organization is dedicated to providing girls with strategies to overcome social, intellectual, and economic challenges while helping empower them to be the change agents for the coming generations. "Fathom is proud to work with Girls Inc. of Southwestern Connecticut in establishing a bold online space for this unique organization. Similar to the Girls Inc. mission, this site truly inspires us all to both recognize and foster the strength and knowledge of the women and girls in this world, and will invite others to join in empowering our female youth," said Sarah Curran, Fathom Account Executive. Girls Inc. of Southwestern Connecticut believes that much of the future of the world rests in the hands of girls. The communities covered in Southwestern Connecticut are very diverse, and many of the girls served come from families at or just above the poverty level. Girls Inc. of SWCT depends greatly on the generosity and support of public and private donors, corporations and our community to assist in achieving their goals.

Don Carter Launches “Dance-A-Lot Robot” on The Disney Channel

Adams & Knight Creative Director Don Carter's newest creation, "Dance-A-Lot Robot," premiered February 27 on The Disney Channel. "Dance-A-Lot Robot" is a series of animated shorts for Playhouse Disney — familiar territory for Carter, who also created "Happy Monster Band," which premiered in 2007 and is still being played on the channel. A combination of animation and live-action, “Dance-A-Lot-Robot” stars Dance-A-Lot, a robot with rhythm who teaches preschoolers simple original dance steps including the robot, the blue jay, the dinosaur stomp and the clock, all set to the music of Devo’s Mark Mothersbaugh. Some of Carter's character designs for the series can be seen on his Flickr stream as well as the official Playhouse Disney microsite.

Brian Miller Chosen As One of Graphic Design USA’s “People to Watch in 2010″

GDUSA starts every year by choosing a group of People To Watch who embody the spirit of the creative community. The criteria: individuals who we have come to know and respect for a combination of talent, leadership, success, insight, business savvy, community service and newsworthiness. Connecticut is represented this year by Brian Miller of Brian Miller Design Group. The article features a portrait of Miller by Tracey Kroll; the two previously collaborated on a profile of Miller for Connfluence, the print companion to this very site.

Brian Miller is the design director at the Brian Miller Design Group — a small firm that specializes in branding for the web and print communications. The firm has created dozens of successful projects for clients like NBC Universal, Rockstar Games, SportsMD Media, GigMasters, TrackMan Baseball and Nat Nast, but Miller says he always believes the next project will be the most successful. He says the success of his company is built squarely on the successes (and failures) of his experiences at places like Gartner Inc. the global technology consulting firm where he was the inhouse creative director, and as an art director at Wunderman Interactive and Publicis Modem, working on clients such as GE, Delta Airlines, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, BMW, A&E Television, and Unilever. Although he takes some satisfaction fromhis work being featured in leading industry publications and winning many top awards, "I wouldn't say that I'm satisfied," says Miller. Miller, who has degrees from the Hartford Art School (BFA) and Pratt Institute (MPS), serves on the board of directors and as web committee chair for the Type Directors Club and is an adjunct professor of design at the University of Bridgeport. He lives in Norwalk CT with his wife Bridgette, daughter Sarah, and dog Shick. Where were you born, where do you live, did this effect your design style or sensibilities? I was born in Danbury CT and I now live in South Norwalk CT — 45 miles from New York City. Both Connecticut and NYC have thriving creative communities that I've made a point to get involved in. Being part of the Type Directors Club, for example, has had a profoundly positive effect on my work. If you were not a designer, what would you be? A teacher. It touches the same part of my soul that designing and creativity does. What is your design process, do you sketch first, go to the computer, take days off to get inspired? I daydream. Then I work on the computer. I find that I get the best results when I'm under pressure. Without a measure of stress I can fiddle around for days and get nothing of value. What is one thing you have done to help weather the economic downturn? I keep myself busy, even if I have to make up a personal project to do so. This keeps my momentum going and keeps me focused for when client work comes around. What is your greatest strength and weakness as a designer? I'm never afraid to come out and ask for something that I want. That can be both a strength and a weakness. Some clients perceive it as eagerness, while others (fewer, luckily) mistake it for impatience.
Past year's People To Watch have included such Connecticut creatives as Rich Hollant, Grant Copeland, Peter Good, Amy Graver, Tom Fowler, Alexander Isley, William Drenttel and Jessica Helfand, Mike Scricco, Karl Smizer and Amy Perry, Richard Shear, and Pam Williams.

Bertz Design Highlighted on Communication Arts Online

Bertz Design's Darwin Professional Underwriters broker promotion was highlighted on commarts.com, in their "Exhibit" section. Exhibit features new and innovative projects in graphic design and advertising from around the world.

Middletown, Connecticut-based Bertz Design Group needed to create a buzz among top-producing specialty insurance brokers with Privacy//403—a new technology security product offering by Darwin Professional Underwriters—while providing them with enough educational background to substantiate sales propositions. Seventy-five targeted brokers each received brushed aluminum attaché cases with binders wrapped with clear belly bands each silk-screened with strategically positioned slash marks that spelled out the product name when assembled. To complete the package, a product-branded mouse pad was secured on the inside back cover with an x-band.

Fairfield’s Jargon Boy Launches New Lester Beall Website

The Estate of Lester Beall has launched a website about American Graphic Design Pioneer Lester Beall (1903 - 1969). The Estate of Lester Beall was seeking a web presence with a vintage modern approach. Jargon Boy's Greg Chinn found a way to showcase the history of Lester Beall, emphasizing the early developmental career, pioneering work and lifestyle, while adding to the visual language of the time period. The website was created from a very personal point of view. Greg Chinn is married to the youngest Beall grandaughter, and his great respect and affection for the work is evident. The site was selected as a Communication Arts Webpick for February 18, 2010, has received coverage on top design blogs such as Core 77 and Design Addict, and will be profiled in an upcoming issue of Graphic Design USA. The site is framed by the words of Lester’s wife, Dorothy Miller Beall, from the December 1969 issue of the Journal of The American Institute of Graphic Arts. Functioning as a primer to Beall’s work, the website shows salient examples from his iconic portfolio. Viewers can see Beall’s early design work, drawings/paintings from the family's personal collection and peek inside his working Dumbarton Farm design studio in Brookfield, Connecticut. Jargon Boy is a boutique design shop located in Fairfield that specializes in creating visual languages for corporate clients. The studio’s M is for Modern Alphabet Flash Cards have retailed in two Smithsonian Institution locations, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York/MODA Museum of Design in Atlanta and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Chinn has been published in Communication Arts Design Annual, Print Regional Design Annual, How International Design Annual, Graphic Design USA Annual, Broadcast Design Award Annual and in two Pie Design Books: New Logo and Trademark Design + Private Greeting Cards.

Design Is Love Releases Two New Shirts

Design is Love has added two new shirts to its line, the "Design Heart" shirt and the "When I Grow Up I Wanna Be Me" shirt in both child and adult sizes. Buy a t-shirt and support their Design Fund, "a resource for fellow creatives to see their work produced without having to cover the costs out of pocket. You create it, we help with the rest."

Zunda Group Profiled in GD USA “Going Green” Issue

Jackie Delise, Vice President, New Business Development at Zunda Group, LLC, was interviewed in the latest issue of Graphic Design USA, about the firm's commitment to environmentally-friendly packaging design.

It is not up to designers to tell a client when it is time to go green or create a green product, but we are influencers and subject matter experts who can help guide them through their packaging needs. I am fascinated by James Lovelock's Gaia hypothesis, which says that Earth exists as a cohesive, living organism. Individual actions have a direct correlation to the whole. This idea is beginning to permeate consumer culture.

Ethan Bodnar Profiled on AIGA Make/Think Blog

Ethan Bodnar, author and Hartford Art School Student, spoke at AIGA's Make/Think conference, and was interviewed for the conference's live blog.

The Hartford Art School student thanks AIGA for giving him community and connecting him with other designers. The child of a graphic designer, he started his own layout work using Adobe Pagemaker and designing logos. In high school he discovered the online community of designers. He even put the word KERN on his backpack and happily explained to people what it meant. In his short career, he’s done signage for his high school, posters, an art installation, and the launch of the blog Synthesis. But it’s the personal projects that really drive him and because he loves them so much, HE HAS ALSO WRITTEN A BOOK. At 19. Repeat: He is 19 years old. It’s called Creative Grab Bag: Inspiring Challenges for Designers, Artists and Illustrators and it’s a collection of Lose Weight Exercises that help launch those personal projects.

CO:LAB Launches New Campaign, Gets Coverage in Print Magazine

CO:LAB of Hartford just completed a campaign for The Human Rights Institute of the University of Connecticut 2009 and is already receiving accolades courtesy of Steven Heller's blog on printmag.com.

Each year the institute hosts an event with dozens of scholars addressing a major human rights issue. This year the conference (Oct 22-24) took "a significant departure: the focus was turned to human rights issuses in the USA." "The process of becoming truly empathetic, and thus impactful in the resolution of human rights issues, means getting personal with the topics," writes Brian Grabell and Rich Hollant of CO:LAB, who have designed the current campaign. "So long as we believe these plights only occur 'over-there,' we desensitive ourselves." The campaign developed for the Human Rights Institute focuses on this: "By declaring our humanity right here + right now, we also declare that there is no distinction between 'over-here' and 'over-there.'" Grabell also notes, "We asked photographers from across the Country to capture images typifying the heart of America. The aim is to continue this campaign by spreading the word about this organization and their work by having any individual who wants to get involved and contribute to do just that."
The recently launched website can be found here. Detail from the website.

Fathom-Designed Website Wins Top Honors from TIME Magazine

TIME Inc. has selected Baby Name Wizard’s Name Voyager as one of the "50 Best Websites of 2009." BabyNameWizard.com was designed by Hartford-based marketing and creative firm Fathom. With the winning websites noted as "indispensable to navigating, enjoying yourself, shopping or just killing time on the Web," Baby Name Wizard is in good company with the likes of flickr, delicious, Google, Open Table, Amazon, YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, Etsy, Twitter, Facebook and more. "Being honored with the likes of Google and Facebook, our team is proud to see Baby Name Wizard’s Name Voyager join a crowd that is making their mark in the online world and creating legions of fans," said David Louden, Co-Founder and President, Fathom. The NameVoyager platform uses data from the Social Security Administration to tell how Jordan, Gage or any name ranks in popularity from the top 1,000 names for each decade. "As a self-funded start-up, we are thrilled to receive this honor. Selecting a baby’s name is a critical decision for parents-to-be and it is wonderful that TIME recognizes how valuable BabyNameWizard.com’s tools and advice have become for a new generation of parents.” said Jennie Baird, Co-Founder, Generation Grownup, LLC, the holding company for Baby Name Wizard. Other features of Baby Name Wizard include finding names, learning about origins and pinpointing geographical, demographic and time peaks of name popularity. The site was co-founded by baby names expert Laura Wattenberg, author of The Baby Name Wizard. More than a dictionary, the Baby Name Wizard methodology uses exclusive research and computer models to guide parents to the names that fit their unique taste.

Tunxis Community College Students Featured in Adobe Illustrator CS4 WOW! Book

Students of the Tunxis Community College Graphic Design Program — under Professor and Program Coordinator Stephen Klema — were featured in the recently-released Adobe Illustrator CS4 WOW! Book. As a class assignment, Klema challenged his students to create expressive graphic illustrations of organic forms. Using various Illustrator Brushes, the illustrations range from bold expressive lines to large patches of flat color to very painterly rendering. The students featured were Dan Brown, Susan Alderman, Matthew Triompo, Laura McCloskey, Shana Popyk, Nicole Gilbertie, Laura Mottai, Cinthia Burnett, Jessica Rosario, Emily Looper, Theresa Palmer and Kazimiera Cichowla. Find more artwork from Professor Klema's students on his website, stephenklema.com.

Ethan Bodnar: Author, Student, Overachiever

In early 2007, Ethan Bodnar started working on what would be his first published book, which he envisioned would be a "visual collaborative book about trying something new and exploring your creativity. A book of visual creations by people from around the world, that will come together through the exploration of new things to create something beautiful." By late 2007, Bodnar had announced that F+W Publication’s HOW Books would be the publisher. Meanwhile, Bodnar was busy contemplating life... after high school. "For the first time, I recently took some time to think about what I was planning to do with my life. I asked myself whether I truly wanted to become a graphic designer, and the answer was yes." So posted Bodnar on his blog on March 17, 2008. He was soon accepted into a number of prominent east coast schools — The School of Visual Arts, Maine College of Art, Art Institute of Boston and Massachusetts College of Art among them — but ultimately landed on Connecticut's own Hartford Art School. "The big question that I would always ask was whether it was a process (focuses on theory of design and how you go about design) or portfolio (focuses on having a book of work to get job placement) school. Process was the answer I was looking for." Bodnar's portfolio and academic application. In October of 2008, as Bodnar entered his first semester, Bodnar announced, "The completed manuscript was sent off to my wonderful editor over at HOW Books. I have received initial feedback on everything and they are very pleased with the outcome of the book and the direction we are moving forward with it." And in July of 2009, Bodnar reflected, "I received two advance author copies of the book in the mail today. It was a remarkable experience to be able to hold the book in my hands and flip through it." Creative Grab Bag is a collection of work from artists, illustrators and designers from around the world, both well-known and up-and-coming. Bodnar created over 30 unique tasks and gave each contributor a task that was different from their typical work. Tasks include "Make a Self Portrait," "Create a Comic Strip," "Design a Piece of Furniture," "Illustrate a Memory." The book contains images of each artist’s creative task, typical work, and a biography with a short reflection on their creative process. Together, they capture the spirit of exploration and innovation and challenge readers to break out of their usual work. The book even includes tear-out cards, so you can do the creative challenges yourself. Bodnar gave props to his home state by including Gluekit, an illustration and design studio, and CO:LAB, a branding and promotions company. "When Ethan presented this concept to us, we were immediately intrigued. Ambitious, insightful and a great catalyst for discussion. Well done," said CO:LAB's Rich Hollant. CO:LAB's spread... ... And Gluekit's. Besides the book, Bodnar has been keeping quite busy. He is the president of his school’s Student Art Council as well as their AIGA Connecticut student chapter, and acts as the student representative on the Board. He is also spearheading a blog for the Hartford Art School, called Synthesis, that will cover all departments of art-making and feature inspiration, news, interviews and more. He will speak on the main stage of Make/Think, the 2009 AIGA Design Conference, with industrial designer Charles Harrison. The two will co-present their career and work — a student beginning in an age of blogs and InDesign, juxtaposed with a successful designer who began his career as a military cartographer in the 1950s. While focusing on the importance of a formal education, they will share stories demonstrating how their education truly never ends. So what's next for the already-accomplished Bodnar? "I would love to do another book; there is something special and remarkable about making a book. I have a couple concepts that I am working on a bit and thinking about recently." "I hope to start my own small studio some day. I really enjoy projects such as books, blogs, small companies — the kind of things that are self-initiated, not client based." We have no doubt he will accomplish all that, and more.

Agency Spotlight: Cole Design Group

"Our working philosophy is simple: build strong relationships with great clients and superb collaborators, provide client service that consistently exceeds expectations, deliver high-impact creative...and enjoy every day! This philosophy, combined with common sense and an eagerness to learn from each experience, is the key to our firm's 24 years of success." Inspired by creativity, commited to client service, driven by results — Cole Design Group takes this mantra very seriously. Founded in 1985 by David and JB Cole — David a seasoned creative director and JB an experienced printing professional — CDG serves a variety of clients in the technology, utility and financial sectors, as well as giving back to their community through their work with charities and non-profits. The Coles have an eye for talent, and nurture their creatives by ignoring the traditional agency pecking order — each designer gets a chance to contribute. Senior designers Laura Zaniewski and Matt DeSmith have each been with CDG for over 10 years, and the agency has been a training ground and springboard for some amazing, accomplished talent in the state and beyond. Left to right: Laura Zaniewski, Nathan Lyver, Michele Sonnati, David Cole, Matt DeSmith and JB Cole. The agency recently posed for a portrait for conncreatives, taken by long-time collaborator Al Ferriera. "For more than 17 years, we have worked with Ferreira Photography. Al Ferreira and we have a mutual respect for each other's work, and we share critical values, including honesty, integrity and excellence in all that we do. Al was one of the first photographers we worked with who dove into the digital world ... head first. His passion, knowledge and mastery of the digital medium have allowed us to incorporate images of unsurpassed quality into all of our projects." Samples of work for Klingberg Family Centers and Northeast Utilities.

Winners Announced at the CADC 34th Annual Awards Show

The 34th Annual CADC Awards came to Mystic Aquarium Institute for Exploration on June 18. 10 Gold Awards, 44 Silver Awards and 53 Excellence Awards were handed out, as well as 3 Judges Awards, The Richard Hess Spirit of Creativity Award, and Best in Show. Best in Show went to Outthink of Essex for their video "Building Revel" for client Revel Entertainment. The Richard Hess Spirit of Creativity Award went to CO:LAB of Hartford for their 2008 Award Show Campaign for client CADC. Judges Awards went to Aaron Kotowski Photography of New Haven for a series of portraits for client Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services, Elizabeth Panke Design of Southington for its poster for client Koji, and WSAA of Westport for its fashion catalog for client Mitchells. The Richard Hess Spirit of Creativity Award went to CO:LAB for their 2008 CADC Awards Campaign. Big winners of the night were CO:LAB with a dominating 18 Awards, Keiler & Company of Farmington with 8, and Mascola Group of New Haven and Outthink, both with 7. A complete list of winners, judges and sponsors are at their website at cadc.org/awards2009.

Winners Recognized at the Advertising Club of Connecticut
55th Annual Awards Show

The Advertising Club of Connecticut recognized the best in Connecticut advertising on May 20 at their 55th annual Awards Show. More than 80 awards were given out across over 50 categories — from posters to outdoor billboards, annual reports to collateral, TV to radio, and Web sites to corporate videos. The event was held at the Aqua Turf in Plantsville, Connecticut. Keiler & Company of Farmington won “Best of Show” with their “Born 2 Consult” viral marketing campaign for their client Deloitte, while Think Creative Group of New Haven took the Gold Brush for the 116 Crown website and DW Advertising of West Hartford was awarded the Gold Pen for the Wood-n-Tap Bar & Grill’s “Tap Tattler.” 116 Crown Website by Think Creative Group Top Gold Award winners were Adams & Knight with five, Cashman & Katz and Colangelo both with three. Fox TV- 61 Anchor Logan Byrnes, who served as the master of ceremonies, hosted the award show held at the Aqua Turf. In addition to the awards ceremony, all of the winning work was on display. Attendees also enjoyed cocktails, hors d’ouevres, dinner, and lots of networking at the event. You can view pictures and download the full pdf of their official award show book here. The Advertising Club of Connecticut — founded in 1913 — is the largest professional association in the state serving advertising and marketing professionals. More than 500 members belong to the Advertising Club of Connecticut–including corporate marketing executives, agency principals, creative directors, media directors, account executives, graphic designers, art directors, public relations executives, media representatives, consultants, printers, photographers, illustrators, digital marketing specialists, and more. For more information, visit adclubct.org.

Connecticut Represented in AIGA 2009 BoNE Show

The AIGA 2009 BoNE Show Exhibition is a unique design competition and fund-raiser held in New England once every 2 years. An exhibition of winning entries launched at massART on June 11, 2009. A brief program announced winners and BoNE awards were presented. The event features winning entries on display, a unique silent auction, live entertainment, food and beverage. Representing Connecticut were two Hartford firms: Fourfivesix placed with their Beautiful Losers Poster for AIGA Connecticut, and CO:LAB won twice, for its promotional poster for the Bated Breath theatre company’s new take on A Doll’s House, and for its "Design Ain't Pretty" Annual Awards Show Materials for CADC. Fourfivesix placed with their Beautiful Losers Poster for AIGA Connecticut

UB Design Students Win Top Awards from State Professional Organizations

Four University of Bridgeport graphic design majors have won awards from leading professional design groups in competitions that each year are closely monitored by professional art directors searching for new talent. Abigail Zambon, a junior from Bridgeport, won the prestigious Connecticut Art Directors Club “Student Prize” and $500 for her portfolio of illustrations at the annual CADC conference in Harford on April 25 and 26. In addition, the Advertising Club of Connecticut has announced that three UB students will win gold, silver, or bronze “Pencil Awards” at its 55th Annual Awards Competition on May 20. Founded in 1913, the Ad Club’s yearly awards show and dinner attracts both students and working professionals vying for its highly competitive awards. Senad Ibrahimbegovic, a sophomore from Branford, will win a Pencil Award in the “Magazine Spread” division for his entry, “Best of Bogata.” Luv Bajaj, a senior from Bridgeport, is in the running for a Pencil Award for conceptual designs he created for Wahlstrom’s Café, the newly opened coffee bar at the University’s Wahlstrom Library. Kathie Cote, a senior from Waterbury, is one of the recipients of an award to be given to Brian Miller Design Group, where she worked as intern designer. Brian Miller, owner of the Norwalk firm, is an adjunct professor at UB’s graphic design program. It will be Cote’s second award from the Advertising Club. Last year, she won a Bronze Pencil for a series of posters she created to raise awareness about sexual assault. In the CADC competition, Abigail Zambon was selected to win by a panel professional art directors who reviewed portfolios submitted by more than 50 students, said Rachel Rowan, a CADC board member. “Abigail was competing against some of the best design students in the state. This is a prestigious award. We have very high standards,” said Rowan said. CADC members keep tab on students in the annual competition, Rowan added. “CADC is really a design community. We have a forum on Linked in [the professional networking Web site], and by being familiar with upcoming talent, we can make recommendations to people looking to hire.” Amy Papaelias, chairperson of UB’s graphic design program, said she was “thrilled that Abby’s, Luv’s, Senad’s, and Kathy’s talents have been recognized by Connecticut’s creative community. We’re very proud of them. These are sought-after awards, and to be recognized by working professionals affirms the quality of their superlative efforts.”

Connecticut Represented in Two GDUSA Awards Competitions

Connecticut was well-represented in two recent Graphic Design USA Awards Competitions. The American Package Design Awards was featured in the March 2009 issue of the magazine. Daymon Worldwide Design of Stamford was honored for their work for Meijer, Harris Teeter and Winn Dixie; Hughes Design Group of Norwalk for their work for Teekanne, Redco Foods and Jarden Consumer Solutions; The Shear Partnership of Norwalk for their work for Ahold USA/Stop+Shop; Zunda Group of Westport for their work for World Finer Foods and Newman's Own; BLUE Buffalo of Wilton for their work for their own BLUE Botanicals brand; Integrated Marketing Services of Norwalk for their work for Unilever; and TFI Envision, Inc. of Norwalk for their work for Color Go Round, Unilever and Veto Pro Pac. The first-ever American Web Design Awards were recently announced. Brian Miller Design Group won three awards — for their own site, for a recent redesign of the Type Directors Club website, and for the MillerWhite School of Design website. How2Design also won, for their recently relaunched own site. Congratulations to all winners, and thanks for representing Connecticut on a national level.

Constanza Gowen-Segovia: Emerging Professional

Constanza Gowen-Segovia's journey towards a BFA is winding down, as 22 seniors in Hartford Art School's Visual Communication Design program open their Senior Show at ArtSpace in Hartford. The 26-year-old Constanza was born in Mendoza, Argentina, and moved with her family to the United States in December of 1999. Attending Northwestern Connecticut Community College in Winsted, she got her first taste of design courses, before taking a few years off to, among other things, get married. Constanza then found herself at the Hartford Art School....Read More

How 2 Design Rocks With a New Website

How 2 Design of Guilford turns the volume up with their new site, a cutting-edge, 3D collaboration with mediaBOOM, also of Guilford. The site uses a clever musical sound studio metaphor, and skins their portfolio in a faux "media player," complete with clever "album covers" for their core competencies. Screenshots of the new site How 2 Design is a highly progressive firm which specializes in forging design concepts and ideas into communication strategies that rock. mediaBOOM is a Webby Award winning interactive agency that combines world-class design with cutting-edge technologies in order to deliver engaging online experiences.

GDUSA’s American Graphic Design Awards Honors Top Connecticut Agencies

The December issue of Graphic Design USA showcases selected winners of their three decade old American Graphic Design Awards competition, and Connecticut made a strong showing. Catalogs: Taylor Design, Stamford Promotions: TFI Envision, Norwalk Public Service/Pro Bono: Smizer Perry, New London; Caserta Design, Stratford Packaging: Zunda Group, Norwalk; The Worx Group, Prospect; Hughes Design Group, Norwalk; Group 4, Avon Multimedia/Broadcast: The Worx Group, Prospect Web: LK Design, Wilton Corporate Identity: Smizer Perry, New London; The Worx Group, Prospect Logos & Trademarks: Smizer Perry, New London; fiZz, Bridgeport Publications: John Kallio Graphic Design, New Haven; Cheney & Company, New Haven Books: The Worx Group, Prospect Annual Reports: The Worx Group, Prospect; Taylor Design, Stamford; John Kallio Graphic Design, New Haven; Caserta Design, Stratford; Pappas MacDonnell, Southport Direct Mail: TFI Envision, Norwalk Advertising: Smizer Perry, New London; Williams & House, Avon; TFI Envision, Norwalk Announcements & Invitations: TFI Envision, Norwalk; The Worx Group, Prospect Collateral: Smizer Perry, New London; Taylor Design, Stamford; TFI Envision, Norwalk; Pappas MacDonnell, Southport Calendars: Cheney & Company, New Haven Posters: Smizer Perry, New London

Connecticut Creatives:
What We Really Wanted for Christmas

Compiled by Rich Hollant & Amy Graver; Intro by Rich Hollant By definition, 99.9% of what creatives do is create stuff. And the propensity to create, with any level of proliferation, butts right up against a compulsion to give. Give, give, give. Even in these difficult economic times, when so many of our colleagues are wincing from the pinch, we Connecticut creatives are among the first to recognize that when the going gets tough, the tough get giving. It should come as no surprise, therefore, when Amy presented the idea of posting our holiday wishlists, the general response of those asked to contribute sounded something like this: “Hunh?”...Read More

Jargon Boy Design Studio Featured in Communication Arts

Jargon Boy Design Studio of Fairfield was recently featured online in the Fresh section of Communication Arts. CA talks to Greg Chinn about his studio, his influences and his philosophies, and presents a portfolio of his work. The section is their weekly feature of innovative work by people, firms and agencies working professionally for approximately five years, including those who have recently changed careers and/or styles.

MillerWhite School of Design
Launches Video Series

Fairfield County-based MillerWhite School of Design has launched a series of videos on their site, featuring the industry's leading authorities on design, typography and design education. The initial group of videos features interviews with School cofounder Alex W. White, Charles Nix (Scott & Nix), Graham Clifford (Graham Clifford Design), Rosanne S. Guararra (Triumph Learning) and Anne Twomey (Grand Central Publishing). The MillerWhite School of Design offers pre-college programs for high school students, as well as professional development workshops for agencies and in-house creative departments.

Fred Caserta’s Art On Display

Caserta Design's Fred Caserta was selected to be part of an exhibit at the Nanjing Art Institute, Nanjing, China. The exhibition, "Commemoration of 5.12: China’s Massive Earthquake,” features work from more than 200 artists, designers, film makers and musicians from across the globe. "It is a perfect global response to tragedy and a our greatest hope for the future," says designer and co-curator Robert Appleton. Fred's piece, "MAGNITUDE," is a 60x60 in. digital illustration, inkjet on paper. Fred describes the piece: "'MAGNITUDE' pulls the viewer from a distance. 70,000 Chinese-red 'pixels' demonstrate the MAGNITUDE of the loss of life resulting from the 5.12.08 earthquake. It is a reference to the Chinese Red Egg and Ginger ceremony in which babies are named at one month old. It calls attention to the truth that each pixel/egg/life was a real person, possessing their own significant identity."

Connecticut In Print

Gluekit of Hamden created the cover and eight interior pages for Print's 2008 Regional Design Annual. There's an interesting "making of" piece highlighting the studio and its principals, Christopher Sleboda and Kathleen Burns. Gluekit had a number of winning pieces in the Annual, from their sister business, Part of It. Part of It works with artists to create products for causes they are passionate about, with sales from products benefiting charities chosen by the artists. Also representing Connecticut in the Annual are Jargon Boy of Fairfield, Winterhouse of Falls Village and Bertz Design Group of Middletown.

New HAS Website

Fathom of Hartford has launched an exciting new website for The Hartford Art School, one of America’s oldest art institutions. The new website had to live within the family of University of Hartford’s already established sites, but be distinctive enough to make an impact. The Hartford Art School sought a design that would engage and excite potential students, but convey their legitimacy and prestige. “The goal,” Fathom’s Anthony Acock explained, “was to find a way to strike a balance between fulfilling the desire to surprise and underscore the school’s status.” An additional challenge for Fathom designers came in working to make the new site complement the art school’s existing print collateral without mimicking it. The resulting Hartford Art School website has stand-alone personality that answers both of the client’s concerns while dovetailing nicely with its existing print materials. Each page of HAS’s new website engages with vibrant colors and unexpected shapes, prominently featuring black and white snapshots of students perfecting their craft. Standout typography and a streamlined, readable text flow unite the new design to The University of Hartford’s other sites and existing print pieces. An additional feature of the new art school site is the unique identity assigned to each discipline within the school. “All of the departments have a radically different look and feel,” Acock said. “The differences amongst the pages underscore the diversity of the Hartford Art School’s offerings.” The final product, in hues of electric purple, bright green, yellow, teal and eye-popping scarlet certainly accomplishes the goal. “Stylistically, it’s really different from where they were before,” commented Fathom Account Executive Sarah Curran. “The new design gives each department the opportunity to showcase their uniqueness.”

Amy Graver, New VP of AIGA | CT

After a stint as a photojournalist and many years as an art director, Amy Graver founded Elements in early 1999. Since then, the New Haven-based business has grown from a one-person, dining-room-table operation to a respected and award-winning firm. Elements serves an impressive and diverse roster of regional, national and international clients, including PEZ Candy and Save the Children....Read More

Connecticut in Logolounge 5

logolounge.com will be releasing their Logolounge 5 book, the latest in their series of annual catalogs of the best logos from around the world. This year, 35,000 logos were submitted and less than 5% were selected for publication — and Connecticut was well represented. Two logos by co:lab of Hartford will be included, one for a local arts council and one for global Motorola. Taylor Design of Stamford is represented by their identity program created for TowerGroup in Boston. And the Brian Miller Design Group was selected for their identity for the musical group Spinning Plates.

The Ups & Downs of In-House Designers

Being an in-house creative in a corporate environment has many challenges, but also many rewards. One can feel isolated, or one can revel in being immersed in a brand, living and breathing the culture first-hand. We talked with three in-house designers from across the state on the pros and cons of being a creative in a business world....Read More

Brian Grabell & Troy Monroe Stick Together

Brian Grabell and Troy Monroe seem to like to stick together. They work together at co:lab in Hartford. They're both on the Executive Board of the Connecticut Art Directors Club. And before that, they've collaborated on multiple campaigns for the CADC, and worked together at Outthink....Read More

Adams & Knight Win Best in Show

The Connecticut Public Relations Society of America awarded Adams & Knight of Avon the prestigious "Best in Show" award for an integrated campaign it created for Renzulli Learning Systems. The campaign featured research, web design, branding initiatives, and public relations strategy that produced a very successful launch of the education software company's product to school districts nationally. The agency also earned six Mercury Awards at the PRSA's annual awards show. The Mercury Awards recognize outstanding work in public relations, marketing, and communications, and honor strategic excellence, creativity, successful execution and results.

Plaid in HOW

Danbury agency Plaid is featured in the September issue of HOW. Their 2007 Plaid Summer Tour won a "Merit" award for self-promotion, and was also featured in a two-page spread describing the tour as a unique self-promotional tool.


Connecticut was well-represented in Graphic Design USA's AMERICAN INHOUSE DESIGN AWARDS. Winners included Bridgeport Hospital (Susan Martini), United Natural Foods of Dayville (Lee Winchell, Jillian Camarata), MNI of Stamford (Mindi Lund, Rachel Rowan, Mark Hintsa, Joanne Hus), The Hartford (Michael Smith, William Cruz, Marilou Soltis), Golf Digest of Wilton (Lance Hertzbach, Deb Chute), Red 7 Media of Norwalk (Carolyn Eyler, Vanessa DeMartino), United Rentals of Greenwich (Fiona Rohde), Valassis of Windsor (Steff Macmath, Lynda Kirby) and Scientech of New Milford (Mary Jagirdar).

Deb Kline: Hiring Habits & Horror Stories

Deb Kline has been a working creative professional since she graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design from the Hartford Art School. Currently, she is Director, Branding Packaging & Merchandising at Group 4 in Avon, as well as an Adjunct Professor at the HAS and President of the CADC for the 2007-2008 season. We talked with Deb about what she looks for in new hires and freelancers....Read More

Smizer Perry Wins ACE Awards

Smizer Perry of New London was honored with three ACE awards by the Business Marketing Association of NYC at an event held at Le Parker Meridien in New York on June 17, 2008. Their work for CMP Media to create the bmighty.com website garnered a Silver ACE Award for the bmighty.com logo. bMighty.com is an online resource for small and midsize business and IT decision makers. They were also honored with Bronze ACE Awards for both the Starbak logo and Starbak stationery system. Starbak provides fully integrated components that video-enable any IP network.

Shannon Brenek: Taking on the CADC

After working as an art director at Sonalysts for close to 8 years, Shannon Brenek decided to stay at home and spend more time with her new son, freelancing under the moniker Grey Dog Design. Soon she was offered an adjunct teaching job at Mitchell College and started to get more involved in the CADC, leaving less time to freelance. "So right now, I'm a mom, a teacher, and will be the Executive Director for the CADC officially starting next season," says Brenek. "It's hard to promote yourself and be creative in between diaper changes. So this is a great opportunity for me not to have to rely on freelancing, yet I can still take jobs if it fits with my schedule." ...Read More

Amy Perry: Keeping Your Agency Top of Mind

Differentiating our clients in their respective marketplaces, gaining the attention of their audiences, and making sure there is a consistent visual and verbal message are fundamental components to the services a marketing and design firm provides. But, when it comes to doing the same for our own firms many of us fail miserably. Promoting ourselves is much more difficult. Why? There are a number of reasons. In general, often we are not comfortable talking about ourselves, nor do we have the objective perspective for which our clients pay us to create clear messages. ...Read More

Agency Blogs Are the New Black

The Mascola Group specializes in building brands that unlock and tap into the disposable income of the mass affluent markets. They have started up their own blog, called A Ride Uptown, where they post their findings and insights from research on the affluent target market....Read More

Nick Healy: All Over the Place

Nick Healy is just one of those guys. Out of school less than six years, Healy has already accomplished a lot: He is a successful art director at Mascola Group, an award-winning advertising agency in New Haven. He is Vice President of the CADC for the 2007-2008 season. And he has just launched an online limited-edition art gallery and clothing company called One of Twenty. We talked to Nick about how he got to where he is, and where he wants to go from here....Read More


conncreatives.com was conceived as a portal and forum to bring together the community of creative professionals in Connecticut. Not just halfway between Boston and New York, Connecticut has a thriving network of agencies, vendors and service providers. conncreatives.com seeks to provide news and discourse on the talent, projects, organizations and events within the Connecticut creative community. Your participation is encouraged and vital. Please send your news and press releases, and your editorial submissions and article ideas to david@conncreatives.com. conncreatives.com was conceived and designed by David Cushman. By day, Cushman is a senior art director at a branding and advertising firm in Westport, and by night, Cushman works on client and personal projects under the moniker of form:substance.

Darryl Ohrt: Rebranding Plaid

We've all worked on branding and rebranding for our clients, and know such efforts can be monumental. Add to the mix that we are so often our own worst clients, and that our own branding always takes such a back burner to client work, and we can't help but awe at a fun, well-done and thoroughly-executed agency brand....Read More


Connecticut Agencies Named 2014 Best Places to Work

Three Hartford-area agencies were recently named among the 2014 Best Places to Work in Connecticut. Created by the Hartford Business Journal and Best Companies Group, the state-wide survey identifies, recognizes, and honors the best 35 employers that are benefitting Connecticut’s economy and workforce. Making the list were Adams & Knight in Avon, Primacy in Farmington, and Worx Branding & Advertising in Prospect.

Norwalk's Tim Mara is a GD USA 2014 Student to Watch

Tim Mara, now an art director at TracyLocke in Wilton, made the list of Graphic Design USA’s 2014 Students to Watch. Tim earned his BFA in Graphic Design at The College of Saint Rose and now resides in Norwalk.

Taylor Design Wins in the 2013 HOW International Design Awards

HOW Magazine announced that work done by Taylor Design has been chosen as a winner in the 2013 HOW International Design Awards. The winning entries include the Sarah Lawrence College Admissions Poster, designed by Hannah Fichandler and illustrated by Vaughn Fender; the 2013 Taylor Design Holiday Calendar, designed by Steve Habersang and illustrated by Vaughn Fender; and the Greenwich Academy Case Statement, art directed by Hannah Fichandler and designed by Steph Mullins Baumer. The winners will be recognized in the March 2014 issue of HOW Magazine.

Kim Ronemus Design's Studio Featured in How Magazine

Kim Ronemus Design‘s repurposed-service-station-now-design-studio caught the eye of HOW magazine and was awarded one of “Five Most Creative Workspaces in the Northeast.” The office was originally the first gas station in town and remained in service until the ’70s. Vestiges of that previous life have been maintained and can be seen in everything from the building’s cement floors to the aluminum paint. “It has a great industrial vibe to it,” says Kim Ronemus, principal.

Dornenburg Group Is Now Dornenburg Kallenbach Advertising

Dornenburg Group is now Dornenburg Kallenbach Advertising, a full-service advertising and marketing communications agency located in Bloomfield. “2013 marks the agency’s 19th anniversary and we thought this was a good time to make some changes,” says President and Creative Director Jeff Dorenenburg. “Our new name recognizes the key role that Tod Kallenbach has played during the eight years since he joined our team. Tod’s inspiration and business acumen are integral to our company, and we plan to continue growing the business for many more years to come.” With ther new name comes a new logo, a new look and a new website.

Cronin and Company Promotes Wayne Raicik to Senior Vice President, Creative Director

Wayne Raicik has been promoted from vice president, associate creative director to senior vice president, creative director at Cronin and Company in Glastonbury. Raicik initially worked at the agency from 1984 to 1988 as art director. He later returned in 1997 as senior art director. He has served as vice president, associate creative director for the past four years. “Wayne has been the creative conscience for the agency for 19 years,” says Steve Wolfberg, principal and chief creative officer of Cronin. “He’s a passionate protector of the Cronin brand, making sure that everything we create is as good as it can be.” As senior vice president, creative director, Raicik is responsible for directing and overseeing all aspects of creative at the agency. Over the years, Raicik has won numerous awards for his creative work. Prior to Cronin, Raicik was senior art director at Mintz & Hoke. He holds a degree in illustration from Syracuse University.

Madison|Mott Celebrate 13 Years in Business

Madison|Mott of South Norwalk celebrate thirteen years in business, with a new website and a blog post by co-owner Luke Scott. “Through it all, we’ve endured, and evolved. We even changed our name, to better represent the way in which our firm, and distinctly different partner personalities, provide clients with a better balance of all this new technology, coupled with the classic advertising techniques required to build and sustain a successful brand.”

Ken DeLago of Wilton Featured in Communication Arts Typography Annual

Ken DeLago of Wilton, Design Director at Golf Digest / Condé Nast, has made it into the Communication Arts Typography Annual for his identity for Hertz Construction Company. Said Ken of the mark: “A two-man construction team makes up Hertz and the two Cs in the logo do double duty as the CC in Construction Company as well as representing the two men involved. The negative space creates the ‘H’ in Hertz. The stencil effect on the hand-drawn letters create a building block motif.”