"IF" by Dean Michael
In November 2016 I was selected as one of 30 graphic designers to produce covers for National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. With nothing but a synopsis and 48 hours to develop and produce a concept.
The "IF" synopsis was the story of a man who was shot 18 times. Not an ideal human being, while in between this world and the next he has an opportunity to make amends with the people he's wronged.
"The Infinite Lives of Sho Sakamoto" by S.A. Reed
In November 2017 I was selected once again as one of 30 graphic designers to produce covers for NaNoWriMo.
The "Infinite Lives" synopsis was the story of Sho,, a teenager
who reappears after a ten-year absence and find out he is an
inter-dimensional being. Sho sets about finding who he is and where he disappeared to.
NBA Retired Players Association Benefits
Needed for the cover of a book of materials outlining benefits available for retired NBA players. The illustration portrays basketball players playing among the buildings of New York City and is reminiscent of art deco, a favorite style of mine.
My MFA thesis consisted of in-depth research on the background of K-12 design education as well as current examples and sources of the same. The concept for the cover was intended to act as a bridge between the old (the green blackboard) and the new (Post-it notes) methods used in classrooms.
Spotswood Centennial Event Program
Created for the day of our formal centennial celebration on July 20, 2008, the program was a guide to the day's events and an overview of the history of our town. I designed the cover using vintage photographs from the town and an overlay of a map of the town dating from the 1800's.
One of our guest instructors in my MFA program was Rodrigo Corral, the award-winning book designer. At the time, he was the only designer that the reclusive author Chuck Palahniuk would allow to work on his books.
One of our assignments was to design a cover concept for the (then) unreleased book "Tell All". We were given a copy of the actual synopsis that Rodrigo was given, and were given overnight to develop a concept to present.
The story is of an aging Hollywood actress who is slowly driven mad by her assistant, who is looking to cash in on an unauthorized biography of their employer. I chose a film noir look for the cover, to accurately place the cover within the time frame of the book's setting. The silhouette and dress are based closely on Audrey Hepburn, one of my favorite actresses.
"Cover to Cover"
A poster concept for the fictional (but in my opinion, inevitable) retrospective of Alex Steinweiss, who invented the modern album cover at Columbia Records and Paula Scher, who was one of the last art directors at Columbia (CBS) prior to the rise of CDs and the demise of vinyl.
The title and visuals reference both Steinweiss's first album cover design in 1939 and Scher's iconic typographic style seen in posters for the Public Theater, bookending the amazing run of vinyl album covers created by both of these legendary design figures.
Created for Spotswood High School's performance of Macbeth, which was staged as if it took place in a surreal, twisted carnival. The vintage carnival sideshow poster is the only non-original component used in
As a grad school exploration, I had to imagine developing the materials for my own retrospective, including this poster for the exhibition.
Developed for the Spotswood school district language arts department, I created illustrations to visualize the 12 qualities of genius as described in the book "Awakening Genius in the Classroom" by Thomas Armstrong. There's an "Easter Egg" that was included for the language arts teachers as well, although none of them ever came forth that they found it.
Casino Night Poster
Each year I volunteer my skills for the Spotswood Education Foundation, an organization of dedicated community members who raise funds to provide classroom teachers within the district with the financing for pet projects that fall outside the spectrum of the annual budget.
Their needs primarily focus on materials for an annual casino night that acts as their primary fundraising event. Each year has a specific theme and I chose this one as one of my favorites, a "Vegas" theme. It required that I recreate the famous Las Vegas sign in Illustrator for the event. I also found a vintage photograph of the old Vegas strip and designed the typography to be reminiscent of a sequence in the original "Ocean's 11" film that shows the original strip signage in a drive by montage.
NBA Team Up
In the 1990's, the NBA had a community service program in place that partnered each NBA team with a local group. The team employees, players and cheerleaders would all participate in local events, most of which were recorded and turned into Public Service Announcements and a variety of TV specials.
When the League needed a print poster to distribute to schools and local community groups, they asked me to develop a concept that could capture the events and visualize them for the poster audience. Scouring through the video footage, I had key moments converted to still frame images and used them as a film strip of sorts to demonstrate the depth of the effort that was being put forth.
"Black Birds" by Jay Lee
In November 2019 I was selected for a third time as one of 30 graphic designers to produce covers for National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. With nothing but a synopsis and 48 hours to develop and produce a concept.
In Black Birds, a run-down mining town in the 1800s is the setting. Our protagonist is a miner set to leave with his family to find his fortunes elsewhere, until the arrival of a mysterious stranger revives the town, but at a cost...