I was asked to write and design a thank you ad for Bardog Tavern's (and Slider Inn's, and Aldo's Pizza Pies') nominations (and a few victories) in the Memphis Flyer's 2013 "Best of Memphis" poll. I combined the typeface I'd been using for Slider Inn ads with the layout format I'd been using for Aldo's Pizza Pies, and the slightly snarky, mildly cheeky attitude we'd adopted in previous Bardog ads.
Since we were approaching the Mayan Apocalypse, I felt I should update my horror movie poster references for the second flyer / ad I designed for Bardog's Halloween Party.
I pulled my main inspiration for this flyer from 80's slasher movies - copy included. Yeah, the typeface is pulled from Saul Bass' visual design for Hitchock's Vertigo, but otherwise, the visual references are all Reagan-era exploitation and gore gold.
We used this flyer for in-store flyers and ads in the Memphis Flyer.
Though the ad slogan I wrote for this ad was re-used and became more notable in a Memphis Flyer ad I didn't design (but is enshrined above the cash register at another local bar), and was later even commemorated on Bardog's door as our almost-official slogan, this is the first instance of its use.
This ad was made for inclusion in the program for an area beer festival in early 2012.
As part of their annual Halloween party, Memphis' Bardog Tavern raffles off a vintage hearse. By the time of the 2011 party, word had gotten to the owner that I had a degree in writing and a copy of Photoshop burning a hole in my hard drive. I was told to make a poster, so I did.
The influences on the copy and design are fairly obvious: vintage horror and exploitation movie posters.
The owner liked it enough to ditch his own newspaper for the event and use mine. (It wasn't sized appropriately, as I was expecting to be printed on 8.5 x 11 paper, and the results were... interesting. The version featured is my original.) I was asked to make the posters and ads for future events.
Yeah, maybe this should be as embarrassing as anything I've put out there, but guess what? I'm proud of this work. There are precious few better examples out there of how I like to work when I'm doing my best work.
I had an assignment, way back when I was in undergrad at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., to produce five reasonably identical editions of my 'manifesto.'
So that's exactly what I did. I wanted to explore the relationship between typography and language without resorting to writing a poem about a tree that looks like a tree - or a manifesto that read like a screed. So I wrote a series of poems about typefaces and typographical elements - some more straightforward than others - and screen printed broadside editions of a few of those poems.
Unfortunately, all extant copies seem to have disappeared. When I locate a set, they will reappear here. In their place, I've included some photos I took of the process at the time.
I stand behind what this work says about what I care about - which should be the definition of a 'manifesto.' This series here? This is me throwing my weight and skill behind what I could already do (language and design), while learning a new skill (I taught myself screen printing for this project).
This attitude drives me to constantly learn new skills, techniques, and platforms that (may or may not seem to) help me express myself to the absolute fullest. It also means that I'm never satisfied with what I'm already good at. There are new skills and tools all the time. The fact that this very website is built on Squarespace - a platform I'm brand new to - is perfect evidence of this.
But someone's using this - I mean, they make enough money to sponsor 80% of the podcasts I listen to - so I should be familiar with how it works. So I'm going to make myself familiar with it.
Somewhere back in 1994 or 1995, my parents bought me a guitar and pretty much ruined everybody's lives. That's a bit strong. I still play in a couple bands and I write songs that I think are pretty good. But at the time, I took to the guitar like a fish to the wrong sort of water, and I took to singing like that same fish to the infinite vacuum of outer space.
In 2010, I released "Nine Songs." Because those nine were the only ones I'd written and recorded in the preceding 15 years that were worth half a damn. A couple of them I still dig. I play a couple with a band. In public, even.
Of course I designed the album cover and the Website, and created all the copy on said Website, because I wouldn't force that task on anyone else. This was my undertaking, and it was my burden. Also, I liked the way it looked.