May 24, 2013
“Outside the Law” profile of poet and Colorado Supreme Court Justice Gregory Hobbs
By Meg Satrom
Justice Hobbs — or as he signs emails, “G” — is what Law Week editor Meg Satrom refers to as a “poet-lawyer.” The three of us visited over coffee and brunch about how art fits into our lives, and how our right brains can complement the left, and vice versa.
Drawing my inspiration from Hobbs’ own, I placed the photo I took of him in the Colorado Supreme Court conference room over an 19th century water map of Colorado while listening to one of his favorite bands, the Pines. Layering my own photos of water and nature over his face, I composited the image to create one of my last Law Week covers.
I really enjoyed creating this piece, but the true validation came from Hobbs’ own fingertips in a complementary email to Meg about her and my work on the story.
This has been about six months in the making, so I am pleased to finally present the National Center for Learning Disabilities Annual Report 2012!
The 48-page report is styled to resemble a magazine layout giving the reader an opportunity to read one ‘story’ at a time.
You can read the report in all its glory here.
The Colorado Supreme Court, University of Colorado Law School, University of Denver Sturm College of Law, the Association of Corporate Counsel – Colorado Chapter, Center for Legal Inclusiveness, Law Week Colorado and Gibson Arnold and Associates launched a survey aimed at addressing job satisfaction and salaries within Colorado’s legal community.
Leading the creative and art direction of this campaign with my design team, we created a series of six ads that spoke to both salary and satisfaction. The secondary taglines that were used on social media was, “How does your salary look?” and “What does your money say?”
MAGIC FLUTE is a 200-some-year-old German-language opera — my job was to translate Mozart’s work to be visually interesting to 20-year-old college kids.
Initially plagued with “artist’s block,” I had no idea where to go with this poster. To get started on the artwork, I read the synopsis and commentary about the piece and the time at which it was written, reviews images of productions from around the world and listened to the complete opera in German on YouTube. (The internet is a wonderful thing.)
And it all started to come together.
Inspired by the illustrations of Ed Fairburn, Jeremy Cowart and others, I used this photo of a robin that I shot in Versailles, Ohio, as a base and layered the image (a few times over) on top of a triplicated celestial star chart. I sketched over the bird it a few times. And a few more.
Adding more and more layers — I built up the illustration with paper and watercolor textures, and other photos from my archive including a peacock, a tree, fallen leaves and a human eye.
Knowing all of the details that are hidden in the art, MAGIC FLUTE has truly become one of my favorite posters. For my viewer’s sake, I wish that I had recorded the process à la Cowart’s Thom Yorke portrait/illustration, but it’ll have to wait until next time. I promise.
More from University of Evansville Opera…
No. 17 — February 17, 2013
What struck me about the final scene in STREETCAR, Act III, Scene 5, was the burst of color that enters the scene. Particularly since our main character is named Blanche. I see the color as what her world becomes after she breaks from reality and goes into her fantasy state.
I also recorded this poster’s creation process — check out the video here.
Act III, Scene 5
“And, Stella—that cool yellow silk—the boucle—see is it’s crushed. If it’s not too crushed I’ll wear it and on the lapel that silver and turquoise pin in the shape of a sea-horse. […] And, oh, Stella—try to locate that bunch of artificial—violets in that box, too, to pin with the sea-horse on the lapel of the jacket.”
“I’m green with envy.”
“Such a pretty blue jacket.”
“One day out on the ocean I will die—with my hand in the hand of some nice-looking ship’s doctor, a very young one with a small blond mustache and a big silver watch. […] And I’ll be buried at sea sewn up in a clean white sack and dropped overboard at noon—in the blaze of summer—and into an ocean as blue as—the blue of my first lover’s eyes!”
Models: Cassandra Engber, Chiara Motley
Photos layered into this poster are from my personal photo archive and include images from New Orleans, Ohio, Massachusetts, Indiana, Ireland, Chicago, Paris, Spain and even one from an airplane.
Sarah Overbeck has been at Law Week for the past year and is the photographer behind such covers as Waiting It Out, Super Lawyers 2012 and number of other stellar snaps. As part of finishing her second bachelor’s degree, she hired me to design her a logo for her freelance photography business.
Sarah is a fantastic artsy soul and has a number of tattoos on her body — all with strong meaning behind them. One of her prominent tattoos is the poppy flower on her right arm which she got in memory of her father who passed away a few years ago.
The icon here represents Sarah’s poppy and connects her art back to her roots.
I’m excited to release the artwork for my first full-season brand — Fabrefaction Theatre Company’s 2012–2013 season. Branded as FTC’s “American Season,” the ’12–’13 season takes Atlanta theatre-goers on a journey through what being an American is all about. Using four colors — red, white, blue, gold (and black) — each poster is based on typographic folksy fair and Americana posters.
Along with these five “Professional Season” productions are four “Young Artist Series” — plays and musicals that give students of all ages the chance to perform. The YAS uses the same colors, but with strong vector icons to represent the individual productions.
More from Fabrefaction…
The “Young Artist Series” at Fabrefaction Theatre Company gives student of all ages a chance to perform and be involved with the Atlanta theatre community.
The 2012–2013 professional season is based on what it means to be an American. That brand carried over into the YAS artwork utilizing the same colors as the professional series’ artwork. To be more kid-friendly, each show features a vector icon illustration to represent the individual production.
More from Fabrefaction…
Three months after their engagement, my brother Joe and his new fiancée Valerie announced to their families that Joe was taking a job literally half-way around the world in Perth, Australia.
A few weeks later, I sat down with the couple over breakfast to discuss what their wedding brand would look like. Based on a late-summer wedding in Montana followed by a huge international move, I suggested a “par avion” envelope look for the brand. This was carried through with a coral and navy color palette, as well as diagonal stripes on each piece.
In total, we ended up with 5 pieces in the package: a two-color letterpressed invitation, beautifully printed by Flourish Letterpress in Denver; a cheesy postcard announcing the big move; a gate-folded guest-info booklet with RSVP instructions, a map and accommodations; a rehearsal-dinner invitation featuring an illustration of my dad as a bear; and the envelope.
Photos by Laura Murray Photography.
For the past six months, I have been working with the National Center for Learning Disabilities on this report and I am excited to finally be able to launch it into the world.
In my initial meeting with Director of Development Kevin Hager back in October, we discussed how NCLD’s 2011 annual report could be more readable than those in the past. Some of the previous reports “read like a Hemmingway novel” and consequently, no one digested the content. I pitched to Kevin that we could format this year’s report like a magazine—keep the articles short and use a lot of large, full-color artwork to draw readers into the material. Each section of content is formatted like an editorial story with a headline and artwork to match. The print version is printed on a high-gloss, high-quality, magazine stock. The idea behind the visual report was to keep the reading light; NCLD donors are parents—and on top of that—women, or mothers, whose reading schedules might be limited to a few minutes of a magazine here and there.
The logo presented is a versatile, multi-level visual brand that successfully speaks across multiple media materials.
After researching more about Sing For Hope, the feeling I came away with was an overwhelming sense of optimism and excitement. The logo icon presented is an abstract visual representation of sound emanating from a vocalist’s mouth. The brightly colored lines capture the excitement of the work SFH produces and the diagonal direction creates a feeling of hope and optimism for the future of the nonprofit. The circle from SFH’s logo is brought in to this visual as the “mouth” of the vocalist tying the gala materials back to its own visual identity. The proposed gala logo uses the color and typeface from Sing For Hope’s corporate visual identity as well.
The following slides feature the logo mark in a variety of different uses: the logo on a white background, the logo reversed on a magenta background, the icon alone, and finally, a logotype utilizing the icon within the text.
Shortly after I started working at Law Week Colorado, the CEO of Circuit Media announced that she was in the planning stages of a company service trip to Mexico. A few months later, we found ourselves on a hot, sweaty bus ride from Puerto Vallarta to the small town of Bucerias.
From Bucerias, we met up with men and women working at a nonprofit called PEACE Mexico. They toured the Circuit Media team around the area of Punta de Mita showing us the tangible results of the work they have been doing for years.
When we returned to Denver in November of last year a few shades darker than when we were when we left, I started thumbing through the hundreds of photos that I took while we were down in Nayarit. I found myself drawn to all of the color and texture that Mexico had to offer. From those images, I based my concept for the 2010 Annual Report—a kind of tactile vibrance that PEACE brings to the area. Independently, I designed the entire 96-page report using supplied copy and my own photographs, as well as additional photos by Jamie Cotten, Elizabeth Lloyd Photography, Nikhol Esteras Roberts and Nova Pennison.
To download the entire pdf report, click here.
© PEACE Mexico, Circuit Media
View more of my Mexico photos here.
Schmidt Opera Series’ LA BOHÈME, directed by Dr. Jon Truitt. Evansville, Ind.
This poster was created using mostly scans of pen & ink, with a little bit of a mess on the table.
First of all—Joseph is passionate about massage and definitely knows what he’s doing. As someone who has had back problems since high school (I met a chairlift pole skiing when I was 15), I have had a lot of work done on my body by chiropractors, physical and massage therapists. Joseph would work on me, and I began sketching in my mind. The first visuals came from the pinnacle of art and science—Michelangelo. I could see my muscles through Michelangelo’s eyes—as technical drawings that were both artistic and anatomical.
From there, I wanted to create a simple, graphic icon that was almost primitive in nature. Five hash marks by five hash marks on my sketch pad evolved into the two hands that are woven together in the icon you see now. The brushed shape starting taking on a lotus flower shape further evoking the harmony the Canvas team provides.
I’ve been wanting to do a Banksy-inspired cover for a while and the legal-education issue lent itself to the urban-art style. For this cover, I had Law Week designer Amy Vanchina photograph my body holding a soda cup (for lack of a spray-paint can) and then I proceeded to cut off my head and replace it with the head of actor Charles Andrew Callaghan (as actors are prettier than graphic designers). I desaturated the image and upped the contrast until I started losing detail. I then dropped out the white of the image and replaced it with my own spray-painted white background.
For the Law Week banner and title treatment, I basically created a stencil with layer masks and filled in with the white and red spray paint. You can see where the ‘stencil’ stopped and the paint bled over the edge. A few spray-paint drips later, we have the finished cover.
More from Law Week…
For this year’s Super Lawyers cover, Law Week’s Sarah Overbeck shot the photo on the roof at the Denver Athletic Club, and designer Amy Vanchina executed an architectural drawing of the skyline from the image. I then brought the photo and the drawing together, removed the photographic background and replaced the cityscape with an illustrative one. Layering on top of Vanchina’s sharp architectural lines, I loosely sketched the city, added watercolor and scribbled the Law Week banner.
In 2011, seven attorneys joined Law Week photographer Jamie Cotten and myself on the roof of the Lindsay-Flanigan Courthouse with a beautiful geometric city-scape behind them. Inspired by the first comic books of the 1930s, I then illustrated the image with an art-deco Americana style. Law Week masked the Super Lawyers and Rising Stars revealing their faces with the original photo inside the issue.
Two years ago, Law Week brought three Super Lawyers into the alley behind the Rocky Mountain Diner for an urban comic-book style photo shoot. I layered the photos with a half-tone pattern for my first Law Week cover which featured three images from the shoot in a comic-book-style story board.
More from Law Week…
The editorial focus for the March 12, 2012 issue of Law Week centered around employment and recruitment—including a feature story by editor Meg Satrom about law school graduates who aren’t currently practicing law, voluntarily or not.
Actress Amy Kersten clears tables in this photo taken by Law Week photographer Sarah Overbeck at Denver’s Appaloosa Grill. Acting as art director for the shoot and cover art, I researched images from Depression-era photographer Dorothea Lange to capture feelings of hopelessness and underemployment.
More from Law Week…
Upon graduation in May, the NTC Classes of 2011 and 2012 traveled from Denver to New York City to perform a showcase of work for directors, agents and casting directors. This program handed out to the attendees was a collaboration with photographer eric laurits.
More from the NTC…
A SPARE ME
by A. Rey Pamatmat
directed by Patrick Diamond
Designed to stimulate the creation of high-quality, new plays for young actors, Waterwell’s New Works Lab at PPAS offers emerging and established playwrights the chance to develop their work with the support of professional directors and designers and a cast of exceptionally talented high school artists. This annual workshop series presents stripped down, actor-centric productions that add to the canon of thematically rich, complex and original scripts and roles for student actors. After the workshop, the scripts are published by Playscripts, Inc., listing the PPAS production as the original cast and creative team.
Waterwell’s educational mission is to deliver the highest caliber theatre training available to young artists in the nation. Central to that mission is preparing students to be full participants in their profession and to make their own contributions to the canon of new American plays.
More from PPAS…
‘The Magic of Movies’ is a touring interactive theatrical lecture on film hosted by my main man, the charming Mr. David Sherman. Truly a one-man show, David conceptualized and wrote The Magic of Movies, editing clips from popular movies to demonstrate different aspects of the language of film. Tying in the history of photography and the science of how your eye works when you see a film, The Magic of Movies is an educational performance that tours to middle and high schools in and around Dayton, Ohio. The in-school artists program is produced by Muse Machine, a student arts organization in Dayton.
I created the poster/marketing image for The Magic of Movies based on the photo/concept by David Sherman and Doug Merk. Now that the show is up and running, I also designed a study guide pdf that can be downloaded and distributed to students after the performance at their school.
Professional Performing Arts School and Waterwell present
Anon(ymous) by Naomi Iizuka, directed by Wes Grantom
New York, N.Y.
More from PPAS…
In February 2010, the Board of Directors at the Denver Center Theatre Company announced that they planned to close the doors of one of the top MFA programs in the country for acting—the National Theatre Conservatory would have its final bow in May 2012. This logo was an effort to keep the school alive. It circulated on Facebook, websites and was featured in an article by the Denver Post. Unfortunately, there was no change with the board’s decision and the school closed this May.
More from the NTC…
In winter 2009/2010, I met with the Denver Philharmonic and became a volunteer with the orchestra. In spring 2010, I redesigned the concert program, and have produced each program since. The Philharmonic is a fantastic community orchestra and I am thrilled to be able to contribute to such a beautiful organization. If you haven’t heard the DPO play, I would encourage you to check out their website and attend a concert. You’re guaranteed to have a truly amazing evening of beautiful music.
More from the Denver Philharmonic…
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