After figuring out the name, I started working on logo ideas. I spent too much time upfront trying to figure out the name, which delayed my project by at least a week. Overall, I think what I accomplished with Flourish is pretty representative of what my wife, Kim, and I were going for. Something that feels approachable, with a subtle corporate touch – it looks like the biz, but the hand-touched portion really adds a human element.

After finalizing the logo, I started cranking out collateral. Our group was once about 2,000, but is now down to about 800. That’s about 1,200 people we can start reaching out to. Someone suggested we send out postcards, so that was first on the list of deliverables. The idea is that we can track who hasn’t placed an order in a while, and any one of our business people who go “inactive.” I created two postcards one for each audience that we can start to send out. We let the products speak for themselves by using large product shots. We took a friendly, no pressure tone with our messaging as well. It’s really about the products in the end anyway.

From there, I created a business card and a Facebook banner, as social media is the major platform for support, sharing information, etc. Here’s the some of the deliverables so you can get an idea of what I’m talking about:

Flourish_BC_Mockup Flourish_FBBanner2 Flourish_PCCust_Mockup Flourish_PCBiz_Mockup


Hey all. So, I’ve been busy working on the branding for our essential oil biz – that’s why I haven’t been on here in a while. That’s the excuse… Anyway, now I’m playing catch up.

So I hit a major roadblock with the branding: The name. I realized this portion of previous branding project I worked on had already been named. I did all this work creating a tonal mood board, and then a final mood board, and I didn’t even have name yet.

I did some serious mind mapping, for both the customer and business side of things. It was helpful, but I still wasn’t pulling much out of that exercise.

IMG_1291 IMG_1292

Even with the help of my small crib group, I found nothing of inspiration, name-wise. I initially liked “Distilled” because it speaks to the industry and at least the business side of things (there’s A LOT of info out there and it can be difficult to swim through). Distilled didn’t speak to our customer audience though, so we scrapped that. I pulled “Good Life” out of the mind mapping, but it felt a little lackluster, so we scrapped that as well.

My wife and I came up with “Flourish” after another brainstorming session. We like that. It speaks to both audiences. So I started cranking out some logos:


Some of them started looking a bit “busty” so I had to shake the baseline up a little. Good Life could have been successful, but again, the name… Anyway, more to see in the next post.

New Branding Project

Hey all. I’m finishing off the last quarter’s special projects class with another branding project. I felt like I took Herb’n as far as it could go without getting into another major part of the design like environmental stuff, website/app stuff, etc. I may even go back to the clients at this point to see if they would be interested in checking out how the design went. Maybe they still want it? Maybe they are willing to pay for it this time around? We’ll see.

Anyway, this quarter I’m working on branding a team for my essential oil business. My peers mostly know me to be a board game dork, which is totally true, but only 1 part of me and my life. So, my wife and I got into essential oils to bring some more natural remedies into our lives. We signed up to be distributors so that we could get the oils we consumed paid for. Little did we know that the business would take off and eventually replace my income. This was perfect at the time because I had recently left work to stay at home with the kids. And it’s covered my butt while I’m in design school. Thanks Young Living!

So here we are. 3 years later and we’re still holding our rank. Kim and I recently won a spot on the annual Young Living Leadership Cruise and thought it would be nice to get one last vacation in before works starts again. We didn’t realize at the time that Young Living had chartered the entire boat and that the cruise was all things Young Living. We started to put it together the second day or so. We had no idea we’d come home with renewed inspiration to start pushing the business again.

As it stands now, we still have a business team that’s motivated to expand the business, but there’s a lot of loyalty to the person that brought us in and how she branded the entire team. That’s the challenge: creating a brand for the team with as much presence as the “Lemondroppers” but gets our branch of the team motivated to tell people about the oils again.

As of now, I’ve got the tonal territories worked out and have started a mood board. I really need to get crunching on sketches to bring form to the logo. Next steps after that are to create brand guidelines, and some business partner and customer-focused collateral, such as postcards, product information cards, etc.

Here’s the brand character exercise I did and the resulting tonal territories:

IMG_1260 IMG_1267 IMG_1264IMG_1275 IMG_1276

Some Things

Okay, so I started putting the logo on things. I started with stationary stuff as I thought it might be the easiest collateral to begin with. Here’s a pic of what I’ve got going on for that, as of now:


I think I should rework he biz card a bit as well as the screens so they’re not so boring. I’m momentarily satisfied with that, so I began working out the packaging.

Personally, I think buying cannabis (from a rec perspective) is more confusing than it needs to be, and I think that’s mostly due to the strain names. No one knows what the fuck they mean or what other obscurely-named plant they came from, unless you’re a pro. I’ve been buying cannabis for over 20 years and I still don’t know what half the strain names are or what they do exactly. Even then, different farms grow the same strain differently.

With this in mind, I wanted to create packaging that both a soccer mom and/or a young professional could look at quickly and make a judgment call, without having to rely solely on the budtender’s preferences. It seems the strain names are something that can’t simply be taken out of the equation – knowledgable users still rely on this. I believe with color, shape, and hierarchy, cannabis packaging can be simple enough for new users to make self-reliant choices, while keeping regular users happy as well. Here’s what I’ve got going for that (unfortunately, there’s a problem with the other two files, so I only have the sativa example at the moment):


It’s a start. I think the logo needs to be scaled down, maybe only one flavor descriptor, and joining the micro THC and G measurements up with the rest of the elements. Colors change depending on flavor, and the prominent shape differs depending on the strain type (i.e. sativa, indica, hybrid), and acts as a viewing window for flower products.

Once I straighten out the files, I update the post with more. Enjoy responsibly!

UPDATE: Figured it out!



Logo Progress

Hey guys. So I pushed the logo further this next week. I was using Acumin Pro in the thin weight as the basis for the logo before going back to the drawing board. It just didn’t feel like it was holding up when I printed it. The logo didn’t have enough weight. I bumped up the weight to the next, initially feeling like too much of a bump – seriously the difference between thin and extra light in Acumin Pro is astounding. Anyway, it felt like too much at first, but it started to grow on me; it certainly felt like it had more presence on paper.

I borrowed some elements from another logo I was inspired by to create the sort of house shapes in the “h” and “n.” To emphasize more the urban feeling (or one of community) I decided to create breaks in the staff of the “h” and its arm, same for the “n.” I used the width of the staff to break the letters and to create the “house” shapes. Here’s where that went: herb’n_logo_v5.

Peer feedback suggested there was too much going on and that the same feeling I was going for could be accomplished without the breaks, the tilted “e,” etc. So this is where it went from there: herb’n_logo_final.

I’m pretty pleased with it so far. I don’t think there’s much more than can be done to it at this point. Next steps will be to drop this into as many deliverables as I can before the quarter is up. Looking forward to showing more!


herb’n Progress

Hey all. So I’ve been forging ahead on the herb’n branding project. I spent the next week working on herb’n’s  identity, establishing what the business is and isn’t, the tonal territories, and the final moodboard.


My clients gave some basic keywords to work off so I took those as a foundation to begin sorting out the details of who herb’n is. Here’s the tonal territories: herb’n_tonal.

I decided on simple, sophisticated, and inviting as the three main characteristics of herb’n. From there, I took some components of the tonal territories activity to begin working out the actual visual aesthetic of herb’n. Here’s the moodboard: herb’n_moodboard.

I relied on a mostly simple, clean look to the logo, while also borrowing from some of the inviting tones.  I wanted to introduce a single pop of color to guide users through the cannabis purchasing process, which can be a little confusing if you’re uneducated in that area. The colors would be used for packaging mostly.

Keeping these things in mind, I started to sketch out the logo. I had this almost American Apparel vision for the brand (thinking about the demographic), but I also wanted to bring in some elements that suggested urban, as the dispensary will be located in a part of Phoenix that has expendable income.

Here’s the logo from the start: herb’n_logo_v1.

More to come!




Hey all. So I just updated you about the game change, no pun intended. Let’s talk project!

I have about 6 weeks left in the quarter, so I’m thinking producing a logo first, then I’ll spend the rest of the quarter producing other collateral such as letterhead, business cards, packaging, environmental graphics, etc.

So here’s the timeline as it is now: Next two weeks – make a logo. Then from that point, we’ll do a deliverable a week starting with letterhead and business cards. I definitely want to get some packaging out there as well, so I may switch the letterhead and packaging on the timeline. I’ll finish with some environmental graphics, perhaps with a mockup of the storefront.

That’s where I’m at now! Can’t wait to get started!

A New Project

Hello. Last week I brought you up to speed on the card game. Well, as it turns out another project dropped into my lap and so I jumped on the opportunity to work with a real client.

A couple friends from Phoenix are working on opening a cannabis dispensary and they are in need of some design work. The company name, herb’n, is meant to draw in an audience of Scottsdale moms and young professionals. They aim to be a combination of a MedSpa and an Apple Store. Herb’n wants to be a clean, high-end dispensary in order to move away from stoner culture and to represent cannabis as a valid medicine.

And so, I dropped the game. Or let’s say I put it on the shelf. Board games are still my jam and I hope to make a couple of those in my career. I’m not ruling it out entirely. Anyway, I started gathering some basic details from the client and of course one of my questions was what their budget is for design. After about a week of talking back and forth, smoothing out details, it came out that there is no design budget (at least not a very realistic one). I really didn’t want my first real client to be a hard negotiation, but as it turns out, it did.

In the end, I lost the client. I know. Part of the issue is the huge disservice I would be doing our industry by taking the project for next to nothing. At the same time, I’m a new designer, they’re friends of mine, and it’s my first client. I had to make some serious decisions and I think in the end I made the right choice. I believe a significant part of what we’re doing here is building confidence to the point of being okay with saying “no.” And so I said “no.”

I still need a project though, so I’m going to do it anyway. For the practice. More details to come.

Card Game Update

Hey. Anyone that knows even the slightest bit about me knows that one of my passions is board games. I hope to actually make some of those in the sort of near future. And I think I have some pretty interesting game ideas. As a love letter to what we do here and our industry, I came up with the idea to make a design agency card game based on some of the mechanisms from Dominion (a game that put card games back on the map).

I spent the last quarter planning, writing, editing, and laying out cards. I planned on getting a lot more done than I actually had, or appeared to have completed. Most of the hard work was done by the end of the quarter. I just needed to start putting some art on the cards and to play the game with people other than family members (they’re too nice). And when Marc challenged me to keep the project going, I was actually considering it, even though I was so far behind on the project.

And so I started putting art on the cards, made a play test schedule, and even cooked up a design sprint aimed and producing art work for the project cards. I was getting close to moving on to some of the other design elements and deliverables. Then I got a call from an old friend in Phoenix who is opening a cannabis dispensary in the area and is in need of design work. Holy shit! Paying work…

So I made the decision to shelf the game to take some paying work (I hate that I need money that badly). We’re still working out all the details, but I think I talked them into designing a brand identity, rather than just some logo work. I’m pumped up, as cannabis is also one of my passions!

I’ll update this post with some of the pics of the cards to demonstrate the direction the cards were going before I shut the project down.

A New Quarter

Hey all. Marc wanted us to blog about what we’re going to be working on this next quarter. So here I am. Looks like I haven’t blogged in a while anyway.

When I presented where I was at with the game last quarter, Marc handed me my ass. I admit I was behind on the project. Marc said by about a month, but I don’t think he realizes the amount of work that goes into planning, making sure the game works, and the reworking of changes that come along the way. I’m not saying he was totally wrong, but it was more like 3 weeks behind.

Anyway, to make it official, I’m am continuing to work on the game. I still believe in this project and I think other people will too. Looking back at last quarter, I see where I went wrong with the board game – I didn’t manage my time, or look to my colleagues for help as much as I should have. So I plan on using my colleagues more, especially for creating the project card art (hint, hint) and for play testing.

Part of the feedback I got was that there should be a play testing schedule, so I’ll make an official one, but I do have a schedule in my head of which days will work. I also started some talent card art and reworked the layout of both card styles so I’m hoping this comes across better this quarter. I’ll make another post with some of the new changes. I realize this is my ass on the line now, so I really hope I can deliver. By the end of this quarter, I should have a boxed version of Design Agency ready to hold in my hands.