I'm an illustrator. A caricaturist. A cartoonist. A chronic doodler. One thing I don't think of myself as is a graphic designer. For one thing, I'm not nearly as adept as I should be at the tools of the trade, and the rules of the game are a bit more structured than that of drawing pictures. But I dabble and I have a good eye, and when folks don't really know any other graphic designers and they know I'm artistic, I'm the next best choice. And I do my best. And quite honestly, I've been pretty pleased with some of the results lately.
First, here's the logo I created for Folio Group, a coalition of Broadway and Broadway-adjacent small media outlets (including my Lights of Broadway Show Cards™ and the gang I work with, The Happy Hour Guys) that meets monthly to chat and collaborate. [Note: The center graphic there is also used as a widget on social media and group graphics.]
And sometimes a pal asks for a wee logo for his labor of love podcast and you make something akin to graphics you see around NPR and Gimlet and other audio media outlets. Broadway Stories was created by Todd Buonopane who brings together Broadway actor pals to tell stories in live sessions at Theatre District hot spot 54 Below. It's similar to The Moth podcast, but firmly rooted in the Broad-way. The last tweak was a request to include a simple caricature of Todd within the logo. I think it all hit the mark.
And sometimes the work seems to work but ultimately doesn't. I was approached by the Actors' Equity Fund which offers grants and assistance to arts organizations. I provided a number of options, most based on my illustrative style:
I thought the choices were rather dynamic, and I was feeling pretty good about the selection, particularly the bolder options. But as is often the case in situations when the decision lies in the hands of a committee of varying opinions, they chose what I felt was the safest of the bunch. The last one. I formatted it in all necessary file formats, and they paid me promptly. A satisfied client. A satisfied artist.
But alas, once they announced their website and promotional re-launch, someone else's design was there. Ah, well. I'm proud of the work I did. Sometimes you've got to be satisfied with that.
Now, one of the biggest hurdles in bringing The Lights of Broadway Show Cards™ to life was the graphic design. While I'm not adept at Adobe Illustrator or InDesign or whatever the graphic folks are using, I knew what I wanted to see; and since the only people to disappoint were myself and incredibly supportive partner Dori, I took a crack at it. I did a lot of research, and once I had a vision and threw it all together with metaphorical duct tape, I really rather enjoyed the results and the process getting there. And I continue to do so.
The logo here is consistent throughout all of our products, and the wrapper design below is for our Autumn 2015 edition. For the next edition, coming out in mid-November, I redesigned the card layouts and elements of the wrapper (just like the baseball card companies do each year).
So I guess the lesson here is that sometimes a little hop outside of your comfort zone can result in something pretty nifty. Adventure, Barnaby! (That's a Hello, Dolly! reference. Anyhoo...)