I thought this illustration deserved a quick blog post. Last year, I took an Intro to Illustration course out of a desire to develop my craft and immerse myself in a new creative environment (The course did not offer any credit, unfortunately :/). Admittedly, I was somewhat disappointed because I was expecting to learn specific drawing techniques, but the course was focused more on the process of illustration from idea to execution. One of the lessons I’m proud to have learned is to appreciate illustration in all forms. There was a part of me that had always felt that “true” illustration had to be hand drawn from start to finish, and I do think that in the design community there is a bit of pride associated with fully hand-drawn artwork.

While I fully appreciate the meticulousness and skill that goes into a fully hand-drawn artwork, through this course I found a new personal freedom of expression that allowed me to create this piece you see here. It is a mix of hand-drawn icons,  digitally-generated icons, and digital texture and lighting effects. I think the result is a really compelling artwork that meshes that illustrated look with a pop of realism (by the way, I am a BIG fan of this kind of stuff:

On a side note, I think I’m due for a professional rebranding of my identity. I can feel my tastes moving towards this intersection between straight-edged, Swiss-inspired design and something more expressive and tangible. Stay tuned, world…

In the pinch of the campaign up there, when everybody seemed panic-stricken, and nobody could tell what was going to happen, oppressed by the gravity of our affairs, I went to my room one day, and I locked the door, and got down on my knees before Almighty God, and prayed to Him mightily for victory at Gettysburg. I told Him that this was His war, and our cause His cause, but we couldn’t stand another Fredericksburg or Chancellorsville. And I then and there made a solemn vow to Almighty God, that if He would stand by our boys at Gettysburg, I would stand by Him. And He did stand by your boys, and I will stand by Him. And after that (I don’t know how it was, and I can’t explain it), soon a sweet comfort crept into my soul that God Almighty had taken the whole business into his own hands and that things would go all right at Gettysburg.

Abraham Lincoln, in 1863, when asked about the Battle at Gettysburg

Typography Class Project: eBook Design

My first assignment for the typography class I’m taking at SAIC was to create a set of sample page designs for an eBook. I picked the iPad as my device, and for my fiction, non-fiction, and reference/how-to book, I picked The Screwtape Letters, Brain Rules, and a book of prayers, respectively. Having been an in-house designer for many years it was sort of refreshing to have that extra bit of freedom to choose whatever font I wanted. I was able to focus my energy on pure creativity and usability.


While you can simply view a PDF as is on an iPad, you are forced to scroll vertically so you don’t really get the feel of a true eBook. I learned that if you import your PDF into iTunes and synchronize your iPad that way, your PDF will appear as a “book” in the iBooks app, and you can view it like you would a real eBook, scrolling left to right. I learned that colors are rendered very, very bright on the iPad (esp. with retina display), so I had subdue a lot of the colors I used originally. I also learned that there is definitely an optimal text size for reading on an iPad: too small and you have to start zooming in, which is unpleasant; too big and it looks goofy.