Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Recent Logo Designs

I’m catching up on posting a few recent logo designs. What a job I have, designing for the best clients!

Ascendant Company, San Francisco, is the creation of Ray Arata and Chris Kyle, specializing in life skills training, active learning journeys and integrative coaching. Please visit their site by clicking on their name for more information.

Is It Contagious? is the name of a marvelous series of books being produced with kid-friendly information about various diseases and conditions that affect the people in the lives of children. NY Author, Amy Koppelman, while doing logo designer research -ice cream cone in hand- got my name from Ben Van Leeuwen at his Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream truck that she and her kids frequent (see previous post!) Watch for her books on shelves soon. There are 2 logos that represent this information series for kids.

Gifts of Joy is an annual Holiday craft show in Novato, CA presented by Stephanie Sherratt and friends. Some of the proceeds benefit the San Marin & Novato High Safe Grad Nights. Stephenie and I will both be selling our crafted goods at the Petaluma Vintage Holiday Boutique this month.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

CLIENT PROJECT: Van Leeuwen Ice Cream Pints

The heat of New York was pleasantly cooled this summer once Ben Van Leeuwen was on the scene! After designing the logo for Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream last Spring, most recently I’ve been finishing up designs for the pint labels for the 10 incredible flavors. Yes, Van Leeuwen is going retail! Just Google the reviews and you’ll get a sense of just how wonderful this ice cream really is. Van Leeuwen’s commitment to using only the finest, and healthiest ingredients available is what sets their product apart from the competition. Customers lined the streets of NY just to get their gourmet fix from the Van Leeuwen Ice Cream truck.

Pint flavors include:
Chocolate, Espresso, Gianduia, Ginger, Hazelnut, Mint Chip, Pistachio, Red Currant, Strawberry and Vanilla.

For more on Van Leeuwen, visit them online HERE!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Colour Lovers

I have a new addiction: Be warned, there’s no turning back.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Seamus Brandon Kiel

Seamus Brandon Kiel (aka:
Amos Gajillionaire) and I connected through a craigslist gig posting many months ago regarding Adobe software techniques & business information exchanges and have enjoyed an ongoing email friendship since. Once I saw the work on his websites, I couldn’t wait to share it.

Cibachrome fine art photography and his unique (Gajillionaire) collage designs will be on display at the upcoming 33rd Annual San Francisco Open Studios this month. Jeff and I are going to try to make it. What a great date event, don’t you think!

To see more of Brandon’s amazing photography and intensely vivid eye candy, or to learn more about the Cibachrome process and purchase his fine art prints, please visit his websites: (click on each) and

If you love his work as much as I do, please leave a comment below -I am sure he would appreciate reading it. Thank you.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Getting Published

During my earlier career, BK (before kids) I covered the map in different design projects and logos were just one of my specialties. I’ve had the privilege of having my work in several design publications, books and annuals for everything from package design, wine labels and store point-of-sale promotions to business cards and other promotional material. It is always great to be published with client’s work, but when it was my own self promotion, it was all the more exciting.

When I ran the design firm, Holden & Company, at Christmas time I designed and sent out promotional holiday packs that included custom die envelopes that held books with removable gift tags, wrapping paper and string. Here they are featured in one book.

Last year I was thrilled to find that my little red truck had been chosen for inclusion for publication in Logo Lounge 4. Logo Lounge is a phenomenon of the trademark world. Their site is a catalog of nearly 99,000 current logo designs. I have 79 logo designs cataloged on their site. You can visit a bit of the site, there’s plenty to see and read, but membership is required for access to search the logos. They choose from the most current logo submissions for publication of their latest book. This year, the competition was 33,000 logos. I was thrilled to see that one of my designs, Azz & Bzz Apparel, was chosen for LL5.

Here is a shot of the logo section of my book shelf. I don’t think you can’t have too much inspiration.

For more information on getting your work published, visit the website of your favorite book publishers and look for the section Call For Entries.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Local Sculpture, Homegrown Whimsey

“Mom! That truck was a Shark!” my daughter yelled in the car tonight (and I nearly drove off the road!)
Driving through Sebastopol, California, you can expect to hear things like that coming from your kids. That’s because Sebastopol is home to artist Patrick Amiot, who’s brightly painted sculptures consist of most things you’d only find at the landfill. Patrick, in my opinion, is the master of repurposing.
I don’t know Patrick personally, but I have enjoyed his art peppered throughout Sonoma County for years. And until I spotted this red truck on Flickr, my all time favorite was an enormous cartoonish cow, sitting quietly with a half-grin towards the traffic, in a huge roadside pasture along Highway 12. Once in a while, you will notice that the farmer has tucked hay into it’s mouth and the other real cows are eating from it.
To read more about this amazing talent click HERE. For more fabulous photos like the one shown, see the Flickr pics HERE and HERE. You can also go to the website he shares with his artist wife, Brigitte, HERE. And it looks as though soon you’ll be able to get your 2009 calendar HERE!

Red Truck photo courtesy of
travelinfool55’s Flickr photostream

Monday, September 1, 2008

My Husband’s Cabernet

He claims he was about to pour it out thinking it had gone bad, but on the urging of his brother, my husband decided to go ahead and bottle his first barrel of Cabernet Sauvignon. Well, unfortunately, it only made 2 cases, because this wine is absolutely incredible.

Saturday morning Jeff came home from the firehouse with a name and a story and by Saturday night the wine was labeled, wax sealed and we were sharing it with friends in Sonoma. (It helps to have a wine label designer in the family.) I printed these leather-simulated labels on my desktop printer onto old typewriter parchment (great texture), spray-adhesived them to another layer of paper, cut to shape and markered the cut edges with brown ink, then debossed spots between the stitching design. They gave a great real-stitched-leather appearance.

Here’s how the back label reads:

This inaugural Cabernet Sauvignon was made and cellared in my father’s barn in Sonoma under the watchful eye of a Western Screech Owl. We believe that this owl represents wisdom and helpfulness, as described in early Indian folklore.
I have enjoyed many years with my family creating white wines from my father’s estate Chardonnay vineyard. This first Cabernet Sauvignon is a deep, red wine crafted from the grapes of the Metzger vineyards in Sonoma.
All aspects of the wine-making process are a family affair -from picking, crushing and pressing, to racking, bottling and label design.
I hope that you enjoy this wine as much as I have enjoyed making it.

PS. Had he been serious about bottling these in the first place, he surely would have used traditional Cabernet bottles and not what was on hand for the Chardonnay.

Here’s more husband-leather fun from the past.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

No Miami Ink, Just Petaluma Ink Jet

It’s been suggested that I go into tattooing. This is as close as I get. If I’ve designed your logo and you’d like to try it out as a tattoo, I’ll happily ink on THIS bicep. Otherwise, the best I can offer is to put your logo on some flash to take to your local parlor or size it down for THESE. Sorry, I just don’t do needles.

Logo Cookies

It’s not too early to start thinking about the holidays. How delicious of an idea is this? Rolling Pin Productions will decorate cookies with your logo for corporate events, parties or gifts. They even offer photos cookies. Yum! (Photo courtesy of Rolling Pin Productions)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Recent Logo Designs

It’s been a busy summer! Here are a few recent designs that have yet to make my online portfolio.

Sweet Papery is a charming online store that specializes in unique custom rubber stamps and labels.

Desirai Labrada of Lucid Dream Designs is a fabulous web designer that I have had the privilege of working with on a few projects. She also has an Etsy shop designing and selling stationery, cards and more.

Organized Fishing offers a variety of innovative fishing organization products beautifully executed in natural woods as well as other storage solutions. is an online store offering earth-friendly home, garden and pet product solutions for a safe and healthy environment.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Marina Meats, San Francisco

Marina Meats of San Francisco is the new meat market just down the street from its old location inside Marina Super. A beautiful expansion deserved a beautiful new identity and store front design. Having done both, I was also able to update the look of Marina Super’s image.

Joey Gandolfo, one of the proud owners and butcher of this wonderful store, is the latest of several past generations of his family to provide meat, poultry and fish to the Marina District of San Francisco, located in the neighborhood he grew up in. The store site went through quite a transition before Marina Meats moved in, and the results are amazing.

I worked primarily with Sandy Gandolfo, his wife, on creating this exciting new logo and storefront design. Just another example that you CAN successfully work with family...Sandy is my husband’s first cousin.

Please visit Marina Meats’ website for a very cool virtual tour!

Friday, May 23, 2008

On thy grave

the rain shall fall
from the eyes
of a mighty

Thomas William Parsons

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

CLIENT PROFILE: Azz & Bzz Apparel

Baby Apparel. How fun is that?

Aubrey Baratta, a dynamic young mother in Sonoma, California, commisioned me to not only design logos for her company and new line of apparel, but also to illustrate the images to be printed on them. Here a few pieces from her first line. (Can you guess my favorite image?)

You will find her hang tags in my post about turning business cards into tags.

Watch for Azz & Bzz Apparel in childrens’ boutiques soon.
To contact Aubrey, visit her website, Azz & Bzz Apparel.

CLIENT PROFILE: Van Leeuwen Ice Cream

Word of mouth logo design, you can’t beat it.

Ben Van Leeuwen contacted me for logo design back in March as he was in the beginning stages of a wonderful new concept: Artisan ice cream from a truck, with his first big launch in Brooklyn, NY. And to show you just how unique his product and business is, this is an exerpt from his creative brief:

“To give you an idea of the product, we use hormone free milk and cream from small family farms in New York State, cane sugar and egg yolks. We never use milk powder, corn syrup, stabilizers, or preservatives. We age organic Bourbon and Tahitian Vanilla Beans in oak barrels with vodka for 4 months to extract them. We use pure Sicilian Pistachios, hand picked by small family farmers on the slopes of Mount Etna in Bronte. We use Tonda La gentile origin certified Hazelnuts from Piedmont. We source our chocolate from Michel Cluizel in France( they use no Soya Lechitin!). We use Quinn Farms Hudson Valley red currants. We have set out to make the best readily available super-premium ice cream while also educating consumers on why slow food produced ingredients taste better.”

For additional photo and more on Van Leeuwen Ice Cream, click here and here!

Visit the website: Van Leeuwen Ice Cream

Thursday, May 8, 2008

It’s a rare day when I hand my business card to someone and don’t get a great response. Usually, it’s a response over the pick-up truck, but I think my card carries weight for more than design, but also for actual weight.
I discovered a few years ago and since then have had many of my clients’ business cards printed through them.

The photos show a few examples of business cards I’ve designed and had printed through ONP. They include one and two-sided business cards, cards as hang tags and mini price tags (one card sliced and hole-punched.) All created and printed as actual business card files.

Here are a few good reasons why I continue to use and recommend

1. Price. You can’t beat the price for the quality. Understand this is not offset printing, it is digital. I don’t know how many other business cards from around the world are being printed on the same piece of stock as mine at the same time, but I am sure it’s quite a few. Therefor, actual printing may on occasion suffer from lack of good color correction, making it sometimes hard to match your first batch of 500 cards to your second printed 6 months later, but with most of my clients restricted to very limited start-up budgets, it’s a small sacrifice. There have been only a few times, maybe 5%, that I have had to request a reprint. It has NEVER been a problem. And, ONP is almost always running a promotion of one kind or another, usually equal to about $10 off your order.

2. Two-sided printing, and full bleed artwork- again for the price, can’t be beat.

3. Card stock. Beefy. I love this ultra smooth, satin heavy stock. It is one of the heaviest business cards you will ever hold in your hand, sans cardboard.

4. Rounded corners. Perfect for a unique look or for apparel hang tags. For large quantitiy hang tags, I have a local printer drill holes in preprinted cards for around $10/1000. Otherwise, a small hole punch and a glass of wine will get you through a couple hundred on your own. Occasionally, I design hang tags with a faux perforation using a dotted line.

5. UV coating. Seriously waterproof-looking varnish...when you need it. The UV coating can be isolated to specific graphics on your card for a cool effect, but one I’ve yet to try.

6. Ease of ordering. Well for me anyway. I’ve got the file set-up down after all this time and re-ordering cards is crazy easy. Oh, and PayPal, gotta love PP.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Visual Inspiration

I draw inspiration from many places when designing logos, such as the internet, but one place I go to the most is my own reference library. I have been building this library for many, many years and am quite proud of it. It currently takes up one entire wall of our living room with overflow in my shed. I have an enormous clip art library (Bottom and middle 2 shelves to the far right) of which I use for some base illustrations, (always modifying into custom art.) The bottom shelf holds the vintage printer clips, art catalogs and other miscellaneous vintage art reference. The top right is my collection of rare sign-painter books. Signpainters were the original graphic designers. Their work showcased in these books would knock your socks off.

Gathering inspiration from the past as well as from current works, I usually sit in my most comfortable chair with post-its, a rollerball pen and a sketchbook for hours thumb-nailing ideas before ever sitting behind the wheel (monitor). I have been hoarding a large selection of the most current reference books on Logo design and related works. Trends are important to follow as well as create.

About 8 of the graphic design books and design annuals on my shelves feature my very own designs chosen for publication.

So remember, if you find I’m not responding quickly enough to an email, there’s a good chance I’m buried in beautiful books and post-it notes.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Self Diagnosis = OCG

All the obvious symptoms lead me to believe that I was clearly born with an overactive creative gland. That might sound like bragging, but I’m serious when I say it keeps me up at night. More ideas than time. Work vs. hobby. Create one-of-a-kinds or mass produce?

The one thing that keeps my OCG running smooth is logo design. Switching it up. Focusing my (at-home) career on logo design has been extremely stimulating for the simple fact that my client base is so diverse. Logos from Pest Control to Baby Apparel. Kettlebell Training to Nail Salon. Poker Apparel to Home Bakers. Oil & Gas Company to Antique Store. IT Company to Elementary School. You get the idea. All with the added bonuses of not only great people to work for, but the thrill of helping create an identity for a first-time business owner.