Category Archives: Portfolio

Maryville University 2013 Graphic Design Senior Show

This year, I was asked by my teachers to design Maryville University’s 2013 Graphic Design Senior Show signage. Every year, the graduating seniors of the program get to show off their portfolios. I chose to illustrate type in a decorative and fun way to create an inviting and intriguing display. I first sketched out my design, taking reference from Victorian era typography and signage. I wanted to create an energetic, lively design with movement. The curling banners and ornate designs in the back aid to this, as well as the showy illustrated type especially in the “w”. I spent a lot of time on the refinement of the letters and layout. I was challenged with making the 3 connect to 201 and the overall weight and balance of the piece. Overall, I am very happy with the way this turned out, although it took quite a lot of time out of my other projects. This graphic is for the postcards, however, I still have to create the poster.

Maryville University 2013 Graphic Design Senior Showrefined senior show sketchsenior show sketch

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Craft Beer Aleing Authors

craft beer, package designbeer coasters, package designcraft beer, package designbrochure, craft beer design, print designEdgar Allen Poe BeerHemingway Beer, The Old Man and the SeaFor those keeping up with my blog, you will know that for my senior year capstone, I designed packaging and promotional materials for a craft brewery I created called Old Inkwell Artisan Brewers. This brewery carries Aleing Authors, a unique assortment of craft beers inspired by influential authors of the 19th and 20th centuries. Among the authors are Ernest Hemingway, Mary Shelley, Edgar Allen Poe, Virginia Woolf, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Oscar Wilde. Each beer is specifically designed to relate to the work and life of the author, incorporating titles of novels, quotes, and imagery. The logo was hand illustrated, and I took reference from Victorian design, hand-drawn typography, and wood-cut illustrations for the design of my logo.

One of my major concerns was balancing the old with the new. I wanted my brand to have a nostalgic feel, yet be approachable to a contemporary audience. I used the portraits to bridge this gap by illustrating them in a style similar to graphic novels. This energized these long dead authors and primed them for a 21st century audience. The portraits would attract new eyes unfamiliar with the authors and their works but drawn to the illustrative style.

The six-pack crate was ordered from Etsy and designed by Timothy Giles. The wood was shipped laser-cut and disassembled, which I then constructed myself. The case was chosen primarily to display the labels and because the wood complimented the antique hand-made style of the craft beer. Ideally, customers could reuse this case, returning to the brewery for refills at a discounted price.

Over the course of the semester, I learned a great deal about these six authors as well as the rich craft beer culture and brewing process. I appreciate the visual language needed to create a sense of atmosphere and energize a product. I learned more about hierarchy and activating the space on the front of the bottle to create a dynamic composition. Exploring package design is something I want to continue because it offers so many exciting opportunities.

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Craft Beer Author Posters

For my senior capstone project, I created the craft beer series Aleing Authors which is inspired by great 19th and 20th century writers and their works. These posters highlight each unique beer that corresponds to the authors.

I really enjoy seeing the variety and innovation in spirits and liquor packaging. My interest was particularly caught by the multitudes of craft beer labels I saw and the spike in small craft breweries. The labels of these craft beer bottles had bold personalities of their own and often made humorous cultural references. I love the unique combination of flavors found in craft beer, you won’t find a bacon maple ale or chili beer offered in the large scale industrial breweries.

Additionally, in a time where most of our products, clothing, and electronics are outsourced half way across the world, it is welcoming to see local breweries growing in popularity and supported for the quality and distinctiveness of their product. A renaissance is occurring in the craft beer world.

While researching craft beers, I knew I wanted to create a series, I just had not decided what kind of series it would be. I wanted my beer to have a distinct personality, spark conversations, and be witty and humorous. My beer line would be strongly themed and reach a small niched audience, but resonate strongly with those people. I had considered musicians, artists, dictators, and authors. As I researched, I quickly discovered that the latter had already been referenced in many beers, but there were not so many beers that alluded to authors. I felt that this subject was rich in content and symbolism. I knew that many of my favorite authors were troubled and struggled to cope with their success and usually used alcohol as means to accomplish this.

There are two types of people I wished to target with my craft beer series. The first category includes craft beer enthusiasts, connoisseurs, and brewers. These people would be mainly interested in the quality and flavor of the beer. They include men and women who prefer craft beer over other alcoholic beverages and usually have a greater knowledge of the brewing process than the typical person.

The second segment targeted are educated, literary-minded consumers. The category also varies greatly in age and gender. However, this is a niched group that will recognize the authors featured in the craft beer series. They will understand the references which may be unfamiliar to the layman, and thus recognize the value of my product.

As well as being sold directly from the brewery, my Aleing Authors series would be sold at literary themed bars and restaurants such as The Dead Poet and stocked in stores.

First, my brewery needed a good, solid name. My brewery would ideally be creating many beer series and not all would be related to literature. I settled on Old Inkwell Artisan Brewers because it loosely connects with the Aleing Authors beer series but could also stand alone as its own entity. This was important for any future pieces I wanted to create that would only have the brewery name and not include the beer series.

Old Inkwell craft beer LogoI knew I wanted a hand drawn logo stylistically similar to a woodcut or etching. I love hand-drawn type, and I also studied many examples of antique woodcut letters and signs as inspiration. I also looked at many brewery logos and noted that most of them were circular and fit nicely wrapped around the neck of a bottle or printed on the cap. I wanted to follow this tradition and began sketching ideas. I choose to place the name in a waving banner similar to many antique posters I saw from the turn of the 19th century.

I decided relatively quickly on Aleing Authors as the title for the beer series. I loved the play on words and the fact that the authors I chose were suffering in their own ways. Now, I needed to choose my specific authors and name their unique beer flavors. I connected the style of beer, the name and specific ingredients to the authors and their literary works. I also incorporated imagery from their famous novels on the labels as well as appropriate quotes.

Virginia Woolf craft beer poster

Virginia Woolf was an English writer, regarded as one of the foremost modernist literary figures of the twentieth century. She uses the literary device stream of consciousness in her narratives. This device depicts the multitudinous thoughts and feelings which pass through the mind. As a play on words, I decided to call this English pale ale Stream of Unconsciousness. Woolf’s novel To the Lighthouse is also referenced.

F. Scott Fitzgerald Craft Beer PosterF. Scott Fitzgerald was an American author whose works reflect the Jazz Age. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. Known to be a big fan of gin, Fitzgerald’s drink is a juniper infused wheat beer called Double Vision. This is play on the double vision Fitzgerald experienced in his own life. He had the ability to experience the lifestyle of the wealthy from an insider’s perspective, yet never felt a part of this clique and always felt the outsider.

Oscar Wilde craft beer poster

Oscar Wilde was an Irish writer and poet. He became one of London’s most popular playwrights. His drink is an absinthe pilsner called The Pilsner of Dorian Gray. He is notorious for his excessive drinking of absinthe.

Mary Shelley Craft Beer Poster

Mary Shelley was an English Romantic novelist and short story writer best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus. I chose a caffeinated old ale to reference the electrical experiments used in galvanism and the title Galvanized Grog.

Edgar Allen Poe Craft Beer posters

Edgar Allen Poe was an American author and poet considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story. His drink, a New England dark ale alludes to his Bostonian heritage and life in Baltimore. Once Upon a Midnight Draught references the first line in his poem, The Raven.

Ernest Hemingway Carft Beer poster

Earnest Hemingway was an American author and journalist. His economical and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction. He reacted against the elaborate style of 19th century writers by creating a style in which meaning is established through dialogue and very little is stated explicitly. He often depicts scenes of war and popularized the term the lost generation. His beer Anis del Toro lager is a direct reference to Hills like White Elephants in which the characters are drinking a Spanish beer of the same name. The title of my beer The Old Man and the Swill is a play off of his novel, The Old Man and the Sea.

One of my major concerns was balancing the old with the new. I wanted my beer to have a nostalgic feel to it, yet interest a contemporary audience. I wanted my portraits to bridge this gap by illustrating them in a graphic novel fashion. I felt like this style energized these long dead authors and primed them for a 21st century audience. I also wanted to pull in new eyes that may be unfamiliar with the authors and their works but would be drawn to the illustrative style.

Over the course of the semester, I learned a ton about these six authors as well as the rich craft beer culture and brewing process. I learned to appreciate the subtleties of a good beer and the appropriate visual language that is needed to create a sense of atmosphere and energize a product. I learned much about hierarchy and activating the space on the front of the bottle to create a dynamic composition. I feel like I want to further explore the field of package design because it offers so many unique and exciting opportunities.

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Virginia Woolf Illustration – Craft Beer Portrait


My last portrait for my capstone project is finished! Virginia Woolf has finally arrived to join the rest of her aleing author friends! I tried to capture the worn, mentally troubled state of Virginia in this illustration (which is also the state I’m getting closer to as the semester continues and my capstone project consumes most of my life). Now the work begins on the label design…

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Aleing Authors – Craft Beer Portraits

I’ve completed three more author portraits for my capstone project. Edgar Allen Poe, Mary Shelley, and Oscar Wilde. These along with Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald totals up to five portraits completed so far. The last one I need to draw is Virginia Woolf. Mary Shelley was extremely difficult to draw, mainly because I was referencing an oil painting, which was very challenging to transfer into a graphic image. There are few good portraits of her on the internet, and it doesn’t help that her features are awfully plain to begin with. Wilde and Poe were easy with their unique and striking qualities.

Next steps after completing all the portraits will be to put each on their individual craft beer label. Along with those six labels, I plan to create a six pack carrying case as well as a media kit and a display poster for a beer tasting festival. I also will be printing the logo (I haven’t figured out how yet) onto coasters. I’ve got only about 5 weeks left before this project is due. Quite a big challenge lays ahead of me!

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Craft Beer Portraits


I illustrated these portraits for my senior capstone project. I am designing packaging for a craft beer series based on authors and plan to use these illustrations on the packaging. I’ve completed two out of six for my series. I chose to illustrate these portraits in a very graphic novel-esque style in order to tie these authors into the modern century, while still retaining their charm and features that make them so iconic. The four other authors I plan on illustrating are Mary Shelley, Oscar Wilde, Virginia Woolf, and Edgar Allen Poe. Stay tuned in for more updates!

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Old Inkwell Brewery: Senior Capstone

For my senior capstone project, I chose to design packaging and the identity for a brewery which I named Old Inkwell. I plan to design 6 craft beers based off of famous authors such as Earnest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Edgar Allen Poe, Virginia Woolf, Oscar Wilde, and Mary Shelly. I have been doing a lot of research on each of the authors, as well as learning a lot about the brewing process. I want to pair specific types of beer with each author appropriately while additionally choosing witty names for them. So far, I have decided that the series will be called Aleing Authors. I have a few names for each of the specific author beers and will post them as I progress. As far as the style, I am drawing inspiration from a lot of nineteenth century posters and typography, as well as many craft beers such as Rouge, Bocanegra, and Ballistic Brewing Co. I also have been inspired by Helm’s Workshop and Tomasz Biernat who both incorporate vintage aesthetics with modern design.

This logo was completely hand drawn except for the text “artisan brewers” and “est. 2012”. But besides that everything else is hand drawn and outlined in ink. I aimed to create a wood carved-esque, etched, illustrative logo using an inkwell as my subject. I was inspired by hand drawn type and slab serifs from the nineteenth century. I not only will apply this logo to the bottle necks and beer caps of my project, but also to coasters and promotional materials that I hope to create as secondary pieces for my capstone. I will be updating this blog as I continue researching and designing elements of my project of this semester.

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AIGA Vote Poster

This poster was designed for my student AIGA chapter at Maryville University. We were asked to design posters that would incite people to go out and vote in the 2012 elections this year. I chose to take a more dramatic approach by combining a quote from Alexander Hamilton into the shape of a swastika. By doing so, I hoped to reference the potential dangerous outcomes that could develop if citizens do not vote or do not choose their candidates based on facts but rather on smear campaigns that use fear to promote their agendas. Voters need to be informed before they vote because an ignorant vote can be just as dangerous as not voting at all.

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Portfolio Website: is Up!

I recently created a wordpress website for my portfolio. This site primarily showcases my graphic design work for potential employers to view. Basically, I created a child theme from the parent theme Swiss Design. These themes are all clean, easy to use, and customizable. I would certainly recommend them to someone looking to create a portfolio site. The one I chose was also free (something I can’t really afford to pay for at the moment). I mainly just edited the CSS and HTML files since I don’t know much about PHP. I didn’t want to break the format from my parent theme, since all I was looking to do was to change the background, add a drop shadow, and create a customized header for my logo (pretty basic web design stuff). That’s why I really liked the Swiss Design theme since I could easily visualize how my site would look.
I may be making some changes to the header, I don’t entirely like how the logo sits in the box, I feel like there is some awkward negative space that needs to be dealt with, but the most important thing for me was to get the sight up, working, and presentable. I will probably fiddle with details later. The typeface I used for the logo I found on FontSquirrel. I use this sight to find many free fonts (again poor). Gladifilthefte was the typeface, I added embellishments to it as well as creating a ligature between the two ‘G’s. Overall, I hope this site will be easy to manage and get me some work in the future!

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