The Axe and The Anvil

The axe:

an instrument with a bladed head on a handle or helve, used for hewing, cleaving, chopping, etc.

a tool, weapon, simple machine.

symbol of strength,

The anvil:

a heavy usually steel-faced iron block on which metal is shaped (as by hand hammering).


We appreciate the hand crafted. We seek the one of the kind. We hire carpenters, masons, and artists. We celebrate their skill, talent, their eye, their hands.

We invest in custom homes. We visit sculptures on pedestals. We scour for the vintage, the sturdy, the locally made.

Why should your brand be any different?

The axe has always been a symbol of strength to me. Self protection and utility. The stranded on an island preference. I think it started with the Brawny Man.

Hours of survivor may have something to do with it too.

Just wood and metal. Just raw materials. Manipulated by hand, wielded by hand.

Carefully sharpened, perfectly weighted. Precision, attention to detail.

Why should your brand be any different?

Anvils are extremely underrated. The world sees a cartoon weapon, gracefully falling from the sky. But it is so much more.

It is the beginning of engineering. It is mankind evolving. Creating systems of accuracy, efficiency, and uniformity.

Every curve, bump, side, and corner serves a purpose. Every surface creating a different value. Every aspect of its design formed to contribute.

Why should your brand be any different?

I chose these inanimate, industrial, and seemingly random objects to represent my services, my goal, my mission statement.

It's too easy to forget the feeling of creation when a computer screen and mouse are your medium. It is too frequent the tingle of satisfaction is missed when the object of art is 2D.

But the artistry should still remain.

Your brand, your campaign, your event. They deserve the proper tools. They deserve clever engineering, a sturdy handle, and a sharp point.

Tiny Test Run

I've got grand plans for 2 4'x8' pieces of plywoods, drywall studs, handful of nails, and enough string to wrap around the world a few dozen times. In due time, they will emerge before your eyes as a beautifully branded photo backdrop. 

But in due time. 

For now, I wanted to nail down my game plan with a tiny test run. 

*pun very much intended*

Second Use to the rescue with these perfect sized blocks and Stitches for the fun ombre string. 

I have always been drawn to simple renderings of inanimate objects, especially objects that the children of 2050 will never have the pleasure of finding on their grandfather's desk. 

The good ol magnifying glass. 

I did a quick google search and printed one to my liking, but I also recommend drawing up a template in Illustrator or the like. 

After I cut out the perimeter of the glass, I gentle hammered small holes to later use once the template was removed. 

I made sure to keep spacing between the handle, connector, and the glass itself. I think these divides allow the eye to not get lost in the many, many, many lines going on. 

To create the appearance of texture, I used different patterns for the handle and the glass. Note the handle resembles more of a wood grain, moving vertically where as the glass's crisscrossing is used to mimic a central depth. 

And just like that - my fireplace mantel has a new friend. 

Beyond a fun decor project, this little guy taught me quite a bit for my larger project coming up. When resources and materials are being used, it is always a good idea to take the time for a tiny test run to limit stress, waste, and the unexpected. 

Creating a Brand that feels like Home

You’re passionate. You’re skilled. And you’re knowledgeable.

Most of all, you’re ready to strike out on your own.

Like any great explorer, you know there is more out there beyond the comforts of established and
predictable. That tingling in your toes and tug at your gut are not to be ignored, its intuition.

You’re brave. And you’re proud.

You believe not only in yourself, but your product / idea / invention.

You know the ins and outs. You know the strengths, the shortcomings. You’ve birthed it. You’ve nurtured it. And now it’s a part of you.

So now what?

A spark turns into months of research. Research develops into a business plan. Business plan grows an inventory. Inventory draws a consumer base. Bam - your business grows two legs and stands tall.

But how do they find you? Will they recognize you? Lined up with your competitors, who will they pick first for the kickball team?

Do you catch their eye with bright colors and a humorous, but lovable, mascot?

Will you entice them with a sexy font and sleek, delicate lines?

Maybe touch their hearts with familiar, nostalgic appeal?

Choosing your aesthetic can sometimes sound intimidating. You know your demographic, your
audience, your people. But how do you take that relationship and put it into words and graphics they’ll understand? How do you express to them who you are, what you stand for, all your hopes and dreams?

You create a brand that feels like home.

A home that is cookies in the oven approachable, but HGTV aw inspiring.

A home that is so obviously you, they could have picked it out from the street. But a home that is timeless with a solid foundation, that will still be relevant in 10 years.

Like making a home, brands can’t be rushed into existence. They take love, commitment, plenty of
drafts, and inspiration.

A good place to start – knee jerk reaction.

Is their a logo you can’t stand seeing all the time? What about it makes you cringe?

Where is that photo from your grandmother’s childhood you’re obsessed with? Is it the fashion sense or the color scheme?

Out of your competitors’, who do you think has it all figured out the most? What about it speaks to your demographic?

You didn’t even need to think about your business name. It came to you in the middle of a sweet, sweet dream one night. Let’s look at that name from every angle possible.

Pick it all apart. Dissect it. Break it down into the smallest, minute pieces.

And from there, we build up.

You build and forge using every resource you have. Every memory, every passion, every obsession. You create a foundation, walls, and roof.

Build a brand that looks and feels like the services and products you’re ready to give the world. The quality, the personality, the care. Because you know what they say.

Home, Sweet Home.

Vector Schmector

I have felt the deep fervor of annoyance when asking clients for a vector file of their logo. I have seen the desperation set in after four attempts of providing a .jpg, .png, .tiff, etc. 

I get it. On this side of the lingo, we think we're being painfully clear in our needs.

But you as the client, see a file as a file as a file. 

Our digitized existence has spoiled us into believing everything is as simple as the export button and we're all just made of floating pixels. 

Sure, computer, phone, tablet, and television screens are small enough to use the information they have been provided - a very limited amount of pixels (bitmap).

Imagine a bingo dauber. No, a 100 bingo daubers. Your .jpg, .png, .tiff logo was created by these daubers on your average printer paper page. 100 dots on an 8.5" x 11" area - the perfect fit. N

Now take these 100 dots and try to expand them to fill a poster size, 2' x 3' feet. The 100 dots will do their best to bleed into each other, but the integrity of your image will suffer. Becoming blurry and distorted.

For photographs, the best way to avoid pixel-ations is to have access to the RAW images from your photographer. These original files will have the information needed for large scale, high resolution printing. 

Plot twist - even high resolution bitmaps of your graphics can cause issues. 

In a lot of print and tangible materials, vectors serve as a map. Lines to cut, route, and mold. 

Those hours of operation on your glass door? Vectors are used to plot the letters from adhesive vinyl. 

The dimensional logo in your lobby? Vectors are used to cut the aluminum to shape. 

A classic sandblasted sign for your business exterior? Vectors used as a stencil. 

Because they are made of solid shapes and lines, they can grow and shrink freely. 

Take a look below - 


Notice in the bitmap, each flower is flat as one solid grouping - an image. But in the vector, each flower stands alone as an outline. Allowing me to rotate the purple, delete the orange, shrink the yellow or heck - change all of the colors! 

Having quick and available access to a vector file of your logo will come in handy for any branded, printed, or high resolution digital project. Providing these files to your vendor will ensure your beautiful brand, stays in beautiful tact.