Cincinnati from three different focal lengths

21 May 2013.

Shot on a Canon 7D 1.6x crop sensor. Canon 50mm f1.8, Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 at 10mm, and Canon 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 at around 35mm. Scouting mission on my lunch break around 1:30pm on May 21, 2013. My plan is to go back one weekend morning and catch a sunrise or a sunset at dusk.

Good Design Advice

18 May 2013.

Recently, a good friend of mine sent me an email asking for design advice. I was flattered that he reached out to me and then briefly thought about how to respond given the vastness of his inquiry. Before I knew it I had written a lengthy email filled with important nuggets from my personal design philosophy, useful links and an invitation to bounce ideas off of me at any time.


Tonight it occurred to me that along the way I have saved up quite a few pieces of advice for designers just starting out, with a few years of experience, or looking to push past a development plateau. Obviously, I linked him to Good F-cking Design Advice, obviously. Some of the suggestions below were in my email, some came to me after I had hit send. Here they are:

1. Have a concept before you start pushing pixels, you’ll work 3-times more quickly. This took me years to start doing regularly, and now it’s my process. I’m a pen and paper guy, that helps me get my plan together and allows for freedom of exploration. Not only sketching for layouts and logo comps, but creating timelines and mind maps for mini-documentaries.

2. Listen to feedback, consider it, then very possibly disregard it to follow your instinct. You have to trust your decisions. This is especially important for editors of any kind. Decisiveness isn’t natural for some, so hone it.

3. Your first idea isn’t always your best. Scrap or set aside your first draft and push through to find the possibly better 2nd or 3rd idea. Time will be the enemy of this pursuit. Stay up later.

4. Clearly communicating is your #1 goal, everything else is secondary to that. Keep it simple. Your job is done when there is nothing left to subtract.

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Brand Managers: Loosen Up on Your Logo

16 May 2013.

D-10-capesigners who have interacted with corporations have undoubtedly also interacted with, or otherwise had their potential creativity stifled by branding guidelines. These ‘necessary evil’ documents range anywhere from 5-to-infinity pages and lay out the rules and regulations in dealing with a given company’s trademark (or logo) and name.


Here’s the problem: If you haven’t updated your branding guidelines in the last 2-3 years your brand is in all likelihood severely outdated and suffering in today’s marketplace as a result.

Furthermore, the fact that you’re bustin’ my chops about my having placed another design element less than the mandated 3/4″ clear of your logo is a draaag, bro. Loosen up.

Brand Managers need to think about and convince their c-levels that adapting a more flexible branding system is the future. What I mean is, find a way to write into your guidelines that they aren’t 100% rigid.

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Québec City & Santiago, Chile Images

14 May 2013.

Below is a collection of photographs and video screen captures from my recent work trips to Québec City and Santiago, Chile. I found Québec to be beautiful, clean and full of good food and good people. Santiago was beautiful in a more rugged and non-traditional way but I truly enjoyed walking the streets with my camera and felt very safe and comfortable.

Québec City





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Curating your Digital Life

9 April 2013.


Simply put, I nerd out over new gadgets, digital tools and shiny pieces of tech news. I’m a designer so I make my living and spend an unnatural amount of time on a computer. I consider my devices extensions of my body and at the helm of these pieces of technology I am annoyingly efficient. I can type 100+ words-per-minute. I’m the type to have the Google results in front of me while everyone is still arguing like cavemen. Here’s the problem with being a hyper-productive digital nerdboy: your life can get cluttered, quickly.

My life doesn’t need clutter. I’m married and I enjoy my wife’s company. I have a two year old, who on top of being a skilled wielder of the iPad, is a shitload of fun to play with. I play hockey at least once a week. I run. I keep in touch with my out-of-town family and friends. I’m have a full-time job doing web, video and graphic design and I stay up late creating and building for myself and freelance clients. These are some of things that sum up my non-digital life.

It seems every week something new is released along with the feeling that I must integrate this new tool (assuming it does well what it sets out to do) into my life immediately. The problem is, this cannot be. This must not be, and this is not necessary. What is necessary is the pursuit of balance. I’m not advocating unplugging, as I run at a personal uptime of 99.95%, but I think we could all benefit from looking at our lives with an editorial eye. Addition by subtraction. Spend more quality, focused time in fewer places. I know this is difficult for people of my generation and especially the young ones (who are not reading this blog post), but this is what you must do.

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The Biggest Loser: Update #1

16 February 2013.

So our first weight-in (30 days in) was Monday, February 11th. I’ve had some success at this point and wanted to share some progress, stats and thoughts.

I believe I mentioned in my initial Biggest Loser post that I was planning to track my daily meals (using the desktop/mobile application MyPlate by Livestrong and my running activity using the Nike+ desktop/mobile app.) Looking at the numbers is a way to keep it interesting and of course, visual. I find I look forward to tracking my exercise every day to see how it affects my calorie count.

So as of this Monday morning, Februrary 11th I was down 18.6lbs. My starting weight was 222.2 and my 1-month weight was 203.6. Pretty drastic. Mind you, Sunday, the night before the weigh-in I played 2 hockey games in a row and I woke up early to run 5 miles and do a few minutes in the sauna. The morning following the weigh-in I had gained back 3.5-4lbs. of water weight. Winner of the 1st weigh-in won $50, recouping their entry money along with a $20 profit. Amazingly, I was bested by a guy who lost 21lbs. in the first month.

I began the competition with a goal of losing 20lbs, which would be a 3lb. improvement on my 2nd place finish in 2012. With two full months of the competition left, I think that goal is in sight. In realistic terms and considering the water weight loss that contributed to my 18.6lb. 1-month weight in, I’ve really lost about 14-15lbs so far. Still not too shabby.

With no further adieu, here are some of my numbers to this point. Nike+ isn’t quite as accurate when running on a treadmill, most days I ran 5 miles or just over/under.

Run Tracker



Weight Numbers