Music picks for ’09

Sounds We're Digging | Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

We had fun last year highlighting our favorite releases of the year, so we thought that we’d do it again this year. Well, fun like a stick in the eye, but we decided to do it anyway. The reality of the situation is that it’s so difficult to pick one release over another. Some folks out there—principally every music magazine in existence—are releasing their top releases of the decade. That just seems like an exercise in cruelty for us, so we’re going to keep it to the past year. In no particular order, here’s how it breaks down:

Ryan’s List

Ira’s List

Aaron’s List

Chris’s List


Helping out the Little Wanderers

Events | Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

In all of the craziness of the holiday season, it’s sometimes easy to forget about the really important things. That’s one of the reasons that we volunteer every year at The Home for Little Wanderers annual “Big Wishes for Little Wanderers” gift drive. The most vital reason, however, is that volunteering is a small thing that we can do that hopefully impacts some kids who have little else to look forward to during the holiday season. The staff at The Home is great, and there’s always a solid crew of volunteers to help out. Donations were down again this year, which is unfortunate but understandable given the economic climate. If you are in a place to help out this year with a donation to The Home or another charitable organization, your gift will go even further this year.


The Ripple Effect

Recent Logo Projects | Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

With a service as niche as “Asian fabrics for the home,” it would seem natural to have very specific direction when beginning an identity for The Barii Group. In fact, the business’ owner had a very specific image in mind: a serene pond, surrounded by bamboo with a picturesque tea house sitting on its shore. While this may indeed be a beautiful image, it seemed a bit more complicated than the clean and modern tone that the client wanted to project. During our research and concepting process, we isolated the image of ripples in a pond as the most important. We focused on these overlapping ripples, and they became the central mark of the brand. The type solution revolves around a sophisticated but unpretentious serif face, featuring an “r-i” ligature that we created and paired with a clean sans.


Looking Güd!

Recent Logo Projects | Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

A logo that has lightning bolts and an umlaut? It has to be a metal band, right? Think again. ÜberGeekGirl offers professional IT services to an exclusive and ultra-secret client base including many well known individuals and celebrities in and around Los Angeles. ÜberGeekGirl serves their clients by bringing order to their complex world of electronics and by helping them stay connected. Rather than referencing one specific kind of technology, we focused on broad, overarching concepts that could encompass all the services offered by our client. The final logo features ÜGG as the nucleus bringing order to the erratic particles in orbit.



Droppin’ Science… err.. Art

Events | Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

We were recently asked to give a lecture at MassArt in our home town of Boston. The topic was to be our design process. We pulled together a broad range of work ranging from identity design to CD art direction to print collateral. The turnout was great and the students seemed really enthusiastic—and we only had very minor technical difficulties—I’m looking at you Preview! One of the students, Caley Ostrander, posted a nice, little write-up on her blog [here].


Open Office Hours Tomorrow

Events | Monday, December 14th, 2009

In case you’re still on the fence, we would like to encourage you to book a slot for our Open Office Hours tomorrow morning. You can read more about them at the original post, and see the calendar below for the open slots. They are a great way to get some very objective and honest opinions on where your business stands from a branding and creative standpoint. We’re also looking at them as a great opportunity to network and talk to some people who may be out of our typical circles. Lastly, we’d like to stress that it doesn’t matter the size of your company: big, small or in between, we’d be more than happy to chat.

If you’re interested in booking a slot, you can e-mail us here or call (617) 451-9990. We’re located in Boston’s South End (map).


Logo Graveyard: Base Camp Communications

Recent Logo Projects | Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

One thing we’ve learned over the years is that things rarely ever work out the way that we plan. Case in point: a recent logo project for Base Camp Communications. When we got the call from the company’s founder and director, we were definitely excited. It was obvious that they were serious about brand communications and cared passionately about the industries that their clients supported. With all of this in mind, we began the process and created several concepts—a few of which are showcased below—that embodied the client’s independent, outdoorsy philosophy. Of the presented directions, the one that really struck the client was a yak. The yak, or course, is a hardy animal. A workhorse that isn’t afraid of any peak; it is equally at home both on a rocky slope and a wintery plain.
Base Camp Comm concepts
Once the yak direction was chosen, the client asked us to explore some different ways to represent the yak. What began as a rather geometric and angular interpretation of a yak, became a bit softer and more shaggy.
Base Camp Comm yak 1 + 2
In the end, we hit it on the head—not literally—with a stylized yak that was forceful and energetic without being sharp and unapproachable.
Base Camp Comm 3 + final
Though the client was happy and really liked the yak, Base Camp was acquired by another company, leaving the yak out to pasture. We decided to share it with you all here, just give the guy a chance to run free.


Open Office Hours with Alphabet Arm

Don't Take This Too Seriously,Events | Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

Open Office Hours with Alphabet Arm Design: How does effective identity and branding help to quickly establish your start-up or new company? How can rebranding your company reposition you as a leader in your respective industry? Gather unique insight from the award-winning studio that has built their reputation on developing bold, creative and distinctive design solutions for their clients.

10 minute slots available from 9:30am to 11:30am on Tuesday, December 15th.
See available slots below.

Contact: / 617-451-9990 to reserve your spot.

Open Office Hours are your opportunity to receive targeted input and advice from industry professionals, without the pressure of cost or obligation. In the provided 10 minute slot, attendees are given an open forum to discuss anything related to identity and branding.

Alphabet Arm – 500 Harrison Avenue, Studio 3R, Boston


Designin’ for a Rockin’ Cause!

Recent Logo Projects | Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

In our effort to assist with worthy causes, we answered the call from a long time friend and client involved with the site Target Cancer. The site promotes targeted research into curing cancers lacking treatment protocols, supporting the development and codification of cutting edge and life saving protocols, and funding research into alternative treatment options and drugs.

There will soon be a component on their website that will offer music downloads from artists like Juliana Hatfield, They Might Be Giants, Ween, The Donnas and Buffalo Tom. Rockin’ for a ’cause!



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