a fevered fest for the fall

Don't Take This Too Seriously,Recent Poster Project | Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

The Mercury Brewing Company hired us to design the poster for their annual Ipswich Ale “Fall Fest.” We were immediately excited to hear the day’s events included a vintage baseball game played with historically inspired uniforms and mustaches to boot! Alphabet Arm’s pal and all around master illustrator, Alan Pearsall, worked up the image we based the design around. Integrating color and texture to his pencil drawing was an honor. With hopes of perfectly imperfect registration, we lovingly weathering the image. We were also rather inspired by the notion of printing on a wooden crate, hopefully these visual strategies helped knock this one outta the park.


Bonin’ in the Boneyard*

Don't Take This Too Seriously | Monday, September 27th, 2010

“Hi”. This is John “Johnny Bones” Boilard. It’s nice to meet you, and it’s a pleasure to be here. Very strange but awesome timing brought me to Alphabet Arm. This past Summer I was a day away from writing Aaron about an internship in the Spring, when a message popped up in my inbox titled “Internship”, and it happened to be from Alphabet Arm. It turns out a very kind, very talented Mass Art alum had recommended that Aaron and co. get in touch with some of the rising seniors at Mass Art. I feel pretty fortunate to have gotten the gig and I’m really loving my time here. And as if the deal weren’t sweet enough, I get to work alongside my good bud Diego, the other Fall intern for 2010. How I got into graphic design was not so much about strange or awesome timing, rather it sort of happened out of necessity. Collectively, a group of friends and myself have been setting up arts / music events in Western Mass (and more recently in Boston as well) since May of 1998. It was through the need to promote these events, that I discovered my love for type, design, and screen printing. 12 years later I’m still enthusiastic about making posters and setting up shows, and it’s something I hope to always have a hand in. With less than a year left of school, I’m getting ready for the working world, and although I’ll miss being at such a rad place like Mass Art, I’m pumped to be working soon, and look forward to putting all that I’ve taken in from places like school and Alphabet Arm to good use.If you’d like to say hi, or have a band that would like to play Boston or Western Massachusetts, feel free to get in touch.Thanks and have a cool day!-
J.P. Boneyard

*STUDIO DISCLAIMER: “Bonin’ in the Boneyard” is a track by the legendary band Fishbone (see the 1988 release, Truth and Soul)


tune in, turn on and win this

It’s pretty obvious that we here at Alphabet Arm love music, and that’s why our latest shirt “Stereo Schematic“, is an homage to the equipment that brings the celebrated sounds to our ears. To share our enthusiasm for the recording process itself, and to make sure you are looking fresh this Fall, we are giving away a shirt to the first person to answers the following questions correctly. That’s right – it’s a three-parter:
A. How may Flux Capacitors are pictured?
B. What is the typeface used in this design? (HINT: it’s our studio standard)
C. How many speakers are included in the schematic?

D new addition to ABC!

Don't Take This Too Seriously | Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010
That’s right! This is D joining the ABC team (Alphabet Arm) as an intern for the next few months. I’m a Designer to be and Rocker to the Co?e.
Full name is Diego Tang. I’m a bit of a cultural mix, and I’d like to share it with all of you: I was born in Medellín, Colombia (as some people like to call it, the city of “eternal spring”) however, my parents are both chinese. So basically I’m a Colombian with a chinese heritage. It’s been 4 years now, and ever since I moved to the States I started an affair with design, which I’m developing more and more the through studies at MassArt and in my work at internships and whatnot.  The time I have spent here at Alphabet Arm has been amazing. It’s more of the environment I like and the guys here are just super chill. I like the office, I like the work, and most of all, the jokes and talks with the folks. It’s only the third week and I already have been exposed to some great design work. Now I’m working on a logo for a record label (how cool is that!). I’m looking forward to learning tons of new things on design, especially more “vector wizardry & knowledge”
I’m interested in very broad sorts of music, as some of you might tell. Rock and Acoustic music are on the top of my list, especially Spanish and Japanese, but I enjoy American music more and more as I discover new feels and vibes here at the office. If you want to chit-chat, discuss, or drop me a joke or a line, but all means shoot me a e-mail to Diego@AlphabetArm.com and remember, stay tuned through twitter to see what’s up http://twitter.com/alphabetarm


Masters of the Logoverse – The Sequel

Hey, We're Published,Other Work We're Stoked About | Tuesday, September 21st, 2010
The Logolounge Master Library Vol.2 book has arrived and we’re incredibly proud to announce the editors included ten of our logo designs, including a number of in-studio pieces (the “El Cahote” design-bot and Arno, the Alphabet Armadillo).
We are always stoked to have our work included in any volume of a Logolounge collection, but the Master Library book series feels extra special! Get your own copy here.

Still Crankin’

Calendar Insert | Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

September is half over (already!) and these have been circulating around for a couple weeks, so we figured it’s high time to share them with the rest of world. Our focus was to give props to Flagship Press and their commitment to the environment. Whether it’s printing with soy inks on recycled paper or delivering the finished product in their hybrid SUV (with graphics designed at Alphabet Arm), Flagship Press has made it a priority to run an environmentally sound business. They’re even proud to say that they are 100% powered by the wind energy. That said, we based the design on historical reference. The vibrant colors and geometric, flat shapes were inspired by the posters created for the Works Progress Administration in the 1930’s and 40’s inspired us to create the artwork for September. It’s a call to arms to take responsibility for our own actions and their impact on our environment. Our hero cranks away at the inner workings of a factory powered by nature. Don’t ask us how it all works, the patent is pending.


Sign of the times

Art Direction,Recent CD Projects | Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

If you’re a regular reader of our blog, you may have read an entry or two about our old friend Kay Hanley. In fact, we’ve been art directing/designing albums together since 1997. Her latest project, Palmdale is a collaboration with multi-instrumentalist/producer, Linus Of Hollywood. It’s a tour de force of rockin’ pop hooks. How to Be Mean is their second EP. After talking to the band and hearing the rough tracks from the EP, we opted to take a literal approach to the cover and digital booklet. Palmdale is actually named for a city in southern California. Palmdale sounds picturesque, lush and pristine — over time, it may have fallen short of the promise the romantic name portrays. Kay and Linus felt the music should complement both sides of that coin. This photo was taken in California a dozen years ago and seemed like the perfect starting point for the cover. We labored over distressing the image and type and added a warm color palette to mimic the intense heat in the vast concrete landscapes of SoCal.


Choke on this!

While working on the promotional poster for an appearance by the infamous Stevie Starr aka “The Regurgitator,” we caught ourselves thinking, “are we really working on a poster for a gentleman who has made a living by eating and regurgitating that which should not pass one’s lips in the first place?” The Nobles and Greenough School challenged us with the task of working up an old school, horror inspired poster that utilized images of specific faculty and alumni members—around 30 to be precise. Intern extraordinaire, Jeremiah Louf, spent quite a few days clipping out the people that populate the bottom of this image. The build-out was rather time consuming, with a great many elements to prepare before developing the various type treatments and lovingly setting the poster with a delicious halftone pattern.


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