I met Chris, the owner of Champ Contractors, through a high school friend ( word of mouth rocks! ). He was a small, basically one man operation, doing great contracting and handy-man work through the community for many many years. He is a no nonsense hard working and honest guy who had interest in moving his business forward. I needed my roof coated and I thought no better way to find out about his business than to use his services first hand. Well, he did an awesome job, stopped the small leak I had and gave me information on how to continue to protect my roof for the future. I found out that he was a professional boxer from 1986 to 1992 and I am an avid boxing fan! So, with all that I knew of him and his business, I set out to brand his company. Since boxing and the discipline it took was a part of him and his business, I wanted to incorporate that into his logo. Ultimately, I came up with the logo at the top and Chris was very pleased. Next, I designed the all important business card. Additionally, I came up with two flyer designs to get this new brand out into the community. A simple clean website to give him a web presence and finally some apparel designs for his winter hoodies. Check out his website @ http://www.champ-contractors.com.
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Word of mouth is definitely a good way to get business. A good friend of mine knew of a martial arts instructor who was looking to start a teaching studio and wanted to have some good looking but inexpensive tee shirts designed!
I was intrigued because of the style of martial arts he was going to teach. Wing Chun Kung Fu is a beautifully efficient art developed in secrecy in China probably 250 years ago. Although the origin of the art is shrouded in mystery, there is no doubt about it’s efficacy. One of the most well know teachers of this art was man named Ip Man who later taught Bruce Lee. The client wanted to honor Ip Man by having his image incorporated into the design.
The other imagery the client wanted to blend into the design was the Chinese Junket boats. The style of wing chun that he will teach is called Red Boat. Developed for close combat and used by the people opposed to the ruling dynasty by disguising themselves as entertainers in the Red Boat Opera Company, thus the use of the red junket boat.
So, off I went brainstorming a solution. The two images I was provided with I vectorized so that I could control color and keep the designs as graphic and striking as possible. I also used the original Ip Man jpeg image and converted it to a one color file. I was also supplied the chinese lettering that read Red Junket.
Unfortunately, on the first iterations, I forgot to add the acronym T.W.C that stands for Traditional Wing Chun….duh…but the client did like what I had developed so far. I designed a one-color and a two color design.
Back to the Mac to tweak and refine. The client wanted the name to be Red Junket instead of Red Boat. I added the TWC acronym into the design and also getting the red shirt color to match the design. The client was pleased but I still thought there were a few things I could do to improve.
On this 3rd iteration, I re-thought the placement of the TWC and removed the words Wing Chun as it was kind if redundant. I also removed some of the lines from around Ip Man’s shoulder and under the junket boat. The other design, I colorized the psd file of Ip Man and faded it out towards the edge. Lastly, I used a circle as a solution and masked Ip Man inside and placed the junket in front and then ran the type around the circle.
Ultimately, the client was happy and signed off on the designs and as he prepares to open his studio, will print shirts for his new students. Hopefully, I can get one too….
I know, I know…it’s just the end of January and I’m whining for Spring! In the last few years we have had the most peculiar weather patterns that I can remember. February and March loom, quietly winking with the almost assured promise of bad bad winter weather to come…brrrrrrrrr! As I was looking through my iPhoto library, I came across the pics of my baby Blackberry bush that I planted last spring. Gardening is a pastime passed onto me by my mother. I would watch her meticulously turn over the earth in our backyard and set her plants in neat rows while using knowledge of growing things in God’s good earth that I’m sure not only reaches back to her rural upbringing in South Carolina but has it genesis all the way back to our ancestors farming in Africa! So now I too have a rapport with this Terra Firma.
For a few days in late January, it was very warm, allowing me to go out into my yard with my dog, and that’s when I spotted my now dormant Blackberry bush. Still healthy, with it’s dark stems and foliage. It reminded me of the warmth of spring which brought a broad smile to my face…the thought of the sweet dark berries grown in my own garden….the joy my wife and daughters will have eating those fruit. So February and March, do your worst as I am patiently waiting for Blackberries.