Design Production Team Layout, as the name suggests, is a class about almost everything… but it’s most distinctive feature is the Team element. The work you’re about to see would not have been possible without my teammates, Jeremy Steiner, Cayce Cunningham, and Tasha Bannon.

Our class was fortunate to get to work on a real-life project. Our school wants to design an area on campus that will promote the schoool-sponsored housing program. As prospective students are given tours of the school, the admissions staff would be able to use this space to talk about the benefits of housing.

The area the school envisions for this exhibit of sorts is currently two blank walls at one end of an oft-frequented corridor. We took the measurements of these walls, and divided into to teams. There were four teams competing to create a design that the school administrators will want to make a reality.

From the beginning, our team was interested in pursuing a ‘bird’s eye view’ concept, featuring a huge map of the area surrounding campus. We figured it could be extremely useful both to prospective and current students (and parents!) to see what all was within walking distance of campus.

We continued the bird’s eye view theme with a blueprint style graphic of the apartment layout, again a useful tool for planning ahead. The avian theme also grew to encompass a string-and-nails installation reminiscent of a nest, and symbolic of the valuable relational and professional network that students can weave in the student housing program.

One week, we took a field trip to a local graphics and signage company to see how much our ideas might cost to build, and to get professional insight about different materials and processes. We later supplied them with technical drawings in order to get rough quotes.

The final deliverables to our client were a scale model of our space and a book that explains our plan and concept. We also made an oral presentation. Their decision has yet to be made.

I have learned how much I really like designing as part of a team. I always feel that the outcome is stronger, even though there are differences to be overcome. This project is evidence of a lot of overcoming!

We humbly endorse the free file-sharing site, It served us well, as did Facebook’s ability to create private groups. Between these two platforms, we had no trouble communicating and swapping our files back and forth.

Here are the major iterations of our design, in backwards chronological order. You can follow how certain ideas were born and evolved, and how others met a quiet demise over the course of eleven weeks.

In Part 1, we saw how the Nonpareil name and logo came about. Brand is more than just a logo, however. The following video summarizes my process, expresses other elements of the brand, and shows some of its applications (also featured in the rest of this post).

Business card, front and back


Mailing Label



Desktop Wallpaper

Download 1024 x 768 or 1440 x 900

Promotional Book, front and back
Basically a rework of this book. I changed the colors, type, and logo.

Finally, after weeks of valuable yet creatively stifling tutorials, our Web Authoring instructor set us free to design code a small site on any topic of our choosing. I happened to to be deep into my French teaching at the time, so I imagined what my course might look like if it had to exist entirely online. My goal is to transport and inspire, to ennoble to the human experience through our visual environment. So, can I make a website that delights the viewer in the way stepping into a beautiful French village would? I decided to try.

Click the screenshot to explore the site! Only a handful of links work.

Our instructor, Beth Remsburg, gave us an option for our next-to-last Advanced Typography assignment: design a set of 26 Euchre playing cards, or a set of 26 miniature alphabet books.

For me, there was no contest. I have made playing cards before, and the examples she showed us were already too numerous and fabulous for me to think I had much to offer there.

Alphabet books, on the other hand… the assignment was nebulous enough that anything could result, maybe something really wonderful. I love books; miniature books are even better, and handmade miniature books are the best.

With the inspiring assignment in hand, the next thing I needed was a theme for my books. I felt it was time for another project that married art and spirituality. The exact theme came to me during my drive home from class: the Psalms!

When I arrived home, I grabbed a little blank book that was sitting unused on my shelf. I knew I would need dedicated, organized space for 26 psalms’ worth of sketches! On the first page of the book, I wrote out each letter of the alphabet. Then I opened my Bible to the start of the Psalms and asked the Holy Spirit to emphasize which ones I should use. I skimmed rapidly, intuitively, assigning psalms to letters, trusting that I was being guided.

Over the next couple weeks, I carried the little book around with me, taking every free moment to brainstorm and sketch letters to interpret verses. I began to feel more like a type designer as I adjusted curves and angles to make the letters express exactly what I felt the verses were saying.

At first, ideas flowed quickly. In the subsequent posts for each book, you can see my sketches if you click “Behind-the-Scenes & Outtakes.” Once I had enough good sketches of one letter to fill a tiny six-page book, I began to interpret my ideas in color using Photoshop wet brush settings and a Wacom tablet. This is how I achieved the painted look.

At one week from the due date, I had the D book painted, A and B started, and complete sketches for maybe 3 other letters. It was looking like 26 books were not going to happen in 7 days. My instructor told me that I had already put more work into the assignment than she had anticipated, so whatever I came up in the end with would be fine.

As I looked through my book of sketches, I determined that the only letters with ideas ready to go were A, B, C, D, E, F, G, S, and Q. A rather unorthodox set, but I planned to execute at least those nine. Later, I felt prompted to drop S and Q. My grandiose visions of the 26-book set were sorely cut down, but then I realized that A through G would make a very nice set – they even line up with the letters of the musical scale. And Jesus knew all along that I would only be creating those seven, so no wonder He didn’t bother giving me ideas for the others. Here are some of the left-overs:

After having completed A through G, I feel that the concept and style have been pretty thoroughly explored. I don’t see myself ever continuing with this series, at least not in the same style.

I used some real fonts in the digital execution, but I also tried on the role of type designer. There were a number of times when I felt subtleties of expression that I could only convey by drawing the letter myself. That process was probably my favorite part of the entire project! I spent ridiculous amounts of time tracing, erasing, stroking, thickening, thinning, etc., until the shapes were just right.

Acquiring the right paper for this project was another adventure in itself! I benefitted from friendly connections with the RIS paper distribution house and took home more than enough free samples to complete the project. I wanted a felt finish (like watercolor paper) for the inside pages, and a variety of textures and colors for the covers.

After getting all the pages printed onto the felt paper, I spent a long afternoon cutting, scoring, and folding the pages into accordion books. The covers took even more time, but they ended up sturdy and wonderful! I then attempted the miniature bookcase, figuring it out as I went along. My measurements ended up being very inexact, but foam core is forgiving.

To puruse the contents of books individually, see subsequent posts:

Psalm 27, Brought to You by the Letter A

Psalm 116, Brought to You by the Letter B

Psalm 55, Brought to You by the Letter C

Psalm 91, Brought to You by the Letter D

Psalm 128, Brought to You by the Letter E

Psalm 32, Brought to You by the Letter F

Thanks to Beth Remsburg for the gorgeous photography!

For my final project in Corporate Identity, I chose one of the logos I designed this quarter and fleshed out its applications to the level of a real company. The logo you see above is adapted from my art movement bouquets. I applied it to an existing tiny hotel in Luxembourg, whose name means “fine arts park.”

After establishing the logo, I created the stationery for the company.

Then I began working on a brand standards manual for the company. This is like a rule book that the designer writes to help the company maintain the strength of their brand. It specifies the colors, typefaces, and sizes they should use, and even shows what not to do with the logo. At the end of the manual, you’ll see five more touchpoints I designed in addition to the stationery.

I packaged it all thus for the in-class critique.


click to enlargefrom life

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from life

In class

The drawing below was so much fun. I worked faster than I usually do, not stressing much since it was the last class. And… it turned out the most awesome of all of them. Each week, I’ve wanted so badly for my drawing to have the model’s likeness, instead of just being a proportional-but-generic woman. This time it really [almost] does look like her.

Clothing is such a great extension of personality. Her shirt was red and black striped, but we were instructed to look past the pattern and just draw just the folds. That was a challenge! I was just getting used to the effects of light on skin. Fabric is a different beast altogether!

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I’m sad that this class is over, for two reasons (the combination of which has been true of all my favorite classes):

1. We made such great memories in class. Each week, all the personalities blended into a sweet, genuine supportiveness that I can’t even describe… we felt like family.

2. The breakthroughs and discoveries I made on my own were really  significant, as you know if you’ve been around me the last few months! I never thought I’d be able to claim drawing as a skill. I do now, and I’m excited about where it could take me in future projects!

I think languages are like invisible, atmospheric mists. When I step into an English, French, or German-speaking environment, my emotional and mental state changes with each one. To bring form to these very abstract feelings, I painted interiors that feel the same way each language feels to me, then overlaid each scene with my own significant writings. This was my final project for Computer Paint, done in Adobe Photoshop.

Words really detract from the strength of the environmental picture, but people respond differently to spaces. So I’ll give you some hints as to what I’m feeling.

English is clever, mysterious, distinguished, resolute, nuanced…

French is consonant, smothering, warm, aggressive, casual…

German is youthful, clean, geometric, spacious, unassuming, inviting…

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If your life was a movie, what would the poster look like?

The Holy Spirit and I got to answer that question together with my final Survey of Media & Design project. Rather than say much, I’ll let you peruse. Click on the pieces to see the details!

click to enlarge(back of DVD case)

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Project | Themed Playing Cards
Class | Survey of Media and Design
Instructor | Chris Williams

This has absolutely been one of my favorite projects this quarter. The assignment challenged me in illustration, an area where I don’t usually feel very confident.

The theme that I choose to give our beloved deck is the four main personality types. I first learned them by the acronymn DISC; hence, the design for the back of the cards. Basically, the four types come from combinations of two variants: pace and priority. People can be fast-paced or slow-paced, people-oriented or task-oriented. I assigned a personality type to each suit and tried to show how that personality would create the card. In other words, the meaning is in the medium.

♣ King of Clubs = fast-paced, task-oriented. The “D.” Thanks to a rubber stamp, his job is done, and he’s happy about it. Efficient and authoritative = a perfect solution. Plus, he really got a thrill from that swift sensation of ‘making his mark.’

♦ Jack of Diamonds = fast-paced, people-oriented. The “I.” Magazine decoupage reflects enthusiastic, fun-loving nature. He went for this breezy, organic solution and didn’t worry about tying up loose ends (psst: he can’t see them)!

♥ Queen of Hearts = slow-paced, people-oriented. The “S.” This person pulled out her shoebox of art supplies and took all the time necessary to create a gentle and sympathetic portrait of the queen. She may not have stayed perfectly inside the lines, but her concern for people always delivers portrayals full of merry honesty.

♠ Ace of Spades = slow-paced, task-oriented. The “C.” There was no question in her mind about the correct way to make a card; she knew instinctively that the math would make all the details add up right. The only problem was lack of time. If the others had been more patient, they would have been privileged to look upon perfection.

The Joker card required these four to actually collaborate… and you can probably see remnants of the tension. Someone’s gridlines were disregarded, someone else got bored with his assignment and left the scene. And does one size really fit all? …It’s a good thing the peacemaker was there, doing her best to tie it all together!


Behind all this drama, of course, was just one person and one medium: myself and a handful of Adobe products. This project confirms to me the potential for mimicry through digital illustration. Personally, I can’t get enough.

As much as I tried to step out of myself and disguise it, you can probably tell that I am an analytical “C” of the highest order. Perhaps that’s why I love studying personality so much – in the confusing world of social interaction, systems like this provide me with a plumbline!

I realized the other day that my last few projects have been prophetic to my own life. Before I made the Christmas carol poster, I had wanted to do something based on a big, militant worship song. As I explained, that idea didn’t work. Then, my two final projects – an innocent and happy music video, and what you’re about to see… are also more childlike. These all became a prelude to God showing me His wonderfully tender side.

So without further ado, let me introduce you to a new set of covers for the Chronicles of Narnia series by C. S. Lewis. I requested this project from my teacher, and he kindly acquiesced. If you have read the books, then I invite you to look closely for symbolism in each of the covers. A lot of thought was put into them! If you click on a cover, a PDF of that  book jacket will open. Some of the files are large, so be patient.

Book One

My brother Noah is the model for this cover, which was not governed by any assignment criteria.

Book Two

This cover responds to the assignment prompt, “design with maximum economy.” No more is shown than what is necessary to communicate the concept.

Book Three

This cover was designed after a historical style, namely the Bayeux Tapestry.

Book Four

The cover for Prince Caspian was designed in the style of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and his famous poster of Aristide Bruant.

Book Five

Another free-style cover. The words make the shape of the dragon’s prow over abstracted islands.

Book Six

This cover was created after Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s distinctive style.

Book Seven


This final cover employs graphic abstraction to communicate the concept.