The Youth Orchestra of Bucks County gives children in grades 4 to 12 the chance to meet other young musicians, participate in group activities, and get a taste of what it’s like to be in a real orchestra. I was happy to be asked to create some logos for their fundraising galas in the last few years.
The first gala, which was held virtually in the spring of 2021, had a Night at the Movies theme, and their coordinator suggested images of popcorn, theater curtains or movie reels. I came up with some ideas for them to consider –
They liked the popcorn theme, and with suggestions from their coordinator I developed a marquee-type logo for the final –
This year’s gala will be in person and has the theme Tropical Rhythm, so the coordinator suggested images of bright flowers, greenery and some type of rhythm instrument. I drew a basic idea and tried various fonts & details –
The coordinator suggested a great ‘tropical’ typeface and a revised logo for YOBC, and I modified the design to his suggestions, for the final logo.
He did like the toucan I put in the first design, so he may use that in the program book where some art is needed.
Every year I design the poster for the Bucks County Gilbert & Sullivan Society’s musical comedy, and last year because of lockdowns we had to postpone the event. I’m happy to say the group is back in business this season and they will produce what would have been last year’s show, since the whole cast wanted to reassemble and perform it – and the show is Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Sorcerer. It will be performed LIVE, with a full live orchestra, on July 16, 17 and 18 in Doylestown. I love the wacky plot of this show, which involves a sorcerer in Victorian England who is asked to create a love potion of which an entire town unwittingly partakes, with chaotic and comic results. It strikes me as typical Gilbert & Sullivan silliness that instead of a cauldron like witches traditionally use to brew potions, this very proper Society Sorcerer’s potion is steeped along with a pot of tea.
I was lucky to be at an early costume fitting for the actor playing the title role, so I took photos of him in costume for reference when drawing, and the prop staff even had the large teapot that will be in the show on hand. I knew the kind of pose I wanted for the figure and started with pencil sketches –
I put some rough color on the sketched figure and placed him on the poster page, with the text that will go around him, and drew in the background roughly with a digital gradation, markers & colored pencils, to get a rough design of the page.
I refined my line drawing of the figure and did more detail on the digital color –
I worked on the title logotype next, to shape it around the sorcerer’s arm & umbrella. I used a fun typeface called “Island of Misfit Toys, ” although I played with the letter shapes a bit, stretching and adding some curls, to give it a consistent feel of whimsy.
I drew the cloud emanating from the teapot digitally and put the figure in place –
and then dropped in the title logotype and added some more magical swashes and particles circling the Sorcerer and the cloud, for the finished art.
The singers and musicians of Bucks Gilbert & Sullivan are busy rehearsing now and are thrilled to be back onstage live, with the full Bucks County Gilbert & Sullivan Orchestra accompanying them. I recommend everyone comes to The Sorcerer, performed at Delaware Valley University in Doylestown, PA, to enjoy this fun show! Tickets are on sale now through Eventbrite HERE. And to enhance the audience’s enjoyment of the show, the group provides interesting background info on the show on the website HERE.
I recently worked with Chef Kelly Unger, Chair of the Doylestown Farmers Market, to design a new logo for this very popular weekly gathering of Bucks County area farmers and shoppers, which has been going on for 45 seasons.
Kelly mentioned it would be nice to have some element in the design that would tie it to our location here in Doylestown, and that there are often buckets of bright flowers at the entrance to the market, a parking lot in the middle of Doylestown; so it would be nice to include flowers along with fruits and vegetables. I suggested making the logo reminiscent of a Mercer tile, since Henry Mercer is historically speaking the town’s favorite son. I did some rough logo ideas to show her and others on the market board.
The tile theme was popular, and so we tried adding more elements logo –
but it was determined that it got too busy. The image of the bike stuck though, for its symbolism of sustainability and since many shoppers do bike to the market, so we simplified the design but kept the outer tile-like border. I drew this rough pencil sketch, trying to show just enough of the bike to make it recognizable, but trying to keep the basket full of food the center of interest.
I drew the items in color in a graphic style and deliberately made the handlebar and flowers break through the border a bit, to give it a more contemporary design. I was asked to change the typeface at the request of the board, who wanted to keep a similar look with the brand of the established Bucks County Foodshed Alliance, of which this farmers market is a part. The finished logo is below.
I’m looking forward to the Doylestown Farmers Market’s 46th season opening on Saturday April 17. They will have over 30 local vendors selling beautiful cut flowers, fresh produce and delicious baked goods from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and you can meet some of the vendors as they are featured on the market’s Instagram at doylestownfarmersmarket.
The Christmas in Doylestown House Tour, run by the hard-working volunteers at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church since 1992, needed to be re-imagined this year to accommodate social distancing. The highly-anticipated Tour is a holiday tradition for many in the Central Bucks area, allowing delighted attendees of years past to wander through four beautifully-decorated and designed homes in the center of a town filled with historic buildings. Throughout the years the House Tour has raised more than $193,700 for the Bucks County Housing Group to support the Doylestown Homeless Shelter.
My original logo for Christmas in Doylestown, which took place mostly during daylight hours, was this:
The team in charge this year has come up with a number of alternate activities to keep patrons entertained and healthy at the same time, and they hope to still raise some funds for the Homeless Shelter. To avoid crowds, the tour will be primarily in the evening, where anyone can drive or walk down the designated streets to see beautifully lit grand houses from outdoors. There may be entire streets of homes that will participate, so it should be quite a show! This outdoor tour will be free, though donations will be gratefully accepted on behalf of the Bucks County Housing Group.
In addition, St. Paul’s will still hold its popular Christmas Attic sale – with a twist – where shoppers can find great bargains on all sorts of holiday decorations. To keep this safe for patrons, the sale will take place as an online auction.
I updated this year’s logo with suggestions from the CID team, to reflect the changes for 2020, and I think it still makes an eye-catching design –
For further info on this December’s Christmas in Doylestown and Christmas Attic, and to learn how to donate to the Bucks County Housing Group, click HERE.
My friend Roberta Fortune commissions me to do a caricature of her for practically every holiday that comes along, and she uses these illustrations to brand her events as The Spa Lady, wherein she helps clients relax their lives with essential oils, wellness products and yoga. I drew a black/white caricature of her recently and thought I’d post that and some of the previous holiday caricatures, which all show off her clever marketing and effusive and fun personality.
My recent drawing, showing her with some fragrant burning sage –
and some of the previous holiday-themed drawings (click to enlarge):
My friend Diane Crews founded and runs Tafe (Theater Arts for Everyone) in York, PA, which produces theater for families and for people of all ages and abilities. Diane asked me to create an illustration to promote her show that travels for various school performances in the area, The Princess and the Pauper, which she adapted from Mark Twain’s classic
I sketched a first quick design in pencil –
And after getting some input from Diane I changed the expressions a bit and felt it would read better as a contained logo if the title were enclosed in an arched gateway –
And with her approval, I drew & painted it on illustration board for the finish.
A while back I designed a business brand for Jim Hardy, whose company was called “James Hardy and the Carpet Guys,” and performed carpet cleaning for businesses and homes. Jim’s business has expanded but he’s condensing his company name to just “The Carpet Guys”; so he requested a new logo that would work better on his vans as well as business cards.
I designed two logos, keeping some colors and elements of the old one to keep some continuity, and trying different typefaces on them.
Jim liked the top left design and requested a few changes. I gave him some variations from which to choose.
Jim chose the second design, and we are now on our way to creating new business cards for some of the salespeople.
The creative folks at TAFE (Theater Arts for Everyone, in York, PA) have decided on their 2019 season of shows, and requested I design a 2-color logo for each. The simplicity of the logos makes it easy for them to produce affordable t-shirts, with the logos imprinted, for the casts. (These logos are copyrighted; please contact me if you would like to lease them)
If you live in the Bucks County area and have never eaten at Blue Moose Restaurant and Cafe on Mechanic Street in New Hope, you should jot it down for your next dinner outing. It was started about 6 years ago by Skylar Bird when he was still in his teens, as the area’s first youth-run restaurant. He learned cooking skills first from his family, then apprenticed at a cafe in Lyon, France, and finally studied at Manhattan’ s French Culinary Institute. His restaurant is stunningly successful, and very reasonably priced for its farm-fresh and delicious offerings. I can’t recommend it highly enough!
I drew the first logo for his restaurant when it opened, and my son, who is friends with Skylar, waitered there for a time. The first logo, which Skylar wanted to look fun and bold, was this:
which was also used on signage outside the restaurant:
Over time and with Skylar’s upgrading of the menu and atmosphere, the name shortened to just ‘Blue Moose.’ With a lot of revitalization going on in New Hope and the renowned Bucks County Playhouse just a short walk away, Skylar was recently offered another opportunity to expand. His staff will create small meals for take out, for sale in shops near the Playhouse, under his new brand “Moose on the Loose.”
Skylar called me to discuss a related logo, and suggested the wonderful idea of a moose on a vespa. His restaurant partner, Kate, also thought including a hedgehog would be fun, so I sent them an initial sketch –
Skylar & Kate liked it and suggested using the colors on their website, a navy and tan, for the art. I did a quick color sketch and felt that navy, tan and a 50% of the navy would work –
With some tweaks to the drawing, we came up with the finished image, and I’m looking forward to picking up some of their great food on the go, next time I’m in New Hope!
Creating a logo for any new business takes communication and cooperation from both the business owner and the designer. A logo should express the mission, attitude and professionalism of the company, and those themes can come together clearly when an owner has crystallized his goal, and the designer understands the goal as well as what inspires confidence from potential customers.
I was contacted recently by Craig Glantz of C Glantz Consulting to design a logo for his new business. Craig understands the difficulty many people of faith have as they try to understand end-of-life issues for themselves and their loved ones, in today’s world where medical directives are written with complexity and not necessarily from a pro-life point of view. He has identified the mission of his business with clarity: to help people understand what their living wills and health care directives say, and how to keep those wishes aligned with pro-life values.
Craig allowed me to see his website in progress, so got a good idea of what his business is about. I asked if he wanted a subtle nod to religious imagery in the logo and he said he’d consider it. So I created some ideas using a dove or cross in them:
Craig then suggested the image of a pathway with a light at the end, since he helps people navigate the path through these ethical issues. I developed this graphic depiction of a path and tried it with his name in various configurations. I used a ‘C’ shape for the path, to echo the first initial in Craig’s company name:
Craig chose the middle version and has already installed his new logo on his website and Facebook page. I highly recommend Craig’s consulting service to anyone to whom pro-life values are a priority, for his genuine compassion and knowledge on this topic. He communicated the vision and merits of his services to me clearly, and that has resulted in a strong logo that well reflects the professionalism and worthy mission of his work to potential clients.