Communications strategy + design for print, web and community projects



America’s Diamond Future

One piece of the puzzle for lowering worldwide carbon emissions is to end our energy reliance on the dirtiest of fossil fuels: coal. That’s an ongoing concern for us at Climate Solutions; but not so much for the energy companies that extract, ship, burn and export the stuff. So for April Fools’ Day this year, I created a fictitious corporate campaign making a novel economic argument for leaving the stuff in the ground. Here are the results:

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A New Community Space in Hillman City

A progressive congregation (Valley and Mountain Fellowship) and a grassroots arts organization (Community Arts Create) are collaborating to launch a new space in Seattle’s Hillman City neighborhood. The prominent storefront is in a beautiful historical building anchoring the central intersection of Seattle’s Hillman City neighborhood. The space, dubbed the “Hillman City ColLaboratory,” includes a multipurpose meeting room, a kitchen, offices, and work-share space for artists and activists.

The building itself is owned by an evangelical Christian who insisted on maintaining highly prominent religious signage in the second-floor windows of the building, creating a significant messaging problem for the more inclusive,community-oriented mission of the new downstairs space. V&M pastor John Helmiere asked me to design sidewalk-level signage to announce the building’s new tenants, to present a friendlier and more welcoming aspect to passers-by, and to encourage neighborly curiosity about the new space.

Designing for E-PUB

coverMedical textbooks are notorious for being large and expensive, and many if not most require annual updates. Many professors use their own, self-published course text in lieu of a primary textbook,giving them complete control over the book’s contents, and potentially saving students money. This fall, the University of Washington School of Medicine decided to make a trial run at converting a course textbook into an e-book format, so students would have the option of reading and annotating their course materials using their iPads, Android devices or other e-readers.

The medical school hired me to manage the conversion of a sample text, create style guidelines, and train departmental staff to do most of the manuscript preparation themselves for future e-book conversions.

Wisconsin Rising

wrisingThe fantastic independent filmmaker Sam Mayfield asked me to create a logotype and basic, extendable website for her forthcoming feature documentary, Wisconsin Rising. The film documents the popular uprising against Governor Scott Walker’s anti-worker agenda. In Sam’s words, what happened in Wisconsin “is a microcosm of what is at stake in America today, at a time of fiscal crisis and ideologically-driven budgets and social reforms… Walker’s agenda is not unique. While we watch even harsher bills passed in other US states, the people of Wisconsin set an example for the rest of the country on how to act collectively and re-engage in the democratic process.”

Teaching about democracy through media heroes

heroes-parkerLast month, Rev. Everett Parker celebrated his 100th birthday. In 1963, at the request of Martin Luther King, Parker led a civil rights campaign to fight racist bias on local television broadcasts in Jackson, Mississippi. Appealing to the FCC for help, and eventually the courts, Parker’s campaign succeeded in getting the station shut down. Perhaps more importantly, the campaign established for the first time that members of the public have standing to demand fair treatment from private broadcasters making use of the public airwaves.

Poverty jobs at Sea-Tac Airport

Poverty jobs at Sea-Tac Airport

Art direction and overall design for a white paper on economic inequality among Sea-Tac Airport’s largely immigrant workforce. Briefing paper…

Celebrating International Human Rights Day

airportworkers-dec12Sea-Tac Airport workers marked International Human Rights Day, Dec. 10, as part of their ongoing campaign for good jobs at Seattle’s airport. The placards we designed for a rally involving both workers and community faith leaders took two approaches: First, the quiet yet forceful image of a lit candle. This striking image is a detail borrowed from a painting by Gerhard Richter. The second image of multicolored, raised hands echoes imagery used by the United Nations’ own Human Rights Day campaign, recreated to fit the specific concerns of Sea-Tac airport workers.

Pennies for Rob McKenna

penniesChallenge: grab attention for a rally calling out gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna’s position opposing a twelve-cent minimum raise increase. Our solution: twelve giant dancing pennies, featuring a metallicized version of the candidate’s face–along with some goofy wordplay branding him as the candidate of the one percent. In place of “E Pluribus Unum,” the latin motto on each coin translates “The one percent over all.”

ALEC Dumped!

dump-ALECI created this graphic as part of Working Washington’s campaign to push Amazon.com to end their support for the conservative lobbying group ALEC. We won–at their 2012 shareholder meeting, Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos–visibly rattled by protests taking place both inside and outside the meeting–announced that the company would no longer support ALEC. More images from our Amazon campaign below…

Taking it to the streets

billboardWorking Washington’s campaign for good jobs at Sea-Tac Airport made a major push for public visibility in spring 2012. We wanted to highlight the fact that low-paid airport employees are struggling at the bottom end of an unjust airport economy–and hold airport employers like Alaska Airlines and the Port of Seattle accountable for treating them fairly.

The campaign’s biggest public face, in square feet anyway, was this billboard, positioned at an intersection where airport workers would see it on the way to work, but also where Alaska Airlines shareholders would see it arriving to their annual shareholder meeting.