a long few months: part two.


In my week off I spent a lot of that time working. I had the opportunity to do some logo recreation of a sorority’s crest in vector format and I jumped at it. It paid nice, I got to use my Wacom tablet and I could do it at home during that week off. All was set and seeming good.

During that week off from the hustle/bustle I was waking up early and riding my bike to the skate park and getting in my rounds before anyone else was there. It was fantastic. There is something very calming about riding up and down the ramps alone. It felt like I was in a huge pool by myself. Very quiet. Very open. Very calming. Of course, that would end as the sun came up more and the lakefront trail became more populated. Once that happened I rode back home and would get to work. The first thing I had to get out of the way was that sorority crest. I was working with Bruce on the tracing and I thought we nailed down a design aesthetic and so I got to work. 18 hours later and I had a huge vector crest created and it was looking snazzy. I was proud. I sent the thing off and patiently awaited my paycheck from it. Little did I know that I put about 10 hours of work into this thing that I didn’t have to do. I was never told that they wanted it EXACTLY as it came. I was led to believe that we had a little artistic license with it and I used it to good effect. Not to be. Whatever though. Eventually I put in another 10 hours almost a month later to make it as “original” as possible. I’m still awaiting that paycheck. The process this thing has to go through is insane. It wasn’t redesigned, it wasn’t really even changed at all. It was just me recreating the crest in Illustrator. Whatever. I’ve moved on. Eventually I will get paid (more than the original quote might I add) and that will be that. Lessons learned I suppose.

The rest of my week was full of getting groceries, taking photos and just general lounging around the homestead. I really did use that time to relax and unwind from what I thought was a stressful environment at my previous place of employment.

I started my first full-day of work at Pivotal 5 on September 9. I was officially a graphic designer again and NOT just a photo editor & user-of-templates. It felt good, it felt really crazy and it felt really nerve-wracking; especially once I learned that on that Friday I would be shooting photos for some box packaging.

Now, I am very confident in my technical skills as a photographer but those ARE a limited skillset. I don’t use lighting (beyond a few speedlights) and I rarely work with models. This shoot was going to need both of those. Luckily the model was a guy that works in our office. He’s super nice and had the perfect look and attitude for what we needed. The lighting was really simple and that helped as well. I think my biggest hurdle was really just me getting over my own shyness. I like to feel things out for a little while when I’m new to something and in this case I didn’t get that period of adjustment. It was probably all for the better and the photos came out excellent. We shot them in our warehouse and I don’t think we could have asked for a better set of photos under the circumstances.

After that day it was just Todd and I jumping straight into packaging. I was furiously editing photos and getting them all clipped & masked out for the boxes as quick as possible. I think the Iron Gym box packaging took up pretty much all of September. Big project, big results. Big win on my part.

Once October rolled around we had more crazy deadlines and projects to complete. The new KettleWorX 8-Week Rapid Evolution program launch was looming and we needed to finish some packaging and insert materials quickly. We really hunkered down and pushed those out in a short time but they look really good. We changed a few project specs up very quickly and on a super short notice but all those changes were for the better and it’s a really good package when you finally get to see it all together.

Lastly, we have embarked on a rebranding of a 40-year old fitness company. The company was acquired shortly before my hiring and they wanted to get right to work on bringing this brand into the 21st century and our first step was creating a new logo. Todd and I got right to work on getting some looks for it and the process moved fairly smoothly. After many sketches and rounds of revisions we came to the style we liked and I hammered the beast out. BAM, new logo. Very exciting. The next step was to begin working on packaging concepts and that is currently ongoing.

Overall it’s been a good choice to move on from my previous employer. There are things I miss about my last role: the location, the people, the simple-mindedness of it all and the commute time but I just couldn’t stay anymore. The new job is super far away, it takes me two trains and walking or a bus to get there, my commute time is now around an hour-and-half to get to or from work, and it’s not in a good area but I am WAY more satisfied with my work and I feel like I’m doing something more important (in my own small world of importance-ranking). Mission accomplished in my eyes.

I plan on doing some posts about work I’ve done at this new job so keep an eye out for those. I want to showcase some of the photography I’ve done and some of the design, specifically the rebranding that I came up with. For now that’s still under wraps. But once it does come out rest assured there will be a post detailing the whole process.

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