Thursday, September 11, 2008

Studio Picotee Celebrates 2 Years!

I am so excited to be sharing with you that Studio Picotee has officially entered our third year in business as of 08-07-08! I would have sent this note out on that day, but we've been busy working on all sorts of exciting projects and traveling to inspiring conferences lately.

Over the last year we have seen some of our client relationships grow deeper, giving Studio Picotee new opportunities within an already familiar brand, as well as taken on new clients to further broaden the scope of services we offer and subject matter we explore. At one point I had envisioned focusing my business on an area of expertise and/or a niche specialty, but the more projects we take on, the more I enjoy the whole range of subjects and variety of design challenges. The common thread I have found in our projects is Brand, something important to providing a foundation for and consistency within any project. The end product of our projects is less about the media assigned to it, but more about solving the creative problem while maintaining the strongest brand message.

Many of the projects from this past year have been updated on our website ( ), but I'll tell you a little more about a few of them here.

Some of the projects for new clients that are recently finished or currently in the works are:
• Window displays for Endurance PTC, a high-end bike gym in San Francisco
• Naming, branding and collateral for UC Berkeley's Geospatial Innovation Facility, a place where students, faculty and the community can learn about and use geospatial imaging technology
• Packaging labels for Bowser Beer by 3 Busy Dogs, beer for dogs (yes, it's for real, you can even get it at a pet store near you!
• Website design for Music and the Holocaust, a comprehensive site with numerous articles, photos and recordings.

In addition to these new clients, Studio Picotee has continued to work with some who have been with us from the beginning.

The North Face continues to provide challenging design concepts for their window graphics and store signage, as well as a few corporate projects as well. The Back-to-school/Antarctica windows just came down, or I'd send you to a store to check them out. But stay tuned for Holiday where I have two rounds of window graphics and signage that will be going into the stores. A corporate timeline is also in the works, although it keeps evolving format. Last I left it, it became a video display at a sales meeting. I'm looking forward to see where it goes next.

Power of Two has grown and expanded their product offerings, and Studio Picotee has grown with them. We have gone from making little flash games to creating website mini-sites ( ) and adapting their concept, process and technology to interactive employee training for businesses like the Gap and Old Navy. On these projects I continue to act as art director and designer, often providing content and direction to a team of illustrators, designers, animators, and programmers.

And lastly, as a side project dear to my heart, I'm in the development phases of a grant application from the National Science Foundation for Artists and Writers to go to Antarctica to research a project that they then come back and produce in order to help promote the environmental and scientific preservation of Antarctica. I know this sounds a little out of left field, but take a look at my site ( ) to get a little more info on where I'm coming from. I'll continue to update this site as my project proposal takes shape. And If you're interested, there are many ways I could use the help of my community to fulfill the goals of creating a "broader impact" in the community as a result of the execution of my project.

Thanks for making it through my update! I really appreciate the support I get from all of you as clients, colleagues, and friends.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The shape of things to come

I was browsing through my photos from college tonight, and when I came across this one, I realized I had come completely full circle. In college, I worked at the Yale Co-Op as a "Visual Display Assistant." I didn't really know what that meant, but I knew it was a cool job, and I got to be creative and do fun stuff and get paid to do it. My boss, Johnette Luxeder, had been in the world of visual merchandising with Macy's and other big department stores for years, and she taught me the basics of store displays. We had fun working on these windows together, cutting out giant foam core shapes by hand. I remember cutting out that snowman. And I was particularly proud of a polar bear I did for the window next door. I thought I had the best job in the world.

And I still do. Little did I know, that 12 years later, I would be re-creating that holiday window of North Face product, complete with trees. That's what I'm working on right now, looking for inspiration for the perfect tree shapes for the Holiday '08 design concept. There will be no fake snow in this year's North Face window, but there will be trees. And jackets. Look out for it coming to a window near you in November!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Studio Picotee wins American Corporate Identity Awards

Studio Picotee has been hard at work this spring after a winter break for some traveling. We were very excited to see that our hard work in 2007 was recognized by the American Corporate Identity publication. We were told that 5 of our projects are going to be published in this year's design annual. Below are samples of each winning project.

Nutrabella Website - designed by Studio Picotee and developed by Trillamar, this website enhances the brand recognition of the Belly Bar products.

Red Dog Spa and Boutique logo - opening this year in Virginia

Sean O'Connor wedding invitation
- a signature piece in Studio Picotee's Celebrations product offerings

The North Face illustrations - the first project in what has become a standing relationship with this retailer. Look for more work from Studio Picotee in their stores in the 2008 back to school and holiday seasons.

Wag Hotels - from permanent signage to retail graphics, this work for Wag has launched Studio Picotee into a niche of design for dog-related products and retailers.