Portfolio Night is an incredible event that allows college students to get feedback on their work from top-notch Creative Directors in their city. This year, Barkley is hosting for Kansas City, so we were tasked with creating a video to promote the event. A lot of videos from previous years and other cities applied a condescending tone to their message and promoted the unfortunate stereotype that agency life is all about booze and awards. So we took a totally different approach. At Barkley, we acknowledge that they're not just a collection of ads in a portfolio — they are also an artist.
For Barkley's monthly staff meeting, I was asked to design a few slide for the keynote. Each month, it becomes a chance for designers to explore any medium they'd like, so I partnered with another Barkley designer and letter-er, Cara B., to produce a mess of Spring-themed images. We used everything from flower petals and dirt, to shattered terra cotta pottery.
I stopped by the Kansas City Art Institute recently to give a couple workshops to their Senior and Sophomore design students. We talked about traditional calligraphy techniques and lettering foundations that help inform more modern or complicated compositions (like food-based lettering). You could really tell these guys were ready to get their hand dirty (literally!).
Here's a series of pretty little letters I worked on for Avondale Type Co.'s Artist Series 1. In the series, individual artists illustrate their initials, a special character, and the ATC logo within a selected font. I chose to illustrate ATC Rosemary. The hope is that there will be an ATC Artist Series art show one day where prints of all the artists' contributions will be made and sold. I'll keep you posted!
Every month, Barkley (the crazy-awesome KCMO ad agency where I work) has a different designer put together the deck for the all-employee staff meeting. The designers always seem to use this opportunity to create fun, explorational content. Since I was asked to design November's deck, I wanted to see what I could do with food as a medium, so I put together nine images with typography made entirely out of Thanksgiving themed food.
You can check out all of the process videos over on my Vimeo.
I stopped by KCAI for an afternoon to talk about my path from student to full time letter-er. I gave a little demo for the students while I was there. I wanted it to be something they'd like to have around the classroom, so I asked them to vote on a phrase for me to letter in chalk. This also gave me the opportunity to sketch layouts and show them how I take a piece from start to finish. Here are some pics of some of the Juniors and Seniors that were able to attend, as well as the final chalk piece!
I went down to the IT Help Desk at Barkley recently and saw a few walls in desperate need of color. Or I wanted to try a new painting method for large-scale typographic murals. Or both! I don't think I realized how big of a project it would end up being. The walls were perched behind standing desks, which I climbed onto about 1,000 times by the end of day one. In order to let the paint dry properly between coats, I alternated sides. And that cheap red paint? Took about six coats of paint to look right. Next time, I'm splurging for paint and primer in one!
If you're not following Tommy Perez on Instagram, you are seriously missing out. I'm highlighting a recent venture of his that explores the entire alphabet through the eyes (and itty bitty fingertips) of his daughter Zoë, but his portfolio is a veritable labyrinth of colorful paper crafts and awesome design work. Make sure you take a second to check out Tommy's work on his website.
I wanted show my thanks for the new chalk wall that Barkley recently provided me by creating a piece that features a few prominent KC partners. I thought up this gesture and went to work all without the knowledge of Barkley's CEO (seen here as Adam) or its CIO (seen here as God). Should you derive some deeper meanings from this piece? I mean, the symbols! The metaphors! Nope. Sorry, dear reader. This little surprise was just a temporary installation made for the hell of it. In fact, it was wiped clean only two days after the big Monday reveal to make way for a slew of new client projects. 27 hours of work washed away in less than five minutes. Fun stuff!
Perfect human being Kelly Thorn went and added a ton of new work to her website. Her style is so extraordinary, delicate and bold, I love literally everything that she creates. She works at Louise Fili and has partnered with the likes of Dana Tanamachi (check out that Hangry poster below). If you want to see more, don't hesitate to google her name, search her on Pinterest (because she's all over it), or visit her site.
I love taking stop motion videos of my chalk experiments. I took some time to upload a few previous pieces, which you can check out on my Vimeo page. One of my favorites is this Beyonce wall. Unfortunately, I didn't own a nice camera when I drew her, so I'll have to chalk another Queen Bey sometime soon!
Danger Dust and I worked together on their final chalk board and it was SO much fun. This duo is wonderfully talented, innovative, and kind. I can't say enough good things about them. They knew they wanted to have this quote rolling through some Seuss-i-cal hills, so I got to sketching letter forms. I had a dream the following night (no joke) that the letter forms were extruded as buildings, so I immediately redrew the work to match! Here's my sketch portion of the design along with a few shots of their final chalking. I hope I get to work with these vandals again soon!!
I received two things in the mail on Monday that inspired this piece. One was a book about the meanings behind every Beatles song, called A Hard Days Write (see what they did there!?). The other was a box of Crayola colored chalk in every color imaginable. Including a few shades of yellow. So I brought out an old sketch and got to chalking. You can pick up a print of this little guy right here.
My dad gave me my love for science, space, and all things Sagan. He also gave me the colored pastels that I used in this piece. I had been wanting to do something in color ever since I started chalking more often, and the various colors of the planets gave me the perfect excuse to try it out. This quote by Sagan is one of my favorites! Prints are on the way.
Danger Dust is an anonymous duo from Columbus, Ohio who have been killing it with their chalk game from day one. They take over a board at CCAD each week and get to work producing some of the most varied and skilled chalk work I've ever seen. These guys really know how to push the limits of their medium. Check out their full body of work over on Behance.
Bonus: their branding is sick!
I have a collection of quotes that I keep on hand for experimental projects and this one by Emily Dickinson is one of my favs. I wanted to push the style I had done with Let's Go Exploring and see how legible I could keep things with a background full of flowers and leaves (about halfway through, I was convinced I had ruined it). But in the end , it turned out exactly what I had in mind, which makes experimenting really fun. Here are a few shots that show my process.
You can purchase a print of this piece here.
I've been playing around with little leafy shapes for a while now, but I wanted this piece to feel a bit more earthy and warm. I went all out with forest-y flowers and added some ethereal speckles to complete the look.
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After drawing bits of calligraphy on a few bananas, I decided to take things to a new level and try lettering across multiple surfaces. First, I drew out a design that would place flourishes across the entire bunch of bananas that I had selected for this experiment.
I don't own a projector, so I sketched my initial design on a piece of glass with the idea that I could seemingly trace my design by looking through the glass. As I held the glass in front of the bananas and kept one eye closed, I sketched out the design with a felt tip marker.
I put down some rough forms and then set the glass aside before perfecting my flourishes for the final product.
You can follow along for all of my lettering experiments on Instagram, or simply search the hashtag #casey_letters
Sevenly is a company with a lot of heart and an incredible Instagram feed. In case you didn't already know, $7 of each purchase on their site goes to a different cause every week. From a brand perspective, their digital presence is really consistent and has a passionate following. They post a mix of new designs, process videos, behind the scenes peaks at production, and inspirational partner highlights. Their designs range from typography to illustration, and each one is distinctly tied to the cause that it relates to. Seriously, go check them out!