Retro Game-Geek Studio

November 02, 2011

Today was decoration day at the studio. After our big studio remodel everything was clean and white and we needed a little more personality. Today we added a bit of flair: a giant Post-It Pac-Man with some ghosts on the wall, and Space Invaders above the windows.

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Meme Cube

October 14, 2011

One of my coworkers is obsessed with internet memes. I replaced the three generic images on her glass cube paperweight with 3 of her favorite memes.

Now she can change the image you see in the cube depending on her mood. If she’s happy, she’ll see Nyan Cat.

If she’s mad she can turn it so it shows Y U No guy.

And if she can’t decide what mood she’s in she can choose “Why not Zoidberg?”

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Social Survival Kit

October 05, 2011

I designed a “Social Media Survival Kit” to be given away at the Webtrends booth at OMMA Global last week. The idea was to grab conference attendees’ attention by giving them objects that they would have to collect instead of a cliche postcard or brochure. The Social Survival Manual had a checklist that explained what the different objects were supposed to teach you about Social Media. I designed a click finger, a target, a tabloid newspaper, a temporary nyancat tattoo, a 30 billion dollar bill, and a “Webtrendo” controller.

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Bingo Scratch-off

September 16, 2011

Webtrends was a sponsor at Connections 2011 in Indianapolis. I designed bingo scratch-off giveaways for the booth. This was a fun project for me because I love developing games and fostering real, human interactions. I developed the game mechanism, and designed the cards based on lottery scratch-offs. There were three ways to win. If you got a horizontal or vertical bingo you won a free App from Webtrends Social. If you got a diagonal bingo you won an iTunes gift card. If you got all four corners you won the grand prize: a Jawbone Jambox.

Grand prize card with silver scratch-off

Diagonal bingo card: Second prize winner

Horizontal bingo card: third prize winner

Card back with instructions and rules

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Midwest Realignment (reblogged)

August 09, 2011

This subject keeps coming up for me, so I’m reblogging it so no one has to dig through my blog archive. Not that you shouldn’t dig through it – there’s great stuff in there.

For years it has bothered me that the area called the “Midwest” includes states like Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan. Geographically, that just doesn’t make sense. The term “Mid” implies that they should be near the center of the country, and “west” implies they should be west of that center. But what is the “middle” of the U.S.?


The Mississippi River has always served as the unofficial border between the East and West of the U.S. However, the population center of the U.S. is in southern Missouri. The geographic center of the lower 48 states is in northern Kansas. The center between the two major continental divides is about halfway between those two points. The borders of 11 states seem to make up a very distinct border between East and West – Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and the Dakotas on one side, and Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana on the other. I would argue that those 11 states should be considered the “Middle” of the country. Anything east of those states should be considered “Eastern.”

Therefore I propose we use more Geographically accurate classifications for states:midwest2

A really cool new company called The Social Dept., made this awesome poster that reinforces my point. And they’re from Ohio.

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Disco de los Muertos

August 02, 2011

I find that the various sports teams I join inspire me to create a lot of things – especially logos. My most recent team “Disco de los Muertos” has inspired me more than most. I created a logo for the team, and then made a hand-painted version that we screen printed onto our uniforms.


One of our team members had a birthday and I wanted to make something special for the party, so I made a Disco de los Muertos piñata. It was the first one I’d ever made, but I think it turned out pretty well. It was a huge hit with the team.piñata

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Webtrends Social

July 27, 2011

Webtrends is reconfiguring its Social Media offerings on a brand new website: Webtrends Social
I designed the layout and graphics for it.

Webtrends Social

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Exquisite Corpses

June 28, 2011

Some friends and I were sitting around at a party and realized that all of the artists had ended up at the same table. We decided to take advantage of the opportunity to play Exquisite Corpse. Here’s one round of the drawings. Thanks to Damon Eckhoff, Julia Himmelstein and Kyle Mayfield for their contributions.

Exquisite Corpses

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June 14, 2011

Every time I go looking for a stock photo to use at work, I end up with some really weird images that not only have nothing to do with my search terms, but make me ask “What were they thinking when they took this?” There are some seriously bizarre images out there that need to be shared. So my co-worker and I have created lolStockphoto, a home for the little gems that we can’t help captioning. We’re just getting started, but we hope to add more as we find them. It’s an open forum, so please submit your own.

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They Might Be Hipsters (follow-up)

May 31, 2011

The other images I posted on are now up:






These are the quick little things I made that inspired my “Fingertips” poster. I hadn’t realized how many I’d made until I saw them all up there on the site.

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They Might Be Giants

May 13, 2011

In 1990 I became a huge fan of the band They Might Be Giants. You’ve probably heard of them. They did Particle Man, Instanbul not Constantinople, and the theme to Malcolm in the Middle. My friends and I listened to their album Flood endlessly. At one point we tried to sing the whole album beginning to end and actually got pretty far. As the years have passed, though, I’ve thought about them less and less.

But then I came across the Tumblr blog They Might Be Hipsters, that “takes lyrics from the songs of They Might Be Giants and pairs them with completely unrelated pictures for the ensuing hipster fun.” I’m not sure what hipsters have to do with it, though. I guess hipsters sometimes use Holga cameras, or set their DSLRs and iPhones to add a funky, 70s-look to their photos, and most of the images have that kind of feel to them. What I like is seeing the TMBG lyrics out of their usual context and reading them again for the first time. It reminds me of why I thought Linnell and Flansburgh were such amazing songwriters back in the day. I was inspired to submit a few of my own They Might Be Hipster images, but they haven’t been posted on the site yet. Apparently there’s a huge backlog of submissions so it may be awhile.

They Might Be Giants were notorious for having short songs – most hover around 2½ minutes in length. In 1992 TMBG released Apollo 18 which included a group of really short (mostly 5-20 seconds) tracks, usually referred to as Fingertips. They were designed to take advantage of the Shuffle feature on CD players and show up randomly in between other songs. I didn’t get a CD player until 1993, so I first experienced all of the Fingertips tracks strung together at the end of my cassette tape. I thought they would lend themselves really well to the They Might Be Hipsters project, so I put together a poster with 21 photos and the lyrics to all 21 tracks in order. Since Isabelle from TMB Hipsters says she’s swiped most of her photos off the web, I decided to “borrow” images from Flickr in order to go with the flow. I figure it’s probably okay since: 1: I’m not using them for commercial purposes, 2: I’ve used artistic license to heavily edit them in order to make them more “hipster-ish,” 3: I’m providing links to each of the original images on Flickr to give the original photographers credit for their own work, and 4: If any of the photographers take umbrage to me using their images I’ll happily take their photo out of the poster, replace it with something else, and re-post. I’m hoping if they ever see this they’ll consider it as a compliment.



Here are the links to the original photos I used from Flickr in order:


8 | 91011121314


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Ground Kontrol

April 26, 2011

Ground Kontrol completed a massive renovation project a few weeks ago. Their space looks really great now and there seems to be a lot more room for gameplay.
Unfortunately it seems they got rid of the duplicate machines of my favorite game, Ms. Pac-Man. Now I have to wait a really long time to play whenever I go in. However, they added a great new game that more than makes up for the loss. There’s a new 4-player Versus Pac-Man tabletop machine. In each of the five rounds, up to four players compete for dots, fruit, and power pellets while avoiding the ghosts. The crazy new twist, though, is that eating a power pellet temporarily doubles the size of your pac-man and allows you to eat your smaller opponents. Each round lasts until only one pac-man is left. I love it!

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Buzz Madness

March 25, 2011

Here’s something I did for Webtrends’ blog about the NCAA Tournament buzz.

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Metaphysical Music

March 14, 2011

The Dandy Warhols with Eric Hedford

Last week I was at the Woods in Sellwood again (see the blog archive), this time for In the Cooky Jar, a monthly soul DJ dance night. DJ Cooky (also of Loch Lomond and Y La Bamba fame) played tons of rare cuts from his 45 collection.

Six days later I went to the University Chapel to see the Dandy Warhols play with their original drummer, Eric Hedford. Eric left the band several years ago to start some of his own projects, including We are Telephone and DJ Aquaman. This was the only time he’s played with the Dandys in 12 years, except for the final show at Satyricon back in October. It was part of Google Hotpot’s Best Ever Concert Series. I guess Google is trying to steal some of Yelp’s thunder by making us think they’re “local.” We’ll see. However, I was happy to take them up on a free show with one of my favorite bands.

They were both really great shows and it was interesting to see non-religious music played in two places that are usually considered sacred. It felt a little incongruous, but weirdly comfortable at the same time. I wonder where I’ll find myself experiencing music next week. Maybe at a funk show in a monastery or a rave in a mausoleum. Keep Portland weird, I guess.

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San Francisco

March 10, 2011

I went down to San Francisco to work at Webtrends’ Engage conference last week, and I got there a day early so I could explore the city a little. It was my third S.F. experience, but it had been 10 years since last time, and nearly 5 before that.
One of the first places I went was City Lights Books. I remember being there the first time I visited and being completely overwhelmed by all the books. I didn’t even understand what half of the books were about, and I’d definitely never seen so many in one place before. I only vaguely knew who Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg were back then. It was really nice to go back now and understand more about the significance of being in the bookstore where they hung out.

I also got to revisit the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The first time I was there I barely knew who any of the artists were. It was really great to get another chance to see and appreciate artwork by some of the artists that I’ve grown to love.

Andy Warhol

Jasper Johns

Franz Kline

Marcel Duchamp

I even got to see art by some newer artists I’d never heard of. The first is a painting called “Beauty” by Tacita Dean. The second is by Pae White and is called “Smoke Knows.”

I even found what I think is a Banksy piece. It’s at least a pretty good copycat.

“If at first you don’t succeed – call an airstrike”

I also got to visit the Yerba Buena Gardens and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts for the first time. The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial with it’s waterfall and etched quotes is amazing.
I didn’t get to go into the YBCA, but I loved their signage outside the building. It was filled with bizarre characters and a stunning mix of photography and illustration. The octopus was my favorite.

Even though I only had one day to myself, the cool things I saw, along with the sunny 70 degree weather (a huge change from Portland’s dreary cold) made for a spectacular time.

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Play at Engage

March 07, 2011

Webtrends hosted a huge Digital Marketing convention in San Francisco last week. To show how companies can use Mobile and Social media to engage with people we created a mobile game called Play at Engage – kind of a cross between Foursquare and Flickr. The goal was to go around taking pictures of things and posting them for various challenges. I designed the navigation button icons for the game:

nav buttons

Left to Right: "Challenges, Rules, Home, Settings, Log In, Help, Explore, Leader Board, Badges, Log Out"

I also designed 25 buttons to be given out as badges and prizes during the game:


Left to right: "Me Myself & I, Webtrends, Partner Pavilion (schwag), Artistic, Objects, You and ___, Technology, At the Hilton, Night at the Museum, Gala, Out & About in S.F., Wildlife, Nightlife, Blackout, Badger, Underachiever, Easy Rider, Medium Rare, Hard Life, Inspired Liker, Best Photographer, Photobomb, Genius, Creative, Ze Frank"

The first 13 buttons were awarded for the completion of each of the 13 challenges. The Blackout badge was given to anyone who completed all of the challenges. The Badger badge was given to whoever had the most badges and Underachiever was given to the person with the least number of photos uploaded. The Easy Rider badge was for anyone who completed all of the easiest challenges, Medium Rare was for anyone who did all of the medium hard challenges, and Hard Life was for anyone who completed all of the hardest challenges. Inspired Liker was given to anyone who liked a lot of other people’s photos. Best Photographer is self-explanatory. The Photobomb button was given to anyone who was caught photobombing someone else’s photo. The Genius and Creative buttons were given to people who were seen doing something creative or genius. The MC of the event, Ze Frank, had his own button to give away to whomever he wanted. I got to man the game booth for most of the event and give out the buttons. People really loved the game and the buttons.

Here’s a shot of me wearing 3 of my favorite buttons:

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February 20, 2011

I’m pretty sure Banksy isn’t hanging out in residential NE Portland, but I did find this:

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Webtrends Websites

A lot of the work I’ve been doing for Webtrends has been for their website. They just launched several pages that I designed.
Here are some basic pages where most of my focus was on the hero images, icons and graphics: Implementation, Solution Engineering, Ads: Search, Ads: Facebook, Ads: Optimization

The overview page for Webtrends Ads involved a bit of animation:
Ads: Overview

For the Digital Marketing Optimization pages I tried to stretch the boundaries of the corporate template and give them more of an “agency” kind of feeling:
DMO: Overview, DMO: Our Work, DMO: Our People

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Pie Charts and Bar Graphs

January 13, 2011

In my opinion charts and graphs only barely qualify as Graphic Design. They’re the step-cousins of infographics and are rarely interesting for observers or designers. Nonetheless I made some recently to show how various products, companies, and celebrities were getting hyped at the Consumer Electronics Show. They got picked up and published on the LA Times website. Check them out, but be forewarned: they’re only charts and graphs.

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More Storefront Art

An interesting new store has popped up on Mississippi Street recently. The display window has an actual stuffed bear cub who seems to be watching paper snowflakes fall from the ceiling.

Inside the have all kinds of weird things: taxidermied animals, sea stars and shells, glass eyes…. It’s all very intriguing and more than a little disturbing.

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