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(design squared)

web | graphics | fine art | etc.
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I have been drawn to art since elementary school. About third grade, my knack for creative expression was noted and fostered by mentors such as Doris Miller (then head of the Kalamazoo Public School Art Department), and later Ric Todd (a dedicated high school instructor), among others. Scholarships for weekend drawing and painting classes at the Kalamazoo Art Center would lead me to interests in various disciplines. During my senior year of high school, I received the Rhode Island School of Design Book Award for outstanding art students.

Chicago became my home in the late '80s, as I pursued study in the fashion design field at the International Academy of Merchandising and Design. Later, I followed many of my Academy instructors who began teaching for Columbia College's design program. There, I received my B.F.A in Graphic Design, cum laude. Along the way, I completed a web design certificate program at Truman College. I was also an active steering committee member for this school's web club.

My objective is to embrace the relationship between art and technology, combining various creative outlets to produce new and innovative ideas and solutions through design.

Photo by Andrey-Set of Beat-Fly-Crew, St. Petersberg, Russia


(Scroll down for a wide-ranging experience)

Portfolio PDFs

(Curated for quick viewing)

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Bookmaking and Jackets

Handmade Photography Abecedarium Cover Handmade Photography Abecedarium Page Handmade Photography Abecedarium Page
Modernism Book Sleeve Modernism Book Sleeve Aaronhaus Font Face
Heinlein Book Sleeve Series No. 1 Heinlein Book Sleeve Series No. 2 Heinlein Book Sleeve Series No. 3 Heinlein Book Sleeve Trio

Magazine Article Spread Stamp Series Poster Designer Interview Spread 1 Designer Interview Spread 2
CM Email Notice CM Report of Recent Decisions CM Report of Recent Decisions CM Report of Recent Decisions

Proposal for ECAC Enron Reincarnated Great Lake Refractories Celluloid Squirrel Press
Proposal for CMI Proposal for Dance Company McGill Corp. Flavorit Logo
Marketing Collateral

Museum of Discarded Technology Brochure, outside Museum of Discarded Technology Brochure, inside Museum of Discarded Technology Stationery and Business Card
Tenacious Brands Signature Note Cube, View 1 Tenacious Brands Signature Note Cube, View 2 Tenacious Brands Signature Note Cube, View 3
Package Design

Flavorit Logo Flavorit Gourmet Crackers Flavorite Gourmet Crackers Diecut: Cucumber Sea Salt Flavorite Gourmet Crackers Diecut: Lemon Garlic Pepper
Facets Crackers Package Draft Magnifico Tempranillo SKU Magnifico Hero Shot

Photography Restoration 1 Photography Restoration 2

Gin Botanicals Stamp Series B Movie Festival Poster Ravinia Poster Entry Movie Spoof Poster
Product Advertising

Clorox Advertisement Campaign Series No. 1 Clorox Advertisement Campaign Series No. 2 Clorox Advertising Installation
Zwilling J.C. Henkels Knife Advertisement No. 1 Zwilling J.C. Henkels Knife Advertisement No. 2 Zwilling J.C. Henkels Mobile and Desktop Webpages
Emitips Advertisement No. 1 Emitips Advertisement No. 2 Emitips Advertisement No. 3
Product Rebranding

Barbasol Rebranding Enron Florist Logo Barbasol Rebranding

Oblong Oblique Font Face Aaronhaus Font Face Mudite Roman Font Face
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Winchester Hood Garden Homes

Leslie Rosen, Attorney at Law Sweet Potato Zydeco Band Ahoy Chicago Polkraft Builders
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Backgammon and Decanter, 2001 Bottle with Pinecone, 2001 Untitled, 2001 Untitled, 2001
India Ink

Angel Still Life Mannequin Still Life Eucalyptus Still Life 8-track Still Life
Oil Pastels

Nectarines, 1985 Red Green Blue, 1985 Red Green Blue, 1985

Triangle with Circles, 1999 Vanity, A Tiny..., 2017 Circuit Board Swag Lamp 'Propel' Wall Sculpture

Nautilus Hall, 1989 Michigan Wood, 2017
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Welcome! Tent Entrance Tent Chandelier Tent Bedding Tent Lounge
Mod Bar Cart Tent Bed Tray Tent Lamps and Nightstands Tent Chair and Storage Chest
Tent Chandelier Tent Chandelier Tent Chandelier Tent Chandelier
Midway-a-Fare Midway-a-Fare Midway-a-Fare Midway-a-Fare
Prints and Patterns

Silk Scarf Photo Silk Scarf Detail
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Molded Modern: An Eames Case Study

August 17, 2018

Classic Plastic Molded Eames Chair

After World War II, there was a need for low cost furniture with good design. A competition was even held in the late 1940s, “The International Competition for Low-Cost Furniture Design.” This was to go beyond just solving the problem of affordable housing, as returning soldiers reuniting with their families now needed affordable and comfortable living solutions. Dually, the design process would be an overall attempt to elevate society through functionality and aesthetics (creating the best for the most, as Charles Eames would put it). The inspired challenge would take some of the manufacturing advances made during WWII used to make weapons and apply them to a streamlined assembly process. It would also give manufacturers a needed transition from the diminished wartime production demands.


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(re)Designing Life

April 19, 2018

My Guy Mike

I hadn’t blogged in quite a while because of a recent life event… the sudden passing of my Significant Other of twenty-one years. While our relationship was predominantly weekend-based (me living in Chicago and he living in nearby Indiana) I always looked forward to our time together. I still find myself wanting to share some trivial weekday anecdotes when he comes on the weekend…but, alas. I find myself having to seek out other weekend dérives.


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October 11, 2017

Downtown Chicago Map Detail

I’ve recently taken up the courier profession as a side hustle, via a particular phone app that shall remain nameless for the sake of this missive. My last delivery of the day in question would prove to be my pièce de résistance: picking up and successfully delivering a large food order from an establishment I had vowed I would avoid accepting future orders from. But in the fervor of the moment, I inadvertently accepted this new order, only to realize my error… it was now an irreversible decision.


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Design, Made Cheesy

August 25, 2017

Assorted Squeeze Cheese Platter

I finally came to the realization that I'm (somewhat of) a cheese snob. While perusing a "dollar store" for treasures to complete my setup for an outdoor movie screening of "The Blues Brothers," I decided to give an off-brand can of squeeze cheese a chance. I took it with, but never did open it until I attended an outdoor screening of "Steel Magnolias." OMG!, it was MMG! (as so many things that are bad for you usually are).


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Glamping, Mid-century Moroccan Style

May 30, 2017

Tent Chandelier

Last week, I took time out to create an indulgent getaway at a Michigan camping resort that would include cozy comforts and whimsical details. Since January, I had been curating pieces to put together for a theme that took me to this juxtaposition of vintage and exotic. The planned jaunt leading up to Memorial Day weekend soon arrived, and after hitching a trailer to the back of a friend's Jeep, we set off for a DIY destination that would soon materialize like a desert mirage.

See and

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April 14, 2017

Aaron Floguing

Having met and worked with director and videographer Wolfgang Busch through the "How Do I Look" community empowerment project, it was discovered that a new art form had been emerging, worthy of its own distinctions beyond just "Vogueing with a Prop." If Fate had any say, then it was truly destined for our creative minds to cross paths.


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Grotesque Burlesque

April 5, 2017

Charcoal Figure Drawing

My new Thursday night obsession is a figure drawing meet-up at the Uptown Underground. Tucked away in the back of this basement entertainment venue is a smaller theater where models pose in various stages of undress, while artists sketch away while engaging in casual, bawdy banter. I have joined this group to brush up and perfect my drawing of the human figure.


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March 14, 2017

Circuit Board Swag Lamp

Wow! The title of this entry just came to me as I was starting to write... It's a play on Tom Browne's "Funkin' for Jamaica," an old-school funk jam (with guest vocals by Tonni Smith, though I always thought it was Chaka Khan).


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August 11, 2015

Midway-a-Fare Midway-a-Fare Midway-a-Fare Midway-a-Fare

Over the past weekend, Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, IL (the oldest outdoor music festival in the U.S.) hosted its annual Ultimate Picnic Contest. In the lawn seating areas, many attendees don't even need a contest to go all out and bedeck their sections of the grass with chairs, pillows, table coverings, candelabra and gourmet munchies. I would imagine that this spirit inspired Ravinia to start a yearly contest, and each year has drawn a spectacular range of dynamically themed entries.


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Website 101

July 10, 2015

Green Acres Portrait

Many people will pay for a web address and then hold on to it until they find a web designer/programmer. This is perfectly fine, but be sure to get your web hosting from that SAME source. To understand how the process works, think of a web hosting service as a landlord and your designer/programmer as a construction company. You want to build a “house” on one of the landlord’s “lots.” The “address” is important, only because it helps visitors to find the house, but without the lot to build upon, you’re just wandering around carrying blueprints and a “Home, Sweet Home” placard. You need a place to “park” and establish residence. The Web is “land, stretching out so far and wide,” to borrow a "Green Acres" reference. Where will you take up residence?


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Rise of 'The King'

May 27, 2015

Elvis Presley - Jailhouse Rock

How do you know when something has become bigger than life? My answer is 'when it continues on, long after it has ended.' Marketing plays a large role in the life span of a concept. After all, popular culture is just a collection of successfully marketed elements that are accepted for a time by society at large. Often, the marketing cycle dictates that oversaturation of a product will eventually lead to its demise. Keeping something afloat for as long as possible takes a skillful amount of manipulation and speculation. The investment must pay out before opportunities have evaporated.


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Jazz Review

May 6, 2015

Dee Dee Bridgewater - Red Earth

Red Earth: A Malian Journey by Dee Dee Bridgewater

Free-ranging melodies are accented with the syncopation of various percussion instruments, as images of trickling waters, tropical safaris, colorful fabric wraps and a sea of multicolored skin tones are painted on a virtual canvas. An expanse of red earth can be seen adjacent to the River Niger, the sun fixed intensely in the afternoon sky. No matter the point of origin, transporting to this distant locale and warm climate is made possible by the musicality of Dee Dee Bridgewater's Red Earth: A Malian Journey.


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The Shape of Things

January 2, 2015

New Amsterdam Gin Bottle

While restocking my bar for the past holiday season, the cashier asked if I had tried the New Amsterdam brand of gin. I admit I had seen it on the shelf in passing, but never got around to trying it. Later, I did buy a bottle to sample. I like gin, but I found New Amsterdam's to be low on juniper (why I like gin) and high in citrus. While I'm not a big fan of the contents, I absolutely LOVE the bottle.


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Visual Moodiness

August 14, 2014

Data Security, Conceptual

I was working on a booklet-style brochure that featured full page photographic images to compliment the copy on the facing pages. I searched a library of stock photography looking for images that were slightly abstracted by being close-up, detailed cropped shots to enhance the generalized concepts they would evoke in the viewer's imagination.


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Minor White – Abstract Photographer

April 7, 2014

Double Navel 1947, Minor White

Double Navel, 1947

Photographer Minor Martin White was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on July 9, 1908 and died in Cambridge, MA on June 24, 1976. His photographic foray started in 1937, though he had been a childhood hobbyist upon receiving a box Brownie camera from his late grandfather. He graduated to a 35 mm Argus camera around this time, and through publications he was inspired by the work of Berenice Abbott, Ansel Adams, Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Weston. He would later meet many of these people and establish friendships and working relationships with them.


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Designing to Death

January 21, 2014

Today’s visual trend in design is simplicity. Light-colored backgrounds and fields of flat color have put two-dimensional rendering at the top of the charts. Even collage-type composition with minimal shadows and shading are marrying 2 and 3D elements into basic idea representation.

While I’m not knocking the pursuit of trends, I like to capture the current mood of style in a way that can be timeless, while still stamping the results with a definite place in the artistic timeline. There will be a time when the fashions of today become nostalgic markers of bygone ideas, but the work can still represent the the rationale behind the design choices.

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From Russia With Love, For Real

December 12, 2013

ПИТЕР IN DA HOUSE 2013 -- St. Petersberg, Russia

Not to be a brag, but I am an integral part of the Chicago leg of the community made famous in the cult-classic Paris is Burning. This documentary explored the underpinnings of a community that developed as a direct result of intentionally keeping people of color out of arts society. When creative people are marginalized and deprived of opportunity to participate in the exchange of talents and ideas, they always create their own arenas. That’s how you ended up with things like the Chit’lin Circuit, where black people were relegated to a separate performance schedule from white performers. Don’t forget that some of our iconic entertainers such as Sammy Davis, Jr., Lena Horne, Eartha Kitt, etc. were not allowed to stay in the very hotels they performed.


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Reincarnation and Brand Identity

November 20, 2013

Modernism Book Sleeve Enron Florist Delivery Bike

In this brand identity excercise, I took on a mock-challenge of resurrecting a defunct company. The twist would be to create a new manifestation as far away from the original as possible, stripping away any entrenched connotations and associations.

I resurrected Enron… as a local neighborhood flower shop! Enron is remembered for raping the life savings, 401ks and other financial lifeboats of hard working Americans, during the economy of greed in the 90s. In my vision, it is humbled by priding itself in environmentally-conscious deliveries with a vintage postal delivery bike. I had fun creating the logo, trying to evoke creativity, freshness and the local neighborhood mom-and-pop feel.



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