Friday, April 30, 2010

Where We Work featured on

Fast Company posted a nice review of Where We Work, a book we designed last fall. Read it here.

Dollar General Art

Dollar General Corporation has a beautiful corporate headquarters in Goodlettsville, TN. In the fall of 2009, they called to ask us to create 4 pieces of art that would commemorate a very special event. But it was secret—(they were bound by federal law to keep a lid on the details.) It was pretty obvious that there was a public stock offering in the works, but nobody was allowed to talk about it. So they said, “We have a long tradition of collecting original art for our corporate offices and spaces. Do something that celebrates our history and our brand, and make the art contemporary enough that it will suggest where we are headed into the future.” They wanted real paintings—4 Joel Anderson originals.

So Joel took a tour of the corporate facilities and the extensive fine art collection that the Turner family had amassed over the years. It was rather intimidating to know that he had to create 3 giant paintings to be the focal point of the lobby, and do a fourth piece that would grace the executive level board room. Oh yes, one of the pieces had to be turned into a signed and numbered limited edition print for 60 VIPs. A version of the art needed to be blown up big enough to hang as a 2-story tall banner out front of the building, too.

So Joel set to work on the art. He started with sketches, then vector designs in Adobe Illustrator. Then he bought 6 foot tall canvases, projected his art onto them and started painting. To add a dimensional effect, he cut up a mosaic of painted paper strips and affixed them to the canvas. The resulting works are the focal point of the grand lobby. Limited edition prints were given to corporate executives, Wall Street investors, clients and traders in recognition of their work to make the public stock offering a success.

This project was an interesting fusion of fine art and graphic design—of corporate America supporting the arts while using art to promote a corporate vision.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Our Retail Store

What does a design firm do when the sluggish economy forces clients to cut back and spend less? We crank up a studio store and create cool stuff to sell to the general public! One nice thing about downsizing is getting more free space to do creative things (like turning your conference area into a retail boutique!) Since we have extra space in our building, and we have created a plethora of cool prints & gifts, retail seemed like an easy way to “make lemonade out of economic lemons.” Retail is actually fun—we have enjoyed talking to people who walk in off the street to browse and shop our Spirit of Nashville and Art & Soul of America creations. In between creating logos, brochures, book covers, etc., we find ourselves chatting it up with folks who are looking for art to decorate homes and offices. Or advising shoppers as to the perfect gift for co-workers, parents, graduating kids, friends or lovers! That’s the cool thing about design—you can sell your art on everything from note cards, posters, and tote bags to t-shirts, mugs and magnets.

Anyway, most folks don’t know we have a retail store inside our design firm, so we printed some of our most popular designs onto metal signs and mounted them to the outside of our building. Now everyone who drives by can see the place where all of those Nashville prints come from. Only problem is, retail customers expect us to be open during retail hours! So we are looking into how we can keep the studio store open past 5:00 and on Saturday.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Abingdon Press Book Series

One of our publishing clients, Abingdon Press, asked us to design the titles in their new Christian Fiction book line. They wanted to launch the line with a splash, get lots of reviews, and have covers that would compete with all the other established fiction publishers. We started with 10 titles and after 3 release cycles, we have cranked out over 30 covers — each one unique, and each one done on a very tight budget! Our team approached the challenge with extended research, group brainstorming sessions, intense photo searching, and a variety of design and illustration styles. We're currently working on covers for their Fall 2010 Fiction book line. Stay posted for more!

The Hermitage Annual Report

ADG recently designed The Hermitage's (Home of President Andrew Jackson) first annual report. Using antique & decorative elements, illustrations, and warm imagery, we helped the folks at The Hermitage share their powerful story. April 2009 marked the Ladies' Hermitage Association's 120th anniversary!