Project 13: Family Crest
Hey everybody :) Exploring crests was definitely a fun little exercise. I decided to go ahead and make one for my immediate family. My parents were married in 1979, so I thought that’d be an important element to include in my design.
While my heritage is rather “mutt-y,” I chose to incorporate the flags representing the countries with the biggest presence in my bloodline from both of my parents. French and Polish from my mom’s side of the family & German and Irish from my dad’s.
And last but not least are the Poodles! Thanks to horrible allergies, my family was forced into (and then discovered the majesty) of owning Poodles. I grew up with 2 of them and they are such great animals. My parents currently own 2 Standards, my sister & brother-in-law own a Goldendoodle, and I have a tiny Toy Poodle. You could say we’re a little nutty about our pets but they are SURELY part of our family.
—Alli

Project 13: Family Crest

Hey everybody :) Exploring crests was definitely a fun little exercise. I decided to go ahead and make one for my immediate family. My parents were married in 1979, so I thought that’d be an important element to include in my design.

While my heritage is rather “mutt-y,” I chose to incorporate the flags representing the countries with the biggest presence in my bloodline from both of my parents. French and Polish from my mom’s side of the family & German and Irish from my dad’s.

And last but not least are the Poodles! Thanks to horrible allergies, my family was forced into (and then discovered the majesty) of owning Poodles. I grew up with 2 of them and they are such great animals. My parents currently own 2 Standards, my sister & brother-in-law own a Goldendoodle, and I have a tiny Toy Poodle. You could say we’re a little nutty about our pets but they are SURELY part of our family.

—Alli

Project 13: Family Crest
This project came at a really good time. My sister just made a family tree for my Dad as a gift for Fathers Day. 
My last name is Palmer, not exactly the most Spanish name ever. When you google my last name and its coat of arms, a British one comes up…totally not me. Somewhere along the way, a Palmer fell in love with a fiery latina and thus, we became Spanish. (I have no idea if this is true at all. Palmer means “one who goes on a religious pilgrimage and brings back a palm or something,” which is a pretty Spanish thing to do when you think about it)
On my Dad’s side of the family, we have roots in Basque Country as well as Corsica, France. In fact, we’re French on my mom’s side too! But for a over century, my family has been from Puerto Rico. The lion in the top left represents Ponce, Puerto Rico, from where most of my family is from and still lives to this day. The chain badge on the right, is the same from the Spanish Coat of Arms representing the Kingdom of Navarre. The old kingdom is where Basque Country is located. The fleur de lis is a symbol of the French government (obvi). The stripes on the lower left quadrant are meant to symbolize the sea. My family has always lived by the water but also there are 5 stripes. These 5 stripes illustrate the 5 different states my family has lived in. I’m technically an Army Brat thanks to dear ol’ Dad. 
Hope y’all enjoyed it!
-Fran 

Project 13: Family Crest

This project came at a really good time. My sister just made a family tree for my Dad as a gift for Fathers Day. 

My last name is Palmer, not exactly the most Spanish name ever. When you google my last name and its coat of arms, a British one comes up…totally not me. Somewhere along the way, a Palmer fell in love with a fiery latina and thus, we became Spanish. (I have no idea if this is true at all. Palmer means “one who goes on a religious pilgrimage and brings back a palm or something,” which is a pretty Spanish thing to do when you think about it)

On my Dad’s side of the family, we have roots in Basque Country as well as Corsica, France. In fact, we’re French on my mom’s side too! But for a over century, my family has been from Puerto Rico. The lion in the top left represents Ponce, Puerto Rico, from where most of my family is from and still lives to this day. The chain badge on the right, is the same from the Spanish Coat of Arms representing the Kingdom of Navarre. The old kingdom is where Basque Country is located. The fleur de lis is a symbol of the French government (obvi). The stripes on the lower left quadrant are meant to symbolize the sea. My family has always lived by the water but also there are 5 stripes. These 5 stripes illustrate the 5 different states my family has lived in. I’m technically an Army Brat thanks to dear ol’ Dad. 

Hope y’all enjoyed it!

-Fran 

Project 13: Family Crest
With having a heritage comprised of parts Irish, English, German and a wee bit Cherokee, I had a difficult time narrowing down how to best represent my family. We, my branch of the Nolan clan, are not rooted in our heritage so I had to so some research. I looked into traditional crests and markings of each culture and hoped for a connection or hidden meaning but to no avail. It was then that I turned to my experiences I’ve had with my immediate family. My father and I frequently find ourselves being the go-to people when things get tough, whether it be taking the lead or offering counsel. Upon further reflection, I realized that my grandmother is the same way. We all serve to be a guide or catalyst. It is in this quality that I found an animal to represent us. The fox.

The fox has a murky track record that has many interpretations but through my interactions with Asian and Native American culture, it has taken the form of a guide that leads the way to new experiences and knowledge. I am always searching for ways to better myself and increase my knowledge base so it feels even more fitting to align the family name with a symbol such as the fox.
Jake

Project 13: Family Crest

With having a heritage comprised of parts Irish, English, German and a wee bit Cherokee, I had a difficult time narrowing down how to best represent my family. We, my branch of the Nolan clan, are not rooted in our heritage so I had to so some research. I looked into traditional crests and markings of each culture and hoped for a connection or hidden meaning but to no avail. It was then that I turned to my experiences I’ve had with my immediate family. My father and I frequently find ourselves being the go-to people when things get tough, whether it be taking the lead or offering counsel. Upon further reflection, I realized that my grandmother is the same way. We all serve to be a guide or catalyst. It is in this quality that I found an animal to represent us. The fox.

The fox has a murky track record that has many interpretations but through my interactions with Asian and Native American culture, it has taken the form of a guide that leads the way to new experiences and knowledge. I am always searching for ways to better myself and increase my knowledge base so it feels even more fitting to align the family name with a symbol such as the fox.

Jake

Letter Society - Project 13: Family CrestMy family name, Wagner, finds its ancestry from the Alsace-Lorraine region of France. Sitting on the border of France and Germany, this territory has transitioned numerous times between French and German influence since the Middle Ages. Because of this unique story, I decided to base my design on the rich history native to the region. This project was so much fun to work on. Peace and Blessins
//Erik

Letter Society - Project 13: Family Crest

My family name, Wagner, finds its ancestry from the Alsace-Lorraine region of France. Sitting on the border of France and Germany, this territory has transitioned numerous times between French and German influence since the Middle Ages. Because of this unique story, I decided to base my design on the rich history native to the region. This project was so much fun to work on. Peace and Blessins

//Erik

Project 13: Family Crest
I really enjoyed this project (and not because I assigned it) though it was tougher then I thought it would be! How do I design something that represents the 4 craziest people I know?! I decided to focus on my immediate family because the extended DiMenna family is HUGE with family members all over the USA and back in Italy. I also want to design for my immediate family because the five of us are pretty close. Our family crest is definitely not traditional; you may or may not have noticed the giant kayak paddle that acts as the diagonal crossbar. That represents my family’s love for the outdoors, particularly water related activities which were a huge part of life growing up in Baltimore. The bottom left is a snap shot of the Maryland flag, since that is where the DiMenna’s (my grandfather, aged 6 and his mom) came to port when they entered States in 1926 and where I grew up.
The top right is the Italian flag, as my heritage has been a big part of my life. I am grateful for being brought up in a home and with a family that continued traditions and passed down cultural and moral values of thier home country. 
The icon on the top left represents my family’s love for sports, health and fitness. We are all athletes and exercise and competition is a very important part of our everyday lives. The family that runs together, stays together! (And mom cheers from the sidelines).Lastly, the three oak leaves on the bottom right represent the three oak trees that my dad planted; one for each of his three girls on the day they were born. 
And that’s all she wrote! Hope you like the DiMenna family crest!
-Jenn

Project 13: Family Crest

I really enjoyed this project (and not because I assigned it) though it was tougher then I thought it would be! How do I design something that represents the 4 craziest people I know?! I decided to focus on my immediate family because the extended DiMenna family is HUGE with family members all over the USA and back in Italy.

I also want to design for my immediate family because the five of us are pretty close. Our family crest is definitely not traditional; you may or may not have noticed the giant kayak paddle that acts as the diagonal crossbar. That represents my family’s love for the outdoors, particularly water related activities which were a huge part of life growing up in Baltimore. The bottom left is a snap shot of the Maryland flag, since that is where the DiMenna’s (my grandfather, aged 6 and his mom) came to port when they entered States in 1926 and where I grew up.

The top right is the Italian flag, as my heritage has been a big part of my life. I am grateful for being brought up in a home and with a family that continued traditions and passed down cultural and moral values of thier home country.

The icon on the top left represents my family’s love for sports, health and fitness. We are all athletes and exercise and competition is a very important part of our everyday lives. The family that runs together, stays together! (And mom cheers from the sidelines).

Lastly, the three oak leaves on the bottom right represent the three oak trees that my dad planted; one for each of his three girls on the day they were born.

And that’s all she wrote! Hope you like the DiMenna family crest!

-Jenn

Project 13: Family Crest: Crisenbery Clan
For the family crest challenge, I started out by first doing some research into the heritage of my various family members. The four that I chose to act as inspiration for the crest were Germany, Cherokee, Greek and Lithuania. I pulled various elements from each of the flags and crests to create the final family image above. Thanks Jenn for the fun prompt!
–Casey

Project 13: Family Crest: Crisenbery Clan

For the family crest challenge, I started out by first doing some research into the heritage of my various family members. The four that I chose to act as inspiration for the crest were Germany, Cherokee, Greek and Lithuania. I pulled various elements from each of the flags and crests to create the final family image above. Thanks Jenn for the fun prompt!

–Casey

Interview with Jenn DiMenna

No offense to you sports fans out there, but Cincinnati doesn’t have the best luck with sports teams. But, they do have Jenn DiMenna! Most of us live out in Chicago and Jenn admits that it gets lonely without us there. Guys, I think it’s time to make a visit. 

Describe your path to where you are now.

If you had told me at graduation I would be in Cincinnati for my first job, I would have laughed you out of the civic center. I am a very intuitive person. I just kind of do what I feel is right. That’s how I found SCAD and LPK. I was wandering my school on a free and walked down a reject hallway and there was one flyer for Summer Seminars at SCAD hanging up. On the same day, I got an email from SCAD so I took it as a sign. I took it home and told my mom I wanted to do it and she was like…uh… what. I have always been a homebody and kind of a loner so she was like WHATS WRONG. So I went. And I loved it. From the first day, I knew that’s where I was supposed to be. Whether they admitted me or not I was going! I got to LPK because one of my good friends was interning here. Alex Azzi got her 6 month internship offer here at LPK right before a portfolio class one day and she walked in and told the class and everyone was so jealous! So she put in a good word for me and the rest is history

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Shanghai Metro Map

Did you always know you wanted to do something creative?

Yes. I used to tell people when I was little (like 8) that I was going to art school like my mom. Both of my parents went to art school; my dad is an architect and my mom is an interior designer. I was the only child who got any artistic talent so it was fostered from a young age. Not that I minded though; I was all over art camp and then I started getting traditional training from an art school in Baltimore in my free time. I painted there for almost 10 years by the time I decided I wanted to go to SCAD then I switched my study to photography to help with my design and composition skills.

If you weren’t a creative, what do you think you’d be doing right now? What was your childhood ambition?

If I weren’t a creative, I would have been a historian. I LOVE history and I love learning. I love watching the History Channel and reading about historical events, watching documentaries and reading historical fiction. I just can’t get enough. When I was little, I wanted to be an Egyptologist. I went through a big phase and I was obsessed with anything about Egypt.

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The Places You Will Go

If I remember correctly, you have a photography background. Do you still get to shoot?

Yes! Not as much as I would like though. I have an ongoing project that I have been working on for about 6 years now. It started as a part of my concentration for AP 2D Design in high school and I continued it in college for fun and for class. I am hoping to continue it here in Cincinnati since there are so many great locations. I also just love to go out and shoot and see what I come up with, that’s more what I’ve been doing recently. I am also getting ready for a shoot for my latest artist book which I am really looking forward to.

You can find some of my images from the series on my behance or I have other favorites I can send if you wish to include any on the post.

You’ve been at LPK for a while now, tell us more about agency life.

What’s your day-to-day like? Oh boy, agency life. Well day-to-day can get quite crazy. On any given day I could be working on up to 5 or 6 different projects all on very fast timing. I am a designer on the Pringles team at LPK but I get to touch multiple brands at once which keeps things exciting! I also have a really great team. We have a lot of fun together and work really well. We aren’t afraid to tell each other like it is.

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Buried Alive

What are some of the things you like to do outside of work and Letter Society?

I have a lot of unique hobbies. I am a bookmaker, I make and sell hand made books as well as develop and create artist books with content. I also curl. Like the winter sport in the Olympics which is a ton of fun and definitely a conversation starter! I also love seeing movies in theater. I have a good friend from SCAD GRDS here in Cincinnati and it’s kind of our thing; she’s my movie buddy.

Name 3 must do and sees in Cincinnati 

1. Anyone who appreciates art and architecture MUST go to the Cincinnati Museum Center, even if you don’t pay for the exhibits, just walk around and take in the building. It is absolutely immense and has amazing mosaics on the inside. It used to be a train station and is so art deco you can’t help but love it.

2. A brewery tour is a must; Cincinnati is at the heart of the craft beer revolution with a number of local breweries kicking out some delicious beers.

3. A night out in OTR. This is my neighborhood; it was considered the most dangerous neighborhood in the USA not too long ago, 2008 to be exact. But now its on the rebound and there are a ton of super fun bars and lots of tasty places to eat.

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That’s Jenn on the right. Who knew she had such a thing for Matt Lauer!? I’m right there with ya girl. 

//LS

Project 13: Family Crest

For project 13, we will need to harness our inner (or very obvious) Game of Thrones fan and create a family crest or coat of arms. It can be in whichever tradition you want and can either be a serious representation or something fun using your favorite fandom (are you ready for this tumblr?).

We will be posting our work on July 20th so hoist your colors and get designing!

-Jenn

Project 12: Game Redesign, Heads Up
Hi everybody! 
Who doesn’t love a good ol’ fashioned game of “Heads Up?” This was taking the existing app and simplifying it visually. To be honest, and sorry Ellen, but the game looks pretty cheesy and ugly. I decided to clean it up a bit; sticking with solid colors and white type. The first three categories include their respective logos. This is so because they are the customer’s top 3 best categories (a subtle touch) 
Stay tuned for more images!! 

Project 12: Game Redesign, Heads Up

Hi everybody! 

Who doesn’t love a good ol’ fashioned game of “Heads Up?” This was taking the existing app and simplifying it visually. To be honest, and sorry Ellen, but the game looks pretty cheesy and ugly. I decided to clean it up a bit; sticking with solid colors and white type. The first three categories include their respective logos. This is so because they are the customer’s top 3 best categories (a subtle touch) 

Stay tuned for more images!! 

Cards Against Humanity

Project 12: Board & Cards Games

Oh hey! For this week’s challenge I chose a game that’s near and dear to my heart and I’m sure we’ve all played at least once at a party: Cards Against Humanity.

Let’s address the elephant in the room. Yes, CAH is great already. It’s simple enough that there really shouldn’t be a redesign. But, especially considering how popular the game is, I feel like there should be more to it than just it being an more adult Apple’s to Apple’s, especially considering the Target Audience.

That’s why I went hog wild on turning this into an app which also utilizes it’s new platform to make the game even better than it already is. The app can be played alone, local and online play with your friends and Party Mode (which I will get to later on). 

The three most notable improvements include:

Scoreboards - This was something that always annoyed me about the game. After an hour of playing the game, you never really knew who was winning. That’s solved by everyone’s profile showing their score. To also keep the pressure on, there will be score multipliers, so if someone’s on a hot streak, it’ll continue to make sure that person keeps trying to stay on top. I also went and added a timer for each round. Nothing was more annoying that having a friend completely forget it’s their turn and ruin the flow.

Custom Card - This was a new addition to the game and I think it’s got so much more potential now that it lives within an app. Instead of it just being a text entry, you now have the ability to either take a photo, choose one from your Gallery, or use the Giphy API to find any image, gif, or video and submit that. 

Party Mode - Knowing that this most people usually play CAH in big social gatherings, this mode is the one that I feel was most needed. If someone has a tablet and the app on it, you can turn that into the main homescreen that everyone can view so that the score, question and time left will always be present. I also proposed that this could also exist on TVs as well, via a Chromecast or Apple TV.

In terms of credits, big thanks to Nathan for helping me figure out and animate the various states of gameplay and Egor CulceaLeonides DelgadoVenkatesh Aiyulu and Jamison Wieser of The Noun Project for their awesome icons I used in the app.

Project 12: Classic Board Game Redesign

Hi! I really had fun with this challenge. One of my favorite games to play at sleepovers was Milton Bradley’s Dream Phone. It’s just a goofy game for young girls to play to figure out who their “Secret Admirer” is. In the original, there was a HUGE fake plastic phone that you had to use to “call” a pool of boys and hear clues about who it was.

I decided to simplify the game & lose the board, making it much more modern. I based my design off of simple combinations of Apple, Tinder & Snapchat’s motifs. In lieu of calling on a fake phone, I thought it’d be a cool idea to use Blippar, a system that scans 2D images and digitally turns them into augmented reality or videos. If you just hold your phone’s camera over the image, it pops up on your screen. There I thought there could be a video clue for the players.

You take turns & pass the phone until you narrow down your clues (from what they’re wearing to where they hang out) and solve who the Secret Admirer is. Major shoutout to my fellow LSo. members for lending me their faces for my redesigned cards ;)

**REMINISCING ON CHILDHOOD AND HOPING IT’S BOB!**

—Alli

Project 12: Board & Card Games: Guess Who - World Cup Edition

With the 2014 World Cup in Brazil in full-swing, I thought it would be totally appropriate to create a new edition of the classic board game, Guess Who. The faces of the various people are players from the 32 competing countries. The typeface used is also the featured typeface through the world cup competition.

I mocked up both the cover of the box as well as the individual game board. I hope y’all enjoy!

//Erik

Project 12: Board & Card Games: Monopoly - Typeface Edition

For this project, I thought it’d be interesting to do a themed Monopoly release. The majority of the work here was cleaning up the board game a bit by stripping it down of the heavy line work, punching up the color, and adding informative details on each property space while keeping it clean.

When I decided on a Typeface edition, some discussion with fellow Letter Society members helped me focus my adjustments to the neighborhoods, making them represent different classes, or sub-classes, of type. Additionally, I wanted to include a bit of history and background of each featured typeface, so on each property space there is a section for details, where before there was blank white space.

While most themed monopoly releases leave the “Community Chest” and “Chance” type spaces alone, if I were to push this further, I’d like to see if I could come up with appropriate Type-themed spaces for those, along with the railroads and utilities as well.

- Nathan

Project 12: Board Game redesign

This project was probably the most intense project for me to date. I picked the game Settlers of Catan which, if you’ve played, has about a million pieces and all kinds of different things you need to play. So I thought it all out and came up with some awesome ideas, included are just a few snap shots of my new and improved game, The Hipsters of Brooklyn. 

So instead of building settlements and cities, now we are building free trade coffee shops and health food stores. Instead of using roads, you use bike lanes. Your resources for building all of these goodies are single speed bikes, beard oil, organic kale, ironic tattoos and reduce dogs. 

Instead of Knights, you have vegans, who can triumph over the “bro” (formally the robber). And just some examples of special cards, you have the liberal arts college and the farmers market. I had a ton of fun with this and obviously this choice of game was pretty ambitious. One day I would love to finish it and have it printed to have around the house. 

Shout out to Will and Olivia for consulting since they are the biggest experts on Catan I know.

-Jenn

Interview with Casey Crisenbery

Known as “Dad” to most of us at Letter Society, Casey is not only one of the most thoughtful and sweetest members of the LS but also one of the most talented illustrators I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know. His design skills are also extremely impressive (I mean, duh). Every design element and stroke is deliberate. He makes a killer batch of guacamole and him and his boyfriend will probably win every costume contest from here until eternity. Interwebs, I present to you, Casey Crisenbery. 

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The Bad B

Describe your path to where you are now.

There are a couple of notable things that have landed me working as a creative in Chicago. I’ve always been artistically inclined. With the encouragement of my parents growing up, I chose to pursue it as a career. Like many in our Letter Society family, I went to SCAD-Savannah for my undergrad getting my bachelors in Illustration. Spring break senior year, I began looking at places to start out freelancing and checked out NYC where many friends were heading after graduation. I found it to be not the right fit. Prior to college I had visited Chicago a few times with my aunt and really enjoyed the vibe of the city. One weekend after graduation I drove up with my mom in tow, re-visited the city, found an apartment, and eventually made the move.

Did you always know you wanted to do something creative?
Taken from the stories my parents tell, I’ve always been creatively inclined. For example, we were asked in Kindergarten to bring in 100 of the same item when learning numbers. I brought in Crayons–not needing to buy any to meet the requirement. Probably that was a big indicator of my interests as a kid. I’m very fortunate to have had was my parent’s support to keep drawing and figure out what my dreams were.

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Gringotts Online Wizarding Bank

If you weren’t a creative, what do you think you’d be doing right now? What was your childhood ambition?

Most likely I’d be doing something music related. In high school, I was just as much of a music and band nerd as I was involved in the arts. I played several instruments– trombone, saxophone, bassoon, and piano– and participated a lot in the music program. When it came down to deciding what I wanted to do after graduating, it actually was much simpler than I thought it would be. A good teacher of mine asked me between my two interests, which was the one I could do all day without getting tired or bored. Drawing won out and I choose to focus on getting my art portfolio together the rest of the year.

We have all seen your amazing illustrations at Square Carousel and now you’re kicking ass with us. How did you make the switch from illustrator to designer? (that’s no easy feat)

I can only speak for myself, but I’ve found that in the creative industry we have a much easier time switching between different types of projects and mediums. Even going through my illustration classes, I found I enjoyed working with type and layouts when we were asked to mock up our assignments. The more I was able to practice and take some classes that involved design, the more I found I could do the work. I kept it up after graduating by taking on projects that kept sharpening my skills and training my eye. That aside, I still find myself learning better ways to design and noticing cringe-worthy mistakes I’ve made, but that’s what makes the whole thing exciting.

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A lot of our followers come from a design background. It would be great to catch a glimpse of the illustration world. Who are some of your favorite illustrators? Does the freelance illustrator market differ from that of the design world? 

My list of favorite illustrators is constantly growing. Some of the long-standing ones are Meg Hunt, Sam Bosma, Kali Ciesemier, J.C. Leyendecker, and many others I’m forgetting.

Looking at the illustration and design markets, there are more similarities than you’d probably expect. As a creative professional it’s still very important to be business savvy and develop good client relationships no matter what field you’re in. I find that a majority of my work comes from happy returning clients, weather it is illustration or design. Also, success in both fields comes from being confidant and putting your work out there.

When it comes to the differences between the two industries, I’ve found that the environments in which I’m working differ greatly. Many freelance illustrators are flying solo. When I first moved to Chicago and was doing only children’s book work, I rarely got out of my studio. I ended up starting volunteering at a local LGBT center just as a way to get out and socialize. The freelance work I’ve been doing for design has all been much more collaborative and usually is a part of a larger team. In many ways, I really enjoy that connection with other creatives and the things you learn from it.

This interview comes at the perfect time with Pride happening this month in Chicago. So I must ask you, if you were a drag queen, what would your name be? 

Charity Case.

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Ladies and gentlemen, this is Stefon (middle) the inspiration behind Bill Hader’s character on SNL of the same name, cracking jokes with Jackie O and some SCAD kid.

 - LS