DHDR Doberbutts tee design mockup on female model

Doberman Rescue fundraising tee design

Sometimes a project comes along that’s a magical fit. That’s how I felt when a friend asked if I’d be interested in working on a t-shirt design for a local Doberman rescue organization with one of her colleagues. Not only was it great timing, it was perfectly in line with my love for designing for pets.

The project is for a great cause — raising funds to support the rescue and placement of Dobermans. Although there are a number of causes I believe in, helping animals is the one I focus on.

Christy, the Executive Director of Desert Harbor Doberman Rescue, already had a concept in mind for the t-shirt design. So in order to get the project moving in the right direction, we started by establishing a few style keywords. That way, we could build toward the final design without unpleasant surprises or missing a key idea. She chose:

  • classic
  • hip
  • fresh

I used these keywords to create a mood board of visual elements that we could use as inspiration for the artwork. At first, I was unsure how I’d connect classic with hip and fresh, but doing the mood board research helped me shape how they could come together into one design. I proposed that it:

  • have a classic graphic tee layout
  • be very wearable — something that people love putting on and doesn’t get relegated to the bottom of the drawer
  • look cool and make other people say “Hey, I love your tee!”
  • be casual, but can be worn in a hip and fresh way
  • combine handwritten and sans-serif fonts (the juxtaposition of handwriting with sans-serif fonts makes it hip and fresh)

mood board for Doberbutts t-shirt design - Desert Harbor Doberman Rescue

Then, building off the mood board, I created rough pencil sketches of a few different layout concepts for Christy to review. Going into the project, one of the things she wanted to see was a tee with a large Doberman graphic wrapping from the front to the back, with the words “I like Doberbutts & I can not lie”. To help make the tee fresh and wearable, I suggested we outline the dog rather than do a solid fill of color.

Taking the Skillshare class Lettering Layouts: Create Beautiful Messages came in really handy for this project, since it was essentially a lettering layout applied to a t-shirt. I used the process of establishing a hierarchy for the words and deciding on lettering shapes to bring the elements together with the dog illustration.

DHDR Doberbutts tee concept sketch

While the diagonal lines between the words adds a complementary decorative element to the layout, it made the tee too swing too masculine. Removing the lines helped balance it back out to be more neutral and universally appealing.

DHDR Doberbutts tee design mockup

DHDR Doberbutts tee design mockup on female model

DHDR Doberbutts tee design mockup on male model

If you’d like to support Desert Harbor Doberman Rescue and get one of these tees for yourself, visit azdoberescue.org/store.

 

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Oxford Dogma branding image

Oxford Dogma Brand Development and Collateral

Starting a handmade business is a sizable investment, and I’m grateful to have the skills to create the brand strategy and implement it myself!

Setting the foundation

I started the branding process by solidifying the Oxford Dogma purpose, values, and style keywords.

Purpose

For all pets to feel loved

Values

  • balance
  • conscientiousness
  • dependability
  • details
  • sincerity
  • knowledge

Style keywords

  • subtle
  • authentic
  • timeless

In addition, I chose a few words that represent how I want my customers to feel when they buy and use my products:

  • smart
  • purposeful
  • confident

Oxford Dogma visual strategy brand board

Throughout the course of running my business, there are lots of occasions where I need to come up with a design for some kind of marketing collateral. One example I’m particularly happy with is the Summer/Fall 2016 Lookbook I created to help give people a sense of the full collection of my products.

This piece resulted in my single largest retail sale, making it a project well worth my time.

Oxford Dogma lookbook Summer/Fall 2016
Oxford Dogma lookbook cover design

You can view the catalog in your browser or download it here

Another project that allows me to blend my love for pets with my design experience is the Custom Pet Portraits. I created a postcard to hand out at local market events and insert into packaging to help give people a sense of what they can get with this item.

Oxford Dogma Custom Pet Portraits Postcard by Amy Lamp

Creating the branding and designs for my own product has been such an eye-opening experience. I highly recommend designers experiment with having their own product of some sort because it gives you a lot of insight into what it’s like to be the client, and helps you empathize with their goals.

Arizona Artisans Collective logo concept

Arizona Artisans Collective Logo and Branding

In the summer of 2016, an Arizona-based artisan decided to form an organization specifically for Arizona makers and artists — Arizona Artisans Collective. When I received an invitation to join the community and help shape the direction of the collective, I jumped at the chance to participate. As it turns out, many of the participants were in the first year or two of their handmade businesses (like me with Oxford Dogma), and the energy and enthusiasm of that stage of entrepreneurship is really cool to be around.

The organizer, Miriam (you can see her work at baldurstudios.com), put out a call after our first meeting for someone to volunteer their time and talents to create a logo. I signed up to help out and after chatting with her about her goals for the identity, I developed three directions.

A. The “Maker’s Mark” concept, based in heritage, an earthy feel, and handcrafted tradition. The concept is inspired by the marks on leather goods, ranches, and spirits. The mark itself is inspired by the mountains of Arizona, and the color palette represents the colors found in our natural surroundings.

This is the concept Miriam selected for the brand direction.

Arizona Artisans Collective makers mark logo and branding

B. This concept has an airy, light, fresh, and trendy vibe to it. The mark is inspired by the mountains of Arizona and suggests growth and unity (two themes Miriam was interested in conveying about the group’s mission). The colors are consistent with those found locally, especially our spectacular sunsets.

Arizona Artisans Collective contemporary logo and branding concept

C. The final concept is very clean and simple. Since the organization was in its very early stages, it wasn’t quite clear which direction it would take. So we wanted to explore a logo that was very simple, adaptable, and basically an empty vessel for whatever the future holds. Arizona Artisans Collective simple logo and branding concept

Ignite Food program design

Ignite Food program

Ignite Phoenix was having their first Food edition of the event, and since food and nourishment are big for me I volunteered to design the program for it.

Before beginning design, I created a mood board to share with the team so that we could make sure everyone was on board with the visual direction. I was inspired by restaurant menus that are banded to a wooden plank, which feels dynamic and modern.

Mood board for Ignite Food program design

The event is divided into two halves, so I came up with the idea to name the break in between the sets “Intermezzo”. It refers to cleansing the palette between each course so you can fully enjoy the next thing.

On the front of the program, I was inspired by the way menus list the entree with the price next to it in large type to list the order of the presenters.

Ignite Phoenix Food program