Designing for Deltoids


I’m intently aware of the use of design to help shape a brand. Colors, pictures, words and fonts all work together to help the viewer not only see, but feel the brand. In addition, the medium has an impact to the visual communication of the design. As Marshall McLuhan famously wrote, “The medium is the message.”

At EZG, most of my projects are web- or print-based. Recently, I decided to get a tattoo, which meant I would be designing for my personal brand on the most personal medium: skin. As I began working on designing my tattoo, I couldn’t help but see the parallels to my design work at EZG.

When beginning design work for a client, I start by sketching out ideas in a notebook. This form of visual brainstorming helps create a basis for designs and is also a great reference for collaborating. In this instance, my original sketch was then perfected by my favorite independent musician from Los Angeles, Eligh.
"Paisley's Tree" drawn by rapper Eligh

The final memorial piece: “Paisley’s Tree” drawn by rapper Eligh

When it comes to my personal aesthetic, I’m drawn to a graffiti-like style. The designer in me knew my tattoo had to reflect that: the jagged and calligrific lines and bright colors really helped to define my brand. Color, image style and even line thickness are always top of mind when creating work for myself and my clients. A brand is a personality, and when designing for one you have to stay true to the core.

For example, a graffiti style would be disjointed for, say, a investment firm. However, a graffiti style worked perfectly for a web ad for the Hyundai Veloster — a car known for speed and style. The bold, stylized font indicates movement, as do the lines in the background. It accurately reflects the personality of the brand, which is what a good design can and should do.

Hyundai Veloster

An EZG slide, the Hyundai Veloster graffiti stylized website slide.


With some clients, simply posting a file to the web is sufficient. For other projects, sometimes a trip to a printer for press-approval is needed. In either case, it’s a very formal interaction. But with ink, you spend every second watching the design take form. It’s obviously personal … and even a little painful (or at least more so than uploading a web banner).

Being aware of the many facets that go into creating good visual communication made my choice to get the tattoo extremely significant for me. I take pride in designing solid work for our clients, and I brought that ethic into creating something for my own, personal brand. And I couldn’t be happier with the result.

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