12/09/2010 at 11:52 am 5 comments

2010 kicked off with a reunion of sorts. At the start of my Junior year in college, I was hired by an agency called Out of the Box (OTB). It was an ad agency, or “integrated marketing” something or other, if you were to believe the business card. And I was lucky to be there. Not only did I get to do some actual copywriting (which I was going to school for), but I got to do it surrounded by some of the most talented, creative people I’ve ever worked with. Good, decent human beings with the kind of skill levels the Miami Heat monopolized headlines for. It was kind of criminal, actually. I felt bad for the other agencies in town.

The agency is no longer in tact, but most of the folks who worked there now work together at a place called GSW-W. And one of them, former OTB Art Director (and good friend) Dave Bowers, called me up one day. They needed some illustration work for a pitch they were doing… for Herman Miller. Specifically, their healthcare line. The concept was a children’s book. It was developed and written by my old boss at Out of the Box, Keith Cowgill. He taught me everything I needed to know way back when. He was Master Po. I was Young Caine.

The book (cover featured above), in its entirety, is posted below. With captions. But before you depart on your mildly entertaining journey, know this:

Working on this project was hectic. It went from doing a couple of illustrations, to illustrating and hand-lettering the entire book. There was a supplemental web teaser, signage for the office, and giant decals that covered the elevator doors. (Which I sadly have no photos of yet.) And the turnaround time was urgent to the point of impossible. But we did it. All of us. Working with Dave and the GSW-W gang (Sean, Ryan, Hannah, Keith, and countless others I’m no doubt forgetting) was the kind of freelance experience you hope for. The kind of experience you want when working with an ad agency. The kind of experience you don’t normally have working with an ad agency. (Or at least I don’t.) Everyone was on top of their game. There was mutual respect and admiration. There was collaboration on both ends. And there was the kind of respectful and appropriate compensation you almost never see from a company this large.

I’m extremely proud of this piece, and honored to have been asked to do it for such a big potential client. I’m glad I had a chance to work with some very talented friends I haven’t worked with in over a decade. And I’ll always hold this particular freelance experience as the bar by which all other future ad agency collaboration will be measured. Except for that whole “due yesterday” part.

The dust jacket flap. Classy! (And recyclable.)


As a reader, I’ve always been a fan of books that put a little something on the actual hard cover, under the dust jacket. Glad to see I was in like-minded company.

The title page. “Aichim,” by the way, is pronounced like the letters “H – M.”


This is how each two-page spread looked. I break the rest of the book down by page below. Just keep this layout in mind.


The final spread.

The back cover.



Entry filed under: Commercial Work, hand-lettering, Illustration. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , .


5 Comments Add your own

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by dwellephant, Pezzettino and Frank Cvetkovic, Nez. Nez said: “@dwellephant: My second children's book. Sort of.:” Awe-some!!! […]

  • 2. Diana Doherty  |  12/09/2010 at 12:21 pm

    I love it! I am right there with you on the cover designs under the dust jacket thing. I have been noticing a lot of recent hardcover books coming out without any dust jacket, simply a shiny plastic cover with an image. It is more practical, I guess, and probably less costly for publishers, but I don’t like it as much. I like the surprise under the jacket…and it’s classy!

  • […] out The Problem Solving Chair, a children’s book about the land of Elthcare. It’s lovely and I can’t wait to […]

  • 4. Dylster  |  01/04/2011 at 3:52 pm

    Superb, Milanovich. And getting to work with the Good Doctor Cowgill again? * sigh * You talented lucky punk, you…

    • 5. dwellephant  |  01/15/2011 at 2:46 pm

      Tell me about it. He was one of the best teachers I ever had. Too bad I paid that tuition to someone else!


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