01/26/2011 at 6:48 pm 5 comments

At the tail end of 2009, I was approached by an agency here in Milwaukee about working on a new client of theirs: Stacy Adams. They’re a menswear company, with a heavier emphasis on the shoe end of things. Real classy, tasteful stuff like you’d see in the pages of GQ. Especially the shoes. (Wish I could’ve been comped a few pairs for “inspiration.”)

The agency didn’t want adorable monsters in wingtips, or dinosaurs in loafers. They wanted lettering. Famous quotations, hand-lettered in a variety of styles. Like these:

The agency chose the quotes– about 50 of them– and had me letter each one a few different ways. By project’s end, I had about 100 different pieces stacked up on my table. What did they do with all these quotes? This:

If memory serves me correctly, this wound up being the cover of Stacy Adams Spring 2010 catalog. Can’t say for sure, sadly, because I never got one. Not sure who did the product shots, but they’re pretty great. Like in this next piece, which I think was one of their eventual print ads:

That’s a mighty fine-looking shoe! Nice copy, too. Again, not sure where this particular ad ran, but if anyone out there saw it somewhere, let me know.

The next phase of the project was a lot simpler– way less work than lettering out 100 different phrases in record time. It involved a couple of simple, hand-drawn black and white picture frames. Frames that someone at the agency integrated into a photo shoot with a couple of models wearing Stacy Adams clothing:

Are these bros happy because they have sweet new threads? Or because they’re leaning against some dwellephant handiwork? No one knows. We do know, however, that this image is the thing that wound up getting the most shine shine. My friend, photographer/writer Justin Shady, spotted it along the highway in Los Angeles:

Despite the fact that Los Angeles likes to fence in their interstate as if it’s a Shawshank Redemption-era prison yard, the billboard looked classy. The agency did the layout, and I throw much love their way for believing in negative space. Good designers know how to let a piece breathe.

I don’t know how many markets they had media buys in, but my pal Jennifer spotted the billboard alongside the Dan Ryan in Chicago. No picture of that one, though. NO ONE should be shooting photos while driving on the DRE.

Having my work on a billboard was a first for me. Also a first? This:

No, not Deion looking less than Neon on the cover of ESPN magazine. I’m talking about THIS:

My work wound up reconfigured into a print ad that ran in ESPN magazine. Yes, I know I posted about that here back when it actually came out. But having my work in an internationally distributed magazine that wasn’t currently being assembled in my apartment was another big first. (As was the hilarity of I– an art nerd– making it into ESPN Magazine before any of the athletes I went to school with could.)

In addition to the above pieces, there were also allegedly in-store displays, regional ads, and other collateral designed using elements I created. No one seems to have actual proof of those, though. And my contact with the agency ended after this project was finished. If anyone out there actually saw more of this Stacy Adams stuff anywhere, let me know. It was a big gig. I like knowing that it really did get out there.


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


5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Viktoria Valenzuela  |  01/26/2011 at 6:55 pm

    Great job, man! I am so proud/ happy for you!

  • 2. RachelK  |  01/26/2011 at 9:23 pm

    So awesome! The project is pretty amazing. I think it’s great they actually had an artist do it instead of hiring a graphic designer to do it electronically.

  • 3. MRC58  |  01/27/2011 at 4:10 pm

    This is fantastic. I love your work and hope more opportunities find their way to you!

  • 5. Studio Visit with Dwellephant « Home Again  |  06/20/2011 at 12:47 pm

    […] Art Museum, (this list could go on and on). Or maybe you’ve seen his beautiful type in the 2010 Stacy Adams national ad campaign or illustrations in the graphic novel “Missing the Boat.” Then […]


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