Photoshop Action: Stamp/Print Effect

Works great on any single color logo, emblem, mark, seal, crest.

Because of the great response to my Aged Type action, I took it a bit further and made a similar effect that could be applied, not only to text, but to your logo to give it an authentic stamp or print effect. I have seen various rubber stamp effects on google and none are all that great. So let me show you why mine is the bees knees.

This is a premium Photoshop action that took some time to perfect. So we’re selling it for the cheap price of $7.  Credit Cards and Paypal accepted.

Download Now – $7


  1. After downloading the action, simply open up the .ATN file and it will automatically load it into your Photoshop Actions panel ready for use! For best results start with a black and white image that’s at least 800-1,000 pixels wide.
  2. In Photoshop, select the layer you want to turn into a stamp and press PLAY on the “Stamp/Print by Go Media” action. It will apply the effect!

Here are some tips:

  • Works best on images at least 800 px wide
  • Works on any logo, text, or even photos!
  • Can also be used as a faux screenprint or letterpress effect
  • Final result is on its own layer.
  • Settings are completely customizable, tweak to your heart’s content
Pro Tip: The action runs automatically once you click it. But if you want to adjust any of the effects/filters as it happens, toggle this dialog box icon so it stops at every step allowing you to get more control over the effects.


Photoshop Stamp Effect

Photoshop Stamp Effect

Photoshop Stamp Effect

Photoshop Stamp Effect

Result is on its own layer

Photoshop Stamp Effect

Even works on photos!

For best results, you might have to adjust the contrast of your source image. And again, the settings are fully adjustable inside the action so you can tweak it to your hearts content!

Download Now – $7

Business Perspectives for Creative Leaders part 6 of 7

My experience attending AIGA & Yale’s School of Management course Business Perspectives for Creative Leaders.

**These last two posts were delayed due to the internet being out at our hotel following a big thunderstorm.**

Before I get into it, here are two images:

This is Pepe’s Pizzeria. They hold the distinction of being America’s very first pizza place.

I’ve been talking all week about how good the food is. This is actually a relatively simple sandwich bar they had available to us as a mid-day snack. Most of the meals were buffet-style sit-down meals. There was also the week opening and closing dinners that were restaurant-style service.

It’s Thursday night. We only have one more day of classes before our week is complete. I’m feeling a little sad as I contemplate packing my bags. I feel like I’m making such great contacts and learning so much that I hate for it to end. Admittedly, I could not maintain this pace of writing, studying and eating indefinitely, but I think one more week would fatten up my belly and brain to just the right amount. Fortunately, I have about a year’s worth of recommended reading. So, the value provided by this course will continue to unfold for a while. And all the professors have been gracious enough to share their contact information and encourage us to contact them. What a wonderful source of power and influence! And with that beautiful segue…

Power and Influence

I found this class really interesting and am eager to read more on the subject. While we learned a ton this week, most of these classes are normally taught over an entire semester – or two. So, really what we’ve been given in class is a good overview, some important details and some perspective on how each subject relates to “creatives” in particular. And of course we’ve been given a long reading list. So, taking this course at Yale isn’t enough. No, you can’t learn everything there is to know about business in one week; even if it’s taught by some of the smartest and funniest professors in the world. Sorry.

Power is important and you should work at building it. There is a false perception in society that the pursuit of power is inherently evil and self serving. You need to get that thought out of your head. Don’t confuse having power with how power is used. You can just as easily use power to raise money to help the poor as you can use it to take advantage of someone. And don’t be naive and think you don’t want power. We all want to get things done – guess what’s really helpful when you want to get some stuff done: POWER!

Here are some other reasons you should work to build your power and influence: People with power live longer and are happier. This is partly due to the fact that they feel more in control of their circumstances. When things are bad they take action to change them. With power, people feel a sense of responsibility for others around them, so they work harder. Power stimulates the brain. Having power forces you to develop your discipline and stamina. When you don’t build and use your power it will atrophy.

Power is not typically attained through a series of tricks and shortcuts. Most of power is accumulated over time. It takes time to build coalitions. It takes time to show you’re a hard worker that others can count on. It takes time to develop expert knowledge. So, don’t expect to read a book and become all powerful.

The key traits that make a person powerful can all be learned (or at least enhanced.) The assumption that some people are just born with “it” is wrong. So invest the time in learning and practicing how to build and use power.

First and foremost power comes from merit. People are powerful because they’ve earned it. And conversely, the fastest way to lose power is to do a bad job and let people down. Just imagine a football coach. If he wins he’s considered brilliant, everyone will follow what he tells them to do. He’s powerful. What happens when he loses? His power is diminished. The players and press begin to question his judgment. He loses his sponsorship deal with the local car dealer.

There are different types of power. Know your weaknesses and develop them. A well balanced set of power types is stronger than just one. For instance, there is direct power (also known as legitimate power). Direct power is like the power of a boss over their employees. Direct power is easy because it takes little effort to use. A boss doesn’t have to work to get their employee to do something, they merely need to tell them to do it. If the employee doesn’t do what he or she is told they might be fired. But there are also softer powers. For instance, there is referent power. That’s power derived from people admiring or respecting you. An example in the work setting might be a peer, who isn’t your boss but someone you greatly admire. They’re powerful because they can get people to do things because people look up to them.

Following on this concept of different types of power, it’s important to understand and have a variety of power types. The more ways you can exert power, the more effective of a leader you’ll be. So, your boss may be able to bully you because he has legitimate power over you. But are there negative effects for him if he’s a bully all the time? Of course! His staff might start peeing in his coffee mug! Or he might lose power because his staff might go to the owner of the company and demand he be fired. So, he can be MORE powerful if he can learn to use other forms of power. So, you too need to understand the forms of power and practice different ways to enhance the forms of power that you’re not strong in.

The optimal type of power to use is based on the situation. You need to understand the situation and select the appropriate form of power to use. In other words, sometimes you do need to be a bossy jerk.

Recommend Reading:

Power: Why Some People Have It and Others Don’t
by Jeffery Pfeffer

C-Level Conversations

(talking to really powerful and important people)

This was a subject that was kind of important to me. Go Media has definitely reached the point where landing projects with a local start-up will not help grow our business. We desperately need to get in front of and then have effective conversations with top management of large companies. That’s what this course was all about.

First, don’t assume that they’re like you or me, or even anyone you know. If someone has ascended into a position of great power and prestige, they are likely not typical. Assuming so would be a big mistake. One common theme we’ve been getting this entire week is RESEARCH. And it doesn’t stop with C-Level Conversations. You need to get to know your “mark” before you attempt to engage them. The more you can learn about them the better. Try to figure out what’s important to them. Are they interested in making more money, building up their power or saving the rain-forests. Your research will help you figure out how to frame your conversation.

Be brief. Look – if they’ve ascended to a position of power, they’re probably busy. So, don’t waste their time. Talk fast and get to the point; unless of course they’re from Texas. Then you should take your time, tell lots of unrelated stories and generally talk very slowly (fyi – that’s a comment about understanding a person’s culture, NOT an insult about the intelligence of Texans.)

Create value for them. If you’ve done your homework, you know what’s important to them. You also obviously know what you want. So… …do I have to spell it out for you? Develop solutions to their problems that ALSO give you what you’re after.

Know what type of power to assert. A C-Level person is going to be far less interested in what you have to say if they don’t see power and influence in you. But there are many types of powers. So, what type of power do you have? As designer’s we have expert power. We have a very specific set of skills and knowledge. We’re teachers. We have knowledge that they want. Make sure you’re communicating the value of your wisdom as it relates to their aspirations and problems.

Law and Management I & II

Our legal course was another one of those subjects that will be difficult for me to distill down into bite-size pieces that you’ll be easily able to apply to your day-to-day operations. One disappointment that I had in these classes was the fact that we didn’t learn much about intellectual property. It was on the syllabus. I’m sure we were supposed to learn about it, but I think we got off topic and wasted a lot of time discussing insider trading. It was an interesting conversation, but quite frankly I’m really not worried about that subject. So, unfortunately, I’ve got nothing on that topic. I guess my takeaway is this: Intellectual Property was on our syllabus, so it’s probably important. You’ll have to figure out how to learn more about this subject on your own.

Here are a few tidbits that I did get from the legal class:

Intent matters. You can build two identical companies: same technology, same processes, same systems. And by the simple act of marketing them differently, one can be legal and one can be breaking the law. An example of this is peer-to-peer networking software. If you run ads for one that say: “Steal all the music you want!” Your business is breaking the law and will get shut down. But run ads that say: “Share your family photos more easily!” And you’re ok.

Be proactive. The earlier you can involve legal counsel on a new business idea or negotiation the better. It’s far cheaper to understand the law up-front and structure your business with that in mind than it is to get sued or have to dismantle your business and rebuild it properly. As you can see in the example above, it might be something small that can have a major impact on your business or contracts.

Operate morally and ethically. If you simply run your business in a moral and ethical way, you’re probably not breaking any laws. Moral and ethics was actually a topic that came up in almost all our classes – more than I would have thought. I know it’s a very important subject to Go Media. You’ll often hear the president of a publicly traded company explain their immoral behavior by saying: “I have an obligation to maximize the profits of our share holder.” Our professor said this is absolutely not true. There is no moral, ethical or legal responsibility of the leadership of a company to maximize profits. Certainly stock holders are usually hoping they’ll maximize profits. But their real responsibility is to the benefit of society as a whole. Their (and your) decisions about how to “maximize profits” needs to consider the full impact on society.

Be involved in your legal discussions. Lawyers are humans too. When working with lawyers you shouldn’t “bury your head in the sand.” Some lawyers may not be as ethical as you are. Just because you can do it within the letter of the law does not mean you should. So question your lawyers, make suggestions and work with them.

Ethics come from the top down. As owners of businesses or leaders in the industry, people in your organization will follow your lead. So, start with yourself.

Recommended reading:

Winning Legally
by Constance E. Bagley

One day left!

Business Perspectives for Creative Leaders part 5 of 7

My experience attending AIGA & Yale’s School of Management course Business Perspectives for Creative Leaders.

I’m exhausted. I really need some sleep badly. If you decide to take this course – which I highly recommend, don’t plan on blogging at night. It’s not really possible. At least, not without sacrificing something. I’ve been running on pure enthusiasm up until today. I was having a REALLY hard time staying focused in the accounting class today. So, I am going to keep this post VERY short. I still have important reading tonight and then desperately need to get a real night’s sleep.

No photos today. I’m too tired.

First the accounting. I’m really not going to be able to reasonably teach you anything here about what I learned today. However, we’ve been given some great reading recommendations. So, here’s what we were told to read on our own time:

  1. How to Read a Financial Report – free online pdf
  2. Financial Ratio Tutorial – free online pdf
  3. Analysis for Financial Management by Robert Higgins

The latest edition(10th) of Robert Higgins’ book is fairly expensive – around $100. But it’s extremely well reviewed. And is known as the book on finance that’s written for a layman. So, if you want to learn more about finance and the accounting side of your business but you’re not a “numbers” person. This is the book for you.

The second half of our day was spent on learning negotiations. I LOVE negotiations, so this class was particularly fun for me. And it translates well into practical pearls of wisdom. So, here are a few of them. Enjoy!

Negotiation Techniques

Negotiate with “friendly aggression.” Basically, most people do not push hard enough for what they want. But you must remain extremely friendly while you’re arguing for your side. Be courteous, don’t insult them and do anything you can to help them save face.

Start high. Your opening bid should be as high as possible without being insulting or completely unreasonable. This has a whole slew of beneficial effects. One is that people will perceive you as being more valuable simply because your high number has framed their perception.

Do research! This is a constant theme throughout all of the classes here. You need to invest the time and do the work. If you’re buying a new car you need to get as much information as possible before you start a negotiation. You should try to find out what the dealer’s cost is for the car. You need to find out which dealerships offer the best prices. You need to consider what other options you have available. Can you buy a used car for much less and be satisfied? You also need to figure out your walk-away price. It’s easy to get caught up in the emotions getting a new car and pay well over what you really want to.

Related to that last point is knowing when to take a break. If you’re caught unprepared for a negotiation or are feeling confused – then stop the negotiation, take some time and re-engage in the negotiation when you’ve had some time to gather your emotions and your thoughts.

Don’t be afraid to ask. The simple act of asking for more will get you more. You’d be surprised what you can get if only you’ll just ask.

The person you are negotiating against doesn’t have to lose in order for you to win. Sometimes you both want the same things. So asking lots of questions is key. And telling them absolutely everything you want is important. Because maybe they can’t give you some things, but they can give you more of something else. For instance… maybe the rules a human resources rep has will not allow them to pay you a salary over 50k. But maybe they have no limit on signing bonuses. So, if you want 60k, there IS a way you could make a deal. Just take 10K as a signing bonus! These kinds of solutions can only be discovered if both parties are sharing information.

Stay quiet. Don’t talk too much. Most people reveal too much. They negotiate with themselves. That’s not good. “But WAIT!” you say. “Bill! You just told me in the previous point to SHARE MORE. Now you’re telling me to share less! What gives?” Ok, here’s what’s important; you want to be sharing information, but it needs to be equally. If you tell them: “Hey, here’s what I’m really after.” Then you should follow that up with this question: “So, what are YOU really after?”

Make equivalent offers. By giving the other party two equivalent but different offers, it will give you information about them. For instance, from the previous point – a 60K salary and a 50k salary with a 10k signing bonus are the same to you – they’re equivalent to you. But when the HR rep says they can accept one offer and not the other, you’ve learned something! You’ve learned that their constraint is only on the salary, not on other items. Great, so now you can negotiate on other points – how about more vacation? How about a company car? Basically, you’re creating more value for yourself while working within the negotiating ability of the HR rep.

Practice your flinch. Huh? Flinch? What the heck are you talking about? Well, you practice a good handshake don’t you? A good handshake is a way of communicating: I’m strong, confident and decisive! Well, a flinch is also a great way to communicate. When someone gives you an offer and you FLINCH what are you saying? You’re probably saying: Holy f-ing heck! That’s too little (or too much depending on your perspective.) It’s a great way to communicate your dissatisfaction without insulting them. And it’s read as purely genuine. Who fakes body language? I’ll tell you who; a good negotiator.

Those are just the tip of a very large iceberg of what I learned today.

Recommended Reading

Ok… That should get you started. BED TIME!!!

Business Perspectives for Creative Leaders part 4 of 7

My experience attending AIGA & Yale’s School of Management course Business Perspectives for Creative Leaders.

Fair warning: I’ve been drinking – a lot. AIGA and Yale’s Business Perspectives for Creative Leaders course is NOT like any educational experience you will ever have at ANY university. We’re on Fantasy Island here folks. This is a place where you drink from, then spin a giant silver cup on your head. There are Spizzwinks here. The caramel popcorn here has bacon in it. This is a place where you study manufacturing principles by building sail boats out of Bristle Blocks. Here kindly old professors make the entire class sing Who Let the Dogs Out and then suddenly start stripping in the middle of the lesson – for realism. This isn’t education it’s performance art. They need to take this course to Broadway. I am easily laughing as much as I’m learning. I would like to give a shout-out to our “Mr. Roarke” of this Fantasy Island – Mr. Steven Permut. He has the enthusiasm of a 12 year old on Christmas morning. His energy is infectious. Thank you. You’re my boy Blue! (I did say I was drinking earlier right?)

Ok, a few photos, then let’s get to the k-nowledge.

Here are the Spizzwinks; Yale’s oldest underclassman a cappella group. They sang to us during dinner.

This is Mory’s Cup – one of many such large silver cups. It’s filled with some crazy mixed drink.

Once the cup has been picked up, it cannot be put down until it’s empty. It’s passed around the table and everyone takes a turn drinking from it. I think our table drank six of them – along with our beer and wine.

Who ever finishes the cup must lick the entire rim three times, then spin the cup on their head three times. Finally, they slam the cup onto the table upside down. If a single drop of alcohol is left on the table, they have to pay for a new cup!

This is Arthur Swersey. This is him after he stripped out of his suit down to these surgical scrubs. The case study he was explaining was about a hospital’s service model. I wonder how my classmates sitting in the front row felt when he started unbuckling his pants.

I do apologize for the quality of all my photos in this series of posts. I’m only using my cell phone. I figured you’re not really reading these posts for the images anyway right?

Now, today’s lessons will not translate quite so easily into neat bullet points of insight like yesterday’s classes. Today we studied the concepts behind what’s known as LEAN manufacturing and we got started on the first part of our accounting classes. We will be finishing those up tomorrow. So… I only have a few thoughts that passed into my mind as I was sitting in class. And I’ll also recommend some reading that might help you consider the knowledge this course considers important to our businesses.

First, try to think of your business (selling design services) as a product manufacturing plant. Instead of building cars, you’re building websites. How does the project flow through your organization? Who does quality checks? Are your employees specialists or can they do several jobs? Are there bottle necks in your process? Are some parts of your company over-producing with the anticipation of need? Lean manufacturing suggests that you only do work the moment it’s needed. How can you get faster? If you’re working with vendors like photographers and copywriters, how can you shift more of the work burden onto them? Can the copywriter populate the website with their copy?

You should do some reading on Poka Yoke systems. It’s all about building systems through design that “fool-proof” the results. A good example is a camera’s SIM card which can only be put into a camera one way. As designers we have lots of opportunities to “fool-proof” our clients products and websites. But it takes extra thought.

Toyota became a great company because they had such amazing quality. It was built into their culture. Anyone on a Toyota assembly line can shut it down with the pull of a cord if they found a flaw. This kind of power put a lot of pressure on everything to be extremely high quality. Because even one defect could shut down their entire plant. But they also had great quality because they built it into their systems. A good system demands and ensures a good outcome.

Demand for your services are not consistent. Of course it would be great if you could build one website a month and each month on the first of the month a single client called you with a web dev project. But that’s absolutely not how it happens. Instead, you’ll get three projects in one month, then none for a month or two. Consider what you do when three arrive at once? What can you do while you’re idle so you can work faster when those rushes arrive? Is it possible to pre-build certain re-usable parts of a website in advance?

Suggested Reading:

Here is an article I found about applying LEAN to the service industry from Harvard Business School

Here are some other books that have been discussed amongst the “students.”

Thanks to Mark Badger for putting this list together.

I’m so tired. More tomorrow!

Business Perspectives for Creative Leaders part 3 of 7

My experience attending AIGA & Yale’s School of Management course Business Perspectives for Creative Leaders.

Ok, wow. I’m pumped.

Today was better than I had expected. Knowledge is power. At least, it feels like I’ve just acquired a super power and I’m ready to lift Go Media over my head and carry it up to the promise land. Here are a few brief thoughts on my first day of classes:

The course is very aptly named. As you’ll read shortly, they are really teaching us new ways to look at our business. These new perspectives empower you to have radical insights into how you could improve your company. So, they don’t tell you: “Here is the formula for your business, now go apply it.” Instead they say: “Here is a new way to look at your situation. What do you see?”

The information is incredibly pragmatic. I had a few fears coming into this course. One was that they were going to be teaching us highly theoretical concepts that were not easy to apply at Go Media. Not so. Not only was the information incredibly applicable, they were even very respectful of the realities of life. For instance, they might follow up a concept by saying: “Of course, business is a constantly evolving science. This concept might be applicable now, but fall apart in a year. You need to be constantly vigilant in listening to the market and finding what works.” Also, they frequently said: “This is the concept you’re working towards. But I don’t have to pay your bills. We understand that this is a process.” I appreciated that level of humility and candor. They gave many examples of failed businesses and would say: “And these were well funded, incredibly intelligent people!” It’s just nice to hear a Yale professor basically say: “Hey, business is tough.”

The professors are amazing. They’re brilliant, funny and experienced. Another fear I had was that these professors would be “academics” with no real world experience. I was wrong on that too. Our two professors today had vast experience in the business world. Our second professor today, Barry Nalebuff, was the co-founder of Honest Tea (which he sold to Coca-Cola.) He was an adviser to the NBA in their recent player negotiations and he’s written six books – among other things. Basically, these professors are no joke. I wonder if I would have been an even better student if I had such brilliant professors growing up. I certainly appreciate them now!

The accommodations continue to be first-class all the way. Thank God I’m only here for a week. With food this good I’m sure I’m packing on the pounds fast. How can you pass up chocolate-dipped strawberries, organic brownies and chocolate mousse in an egg-shell. I mean seriously, this is ridiculous. Not only that, they continue to gift us. Today I got an embossed leather notebook. Even if I hated the lessons today (which obviously I didn’t) I would owe them a nice review based purely on the gifts they keep giving us!

I do have a few pictures, then let’s get to the stuff you REALLY care about – the knowledge!

The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Yesterday I posted a picture of the outside of this funky building. Yes, those are translucent marble walls. Let me say it again; r-i-d-i-c-u-l-o-u-s!

This is the Yale Commons dining hall – used in the Harry Potter movie!

This is a mirror in The Study Hotel. I SWEAR they put these flattering mirrors in hotels. They are warped just enough to make the viewer look taller (skinnier) than they actually are. It’s brilliant. Every time I’m waiting for an elevator I’m staring into the mirror thinking: “Well, alright! I think I’ve lost a few pounds.” But deep down I know it’s just a lie.

Now, before I share this information with you, let me just say; There is no way I will possibly be able to recap all the wisdom that was taught to me today. I won’t even try. Also, I need to have a certain respect for the work that has gone into this course. It wouldn’t be fair for me to publish all the slides I’ve been provided or copy the text verbatim. So, I’m going to do my best to sum up some of the concepts in my own words. And hopefully, you’ll be able to explore them further and put them to use.

Some wisdom from my classes in no specific order:

There was a great emphasis put on getting to know and understand your customer. What is actually valuable to them? Why didn’t they hire you? I know we all THINK we know what our customers want. But do we really? When a client does not accept your proposal do you offer to take them out to lunch so you can ask them what specifically made them hire a different firm/designer? It’s not always easy to get this information from clients. So, that’s your challenge. How do you do a better job getting feedback. Why do they hire you? What are their needs? How can you improve your company? It is the CUSTOMER that determines what the business is.

You can decide who you want to work for and target them. But do you really know who you want to work for? Who is your ideal customer. It’s easy to think: “Well, I want to work for NIKE!” But in the real-world what are the true implications of working with Nike? Will you get to do branding? Will you have lots of creative control? Will it be a bureaucratic free experience? Probably not! Maybe a small start-up is actually a better customer. Do a pros and cons analysis and think about who your true ideal client is, not your perceived ideal client.

Keep your value proposition short. It’s called “resonating focus.” You determine 2-3 of the MOST IMPORTANT values to your customer and focus on those. Creating long lists of benefits or attributes of your company or product will only dilute your sales pitch. Again, this requires research! You have got to get to know your customer.

When making decisions, you should always consider the lifetime value of a customer. If you’re focused on the profitability of one project, you’ve got the wrong perspective. You must identify your very best customers and treat them like gold – even if that means losing some money in the short term.

When trying to build your customer base, don’t waste your time trying to sell your services to non-customers. Instead, try to focus on selling more to your existing customers. It’s always cheaper to up-sell an existing client than it is to get a new customer.

When thinking about growing your business, it’s easy to focus on trying to steal a bigger piece of the “pie” from your competitors. Here’s another thought: make the pie bigger! Sometimes your competitors are also your complementors. It’s a grey world! Don’t assume you need to defeat your competitors in order to grow your business. A good example is two bars located next to each other. Are they competitors? Of course. But they also complement each other. Bar goers like to “bar hop.” They can’t bar hop if there is only one bar! These bars might want to get together to open a third bar. Now people can bar hop even better. The net result is that more people will come to their bars because they’ve build a bar district. They’ve worked together to increase the value of both of their bars. They’ve made a bigger pie! Consider what businesses complement yours. Figure out how to leverage that to grow the pie!

Suggested reading:

Professional Services marketing by Mike Shultz and John Doerr

Co-opetition by Barry Nalebuff

The Art of Strategy by Barry Nalebuff

Ok, so, I think I’ve given you enough to think about for one day. Find a dark room and ponder these questions. I better get some more reading done before I hit the sheets.

Thick Line Art: Creating Iconic Vector Art

I recently posted a new illustration on Dribbble called “Revivalist” and it got quite a lot of likes. I thought I’d write a tutorial about how I created it. So let’s do this!


One of our clients Disciple Clothing needed a “logo” and business card designed for a ministry they are a part of. The Ashish Mubarak Ministries to be exact. They sent me their current business card along with the illustration they are using as their “logo.”



Wow! That’s technically an illustration and not a logo. As an illustration, it’s gnarly 90s gold and obviously in need of an update. Lauren Kusant from Disciple recognized this and asked me to simplify this into a logo, modernize it and add the word “Revivalist” to it. But in my professional opinion, if I reduced this entire scene into a a logo (what is and what isn’t a logo), it would ultimately lose all the different messages its trying to communicate. There’s a lot going on here!

Sidenote: If you’re interested, I suggest reading the article A Logo is Not a Brand.

You can’t fit a flaming sword, a bible, mother Earth, a dove, a scroll, and some stalks of wheat in what is traditionally called a logo. Sure you could take ALL of those elements and identify its core message and communicate that single message with a single mark. Sometimes when I do this, the client often feels that it’s too simple and too far removed from their vision. It loses some sort of wow factor. Now, a logo is meant to be a placeholder for a brand. A simple icon or wordmark that represents the brand that can be resized and repurposed for any application you can think of. It should be easy to spot, easy to recognize and easy to reproduce. Sometimes, clients will incorrectly ask for a logo, when what they really mean is “a cool looking graphic design that represents them.”

I once had a client ask for five different “logos” for their apparel line. What!? After talking more with them, they really wanted five different t-shirt designs. Specifically, five different typographic t-shirt designs. In other words, cool ways of writing their name mixed with other graphics.

So how was I going to tackle this project?  I felt the best solution would be to maintain the integrity of the elements but simplify the illustration entirely into more basic shapes and iconic forms. I decided to go with a thick line art style. It won’t be a “logo” per-say, but it will still be a simple and iconic design that can be used on a variety of applications to represent the ministry. So without further ado, let’s get into the design process!

TIP: For this style, stick with ONE line weight for a uniform look. We aren’t going for “realistic” here. Don’t over-illustrate. Simplify and keep things spaced evenly.

Step One: The Sword

Since we’re aiming for iconic and simple, always start with basic shapes and add detail from there. If you start going crazy with the pen tool, you’ll have a harder time making things “perfect”. You’ll see what I mean later. For the sword, I started with a box and used my pen tool to add a point. Then I used my Direct Selection Tool (white arrow) to select the three points at the tip of the sword. To make sure they are evenly spaced and my midpoint is exactly in the middle, I used the align tool “Horizontal Distribute Left.” Make sure “align to selection” is checked and not “align to artboard.” Otherwise you’ll spread out your points all across your artboard and you don’t want that.


To make the tip, I wanted a perfect 45 degree angle. Why? Because I feel it’s more iconic when angles are in good harmony with each other. Angles like 45, 90, 60, 30 are all good angles to use. To get the 45 degree angle, I held shift when creating my line. I lined it up with the left point and then selected and repositioned the “tip” to match. There might be a more exact way of doing this, but this way gets me close. I also drew another vertical line down the center of the sword and aligned it with the rest.


To create the handle, I did a lot of the same techniques as above. I started with a basic rectangle, created a midpoint, and moved it upwards slightly. I used a 15 degree reference line instead this time. How did I get it exactly 15 degrees? I started with a horizontal line, then used the Transform palette to rotate it exactly 15 degrees. Get used to this tool because it comes in handy!


I gave the handle guard a white fill in addition to the black stroke so I could position it on top of the blade and cover up parts I don’t want people to see. To create the rest of the handle I did more of the same. For the pommel (bottom tip of the handle) I made a rectangle and used Warp > Bulge to get it a slightly bulbous shape.


Step Two: The Book

For the book, in this case The Bible, I kept things simple by illustrating only the essential elements. The page, stuff on the page, and the dimension or thickness of the book. I started with one half first and then mirrored it.


I’ll create temporary vanishing point guidelines to make sure I get my perspective angles correct. You can fake this of course but I wanted to make sure. And one technique that’s very common is designing one half first and then mirroring it so each side is symmetrical. Then center it up perfectly with the sword using the align tool.



Step Three: The Fire

Truth be told, this took me many attempts to get right. I had to imply the sword was on fire without over illustrating it. The fire had to look like fire and not a leaf or some other decorative doodad. And it had to be symmetrical, but I didn’t want to have the same flame on both left and right sides. The challenge was to make it FEEL symmetrical without actually being exactly the same on both sides.


I started with a flame on the left side. I made sure the bottom part of the flame followed the contour of the book below it. To communicate a flame instead of a leaf, you need to have a few tendrils. You don’t need a lot, but if you have just one (like a candle flame) it doesn’t look like a flame. Unless of course a candle is underneath it. But I didn’t want any more than three tendrils or points to keep it simple.

Once I got one I liked, I mirrored it for the right side. I used my pen tool and adjusted points around until I had something different but still similar. I kept the bottom part the same which helps create the illusion of symmetry. I only adjusted the top two points. Once I was satisfied with my flanking flames, I put in the smaller whisps on top of the sword and behind. These don’t need a lot of tendrils because there are other flames around it that communicate “this is fire”. Without the more complex flames to the left and right, you can’t be sure whether it’s fire, wind, or some other decorative swoosh.


Step Four: The Banner

I purposely left room at the top for the banner. This is where the text “revivalist” is going to go. I started by using the font Modula Sans as a base. Since I want everything to have a consistent line weight I’ll need to create new lines from scratch. Before I did that, I roughly set things up how I wanted it using the Warp > Arc Lower tool and distorting the text into position. Once it’s close, I lower the opacity of my reference and start drawing lines as simply as possible. It doesn’t have to match up exactly with my reference and it’s ok to adjust later. For the A, I actually used an upside-down V.


I positioned the banner on top of the sword and made sure it was perfectly centered. I also added the back “flaps”.


Step Five: The Wheat Stalks

I knew I wanted the wheat stalks to circle the design in some way. Instead of trying to draw a curve by hand, I started with a circle as reference and added a single point at the top of my stalk and then deleted other parts of the circle until I was left with the part I needed. To create the head of the wheat stalk, I took two overlapping circles and used the Intersect tool in my pathfinder palette. That gave me a perfect shape. I rotated it 30 degrees and mirrored it so I would have a symmetrical shape to work with. I then duplicated this shape vertically by holding Alt+Shift while I dragged it down some. After that I pressed Ctrl+D five times to repeat the last action and duplicate the shape. I added one more of those shapes on top. For the sprout-like things coming out the sides, it’s just a simple path that was duplicated and mirrored on both sides. Easy.


I moved the head into position on the stem and then individually rotated the shapes along the curve slightly. Just to make it look like it was bending along with the stem. When I was satisfied with the position, I copied it, rotated it, and positioned a second wheat stalk to the left of it. And finally I grouped the two of those together and mirrored it on the other side while making sure my wheat stalks were perfectly aligned to the center of the design.


Step Six: The Dove

Since I am not a pro at drawing a dove, I wanted to make sure I was close! So I grabbed a reference image from iStockphoto. It’s more of an illustration, but I liked the position and symmetry. I thought it would be an excellent starting point for my design.

dove reference

I started out with extreme basic shapes. Circles, ovals, ellipsis, whatever you want to call them. I tried to make as few lines as possible while still capturing the essence of the bird’s body. When they are properly layered, you can create the illusion of depth very easily! Make sure the head is on top of the body, the feet on top of the wheat. The body behind the wheat, etc.

dove body

For the wings, I made one on the left side before I mirrored it to the right. Here’s a good rule of thumb for creating vector illustrations: Use as few points as possible for the cleanest curves. It’s so much easier to manipulate that way. For my wings, I made sure they were behind the body but in front of the wheat. This gives the illusion that the bird is kind of leaning forward.

For the tail feathers, I used the same technique I did in creating the head of the wheat stalks. I used two overlapping circles to cut out a basic feather shape. I used the rotate tool and held down ALT while I clicked the bottom of point of my shape to set the new pivot point. When the rotate dialog box pops up, I used 30 degrees and checked the preview button to make sure. Instead of hitting “ok” I clicked “copy” to duplicate the shape instead. And then I pressed Ctrl+D to repeat this process a bunch more times until the shape copied itself in a full circle. Pretty cool technique!


I deleted the shapes at the top that I didn’t need and set the fill color to white just so they overlapped and didn’t look transparent. I also adjusted the layering of the feathers to keep it symmetrical on both sides. With the bottom feather being furthest behind, the next two features being second, and then the top feathers being in front or on top. Does that make sense? See the image below for a breakdown.



Step Seven: Fine Tuning

In reality, there was a lot more trial and error in the process of this illustration. There was a lot nudging lines around, moving and rotating, and asking “does this look right?” Use your eye and keep the shapes and lines in harmony. And my final design was inverted (white on black) to match the colors the ministry was using on its old business card and website.

But before I made the color change, I wanted to “naturalize” the illustration a bit. Make it slightly rougher and analog. Here is a simple technique for making your vector art look a bit more natural.

Roughen it up a bit.

I selected all my strokes and went to Effect > Distort and Transform > Roughen. This took some tinkering to get to look just right! I was aiming for a subtle wobble to my linework, but not too much.


Photoshop Trickery

This looks pretty good, but I want to take it a step further. I’ll copy my entire design and open Photoshop. I’ll start a new document at about 2500 x 2500 and paste my artwork as pixels. Make sure it takes up most of the document.

After you’ve got it pasted in there, merge it with the background layer. Then go to Filter > Add Noise to about 15%. Then give it a Gaussian Blur of 2%. And finally apply a Smart Sharpen to about 140% with a 34 px radius. Now adjust the levels to eliminate the grey noise in the background.

Repeat this process about 3-4 times tinkering with your settings to get the best effect.


Aside from the fact that the lines are slightly rougher than before, notice the joints between lines. The areas where lines meet up are now a bit more blended together. It doesn’t look extremely precise and perfect. More natural. Now this isn’t always appropriate for every situation. If you wanted to keep the clean look then don’t do this. But in my case I like the analog look and felt like it worked for this project.

Back to Illustrator

At this point, I will copy and paste this back into Illustrator and give it a live trace to convert it back to vector art. I’m ok with some amount of smoothing or “quality loss” here. My image is 2500×2500 so it is pretty high res. A Live Trace will work fine. But if I wanted to keep a lot of those rough details, there is the “lettering” preset under Live Trace Options which works wonders for keeping your rough details, but is terrible for CPU performance. Your resulting vector art is often loaded with thousands of points and that’s not really good here. So I just keep the default settings.


Step Eight: Finish!

That’s it. That’s all there is. I hope you learned a bit about creating iconic vector art in Illustrator. It’s really about being able to simplify the elements as much as possible, using basic shapes as starting points, and keeping things simple, balanced, and consistent. Everything in this design has one stroke weight. Even my text. That’s the beauty of this style. This won’t work for a logo, but this illustration can be just as versatile in many situations.

Here’s my final design on black and then the finished business cards.



Mock it up!

Here are the designs mocked up on some of our templates. You can buy this tri-blend template pack from Go Media’s Arsenal. These other mockups are from our site Mockup Everything.



Business Perspectives for Creative Leaders part 2 of 7

My experience attending AIGA & Yale’s School of Management course Business Perspectives for Creative Leaders.

Ok, so this will probably be my least informative post in this series. But I want to give you the complete experience, so despite the fact that today was just a check-in and orientation program, I wanted to share it with you.

I got up at 5am and was in the air to Philadelphia by 6:46. I had a 2 hour layover that I used to work on my prerequisite reading. The small propeller plane that took me into the one-gate New Haven airport was loud and a little bumpy but otherwise uneventful. The only scary aspect of the trip to Yale was my taxi driver that seemed to think he was a NASCAR driver. At one point he gunned the motor to cut off another driver who yelled audibly “Asshole!” To which my driver yelled back: “I know!” Then he hooted loudly and said: “Now I’m awake!”

The Study Hotel where I’m staying is super modern, contemporary and swanky all at once. It’s the sort of place that makes you feel cool. This hotel is cool. I’m staying here; therefore I must also be cool. I was exhausted so I took a quick nap then ran down the street to grab some snacks from Walgreens. At 3pm we were given a preliminary tour of the campus. It’s mostly ornate stone buildings that look like well preserved 16th century castles, churches and mansions. Mixed in are a few highly artistic ultra-modern bits of architecture. And most intriguing of all was a low lying, unmarked fortress of a building that houses Yale’s secret society similar to the Skull and Bones of Harvard.

Yale’s Secret Society Building.

After the tour one of the social sciences professors gave our group a series of team building exercises. We spent some time getting to know each other in a traditional manner. Then she coached us a bit on how to really get to know someone. Basically, the conversations went from things like: “Where do you live?” to things like: “What are you passionate about?” After that it got even more personal. She asked each person in the group to share a defining moment in their lives. Boy did it get personal. It felt like a group therapy session. I think I saw a few tears. It was really powerful in helping our class bond. After a few more get-to-know-you team building exercises we were adjourned to dinner.

Dinner took place at the Sterling Memorial Library. It started with complimentary drinks and fancy appetizers on the lawn outside. They had a string quartet playing music as our class continued to mingle. I don’t consider myself the most outgoing person, but everyone here is amazingly friendly and sharing, so it is relatively easy to strike up conversations. Earlier we were provided short bios on the attendees. They’re all very impressive. That combined with the atmosphere and the difficulty of the learning I’m facing has me feeling very privileged to be here. After a few drinks we went inside for an amazing dinner and more drinks. The senior associate dean for executive programs and the executive director of AIGA gave opening speeches welcoming us and giving us a history and overview of the course.

When I returned to my hotel room there was a gift bag with an embroidered TEC running jacket. Wow. I’m really feeling special now.

So far I have been thoroughly impressed with the accommodations, treatment, food and atmosphere. It’s late, I’m tired and I still have an hour of reading to do before I go to bed. Class starts at 8am tomorrow. I’m excited!

Business Perspectives for Creative Leaders part 1 of 7

Business Perspectives for Creative LeadersMy experience attending AIGA & Yale’s School of Management course Business Perspectives for Creative Leaders.

When my partners and I started Go Media many years ago, none of us had any formal business training. What we had was a passion for design, a willingness to work hard and the belief that we could figure out the business stuff over time. And for the most part, we have been wildly successful. We’ve been featured in design magazines around the world. We’ve been building a robust community through the Zine, Arsenal and WMC Fest. And we’ve worked for many companies large and small. But it hasn’t been all sunshine and roses. Go Media has always struggled with profitability. In 2009 when the economy collapsed we were forced to lay off four employees. And since then the company has been stagnant (in terms of annual cash flow.) And due to this stagnation in sales, our staff (including the owners) have had to accept below market wages. Last year we lost one of our very best employees to a company in California because they offered him over twice his current salary. This was a terrible blow to our company and our hearts. We knew something needed to be done.

Our strategy of “figure it out over time” business education has been working to a large degree. We have learned a ton. In fact, I’m writing a book about everything I’ve learned while building Go Media. However, there comes a time when asking your staff to “hold on till next year for a better salary” starts to get old. We realize that we needed to make a change. And after 10+ years of trying to figure it out ourselves, we’ve realized that maybe we don’t have all the answers. We need some outside help. About the time we were coming to this realization I received a flyer in the mail from AIGA for their Business Perspectives for Creative Leaders course at Yale University. In a snap-shot, it’s an intensive week long business course at Yale created specifically for “leaders” in the creative industry. It sounded like exactly what we needed.

The course has an application process and a hefty fee. At the time it seemed like more than we could possibly afford. But my partners Wilson and Jeff felt very strongly that the knowledge gained would well outweigh the costs. So, we decided to make the investment. One thing about surviving in business – you must continually fight. You must work constantly to improve your service and build more efficient business processes. If you just wait around for things to get better on their own, you’ll be out of business soon.

So, as part of my desire to get as much value as possible out of my trip to Yale, I’ve decided to write this series of blog articles. Each night after I’ve finished with my classes I’m going to recap my experiences for you. I’ll be including some useful tidbits of business information along the way. Hopefully this trip will help more artists than just Go Media.

My experience so far

After being accepted into the program, I’ve received regular correspondence from Yale. They set up a Linked In group so the participants can get to know one another. They also have a nice website that includes general instructions, class itinerary, professor information and additional registration information. The website also has prerequisite reading – tons and tons of reading. I got started last week and still have a pile of case studies to read before heading to Yale on Sunday. Lastly, I’ve received a call from the faculty program director. He asked me lots of questions about Go Media and what I hoped to learn from the course.

I’m very excited about this opportunity to learn. I’m dearly hoping to gain insights necessary to push Go Media to the next level. Our staff is amazing and truly deserves leadership that will deliver on the promises we’ve made. And I’m eternally grateful to my partners for pushing me to do this. So, keep an eye out for articles each day this coming week as I share some of my new found business perspectives with you.

More information about this program can be found here:

Next post will be coming tomorrow night!

The Chicago Neighborhoods Project

As many city dwellers know, each neighborhood in their city has a culture and feel all its own.  And as any designer knows, it is important to infuse the specific culture and artistry of each client, company, or organization into the design project they are working on.  That is what Steve Shanabruch of The Chicago Neighborhood Project knows all too well.

Go Media recently had the opportunity to converse with Steve about his project and we would like to share it with all of you, our readers.


What inspired you about Chicago and how did that lead to starting this project?

Steve Shanabruch:

I’m a Chicagoan, and if you must know one thing about Chicago (aside from deep dish pizza), it’s that this is a city that is all about neighborhoods. Each one has its own identity, feel, ethnic makeup, and so on and so forth. Because of this, I have challenged myself to design a logo/brand for each ‘hood in the city. So far I have close to 90 logos posted, and who knows how many more I’ll end up doing (there are 215 or so) before its over. It’s been fun so far, a lot of work, but it is a labor of love.

I started the project as a creative outlet. I’m employed at my 9 to 5 as a designer, but it’s more marketing and corporate design, driven by our brand standards. I wanted to combine two of my passions: design and Chicago. So not only was this was a way for me to learn more about the city that I love so much, but it also has pushed me to try new things creatively. I definitely think this journey has made me a better designer, and that makes me happy. I thought I knew Illustrator pretty well before, but I have learned or figured out so many new tricks and techniques since I started, so much so that I look back at logos I designed at the beginning and kind of cringe…I see what I could have done better or differently, and I want to change them. But for the time being I am focused on working my way through the rest of the neighborhoods before I revisit the ones I have already worked on.


How has this project evolving and what can our readers expect to see in the future?

Steve Shanabruch:

I have posted somewhere around 85 logos to date. I started out posting one every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, but have since slowed down to two a week. Chicago has roughly 215 neighborhoods…or it could be more, depending on how specific you want to get. Each neighborhood has its own personality, feel, ethnic makeup, landmarks, and so on and so forth, and because of this, I thought it would be fun and challenging to give each one a logo or brand. I do the best I can to research each area before I start a design, and while I know I can’t please everyone, I think I have done a fairly good job representing either the historic aspects of a particular neighborhood or capturing the current landscape in the ‘hood.

Below are some of Steve’s favorite images as well as little blurbs about these particular images and neighborhoods:

Andersonville: Has roots in Swedish heritage, hence the use of the Swedish flag and the crown (that is on Sweden's hockey jerseys!).
Brighton Park: Home to one of the largest rail yards in the country. The design is made to look like a switching yard.
Clearing: This neighborhood includes the southern half of Midway Airport.
Goose Island: An island in the Chicago River. It is home to a brewery, so I wanted this one to look like a beer bottle label.
Humboldt Park: Predominantly Puerto Rican neighborhood. The main street through Humboldt Park has massive Puerto Rican sculptures at each end.
Hyde Park: Home to the Robie House, which was designed Frank Lloyd Wright. This design is based on the stained glass windows he had made for this home.
Jefferson Park: Historically has been "the Gateway to Chicago," not only for commuters and travelers, but also immigrants. Since it is now such a transportation hub, I wanted this one to look like a logo that a transit agency (bus, rail, highway) would use.
Pilsen: Historically an Eastern European neighborhood, it has transformed into one of Chicago's largest Mexican neighborhoods. Their sidewalks have large bronze Aztec calendars in them, so I kind of tweaked the calendar and included the Chicago star.
Roscoe Village: Former home to Riverview, an amusement part that was finally closed in the late 1960s.
Wrigleyville: A popular neighborhood for those that just graduated college that like to get a little rowdy. Also home to the Cubs (the baseball bats in the design are actually beer taps...a nod to all of the bars in the 'hood).


If you want more updates about The Chicago Neighborhoods Project and/or Steve’s work, you can check the following links:

The Beat Goes On

For 3D artist Mike Winkelmann (aka Beeple) every visual has a corresponding beat

By day Mike Winkelmann is a graphic designer who works mostly on projects for the Web. Outside of his day job, though, he is better known as Beeple, the ingenious filmmaker and self-taught 3D artist who offers all of his source files for free through Creative Commons to anyone who would like to use them. You might know him from the Kill your co-workers video:

After earning a degree in computer programming from Purdue University and then realizing that’s not at all what he wanted to do, Winkelmann became Beeple in 2003. He got the name from a stuffed bear-like toy that was sold briefly in the 80s. The creature was cute, but what Winklemann liked was how it made a noise in reaction to light. “I thought it was great that whoever made the toy related sound and light in terms of visuals,” he explains.

Winkelmann’s interest in pairing images with sound is evident in his work, particularly the instrumental video series, which he’s been working on for the past nine years. His latest music video IV:10 (Instrumental Video Ten), was animated using Maxon’s Cinema 4D and, as always, he composed the electronica score himself.

Every action is perfectly timed to the audio in Winkelmann’s latest project: IV:10.

The result is a brightly colored, upbeat world teaming with turquoise blobs and other oddball shapes against a backdrop of blue sky and rainbows. Everything is timed to the beat of the music, including the moment when a brief storm rolls in turning everything dark and bleak. Still, the beat goes on and all ends well. Watch IV:10 down below:

An octopus arm bangs a hammer and becomes one of the many individual instruments that make up IV:10.

When he adds up all the off-work hours he spent working on IV:10, Winkelmann figures it took about a year to complete the instrumental video. He spent close to the same amount of time on IV:9, a short film in which a robotic drummer seemingly churns out a perfectly timed percussive set of sounds on some snare drums as miniature helicopters sputter by. Check out IV:9 down here:

instrumental video nine from beeple on Vimeo.

“I just wanted to make something techy and cool,” says Winkelmann of IV:9 in which a robot makes music on a variety of instruments.

Videos 9 and 10 were the first in the series for which Winkelmann used Cinema 4D. When he started the series in 2003 he used Sony Vegas before moving on to After Effects. Making the leap to C4D gave Winkelmann the opportunity to create 3D visuals to sync with the instrumental sounds that he composes.

Parts of the giant machine featured in IV:9 were modeled in Cinema 4D.

There’s just one simple rule: Whenever something happens in the audio, something has to happen in the video. “Everything is animated,” he says. “Every kick drum, every hi-hat, every snare is animated, which is why it takes so long to create these videos.”

Winkelmann’s process for creating instrumental videos is not as simple as composing a piece of music and then creating animations to correspond to particular beats. Asked to explain, he points to a part in IV:10 where a “cute little cube guy” comes down into the scene. After first spending a couple of months modeling the cube guy and all of the other instruments in the scene, as well as a stray octopus arm with a hammer, Winkelmann took all of those pieces and made unique sound effects for each of them. Next, he used those sound effects to create a whole song.

The camera never moves in IV:10. Instead, it is the world that rotates. Winkelmann brought each instrument into Cinema 4D so he could line up key frames with the wave form in order to sync the music and animation. The trick was making sure that as the world moved the key frames were right in front of the camera. “So, technically, I guess you could say that I started out in Cinema and then made pieces of music and then went back into Cinema to make all those tiny things sync up with the music,” he says.

“The speedy, intuitive interface on C4D’s timeline made it easy to keep all of the instruments and thousands of keyframes organized,” Winkelmann says

Winkelmann has no formal training in music. He creates the compositions for his videos out of necessity because everything is so intertwined it wouldn’t work to have someone else create the audio. He does, however, encourage others to build on his work. All of his 3D animation source files are available for use by filmmakers, electronica artists, VJs and anyone else who would like them. Component files can be downloaded at his website. Beeple VJ clips are also available for free here.

Thousands of individual instruments had to be synced and placed by hand to ensure that there was no overlapping geometry and that everything fit on screen.

IV:10  looks like one long cut, and it is. But Winkelmann had to break it into two Cinema 4D files because the video was huge and there was so much geometry in the scene. “Even with this much geometry Cinema never crashed and I was pushing it to its absolute limits in terms of how much information was in the scene file,” he recalls.

Winkelmann is often asked about why he gives his files away for free. The answer is simple, he says. “I’ve learned a lot from tutorials people post so I feel like this is a way to give back and, anyway, I’m not going to use the files once I’ve rendered them out so it’s cool to see somebody else do something with them.”

The camera remains stationary as all of the instruments rotate around the giant world Winkelmann created.

Winkelmann’s generosity has definitely paid off in terms of good karma and increased public exposure. “I would say only good things have happened from sharing my files,” he says. “Tons and tons of people email me on a regular basis from all around the world thanking me for the files and I get job offers too.” For now, though, the Wisconsin artist plans to stay put in Wisconsin with family and friends.

Weapons of Mass Creation Fest 2012: the video

Weapons of Mass Creation Fest 2012 - Video recap -

Weapons of Mass Creation 2012 from Weapons of Mass Creation on Vimeo.

We are the Weapons of Mass Creation. WMC Fest 3 took place on June 8-11, 2012 in Cleveland, OH. For more info visit

Director by Aaron Freeder / Produced by Go Media / Creative Director and WMC Fest Founder: Jeff Finley / Custom typography by Brandon Rike, Carolyn Sewell, Joseph Hughes, Nate Utesch, and Jeff Finley

Special thanks to Jesse Sloan, Joseph Hughes, and Todd Gauman for [their] tireless work.

Weapons of Mass Creation Fest 2012 - Video recap -

Weapons of Mass Creation Fest 2012 - Video recap -

Weapons of Mass Creation Fest 2012 - Video recap -

Weapons of Mass Creation Fest 2012 - Video recap -

Well, if you missed Weapons of Mass Creation Fest this year, this is what happened. We hope that if you were not attending because of being on the fence, this will convince you to make the trip for next year.

Onwards to 2013 we go!