The Ben Franklin – 2012

It’s been a few weeks since the Ben Franklin Ball and Gallery of Superb Printing, but I believe people are still talking about it. Why, you ask?  Because it was different this year.  The most common thing still being talked about has been coming from yours truly, “Man!  I can’t believe I won the 50/50!” How many years have my folks been going to this thing, and never have they won the 50/50 raffle.  Dad thought he did last year…he even went all the way up to the stage and handed the guy the ticket before he realized he didn’t win.  Oops!  But hey, there was more to the evening than that.

We had the event on a cloudy, winter’s day at The Fieldcrest down in North Canton, Ohio, rather than it’s usual spot up in Akron.  It was definitely a nice change of scenery, and the bonus?  People could stay the night without having to drive anywhere after the festivities.  All we had to do was walk down the hill to the Inn.

The ball is hosted by the Northeast Ohio Craftsmen Club (NEOCC), and it’s mainly an award ceremony for print and design companies in the club who have submitted their work. These companies send in pieces that they think are their best works of the year, and the pieces are judged. This year, the judges were Marty Timmermin of Myers Industries, Michael Gorfido of Digital Color International and Anthony Tupta of Hewlett Packard. They judged from several categories in both print and design, and they picked what they thought was the best of each. They gave the pieces either a gold award, silver award or the bronze award.

Then from the many pieces that received a gold, the judges picked the 10 best for the judges gallery, and one for Best of Show for Print and Best of Show Creative. There are also the awards for Person of the Year (voted on by previous presidents), and this year there was an award for the Distinguished Service in Education. Of the 13 companies that entered, each and every one of them won some sort of award.

Of course, you can guess that Joe with Trailer Trash Design won Best of Show in Creative.  And for what?  His Christmas card!christmas card

The silent auction raised an awesome amount of money (somewhere close to $3,000) for the scholarship fund.  I got to participate in the auction this year as I was finally able to attend the ball (usually I have to work my retail job), and man, I had so much fun with that.  My dad loves the Pantone mugs, so I was bidding on a package that had a French press, some Starbucks Breakfast Blend coffee (which is yummy, if you haven’t tried it), and a Pantone mug.  I almost got outbid at the last minute, but I made sure to get my darn mug!  Ha!  And I added the French Press to my collection of coffee machines I already have (an espresso machine/milk steamer and a café frappé machine).  I’ll need a big kitchen in my apartment.  I should have saved my 50/50 bucks for that!

All in all, the event was really a lot of fun.  The food was great (I had melt-in-your-mouth beef…oh goodness…so good), the wait staff was friendly, the bartender kept the drinks flowing, and everyone had a great time.

My mom and I helped Dad plan the event this year.  And I think we can all safely say, even though it had a great turn out and was really a lot of fun, we’re all glad it’s over.  I think I got a small taste of what it’s like to plan a wedding.  I can wait a little longer to plan that.

Arkovi Branding

I was approached by Blane Warrene, CEO of BMRW and Co-Creator of Arkovi (r-ko-v) to develop a brand. Blane called me one night describing what he was working on. “I’m working on this great new thing…,” sworn to secrecy, the conversation continued and I became more and more interested. At this point he had some name suggestions, nothing solid but Arkovi was one of them,  he invited me to come up with ideas of my own. This product was different. It needed a different name, so Arkovi was the final choice. With that being said, it was only fitting that the look and feel of the Arkovi brand also needed to be different.
These were the three concepts I gave to Blane to present to the Board of Directors. The choice was unanimous.


With this brand being used primarily on the web, the usual color considerations for use in print were put aside. The branding for Arkovi was on its way. One of my favorite elements is the use of the smack-you-in-the-face red as an accent. Even though this was primarily a web venture, every company needs a stationery package right? This was the next step of the process. Presented with three options, the final result was an exercise of mix and match… arriving at the final choice.


Other pieces that were developed for the Arkovi brand where a custom Twitter background (@arkovibackups), an e-book that is available for download from the Arkovi web site, Power Point presentation templates and an Infographic.





According to Blane, “We’re going to be making a lot of noise in 2011.” Personally, I like the sound of that because we made a lot of noise ourselves.

The Arkovi Identity Design brought home a number of awards in 2011.

2011 Best of Show Creative

2011 Gold Award – Creative

2011 Gold Hermes Awards for Creativity

2011 Gold Marcom Awards for Communications

2011 International Gold Award – IAPHC

Trailer Trash Design Featured in Computer Arts Projects Magazine

“I do both. My digital portfolio is always different than my physical portfolio. It offers me the opportunity to show more work. My digital portfolio is the one that resides on my website, but is also on my iPhone and iPad for those “just in case” situations. But, when I meet a client, I always show my physical portfolio. To me a physical portfolio adds validity to the work I’m showing. Digital is great, but nothing beats showing a “real” portfolio. Granted there are things that can only be (or best viewed) viewed digitally (websites, videos, etc.)… I just come prepared for those.”

Soon after, I was contacted by a writer for Computer Arts Projects, a UK based design magazine. He asked me if I would be interested in giving some expanded information and being featured for an article he was writing on the subject of physical vs. digital portfolios. The exchange of emails began, I gave him some samples of work and I am proud to say… the article lives in the May issue of Computer Arts Projects!


Being produced in the UK, it takes a bit longer to hit state side, so they’ve provided me with a PDF of the article until I can get my hands on the real thing. For your viewing pleasure, you can download the readable PDF here. You know you want to know what I said, come on… admit it.




Needless to say, I’m over-the-top excited about being part of this article and this issue. Thanks Computer Arts Projects! Cheers!

Adapter Resources Corporate Identity

Adapter Resources, a distributor of hydraulic fittings needed a brand that represented strength in the industry. A brand that would have some longevity and be recognizable in the industry.

“We have a lot of experience in what we do,” Adam says, “but we’re still the new kids on the block so we have a lot of work ahead of us. A strong, recognizable brand will only help our cause.”

Trailer Trash Design set out to design a corporate identity to fill all their needs.



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