At the core of my work in identity design is a conviction that it should be built of something more than rote checklists of multimedia assets; it should add up to character, to a palpable, irrefragable enjoyment in the experience of the brand.

Microsoft Responsible AI Standard interior pages
Microsoft Responsible AI Standard table of contents
Microsoft Responsible AI poster
Microsoft Responsible AI event notebooks
Microsoft 2019

As Creative Director for Microsoft's Office of Responsible AI, I directed, lead-designed, illustrated, and engineered the creation of an establishing "brand" for the newly mandated office: a system built on Microsoft's brand guidelines that pushed them even further, as we explored communications canmpaigns, data design, and the production of an industry leading document on guidance and requirements for the responsible development and deployment of AI technologies.

Hawaiian Vanilla Company home page
Hawaiian Vanilla Company website on iPhones
Hawaiian Vanilla Company website on iPads
Hawaiian Vanilla Company packaging
Hawaiian Vanilla Company logo variations
Hawaiian Vanilla Company custom typeface
Hawaiian Vanilla Co. 2016

Over the course of a full brand redesign for the Hawaiian Vanilla Company, I’ve directed all market positioning and launch strategy for this powerful craft producer situated in a highly competitive global market. Guiding – and keeping my own sleeves rolled up, designing, photographing, and writing – a creative team of six developers, photographers, designers, and writers, I’ve led the development of a new design system for a brand with extension across media and platforms, including 70+ skus over 16 different product lines; apparel; retail collateral; and a custom-developed e-commerce platform.

While writing and then adhering to a veritable book of brand guidelines and production specifications, we’ve developed a brand with a holistic, characteristic look that has achieved both distinction and traction in multiple product categories with divergent challenges and needs.

The Pantry Seattle exploded website view
The Pantry Seattle website modalities
The Pantry photo shoot by Gabriel Rodriguez
The Pantry sandwich board
The Pantry business cards and stock photography
The Pantry website calendar on an iPad
Hawaiian Vanilla Co. 2016

The design of The Pantry, as sweet as it was – from the hand-painted wayfinding to the Hasselbladic photo suites – nonetheless came down entirely to an ability to both make the sale (with sweetness, and an inimitable, authentic charm) and to pull off the sale. There are no customizable, out-of-the-box CMSs for event registration / retail hybrids, and no standard platform builds that can sustain Ticketmaster-levels of activity concentrated over four hour spans, so we had to build them.

Four photo shoots produced interchangeable stock tiles to use for each event, as well as imagery for all print identity and architecture for the website itself, as we saw to the digital platforms carrying the same warmth and sense of tangibility as our wooden sign-laden physical world. Without that warmth, and the throughline to the un-fakeable spirit and charm of the Pantry, no sales. This is where "experience design" really flexes. Read more here.

Exhibit A in the "experience design is more than placement of modalities and active/inactive states" display was my website for Dino's Tomato Pie. The titular Dino, the hardest working man in dough business, called for a website that would evoke the first-generation, Geocities-loving options that might have been available to a small-town business owner in the late-90s.

But what all of the custom gifs, MapQuest directions, Netscape Navigator downloads, and the best copywriting I've ever done add up to is something much more than weak irony: It is an earnest appreciation for things that delight. That aim landed more resoundingly than we could have expected: appearances in innumerable national publications, several Reddit boards dedicated to unpacking it, and for the first two months of its existence, nearly 35,000 visitors a week. (This is unheard of for a restaurant website.)

In addition to the website, you can count me in for helping design the built environment, creating all wayfinding and signage, developing the print identity, and hard-coding that beauty you see above. Read more here.

Book Larder iPad stage
Book Larder iPhone workflows
Book Larder bookmarks
Book Larder gift certificates
Book Larder, 2012-2018

Book Larder's identity had as much riding on it as that of The Pantry, but with significantly greater needs from the platform. In addition to designing out an extensible identity system, we've been with Book Larder through three website launches now, each increasingly complex: In addition to promoting and selling events, there is an entire catalogue of titles that retail through the website (and share the same custom cart).

An off-canvas cart and checkout system allows for much more efficient, intuitive processing, while button and field design throughout the site carry through the inherent charm of Book Larder while unambiguously directing and making available likely options.

For Book Larder, I designed the full identity, from logo through collateral and signage, and have designed each of the website platforms (with another to come in 2020). Additionally, I've art directed all photography and production, and have taken home a small shelf worth of books. Read more here.

And then there are the others, snapshots, out-of-context moments-in-time from more than fifteen years of work. Explore still more work at Neversink's temporary website, or request a full portfolio.

Marge Granola holiday box
Marge Granola, full identity
Various websites displayed on iPhones
80+ websites
Rachel's Ginger Beer growlers
Rachel's Ginger Beer, full identity
Various logos designed by Neversink
Hayden Flour Mills boxes
Hayden Flour Mills, 2014
VNO wine club
VNO, identity, e-commerce

Write up an email if you're up for a conversation, find me at instagram here or here if you're a picture person, find me at LinkedIn if that's your bag, look in on recent readings, finds and things-of-interest, or come by the Good Ship Neversink to see other new work.