Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Whitest Haoles

Jess asked me if I could design a logo for her and Sam. They are part of a local canoe club here in San Francisco and they have come to calling themselves the "whitest haoles". The word "haole" originally meant foreigner in Hawaii but it has come to mean "white foreigner" and not always used in the spirit of aloha. I tried explaining to Jess that you can't actually be a "haole" IN California but she's already sold on the moniker and ain't listening to me.

Hawaiian/Polynesian culture and designs dominate the paddling scene, at least from what I've seen, so I've tried to capture that feeling in the design. I hand drew everything including the letters and it was a lot of computer work once I imported it in to a program called Adobe Illustrator - the whole project took a lot longer than I anticipated but a lot of fun. In retrospect I should have based my letter sketches on an actual font. I work with type all the time but I'm no typographer. I should have either made the letter forms really funky (graffiti like) or traced them from an actual font. As it is, it is somewhere in between and a good designer will be able to spot the awkward not quite right sections in the letters. I needed help with the "O" and the small case "e" and ended up tracing those from an actual font anyway. It was then that I realized I should have worked it that way from the very beginning. It was a really fun project and I learned a lot. It took a long time but I didn't mind so much because I was enjoying myself. Besides I owed Jess and Sam, Jess especially. Jess has been my crew chief for my two summer 100-mile ultra-marathon races - it involves driving around in a car and meeting me at the checkpoints, getting me whatever I needed to keep going and staying up all night until I finished. Sam was my pacer on my last race, running miles 75-100 with me, from about 11am Saturday night to a little after 5am Sunday morning. So you see it was my pleasure to work on the project for them.

I was always taught that a logo should work in black and white first. The coming of web and interactive design has blurred that rule. I'm old school though, I've kept to the original rules that was handed down to me. Even in this day and age we still need these identities to survive in one color applications, i.e. the back of event t-shirts, faxes or a yellow page ad.

sam haole.jpg
The logo in color. Looks a bit washed out, I hope it's just the photo. Image courtesy of Jessica Fewless.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Madison, Wisconsin - Summer 08

I was looking through some old photos and I found pictures from the time I visited Madison, Wisconsin last summer. I was there for a race and after I got back the only thing I talked about and showed pictures of was from the race itself. The pictures from Madison was put aside and ultimately forgotten until now.

At the time my cousin Margie lived in Madison and I stayed with her before and after the race. She and her husband Adam actually now live here in San Francisco. Anyway I arrived a couple of days before the event and took the time to explore the area. Both Margie and Adam were working so I did my own thing for the most part. I really enjoyed it. Food was good and so was the beer. Margie worked at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Adam was a graduate student there, both are chemists. I returned the day after the race from the Kettle Moraine area, about an hour east/north east from the city, to explore a little more before heading off to the airport.

It was such a brief visit but I enjoyed my time there. I even enjoyed the terrible thunderstorms they were having. Unfortunately they were terrible enough to cause a lot of damage. I ran through two of them during my race which took 21:40, that's 21 hours not minutes. Lots of lightning, thunder, heavy rain, falling trees and everything while tornado sirens wailed in the background. What an experience that was and I truly did enjoy the sound of thunder and flash of lightning even when I was running in the Kettle Moraine trails... well when I was in the shelter of the trees, not so much when I was exposed in the open. I enjoyed thunderstorms as a kid in the Philippines but we don't have them here in San Francisco, we didn't have them in Hawaii either. Good times. I wouldn't want to be there in the winter though, brrrrr!!! I've heard the stories and seen the pictures.

Enjoy the pictures.

Waterfront, Student Union, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Waterfront, Student Union, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Waterfront, Student Union, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Enjoying one of my favorite activities.

Walking to the Museum of Modern Art.

Inside the Museum of Modern Art.

The capitol building.

Margie and Adam.

For more pictures click here