You may have noticed from following my Tumblr or Instagram posts — I do a lot of work for Sevenly. They are a fantastic company dedicated to doing good while making great products. My normal work for them is graphics for their weekly t-shirts. However, they had just moved into a spacious new office and needed something to fill the empty walls. So I was given the task of creating 3 separate and unique chalk pieces. The catch; I only had one week to do them!
Each piece was a statement about the company. The phrases were, “People Matter” — “Give your life away” and finally, “Remember, 2.5 Billion People Don’t Have Toilets”. It was a crunch but we all co-operated quite well together got to work right away. I was also fortunate to have the assistance of my very talented wife, Kelsey. Even after all the long hours and chalk dust everywhere, I am never sorry to have done projects like these.
Megabolt is an art charity organization based in Portland, OR. They work with children in hospitals as well as children born with disabilities and facilitate art workshops for them.
In the spring of 2013 Megabolt collaborated on a skate deck with one of their students, Joe Henry. They created a deck design to be produced by Avalia skateboards. To produce this deck and to fund future megabolt programming a large number of artists were selected to donate boards for a silent auction.
For some reason Portland seems to have a pretty strong connection to LA. Many people go back and forth between the two cities for their complimentary qualities. I immediately thought of each cities airport code and fell in love with the idea of using those initials as the basis for the skateboard design. It was a great opportunity to get the paint markers out as well.
I was extremely thrilled to have the opportunity to design the invitation for our wedding this past summer. Since I was living alone in California while Kelsey was putting together the wedding details in Michigan I had plenty of time to really go nuts on all of the design elements.
We were inspired by vintage posters, newspapers, and advertisements and wanted the final piece to be just as timeless and beautiful; so beautiful, in fact, that people wouldn’t want to throw them away. The invitation was such a success! We only received a handfull of official RSVPs because no one wanted to ruin their invitation by cutting the return slip out.
When I'm working on projects for a client (Especially Sevenly) I go on a few creative tangents. This lettering concept happened to be one of my favorites.
I had the privilege of working with the amazing Elliot Jay Stocks on a poster for his magazine, 8 Faces. If you haven’t heard of 8 Faces, do go and check them out right now. It’s a brilliant design magazine with a focus on lettering and typography. Each issue is packed with loads of amazing resources, beautiful design, and brilliant work so when Elliot got in touch with me I could not wait to say yes.
We spent a lot of time exploring different directions, including scripts and so on. The final piece is heavily inspired by classic lettering from the 60′s and 70′s — It’s irony is part of its charm.
I was asked to create a few pieces for the Harrods website valentines day campaign. These headers were used for the his/hers gift guides. If you didn't know -- The Harrods brand is targeted towards a luxury audience and the work needed to reflect this level of quality. We also only had 10 days to come up with the concepts and take them to execution. Hundreds of sketches later I was thrilled to see these pieces come together so beautifully in vector. For everyone who asked, yes I do everything with the pen tool. As for getting great curves, nothing gets you better curves than a lot of practice and patience. I hope you enjoy these :)
When I'm working with clients I end up working on a lot of ideas that never see the light of day. Usually for good reason. However, when this piece was tossed aside I couldn't just leave it there. So now I'm showing it to you. I love the message and the aesthetic.
Label design for Black Dot Vodka. I was asked to elevate the perception of vodka by designing an elegant label. The design needed to have a bit of mystery concerning the name and it had to stand out from cliched bright colors and generic aesthetic of its competitors.
The final design is completely hand drawn with pencil on paper.
I can't seem to sit still for more than an hour without coming up with a project. Most of these projects created out of boredom don't result in anything. Anchor is not one of those projects. What started as a random idea in the airport has turned into many hours of work. Anchor Paper is a paper products company where I can create stationary and greetings materials that I actually like. So far we have 4 pieces that we hope to launch soon. Everything will be gold letterpress on some juicy cotton paper. Stay tuned for updates.
One of my favorite coffee shops in Grand Rapids, MI, possibly in the United States, is a wonderful place called Rowsters. The shop roughly 2 years old, but their customer loyalty and brand dedication is far past their age. They roast all of their own coffee and continue to produce a product that is consistent and delicious. Let me just say, the first time I tried a cup of coffee, per the owners urging, I felt I had never really tasted coffee before.
That being said, when they approached me to help give them their own stamp of approval (“It’s just delicious, that’s it!” as they would say) I was thrilled to say yes. Their look is 1950′s military so I wanted to create something within that genre that could be used across a variety of products. Below are 3 versions of the campaign pieces. All intended to work in different settings.
In January of 2012, I had the extreme honor of being invited to participate in the very first Cabin Time artists retreat. This wonderful project, started by Geoffrey Holstad, is a remote outdoor retreat that happens in different parts of the country every couple of months. It is an inspired way to take a break from the distractions we deal with day to day. Being removed from the hectic patterns of normal life allows for a free space to create with other great artists. I spent a lot of time drawing and playing with new mediums and styles. During the trip I developed a greater interest in chalk and opted to focus on two pieces with the words “Live for Adventure” using different type treatments to capture the feeling of the weekend. The final pieces were shown along side the other artists work at the Cabin Time gallery show later that spring.
I very rarely do work pro-bono lately unless I am really excited about the project or I get to work with great people. This project had both of these elements. I was asked by the brilliant David Wenzel to help him come up with designs for a handout at the grand opening of the Creative Youth Center in Grand Rapids, MI. I was given the phrase and free reign to create whatever I desired. Initially I found myself stuck trying to create something really cliche and witty... It took a stern look from kelsey and the words, "Just make something you'd like to make" to set me off on this design. We have a map of New York hanging in our apartment and it has very similar style lettering that I have been dying to play with. I am so happy with the outcome and plan to release this design as a poster in the very near future.
It had been a while since I had posted on the Phraseology Project. Since I started the project I got married, moved to California and learned a lot along the way. After leaving my regular job I started to get excited about just making things again and so Phraseology once again became a priority for me. This piece was a collaboration effort between myself and the brilliant master penman, Jake Weidmann.
Script for Sevenly campaign.
Live shots by Logan Cole.
My first book cover with Grand Central Publishing in New York. I was asked to do a cover about some of the first women on Wall Street in the 1930's. I loved putting together all of the different lettering styles and filigree. The book will be out in late 2013.
You know how sometimes your best work comes from avoiding work? That is how this piece was born. This piece came from a branding project for XXXChurch. I was asked to brand their new internet safety software, X3 Watch. XXXChurch has made a reputation for their provocative humor and personality. As I was thumbnailing for the logo my mind started to wandering and I stumbled onto this concept. I was immediately inspired to finish it for fun.
First, I know that “Counselman” is not spelled correctly. However, this whiskey is named after someones great great grandfather. His name was William Fletcher Counselman. This was my first crack at helping to design a brand from the ground up, which was such a unique and wonderful experience. The brand is built around a family name and a family recipe so it had to have a very personal, craft feeling. All of the lettering is hand drawn except for the legaleeze — I did have some help from my good friend Joshua Bullockon some of the early sketches and the illustration of William.
This project is currently going into production. I will post full product shots soon.
Lets just say that I became heavily infatuated with nautical themed design for a few months. Anchors, ships, tattoo’s, you name it, I had been obsessing over it. Somehow I started drawing ships over and over. Trying to perfect all of the tiny lines in the sails almost drove me nuts. However, it was truly a labor of love and I would do it again, if I had to, without hesitation.
Shirt design for a Sevenly campaign to raise awareness for Autism. It's not very often that I am asked to work with numbers which was surprisingly more challenging than I anticipated. Loved the final result though.
This piece was created for my TypeFightagainst the talented Jim Leszcynski. We were given the letter “L” to work with and I have to say, initially I was stumped. I went through a rather large amount of tracing paper before stumbling onto some classic type specimens in an old lettering book to draw inspiration from. To me, the final piece is classic yet playful and speaks for more for itself than I can.
Sevenly has been in the process of overhauling their brand and one of their most important items happens to be their shipping package. Since they are an online store their packaging is the first point of contact with most of their customers. They wanted the package to communicate their values literally and through the process. I was given 20 phrases to work with and I couldn't help but hand draw the entire piece. The outcome conveys authenticity and imperfect beauty.
A musician and friend, Rob Gungor might just be one of the most interesting people I've ever met. He's lived almost everywhere and he has a musical (and personal) style that's all his own. It's raw, honest and underproduced. He is also a designer so while he was working on his album cover he asked me if I'd be willing to do the lettering. I'll post a link to the final product as soon as the album comes out.
In the fall of 2012 I was contacted to do a type treatment on a headline for Field & Stream magazine. The article was about how accurate lower price rifles have become in recent years, compared to their vintage counterparts. The final type treatment was inspired by an old ad for the Remington 788, which was one of the earliest versions of these “affordable and accurate” rifles. It was challenging to work in such a different style, but the final result is beautiful.
Last minute hand lettering for a Sevenly campaign.
I had the priviledge of putting together a poster for these wonderful folks. CoLabs is an online tool for finding project collaborators and sharing tools, information or projects. The poster I came up with was sold as a limited edition print for their fundraising campaign. Be sure to keep up with them in the future, they are certainly doing some amazing things for the design community.
After a year of moving, a wedding, becoming an employee, quitting and developing some nerve damage in my hand I’m really being forced to take it easy lately. I am certainly learning the value of down time.
Description coming soon…
Over the past year I have done a great deal of work for Sevenly, an organization dedicated to changing the world by bringing awareness to a different non-profit each and every week. Over time we have explored a wide range of design styles together. Of these explorations, illustration has definitely been the most challenging element for me, I tend to work on pieces that lean a bit more towards “realism”. I prefer to create each illustration with an immense amount of detail, taking it away from a stylized piece and bringing out more organic trates.
These are a few of the many illustrations I worked on this year.
Even though things at phraseology have slowed down, due to busy schedules and the general chaos of projects, I still love fitting in a piece from time to time. A while back, I had the rare pleasure of a free evening in between client work. While sifting through some sketches for upcoming pieces I felt a exhilarating spark of inspiration. Putting pencil to paper, this was the outcome of my evening.
This is an earlier piece that I did for Phraseology. I was sitting at Barnes and Noble chatting with a friend one evening and just started filling letters with swirls. This is what came out of the doodles.
This piece came from a heavy influence of sign painting and classic western lettering.
Another Phraseology piece. Lots of little details and bullshit. I know... I know.
Welcome to the ever evolving portfolio of Drew Melton. Graphic designer, letterer and ocassional illustrator based out of Los Angeles, California. Please check back often for new and updated work on the site. If you need anything at all please feel free to inquire by clicking the “contact” link below. Enjoy and come back often.