Drawing on a Bentley with friends, old and new.

It’s not every day you are asked to draw with permanent markers on a $250,000 Bentley in front of hundreds of your peers and some of the most talented creatives in the industry. With only two hours to complete this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at 2017's Creative South Conference, I was more than a little nervous. 

This is not the way I work.

Typically, I go through rounds of rough sketches, next trace a few versions in pencil on my light box to get it just right, then scan my art into Illustrator and lastly work on the computer to finalize my illustration. Not so in this case. We walked up to this gorgeous automobile and were handed a box of fat tipped markers. No holds barred, no "Edit > Undo." Every mark was permanent. 

When Dylan asked me to be on his team this year at Creative South, my initial response was “NO WAY!” I quickly reminded myself of a promise I made when I took the leap to work for myself in 2009. “I will take every opportunity God sends my way and I will not say 'no' to anything simply out of fear.” This has been a guiding principle in my business over the past 7 years and it has opened many doors and skill sets I would not have otherwise found. 

I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me – Philippians 4:13

So next time you are asked to do something that terrifies you to the core and you realize that you are indeed equipped for the task but it is only fear keeping you from taking that box of markers and expressing your gift, look it in the eye, and accept the challenge. You only live once and you'll only become a better person because of it. 

I’m grateful for the opportunity.

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The unbelievably talented line up:


Launching Joy Venture

 

Joy Venture is our impassioned yet fully imperfect attempt to inspire, nudge and, when appropriate, help others experience lasting joy in their life’s work.

Slagle Design is very pleased to announce a new direction. In addition to graphic design, illustration, and communication, we have partnered with Thad DeVassie of Ratchet Strategy + Communication to start something entirely new. 

We have been fortunate to work with companies large and small, but the ones that bring the most satisfaction are the startups and small businesses that are founded on joy. They are in retail, food and beverage, non-profit, fashion, heath and beauty, but they all have a similar story. They bring the highest ROI for the client, they have the largest impact on their bottom line and most of all, they extend their passion into something larger than themselves. 


They all experience the three stages of a Joy Venture:

 

Discover

Every venture starts with a discovery or desire to discover. It starts by putting yourself out there so discovery can occur. It is where inspiration is born and the seeds of purpose are planted. And it's the critical first component as you start your own Joy Venture.

Develop

Simply put, we're talking about action. What will you do now that you're inspired? How will you do what's next? Whether it's your vocation, recreation, ministry or volunteerism, a necessary pivot or a significant shift, you'll need to muster the dedication to convert your inspiration into something more. When you do, and experience the fruit it bears in you and others, real joy becomes evident.     

Spread

Remember what it was like before you were inspired to pursue and develop your joy? How did you get where you are today? We believe it starts with inspiration and encouragement -- the fuel in tank of any Joy Venture. You have  an inspiring story to motivate others to pursue their own joy.  So be that encourager. Speak from experience. Spread your joy. Remember, it can be highly contagious. 


For now, we are spreading joy through a podcast and a blog. We're lifting up fellow Joy Venturers to tell their stories in hopes of inspiring others to do the same. In the future, who knows where the venture will lead...so long as it's founded in joy.

Beach photography in La Jolla with the Fujifilm X-T2 and 90mm f2 lens

Student at SDSU majoring in International Studies

Student at SDSU majoring in International Studies

Today I DID my favorite thing WITH my favorite thing IN my favorite place. Equipped with my trusty Fujifilm X-T2 and 90mm f2 lens, I walked La Jolla Beach, San Diego, from end to end, asking perfect strangers if I could take their photo and leaving them with a print from my Fujifilm Instax Share Printer, making new friends along the way. This camera and lens combination blow me a away! All images are shot at f2.

Best friends

Best friends

Today is is 32nd birthday

Today is is 32nd birthday

Skeptical at first 

Skeptical at first 

Here to watch her daughter compete in a surf competition. Said she hated photos of herself.

Here to watch her daughter compete in a surf competition. Said she hated photos of herself.

Really loved those potato chips!

Really loved those potato chips!

Born and raised in Iowa. Now lives in San Diego and can't imagine leaving.

Born and raised in Iowa. Now lives in San Diego and can't imagine leaving.

Taking his third surf lesson today

Taking his third surf lesson today

Triathletes and super kind family

Triathletes and super kind family

San Diego native and lifelong surfer

San Diego native and lifelong surfer

Family fun day at the beach

Family fun day at the beach

Joyce, my wonderfully accommodating Airbnb host.

Joyce, my wonderfully accommodating Airbnb host.

Using the Fujifilm X-T10 in Washington DC

Last November, my good friend, Dylan, invited me to travel to LA for the Adobe Max conference and am I glad he did!

Not only was the conference amazing (I'm already registered to go back in 2016)!  At the and of the opening session, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Photoshop, they announced that everyone in attendance would go home with a brand new Fujifilm X-T10 and 18-55 lens kit! As a Canon shooter, my initial thought was “That’s cool. Maybe I’ll sell it on Ebay and pay myself back for some of the conference.” But once I opened the box, I knew I was in love. It was built like a tank. The classic style, small size, a lens felt better than any Canon lens I own, and the dials—oh, the dials. It was such a departure from my Canon DSLRs where everything is on a screen. It was tactile, and although new, felt very familiar. I was smitten...I was in deep smit. 

Since then, I have purchased the 14mm f2.8, 18mm f2, 35mm f2 (LOVE), 56mm f1.2, 27mm f2.8 (probably gonna sell it), and the 23mm f1.4 (AMAZING) hand grip and thumb rest. As you can tell, I’m hooked. This camera literally goes EVERYWHERE with me. My wife and kids may be planning an intervention. 

I have read of many other photographers making the big switch from Canon or Nikon to Fuji. I’ve been tempted to do so myself. After bringing both kits along for a photoshoot earlier this year, the Fuji performed admirably in the field and I actually enjoyed shooting it much more, but the real test came when comparing raw files in Lightroom. In low-light (which all of this project was) the full-frame Canon had the Fuji beat hands-down when it came to noise and detail. That being said, I’m honestly not sure if my clients could tell the difference between the two files. As far as color and AWB, the Fuji was the clear winner. I barely had to make any adjustments in Lightroom. If I was shooting weddings or photo journalism and not as much commercial work, it would be a no-brainer to make the switch. I am now eagerly awaiting the Fujifilm X-T2 rumored to arrive this summer. If they can close the gap enough with Canon when it comes to low-light performance, it may be enough for me to make the switch this year. I’d happily sell my entire Canon system for something that brings me this much joy to shoot. And, at the end of the day, I'd say that’s the most important thing. 

Last week, my family took a vacation to Washington DC and, of course, the camera and lenses were with me for the entire trip, safely tucked away in my Lowepro Slingshot Edge 250 AW with Peak Design Capture Pro attached to the strap for easy access. Most of my photos were shot inside museums or at night and this camera, once again, blew my mind. 

As an aside, I also picked up a Fujifilm Instax Share Printer and printed photos for my kids along the way. It was such a blast! They are far too young to have any recollection of printed photographs, much less instant prints. The joy they got from watching the images develop before their eyes was worth the price of the printer and then some.

The Lincoln Memorial at night

The Lincoln Memorial at night

The Washington Monument, shot from the FDR Memorial

The Washington Monument, shot from the FDR Memorial

The Library of Congress

The Library of Congress

The Library of Congress

The Library of Congress

The Library of Congress

The Library of Congress

The Capitol Mall

The Capitol Mall

The Martin Luther King Memorial at night

The Martin Luther King Memorial at night

The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum

The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum

The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum

The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum

Dean and Deluca, Georgetown

Dean and Deluca, Georgetown

The Whitehouse, photographed from the top of the Washington Monument

The Whitehouse, photographed from the top of the Washington Monument

The Washington Monument shot from the MLK Memorial at night

The Washington Monument shot from the MLK Memorial at night

Window shopping in Alexandria

Window shopping in Alexandria

The Supreme Court

The Supreme Court

The Lincoln Memorial at night

The Lincoln Memorial at night

This summer, I’m headed back to Cambodia and I CANNOT WAIT to bring this camera along. This is my fourth trip and in the past I have either travelled with a point-and-shoot or with my 5D MkII and 40mm pancake lens (still too big). To be able to bring a whole lens kit with me will be amazing! 

Yay Bikes! Brand Enhancement

Slagle Design in partnership with Ratchet Strategy + Communication worked with Yay Bikes! to revitalize their well-recognized and beloved brand. 


 

Our mission was to raise the profile and presentation of the Yay Bikes! bike corral – as well as provide the community and users of the bike corral with relevant information that compels them to new or increased levels of engagement with Yay Bikes!

 

Over the years Yay Bikes! created several events and educational opportunities, each with their own name and unique logo. This has lead to a lot of confusion. Through our meetings and conversations to address the bike corral and articulate the Yay Bikes! multi-faceted story, we recognized an an opportunity to do more than simply deliver these specific deliverables. We recognized the potential in a cohesive and consistent brand identity.

By looking across all of the organization’s activities, we saw the potential in enhancing the brand in ways that would help it better fulfill its mission and engage its target audiences, elevating the Yay Bikes! brand to its proper position as the organization that truly represents the educational, event-driven, advocates of bicycle fun, safety and transportation in Central Ohio. 

A refined brandmark

The existing Yay Bikes! brand was well-recognized and the concept was solid. No need to reinvent the wheel. However, as the organization is increasingly involved in advocacy, working with local law enforcement on safely initiatives and local government on policy issues, it was apparent that the brand needed to be able to appeal to a more diverse audience, allowing them to be taken seriously by city engineers, officials and legislators while not losing the fun of their community rides and educational events. 

The new logo appeals to a more diverse audience, allowing them to be taken seriously by officials and legislators while not losing the fun of their community rides and educational events. 

The new logo appeals to a more diverse audience, allowing them to be taken seriously by officials and legislators while not losing the fun of their community rides and educational events. 

By building upon the success of their existing logo but standardizing the font, spacing, angle, and line width we were able to better bridge the audience gap while making it easier to read at a distance as well as at small sizes.

The new Yay Bikes! logo is streamlined, allowing it to be read more legibly at smaller sizes. 

The new Yay Bikes! logo is streamlined, allowing it to be read more legibly at smaller sizes. 

Brand consistency

To elevate the Yay Bikes! brand, we also created a standard for the various sub brands and renamed the “Pedal Instead Bike Corral” to “Yay Valet!” further reinforcing the ties to the Yay Bikes! brand. 

The sub brands were diluting the strength of the core brand and it became apparent that most people didn't realize they were related.

The sub brands were diluting the strength of the core brand and it became apparent that most people didn't realize they were related.


“It always feels risky to entrust your identity to a design team, and so it was for Yay Bikes! to engage Slagle Design for our rebranding and bike corral redesign.

There’s no possible way they could successfully distill all of 'Us' into a simple visual design. Right? But this time? Sweet, sweet relief! They! got! it! They listened, and they translated what they heard into design elements more 'Us' than we knew possible.

Slagle Design and Ratchet Strategy gave Yay Bikes! a very rare, very special gift: a way to advance our mission through design that actually works to tell our story. We're so grateful for this process and its outcome!”

—Meredith Joy, Program Director, Yay Bikes!