portfolio blog

Schwindamania is the portfolio and blog of Jackson, Mississippi graphic designer Darren Schwindaman. I'm currently completing design work for small business and non-profit clients. Contact me if you'd like to work together.

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Web Design Category Added to Portfolio

I’ve added a new web design category to the Portfolio section to accommodate some of the great web projects I’ve been involved with recently. Below is a sample of the recent Jubilee!JAM website:

Posted on Aug 22, 2009 - 03:14 PM | Leave a Comment [0]

Where does your power come from?

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I’m a sucker for infographics. NPR has a great interactive map that lets you find your state and see how it connects to the country’s larger power grid. Navigate the tabs to see projected capacity for wind and solar power.

Posted on Apr 30, 2009 - 02:05 PM | Leave a Comment [1]

‘The Beats: A Graphic History” Book Review in the Jackson Free Press

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In this week’s issue, the Jackson Free Press publishes a book review I did of ‘The Beats: A Graphic History.’ Read an excerpt below, and check out the full story at the JFP site.

Intellectual Delinquency

Courtesy Hill and Wang

by Darren Schwindaman
April 22, 2009

“The Beats: A Graphic History” (Hill and Wang, 2009, $22) is a graphic biography of the close-knit group of avant garde macho writers of the 1950s and ‘60s like Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs who were referred to as “the Beatniks” or “Beats.” At a time when American society was defining itself through suburban expansion, commercial development and a clean-cut conformist ideal, the Beats led lives as drifters and counter-culturists. “The Beats” is a collection of short stories about these writers, mostly written by alternative comics king (and subject of the indie film “American Splendor") Harvey Pekar and drawn by his longtime artist Ed Piskor.

While the Beat writers romanticized their own lifestyle, Pekar’s script takes a more clinical look at the writers’ lives, never hesitating to show the casualties of their often parasitic existence. Piskor’s art is expressive, with each character displaying a wide range of emotions that convey the tone of each scene.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 - 09:20 AM | Leave a Comment [0]

Support the Spark Program

Spark is a youth apprenticeship program in San Francisco that partners middle school students with a professional in their dream field. I’m proud to have made two small donations to students who’d like to pursue graphic design. Please consider making a small donation to a student who’d like to pursue your field!

Posted on Apr 02, 2009 - 10:54 AM | Leave a Comment [0]

CNN Money covers ‘Indie Jackson’

Hit up this link to see an excellent piece by CNN Money covering the independent entrepreneurs who are offering an eclectic mix of businesses here in Jackson. Lots of great stuff to see and do! 

Posted on Mar 25, 2009 - 11:02 AM | Leave a Comment [0]

RBIS&F on the Jumbotron

I’m very pleased with this photo of a display ad I did for RBIS&F Law Firm. The ad is displaying at Mississippi State and Ole Miss baseball games on the instant replay board. It’s nice when I get to combine two things I love: design and baseball!

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Posted on Mar 15, 2009 - 01:36 PM | Leave a Comment [2]

Happy Valentine’s Day, Jackson!

Hope everyone has a great Valentine’s Day. Stay classy, Jackson.

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Posted on Feb 14, 2009 - 12:28 AM | Leave a Comment [0]

‘Dear Mr. President’

I’m featured on CNNmoney.com as part of a special Inauguration Day feature on what people around the country would like to see from Obama’s administration. Check it out at this link:

Here’s a quick snippet:

I’m not feeling any cutback in business yet, and honestly that’s because Jackson is so hungry for young, creative professionals. The area has been so underserved for so long that even with some people being nervous about spending money, there is still plenty of work.

Posted on Jan 20, 2009 - 11:57 AM | Leave a Comment [0]

Bottle Tree Artist Stephanie Dwyer Meets Felder Rushing

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Jackson metal artist (and Darren Schwindaman client!) Stephanie Dwyer, known especially for her bottle trees, recently met Felder Rushing at an arts show in Jackson. Felder is a celebrity gardener extraordinaire & author of multiple books, hosts a show on Mississippi Public Radio, and wins garden design awards like it’s his job.

Mr. Rushing is also a bottle tree enthusiast, traveling across the South researching the folklore and evolution of bottle trees. He’s enthusiastically taken to Stephanie’s bottle trees, telling her, “You’re taking bottle trees to a whole new artistic level. I love it.” Stephanie brings an organic approach to the metal of bottle trees. She uses high quality metal and not rebar, which can have the appearance of mangled discards from a construction site. She has embraced the folklore wholeheartedly and has been glad to learn from Felder’s extensive experience with bottle trees.

I’m working on branding materials for Stephanie, as well as consulting to help her navigate the media world to show off her art. For her look, I’ve come up with what I’m calling “Smart Southern.” Her color palette is bright and contemporary, yet takes its inspiration from the colors of things like old farm doors. Nostalgic typography is used in bold ways to ccomplement the feeling of atmosphere and folklore that shines in her work.

Here’s a sneak peek at the website look and feel we’re working on:

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Photography courtesy of Thomas Beck of Beck Photographic
Learn about Felder Rushing, bottle trees, and all things Mississippi.

Posted on Jan 14, 2009 - 10:59 AM | Leave a Comment [3]

Turning Challenges into Positives

In addition to creating visual designs and websites for clients, I also assist with consulting. In consulting, one of my main goals is always to find ways to turn a business’ challenges into positives. Here’s an example:

My father Dale Schwindaman’s real estate law practice has been slow of late, as people are reluctant to make real estate purchases and sales. The solution to this challenge isn’t to hunker down and ride out the storm, waiting for economic factors outside of our control to rebound. In setting a strategy, I’ve outlined for the practice several positive steps to take:

1. Recognize the challenge. People out there are reading the news and talking about “the real estate crisis” all the time. No one is served by pretending everything is rosy when in reality it isn’t. We’ve changed print ads to mention the current climate.

2. Present a solution. People out there still do need to make real estate sales. What we’ve done is to recognize that there’s uncertainty, and say that it is exactly because of that uncertainty that Dale Schwindaman is the correct real estate lawyer to use for one’s real estate transaction. After all, with many delicate factors coming into alignment to make a real estate sale happen, the last thing someone wants is for an inexperienced real estate attorney to botch the deal.

3. Diversify. While closing real estate sales might be slow, there are other revenue streams available. People might not know, however, that a real estate attorney can shepherd mortgage refinancing. We’ve changed advertising to reflect this.

4. Reframe the situation. Much of the current economic slowdown can be traced to nervousness among people, not necessarily a reflection of a real loss of value. Using editorial resources available in local newsletters, we’ve been able to get Dale a column space to provide his expertise about real estate issues. In addition to promoting his legal services, the editorial space helps to put people’s minds at ease, and frame the debate in a way that’s positive for his business.

There’s always opportunity during times when other people are nervous for an organization or business to be innovative with their approach.

Posted on Jan 03, 2009 - 07:37 PM | Leave a Comment [0]


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