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]

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]

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]

New Kodak Zi6

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Scored a Kodak Zi6 pocket camera for an early Christmas present. It shoots widescreen HD video, and I’ll be playing with editing footage soon. I look forward to offering short video production services to clients soon!

Posted on Dec 24, 2008 - 08:31 AM | Leave a Comment [1]

New Shirt: Buy Local

Had a great night tonight at Fondren Unwrapped selling Pulp brand t-shirt designs and unveiling my new shirt, Buy Local:

image The design is meant to be very versatile, and suggest that it’s being shouted through a megaphone. I’ve also heard that it feels like Superman, and anyone who shops local is a superhero… an economic superhero.

Posted on Nov 20, 2008 - 11:53 PM | Leave a Comment [3]

‘Creative Britain’

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Brand Republic blogs about the design identity for the Creative Britain conference. The conference is part of an overall plan started in February 2008 by the British government to build the creative local economy. Wouldn’t it be great if Mississippi had something like this on the state level?

There’s a large swath of Mississippi small businesses and nonprofit organizations who aren’t being served. Most of my clients are people who haven’t worked with a designer before. Creativity through design and marketing is a great equalizer for local businesses to compete on the same stage with larger corporations.

Leadership in Mississippi to build the creative class economy could take the following forms:

  • Tax incentives for small businesses to use towards design & marketing
  • Emphasis on innovative public outreach for MS state interests like public health, voting registration, and disaster preparedness
  • Coordination and collaboration between the different creative disciplines such as music, fine art, architecture, and graphic design

It’s important to remember that when people are nervous about the economy, they’re looking for leadership. Because its role is one of communication, design is uniquely positioned for organizations and companies looking to put on a strong face for consumers and help lead them back to confidence.

Posted on Oct 28, 2008 - 11:15 PM | Leave a Comment [0]

Inspiration: Friday, Sept. 19

Spending a lot of coffee shop rat time lately, so here are some cool design links:

Luke Hayman and Pentagram redesign Vibe Magazine.
I met Luke at an alt-weeklies design conference in Chicago last year, and he was cool enough to go out for beers with the designers. There’s a lot that’s awesome about this redesign, including how to be ‘urban’ without using the tired cliche style elements. Scroll down to those simple 5 black bars, and check out all the variations for how they can be used. Badass stuff.

Rocketship Travel Posters.
Graphic designer James White found some awesome posters blending retro sci-fi and travel elements. The 1930s were obviously a heyday of poster design, and it’s cool to see a new twist on some old elements. I think there’s a real earnestness to this work, that captures what advertising was like before the more sly techniques of modern branding developed.

Posted on Sep 19, 2008 - 02:00 PM | Leave a Comment [1]

Making Dents

I’m still having a lot of fun with Expression Engine. I stayed up late last night making the portfolio template work, as well as linking from the main page into the portfolio. *Whew* Luckily I was able to celebrate today while watching the Saints beat the Bucs. 1-0 to start the season! Awesome. I’ll be adding portfolio pieces in the coming days, and turning towards the big written blog template so that I can open up entries for comments.

Posted on Sep 08, 2008 - 02:16 AM | Leave a Comment [0]

sIFR

I’m having problems using sIFR, the Flash-powered font replacement tool. In theory, it’s pretty great: you upload a Flash movie of your favorite typeface, and a javascript loads it in place of selected characters. For example, I’d love to be using my beloved Trade Gothic Bold Condensed for all of my headers. 

I’m not really understanding the documentation, though, and there seems to be small things to modify in several different files at once. Grr.

Posted on Aug 17, 2008 - 04:20 PM | Leave a Comment [1]

Getting Started With Expression Engine

I’m learning how to work with Expression Engine. As I get mixed up in it, it’s surprisingly easy to use. The way it solves problems visually is very intuitive. I’m messing with the CSS to line everything up correctly using Blueprint. What’s hardest is figuring out the relationship between Expression Engine templates, the CSS and the content. Some of the terminology’s different than what I’m used to, but once I figure that out I can see this being pretty powerful stuff.

Posted on Aug 17, 2008 - 04:08 PM | Leave a Comment [0]


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