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Wood Works

invites5.jpgI’m dying to share the details of our amazing African honeymoon adventure (here’s a hint: gorillas! gorillas! gorillas!), but first I just have to get the last bit of wedding fever out of my system and post our homemade wedding invitations. Having a guest list of only a dozen gave us the ability to put as much time and money into these invites as we wanted—and we didn’t skimp on either. Hoping to evoke a sense of the woodsy oasis that Lake Placid Lodge is, we set to laser-cut stained wood with an outline of New York state, and inside, included just the vital information—names, date, and location. Pressed between the top and bottom layer of wood (and peeping through the cut-out portions) were leaves gathered from Central Park. Completing the organic theme were recycled envelopes and custom stamps bearing a line drawing of a big, beautiful oak tree. more»

Come One, Come All

partyinvite1.jpgRest assured, ladies and gentlemen, Lion In Oil is not turning into a wedding blog. That said, an enjoyable side effect of planning our little big day has been the ability to put on my old InDesign hat and create some awesomely fun invitations in one of the few instances where I get to be designer and client (such a smooth working relationship!). Here we have the invite for our south of the border-themed pre-wedding party—a little something to spend with our friends in the city prior to our family-only nuptials Upstate. The concept derives from our engagement in Mexico, and features details like a Día de los Muertos couple and a lotería card-turned-stamp.


Share The Road

sharetheroad4.jpgsharetheroad61.jpgThe Department of Transportation continues to be a unifying force for John and myself, with their regular calls for mural submissions for the multitude of construction barriers throughout New York City. Our submission for jersey barriers (I won’t even go into the time I’ve spent considering the reasons why such a thing as a 3-foot cement traffic barrier would be presumably named after New Jersey) is highly interactive. Participants would hold brushes during various movements or affix brushes to various modes of transportation, rendering a diverse set of shapes mirroring  the acts of running, walking, cycling, and driving. The resulting brush strokes mingle together in vibrant colors, serving as a reminder that we should all share the road. more»


samb1.jpgMy good friend, the awesomely-talented Samantha Brooks recently asked me to help her out with an identity project that was so specific that it tailored to a single recipient. DailyCandy was searching for a new Los Angeles city editor, and being that Samantha was the perfect fit, she had the spectacular idea to market herself as though she were the highlight of one of DC’s email newsletters. If there are two things I know about Samantha, it’s that she loves LA and she loves pink, so it only felt natural to create a resume that included her city’s skyline and pink heart-shaped sunglasses—both in a watercolor style that mirrors the famous DailyCandy girly aesthetic. With the job application requiring a lengthy edit test, the concept grew, and each section received its own signature style. For instance, an article on a lingerie boutique flaunted a red treatment, with a sexy little brassiere replacing the sunglasses. We had a blast creating this project…and the best part? She got the job! Congrats, Sam! more»

Black, White, and Red All Over

invite12.jpgJohn’s little bro is tying the knot with his darling girlfriend this September. I volunteered to design the invites, which turned out to be so much fun that I’m still visiting wedding blogs just to ogle all the fantastic design ideas. Joe and Tess had tight budgetary constraints but we managed to come up with something unique and sophisticated…all with 110 invitations costing under $250 total. We cut costs by forgoing letterpress and creating a long-form invite that folds up to become its own envelope. I ordered stickers with a custom monogram of their initials to adhere the invitations closed. We also avoided the need for RSVP cards, envelopes, and postage by having all guests email their RSVP instead. more»

Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control

fcaooc1.jpgWe turned my final submission for the Kinne Research Fellowship at Columbia into a big, beautiful book, published by Blurb. Jackie edited the original entries for an easier, more photo-focused flow (or because she thinks I talk too much). The electronic book can be viewed/downloaded on issuu, and if you want the unbridled, even-more-enthusiastic version, browse the original posts here. Also, definitely check out the interactive map that outlines the entire six-week trip after the jump. Now we just have to complete the second session in Mexico City. Fingers crossed we carve the time out this summer! more»

Happy Holidays!

xmas.jpgWe’re off to Austin for the holidays (sans our rein-kitty, Li’l Frank, unfortunately). Best wishes to all and we’ll see you in the new year!

No Need to Debate

book6.jpgSuper-talented John managed to get Lion in Oil a nice little shout-out in the new book Designing a Digital Portfolio. The author, Cynthia L. Baron, contacted John several months ago about his myriad portfolios and records of work, including his gracefulspoon web site and online portfolios on issuu. John does an eloquent job dissecting the future of the portfolio on his own blog, so I’ll just let it suffice to quote Baron in saying “Locke’s creativity is not debatable.” True that! more»


wtc4.jpgHow exciting for John and I to once again work together on a project. It’s been a long year (plus) of separate endeavors so this competition for a mural was a long overdue collaboration. Surrounding the construction of the Freedom Tower, we conceived Skyscape. Here’s the project description:What makes New York’s skyline so powerful is not the skyscrapers themselves, but the void between and around them, the vibrant hues of sky that hug their every angle. Skyscape focuses on that negative space in a site-specific work that combines photographs of the space above the construction site taken from surrounding boroughs over the course of a single day. The idea is that, not only will our skyline change dramatically with the addition of the Freedom Tower, but the shape of the sky itself, the space it encompasses, and therefore, the relationship between the buildings, the sky, and us will change. We still recognize the buildings’ forms, but they become the void—the sky is now the subject. more»

Processing Growth

growingpointslayers.jpgTrying to get a handle on classes and arrays to create organic growth. I’m looking to build more behavior into the movement, certain colors are attracted to eachother, and repelled by others, etc.source codejava

New Business Cards

newbizcardss4w2.jpgA poor economy means two things…more networking and less spending. Thus a new business card was in order until the opulent days of the laser-cut business card return.

Heading East

yao_cctv_1024.jpgOne of the great things about this semester is that a component of our studio involves an overseas trip during spring break and the preceding week. Our studio at this point is broadly looking at future technology concepts through the lens of film, science fiction, and philosophy; and the role of the architect to shape that world. We’ve narrowed our trip down to half the time in Beijing and the other half in Tokyo. I was also thinking that a giant Yao Ming caryatid could have saved Arup a lot of trouble on the CCTV construction.


hidden_1024.jpgTime off from school!


new_rend1000.jpgSometimes you can’t let a project go. Working on some renders for my ultrareal class in 3dsMax using my project for the summer. more»

Campaign Fever Midterm

render00_950.jpgWith a very short breather between the midterm and the rapidly approaching final, I have some time to compose my thoughts and push forward. The jury comments were very helpful and the discussion centered around how to further flex the project by reconsidering the scale and configuration. How will this encompass a debate with 500 people, but also a rally with 80,000 people. The first step will be to choose a site and further explore how the platform can engage in diferent locations. Also, to further think about what the moveable skin can project - what are the possibilities of a future technological billboard. Campaign Fever 3010! more»

Now is the Time

now-is-the-time01.jpgI always saw my dad write this when he first put a sheet of paper in the typewriter or when we hooked up the new word processor. I thought it was some type of newspaper man’s inside code until some cursory googling revealed that the phrase was a 19th century typing exercise. I still think it sounds better than the ‘the quick brown fox…’ and with tomorrow’s final democratic primary it has an even more urgent political message.

Graphic Design Through 3d Modeling Pt.2

screenshot-2-web.jpgscreenshot-7-web.jpgI wanted to add a thank you page to my portfolio, something I could give to my family, and was interested in trying a workflow that spanned from rhino to illustrator. Frequently, we use the rhino “make 2d” function to convert a 3d model view into a 2d vector line drawing, and then import into autocad. Here I wanted to incorporate something that also included text. The curving form came from a generic branching script (tree of life?) with the boxes oriented perpendicular to the curve endpoint, like flowers that would contain various names.Once the shape was constructed in 3d, it became a matter of choosing an appropriate view and running the make2d command. Then bringing the vector lines into illustrator and adjusting lineweights and color. There’s some difficulty in continuing the inherent dynamism of a 3d model into a 2d drawing, but there are absolutely some great possibilities. more»

Graphic Design Through 3d Modeling Pt.1

lio_03.jpgSure 3d modeling is an efficient way to quickly experiment with the shape of objects related to architectural or automotive design, but it also has vast potential for graphic design applications. There are a lot of great designers out there blurring these boundaries and just like any other field, exploring the possibilities afforded by new technologies. It becomes easy to imagine that a 3-dimensional mark becomes as much a part of the branded identity as a letterhead. While logos become 3d objects to interact with or even inhabit by avatars in the virtual second life. more»

Architect Series - Frank Lloyd Wright

flw-web.jpgA portrait of the master block builder, rendered in pixels of course.

Academy Awards Preview Magazine

aapreview_cover.jpgaapreview_toc.jpgaapreview_spreadpicture.jpgWe were contacted on a Thursday morning, signed a contract that afternoon and went live with a redesigned website and magazine the following Tuesday. Every year, in anticipation of the Academy Awards, Homemade Media, Inc. publishes Academy Awards Preview Magazine.Filled with information from industry insiders, the preview magazine includes not only a listing of all nominees for the major categories, but also subjective factors that forecast trends and seek to handicap the races, as well as strictly editorial content. The magazine is read and used as a reference by journalists and the general public.The previous issues of Academy Awards Preview had a muddy overall graphic identity and the raw data was presented in a confusing and narrow manner that prevented it from reaching a greater audience. The primary objective of the redesign initiative was to provide a cohesive visual identity and give the publication a lighter, funner identity that would make a handy companion to the academy awards telecast. The challenge was working within a tight timeframe to make the data and editorial content, firstly, legible and also aesthetically pleasing. more»

Paint by Numbers

web-lines1.jpgweb-color1.jpgIf you’ve got some time at the office, channel your inner Taki and bomb away…

Helvetica on Fire

helvetica1.jpgIt’s not Norm’s or Lacma, but after watching the documentary there is no doubt that helvetica must burn!

Ponsr Killer


I took this photo in a back alley in downtown Los Angeles and it became the inspiration for a new album cover for LCD Soundsystem. Design includes a new logo for the band as well as an inside cover with a record/CD label design. Does anybody know James Murphy’s phone number?

LIO Business Card

After much discussion and multiple viewings of American Psycho, we’ve received a prototype business card. The museum board is laser cut, allowing the card to be read from either side, front and back. more»

Me and My 424

vanderslice3jpgWe’re really into posters right now. And we love—LOVE—John Vanderslice. So we couldn’t help ourselves but to make a nice poster for his show last year at the Troubadour. Click left for the poster’s full view. And check out the muse for it here.

Dublin: Monumental Interventions

dublin_final.jpgIf you happen to be in Dublin this month, be sure to drop by the European Centre for Architecture and Urban Studies. They’ll be hosting an exhibition regarding massive design moves on an urban scale for the city of Dublin, a port town in the midst of a massive transformation. John was the project designer for this submission from Randall Stout Architects. Project description below:Essential to maintaining the health and well being of the city as a whole, Dublin’s revered green spaces are the key to refocusing development away from urban sprawl and congestion by investing public green spaces with a renewed purpose and vitality. Open spaces and public parks are vital life-forces within the city.

The “lungs” of the metropolis, Dublin parks such as Phoenix Park and St. Stephen’s Green are iconic destinations and indispensable natural landscapes that appeal to locals and tourists alike. They provide a place for repose and recreation within the ubiquitous array of buildings and infrastructure. Their importance as cultural commodities cannot be undervalued. Recognizing the historic and contemporary value of public open spaces as well as their potential to generate a new type of urban transformation for the city, Randall Stout Architects proposes two monumental urban gestures that claim, connect, and expand existing parks spaces. Building upon Phoenix Park in the west and Ringsend Park at the city’s eastern edge, these interventions will redefine Dublin’s urban and cultural landscape.

CSS Zen Garden: Bomb Submission

Graffiti_Zen_Garden.jpgCSS Zen Garden is a wonderful web site that exhibits the control one has over the aesthetics of web design using CSS. Designers across the world are encouraged to submit new designs using the identical content of the original site. This is one such submission entitled Bomb.