Socks For Robots

10 February 2015Design, Work

Socks For Robots

As a result of my recent partnership with the PR and marketing wizards at JDI, Apostrophe Industries is honored to be working with the new consulting brand, Socks For Robots.

Evolving the identity with a revised logo, 3D treatments and a typography-driven site, it was a phenomenal experience to work with Rebecca and Corey — and be so welcomed as part of the SFR team.

Learn about their integrated approach to design and marketing and hear more on the origin of Socks For Robots from Josh.

Rock That Font at SXSW

19 January 2015Design, SXSW

One of our favorite creative endeavors is Rock That Font. More than a site that explores the intersection of typography and rock’n’roll, Rock That Font aims to provide a community platform for all to share their passion for album cover art.

With the above goal of community in mind, I’m pleased to reveal that we’ll be hosting our next get-together as part of the official conference program at SXSW Interactive.

Rock That Font Meet Up at SXSW
Tuesday, March 17
12:30pm – 1:30pm
JW Marriott (110 E 2nd St), Room 501

Visit for details on how you can attend the SXSW edition of our Meet Up, and make sure to join our general group via

Hope to see you there.

Rock That Font Tees

23 September 2014Design

Sometimes you want to show your friends and associates that you are a font nerd, and sometimes you want to be a bit more discreet. The monochromatic, dark blue (Pantone 7546) on Indigo (Next Level Tri-Blend) Rock That Font t-shirt keeps things subtle and classy.

Printed in Austin, Texas by our pals at Industry Print Shop.

Want one? Head over to the Rock That Font store for details.

Apostrophe Cards

17 September 2014Design, Work

I have an apostrophe in my last name. As a result, I have thwarted computer systems since birth.

More recent parsing and coding techniques have fortunately helped my surname survive in the digital age, but it’s always mind-numbing to rinse and repeat: “Try your search without the apostrophe in my last name.” And not to mention: “Yes, the letter K is also capitalized.” Both thanks to my proud Irish heritage of course.

After recently picking up a .industries domain and doing some research for my new company’s look and feel, I fell down into the typographic rabbit hole that is the apostrophe. I’m talking waaaaay deep into various Unicode characters, primes, acute accents and the long history of this somewhat controversial mark.

“There is not the faintest reason for persisting in the ugly and silly trick of peppering pages with these uncouth bacilli.” – George Bernard Shaw, playwright and hater of the apostrophe

It turns out that little key to the left of your “Enter” key really isn’t a true apostrophe. It’s a compromised mark that came into being with the typewriter for efficiency’s sake (a “typewriter apostrophe”). Computer keyboards inherited this character and expanded its usage to represent a number of marks. Encodings evolved. To now get a typographic apostrophe, you need to hit a few more keys on your computer keyboard. “Shift + Option + ]” on a Mac and “Alt + 0 1 4 6” on a number pad for Windows. #themoreyouknow

Apostrophe Business Cards In developing new business cards for Apostrophe Industries, I wanted to make something that evoked creativity and perhaps had some value outside of just my contact information. Instead of a standard card, I decided to create a set of ten unique cards — each showcasing a particular typeface’s apostrophe (blown up to approximately 350 pt). Referencing FontShop’s 100 Best Typefaces of All Time, I selected a few of my faves that were visually distinct and of historic significance:

  1. Helvetica
  2. Bodoni
  3. Futura
  4. Times
  5. Gill Sans
  6. Univers
  7. Optima
  8. Franklin Gothic
  9. DIN
  10. OCR A

I’m thrilled with how they turned out. The cards are a great conversation piece and often lead to a rather geeky discussion about my passion for design and projects such as Rock That Font.

Just don’t get me started on “smart quotes.” v2.0

22 November 2011Design, Questionably Interesting Things Call it “2.0” or whatever buzzword of your choosing, but I’m excited to reveal that we recently launched a new site design for

We’ve implemented Typekit and a highly-customized premium WordPress theme from Shaken & Stirred. We hope this design will allow you to more easily deep-dive into our archived content and enjoy the splendor of the album covers themselves.

Things are still very much a work in progress, so please don’t hesitate to let me know your thoughts and feedback.

slides from “the typography of the bicycle”

3 February 2011Design, Speaking Engagements

The Typography of the Bicycle

Last May at WebVisions, I gave a 5 minute presentation entitled, “The Typography of the Bicycle.” The idea was to take a similar journey of discovery as with Rock That Font, but instead of album covers, explore the typography of some of my favorite bicycles.

The hilarious part is that right before jumping on the stage, I realized there was no clicker available to control my slides (they were to be auto-advanced in the traditional Ignite format) — and I had waaaay too many slides for the allocated time. As a result (and at approximately 7 seconds a slide), the presentation turned into a bit of a crazy and fun rant.

In any case, I’ve received a few requests for the slides, so I finally got around to digging them up.

(The names in the lower right corner of each slide are Flickr usernames — make sure to explore each of the photographers’ amazing work).

rock’n’roll + typography =

20 April 2010Design, Personal, Somewhat Interesting Things why have i been so quiet as of late? well, i’d like to introduce you to one of those reasons:

it’s a fun little project that i’ve had in the works for quite some time. a big hug to pals eric hurtgen and les jacobs for joining me on this adventure.

explore the site and let us know what you think. then keep an eye out for some new community-based shenanigans in the near future — as we still have a few tricks up our, uh… sleeves.

when is a design worth saving?

30 March 2010Design, Personal, Somewhat Interesting Things

great design is often loved by some — and hated by many others. but regardless, it provokes.

scirocco such is the case with my recent purchase of a 1978 volkswagen scirocco champagne edition ii. the amount of surface rust and missing parts really puts the project in project car, aesthetically challenging my neighbors even as it sits covered in my driveway. despite significant issues (the previous owner was attempting to create the ultimate scca race car) and my love/hate relationship with cars due to their environmental impact… i believe it to be well worth saving.

the scirocco was designed by giorgetto giugiaro, named car designer of the century in 1999. from wikipedia:

“Noted initially for such sensuous efforts as the Ferrari 250 Berlinetta Bertone, De Tomaso Mangusta, Iso Grifo and Maserati Ghibli, Giugiaro switched courses to introduce the highly angular ‘folded paper’ era of the 1970s. Straight lined designs such as the BMW M1, Maserati Bora, and Maserati Merak followed before a softer approach returned in the Lamborghini Cala, Maserati Spyder, Ferrari GG50.”

in addition to various supercars and a laundry list of popular everyday cars, giugiaro has designed nikon camera bodies, computer prototypes for apple and even a new pasta shape called “marille” in 1983.

future plans for my particular specimen include new tires, a non-cracked windshield, an actual dashboard, some seats, and potentially a tdi engine swap to run biodiesel. a ginormous amount of tlc will be required to get it streetable again, but i think i just might be up for the challenge.

one less car in the landfill, particularly if a special and rare design, is a good thing in my book.

look ma, no ink with austin laser art

9 February 2010Design, Personal

laser-etched biz card
this post officially ends my blogging hiatus. thought i would once again start sharing a bit more on the interwebs, at least in batches longer than 140 characters…

even though i’m short on time these days, i love busting out small / personal / miscellaneous design projects when i get the chance. i thought i would take a moment to share one of my latest…

laser-etched business cards rather than do the awesome-but-familiar moo cards, i wanted to make a little business card with just my personal contact information.

years ago i whipped up a card via a web vendor and ended up with a fancy plastic card. it was dark transparent gray with white text in agency bold (a font by david berlow from atf agency gothic by morris fuller benton). sure the plastic cards looked pretty cool, but they had the sharpest corners ever. you couldn’t write on them, but boy you could use them as a weapon if absolutely necessary. super-cool looks + lack of practical functionality = fail.

this time around i wanted to get it right. parameters included: ability to write on the card, eco-friendly paper and ink (or lack thereof), and possibility for card recipient to easily pass along my contact information if so desired (double-sided / tear in half). i picked up some nice stock from french paper (their blog is a great source of inspiration) and developed a few variations using stainless extended.

special thanks to aaron haley at austin laser art. can’t recommend his services highly enough.