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Tom Johnson


Are you lost? No?...

Hmm, well then you must be tired from your marathon internet-tube journey. There's some strange stuff out there, that's for sure. Welcome to my site. Don't mind me, I'm just gonna chill in this red hammock while you rummage through all my things. Be gentle and don't track in any mud.

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Tom Johnson


Are you lost? No?...

Hmm, well then you must be tired from your marathon internet-tube journey. There's some strange stuff out there, that's for sure. Welcome to my site. Don't mind me, I'm just gonna chill in this red hammock while you rummage through all my things. Be gentle and don't track in any mud.

I'm an Atlanta based, mono-lingual, coffee-loving, designer with aspirations to one day own my very own face-towel steamer. I love leather bound books and have a some-what overbearing desire to draw pictures of food playing musical instruments.

I'm currently based just north of Atlanta, but drop me a line if you'd like to work together or just want to strike up a conversation about current events, interesting local weather, or why the designated hitter is the worst thing to ever happen to America.

 

My philosophy is: "Good design is obvious, great design is transparent."

 

Joe Sparano said that, but I use it as a voice in my head when I start a project. Your users, your target market, your co-workers all have specific needs and demands on a project. Sometimes those demands align, most times they do not. 

My job is to find the path, whether it be by a logo, around a website, or through a illustration that best fits everyone who will walk it. 

The most effective path is the one that doesn't require the walker to question what turn to take or where the path leads. The most effective one treats you like you already know the endpoint, and lets walking become an experience, not a chore.

I love dogs, coffee, and scotch. My name's Tom.

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Movember - Year of the Beard


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Movember - Year of the Beard


This idea started about my Sophomore year of school, and after many revisions and much more competence in illustrator, I developed it into a series. Only have one month dedicated to facial hair? Now, you don't have to.

 

 

The push to get these all done finally was actually through work. My boss approached me to make some posters and the idea that had remained dormant for so long sprang forth with new fervor. It's amazing how much collaboration I saw from my coworkers when I started hanging the first and second revisions up around my desk. I'm really happy with the final result. Maybe someday I'll actually be able to grow more than just stubble and fuzz.

 

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Intradiem Website


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Intradiem Website


If any of you out there know me, you'll know that my experience has always been with the visual side of things, and I've steered clear of doing anything web-design related. Sure, I've designed a few layouts, but my experience with actually making a site is next to non-existent.  Until, that is, I started my new job at Intradiem.

Basically, my first week of work was spent in meetings. One of those meetings happened to be with an agency who was pitching to redesign our website for a hefty chunk of change. Long story short, after we got off the phone with them I had the bright idea to offer to build it... something... I've....never....done before. Did I mention that I only had a month?

Enter Webflow, the internet's gift to code-illiterate designers such as myself. Check out what they offer, and then what I did with it. Keep in mind, I know as close to NOTHING about web-design as is possible, so if you think the site oozes of suckyness, well then there you go. If you think it's good, well then there you go. 

It was a fantastic learning experience, and for anyone out there who is struggling to get started learning html and css basics, I highly recommend it.

www.intradiem.com

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Portraits


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Portraits


There are nights when I feel the urge to make something, and these have come out of that seeming boredom. It started as an experiment with the line tools, and has now developed into a series of famous people / Star Wars portraits. It's a work in progress, so stay tuned for more action. 

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Milwaukee Public Library


Imagination Starts Here campaign, for first readers.

2013

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Milwaukee Public Library


Imagination Starts Here campaign, for first readers.

2013

One of the drawings before coloring and placement.

This campaign actually started as a school project. I did some photo shoots, doodles, and used my treasured childhood memories to bring home a solid B+. While I was working on the project I reached out the library in order to get their logos and any elements that I would need for the project. When I was done, I sent it over to them just so they could see that I wasn't misusing their name or brand.


After I graduated, they actually got in touch with me wanted to use the campaign for one of their first reader initiatives. I had to rework and eliminate the images slightly to fit their specifications, make them a bit more vocationally themed (I still think superhero is a vocation), and eliminate any images that I used that I didn't have a commercial license for. Overall, I think the look and feel of everything was only improved and I appreciated the chance to go back and redo my work with a more trained eye.

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Sock Monkeys


For the nephew's nursery.

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Sock Monkeys


For the nephew's nursery.

Here's the progression for the Egypt piece that really set the theme for the whole project.

Here's the progression for the Egypt piece that really set the theme for the whole project.

I did these Illustrations for my Nephew for Christmas. He's got a sock monkey themed nursery and I'm thinking he'll be inspired to travel the world. I mean, who wouldn't be? Giant sock monkeys? That'll get him to get out of the house to see the world when he's 18... or go to college... Maybe he'll want to go to college so he can prove to his uncle that things like this don't exist. I'll need some hard evidence before my faith waivers. Call me a skeptic.

 

You can buy them here.

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Ordinary Objects


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Ordinary Objects


Sometimes at work, I eat quickly and am faced with the conundrum of what to do for the rest of my time. I could Google cats in fancy pants, but if you've seen one, you've seen a thousand. Instead, I usually open up illustrator and pick a tool that I'm not all that familiar with and see what happens drawing inspiration from the beautiful and stunning surroundings that only corporate America could give me. 

Behold. The things on my desk. Almost all of these are drawn by sight alone. I am working on being able to do it that way rather than by tracing angles and lines. In the process I get to see some of the hidden paths and decisions that must have been made to make the simple product that I had never paid any mind to in the past.

There is a reason and great amount of thought and design behind every nook and curve in these things that we glaze over on a daily basis. Maybe it's my way of paying tribute to the people who give life to these things... maybe I'm just bored. Either way, I do enjoy doing these more that I ever thought I would in the beginning.

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Joy and Tom Wedding


A fiance makes for an interesting client

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Joy and Tom Wedding


A fiance makes for an interesting client

Thank God for Pinterest.

Thank God for Pinterest.

Well I got married so I had to make some invitations, an RSVP website, come up with some cohesive branding, and make sure my wife was on board with it all.

We had the idea from the start to have a nautical themed wedding, well at least a nautical themed brand for the wedding. Milwaukee springtime isn't exactly the weather for sunshine and boats. Joy loves boats and the ocean and I didn't have any better ideas so we started looking at anchors for our logo and Joy pulled up Pinterest.

The first round of logos, I was trying to make an anchor shape out of 2 J's, but then I remembered that my name started with a T... so... Johnson and Joy would be too much of a stretch, then took a look at some anchor shapes and tried to work them together with an ampersand that I liked. This is when things started looking more nautical.

This was the final logo that we decided on. I was able to make a full name version for standalone purposes and a version with just initials for the invitations, labels, and other branded items.

I did a lot of illustrations for this project, mainly in regards to the website. We decided to tell the story of how we started dating and have some fun along the way. 

Check out our website here.

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Logos


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Logos


These are some examples of the logos and branding that I've developed over the past year, give or take. 

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Misc Illustrations


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Misc Illustrations


This is a collection of random illustrations that have come from variety of projects. Some are re-iterations of pieces that I felt could use some extra work, or maybe had more potential than where they were in the background. 

A portion of my illustrations are explorations into styles or techniques that aren't my own. I love seeing the different line-art, flat, and negative space styles that are prevalent in design today, and while many of them aren't my cup o' tea, I still like to tinker and break them apart to try to get inside the head of other designers. More times than not I get a chance to learn something new, or just think about a problem in a way that I wouldn't ordinarily feel comfortable with.

Tweets


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Tweets