HATCHER DESIGN OFFICE

HATCHER DESIGN OFFICE

Colors of the Year

I love color, and paying attention to the tints and tones of the everyday world has always been an important source of happiness for me.

As a designer, I'm fascinated by the way the colors in nature blend and contrast and weave together to create cohesive palettes that we learn to associate with time and place.

Over the next year I am going to use our wonderful, industry standard, Pantone Matching System to match and document the colors in my world. I will then use the environment to curate what I hope will be uniquely lovely and harmonious color palettes. This blog is where I will archive and share them for everyone to enjoy.

This was the image that started my match making. 

This was the image that started my match making. 

Top 10 of 2015, #10

The Brady | 100 Years  

This richly illustrated, gilded, leather bound, hand sewn, 400 page history book was the culmination of two years of work with a very talented writer, Janet Farrar Worthington; and a truly inspirational client, Dr. Patrick Walsh. Following his remarkable career as a surgeon and as the Director of the Brady Urological Institute at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Walsh commissioned this book to mark the 100th anniversary of the institution and tell its story. 

It was a true joy to work on this monumental project, and it won what might be one of the best compliments of my career from legendary "ad man" Keith Reinhard, who called the book "a triumph in terms of storytelling, design, layout, typography and digital innovation." 

The only thing that topped that was look of happiness and pride in Dr. Walsh's eyes when he held the first completed copy. 

I love my job.

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A kindle edition is currently in the works. A complete digital version can be downloaded at www.urology.jhu.edu/about/history/Brady100years

Top 10 of 2015, #9

AIDS Institute Clinical Guidelines  

The AIDS Institue Clinical Guidelines is a partnership between Johs Hopkins Medicine and the New York State Department of Health. Together they develop guidelines and best practices for physicians working with HIV infected patients, related illnesses and complications. In 2015 I began the process of branding the Institute and developing a consistent, attractive, and easy to read and comprehend template for the guidelines themselves. We are also working together to create a new website to house the guidelines and provide further resources.

This process has been highly collaborative, and a consistent emphasis has been placed on best practices-- not only for the medical guidelines themselves, but for the way they will be accessed, used, and communicated--with the end goal being better patient care leading to the eradication of HIV. 

Being a part of THAT mission, in any way, is an honor and a true testament to my belief that "Good design works." 

The Brand Guide, including new logo and an extensive color palette and flexible graphic system to differentiate each category of treatmentz

The Brand Guide, including new logo and an extensive color palette and flexible graphic system to differentiate each category of treatmentz

A sample from a couple pages of guideline content  

A sample from a couple pages of guideline content  

I'm currently working on the redesign of the website. I'm pretty excited to see this all coming together! 

I'm currently working on the redesign of the website. I'm pretty excited to see this all coming together! 

Top 10 of 2015, #8

The Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth 2015 Annual Report, Printed Book and Website 

The theme for this Annual was "fun," and it really was a joy to work on. Showcasing the amazing programs and incredible students of CTY (first graders studying the physics of toys, high school students working in nanoenergy labs!) while working with a very talented writer, Maria Blackburn, and photographer, Howard Korn, was truly a good time. I almost felt that the project designed itself, the inspiration was so palpable. The students even helped, by taking "selfies" of themselves having fun while learning at CTY. Their photos can be seen  throughout the print book and on the companion website; www.ctyannualreport.com

I hope you enjoy seeing them as much as I enjoyed working with them!

The printed book and one of my favorite photos by Howard Korn. 

Close up of an interior of the book. In order to really show the kids having fun, we focused on their faces, which really do tell the whole story. Especially the kid that shaved CTY into his hair!  

Top 10 of 2015, #7

The Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins Hospital 2015 Annual Report

The last project I completed in 2015 was the Annual Report for the Wilmer Eye institute. Titled "Vision," this book describes some of the amazing breakthroughs at Wilmer, thanks to the brilliance of their physicians and the support of their donors. 

The slightly edgy, future-focused art direction, with dramatic portrait photography by Chris Myers and compelling storytelling by Sue Depasquale, sets the tone for Wilmer's ongoing quest to cure the many causes of blindness. 

Top 10 of 2015, #6

Maryland Institute College of Art, 2014 Annual Report 

This was the first project completed in 2015, and I think one of the most beautiful. The cover features a gorgeous wrap around photo of the campus at dawn (cover landscape photo taken by Paul Burke, interior portrait photography by Chris Myers), with clear foil stamped lettering that catches the light, and a soft touch varnish which makes the book a pleasure to hold. The colors of the dawn sky were used as the color palette throughout, and the layout has a playful composition. My hope was for the entire design to reflect the optimism felt on campus at the beginning of a new day of leadership at this venerable institution. 

 

Top 10 of 2015, #5

MTA Roadway Worker Protection Course Materials  

Towson University believes in using their intellectual resources to help meet pressing needs within the community, and so established the Center for Professional Services at Towson University. As an adjunct professor at TU, I was asked to be a part of a team that CPS assembled to meet some of the needs of the Maryland Transit Association. 

This project was a much-needed update to the training materials used to instruct Metro and Light Rail workers on safety procedure. It was a very large project and included curriculum development, training videos, presentations, instructor manuals, student manuals, and pocket reference guides (in English and Spanish). I had the pleasure of working with a fantastic team as Art Director and Lead Designer, and it took over 2 years to complete. Currently, I am continuing to work with this same team to address further needs (including materials for First Responder Training and Safety in the works now at Hatcher Design Office!).

One of the true pleasures of this project has been to apply my experience and knowledge of best practices in research, layout, production, information design, and typography to create design that really works. By being easy to read and comprehend, these materials really do make a positive impact on individual and community safety. 

  The student manual and quick reference guide (above) were designed to be small scale and coil bound for ease of transport, storage, and use. The quick reference guide was also laminated to be durable enough to withstand tough conditions on-track. All colors, typefaces, photos, illustrations, and layout compositions were carefully selected to be easy to visually scan and accurately comprehend.  

 

The student manual and quick reference guide (above) were designed to be small scale and coil bound for ease of transport, storage, and use. The quick reference guide was also laminated to be durable enough to withstand tough conditions on-track. All colors, typefaces, photos, illustrations, and layout compositions were carefully selected to be easy to visually scan and accurately comprehend.  

 

Before and After: The difference is easiest to see in this "before and after." On the left is the older book, on the right the new one.

  Interior 1: Once into the content the need for clear information design, bold graphics and solid content hierarchy are even more apparent. (top: before, bottom: after)

 

Interior 1: Once into the content the need for clear information design, bold graphics and solid content hierarchy are even more apparent. (top: before, bottom: after)

 

Interior 2: Another before and after of the same spread and same chart. The content, though similar, is completely redesigned with the needs of the user in mind. Someone on a work site on a live track has to be able to quickly but precisely review a flow chart on their protection needs. If you can't read it clearly, it definitely can't help keep you safe. (top:before, bottom: after)

Top 10 of 2016, #4

Design Thinking and Teaching at MICA and Towson University  

One of the most significant advances in my professional practice this year happened when Brian and I were asked to develop a workshop on Design Thinking to augment MICA's Foundations of Design Leadership MBA/MA program.

Like most designers, Design Thinking has always been an underlying part of our work, and in advanced undergraduate design courses I've introduced the concept in an academic context, but this workshop was the first time I've attempted to teach the process in such a pure and intensive way (including to some non-designers). In addition, this was also the first time I taught a class of graduate students and the first time I collaborated with Brian (my partner in life) to develop curriculum and teach a course.

I learned SO much. I've always found teaching to be my greatest source of learning -- you simply cannot effectively teach something you do not understand in a deep way. In preparing the curriculum, Brian and I both taught one another, increasing our individual knowledge and reinforcing our strength as a team. We also thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and I am so happy to say that the first workshop was a complete success. We were invited back for more, longer-term, workshops.

Teaching this methodology at the graduate level was so successful that I decided to bring some of the practices into my undergraduate classroom at Towson University. I taught 2 new-to-me courses last year, Typography II and Package Design. Teaching the students not only the concepts and principles of design, but giving them new tools to approach their projects in a structured way (individually and in teams) yielded results that far exceeded my expectations.

I'm very excited to dig back in next semester. We'd also love to bring this approach beyond the classroom, to connect more directly with the organizations we work with (and maybe some new ones!). Bringing everyone to the table and fully engaging them in the creative process to find new and effective ways to address challenges is one of the most rewarding things I've done. I am so excited to help more people learn how to connect to their inner design thinker -- even if they aren't "creatives" -- and work with one another collaboratively in this way. 

 

Design Thinking selfie. Brian and I truly enjoy leading these workshops together, and the students benefit from hearing our different viewpoints and approaches. 

 

Breaking the creative process into tangible steps and structured activities helps all stakeholders understand how to participate, while giving everyone a clear idea of the desired direction. 

 

In our workshops, to help participants understand Design Thinking in a comprehensive way, we work with them to find solutions for a given, shared challenge. In a four-day session this summer we worked with MICA students to address the challenge of improving the perception of Baltimore after the unrest this past spring. This was a big, BIG issue and I was honestly nervous about how the workshop would go. I shouldn't have been, though. There were challenges and tough conversations, we invited in community members to interview and help provide varied perspective, and some truly incredible and relevant creative concepting was done. The class (including Brian and I!) came out of the workshop with not only a comprehensive understanding of the design thinking process, but with a deeper connection to the community we work, learn, and teach in.

 

At Towson University I brought design thinking methods into the classroom to address a variety of short and longer term projects, including this fun "Starbucks Red Cup Challenge" where the students had 2 hours to address the perceived lack of cheer on the cups Starbucks had just released for the holiday season. With each challenge, the process proved to be more engaging and more successful than the last and over the course of the semester I noticed the students begin to independently engage the processes they had been taught to great effect. Most surprisingly, for the first time in over a decade of teaching, I found that I was able to get creative students to not only successfully work together in groups but to LIKE it! Working in teams can be a true challenge for any creative, but it is such an important skill to master. I'm already looking forward to next semester!

Top 10 of 2015, #3

L'Arche USA and Greater Washington D.C

One of my favorite critical design essays (which I read with my students every semester) is Stefan Sagmeister's "How Good is Good," in which he states that sometimes the best way a person can help a cause they believe in is to apply their particular special skills and talents to it.  

L'Arche's mission; "To make known the gifts of people with intellectual disabilities, revealed through mutually transforming relationships" is both near and dear to me. As the parent of a child with cognitive disabilities, I see the challenges but I also see the great gifts and the potential that exists for everyone in a more inclusive world.

To quote L'Arche's founder, Jean Vanier:

"Every human activity can be put at the service of the divine and of love. We should all exercise our gift to build community.” 

Using my gifts to help build this very special community is something I am privileged to do. 

 

A sample of some of this past year's print collateral for L'Arche Washington D.C. Warm, people-centric photos and flowing graphics keep the emphasis on the connectivity and grace flowing through their community.

 

This year I also started working with L'Arche USA, which consists of more than 20 communities across the United States. In the coming year I am looking forward to helping them create more consistent branding that will be easier to apply for all the communities' varied needs. 

 

 

A map I designed showing all of the L'Arche locations in the United States.

Top 10 of 2015, #2

The Oyster Recovery Partnership

The Oyster Recovery Partnership is saving the Chesapeake Bay, one tasty oyster at a time. To help make that happen, they seek to educate the public about the role of oysters in our ecosystem, and what restaurants and individuals can do do help (eat more oysters and recycle the shells!). 

This series of rack cards was incredibly fun to design, and I love seeing them out and about at my favorite restaurants. I've even learned that other designers have kept them for inspiration (best compliment ever!), and school kids have used them in their science projects (also really cool!).

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Top 10 of 2015, #1

One of my resolutions this year is to (finally!) develop the portfolio site. As I try to narrow down what to include, I thought taking a look back at my favorite projects from 2015 would be a good place to start. 


 #1 Mercy High School

Over the past few years I've had the privilege of working with Mercy High School to comprehensively rebrand them in a way that reflects their history and unique strengths while emphasizing the high-quality, modern education they provide young women. The work that has come from this relationship has been some of my favorite to date (maybe because I'm also an Alum!), and I'm very excited to continue working with them in the new year. 

Admissions viewbook and development materials  

Admissions viewbook and development materials  

A close-up view of the most recent development brochure, which includes this great photo transition of students from 1960 and 2016. The girls were great sports for nearly an hour as I lined them up to match the archival photo. The photographer is the talented Howard Korn, and the photoshop work was all done here at Hatcher Design Office. 

A close-up view of the most recent development brochure, which includes this great photo transition of students from 1960 and 2016. The girls were great sports for nearly an hour as I lined them up to match the archival photo. The photographer is the talented Howard Korn, and the photoshop work was all done here at Hatcher Design Office. 

A work in progress and an event to look forward to later this winter -- Hatcher Design Office is designing the graphics for the "Big Game!"  

A work in progress and an event to look forward to later this winter -- Hatcher Design Office is designing the graphics for the "Big Game!"  

Come back tomorrow for 2015 #2!

10 years of working with Young Audiences/Arts for Learning Maryland

I just got samples in of the latest catalog I designed for Young Audiences -- an awesome organization that helps to integrate art into schools for all kids in myriad ways.  

This year's design  

This year's design  

I'm so happy with the design-- it's so fun to create a look and feel with happy, artsy, youth as a creative direction! In fact, it's a design project I've gotten to look forward to every year for the past decade. YA was one of my first clients and it has been a pleasure to work with them ever since. 

 

A sample of YA catalogs I've designed over the past 10(!) years. Do you have a favorite? (The newest one is always my favorite, though I really like the old 2-color one. I have mad skills when it comes to working a 2 color design 😉). 

A sample of YA catalogs I've designed over the past 10(!) years. Do you have a favorite? (The newest one is always my favorite, though I really like the old 2-color one. I have mad skills when it comes to working a 2 color design 😉). 

There's something wonderful about establishing and maintaining a long-term relationship with a client. The more you get to know them, the deeper you are able to go in helping them express who they are. What's especially wonderful about working with a place like YA is that you get to become a part of their mission to make art accessible. 

I'm wishing them even more success and creativity in the next decade, and I hope I'm lucky enough to continue to be a part of it. 

Production preparations...

Getting ready to release the first part of "The Brady: 100 Years" -- a 400 page book I've been working on for two years! Eep! Stay tuned for updates on what I hope will be a gorgeous case bound book honoring the incredible contributions of the Johns Hopkins Brady Urological Institute...

Production kick off meeting specs in the works! 

Production kick off meeting specs in the works! 

Design Thinking with MICA and JHU

Someone once told me that being a tiny bit terrified was a sign of personal growth. How. True. Creating and Leading my first Graduate Level Design Thinking workshop in partnership with my partner in all things, Brian Hatcher, was both a challenging and exhilarating experience. We learned so much through this process, and what is even better is that the students learned too! (pretty sure that was the goal...). I've already started translating some of the material for incorporation into my undergraduate lessons (also met with great success) and I am really looking forward to working with graduate students again soon. Just give me a call if I can help you or your team improve your projects and process through design thinking!