A Saturday of Design

I spent this Saturday working on designs. Not the usual furniture or building designs that I would normally speak of here or even the Sawdust Chronicles 2010 Build Challenge design that I should be working on. Instead I was working on branding. In preparation for Woodworking in America I want to design and produce a Penultimate WoodShop T-Shirt and Business Card.

The Penultimate Bench
Saturday started with a quick and dirty SketchUp model of the basic workbench design I have kicking around in my head. It'll have two bench top slabs (probably OSB or LVL) with a row of tool trays down the middle (similar to the Veritas bench or Bob Lang's 21 Century Workbench). The legs will be flush with the edge of the top to provide a vertical clamping surface (similar to most bench designs to come out of the Popular Woodworking crew).The initial vises will both be Veritas. The twin screw I have sitting in its box on the floor under my current bench will get the face vise position, while the new Quick Release Tail Vise I plan to pick up at WIA will go at the tail. I'll probably add a plaineing stop and maybe even a quick release face vise to the opposite tail, but time restraints, lack of SketchUp expertise and a lack of confirmed design meant that I left them off this model.

Once the kids went to bed on Saturday night my good friend Aristotle Dreher came over and we got down to serious business. I kept SketchUp going and turned my one bench into four. I colored in the penultimate bench, left the others in black and white. I emailed the image to Ari's laptop across the table from mine and he kicked his Adobe Illustrator skills into high gear.

We added the logo in the same color as my current blog header and in a similar font. The web address was added to the bottom and at Ari's suggestion, "fancification" lines were added to the upper left and lower right corners. Viola, we had the front of the new T-shirt.

For the back, I made a big QR code in the same color as the logo and added the web address below it. I'm hoping that for those who see the shirt and don't know to snap a quick photo of the QR code with their smart phone, they will at least ask me what the hell it is and start a conversation.

Finally, as late Saturday turned into early Sunday morning we made a draft business card. Last year (during the 3 hours I was at WIA) I ran into Tom Iovino. Even if I hadn't known who he was, it would have been easy for me to keep track of his contact info with the business card he gave me. Mine's got a bunch more stuff crammed onto it, but I like it just the same. Let's hope it gets the job done.

During the week I should get both the shirt and cards ordered. Then it's time to buckle down and get my Sawdust Chronicles Build Challenge design done.

So the question for this week, what are you doing to prepare for Woodworking in America?