Dec 20, 2013

Merry Christmas!!!

Well hello friends!

2013 has been quite the year for the monster duo. We've been extremely busy (in a good way), but more importantly have had the pleasure of working with the greatest folks. Some of whom we've had relationships with for over 10 years and others whom we consider new friends. The common link they are share is they're some of the greatest people we know and we're super blessed to work with.

We don't look at our jobs as a series of individual projects, we look at them as opportunities to help our friends' businesses grow and achieve new heights. And as people who are addicted to positive change, it's been a rewarding year.

So to share a little of our holiday joy with you, we wanted to share our e-card we've been shooting out to our business friends.

On behalf of the Monster Crew, we wish you the greatest Christmas (or holiday of your choice) ever and even greater New Year!! Celebrate safely and stay awesome!

May 23, 2013

Look Who's Talking Too

Not only was it an amazing sequel to an amazing movie (Bruce Willis babies are adorable), but it's what's happening in the near future. Visual Voltage, a student run design organization and chapter of AIGA, is hosting their annual SPARK conference and they've asked me (Luis) and 3 other talented and established individuals to offer up our thoughts on this year's topic: INSPIRE. Check out the link for more details:

Mar 28, 2013

Monster Update

Hello friends!

It's been a while since we've posted, but that doesn't mean we haven't been doing anything. On the contrary, we've been kept busy by our rock star client family and also developing personal projects and even a little Idea Monster passion project/venture. We're still too early in to disclose any specifics, but take a peek into what lies ahead.

In terms of personal projects, we view these as opportunities to stretch ourselves and work outside of our comfort zone and try a new approach. Below is a piece that was developed to appear as if it were done on a letterpress.

We also have the tendency to have a random thought pop into our head while working and we'll either jot down the idea or do a quick sketch so we can return to it in between projects. Below is such an example. Friends, there's no need to hurt Mr. Chocolate's feelings. Ever.

Well, thanks for dropping by! Hope you enjoyed your stay! Drop by any time :).

Jan 3, 2013

An A-maze-ing Project Update!

Hello friends!

Sorry for the pun. It's almost impossible to not share bad puns around here. Don't judge.

Anyways, we're excited to have received the green light to post this project we did for the super great (I almost said a-maze-ing) folks at Marbles: The Brain Store. If you're not familiar with who they are, please do check them out. They're a store (on-line as well) that specializes in keeping you mentally healthy and growing through classic as well as new and innovative games, puzzles and activities, so we respect them right off the bat. What makes them even greater are the people. Very down to earth and very funny. More importantly, they bring their humor and wit into their own products and quality is not a close second, it seems to be their number one priority.

That's what made this project so great; they put as much work/thought/quality into their packaging as they do their product. We were asked to create the packaging for their updated version of Labyrinth. They gave us little guidelines and much freedom. Having designed packaging for national retailers, we know every penny counts, so we played it safe (but sexy) with most designs, but we also threw in a couple of pie-in-the-sky options and thankfully they went with our personal favorite! We designed a 3D maze with an actual marble on the cover of the box and allowing it to dot the "i" in Labyrinth as an extra wink. Their team of genius engineers and manufactures were able to make it come to life and the feedback has been, and I apologize in advance, A-MAZE-ING!! I believe the term "hot cakes" was used to describe how well it's doing. But we're only one small piece of the puzzle. They did an incredible job updating the game with regular, yet challenging, mazes, and in true Marbles fashion, they put their own spin on it and added a Periodic Table of Elements and map of the USA on a couple of the mazes. A nerd's dream come true. So check out a couple of the photos below and if you, or someone you know, is in need of some brain exercise, give them a visit here or find a store near you.

Dec 20, 2012

Merry Christmas and an awesome New Year!!

Hello friends!

We're going to keep this one short and sweet. 2012 was a big year for us. We opened the doors to our little creative studio and through all of the ups and downs, we feel blessed for all that's happened and all of those who've helped us along the way. Thank you!
Now we get to celebrate the upcoming holidays! So however you choose to trim the tree (hee, hee. Get it?) or celebrate the holidays, on behalf of the monsters here, we wish you a super amazing Christmas and an even greater New Year! Stay safe, and more importantly, stay awesome.

See you soon!

Dec 13, 2012

A Christmas tip from the monster crew

We've all heard the saying, less is more. That's actually true in most cases (not true when dealing with donuts or bacon). That saying is most certainly true when dealing with home decorating. With this being the holiday season, we wanted to share a tip on how to pick the appropriate Christmas tree. The picture above pretty much speaks for itself.

Other Holiday tips:
Don't make snowmen out of yellow snow.
Actually, avoid yellow snow at all costs.
Gift cards are actually a good gift.
Puppies are actually a bad gift. The type of presents they leave are the ones you can't return with any amount of receipts.

Well, we hope we've been of some help to you. How ever you celebrate your holiday season, we wish you a safe and awesome season and an even better new year. Merry Christmas!!

Nov 20, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving to ALL!!!!

As we near our 1 year anniversary, we have a lot to be thankful for from our awesomely wondiferous clients (clients sounds kinda stale, huh? We'll call you our friends), to our fans (that sounds weird, let's just call you friends also). We are thankful for our entire circle of friends and family. We wish you all the safest and most delicious Thanksgiving ever!!

Nov 5, 2012

Cream or sugar with that coffee? How 'bout some nerd?

So a little while back, the good folks at Bloc, a group of elite nerds (Coming from a nerd, I mean that in the most honoring way possible) with amazing experience and backgrounds, banded together to form a company that offers courses in web development (though more courses are on the horizon). Anyways, they contacted us to illustrate a graphic for a tee shirt they could hand out at their booth at trade shows. After speaking with tech guru, Hani (greatest guy ever), we understood they wanted a block character to serve as their mascot. They were pretty open aside from that. We felt a wooden block tied best in with their brand identity. Their excitement over the final product was only matched by those receiving the tees, which made us equally excited. It was a triforce of happiness. They were so fun to work with and we wish them the best as they raise up another generation of programming nerds (again, that's a good thing). If you're looking to bulk up your web development skills, check them out! Below are some photos of the final product.

Oct 15, 2012

Are you feeling the burn yet?

We recently had the pleasure of working with the innovative fitness company Wahoo Fitness, who develops product and technology for the everyday athlete. What we love about them most is their sense of humor. While they take their business very seriously, they don't take themselves too seriously. They've recently developed a new piece of technology and felt the best way to pitch it would be via illustrated story boards. That's where we came in. After listening to their needs and asking some essential questions, we had all we needed to proceed. The initial feedback has been very positive and we wish them the best and hope our work continues to support their work. If you are an everyday athlete (or an every once in a while athlete like me), be sure to pay them a visit here. Below are just a few of the images we developed. Thanks!

© Wahoo Fitness 2012
© Wahoo Fitness 2012

© Wahoo Fitness 2012

Hooray for Halloween!!

Hello folks! Luis here!

I had the absolute privilege to work on Target's Halloween collection in 2010 and lead the development in 2011 and 2012. This year was by far my most ambitious to date. I lead the cross-functional and cross-departmental teams in a number of brainstorm sessions to identify white-space opportunities in our assortment, merchandising and general product ideas. Developing a collection of this magnitude is a huge undertaking and takes a large number of people, but it's fun and has been the most rewarding project I've had to work on because it is so big, and heck, it's Halloween!!

As I mentioned, it's definitely a group effort that combined the talents of many people and departments. Aside from having to develop the trends, I personally oversaw (and pitched in on) the development of the artwork/style guide. I also dabbled in some of the product designs and/or art directed our business partners. To me, the most exciting part is co-developing the strategy with the merchant teams. In 2011, we saw an opportunity to make pumpkin decorating bigger and more fun, and we expanded it for 2012. Usually the design team pitches in to help develop merchandising solutions, but by that time I had already left and opened the doors to Idea Monster. Below are just a few photos of some of the assortment in all of their glory. Enjoy!!

Just a snap shot of our home decor offerings.
A wreath I developed. I don't know why, but I really love this guy.
New for us in 2012 was adding real pumpkins to our pumpkin decorating statement. I wish I could take credit for that one :(.
I wanted our animated decor to feel as cohesive as possible so we tied it all together with materials, color and finishes.

Who doesn't love a party? Aside from developing the "Spookier" artwork, I also designed these shaped plates. My favorite to this day.

After an observational "field trip" to my buyer's son's school Halloween party, we identified the need for some school or group games/activities. While I developed the basic look and concepts, a talented designer and friend did the actual designing and saw it through to production.