What rhymes with fountain stew?


So about a year ago, we got asked to do a label for a famous beverage brand that rhymes with “Fountain Stew” haha. It was a part of a large project called the #DewnitedStates where they would have a different label for every state as a part of a collect them all summer promotion. We chose Florida and Alabama since we live in Florida and I have several family members that are from Alabama and because my vintage country illustration style fits it perfectly. It was a super fun project and we almost forgot about it because the work was done so far in advance. I mean fifty labels is a lot. Till my graphic caught my eye walking through our local Publix. It was super cool to be able to walk into just about any store and see your artwork. Below is some of the process and final products. Logo Excluded for confidentiality purposes of course. – TRON

Check out mountaindew.com/world/alabama to read more about the label we created!




They even created animations loosely based off the label content that was played on TV and and at gas station pumps across the nation!


The Type Fight – Letter M by TRON


The weigh in is weighed, the press conference pressed, and the trash talking is trashed. Let the Type Fight Begin!!! Thanks to the Vince Mc’Men of Typography – Drew Roper and Bryan Butler, Lil’ Tuffy and I will be squaring off in the ring starting Tuesday 6.9.15 over at TheTypeFight.com for a bout of epic proportions.

Two analog poster artist going head to head on the digital frontier that is the internet for your viewing and voting pleasure! We put our hearts on the line with these hand-crafted M’s so show some love and vote for your favorite as this fight is sure to go the whole 10 rounds full of Blood, Sweat, and Beers!


A little insight into the design of my M, When I first started sketching for this fight I knew I wanted to try and get a thinner / scripty M and a thicker / bold M in the same letter. Once I got that part down, adding the depth and dimension to it really gave the letter a cool perspective and that little extra something it needed.

Also creating this letter from scratch using just circles and some simple geometry was a really fun exercise and brought back some cool memories of my days working in cad. I hope you enjoy my Letter M and don’t forget to vote! Also keep an eye out for a limited edition print of this guy as well. It also makes a PRETTY AWESOME #3 as well! Dale Earnhardt Forever… YEEEW! – TRON

SPAMERICA Tour Poster Jacksonville


We recently had the great pleasure of working with one of America’s most classic food brands SPAM on a poster for the Jacksonville leg of the SPAMERICA Tour! It was a pretty awesome experience, from the sketch phase right down to the actual event. We jump at the chance to represent our hometown on pretty much any occasion but for a brand as big as SPAM and as one of only 13 cities on the tour we were stoked.


So how do you summarize a city as big and diverse as Jacksonville without using any recognizable landmarks or trademarked brands? You pick the most random and locally know landmark there is and give him a little makeover, thus the J-Rex is born. And we sprinkled a few more icons in there for good measure just to make sure we covered all of our basis. Add the SPAM signature colors and Done!



Thanks to everyone who stopped by and snagged a print or two and some “SPAMples” as I like to call them. I also wanted to give a quick thanks to my good friends Tim Styles and Hogan Birney at Mama’s Sauce for a rad print job and CKY / JPB for the referral. Last but not least EAT SOME SPAM yall! – TRON.


WALK THE MOON Poster Florida


Recently we had the pleasure of getting to work with “The Wizard of Merch” Mr. Brian Stowell again on a rad gig poster but this time we did something we usually don’t do, Make a poster for a band we aren’t already super fans of. Luckily the internet is a place of instant knowledge so after getting the email we took a quick listen and immediately liked what we heard.

Being a fan of almost all 80’s music, Walk the Moon grabbed me with a very interesting sound that I could only describe as Talking Heads vs Devo with a big side of The Police. Impossible you say? I think not.

The latest record Talking Is Hard is a tiny bit on the pop side but nothing that a grown man such as myself would be embarrassed to sing out loud in the car. The record has become one of my fav’s this year and every time I put it on it ends up just playing on repeat for several hours so needless to say, I dig it.

Now that you have the back story on the band I’ll tell you a little bit about the poster. After watching a few videos of their live performances and a really good cover of Burning Down The House, I could see these guys have a very bright and lively style with a strong nod to 80’s culture but with a very modern spin on it.

So my immediate thought was, how can I portray this bands vibe in the most simple way possible while referencing an 80’s flare but still making a print that someone would want to hang up in their home that didn’t look like MTV threw up on the wall? Shapes, Texture, Type, Raw Color, and Light Cream Paper that’s how. While my sketches didn’t represent how this poster would look in the end, the basic idea of the shapes making the letter forms was there and the textures / over printing really ended up tying it all together.

I wasn’t really sure in the begging where this project was gonna go, but the end results where two fold. I made a poster that caused me to step out of my recent comfort zone that I am really proud of, and I found some rad new music to jam out to. So SHUT UP AND DANCE Bitches!!! – Tron

If you weren’t able to attend the show or just really like the poster, we now have a few copies up for sale in our ONLINE STORE. But don’t sleep on, cause there is less than 20 copies available!


Creative South 2015 Recap


YEEEW!!! Man, Creative South 2015 came and went with a fury this year. So much fun and crazy stuff to cover so I’ll do my best to get everything in this post but if I leave you out don’t be offended, there was a lot of Summer Shandy’s and Ciders packed in to a very short amount of time, so here we go.

First of all, following up last years conference where we were lucky enough to be able to speak seemed like it would be tough to top but getting asked to make a special poster for all the people who bought the Love Is Blind tickets definitely was a good start. Hopefully those of you who ended up getting a copy were stoked because It was definitely a cool turning point in my design career as far as pushing myself with texture, type, and perspective. It also felt really good to give back to the conference that has given us so much in just a short amount of time. If you didn’t get one I will have a very small amount that I will release at a random time so keep an eye on the ole twitter and instagram machines for the release.


Secondly, I already miss all of you! Aside from my Duval Crew that I get to see all the time (CMYKAREN, PCARTER-YEEEW, Zwicker, Mr Mosher) I’m definitely gonna go throw some serious “Georgia Withdraws” from the Wier/Stewart Crew Jason Craig (great presentation this year), The Russ Pate and Felix Oliha. Family reunion shirts are definitely in order next year. Nick Slater (The Man Beast) who actually picked my large body up and carried me around on his shoulder, You my friend are definitely giving Kendrick Kidd a run for nicest guy on earth and have earned yourself a spot on the bro’s for life list… #CorgiConvos. Mr Target Himself Allan Peters! Glad to get a chance to chat with you and the Mrs this year, and congrats on the new little one. You will never meet a bigger design nerd in your life than this guy and I love it. Front row for every speaker and first to ask a question. Target’s design is in good hands with Allan driving the bus!


OK Pants, Mr Aaron Sechrist, great presentation this year as well and it was good to finally get some genuine hang time in with native Cleve-lander. I actually just assumed that being from Cleveland was just a myth and that all the fans at Browns games were just CGI, but you proved me wrong sir. Good Dude and good times. The Type fight masterminds Drew Roper and Bryan Butler who I can sum up with two words THE WOBBLER. Two seriously funny dudes, and hopefully they won’t hold me to getting into the ring next year dressed as Nacho Libre, but I stand by my word. The Bearded Ben Affleck himself, Mat Helme of Ink Wars. Rad project he runs and a genuinely funny guy as well. That hand made belt this year was insane, congrats to BeeTeeth on that crushing victory. Diane Gibbs, always fun and super sweet host of design recharge. Thanks for the sketch pad and Type-O’s joke, you missed your calling in comedy #Boogers. Tim Frame for making the 11 hour drive and hanging in there with our rowdy bunch for a few lunches and speakers, teach on teach! Danny Bryan who we accosted and held hostage from Clark Orr for a brief time.


Lenny Terenzi with the greatest Creative South entrance of all time and for making us laugh and cry simultaneously. Tad Carpenter, who took all my money at his merch table and got a great pic with Taylor Swift. Rad presentation and work sir, Plop & Drop is forever ingrained in my design vocab from here on out. Jen Mussari for straight crushing David Carson with no remorse, loved the passion for type in your presentation. Mama’s Sauce for having the balls to do a live screen print station, French paper for the great freebee’s and rad paper products. Bob Ewing and the InchXInch Button Crew, The Super Talented Cran Family, Will & Suzanne Gay for the behind the scenes look at some of Disney’s more edgy work. Justin Mezzel and Rogie King for doing a rad MC job and hosting one of the most epic designer dance battles of all time. Congrats to Dave Coleman for making me black out laughing when he brought out what I called the “Halloween Horror Nights” dance move (min 5:20 video below) and the epic “Dirty Dancing Lift” ender move with Mike Jones at (min 15:00). Frazier Davidson did an amazing gif of this on dribbble.

And Lastly, those who were seriously missed this year Clark Orr, Derrick Castle, Alex Wier, Daniel Stewart, Tim Styles, and my sidekick Kendrick Kidd. We had a ton of fun this year but it was not the same without y’all. Every time someone walked up to me and said “Are you Tron?” the very next words were “Is Kendrick here?” haha, so I’ll do my best to drag him up there with me next year I promise or at least figure out some sort of hologram situation. And to Mike Jones and the whole Creative South Crew, I know there is a lot of you who make this event happen and we all really do appreciate all the effort you guys put into make it a fun and family sized event. I was truly jealous of the front porch stage this year and the fireworks at the opening party were better than Jacksonville’s 4th of July and New Years Combined. Seriously Ridiculous.


This is Tron signing off and we look forward to seeing all your ugly mugs back down here in the humid, sweaty, sweet tea drinkin’, BBQ eatin’ south next year! YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEW!

Halftone Def HDS Monogram Tee


This New HDS Monogram Tee is inspired by all the rad baseball monograms of days past. Then we roughed it up a bit to give it that “game worn” look. This tee is printed on the toughest Gildan Ultra Cotton Tee and is an “Original Fit” tee. Not one of these skinny fit, pick a size up, show every ripple in you belly shirts. So grab the normal size. The shirt features a 2 color graphic across the front chest. So look tough in this beast 24/7 while rocking the flagship Icon of Halftone Def. An Official Product of the Dirty South.


Click here to purchase our HDS Monogram Tee – Black from our the Halftone Def store today!
Available in Gray/White, Orange/White, and Green/White on a black tee in size ranges from SM to 3XL!

This tee is printed on the toughest Gildan Ultra Cotton Tee and is an “Original Fit” tee. Not one of these skinny fit, pick a size up, show every ripple in you belly shirts. So grab the normal size.


We will be taking orders on all 3 color variations in sizes Small – 3XL for one week from 1.15.14 to 1.22.14. After Pre-Order ends we will need 1 week for production and orders will start shipping on 2.1.14 So please allow 5-7 days for Shipping an Handling from then. If you purchase another Item from the store at the same time that item will not be shipped separately and will be held till Pre-Order Item is ready. After Pre-order the price will increase to $20 plus shipping. So if you don’t mind waiting a couple weeks you can save yourself a few bucks and It allows us to make sure we have enough sizes for everyone. Even TRON sized folks!

State Plates Project – Florida


A few months back our good friend Jonathan Lawrence asked us to join in on his State Plates Project to which we quickly replied, only if it’s Florida! Kendrick and I are both born and raised in the Sunshine State and we wouldn’t have it any other way. To be honest, I haven’t traveled to that many places outside Florida so it was really my only option. So we locked it in, signed in blood with a spit handshake and here it is.

Jonathan only had one requirement, that we use the date that the state was founded as the plate number and naturally we tried very hard to ignore it because, if any state should get a vanity plate it should be Florida, right? But since Jonathan is such a nice guy we abided, However you can see the variant version below. We thought what better way to combine our precious state fruit and our awesome reputation for outrageous news headlines than to celebrate a drink that is famous for the brutal morning after, The Mimosa! Or for getting it started depending on wether or you are a hair of the dog kind of person or not.


I know most of the country thinks that Florida is just a vacation destination where old people retire and absolutely ridiculous stuff happens on a daily basis, so it would have been real easy to poke fun of ourselves in that respect. But the truth is that Florida is our home, and we wouldn’t change a thing about it. Except for the humidity… I would definitely love to turn that down a couple notches in the summer.

When we thought about recreating the new plate, we knew we wanted to keep some elements of the current plates which have always been pretty nice and clean but also add some elements that have been left out over the years. We are The Sunshine State and there has never been any sign of a sun ever. We also wanted to figure out a unique way to offset the awkward boomerang shape that is our beloved penis peninsula while showing a more recognizable icon of our favorite delicious citrus fruit the orange.

But, It’s Florida so we couldn’t be totally serious now could we. Wether you live here or just visit from time to time, you know that Florida Natives have no problems letting their creative juices flow when it comes to having fun. The Juice is Loose Brah! Visit StatePlatesProject.com to see some of the other great plates!

Passionately Project with Kendrick Kidd

posted in: Featured, HDS News | 0
About a year ago Kendrick received an email from a couple traveling around the country in an airstream, interviewing designers about their passions… This is what he had to say about it.

“I was immediately envious of what they were doing. The experience alone sounded like the synopsis for a movie I’d really want to see. Kyle & Claire Benson had already made their way from Utah across the U.S. and over to the North East before heading south to Florida. I think I was equally interested to hear about their travels as they were to chat about design. I don’t really like the idea of being filmed, for anything, but they immediately made me feel comfortable. The experience felt more like visiting old friends than an interview about design.” – Kendrick

If you have some time, please take a moment to visit the Passionately Project. They have a handful of thoughtful videos about designers and what makes them feel satisfied. Big thanks to Kyle & Claire for making the trip to Florida, and taking the time to chat with our beer drinking bearded charmer Kendrick. We are excited to have him be a part of your awesome project! – Tron.

AIGA Always Summer Weekend X Halftone Def


We are proud to announce that we will be giving our Un-Official SHIFT WORK Presentation this Friday here in our hometown of Jacksonville, Florida as a part of the AIGA Always Summer Weekend. We love this event and have had so much fun participating in it over the last six years that we were able to talk our local AIGA chapter into letting us give our presentation the night before the poster show and mixtape as a part of an extended weekend of events this year. So come out to Industry West on Hendricks Avenue behind High Tide Burrito this Friday night and listen to us talk your ear off for about an hour. If you like to laugh at really obscure 80’s references with some design work peppered in between then this event is def for you!

Click here to Register for SHIFT WORK: A Presentation by Halftone Def Studios
Registration for AIGA Members is ($10.00) Non-Members ($20.00)
Social Hour is at 6:30 p.m. / Presentation is at 7:30 p.m.


Go ahead and make a weekend out of it come out to the Poster Show & Mixtape Saturday night as well. We will also be there selling the left over poster you see above from the previous night at our speaking event and some other posters from our inventory as well at “Hometown Prices” you won’t see again, as well as some long gone and never available prints that we just found laying around the shop. If you have never been to the Poster Show and Mixtape, everyone picks a song and designs a poster for it and the DJ spins the song in a playlist all night long. It’s a super fun time and It’s across the street from Bold City. Win/Win.

Click here to Register for the Poster Show & Mixtape and save $5.
General Admission tickets are $10 AIGA Members | $20 Non-Members the day of the event.

Ray Lamontagne Gig Poster – Jacksonville FL


We are truly excited to finally be able to show our latest hand-screened concert poster for the Ray Lamontagne, Jenny Lewis, and Belle Brigade show in our hometown of Jacksonville, Florida tomorrow on 7.15.2014. We have had this one in the works for quite a while and this print is definitely a new mark for Halftone Def not only in hours involved in design but the size of the print run, colors and the execution.


Everything these amazing singer songwriters do is completely original and hand crafted so we spared no expense on this one as all the flowers are individually arranged just as you would a real bouquet and all of the type and lettering is completely hand drawn to give it that real vintage look. We also took another big step up in our screen printing as this poster uses more halftones than we have ever tried to print… ironically.


How we ended up on a Vintage Tea Tin with flowers instead of Motorcycles or Muscle cars which was an optional part of the original brief for Ray’s latest album SUPERNOVA is beyond me. Usually we would be chomping at the bit to do a poster like that, but after giving the new album a few spins, you could definitely feel that 60’s and 70’s era “Good Old Days” feel to it. And given the venue here in the deep south of North Florida this idea just felt like a natural juxtaposition of all those elements. A dash of the days past, Something old made new again, and sprinkle of southern charm all steeped in a melting pot of some serious soul.

We will have a hand full of copies for sale the day after the show in our online store, so check it! – Tron

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