The Type Fight – Letter M by TRON

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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.

BIG TRON vs LIL’ TUFFY – EAST COAST vs WEST COAST – NICKNAME vs NICKNAME
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!

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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

Creative South 2015 Recap

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

State Plates Project – Florida

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

Design Vs Cancer – For Love & Life Lettering

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Design Vs Cancer is an organization that provides financial assistance directly to families with loved ones who are fighting Cancer. They also donate a portion of their profits to help support Cancer research. I first heard about DVC at a design conference I attended this past spring, The Creative South in Georgia.

After speaking with their founder Peter, and hearing how the organization came about, I quickly realized I wanted to contribute. Above is lettering piece I recently finished up to help raise a few dollars, and some awareness for the cause. If you feel compelled to help, or you’re just looking for something nice to hang on the wall at work, please visit the Design Vs Cancer site and pick up a print. Thanks in advance for the consideration and remember… for love and life we must always fight. – Kendrick Kidd

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Click on over to Design Vs Cancer and pick up one of these sweet prints today to support a great cause!
Six Different Color Variations Available at 12″ x 16″ for $30 on a matte finished Archival Paper.

Origins of Rad Podcast Featuring TRON!

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So last week I was lucky enough to be a guest on one of my all time favorite podcast’s Origins of Rad by a good friend, fellow designer, Floridian, and co-host Clark Orr. I have been a fan of this show since day one and pretty much strong armed my way on during a post dinner arm wrestling match at this past creative south, Over The Top Stallone Backwards Hat Style (Not Really). Clark and Mike share a deep love for all things 80’s good or bad and have had some really great guests on the show as well. Which was a pretty serious winning streak till they dead ended and ran out of options and had to ask me. So if you love the 80’s get on over to OriginsOfRad.com and download the latest episode featuring yours truly or subscribe to it on iTunes if thats your media outlet of choice. Awesome Goonies cover art illustration by mikuloctopus.com

Thanks Ya’ll – Creative South 2014

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We just wanted to give a brief thanks to everyone who come out to the Creative South in GA last weekend! All the attendees, vendors, speakers, and the entire creative south crew for making this southern event possible. We had such a fun time speaking, meeting everyone, having dinner/drinks, and getting to spend some good quality time with all the people who’s work we admire and look up to and all the great people who support us in what we do as well. Everyone was so nice and just really down to earth good folks.

Thanks to everyone who came and purchased a shirt or poster from us, it was amazing to see people wearing them around and all the awesome photos of the posters along with all the other great vendors that we’re there too. If you missed us at our booth (Sorry We Just couldn’t miss seeing this great lineup of speakers) We will have most of the posters and shirts that was there up in our store in a few days.

As most of you that saw our presentation know, I can truly speak for both @Kendrick Kidd and myself when I say they we are on cloud nine right now and we don’t ever want it to end… ever. In fact I’m going to get a @Nick Slater peach logo tattooed on my left butt cheek this afternoon. Also, please disregard all the terrible run on sentences and bad grammar in this post, as we are still to excited to even double check it.

Also, if you have any photos of us speaking, or photos with us, please shoot them over to us in an email (halftonedef@gmail.com) as we would love to ad them to this post and show them off to our Momma’s!

See Ya’ll Next Year,
Love TRON & Grease!

Skillshare Beer Label Design w/ Kendrick Kidd

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I feel like I’ve joined a gang… of teachers. A real intimidating group of nerdy nerds, that know a lot about gang stuff, and fancy design. My initiation: Record over an hour of instructional video featuring my ugly mouth spouting all the nuggets I know about label design. Including useful bits about concepting, design grids, color choices, and setting up your very own label series (there’s even a downloadable beer can template). So help me keep my new gang-friends happy, sign up today and learn your face off. First 50 people to sign up receive a free puppy.* Thank You. *This is a lie. – Kendrick http://skl.sh/1eGTmrS

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HELP INK T-Shirt Design by Grease (KendrickKidd)

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Grease (kendrickkidd) was recently approached by the fine folks over at helpink.org about doing some good design for a good cause, and naturally being the big hearted soft spoken gentlemen that he his, Grease obliged. It’s a win win for everyone really, we get to make something cool, you get to buy it, and a charity gets to benefit from it. Hop on over to www.helpink.org and get one, and if nothing else, at least go get a look at that amazingly bearded photo of the man, the myth, the legend Grease E. Monkey. Hell, we should be charging you just to look at it, but this ones on us… for charities sake. Your welcome. – TRON.

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