Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage

Last year The Hermitage asked us to design a new logo as the first step toward rebranding the historic landmark and public museum.  The goal was to make Andrew Jackson a more prominent element of their visual identity.  Illustrator Aaron Johnson accomplished this by incorporating Andrew Jackson’s portrait and his signature into the new logo.

This year the Hermitage opened an all new exhibit, Andrew Jackson:  Born for a Storm, and hired us to design the advertising campaign announcing the grand opening of the state-of-the-art, 1.1 million dollar exhibit.  The exhibit focuses on the three pivotal stages of Jackson’s astonishing life: his modest origins as an orphan, his resiliency as a General and his visionary leadership as a President.  Drawing on themes from the exhibit we built a campaign around the iconic portrait of General Andrew Jackson on His War Horse.  In total we created over 10 different designs including billboards, banners, print ads, and digital media graphics.

They were so happy with the work we did on the campaign that they decided to have us design a comprehensive set of stationary for the new brand identity.  Inspired by the fact that Andrew Jackson signed some of the most significant documents in America’s history, we decided to incorporate an aged parchment texture to help unify each of the pieces.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Designer Highlight: Aaron Johnson

This month's designer highlight features Aaron Johnson, our team's powerhouse illustrator. Aaron grew up in Nashville and took to drawing at a young age. After attending Watkins College of Art and Design here in town he set his sights on Anderson Design Group where he started out as an intern. In his free time he enjoys eating strawberry flavored foods and going to comic book and anime conventions.

Aaron handles much of the illustration that we do for client business, and also contributes to our ever growing poster collections in-between projects. He enjoys working in many different illustration styles and always looks to add new art movements or variations to his library of skills. 

Hand lettering and artisan packaging are another passion of Aaron's, and he had a lot of fun creating the Old Glory labels and branding. 


When he he isn't drawing for Anderson Design Group Aaron enjoys drawing Japanese anime styled art, digital painting, and making over-the-top pictures. He also helps his contribute to his girlfriend's business Cute-Loot, which sells cute geek-related prints and merchandise at comic conventions.

When he's not drawing he does sculpting, sewing, woodworking, metalworking, and makes prop electronics, such as this custom lightsaber that lights up and makes vmm vmm sounds. 

Need an illustrator for your next project? Call us and we'll put Aaron on the job. He knows so much about Photoshop and Star Wars that we've nicknamed him Adobe-Wan Kenobi

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Designer Highlight: Ryan Pflasterer

The Anderson Design Group is comprised of seasoned illustrators, designers, and production experts who all have a passion for beautifully printed pieces of art/design.  Ryan Pflasterer, the most recent addition to our design team, is particularly fascinated with archaic forms of printmaking.  His work as a designer/printmaker, however, has been informed by his background as a mixed-media artist.

Ryan and his wife Elyzabeth during a recent gallery showing at the Imago Galley & Cultural Center in Columbia, MO.  You can read an interview about the artwork here.

Last year, on April Fools Day, Ryan and Elyzabeth officially launched a new business called Inkwell's Press (Fun Fact: ADG/ATD was also launched on April 1st, over 20 years ago).  Inkwell's Press is a printmaking and bookbinding studio specializing in high-quality, hand-made "artifacts" using techniques that are thousands of years old, yet shockingly viable today. In addition to an expanding line of beautifully printed notebooks, journals, housewares, and art prints, Inkwell's Press also offers custom silkscreen printing services.  To learn more visit the online gallery/shop at (right now Ryan and Elyzabeth are giving free pocket notebooks to anyone who signs up for the Inkwell's Press mailing list).

The following images provide a glimpse at Ryan's process along with samples of printmaking and bookbinding projects...

Once a design is finalized film positives of the artwork are prepared.

The film positive is used to burn a stencil into an emulsified silkscreen.

Final "Ideas & Intentions" pocket notebooks inspired by vintage feed and seed memo books from the mid 1900's.

The process typically begins with hand-drawn artwork.

Each individual color is hand-pulled using a separate screen.

This limited edition was set at exactly 50 prints, which were each signed and numbered.

Final "Prayers & Perceptions" limited edition silkscreen print.

Limited edition woodcut print.

After this 10-print edition was finished the original woodcut plate was marred to ensure that there will never be reprints. 

A collabrative edition series of notebooks featuring hand-dyed indigo covers by Garner Blue.

Custom pocket notebooks hand-printed and hand-bound for a non-profit organization based in Miami, FL.

Stay tuned for some exciting collaborations between ADG and Inkwell's Press to be announced soon!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

2015 Addy Awards

Nashville's 50th annual ADDY Awards were held this past Saturday. We want to recognize our clients who helped us take home the prizes. Fat Bottom Brewery, J.M.T Spices, and our own National Parks Calendar were gold ADDY winners. The National Parks Calendar and postcard sets even won best of show in the print category. Check them out on our store here!  

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Old Glory Distillery

It's finally time to talk about a project that's been in the works for over a year. Fine spirits take a while to craft and to age, so while he’s been waiting, our client Matt Cunningham has engaged us to create his brand identity. Even before he broke ground on his Clarksville, TN distillery, Matt asked us to design a logo, brand identity, and packaging for the distilled spirit products he planned to launch.

In the future, Old Glory will primarily be a Tennessee Whiskey and Bourbon producer. But those product releases are several years down the road… at least 4.  Matt goes on to explain that 80% of Old Glory spirits will be put in barrels to age. We won’t have to wait quite as long for the White Hat Whiskey—he’ll be speed-aging some of that in smaller barrels so he can release it after about 2 years.

Not willing to gamble the next four years away just hoping for the best, our client has tapped the talents of industry veteran Dave Scheurich.  With over 40 years of experience in the production of distilled spirits, Scheurich’s resume includes stints at Seagram’s, Wild Turkey, and Woodford Reserve.

So how did we go about creating the Old Glory brand identity? We started with the American flag, or Old Glory, which symbolizes hardiness and valor, purity and innocence and vigilance, perseverance and justice. It is all-American. So red, white and blue were foundational colors. We wanted to create a logo hat conveyed the classic American stars and stripes as well as a Southern gentleman’s nod to the Tennessee state flag. With so many famous and up-and-coming distilleries in our home state, Old Glory needed to stand out. Our client wanted to do this by taking pride in TN roots—especially an association with the local Fort Campbell military base, home to the Screaming Eagles. So we created a branding scheme that plays up eagles, stars and stripes, and vintage American glory.

We started by helping our client choose bottles that would be appropriate for each different product. The whiskey bottle needed to look different than the Gin, Rum, Vodka or Moonshine bottles while still keeping a family look. We selected a line of sturdy, heroic glassware with classic wooden stopper tops.

The first label design we tackled was for White Hat Whiskey.  The name symbolizes the kind of character you find in a classic hero, or in a quality handcrafted whiskey. This one would set the tone for the rest of the spirits and so we explored many different looks before we settled on a hand-rendered style. Staff artist Aaron Johnson created some beautiful, vintage hand-lettering. Then he added lots of intricate scrolling and line art to achieve a historic feel.

The label evolved over time as the product changed from a white whiskey to a dark whiskey. The idea to have the flag as a backdrop showing through the bottle was one we all liked, but unfortunately federal laws prohibit using the American flag on liquor. We could however, use the stars and stripes in a way that is reminiscent of the Old Glory without actually using it.


Jumper's Stash is a white rum that pays tribute to the 101st Airborne Division located in Old Glory's hometown Clarksville. 

Smoothshine is a wheat based moonshine, and it tastes smoother than a traditional corn and sugar based moonshine. We wanted a look that referenced the lore of the good old Appalachian distillers, but without going into the missing teeth and overalls stereotypes. 

Old Glory Tennessee Vodka was designed with a slightly different market in mind. While the other spirits are designed to have an artisan crafted feel, our client wanted to tap into the clean and elegant styles of the high-end Vodka scene. 

The distillery is under construction. The products are not yet in production, but the branding, labeling and corporate identity are set.

Now, that's the face of a happy client! Matt Cunningham recently unveiled his new business to the community, showcasing his products and architectural drawings for his distillery that is currently under construction. 

Logo and package designer: Aaron Johnson
Creative director: Joel Anderson