Author: Carl S. Johnson

The Irony (of Blogging and Social Media)

We live in a social media rich culture. Social everything. At times it’s hard to keep up, isn’t it? I was thinking about how most companies are expected to keep on blogging, tweeting, pinging, linking, liking, streaming, updating, and throwing stuff on “the Wall” to see what sticks. There’s more if you are a social […]

The Joys of Owning and Operating a Small Business

I feel the need to share with you some of the joys and challenges of navigating a small business. When people often ask me “How’s business going?” or “What’s it like being a business owner?”, I often tell them that it’s an adventure. That is, of course, the highly optimistic response. But it’s absolutely true. […]

Buying Keeps the Ball Rollin’

The other day I had to pick up some 8″ reader board letters for a client. You know, the interchangeable letters you see outside on marquee signs, church signs, gas prices, etc. I didn’t need a whole set, but I was missing a few “E’s”, an “R”, an “F.”  I needed five letters to be […]

My Favorite Logo

A lot of times, as designers, we have a favorite designer. Someone to admire, someone who inspires us to work harder. I am a big fan of Neal Ashby, Scott Hansen, Toni Hobbs and Jim Alleman. Or we have a favorite font. I’ve always been fond of Vintage Typewriter. (big shocker there!) And sometimes, we […]

Even Presidents Need to Brand Good.

Candidates are always debating and pointing out just how different (and better) they are from the next guy. Why then does all of their marketing speak and campaign logos come out looking the same? As a designer, I have always been slightly amused by presidential candidate branding, sloganeering, and logos. Is it just me, or […]

Rock Brand

Did you know that rock bands are a brand unto themselves? Were you aware that probably every band has a logo? Instantly your mind thinks “Rolling Stones tongue”, right? I love rock band logos. They are perhaps most recognizable and appreciated in the vinyl album format. Vinyl records are the greatest. Back in the 70’s, […]

Be Proud of your Brand

One thing I have noticed over years of image-observing is the semi-neglect or indifferent attitude that business’ sometimes have with their brand. Some do their best to protect and build it up, while others don’t really care all that much. Have you ever seen a logo printed poorly on a business card, or all pixelated […]

Agape Ann Arbor

Our friend Bryon Harvey started an organic church plant in Ann Arbor. We were glad to help him create this nice little site. We also produced the promo video for Agape Ann Arbor. Visit:

Best Dearborn Stories

Every once in a while, a cool project comes along – one that we get extra-excited to be a part of. This was one of them. The Museum Guild of Dearborn approached us to design and layout a book called “Best Dearborn Stories: Voices From Henry Ford’s Hometown”. It’s a compilation that includes stories from more than 135 residents and former residents who share their memorable Dearborn moments.

Return to Splendor

Album artwork that Carl did for his friend & recording artist, William Jennings. He wanted the illustrations to tell stories, and each one is taken from the songs or lyrics from the album.