Pier Party was a blast!

PierParty3

My wonderful wife Patricia and me, in between chowing down on the delicious brunch provided by some of the top restaurants in Santa Monica — and that’s saying a lot! (Thanks, Ted, for the photo!)

Sunday was the first ever Pier Party!, a fundraising event on the Santa Monica Pier at Pacific Park, supporting the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation, which is responsible for most of the academic, athletic and arts enhancements that make SMMUSD so incredible. FreeAssociates donated the design of all the promotional graphics…. sponsor proposals, ads, posters, t-shirts, signs, etc.

Linda Greenberg Gross is the visionary powerhouse who runs SMMEF. She’s positive, effective, and a joy to work with.

Kathleen Rawson, CEO of Downtown Santa Monica chaired the steering committee composed almost entirely of powerful, connected, highly committed women (I was one of only two guys that I know of).

The overall project was spearheaded by Rachel Faulkner, who pulled off complex miracles on a daily basis — with a lot of help from dozens and dozens of  energetic volunteers far too numerous to name here, but so impressive.

It was a gorgeous day and a wonderful group of people! I am grateful to be a part of this project, and of this amazing community.

Here are some snaps from the event, plus a few of our graphics just to give you the flavor of things. There are more photos on our Facebook page.

 

Bike It! Day in Santa Monica

Bike It! Day logoDon’t you just love it when an idea you helped promote builds into something wonderful? Me, too!

A couple of years ago strategic marketing guru, organisational whiz and fellow parent Richard McKinnon asked me to create a brand identity for Bike It! Day. He was working with student activists Charlotte Biren and Jenna Perlman to create more awareness of bike-riding, and to try to make it cool again. It looks like they succeeded admirably.

From a single school, the program has grown to encompass the entire Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, with 3,300 participants. And Biren and Perlman received a Commendation from the Office of the President (yes, THAT president), honoring their achievement at a national level.

I’m thrilled our little contribution added some visibillity. But it’s amazing what kids can do when they have a vision and a champion.

Streetsblog Los Angeles » Best Practices: Bike It! Day in Santa Monica.

(Note to self: Don’t let WordPress add “recommended links” without checking them! Amusingly, “Office of the President” linked to The President of the Philippines before I fixed it manually. Sorry for any confusion, peeps.)

The power of design

Non-designers so often think of design as “decorating”. We designers strive to help them understand otherwise.

A wonderful example of how design can change lives appeared this morning in the L.A. Times. The big story is one about architecture and the challenges of designing for the homeless.

But there’s a smaller article, too.

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