Hail to the Chief (Wahoo)?

Ahhh, it's opening day of the Major Leagues. The smell of dirt and grass, the sound of stadium chants and arguments about whether team mascots such as the Cleveland Indians' Chief Wahoo are racist. The debate rages on, so Scene Magazine stirred the pot and issued a contest in late 2016 to rename and redesign the Cleveland Indians identity. My submission concept, the Cleveland Industrials, was a semifinalist amongst hundreds of entries. Check it out below.

Fighting Hate In Our State

North Carolina's infamous "Bathroom Bill," formally House Bill 2, is tallying up a cost of $3.7 billion in economic losses for the state. A wrongheaded piece of legislation about fear of transgender people sneaking into women's bathrooms to accost children, it aims to invade people's underwear in the name of safety — when, really, it's effectively pillaging our back pockets. So instead of just bitching about it on social media, we at The Variable launched Careolina, a licensed merchandise brand movement to put the care back in North Carolina. With every purchase of Careolina apparel, 50% of the profits go to organizations fighting hate in our state. As partner brands join the cause, 25% of profits from their products' purchases will do the same.

Here are the brand elements and some of the items we launched with...all designed and hand screen-printed in-house. Copywriting by yours truly and Matteson Fields, with art direction and design work by David Jones, Josh Carnley, Matt Cook and Justin Jackson.

Get your Careolina gear at here.

Village Juice Co. Brand Identity

A local cold-press juice company startup with franchise ambitions came to The Variable for help opening their first brick and mortar full-scale restaurant. They had a phenomenally healthy, quality menu and wanted the brand we developed to reflect their attention to detail and ingredients. We crafted their new naming and brand identity system, manifesto, packaging templates, uniforms, signage, menu boards and more to deliver a totally fresh experience. Here is some of our work — design chops by my partner Matt Cook and Josh Carnley.

Spreading the Sunshine

A few co-workers and I launched Buck O'Hairen's Legendary Sunshine back in 2013 with the hopes of creating a little beverage brand we could be proud of. Well, it's become more than just a sweet little Southern company, having grown to the point where two new flavors were the next logical step. 

Here's to keeping up the good energy that only Sunshine can bring...introducing Blueberry Lemonade and Clementine Twist.

Mein Trumpf

I read a bunch of tweets one morning about how if you replace the word "Muslims" with "Jews" in Donald Trump's speeches, he starts to sound like a spitting image of Hitler. Then I thought, instead of just telling people to imagine this, why isn't there something that automates the comparison?

I reached out to a programmer friend, and in about 2 hours we had launched the "Mein Trumpf" Google Chrome Extension. Mein Trumpf replaces a select group of words in articles about Donald Trump to illustrate in a satirical, disturbing way how much his rhetoric sounds like Adolf Hitler. Check out a couple samples of the extension in action below — and once you install it, give it a whirl with this article.

NOTE: Mein Trumpf may not work 100% perfectly in every instance in all articles, but it should paint enough of the picture to disgust you. That’s the point.

Just Curious, Why Doesn't This Exist?

I'm constantly thinking of new product ideas and ways for brands to stay true to who they are while bringing fresh concepts to market.

One day when I popped an Altoids to cure my coffee breath, I realized that what I really wanted was a thorough mouth cleaning. That's when I came up with the idea for Altoids mouthwash and toothpaste. Seems like a no-brainer for Altoids to not have to cede this mouth-moment to Colgate or Crest.

This web page was launched to gauge consumer interest, but as you could guess, prompted Wrigley to send a curiously strong cease and desist letter. Nonetheless I still think it's a damn good new product idea.

Lowes Foods 2015 Holiday Campaign

We launched the Lowes Foods #BeFull holiday campaign during last night's Monday Night Football game between the Bengals and Texans, airing the 60-second version of "The Full Table." The spot features an originally composed Christmas song "The Days To Be Home" that I co-wrote with the indie rock band My Double, My Brother — listen to the full track below the video. 

Plan For Duke - Open Enrollment Campaign

With Open Enrollment in full swing and some huge changes coming down the pipe in people's health insurance policies, we developed a campaign for Duke Medicine urging health insurance consumers to do one critical thing: do your homework to make sure you have access to the Duke Medicine doctors, hospitals and clinics you trust.

We collaborated on the spots below with the animation geniuses at Buck, and music from MassiveMusic.

To support the campaign and educate consumers on which plans have Duke in their coverage, we launched PlanForDuke.com and a series of man-on-the-street videos, like the one seen here.

From the Wayback Green Machine

I still love these ads we did for Sherwin-Williams years ago. The campaign, which was featured in PRINT Magazine, helped publicly launch the brand's deepening commitment to more environmentally responsible coatings and paints.