New Work

•June 28, 2010 • 1 Comment

Working on the design for the new blog for The Lab, a music production and DJ school in Burlington Vermont. Working along side Tony Libera. Should be a great project, Ill update as we get going further.

-JF

Europe 2010 #5

•June 28, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Im really going pretty slowly with the continuation of this series, I wanted it all to be done within a couple weeks of being back but it seems as if that isnt going to happen. Hopefully before the end of July Ill have the whole trip up here and on flickr.

And so we continue from Athens to the Greek island of Mykonos which is part of the Hellenic island chain. Mykonos is about a 5 hour ferry ride from the port of Pireaus (about 20 outside of Athens). After our day at the Temple of Poseidon we headed to the port to get aboard Blue Star ferries Ithaki. Once we arrived at the port we had to maze our way through lines and lines of cars and passengers trying to get aboard one of the 5 huge ferries that were departing from the port all within 20 min of each other. Once on the boat it was a smooth ride from the port to Mykonos. Once you arrive in Mykonos the first thing you see are a horde of hotel employees all screaming different names of their respective hotels trying to get their passengers into cars and out of there. Since our hotel didnt pick us up it was a bit of task to try and find a taxi to finally get us to our hotel. The hotel we stayed at was on Ornos beach which is one of the small beaches on the island but it was good to be away from the more touristy beaches.

Probably the most exciting part of our stay on Mykonos was renting our sickkkk ATV (The Haus). Right next to our hotel was a rental shop where you could get mopeds and ATV’s to jet around the island on. We thought that it would be safer to get an ATV that way we could take it onto the beaches as well. I would highly recommend anyone who travels to Mykonos to rent one, it is a great way to get around this small island and it was only 30 Euro for 2 days.

Pictured above is Dugg. He seems to hang out in the same spot everyday along the beach on the pathway what leads you into the small Old port of Mykonos. Mykonos is divided into two ports. The new port is where all of the ferries and the cruise ships dock and the old port is where most of the local fisherman and some smaller ferries go in and out of. The old port is also where little Venice is located which is a network of small winding alleyways that were built on the island to confuse pirates as they pillaged among the Mediterranean sea. Mykonos is full of white washed stone buildings lining these narrow alleys with small shops selling artowork, food, jewlery, a huge number of restaurants.

For most of our trip to Mykonos there was a lot of just hanging out. We traveled to a secluded beach that I was told was where all of the locals went to get away from the tourist crowded beaches on the other parts of the island. We took The Haus along the gravel rock road that led us to a cove behind another inlet into the island. There were probably about 15 or 20 people already there. The beach was great and the water was even better. For the remainder of our stay on the island we rode The Haus around exploring and eating along the way. Out of the two Greek islands that we visited (Mykonos and Santorini), I would choose Mykonos over Santorini. For the one main reason that it is smaller and I like the town of Mykonos over that of the capital city of Fira on Santorini.

More to come on the Greek island travels soon! Check out my flickr page for more pictures from the trip.

-JF

Europe 2010 #4

•June 17, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Id hoped to write a post a day and get the whole trip up on the blog within the first week back but that didnt seem to happen. So Ill continue to update as regularly as I can now that Im back in Burlington.

So Athens continues… The next day after visiting the church upon a hill we ventured outside of Athens and to a smaller town on the ocean called Sounio where there is another famous ancient ruin known as the Temple of Poseidon. This spot had been recommended to us by a number of different people as well as travel blogs. The temple sits upon a cliff that over looks the Mediterranean sea.

That morning we boarded an orange coach bus that took us on about an hour and a half ride winding in throughout small towns along the coast. If you are prone to car sickness this bus ride might now be the best ride for you. The roads that took us there are winding and narrow, but the views from the bus are awesome as you move along the coastline. Once we arrived at the temple we discovered a strange animal that seems to inhabit the area. They look like chickens but are slightly different colored and are everywhere.

Thanks to some tourist who seemed to be from the southern part of the US they are now dubbed prairie chickens. They run all around the small cafe and restaurant that is part of the historical site. After hanging out with the chickens for a little bit we moved up to the temple itself. The temple is sort of like the Pantheon in that it is built upon a base and is primarily made up of ionic columns. There is not a whole lot left of the building, but what is left is in good condition. The site is awesome to be at because of its location alone. The temple was constructed on top of a steep peninsula that looks out over the sea. The day we went was perfect weather and we both got some great pics of the site.

There is large crowd of people that make the trip the temple everyday, and there are also guides that will tell you about the history of the site and what exactly you are looking at. We just kind of took it all in. There is only so much time that you can spend looking at columns and ruins to after about an hour milling around and snapping photos at the top we moved back down and walked along the road that led us up to the site. On our way back down we stopped into one of the abandoned hotels that line the road. It seems like Sounio used to be much more a bustling tourist area than it is today and there are remnants of some of the older hotels and motels along the road. We went through a couple of them taking pictures of the abandoned buildings and modern ruins.

After our adventures among the motel ruins we caught up with the bust farther down the road and headed back to Athens. That afternoon we went back into town to look for one of the local legends of the city. Stavros Melissino is known as the poet sandal maker. He is originally from the US and has a Degree from the New School in New York for design. His sandals have been worn by The Beatles, Jackie O, and Barbara Streisand. When we got to his store I was amazed at the amount of sandals that one small place could fit. Stavros is no longer the makers of all these works of art but rather his son has taken over the family business. I picked out a pair and was custom fitted to them. Once you select a pair you are taken to the workbench and they are fitted to the exact size of your foot and then the straps are nailed into place. Sadly I didnt take any pictures inside the store because my camera had ran out of battery. But here is the link to the website where you can check out Stavros’s story as well as the sandals that he makes.

The next day we had to move on to our next location Mykonos one of the greek islands that is about a 5 hour ferry ride from the coastal town of Pireas. The next post will have pics of Mykonos and Santorini.

Hope your enjoying your June

-JF

Europe 2010 #3

•June 9, 2010 • Leave a Comment

The third leg of the European journey was a short flight from Vienna to Athens, Greece. I wasn’t really sure what to anticipate going to Athens. Recently there had been much news surrounding the riots and crime that was occurring in the city due to the financial crisis with government employees. I was also eager to see where our hostel was as well because it was rated as one of the top hostels in all of Europe and boasted incredible views of the Acropolis. We got off our flight and it was 85 and hottt. It was about a 45 minute subway ride from the airport to the stop that our hostel was close too. Athens Backpackers Hostel is one of the larger hostels that we stayed in during the trip. Our six bed room was full all three night that we were there and it was only about two blocks form the Acropolis site.

The first day there we decided to head right out and check out the Acropolis because it was so close to the hostel. I had no idea that the site of the Acropolis was so complex and was made up of some many different areas. The first thing you might notice once you get to Greece are the huge amount of stray animals, both cats and dogs. Once we got to the Acropolis park we were greeted by 5 or 6 different cats just hanging around the ruins and statues. After hangin with the ruin cats for a bit we went up the trail and came upon the theater or Dionysis. The amphitheater as once the site of many meetings, plays, and festivals in the Acropolis area. It was awesome to be able to sit among such an ancient piece of history.

From the theater we moved up along the trail and finally made it to the top of the rock. The Pantheon is a pretty incredible site to see. Its one of the most photographed buildings in history as well as one of the oldest still standing. There is still quite a bit of reconstruction going on on the site so the scaffolding kind of takes away from the appeal of the building, but none the less it was still amazing to be there. Also the views from the top of the Acropolis are some of the best in all of Athens. From there you can see just how densely packed the city really is. We hung out on top for about and hour and took in the whole spot.

Coming down from the Acropolis we decided to head toward the famous Plaka for dinner. The plaka is one of the more touristy areas of Athens and consists of small alleyways and restaurants packed with people all eating just about the same thing. Dinner consists of a few staple ingredients, Greek yogurt, bread, wine, lamb or chicken, pita, and a array of sauces. Walking through the plaka is like walking in some sort of gauntlet with dozens of people trying to vie for your attention. As you walk you be bombarded with street vendors and restaurant employees all trying to sell you on coming to their location. After the first walk through we gave in and ate at one of the larger restaurants on the plaka to have a classic Greek dinner. For the most part Greek food is great, but it is not something that I can eat day after day I have decided. By the time I left Greece I was content with Greek food for quite awhile.

Another great spot to check out is called Monastiraki square. It is an easy spot to get to off of the metro line and is the in the heart of the market life in downtown Athens. Once you step off the metro you are immediately opened up to a large open square surrounded by a few different alleyways to check out.  We spent most of the morning snaking our way around the back alleys of the area passing by dozens of shops selling everything from clothes, pottery, sandals (leather sandals are huge in Athens), and jewlery. There are also tons of street vendors selling home made jewelery.

Later that afternoon we heard recommendations to visit this church on a hill that looks over the entire city. Lycabettus Hill is part of what seems to be a city park. There are two ways to get to the top. You can either walk up the winding trail that takes about 20 to 30 min or you can take the cable car that leaves every 30 min from the bottom of the hill. We decided that we would hit up the cable car. Once at the top you can see in my opinion the best view of Athens. there is a 360 view of the entire city including a great view of the Acropolis. There is also a pretty good restaurant that we decided to try. Its a small spot to hanging around for more than a couple hours would get a bit boring but the views are absolutely the best part.

There are a lot more places in Athens still to talk about so I’m going to break this part into two pieces and talk about the rest in the next post. Also still trying to get more pics up on flickr!

-JF

Europe 2010 #2

•June 7, 2010 • 1 Comment

And so continues my attempt at putting down all the happened in the last 4 weeks in Europe. As I mentioned before I am going to try and make a post every few days with an explanation of each of the 9 cities and towns that I traveled to along my journey with the Lauraxx. And from a graphic design standpoint I’m also going to try and create a new logo for each of the posts too. We’ll see how that goes.

So after our adventures in Budapest, Hungary our next stop was Vienna, Austria. It was only a short 2 hour train ride between the two cities. Rail travel in Europe is probably the preferred method of transit if you are going between two cities that are relatively close to each other such as Budapest and Vienna. Later on in the trip we utilized discount flights which work better for longer distances that may take up a whole day or more if you did it by rail. Anyway, the train ride was quick and easy and in no time we were in Vienna.

After the first 3 days of our travels staying in a hostel we decided that we would switch it up and check in to a hotel. We chose the one of the trusted Mercure chain hotels. When we finally made it to the hotel to check in we were told that we would be moved to another sister hotel closer to the city center, and so we moved over to the Josefshof Hotel. Our first day out we walked into town and our first stop was the Albertina museum were there was an Andy Warhol exhibit that was being advertised all over the city. I was pretty excited to see a Warhol exhibit especially from a graphic designers standpoint. The exhibit was his automotive collection. At first glance I was excited by the typical Warhol tiled repetitive look, but upon further inspection it seemed to get too repetitive and blend together. I would like to see some of his other work to compare it to, but from what I saw I wasn’t really blown away with his style. I wasnt able to take any picture because like many museums there are no cameras allowed in the Albertina.

From the museum we moved to the Naschtmarket. This area is probably about a half mile long strip of pedestrian walkway that divided into sections. The first section being cafes and restaurants, the second being an open air market, and the last is sort of an unorganized version of a community garage sale. We had a pretty decent traditional Austrial meal at one of the small cafes in the first section of the market, and then continued in to check out the market. There was so much going on and a lot of local residents selling their farm fresh veggies and meats as well as artisan coffee and oils. It was sort of overwhelming because of all the people in such a small location but it was interesting to see the bartering feel of a busy marketplace.

Moving even farther in to the Naschtmarket you find a strange finale. The last 200 yards of the market consist of makeshift booths set up by locals trying to sell their odds and ends. there was every thing from small suits of armor, to used dolls, shoes, knives, jabba the hut dolls, and family photo albums. It was interesting to see the amount of people willing to buy some of the objects that were being sold, as well as the prices that they were attempting to sell them for. I was looking to buy some small Austrian looking post cards for my mom and I tried to talk talk a guy down from 5 euros a piece down to one or two, but this dude was set in his ways.

The next day was pretty lame weather wise. It was overcast and raining pretty hard off and on. Not a lot of sightseeing was possible, but we did happen to come upon a pretty sway Marcel Duchamp statue of the Mona Lisa with a mustache. I had learned of Duchamp in my graphic design history class. He was part of the DaDa movement, which claimed not to be a movement at all. It just consisted of a bunch of artists who wanted to express themselves in new and out of the box ways.

Our last spot we went to was called Hundertwasserhaus, it takes up an entire city block of downtown Vienna and was designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser. Today it consists of an apartment building with a checkerboard primary color paint job with undulating sidewalks and winding pathways. Across the street is a small indoor shopping center that is designed in a similar way. I would for sure recommend this spot as one of the more out of the box artistic blocks of the city.

Overall I think that Vienna was my least favorite of the cities that we visited along our way. Much of the city is very opulent and high class. There doesnt seem to be a variance in between parts of the city. I would however recommend it to anyone who is interested in classical architecture, music, and opera. There are a large number of fine art museums and designer restaurants. I would also recommend our Hotel the Josefshof hotel, it is centrally located in the city and is reasonably priced.

I still have a lot of pics to edit, they will be up on flickr soon I hope.

-JF

Europe 2010

•June 5, 2010 • 1 Comment

So its been about a month since Ive been able to update, and within that month I have traveled to 6 countries and 9 cities throughout Europe with my girlfriend Lauren Kraus! The trip was amazing and its going to be difficult to pack all that happened into this blog but Ill do my best. Since I have not been able to study abroad throughout my 4 years in college this trip provided me with a glimpse of what it is like outside of my homes in Massachusetts and Vermont. I am going to create 9 different blog posts for each of the cities that we had visited, post pictures and attempt to explain all the went on during our travels. While away I took over 2000 pictures so hopefully they can give you a snapshot of the locations people and creatures we met along the way. I guess before I begin with the fist leg of the journey Id like to thank my mom and step dad for allowing me to take this trip, without their help and support I would never have been able to make it all happen.

And so here it goes!

On May 10th I left Boston and headed for Prague to meet up with the miss Lauren Kraus to begin our journey throughout Europe. I had already been to Prague on spring break and she had been there for 4 months studying so we decided that we would just head to our first stop in Budapest, Hungary, the second part of the first leg of the trip. So at 6:45 AM on May 12th we got on a bus in Prague and started the 6 hour ride to Budapest. The bus was pretty nice and provided coffee and hot chocolate along the way which was nice. There really wasn’t a whole lot to see for countryside along the ride other than a few fields of these bright yellow flowers. Once we got to Budapest it was a short walk from the train station to our first hostel, Tiger Tims Place. Tiger Tim is actually the owner of the hostel and lives there as well. The Tiger is an Irishman and quite the character. After checking in and dropping off our bags in our 6 person room we headed out in the city just to take in a few things that were close by. Our first discovery was the Parliament building which was located right on the river. The building is a huge Gothic piece of architecture with a distinct domed roof and many spires and towers. We were not able to go inside but from the panorama below you can understand what Im talking about.

The first night there Tim cooked us an authentic Hungarian meal that consisted of sausage, peppers, onions, and pasta, it was pretty delish. After dinner we went out with a few of the people from the hostel to this bar called Instant. Instant is in a large courtyard setting with a number of different rooms off of the main open courtyard. Each of the rooms had a different theme, one was filled with large butterflies, another had furniture on the ceiling, another was a bathroom, ect. It was a really awesome setup, I didn’t bring my camera along with me so sadly I dont have any pictures of the inside.

The next day we headed out into the city for more exploration. But discovered an awesome addition to the hostel building…. a huge number of kittens were living in the courtyard adjacent to Tims spot. They seemed to be living in the basement of the building and hung out in the sunlight of the courtyard during the day. Below are some pictures of the kitssss.

After playing with the kittens for probably 45 min we decided it was time to head out. Budapest is divided into two sections by the river, Buda and Pest. We decided to head over to the opposite side of the river for the day. Our first discovery was a great part at the top of this large hill called Fishermans Bastion. It looked as if it was a large castle wall that looked over the entire city. For most of the afternoon we walked around this area and took pictures of the layout of the city. Later that afternoon we discovered a large indoor market with everything from fresh vegetables, fruits, meats, and souvenirs on the second floor. Many of the booths sold paprika which I found out was the staple spice of the country.

Those two locations took up most of the day. That night we went out to dinner at a local restaurant, Menza, that had been suggested to us by Tim. The food was local Hungarian dishes and we had a great meal. The next day we took another recommendation from Tim and the others that worked at the hostel and visited the local baths. The baths are a huge complex in a city park. The complex consists of outdoor pools and steam baths as well as indoor saunas and massage rooms. We spent our time in the outdoor baths only. There were two steam baths and one larger normal pool. The baths seem to be a regular activity for a lot of the local residents of the city. Older men seem to sit in these baths for hours playing each other in chess, to me that seems a bit unhealthy especially because there is a sign that says not to sit in these baths for more than 20 minutes at a time. The baths were our last major activity in Budapest.

Over all I thought that Budapest was a really great city. It had numerous great locations to to visit and our accommodations at Tiger Tims were very nice as well. I would recommend his place to anyone that is planning of traveling to Budapest for a short stay. I would have to say that my favorite part of the city would be the Fishermans Bastion area and the park surrounding it.

My next post will will be the second leg of the journey. Im also hoping to sift through all of the pictures and edit them as a I go. There will be many more pics up on my flickr page as they are edited. If I think of anything I may have left out in each post Im going to update the posts.

Hope everyone is having a swayt start to summer!

-JF

Dennis Lehane Covers

•April 29, 2010 • Leave a Comment

So this is the final project completed for GDD 400 Projects in Graphic Design. Ive been kinda slacking with post regarding this project. So in the end I decided to stray away from the Poe book covers and move onto Dennis Lehane. His books were more dynamic and could give me a symbol to work with. The biggest challenge with this project was getting all of the covers to work together in a set. I also wanted to utilize the minimalist movie poster look and since all three of these were made into movies it was also a plus. The hardest book to work with was Gone Baby Gone, I wanted to utilize the doll as the main symbol of the cover because of its significance in the novel and film but the image just didn’t seem to fit within the look of the three. I would like to work further on the development of all of them, but all in all I think that what was successful was the connection of all three into a series.

Now that this class is over I think that it has made me realize that I am really interested in how a company or a brand is created. I really enjoyed working with all of the different elements of design to create a look and feel for something that would be static without it. The two projects that I think I had the most fun and challenging time with were Menial Meds and Tired Soles. I hope to continue to update with more projects that I might work on this summer. Also in a week Ill be leaving to go back to Europe to meet up with the lovely Laurax again and Ill hopefully be able to update the blog as I go!

Keep Smilin

JF

Focusing on spring

•April 26, 2010 • Leave a Comment

So its been a bit since I last updated. Ive been going pretty steady on a lot of projects for school/freelance things as well as getting back into my photography. On Saturday was UVM’s spring fest, it was really awesome being involved in the event in a few different way. A few weeks back I was asked if I would submit a design for the event tshirt, so I gladly accepted and submitted my design to the SA concerts committee for them to look over. A few days later I was told that they were into my design and had chosen it for the shirts to be printed for the event! Also my roommate Chad Bechard aka Pres was asked to play at the event with Zack Johnson aka ZJ from the lab. The two had a really creative set and rocked a large crowd Storm Trooper style. SA concerts also let me grab a media pass to take behind the scenes event shots as well as get access to the stage area to photograph the acts. Among this post art just a few pics from the day. I will continue to edit them as I sift through and the rest will be posted in my flickr.

Hope all is goin well for everyone, end of the semester and summer is almost here!

JF

Many things at once

•April 13, 2010 • Leave a Comment

So Ill start with whats been going on in classes and move onto other things later. Since finishing up the Tired Soles project we have moved onto our last assignment for the semester. We are to take a series of books by the same author and redesign the cover in any style we wish. The challenge for me has been deciding which series of books would best suit what I had in mind for my cover ideas. At first i started with Edgard Allen Poe poems and began working with the poem “The Raven”. My idea for these covers was to go with a minimalist approach much in the same way as the movie posters that I had posted before. After working for a bit on Poe I got stuck and didn’t know how to keep going, so I decided to try a different set of books to see if I could get myself out of the rut. I then turned to Dennis Lehane, the author of Shutter Island, Gone Baby Gone, and Mystic River. I’ve started with Shutter Island and used the shattered gun scene as my focal point (you’ll understand why if you see the movie or read the book). I have to think up a couple more covers for Gone Baby Gone and Mystic River. Hope that I can make those work in a series with the style of the first. I can say that this project is not one of my favorites this semester, I seem to keep getting stuck with how to move forward. Hopefully it will click.

Ive also been getting a few different design jobs from The Lab, a music production and DJ school located on church street. My roommate Chad Bechard has recently started working at The Lab teaching music production classes and he hooked me up with Zack Johnson aka ZJ. Zack has given me a few jobs working on different poster for gigs around Burlington as well as beginning to design a series of posters, a brochure, and a logo for The Labs Hip Hop Camp taking place this summer at club Metronome. Its been great so far working with The Lab, I’ve been allowed to put my own style into the projects that they have given me and the feedback has been awesome. I hope to continue working on more and more projects in the future.

Ill keep updating as I work on each of these projects more. Hope everyone is doing well!

-JF

TS: Letterhead/Envelope/Business card

•April 5, 2010 • 1 Comment

So for the past week or so I have been working on the last part of the Tired Soles project. This final part of the project included making the standard brand print items such as an envelope, letterhead, and business card. I thought that this could be a good opportunity to use a few different types of papers sources so I walked down to Boutiliers on Church St. and picked up some interesting stuff. First I found what looks like a mailer envelope that is made of craft paper or the same kind of look as a paper bag, this works really well with the recycling theme that I have built into the brand. Secondly I bought some aged parchment paper that I have used for the letterhead as well as the business card. The letter head I wanted to stand out so I worked in the tire theme across the fold and the header of the page itself, so when folded the track is complete but when unfolded the page has a brand mark at the top. The envelope is not pictured with any sort of branding on it because I still have to figure out how to print on this type of envelope, which I will have to figure out before Wednesday. Finally the business card is the brand mark and type on the front and simple tire track and information on the back. I think that the group together works pretty well its just lacking a bit of color, which I’m not sure if I mind or not yet. Below are the individual pictures of the letterhead as well as the business card front and back.

If you have any suggestions fill me in. I’m also working on a project for the Lab a DJ school in Burlington Vermont some of you may know about it already. As the project continues I’ll update with some work from that project too.

Get off ya desk chair and go outside!!

-JF