Author: LeaAnne Koppen

Photo Shoot: RV Having Fun Yet?

Cruise America is the largest RV rental company in North America. Their marketing necessitates an approach that encourages families to get out and explore the continent and make their own adventure. After packing up the studio, we headed north to an undisclosed location for three days for a photo shoot. The autumn environment of aspen, cottonwood and sycamore trees scattered among the ponderosa pines created a tranquil and rustic backdrop. The outcome of the photo shoot was an inspiring collection of brand imagery to anchor a renewed advertising campaign we developed.

Have a look at the completed ad campaign here.

Hoptical Allusion Video Display

We love new technology, so we were captivated when CCS Arizona dropped off a new transparent LCD video display for us to play with. This nifty BenQ Transparent Display box allows you to place physical objects between the LCD and the backlight, allowing for the content on the video display panel to interact with the physical items within the box. Our job was to come up with some head-turning, clever content to unveil this new box and showcase its capabilities at the 2015 IIDA conference (aptly named “Unveiled”) in January at the Heard Museum.

OHSO video display facade flush mounted
A look at the display box flush mounted on the wall facade

This product integrates display transparency with image transmission. Consumers can see the actual product inside the box, and simultaneously watch the advertisement on the outside of the screen.

To demonstrate this video display’s capabilities, we created an OHSO Brewery-themed video, complete with animation and music. They’re a local chain of restaurants, brewery and distillery. We used real brewing ingredients (hops, malt, etc.) placed inside the display. We also fabricated a custom-printed exterior to give the effect of it being flush-mounted into a wall.

Watch the final video transparency with product inside
Our video display won best booth design award
The International Interior Design Association recognized our display as the Best Booth Design

If you’re not sure what you’re looking at, below is a 3D model of the product. Wondering what a realistic use case would be for this technology? Consider retail applications where a product is on display in a window. Your product is secure, and you can run static or video content on the front glass window itself.

BenQ 3-dimensional video display rendering

This type of technology would help in scenarios where there may not have a representative present. Think outward facing walls of retail (malls or parking lots). Brands can message customers in dynamic ways, engaging with people that are not yet in the store. Other applications such as museums or trade shows where staff is limited, but foot traffic is high. An ideal video display solution might call out product benefits, features or attributes on the screen. Interacting with and educating users on what’s inside the box.

Take it to the next level and place a turnstyle inside and the possibilities are endless.

Note(worthy) Book Design

As you can probably imagine we go through a lot of notebooks around here, and because of this we’ve taken to binding our own. One day we got to thinking – why not create our own book design? Like any project we touch, we had to go all out, and made an entire series of Splinter notebooks. Using common “note” phrases, we created this environmentally friendly set that has everyone in the studio happily taking notes.

The American Advertising Federation (AAF) also took note of our book design project. Read more.

Take Notes and Mental Notes book design.
Take Notes and Mental Notes
Share Notes and Swap Notes book design
Share Notes and Swap Notes
Compare Notes and Motherfucker Take Note book design.
Compare Notes and MF’er Take Note

The whole series of notebooks are printed on recycled FSC certified paper that is made from responsible sources and is elemental chlorine free.

We do a lot of sketching. And even more taking notes. Why not enjoy it? Next time you’re in the studio, ask about them and you’ll likely leave with one or two of them.

Custom Design, Wine and Pine.

From time to time we have the itch to create something custom, from scratch, to keep our skills and spirits sharp. It’s a particularly nice break from the monitor. Making things with our hands is a nice itch to scratch at times, especially when it has a great end result – a custom design that’s a perfect hideaway for your wine.

Finished photo of the custom design

Queue the power tools, tunes, paint booth and aerator.

Sanding and painting the custom design wine boxes

After several coats of custom-mixed, Splinter PMS matched paint, came the laquer. Lots of it. They turned out so great, our clients were asking for more. Hopefully that was the custom design boxed, not the cabernet.

Our clients and colleagues have become familiar with our team making custom things, so there’s always fun things kicking around our studio.

Olmec Head Custom Mural

At Splinter we love checking out local art, and on a recent trip to downtown Phoenix we saw some street art that we fell in love with. If you look on the corner of Calle 16, next to Barrio Cafe, you’ll see the work that caught our attention. The goal then became how to add a custom mural to our studios, and who would be the artist.

Angel Diaz Olmec mural at Splinter
No detail was spared, even the hardware was used

We’ve been itching to get some new art here for a while, so we tracked down local artist Angel Diaz and told him we wanted him to go big on a custom mural. Angel was happy to oblige. After a quick chat about the piece that first inspired us, we set him loose with our only direction being to do something kick-ass that we’ll love to look at everyday. He delivered.

progress picture midway through the custom mural art
One artist, one ladder and a milk crate of spray paint cans
Completed Olmec mural



Watch this time lapse video of his graffiti work, creating a larger than life Olmec-inspired scene.

And the Award Goes To…

Last year we had our work cut out for us with our rebrand project. For several months we poured ourselves into updating Splinter’s brand assets. It was a big undertaking but the rewards – or in this case, award – have made it all worth it!

Close up of Splinter collateral that won award

We entered the ADDY Awards for the self-promotion category with our freshly designed collateral package. The AAF is a national organization with a mission to better the advertising industry, recognize the best in advertising, and inform and educate advertising professionals. The 2014 Phoenix ADDY Award Gala was held downtown at The Duce – a very appropriate venue. If you haven’t been, we highly recommend visiting this place.

Addy award for collateral design

Everyone here is constantly challenging ourselves to go further and do better than ever before. These types of accolades keep our creativity sharp and skills honed; ever ready to accept the next challenge.

Creative Drinking: How Stella Got Her Groove Back

What’s more fun than a dog, beer and a video camera? Not much, at least for when staff is need of an outlet. Creative drinking at lunch will do that.

Brandon was nominated online to participate in the trending 24 Hour Beer Challenge. It consists of drinking a beer on camera. You have one day to tape it and post it to social media, calling out others to do the same within 24 hours. We’ve seen this spread all over the US and internationally. The videos have been increasingly good as friends try to out-do their buddy’s previous.

The above video was shot in one take. No joke. Shout out the the talented hands man, Joseph Weber. He straight nailed it. GG the office Staffordshire terrier handled her own pretty well too.

Here’s a couple other great 24 Hour Beer Challenge videos people participating in some creative drinking for your viewing pleasure.

Drop Dead Gorgeous – Fashion Photoshoot

Halloween and the Mexican holiday Día de los Muertos share ghoulish qualities, but the two are distinctly different. Unlike Halloween, Day of the Dead centers around celebrating the lives of those who have passed, and the belief that death is just a natural transition in life. Festivities include elaborate face paintings that resemble skulls and showing respect for their deceased loved ones. We were inspired to create a modern interpretation of the time-honored, colorful holiday through a fashion photoshoot. We wanted the look to be soft and ethereal; a multi-ethnic re-imagining of the traditional for audiences who haven’t had the opportunity to experience Mexican culture, but can identify with its message and relevancy in their own lives.

Cover

Working with Phoenix Fashion Week, we were able to cultivate a Vogue-inspired “Day of the Dead” fashion photoshoot with their team of talented wardrobe stylists, makeup artists and hair stylists. Special thanks to Dynelle Rodriguez, Vanessa Gonzalez, Jessica Fiero, Ivonne Bran and Laura Dickerson for helping bring the vision to life!

Interior spread

The photos feature Phoenix Fashion Week’s Emerging Models Eddene, Sydney, and Maureen – not to mention a hand-glittered skull – to complete the tone.

Back inside cover

As November nears each year, Phoenix becomes glutted with decorations and costumes centered around the holiday. Corresponding celebrations and expressions often look eccentric, if not a bit startling, to the uninitiated.

Here’s a sneak peek of some behind the scenes shots.

In 2020, this project received an Honorable Mention from the Indigo Awards in the Magazine & Newspaper design category. View the story here.

Renovated Photo Studio

Upon the arrival of our new in-house photographer, it was time to resurrect the photo studio. After a little TLC – okay, a lot of TLC – we’ve finally finished renovating the photography cove.

The new photo studio allows Splinter to provide clients with impressive materials created in-house. Clients will be able to utilize our own staff photographer. Specializing in product and lifestyle shoots, the photography services are available for location or assignment as needed.

By launching a new photo studio, we’ve expanded our capabilities and service offerings to clients. It increases our ability to produce both commercial and editorial shoots for a wide range of clients, but also our ability to produce striking, thought-provoking images for them.

With the addition of the photo studio, the visual material from Splinter will have a greater continuity with the design process and will reinforce their reputation as an industry forerunner.

It’s also the ideal place to hook up the Wii or a film to project on the 18-foot wall when we’re done.

photo studio is set up for an upcoming shoot

Fully equipped boasting climate-controlled conditions, a stocked half-kitchen and private entrance, it’s an ideal comfortable working environment. The workspace is home to an infinity wall creating a versatile backdrop to shoot products, people, or anything else clients desire. The large studio space measures roughly 750 square feet with a 300 square foot photo cove and 18 foot ceiling.

Another special feature of the studio is the unlimited access clients can have. The 24-hour accessibility of the ensures faster production times. With the private entrance, clients can work with photographers on their own schedule.

Vintage Poster Design for Otnes Ski USA – Splinter

We were approached by Otnes to create a vintage poster design series for the launch of their Old School Woodies. It’s a new line of vintage wooden skis – with a deep-sidecut shape that is much easier to carve on than the classic Telemark geometry.

Old School Woodies are earth-friendly, made with renewable Poplar from sustainable forests. They’re super lightweight recreational skis that excel in soft snow. Their soft, flexible performance is very forgiving. They hold an edge on hardpack and icy conditions and perform impeccably on groomed runs. Adventurous, experimental skiers everywhere will want to add this all-mountain, “go anywhere” ski to their quiver.

The vintage poster design project was a fun one for the Splinter team. I just might have to put down the board for a day and give these a run.