Category Archives: Concepts

Rongovian Embassy Poster for February 2015

footer logo designed by Q Cassetti

I’ve been fascinated by the timeline of history on the wall of the Rongovian Embassy since the first time I went there in the early eighties and that became the concept.

Q Cassetti designed the footer for the poster, which gave a strong foundation, and  set the bar very high for whatever I had to come up with. The Rongo is the most famous landmark in Trumansburg (See Wikipedia) and the public house of my own community. It is a legendary destination dating back to my infancy. So there was no pressure whatsoever. _R2_3472Babel

I drew the Rongo building in the style of the tower of Babel–from whence, according to the Timeline of History, many of the bloodlines of humanity are traced.


I felt the need to bring back a little of the clutter and patina of the old Rongo. The place needed (I just have to say it) a high colonic. And it got one. Which is good.  But I am very sentimental about nicotine stains, yellowed paper and other visible signs of human habitation.

I cast around for a few days for concept to hang a poster idea on. Of course this required putting some time into “getting the vibe” of the newly-renovated bar. I’m pleased to report that the Rongo is in very good hands. It’s a very very nice place to hang around in. The beer, mixed drinks and food are excellent and affordable.


Concepts are the visual ideas that give structure to design and help define your brand. It’s more than just a logo. It’s your story. It’s the detail about you or your company that all your design decisions will be based on.

Motherlode pictures headslate

The concept for my company, for example, is that the family posed in front of their home  (my actual ancestors) are the propietors. It’s an idea that resonates with me personally because  I made my first successful film, Wishing Well, on an optical printer I built from equipment my grandfather left me along with a box of old home movies.

The concept started to evolve  when I saw this picture in a shoebox at my grandmother’s house. Now my fonts, my textures, my visuals, and even my vocabulary is based on the time period of this picture.

I no longer have to  ask myself “how does this leaf and berry flourish on my business card express who I am and what my business is all about.” I just ask, “what would They do?”


The concept for the petrune commerce site came out of an afternoon’s wandering around their store. The next day I collected all the materials and shot the backgrounds.

This is a Blu-ray menu for my film, Dirty Habit, which is about a nun and crack-addict getting stuck on an elevator together.

Finding a story that resonates is not easy, but it’s worth it. Because once we know and love our concept, all the design decisions practically make themselves.

When you hire me to make a film for you I can throw some concepts out and see what what sticks. If you’ve put your heart and soul and your kid’s college fund into your business venture, don’t scrimp on this step.

It’s the difference between a brick house and pile of straw.