In case you haven’t noticed, the Awesome Mitten is looking fresh and clean with a brand new logo for 2015. Founder Alex Beaton pursued this change for a number of reasons, but the primary motivation was to unify the brand, both online and off. For Troy DeShano, innovator and accomplished artist, this was not his first rodeo with re-branding. Beaton said, “Troy’s portfolio was amazing, and in the proposal he submitted he really demonstrated a firm understanding of our mission and brand. He had a very clear idea for how Awesome Mitten could develop in the future and we appreciated that vision.”
Ten Point Studio, DeShano’s brainchild, offers creative small business solutions with everything from web design to motion graphics. When asked about the genesis of this company, DeShano said, “Ten Point is a great option for businesses and organizations looking for complete creative packages. We do everything from logo design, responsive websites, advertising, web graphics, motion, media production, design for social media, and even some consultation so you know how to manage your own media once we hand it over.” While one might think that’s enough to keep a guy busy, DeShano is involved in a whirlwind of different projects, all that highlight separate pockets of the artist’s craft.
One consistent focus is his blog, Strong Odors, which is a platform to discuss, create, and make art available. It includes a lot more than just musings from an artist, “I’m also putting a lot of energy into fine artwork right now. As much as I love helping businesses discover better visual solutions for their brands, creating just for the sake of it brings so much more satisfaction than selling products.” Strong Odors was named such because “Sometimes it [art, life] is sweet, sometimes startling, sometimes it just stinks…” It highlights DeShano’s fine art, illustrations, opinions, and products for sale.
In 2012, DeShano and friend Jim LePage began a project “of biblical proportions.” The two founded Old & New to create new and artistic visuals to accompany Bible verses. DeShano explains, “It also aims to introduce a new online audience to Biblical art, attempting to replace popular, yet sometimes low-quality, contemporary Biblical artwork with the kind of accessible and honorable work that has historically been associated with the Bible.” The project involved contributing artists from all faith backgrounds and supporters of the project were invited to order prints of any artwork they liked. DeShano rewrote accompanying Bible verses and all proceeds from print sales went to worldwide charitable organizations to support a range of initiatives; permaculture farming in Haiti, made possible by Mindful Generations, is the project that is currently receiving donations.
DeShano’s newest project is best explained to you in his own words. FUTURALBUM, like Old & New Project, involves artists from all over the world. “The project was started to offer my peers a chance to design ‘just for fun,’ when so many of us are jaded by the consistent anxiety that comes with doing client work every day… each [artist] reimagines the cover art for any album they choose. The challenge is they must only use images from Flickr Book Image Archive and Futura for any type.” The project only started in January of 2015, and DeShano has already received dozens of submissions and looks forward to, “Hundreds more in the pike for this year and for the foreseeable future.” Whether or not you’re up to the challenge of graphic design using these mediums, album lovers of all genres should be sure to check out what’s available for their favorite album cover, refreshed.
Frankly, I’d like to give this guy a high five. Not only is the new logo an exciting one for Awesome Mitten moving forward, but it’s guys like Troy DeShano who are giving Michigan artists clout in the global art conversations. When he isn’t busy with any of the work described above, DeShano is probably spending time with his family at home or in the Traverse City area. His summertime hangout of choice is The Little Fleet, and if you’re ever on the TC Brewery Trail, poke your head in at Right Brain to see if he’s there.
A huge thanks to Troy for his work on our new logo, be sure to check out his other work soon!