Graphic Design

Design Unplugged

Melissa Martin :: Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

I love the feeling of stepping away from the computer to create a completely hands on project. I did this recently when I made bookmarks as favors for my best friend’s book themed baby shower. With just a few strips of paper, ribbon, twine, stamps and rubber cement I was on my way to a pixel free design. I even whipped out my mom’s scalloped scissors that probably haven’t been touched since girl scouts.

I personalized the bookmarks with each guest’s first initial, then placed it them in mugs along with blueberry tea bags.

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Thursday, September 22nd, 2011 Graphic Design No Comments

Excellence in Event Branding

Melissa Martin :: Friday, April 22nd, 2011

The Indianapolis Chapter AIA 2011 Excellence in Architecture Awards Program took place last night at the Eiteljorg Museum. I have been working with my fellow committee members on this event for months now, and all our efforts definitely paid off! My contribution: graphics, of course.

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Friday, April 22nd, 2011 Graphic Design No Comments

What Works: Espresso

Melissa Martin :: Tuesday, January 11th, 2011
Welcome to my new blog series, “What Works.” Throughout this captivating series I will address what works design-wise in things we encounter on a day to day basis.

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Tuesday, January 11th, 2011 Graphic Design 2 Comments

Pacer Schedule Wall… Blue, White, Gold, Complete!

Melissa Martin :: Friday, September 17th, 2010

After completing the Budweiser bottle, Barb quickly went to work on lettering the dates of each game. She has this process down pat. She outlines each letter, using custom cut stencils as a guide. The next step is to fill them in with white paint. She lets the white dry and applies a coat of gold paint over top of certain dates to indicate home games. Then, after a few touch-ups on some of the existing graphics, the six-story Pacer Schedule Wall is complete!

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Friday, September 17th, 2010 Graphic Design No Comments

Barbara Stahl’s Artful Walls

Melissa Martin :: Friday, August 27th, 2010


As I walk into work each morning I can’t help but notice the enormous Indiana Pacers season schedule painted on the side of our six-story building facing the entry pavilion of Conseco Fieldhouse. I always knew the wall was not your average advertisement. I’ve always felt that the way it was painted had a meaningful, even artful, touch. I recently found out why.

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Friday, August 27th, 2010 Graphic Design No Comments

Iconic Buildings Become Iconic Brands

Melissa Martin :: Friday, June 18th, 2010

RATIO has had the good fortune to work on several projects in Indianapolis that, over time, have become city landmarks. Our firm has always advocated for designs that tell stories – sometimes of the activities going on inside.

Image credit: The Indiana State Museum


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Friday, June 18th, 2010 Graphic Design No Comments

Oh my God, Chartreuse!

Melissa Martin :: Monday, May 10th, 2010

Each time I visit a store and peruse the season’s latest fashions, I am uncontrollably drawn to anything chartreuse. Whether it’s a purse, belt, jacket or skirt, if it’s chartreuse, I want it.


My love for this color does not stop with clothing and accessories. Say I was to come across a chartreuse dog collar: the fact that I don’t even own a dog would barely qualify as a reason not to purchase it. Do you think I buy low sodium soy sauce because I’m concerned about my heart? No. Do I buy it because the bottle is liberally dressed in chartreuse? Yes.

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Monday, May 10th, 2010 Graphic Design 1 Comment

Let it Marinate

Melissa Martin :: Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

State your name.
Melissa Martin.

Do you swear to let it marinate, completely marinate and not return until it is fully marinated, so help your graphic design career?
So help my career, I do.

Today I got stuck in the purgatory all graphic designers know as design block. I was working on creating a marketing piece intended for a monograph pitch and just felt stuck. No amount of shifting photos or re-arranging titles was fixing the fact that something just wasn’t working.

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Wednesday, January 13th, 2010 Graphic Design No Comments

Logo Design in 60 Minutes

Melissa Martin :: Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

Logo design is one of the most challenging tasks that a graphic designer can face. You’re creating an icon than embodies an entire brand. It’s got to be simplistic, yet complex. Colorful, yet able to be reproduced in black and white. Meaningful without being literal. In short, logo design can scare event the most seasoned designer silly.

Now, imagine being asked to create a logo in less than 60 minutes.

This is the situation I found myself in last week. One of my coworkers needed me to develop a logo for a presentation they were giving in hopes that it would enhance the presentation and create excitement. But I only had a little less than an hour to get it done, as they were leaving for the presentation asap.

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Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009 Graphic Design 1 Comment

Racy Refrigeration

Melissa Martin :: Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

As I was glancing through’s image gallery attempting to gather ideas for a mailer I’m designing, I did not expect to find myself looking at photos of barely dressed women posing in front of refrigerators. I was searching for a basic photo of a kitchen essential – maybe with some magnets attached. What’s the deal with women and refrigerators?

If you type the word “refrigerator” into iStockphoto’s search field you will certainly find refrigerators of all shapes, sizes and colors, as well as children, magnets and children playing with magnets. However, you will also find images of women standing next to, opening and even sitting in refrigerators sporting attire that would make a swimming pool blush.

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Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009 Graphic Design 2 Comments