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Feb 01
February 2020 Calendar

Our February calendar features one of Winter’s prized creations, the snowman. The making of a snowman, like any creative endeavor, takes planning and the right conditions. There is the anticipation of that ‘perfect snow,’ one that allows you to start with a small ball that will grow and grow as you push it and mold it into your greatest masterpiece!

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Topics: Just for Fun Tags: calendar
Jan 29
2020 Tokyo Olympics

The official posters for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics have debuted. This exciting and diverse collection was created by fine artists, graphic designers, calligraphers, and photographers from Japan and beyond. There are 20 posters, including 12 representing the Olympics, and 8 representing the Paralympics.

Since 1912, when the first Olympic poster was created for Sweden, the Olympic Games have used official posters to promote and showcase to the world the special features of each quadrennial event.

I asked each member of the team at Cleveland Design to choose their favorite and write why they loved it. For me, it was a tough choice. The passion and creativity in each poster is abundant, and each speaks to a different perspective that collectively makes a single statement.

Below are our thoughts on the poster we each loved best.

Jonathan Cleveland

Horseback Archery, by painter Akira Yamaguchi

At first, I was drawn to the posters created by graphic artists, which of course would probably be expected of me. The ethereal yet incredibly powerful nature of the scenario presented here brings the representation of the Paralympics to a fulfilling level that I can’t unsee. At first view, it has a yamato-e (traditional Japanese painting) style to it with a twist of contemporary Samurai warrior. The muted tones of color are in stark contrast to the energy that the artist conveys. It has at once a traditional Japanese artistic style and a bold stamp of pop culture—and it’s just a beautiful piece of fine art. The determination and grit of the warrior Olympian just makes me want to cheer for a gold medal for all the competitors!

Jenny Daughters

Fly High!, By Shoko Kanazawa

I find this poster’s simplicity and elegance striking. I love its nod to Japanese tradition, yet it remains wholly contemporary. While it uses none of the typical iconography associated with the games (the rings, the torch, etc.) the dynamism in the calligraphy captures the energy and grace of the athletes so vividly. The gold foil background, which references the tradition of screen paintings, illuminates the characters and adds depth to the image. And the meaning of the characters—“Fly High”—seals the message like a one-two punch.

Diana Morales

The Sky above The Great Wave off the Coast of Kanagawa, By Hirohiko Araki

There are so many things I love about this poster—the art style, use of color, the history, its unique composition and the artist’s immense attention to detail. But my favorite part has to be how he lifted inspiration from Katsushika Hokusai's classic print, Under the Wave of Kanagawa. The wave is drawn beautifully and the way it flows seamlessly into the clouds is flawless. He took a piece of art from almost two centuries ago and made it relevant in today’s modern world. I love the cotton-candy pink against the flat indigo background. The athletes running through the clouds, high above the rest of the world, really captures the intensity and determination of the world’s top athletes. I could stare at this piece for hours and still see new details I had missed before. It really is a beautiful piece of art.

Lynn McNamee

PARALYMPIAN, By Goo Choki Par

The fractal nature of PARALYMPIAN’s elements drew my attention to this poster. Its kinetic energy with the pieces wanting to burst out, but somehow staying together in their forward motion, is inspiring. This is how I imagine an elite athlete must feel just prior to leaving the starting line. I also appreciate how fitting it is as a representation of a Paralympian with its seemingly broken pieces coming together to achieve power.

Andy Paul

Now it's your turn!, By Naoki Urasawa

As a fan of Japanese manga and graphic novels in general, I was immediately drawn to the stark drama of this poster. Devoid of color, it is packed with emotion. In a few frames, it captures simply and powerfully the focus, determination, and inner strength that are essential traits of every Olympic and Paralympic athlete. I can’t read the Japanese characters, but that’s not necessary; the personal story of an athlete in the tense seconds prior to competing with the world’s best is clear. It’s our turn—let’s go!


We would love to hear which posters you love! View all of the posters here.

Topics: Just for Fun Tags: poster
Jan 01
January 2020 Calendar

Snow is diamonds for a faery's feet;
Blithely and bonnily she trips along,
Her lips a-carol with a merry song,
And in her eyes the meaning... Life is sweet!
― Ruby Archer

Just like that, 2020 is upon us and we kick off our calendar series with a sparkling sky and playful poem. The first month of the year allows us all a chance for fresh beginnings and perspectives.

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Dec 01
December 2019 Calendar

Saying goodnight to 2019, our December calendar features a sweet critter in an envious state of hibernation, which many of us may not have much of this holiday season. Between decking the halls, being the life of the party, and embracing family gatherings, we at Cleveland wish you and yours memorable moments of peace and joy.

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Topics: Just for Fun Tags: calendars
Nov 01
November 2019 Calendar

The ancient art of embroidery, with origins dating back to 30,000 BC, was the inspiration for the art style of this November's calendar. Early man fashioned needles of ivory and bone, thread from plant fiber. Through thousands of years, embroidery has been a beautiful, and intricate form of art infused with the culture of its time. We find the attention to detail and workmanship needed for this delicate art motivational, as we strive for those same qualities in all of our designs.

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Topics: Just for Fun Tags: calendars
Oct 01
October 2019 Calendar

October is upon us, and with it comes shorter days and cooler nights. Plants and wildlife are starting to prepare for the winter ahead. Our calendar this month features a few of our favorite players – acorns and squirrels. These two have the ultimate partnership. The mighty oak grows up to 2,000 acorns per tree, per year, in an attempt to create more oaks (only one in 10,000 acorns will actually become a tree). The squirrels do most of the heavy lifting by gathering and burying them. The little bushy tailed critters will even take the cap off and eat only half of the acorn nut before reburying it. Thus, leaving the part in the shell that gives the oak tree a fighting chance of growing.

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Topics: Just for Fun Tags: calendar
Sep 01
September 2019 Calendar

This evocative line, so fitting for our September calendar design, is from the verse, "Dream tonight of peacock tails, / Diamond fields and spouter whales. / Ills are many, blessings few, / But dreams tonight will shelter you." But to whom should we attribute these lines? Some sources say Herman Melville, of Moby Dick fame. Others point to 20th century American novelist Thomas Pynchon. But who really penned these words? Reliable answers are elusive. It’s not just a literary gordian knot, but a dramatic illustration of a crucial business truth: the importance of protecting your brand.

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Topics: Just for Fun Tags: calendar
Aug 01
August 2019 Calendar

Nesting birds in late Summer? Yes, and it’s the American Goldfinch featured on our calendar this month. August is peak nesting season for these acrobatic little birds when their preferred nest padding—milkweed’s fluffy down, thistle, other soft plants—is readily available. The solid structure of their nest is constructed by cementing roots and twigs together with spider silk. It is woven so tightly it can even hold water. Let’s take a cue from the tiny finch and begin building your robust Fall creative campaigns.

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Jul 01
July 2019 Calendar

As designers, it's sometimes fun to get nerdy with the science behind the colors we work with every day. Our July calendar features the Hyacinth Macaw, a parrot who’s vibrant blue color you just can’t miss. But are our eyes deceiving us? According to The National Aviary, blue feathers are not actually blue at all, but appear that way due to how light, the feather's microstructure, air spaces, and its melanin (dark brown to black) pigment interact. 'Blue' feathers contain a very low amount of melanin and this scatters the light in such a way that the only light wavelengths we can perceive are the short blue ones. Knowing how colors work together is a vital tool the designers at Cleveland use to ensure our clients projects get noticed.

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Topics: Just for Fun Tags: calendar
Jun 01
June 2019 Calendar

June brings us halfway through the year and halfway through our calendar series. Over the years, we’ve had different themes and fresh layouts to share with you. For 2019 we decided animals would be a fun creative challenge, and this month’s Stingray is no exception. How do you feature a creature with a simple shape and monotone colors in an exciting way? Play up on that simplicity and add visual motion is how! The team at Cleveland approaches each project by exploring different solutions (including the not-so-obvious) to create an outcome that is spot-on and swimmingly successful. Let's kick off the Summer by working together on your next great campaign.

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