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Cafe Gratitude & With the Current
Branding and Product Development Project

One of our proudest accomplishments
has been the design and art direction for With the Current,
creators of The Abounding River Game, the Abounding River Logbook,
and Cafe Gratitude. Here are some samples of pieces designed for this campaign. Illustrations by Frank Riccio. Illustration modifications by Julia Stege.

Game Design: The Abounding River Game

Winner of The Society of Illustrators Certificate of Merit AND
The Illustrator's Club Gold Award

GAME SET INCLUDES: Packaging, 30" x 30" Game Board, 8 Sets of Cards,
Logsheet, Instructions, Insert, Dice, Metal Leaf Game Pieces

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The Abounding River Logbook
with illustrations by Frank Riccio
Backgrounds and Illustration Modifications by Julia Stege

 

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With the Current Website Design

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Cafe Gratitude Logo & Website Design

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Cafe Gratitude Logo &
Exterior Signage Design

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Cafe Gratitude Business Card Design

 

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Cafe Gratitude Menu

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Cafe Gratitude Stationery

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Cafe Gratitude Newsletter Background

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Project History and Process

 

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Frank Riccio, Julia Stege, Terces Engelhart, Matthew Engelhart:
The Game Creation Team

In early Spring 2002 Matthew Engelhart got an idea while sitting in a transformational workshop. He and his partner Terces would work together to create a boardgame that inspires the experience of abundance. Soon after Matthew approached friend and Graphic Designer Julia Stege with this question:"Terces and I are creating an abundance game board.

"How do we do it?"
Julia and Matthew brainstormed over veggies and noodles,
pondering the need for strong branding and great illustration.

So Julia went off to find an illustrator who not only could draw
the complicated imagery that would be required, but who could create
a distinct brand image for Matthew and Terces' new company.

One illustrator stood out in Julia's mind: Frank Riccio. Julia had known Frank since highschool. Recalling Frank's beautiful illustrations and paintings that she had seen over the years, she knew that he could draw anything,and that he could create a unique brand image as well. Julia looked Frank uponline and saw he had recently done some illustrations for Neale Donald Walsch and Linda Goodman! This showed he already had the skill to attract and communicate to our desired audience. Julia called Frank and asked if he would like to paint a game. Frank was free and willing!

Once Matthew and Terces agreed to choose Frank as the illustrator,
the creation process began. Because Frank lives in Virginia, and Julia, Matthew and Terces live in California, all the planning and brainstorming on the look of the game was done on the phone. Following the advice of Marketing Guru and college friend of Julia's, Allison Deegan, the team chose an allegory that we could use to represent the unusual ideas behind the game. Matthew and Terces chose a river motif, and came up with the names of their company, With the Current, and the game,The Abounding River. Everything was falling in to place!

Once the ideas began flowing, Frank started sketching. He would sketch
and then fax the rest of the team who would then discuss the sketches in detail.

Here is a sketch of the Game Board in it's final pencil stage:

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This is the finished pencil sketch of the game board.
Click picture to see larger image.

Frank sketched the game board plus all 6 cards for the game
and allowed for input from the rest of the team
before beginning to paint. Below you can see
Frank in the process of painting the game board.

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Having mostly finished painting the interior
of the board, Frank begins painting the border.
Here you can see the contrast between the
underpainting and the finished painting.

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Frank paints details of the river in the border.

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Close-up of the pallette.

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Partially painted border contrasts to the finished sky.

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Finished Game Board painting. Spectacular!
Click image to see a larger view.

Once the game was painted, Frank painted all 6 of the card illustrations.
Matthew and Terces had written text for all 120 cards, all of which are inspiring and thought provoking excercises, suggestions, and illuminations.

Julia designed the back of the cards and modified the ribbons from the
game to fit on the card fronts. Dan Yokum helped to lay out the cards while Julia modified the mountain illustration from the game board and the "I am" girl in Photoshop for the LOGSHEET.

The packgaging was designed by Julia who created the side of the box by modifying the waves and ribbons from the border. Matthew and Terces had heart-shaped leavescast for the game pieces.
They can be worn as a pendant, too~!

While the team was looking for a perfect printer for the Abounding River Game, pondering the various places in the world they would like to visit, Robert Clark of Norcal Printing came to an Abounding River Workshop in San Francisco. He was so taken with the work that he found us the perfect printer for the project, and we didn't even have to travel overseas. Before we knew it, we had the game in our hands. A perfect print job!

Then we started working on The Abounding River Logbook. Matthew and Terces painstakingly wrote and re-wrote the various sections. Terces worked hard to make the concepts easy to understand, editing the text on their road trip across America, and during two trips to Hawaii! The result is a perfectly blended piece of writing that truly does what it promises: It offers an unusual view of being abundance.

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Frank created 6 original paintings for the Logbook and Julia created backgrounds, montages and silhouettes by modifying Frank's illustrations in Photoshop. Then Julia designed the book template and she and Dan Yokum worked together to place the workbook content together. Julia designed each page of the book as a separate piece of art. The result is 180 colorful pages and a new experience of abundance.

Illustration Modifications by Julia Stege

To create the backgrounds in the Abounding River Logbook, Julia started with Frank's original game illustrations and expanded them out into larger images that look as if Frank painted them himself.

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ORIGINAL GAME BOARD MOUNTAIN

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LOGBOOK SPREAD WITH BACKGROUND BY JULIA STEGE

When Cafe Gratitude came into being, the branding and illustrations from the Abounding River Game and Logbook were used to extend the game experience into a live community setting. Julia created a multitude of products and promotions from these illustrations.

To create the original wall menu at the Harrison St. Cafe, Julia took a portion of the game board painting, the section with the mountains and waterfalls that she used in the Logbook "Creation" spread, and created a 6 foot wide background using the masking tools and airbrush in Photoshop. Julia also created a full image of the "I Am" Girl by painting in areas originally cropped or covered in the Game Board painting.

 

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6 FOOT WALL MENU BACKGROUND WITH FULL "I AM" GIRL

For the San Rafael Cafe Sign, Julia took Frank's original orchard illustration and extended it to the dimentions of the 6 foot wide sign. Julia did this by masking in parts of Franks original painting and also using Photoshop paintbrushes to fill in areas and touch up. All of the trees in the extended illustration were painstakingly created by Julia from the few trees Frank originally painted.

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ORIGINAL PAINTING

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EXTENSION IN PROCESS

 

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FINAL SIGN DESIGN

The website design used the sign from the creation section of the game and expanded it out to give 'direction' to the navigation of the site.

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SEE SIGN WITH WORD 'SOURCE' AND 'ABUNDANCE'

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NOTE SITE NAVIGATION USES MODIFIED SIGN ILLUSTRATION

You can enjoy the Abounding River Game at all Cafe Gratitude locations.
The Abounding River Workshops are also available to experience the Abounding River Logbook and Game in an educational venue. You can purchase the Abounding River Logbook at Amazon.com

Written by Julia D. Stege
Abounding River Art Director and Designer

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All designs and content ©1998-2009
by Julia D. Stege and Graphic Girlz
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