1. I’ve been to several Lucero concerts but this was my first time seeing Ben Nichols solo. He put on a great show and it was nice not getting soaked with beer and/or getting in a fist fight at a concert for once. 

     

  2. It’s been a good year for cucumbers. I’ve harvested more than enough to make pickles but accidentally keep eating them. 

    I need more space so I can better grow for preservation. 

     

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  5. cododesign:

    Today marks CODO’s 5th anniversary, and that’s a nice round number. Five years ago, when Cody and I graduated from Herron and founded this business, people told us that our first anniversary would be a momentous occasion because, “Only 1 out of X businesses survive their first year.” Then, we heard it was actually 2 years. And then 3 years, and then 5 and 7 and 10. The goalposts will probably never stop moving, but I feel like this anniversary is a pretty big deal.

    The biggest thing this number represents is that internally, I feel like we’ve matured into whatever it is that comes after the start up phase—a teen business? Tween business?? That’s it folks, CODO has matured into a beautiful tween branding and web design firm. You’re probably wondering what that means. So am I, and I apologize. 

    Anyway, 5 years is a big deal for us, and rather than go on and on with weird, poorly constructed metaphors about success and maturity, I’ll just give you a run down of some of this year’s highlights. 

    The biggest thing we’ve done this year is hire Ryan Herrmann. Aside from being one of the funniest people we’ve ever met, he’s an incredible talent and is already fast on his way to becoming one of the area’s best designers. 

    Around this time last year, we survived a significant office robbery. Don’t worry, we recovered. And thrived, even. 

    After a two month marketing campaign, we launched Indianapolis’ most popular new food truck.

    After designing and launching dozens of client websites, we finally managed to launch CODO’s new responsive site. It’s not even six months old and we’re already toying with the idea of redesigning it altogether. We’re our own worst clients. 

    We won a Gold ADDY for our package design work on Bone Snapper Rye Whiskey. Now, we can join the thousands of design firms across the country that tout being “award-winning.” Ahhhh, victory! 

    We’ve been taking a new Nora brewpub, Big Lug Canteen, through our Hands-on Branding process since early summer. In addition to being fun to hang out with, these guys have hired us to name their brewery, design tap handles, beer labels, a responsive website and all the related ephemera you can think of. We feel this way with nearly every project, but Big Lug is shaping up to be some of the best work of our careers.  

    Our early package design work for Sitka Salmon Shares earned our team a trip to Alaska and since then, our branding, fully-custom e-commerce response website, marketing and print design have received an absurd amount of national, earned media (both for CODO and Sitka Salmon Shares) across many lifestyle publications, industry-defining design blogs, as well as a prominent feature in Entrepreneur Magazine.

    Additional highlights include branding Indianapolis’ newest Cultural District, Market East, as well as launching Ex. Ex., Midwest, a magazine examining midwestern food culture.

    On the digital front, CODO continued designing beautiful, robust responsive websites and this year saw the launch of several gorgeous ones for clients including: Daredevil Brewing Co, Sitka Salmon Shares, the Indy Food Council, Fresh Bucks Indy and Tree House Yoga.

    We’ve seen a big spike in paid speaking engagements across the country, including traveling to Wisconsin to present to the Stephens Point AIGA chapter as well as host an all-day workshop on our Hands-on Branding process. This thought leadership has also translated into writing on branding and positioning for the craft beer industry blog, Craft Brewing Business.

    And perhaps the most exciting thing as we head into our 6th year is that we essentially blinked and ended up working with 6 craft breweries—5 from Indiana and a brand new, yet-to-be-named production brewery in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. 

    As always, thanks to everyone who’s hired us, spoken highly of us, checked our egos, referred us, and kept up with us as we continue building this business. And thanks to our family and friends that continue to put up with us—it means a lot. Follow along as we mature into a healthy twenty-something design firm, or whatever it is that comes after the tween phase.

    5 years. Still making great design work. Still not working for anyone else.

     

  6. Fun camping trip this weekend. 

     

  7. I’ve been spending a lot of evenings outside reading and am joined nearly every time by this good looking guy.

     

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  9. We had 3 major presentations last week. Not small meetings, but big, honest-to-god design presentations, including beer packaging concepts for a popular Indianapolis brewery, identity design options for a new brewpub, and initial website directions for a start-up e-commerce store. 

    We’re a small shop and always stay busy, but have never had this many big presentations converge at once. We handled the workload well, we always do, and maybe it’s because every single presentation went perfectly, but this has put me in a happy, reflective mood. 

    One of my favorite parts of running this small business is making people happy. I love when clients laugh and smile upon seeing their logo. When they stand up to get a closer look at something. When they have a hard time sitting because they’re so excited. When they ask if they can keep what we showed, even if it’s just a junky beer can mockup.

    This is shaping up to be an incredible year for CODO.

     

  10. I awoke at 3 in the morning to several pans crashing on the kitchen floor. I went to investigate and found Ernie, our one-year-old black cat, pawing at a mouse. He’s a mouser, a good one. And I swear we don’t live in squalor, but Ernie’s killed nearly ten mice in the 3 years we’ve lived in this house. Normally we’re happy when he gets one, but last night’s catch was a pain. 

    Ernie has a habit of toying with the mice he catches. Rather than killing them outright, he’ll bat them around, letting them escape only to recatch them. He’s effective, so I don’t want to critique his tactics too much, but a couple months ago, he was playing with a mouse and I was forced to step on it before it ran under the fridge. I’m a hunter and am no where near squeamish, but smashing that little guy put me in a sour mood for weeks. 

    I had no interest in doing that again, so last night I tried to get Ernie to release the mouse so I could scoop it into a trashcan. Ernie’s response was to puff up and let out a guttural snarl. This would’ve been impressive if I wasn’t stark naked holding a trashcan and an empty beer can in the middle of my kitchen at 3am. 

    Anyway, after 2 minutes of this, I chased Ernie into the bathroom and shut the door. I had to get up early, figured he’d he’d kill the mouse sometime over the next few hours and that I’d clean everything up in the morning. 

    However, when I opened the bathroom door at 8am, it looked like a bomb had gone off. Everything was knocked off the counter. Three toilet paper rolls were shredded beyond any usable form, the shower curtain was ripped, and, AND Ernie had shit in the bathtub. 

    And that’s not even the best part. During all of this wanton destruction, Ernie had neglected to kill the mouse. So in addition to cleaning up after the cat, I still had to catch the mouse and release it outside. 

    I’m just glad I didn’t have to step on it.