Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

When a Client Stops Being a Client, and Becomes Something More

May 25, 2016 | buchanandesign

There is nothing more rewarding than having a great client and developing a strong relationship. Mutual respect for each other and for the work that each provides is a beautiful thing.

Such is my story with United Through Reading (UTR). What started as basic graphic design services over 18 years ago has blossomed into the type of client-partner relationship that my peers in the branding industry dream about. I’m privileged to be considered a trusted advisor for this organization while also providing design and branding services when requested.


United Through Reading is dedicated to uniting U.S. military families who face physical separation by facilitating the bonding experience of reading aloud together. One of the most difficult things that a child can experience is having a parent separated from them for an indeterminate period of time. United Through Reading helps ease the stress of separation for military families by having service members, who are separated from the children they love, read children’s books aloud on video for the child to watch at home.


The proven impact this program provides – in regards to connecting families, decreasing the stress caused by separation, and encouraging reading – is beyond impressive.

Because of UTR’s important work, the incredible team of individuals who run the program and deliver services to over 200 locations around the world, and my deep sense of family – it was almost inevitable that I would become passionate about this mission.

Tonight Buchanan Design and I are proud to be a sponsor for UTR’s Tribute to Military Families Gala in Washington, D.C. Honoring those who make a difference for military families, this event will be attended by military leadership from all branches, over 20 members of congress, and industry leaders from around the country.




I feel very privileged to sit on their national board of trustees, and equally honored to be a small part of this amazing organization.

– Charlie

Community, Events, Partnership

SPARK 2015

May 21, 2015 | buchanandesign

SPARK 2015 Gala Event Logo Banner

In collaboration with UC San Diego Health Sciences, Buchanan Design was recently tasked with designing the overall look & feel of the 34th Annual SPARK Gala. The committee and event planners were looking for a new identity that would be used for several years to come, while flexible enough to adapt to the visual imagery that we develop year after year.

The refracting lines in the SPARK logo extend upward from a central point, forming an abstract flame. The construction of the flame visually communicates SPARK as a vital source that fuels the center’s on-going efforts toward advancements in cancer treatment and care.

SPARK 2015 Gala Event Collateral

Igniting a brand new SPARK gala, we created the event identity, save the date, invitation, RSVP card, poster, sponsor packet, event program and signage using gold foil over a flood of warm gray to develop a luxurious event collateral system that represents a remarkable evening dedicated to an important cause.

SPARK 2015 Gala

Congratulations to UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center for raising over $2 million! Proceeds from SPARK benefit Moores Cancer Center, one of the top-25 cancer centers in the country according to U.S. News & World Report.

Click here to learn more about SPARK 2015 at UC San Diego.

Branding, Events

Back in San Francisco

May 9, 2015 | buchanandesign


As many of you may know, over the years we have developed a partnership with TEL HI – a nonprofit community center located in the heart of San Francisco. Our many projects for TEL HI include branding, collateral design, website design,environmental design, and of course designing all the materials needed to promote and support their annual fundraising Gala. This year, in celebration of TEL HI’s 125 year anniversary, a group of us from Buchanan Design flew out to give our support at its annual Taste of TEL HI gala.

We spent the night connecting with the TEL HI team, sampled fantastic food and spirits provided by San Francisco’s best restaurants, and even bid on some terrific silent auction items. It was very warming to see the many people in the community affected by the important services that TEL HI provides. It was clear to see just how much the community loves and supports TEL HI by the crowds and the amount of money raised in one evening. It was a record year and we were honored to have played a part in that.

Events, Partnership

In The Neighborhood

September 6, 2013 | buchanandesign


This week found the studio taking a day trip to San Francisco. Our team was finally able to meet the team at Tel-Hi (Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Center) in their home city. We have been working with this non-profit in conjunction with OrangeTree Project for over 3 years now. We have always had a successful working relationship with Tel-Hi, but for most of us in the studio, it has been a bit of a long-distance relationship.

Tel-Hi is a community hub – providing daycare, afterschool programs, teen programs, senior programs, and a multitude of cultural events. It was definitely inspiring to finally meet all the passionate people at Tel-Hi face to face and to see first-hand all the great community programs they are working on.

It was a busy day. We coordinated the installation of some new street signage, provided a website tutorial to the staff, and we unveiled new logo concepts for rebranding to the board of directors. Keep an eye out for the new Tel-Hi identity to roll out as we start this new year!


Events, Projects, Studio Life

Soft Touch Aqueous & Spot Gloss UV

May 3, 2013 | buchanandesign

Buchanan Design May 2013 - UCSD Alumni Celebration Invite

Just completed the invitation design for the UCSD Alumni Celebration black-tie event—this year’s theme is “Imagine More”. The selected concept begins with the simple words growing and expanding into a modern, organic pattern, creating an elegant and sophisticated invitation.

We started by flooding the sheet with a solid hit of black. We wanted to emphasize the title so we left the words in white with a gradient that fades to black just beyond the words. We then specified a soft touch aqueous coating that gave the piece a dull, velvety finish like the feel of smooth leather. The magic happens when the top layer is added in the form of a spot gloss coating over the name and the entire pattern that is not visible until this last layer is applied. UV techniques are created by applying a thin clear coating that is cured by UV light. The final product shows well in this photo, but the soft touch can only be experienced in person.


Events, Printing Techniques, Projects

Heating it Up in the Studio

January 16, 2013 | buchanandesign


It is no secret that we like things on the spicy side here at Buchanan Design. When we eat out for lunch, its common for us to end up at a Thai restaurant and even more common for Bobby to request the supplementary “spice tray” from where ever we’re eating.

So when we found out that today, January 16th, was International Hot & Spicy Food Day – we jumped at the excuse to consume some mouth-burning delectables.

The menu included:
Hot Wings (of course)
Spicy Thai Fried Rice (with pineapple & cashews)
Ryan’s Famous Jalapeno Poppers
Chipotle Buttermilk Dressing (with salad)
Assorted International Hot Sauces


Despite the chilly weather, there was some sweat to be found on foreheads (and one or two spice induced runny noses). However, we are proud to say not one glass of milk was consumed the whole day!


Events, Food, Studio Life

I got the beat!

January 14, 2013 | buchanandesign

Birthday Tiramisu for Bobby - Buchanan Design
i have to say this year’s gift took me completely by surprise… i was given the option to pick the spot for lunch, had to go with smashburger, and that of course wasn’t a surprise.

joey and jessica made a tiramisu cake, and while it was a slight surprise, i don’t think it’s a secret how much i like tiramisu. but then it was time to open my present… lots of orange tissue, followed by a very cool custom card with what would be the first clue on the front, and then a square flat box—surprise, a practice drum pad!

Practice drum pad with custom painted drum sticks - Buchanan Design

i’m sure it was the constant banging of pens, sticks, rulers, tubes, etc. against every possible surface throughout the studio that gave them this cool gift idea. i started to beat the drum with my hand like a bongo and they said, “reach in, there’s more”—and there they were, custom painted drum sticks to complete the set. i was NOT expecting this but i must say that it’s one of the most memorable gifts to date. i put it on a stand and took it home for the weekend, the boys loved it too. the house rocked every time one of us walked by the mini makeshift drum set. don’t expect me to join a band, but i do feel pretty cool having my own custom pair of drum sticks!

Bobby The Drummer Boy - Buchanan Design

Events, Food, People, Studio Life

Introducing Pacific Arts Movement

November 1, 2012 | buchanandesign

Today is the start of the 13th Annual San Diego Asian Film Festival. Aside from being a big fan of asian cinema, I am extra excited for this festival as it will be the first that the San Diego Asian Film Foundation will be hosting under their new name and identity: Pacific Arts Movement.

Earlier this year, Lee Ann Kim of the San Diego Asian Film Foundation came to us to help them develop a new website and identity, as Pacific Arts Movement.

In developing the new identity for Pacific Arts Movement, we tried to capture the essence of the organization by representing a few key elements…

Coming Together:
At its heart, this logo represents the idea of many converging as one. This reflects the idea of many countries, cultures, art forms, ideas, and people that are brought together at the many events and experiences created by the Pacific Arts Movement.

On the surface, the flowing organic shape of the logo illustrates the “pacific”. However, the shape is really meant to represent not only that Pacific Arts Movement showcases are in constant change and also that they work to spark growth and change in the individuals that encounter them.

The logo also works as a stylized infinity symbol. This represents Pacific Arts Movement’s constant movement forward – reaching to involve and represent more cultures and to facilitate the future of film by constantly seeking out the newest films and supporting the development of tomorrow’s film makers.


For the website, we opted for a clean, modern look (mixed with some custom illustration) to match the personality of the organization. We paired this look with an easy to use content management system so that updates could be made on the fly by multiple users in the organization. The result is a visually engaging site that lives and breaths with constant content updates.

View the site and logo at

Branding, Case Studies, Events, Projects, Website

Happy Halloween

October 31, 2012 | buchanandesign

We took first place for the 2nd year in a row in our office building pumpkin carving competition. We won a free lunch for the BD crew!

Inspired by my son’s luchadore costume, I carved a Buchanan Design lucha-lantern complete with the Buchanan Design crown. We have named the pumpkin La Naranja Furiosa!



Events, Studio Life

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