Monday, December 23, 2013

The Clouds Gather

I live in Hartland, and the view from the porch sometimes brings us an incredible display of nature with a little selective cropping and post work ;)

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Canon FTb

This Canon SLR was manufactured sometime in the 70's and has seen many days since then. Has some general overall wear and dirt, but the film compartment is clean, as well as the prism and mirror. The 35mm lens is in great condition, no scratches or pitting. 200mm lens is a telephoto and has no defects as well. Camera is still in serviceable condition and would make a good student option.

I picked up this vintage camera at a local rummage sale one day. It had some wear, but was in pretty good overall condition. I have since resold it at my Etsy Store.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Bokeh Country Sunrise

As shot from fall outside of Merton. I pass this wonderfully scenic barn just about everyday cutting through the country side on my way into the office.

Monday, November 11, 2013

In Defiance of the Sky

This shot is from a few months ago visiting St Louis with my family. If you ever have a chance to visit this Eero Saarinen masterpiece, by all means, do.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Freethought Logo Design

Last year (2012) I had for kicks done a banner redesign for Ed Brayton's blog "Dispatches from the Culture Wars" because I felt inspired that day and heck, I wanted to do something nice for the guy for all the free content he has published since I started reading his blog.  Anyway, Ed asked if I could come up with a logo for FTB blogs after that, but I had to brush him off -- too much billable work and not enough time for pro-bono projects.

So about a half a year ago, I was in the shower and I thought about Ed's request and a few ideas instantly came into my head and since there wasn't much work on my plate, I came up with these options.

Concept 1 is my strong favorite. When I designed it, I was thinking about the hand prints left behind from our Paleolithic ancestors in caves like Lascaux and how it was really the first time we've observed humanity realizing itself as human.  Concept 2 kind of picks up the "flame" iconography that you see other humanist organization use like AU and CFI -- reusing that language. Concept 3 is my least favorite, but it could have been picked as a direction and I could have developed the squares a little more. Concept 4 is another strong contender as I was trying to represent thoughts in some graphic way.

These logos are all two color options playing on the current FTB color scheme, and will be an easy to reproduce logo in various media. I did choose a darker, more mature red however. After a direction would have been picked I would have tried some other treatments to them (like adding gradients and textures) but they stand well on there own like they are too.

They were well received, but since FTB did do a re-brand last year this work won't be used, but it was a good exercise and I really enjoy pro-bono work.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Empress Bath Tissue Placed

I took this shot of the prototype to see how it worked in the environment that it would most likely to be seen in. Although this is more of a commercial product, I wanted the design to perform like it would on store shelves like in a retail setting.

Friday, September 20, 2013

How I sold my used car and how you can likewise!

I started with a flier concept which helped me figure out what kind of photo I wanted to take for the flier and website.
Opportunity came up to get a less used car for cheap (thanks mom and dad) so I thought I'd sell my used, beloved (by me, not my wife) 2002 VW Jetta Wagon.

Once website was designed, I broadcasted it via my 
@mcpickard Twitter account.
I was figuring the car was going to be on the market for a long time, so why not use all those delicious design and marketing skills that I've spent so many hours developing throughout my career? I wasn't going to rely on just Craigslist because I really did not think the car was not going to move until fall had rolled around, so why not design a flier -- with a trackable and QR code for mobile -- that I could leave at local bulletin boards, as well as use social media to sell it. My QR code was set-up in Google Campaign Builder so I could track where I was getting the most interest, and, so I could track and analyze what my engagement was.

My tweets are automatically propagated to Facebook.
With that in mind, on one brisk Sunday afternoon I started detailing my car. Not only did I give the car a good cleaning inside and out, I also cleaned under the seats and even the gas cap and socket, as well as the engine -- even the dipstick removing as much dirt, dust, and grease that I could. Easier to clean it up front than have to do that work in Photoshop.

After all that work, I took pictures being mindful to capture what minor damage that existed, but also selecting the best shots that display the car in the most favorable light.

Once that was completed, I began selecting photos of the exterior, interior, and mechanicals and loaded them to the free blogspost website that I had been developing. Since the flier could only show a few pictures and relate some details about the car, this site had to be more in-depth to give prospective buyers the kind of information they needed to not only see the car, but buy it and at the price I was asking.

Well, the car sold and within in a week. I had many calls and the second buyer had cash in hand when they came to test drive the car.

All these tools, Google Campaign Builder, and online publishing platforms like Blogger, Wordpress -- or even Pinterest,  are free and rather easy to use. If you go this route to sell your car, or your home, make sure that your website has something to offer to the person who lands on it. When you have that, you can use Twitter and Facebook to promote it and measure engagement. To develop the best content that resonates with search engines, you can try Google's new Keyword Planner.  Also, when posting to Twitter or Facebook make sure to use hashtags, which will allow other people -- who may not be looking what you are selling or promoting -- to find you organically.

You can see the website I put together here.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Country-Side Sunrise

A few weeks ago, I actually had some time while the family slept one morning to go out and shoot for fun -- well, at least for a couple of hours. I shot this sunrise near Merton. Pretty!

Monday, September 9, 2013

3P Logo Design

Kind of a quick work here... a logo for a brand -- possibly -- of foodservice and medical gloves. For some reason, and I am not quite sure why, the client decided not to pursue manufacturing gloves. I did come up with some concepts for the packaging which you can see on this blog.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Empress Bath Tissue Design

The design works great on two different configurations!
Label: exploded view.

This assignment was to design the bath tissue label and because it is a higher quality product, to have it's look nested in likewise competitors. The above photo is just a mockup, I should be getting the real thing soon! The one trick with this design though was to make sure that the label could accommodate two different size roll heights and be no more than a two color job.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Visit me on Behance!

In an effort to connect with other designers, illustrators and photographers of the world, 
I started a portfolio on Behance a few months ago. Add me as a contact and we can follow 
and critique each other. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Clean your hands! This morning's product shot.

Just a sample shot with a little post work I did today in the studio, but what a day. My 30+ old Bogen  200B Monolight, about a decade older than our intern, bit it this morning. Dead. Kaputt. The heavy old, unwieldy beast shot its last shot this morning and no amount of cajoling could get it to work again, so I had to use those cheap e-bay modeling strobes I bought years ago and hate, but did manage to shoot the above. The modeling lamp on the 200b still works, but I think its way past time that I upgrade my studio lighting and move into more professional lights.

Yay! I get to shop!

Monday, August 19, 2013

VS MAXX Logo Design

Logo I designed for a toy gaming console. It was only an 8-bit game system 
so it was really more of a toy than anything. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Party Logo

I created this for my in-laws for their combined bachelor/bachelorette party which was cancelled due to a blizzard. The logo was to be used on shirts and on the invite.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Urban View Logo Design

This is another logo for a rebrand that I did for a Bayview 
area condo and retail development in Milwaukee.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Visit my 500px Portfolio!

A few months ago, I started to post some of my best studio work on 500px.  If you are so inclinded, please check out my portfolio on 500px and let's follow each other and comment on each other's work. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Rivercourse Logo Design

Alternate logo design and brand for a downtown Milwaukee area condo development.

Monday, July 8, 2013

MK Direct Alternate

This is an alternate design for the MK Direct logo design I created for a Milwaukee area printer.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Visit me on Flickr

I tend to post my best stuff on this website, but on my Flickr site you can see much more design and photography of the cameras I collect and sell, as well as other random stuff that I create or photograph. If you are interested please check out my Flickr site and become a contact where we can share and comment on each other pictures or designs.

Monday, June 17, 2013

GENROI Labs Branding

GENROI Labs was the mythical name of  a series of products aimed at increasing a company's return on investment. It was part of a direct mail campaign. I'll post better artwork of the sub-brands again.

Friday, June 14, 2013

10 Year Anniversary Logo

Designed this a few years ago and just found this artwork in my files. I designed it to commemorate the anniversary of a local mental health hospital residential treatment unit. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Anscoflex II Camera

Anscoflex II by matthewpickard
Anscoflex II, a photo by matthewpickard on Flickr.
This vintage pseudo-TLR camera was design by Raymond Loewy. Although this is a rather noisy shot, I quite like it. This unit has a lot of character and some damage, but still neat. I don't know how people made images with these type of cameras -- hard to hold and focus.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Friday, May 31, 2013

Like Vintage Electronics & Cameras? Visit My Etsy Shop

As single guy before I was married and became a father, I spent my extra money on vintage cameras. Well, the time as come to sell them and find them new homes. I bought these vintage cameras mostly for display because I love the design and their functionality and what else is an art director/designer going to collect? Light tables? (I have one of those actually.) I had fun shooting them and getting much needed practice with my camera, which you can see online on my Flickr site.

At the time of writing this I have about 45 cameras and accessories for sale. My favorite one are a few of the last remaining pre-war or art deco cameras. I have not retouched any of these pictures on the Etsy site and have done my best to describe them as accurately as I can.

If you are interested, please check out my Etsy Shop! Thanks!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Lifestyle Photo Shoots - Collection 2

This is a collection of shots that I directed for a local independent mental-health hospital. I made my casting by recruiting interested individuals off of Craigslist. (Budgets as they were.) For the most part, I was looking for average, all-Americans that could show that they were empowered, and maybe not all there yet, but on their way to recovery. Many of these shots were over a three-year period.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Empress Products Branding

My client was looking for an unique identity for a private line of foodservice disposables.  I submitted four different designs and after some wrangling, this was the approved logo. I am currently developing packaging for the various products that will fit underneath this brand umbrella. Later, I'll release some of the concept work.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Segment Catalog Covers

Based upon the main, corporate catalog cover that I designed, this animated gif illustrates the various guides for different segments that the client's catalog can be split into. The design strategy I developed with the corporate look can be easily and coherently re-used for a variety of different lines.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Vintage Sell Sheet Design

The last "designer" had a pretty horrible mess of a sheet that we used around here -- it had to change so I gave it a redesign and a strategy... The chef image is an iStock purchase with some Photoshop post-work to correct the color and to clean up the stove top in the background a little bit. I added in the Vintage box. I did get to photograph the packages on the back and front. Presently, I am extending this look to a garbage can liner and food service cutlery sell sheet as I shoot and do a little photo research.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Vintage Logo Update

Vintage is a private label brand that we co-market with other companies throughout the USA. I am not sure who developed the original logo or when, but I thought the design as it was, was rather lackluster and could use an update.

I basically took the concept that was there and made it work a little harder so it would have more of a visual impact and identity and got rid of the damn system font that I think was Arial. Who the hell uses Arial for a logo design?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Disposable Glove Box Design Concepts

Four concepts for a disposable glove brand that I developed as well as some of the other visual elements such as the icons featured below.

Concept 4 was my favorite because the look of it is the most high-end of the four.

Monday, April 15, 2013

General Electric Flash Bulbs

I thought this was a nice shot of some vintage light bulbs that I was selling at my Etsy shop as part of a vintage camera package.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Agfa PD-16 Clipper Camera

Agfa PD-16 Clipper by matthewpickard
Agfa PD-16 Clipper, a photo by matthewpickard on Flickr.
The Agfa PD16 Clipper was a 616 film camera made by Agfa Ansco in Binghampton, USA circa 1926. For a pre-war camera, this specimen is in quite fantastic condition.

I shot this camera in my studio and I am selling it at my Etsy shop, The Design Tracts.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

RJ Schinner Catalog Cover Design

At my present gig, I've been unifying the various print pieces that they have had in production prior to my hiring. I've worked hard on unifying the various pieces by bringing a single brand look, starting with the main catalog shown here. In later posts, I will reveal what the segment catalogs look like and how they relate to the main catalog above.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Camera-Wiki Camera Feature

The shot of my Ricoh TLX was featured on the Singlex product page for, which I always love when that happens. is a totally cool site to learn about vintage cameras.

Check it out.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Historic Camera Feature

Via Flikr, my shot of the Imperial Mark 27, was featured on the Historic Camera website. Pretty neat!

Check it out.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Vintage Sun Valley Camera Bag

Sun Valley Camera Bag
I bet you could also fit your lunch here, if not your camera in this vintage Sun Valley camera bag.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

My Entry

This is fun. On Flickr I had added the above camera, a Kalimar AW-10 to the pool. One of the editors then submitted it to You can read about it here.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Kalimar AW 10

Kalimar AW 10 Kalimar AW 10 Kalimar AW 10

Decided to reshoot this camera one time before I got it up for sale. I now have some studio space at work which is allowing me not only shoot their products in some relative comfort, but my stuff as well as time allows.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My Photo

Photo Kit

On Flickr I was invited to share the contents of my kit from Mike Duck of Since I shoot products for catalog and web, my kit is configured primarily for that purpose. The cheap Cowboy studio triggers are a life saver while being able to preview low res pictures on my iPad (RAW files are saved on the SDHC disc inside the camera) are both time saver and productivity enhancers.
1. Canon EOS 7D with battery pack
2. Canon EFS 17 - 85mm
4. Canon EF 75 - 300mm
5. Quantaray 28 - 90mm
6. Canon 580 EX II Speedlite
7. Cowboy Studio Triggers
8. Canon IR Transmitter
9. iPad with Eye FI SDHC wireless transmitter
This photo is posted on My post is here. There's a mess of other stuff I could have included (and in my bag) but left it at the primary components. When I can get around to it, I think I am going to photograph my Pentax Kit (i.e. film kit) and submit that in the future.

Browse over to, or visit their Facebook page, and compare your kit to other photographers.