Beerful Goodbyes

Last week was a dark week at the studio. We had to say goodbye to one of our key motivators, always ready to lend a hand at 3pm to push you through to the end of the day, and always there to get the party started. After a great seven-and-a-half month run, we had to say goodbye to our office kegerator on loan from Mean Max. Here’s a final goodbye and some of our fondest memories of the kegerator:

May 29th: Matt and Dave from Mean Max stroll in unannounced on a quiet Friday with a kegerator, two pony kegs and a nice set of tulip glasses.

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It didn’t take long for the shock to wear off and for us to work collectively to make good use of the new appliance.

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Favorite memory: I had a blast standing around with 2/3 of the office watching it be installed. It was totally a “how many designers does it take to screw in a tap handle” sort of thing.

Favorite beer poured: Das Mean Max

Best part of it being in the office: I easily saved $100 by having a kegerator in the office. That being said, I just as easily lost 3-5 evenings’ worth of memories.

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Favorite memory: Every moment we had with the kegerator was awesome; but my favorites would be the times we poured a round of pints to reward a long week or a new client.

Favorite beer poured: Hmmm. This could get me in trouble. I plead the fifth!

Best part of it being in the office: The kegerator had a way of pulling everyone together to bond and decompress. Some offices have water coolers. We had a kegerator. And I’m going to miss the hell out of it.


Favorite beer poured: The very first one!


Favorite memory: Having a “pool party” the night it was installed, even if I lost miserably at every game.

Favorite beer poured: Switchback.

Best part of it being in the office: Being able to celebrate completed projects/team wins as soon as they happen (and having beer in the room when I found out my favorite hockey player got traded).

November 13th: The guys from Druthers helped us out with an empty tap and brought along a pony keg to one of our morning meetings. Don’t worry, we waited until at least 2pm to dive in (I think).


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Only appropriate to slap on a Tramp designed Druthers tap handle and label.

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Favorite memory: The kegerator and I could hang out for hours without ever getting bored. It was one of my closest friends and confidants. R.I.P.

Favorite beer poured: Choosing a favorite beer is like choosing a favorite child. I loved them all equally.

Best part of it being in the office: Telling everyone I know that we have a kegerator at work and making them jealous.

A touching tribute from Will:


If you want to say hi, the kegerator has moved just a couple blocks away to Downtown Barber Co. We’re sure it would love if you stopped by.

Reason Speaks, Design Resonates

The design industry has always been nimble, always willing to pack, unpack, and rearrange the tools of the trade and the spirit with which it is practiced in order to adapt to its environs, whether it be political, financial, or logistical.

The past twenty-five years have required a shift from print to online, with many designers working in both spaces and others preferring to focus more closely on one or the other. The thing that has not changed is the pursuit of comprehensive design, which creates and sustains an experience.

“Design is the method of putting form and content together. Design, just as art, has multiple definitions; there is no single definition. Design can be art. Design can be aesthetics. Design is so simple, that’s why it is so complicated.”
Paul Rand

When people say, “I like to have a glass of wine and play around with Photoshop” and “Submit your spec creative and you may get exposure,” our ideas and our process are dismissed as costly and unnecessary. We are watching as design is quietly euthanized.

“It’s all in how you arrange the thing…
the careful balance of the design is the motion.”
Andrew Wyeth


 The argument that what we do has worth is of little use with people who no longer value the art of connecting disparate elements and objectives and delivering a system that appeals or challenges a broad audience. A post on Medium demonstrates the history of incredibly conceived and executed design that endures and the advent of crowd sourcing art. This crowd-sourcing is not done out of necessity, but more from a flagrant perch of “Why not?”


“To create one’s world in any of the arts takes courage.”
Georgia O’Keeffe

 The courageous act is not submitting spec, not devaluing the process, and, ultimately, deciding that the continued evolution of design demands that we find a way to reestablish our place in the world.


Thank you for a thorough, rational, and passionate post Ian Lynam.

Have Your Cake and Brand it Too

I am an avid lover of both baked goods and puns, so as soon as I heard we had a new client named “Cake Placid” I knew it was right up my alley. Growing up, my family went to Lake Placid almost every year for Thanksgiving and it’s become one of my favorite places in all of Upstate New York. Add that to the idea of getting to look at pictures of cupcakes in the name of research? Count me in.

One of the difficulties right off the bat was to convey the sweet nature of baked goods, without making it look like every other cookie cutter bakery logo out there (pun fully intended). After going over the client’s expectations and our own ideas, the Tramp team came up with three initial concepts to capture the spirit of both the Adirondacks, and the delicately decorated but heartily sized treats Cake Placid has to offer.

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We ended up with what we call a Franken-concept, that combined the fonts, decorative accents, and colors from each version.

Final Logo

Once we nailed down the logo, it was time to give it all the fun applications it deserved. Functionally, we needed a simple sticker to place on anything from the cake boxes to take-out bags, that would reinforce the brand and repeat the contact information and details. Knowing the triathlon culture in Lake Placid, we also designed a cake-themed eurosticker, for those of us who choose to forgo marathons in favor of bicep curls with a cupcake in each hand.



For a wedding magazine ad, we started by taking a look at the competition. Everything we saw involved a predictable collage of staged portraits; too-perfect looking cakes, strategically-posed wedding parties, same old same old. We wanted something that said “our brand and reputation are so strong, we don’t need to shove three dozen photos in your face to prove it.” The logo on a thick swath of white frosting proved to be just that; a perfect balance of sweet and confident.

Wedding Ad

As Thanksgiving approached I was delighted to hear that the plan was for the Hurley clan to trek it up north for the first time in a few years. True to my love of baked goods, I suggested we see things in person. We stopped into Cake Placid and took it upon ourselves to count by cupcake, all the things about which we could feel grateful (emphasis on full). Also great!

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