Locking in: The Creation of the 7 Locks Brewing logo

Some friends of ours, Keith and Laura, opened a brewery in Rockville, Maryland, called 7 Locks Brewing. It's a great spot, great beers, highly recommended--check it out if and when you're in the area. 

Last year, the 7 Locks crew decided to give their original logo (below) a re-design ahead of some new beer releases. 

Keith approached me to take on the task, which I gladly accepted. I shipped them the final logo just before this past Thanksgiving. 

I was happy with the outcome and the development process. In this post I wanted to share that process, showing the stages from concept to finished logo, with the sketches along the way and my thoughts and reflections on each.

January 01, 2017 — Phillip Thompson

The Night City Sky maps.

One of the disadvantages to living in Chicago (and most big cities, for that matter) is missing out on a clear view of the night sky. What's worse is forgetting...
November 28, 2016 — Bench Bookkeeping

The Origins, the Minimal City, the Press, the Venues

Maps & The City Anyone who knows me might say, among other things, "This guy loves maps." That is true. The other day I got to thinking about why I...
October 26, 2016 — Phillip Thompson

The Chicago Alphabet, decoded!

Want the full run-down of the Chicago Alphabet? You've come to the right place :) Keep scrolling down for the letters! A is for Adler (Planetarium),  B is for Bean, ...
September 07, 2016 — Phillip Thompson
Building Drawings: Commemorating Great Buildings for Customers

Building Drawings: Commemorating Great Buildings for Customers

I wanted to share a few examples of building drawings I've done for customers.  The first example is the Rookery, which I carried out for an architect I met at...

Little Cottage, Gold Coast

In 1871, fire swept through Chicago, ravaging a huge swath of the city from 18th Street to Fullerton Avenue. In its ashes, citizens immediately began the process of building the city...
June 26, 2016 — Phillip Thompson

The More Things Change... by J.B. Rivard

Today we have a guest post by J.B. Rivard, who wrote Illusions of Magic, an illustrated novel set in Chicago in 1933, weaving a suspenseful story of a stage magician's...
June 21, 2016 — Phillip Thompson

Portrait of a Home: The Story and the Drawing

Sharon Wiesenmayer has lived with her husband, Peter, in her home on Ainslie Street for 49 years. In that time she's seen lots of changes to the home and neighborhood....
June 06, 2016 — Phillip Thompson

36 Hours in Lincoln Sq / Ravenswood (Summer Ed.)

I love the NYTimes feature, "36 Hours in..." The articles boil down a place, usually a city, to the absolute must-visits and must-sees. As a reader, you know that there's...

Cook County Social Club: WPA-inspired print

I was honored to create a print commemorating the 10th Anniversary Shows for the legendary improv group and long-time Chicago fixture, Cook County Social Club. Here are the steps behind...
December 01, 2015 — Phillip Thompson

All Hail Map Room: A Traveller's Tavern (Don't Be Lost)

The other day we found ourselves walking on Armitage, through our old Bucktown neighborhood, and right by one of our favorite haunts, Map Room, one of the pioneering and still...
August 19, 2015 — Phillip Thompson

Memorizing Chicago by Numbers: A Rhymed Tour of the Major Streets

My wife is always getting lost on Chicago streets. Partly to cope, she's great at coming up with little memory tricks. When I first started taking the red line, I...
July 20, 2015 — Phillip Thompson