Monday, March 12, 2012


Logo for new Columbia Heights restaurant/bar owned by architect Eric Gronning and journalist Lori Robertson. Open in April 2012.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Directing a live concert DVD

This past week, Director Brian Liu and Producer Jon Adelman flew to Chicago to do a multi-camera HD film shoot for our longtime friend Frank Orrall's 25th-year anniversary retrospective Poi Dog Pondering concerts that occurred at the Metro on December 2nd & December 3rd, 2011. Both shows were monumental, and we were stoked to be there to document them. Many thanks to Chaka, Shannon Pietro, Jason Conny and the rest of our Chicago crew of volunteers. A project of this scale could never have happened without their faith and hard work.

To make things even more amazing, we set up a modest Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to pay for the camera and computer gear we had to rent for the shoot, and to finance the daunting unavoidable massive postproduction costs to come, and met our goal in ONE WEEK! We're hoping the love keeps pouring in so we can push for more interviews, more extras, bigger, better packaging, and much MORE! Just kicking in $50 will help a ton and guarantee you a DVD set.

Check out these screengrabs from various camera positions to see what's to come! These DVDs will be THE ULTIMATE POI LIVE EXPERIENCE that PDP fans have always wanted!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sun Wolf 7” artwork

Dig our hand-drawn and lettered artwork for new recording artist Sun Wolf's very first release on 7" vinyl. With the direction we've taken, we can't wait to start working on more releases, posters and tee shirts once the full-length release is completed.

The Kings Of Gettin' Em

Logos created for a progressive international hunting TV show "The Kings Of Gettin' Em" currently in production. These are gonna look awesome on product! I wonder if i can get a Rambo knife with one of these logos on it...

U Street Movie Series

After the enormous success of the first U Street Movie Series outdoor film screenings last year in Harrison Park, we gave the annual event a new logo and look. We're particularly psyched about how DC the logo came out, with the night stars over the field/film bars. DC Stars & Bars forever!

Film Neu

The Goethe German Cultural Institut's annual film festival of new films from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland kicked off its 19th year in 2011 with our new tee shirt designs and opening night party. Toolbox has provided the film festival with it's new name (Film Neu), identity, and design facelift since 2007, significantly helping to revitalize the festival and increase visibility and attendance.

The Plug Agency gets an identity

We give new DJ and performance booking agency, The Plug Agency, a unique look and website for a unique company.

The Chocolate City Soul Revue

Branding for a highly anticipated concert featuring legendary funk and soul bands, including singers, and performers from James Brown's bands. Soul legend Martha High posted on Facebook: "What a fantastic poster you have put together, It's fantastic!!" Oh swoon.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Portraits of Chefs from Bar Pilar and Cafe St. Ex

Our house photographer, Brian Liu, took press portraits of tough-guy awesome chefs, Justin Bittner & Billy Klein, from Bar Pilar and Cafe St Ex.


We completed a new logo for USAID's Farmer-to-Farmer Program which provides voluntary technical assistance to farmers, farm groups, and agribusinesses in developing and transitional countries to promote sustainable improvements in food security and agricultural processing, production, and marketing.

Landmine & Cluster Munition Monitor

We recently completed a new logo for LANDMINE & CLUSTER MUNITION MONITOR, an initiative providing research for the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) and the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC), who's logo we also did in 2003.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Ed Rondthaler on English spelling

so cool...

Harry Hotter at The Get Down

Harry kills it every Sat night at The Get Down! Dig Harry's logo that we did too!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Get Down

ToolboxDC/Yellow Fever is now booking DJs at awesome new Fells Point Baltimore nightclub/lounge The Get Down (it's the old Fletcher's space)! The space and sound is absolutely gorgeous. The club is open daily, with our DJs on fris and sats spinning funk, soul, disco, electro, breaks and hip hop.

Read the Baltimore Sun's story!

Also in Dailycandy DC!

Saturday resident DJ Harry Hotter!!!

Washingtonian Magazine's 2010 "Best of" Party!

A. Dominick Events and Washingtonian Magazine invited DJ Yellow Fever to perform at their prestigious annual "Best Of" party this year at the National Building Museum. All night, the sold out crowd sampled the best food and drink that DC has to offer! (top photo by Alfredo Flores)


Saturday, April 17, 2010


To commemorate 30 years of the "Dirty Thirty", this week's Washington Post Magazine features a cover story on our beloved 9:30 Club's history. Great story also features numerous photos by Brian Liu, as well as our old friends Jim Saah, John Falls, Chester Simpson...

Much respect!

online piece here.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Just wanted to "Let U Know"!

Hooray! Nacional Records, US home of Manu Chao, Nortec Collective, Los Amigos Invisibles and other alternative Latin artists released our video for Plastilina Mosh's single "Let U Know" this week.

Director, Brian Liu and cameraman/editor Greek Prince went down to Monterrey, Mexico to shoot the video. PMosh have been friends of ours for about 9 years, and we've also known our producer, Chuy, for years from DJing at La Santanera in Playa Del Carmen.

Jonaz came up with the initial concept of dressing the band like sheiks to see what kind of reaction we would get from people in town. In the end, our base concept centered around a fictitious country of sheiks who BUY Mexico, so the first thing we did is design the fictitious new country's flag and gather props. The rest came together PMosh style!

Many thanks to Dan Cooper for helping Brian and Nikos with the edit.

Here's a flickr set (click for full set) of some press/production photos Brian shot on set.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

"So many dogs, so few recipes" - Stefan Sagmeister

Notorious designer Stefan Sagmeister was in town last night speaking to a small sold out audience at The Corcoran. Ive always been inspired and amazed at much of Sagmeister's work, and most of all his work process. Even his failures are fascinating. If he speaks in your town, do go see him, even if you are not a designer. His words will resonate throughout whatever it is you do, wherever you do it.

He spoke about the joys of time off, and how it helps create more quality creative work, how to achieve "happiness" in design work, sharing much of his philosophy, how it ties into his actual work, and showed many of the public art pieces he has been creating including videos, objects, installations, and graphic design. Also interesting was the time he devoted to other works which inspired him or made him happy.

this is pretty much the first part of his presentation:


Sunday, October 4, 2009

A new film!

We've just shot a new documentary film about 9 traditional cattlemen (cowboys) in the Highwood Mountains of Montana doing a 9 day cattle roundup, pushing hundreds of cows down the mountain range from summer pasture the same way it's been done for a hundred years. This is a dying way of life...

Director: Brian Liu, Producer: Andrew Labens, Additional Camera: Damon Ristau.
More still photos here.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Yoga Activist identity

We recently completed a new logo for Yoga Activist, an awesome project started by the folks over at Yoga District! Dig it.

Friday, September 4, 2009

DJs Yellow Fever at the Smithsonian Freer/Sackler Galleries! All yellow, All night!

(pic of DJs Yellow Fever with Jerry Busher & Hash Vyas performing at Asia After Dark by Swedish Scene)

Under a perfect summer night last night, DJs Yellow Fever (Brian and Nick) spun a rare all-asian set in the beautiful courtyard of The Freer Gallery Of Art for their sold out "Asia After Dark" event. We spun everything from cambodian and vietnamese psych, 70's thai pop, bollywood, to asian hip-hop, with special guest musicians Jerry Busher (Small Doses, Federico Aubele, French Toast, Dust Galaxy, Fugazi) on drums and Hash Vyas (Thievery Corporation, Federico Aubele, Dust Galaxy, Gogogo Airheart) on bass. Extra thanks to the gallery staff, their support, Amanda Williams, The Pink Line, and Jerry & Hash for playing this amazing gig with us. Also thanks to Sam Vasfi for taking our photos.

We'd appreciate any additional photos and/or links anyone would send our way. Thanks so much!

Some press and photos:
• Alfredo Flores' event photos on Facebook - Asia After Dark
Freer-Sackler Gallery on flickr
• Asia After Dark report on The Pink Line Project
photography of the event by Vincent Gallegos
Swedish Scene!

Sam Vasfi's "serious/legit" photo of us. pretty funny, huh?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Taste Of the Nation

Our work for Share Our Strength's new Taste Of The Nation campaign. We're excited for them to make their final design decisions!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

HotDocs in Toronto & Silverdocs in MD/DC

HotDocs Film Festival in Toronto:
the one thing i was most surprised about HotDocs was actually the city of Toronto itself. having spent a significant amout of time in Toronto in my youth, i was not completely new to the city, but Toronto has become a great town. the amount of support and interest in indie films and docs that the people of Toronto showed was also amazing. LOTS of people came out to see EVERYTHING. also, since the town has so many theaters, the festival was able to place screenings and parties in many different neighborhoods, which really forced me to experience different neighborhoods and the GREAT food in each. ill be back!

Standout films I saw:
• When We Were Boys [beautiful window into life in a wealthy boy's private school]
• Winnebago Man [hilarious. look it up.]
• Bitch Academy [short doc on russian girls who take a class on how to seduce rich men. surprisingly sweet.]
• Burma VJ [incredible story of covert burmese citizen journalists during the recent burmese uprising]
• The Wild Hearts [drunken naked wasted rock n roll boys from copenhagen go on a road trip]
• Art & Copy [doug pray's great film about the advertising industry]
• Necrobusiness [unbelieveable gangster morticians in poland.]
• Carmen Meets Borat [the quick appearance & departure of Borat turns a town upside down. an incredible window into life in a small romanian town.]

i overheard one canadian filmmaker talking about funding. American: "You guys are so lucky as Canadian filmmakers to have such great financial support from your govt." Canadian: "Youre right, but somehow i think that makes us have the ability to put out so many mediocre films." hmmm.... food for thought.

For the most part, i thought the programming at HotDocs was great, but I was sorely disappointed by the few "HotDocs Talks" i attended. maybe it was the topics, maybe the moderator, maybe it was the speakers, but either way, they were for the most part uninspiring, and didnt really yield much info other than superficial discussions of films. you guys really need to check out Silverdocs' sessions and panels.

outside of that i had a great time!

Silverdocs Film Festival in Silver Spring, MD:

As usual, a great festival experience, and a great learning experience. This fest just gets better every year. Congrats Sky!

Standout films I saw:
• Soul Power [absolutely amazing doc about the musical entertainment part of the "Rumble in the Jungle" fight]
• Supermen Of Malegaon [making of a low-budget Bollywood film. SO funny!]
• Hunting Down Memory [incredible amnesia story]
• More Than A Game [incredible story of Lebron James & crew, from the beginning]
• The Nine Lives Of Marion Barry [i learned a lot about the man that i did not know. mayor for life.]

Outside of the great lineup of films themselves, and the panels, Silverdocs really outdid themselves with special guests this year. Wale played a nice set at the opening night party following the screening of More Than A Game, attended by Lebron James and his crew. Im not sure many folks attending even knew who Wale was. shame... Also, funk legend Fred Wesley of the James Brown Horns spoke and performed a bit after Soul Power (which blew my mind!), and Marion Barry attended his screening as well as the after party at Jackies featuring a full set by DC gogo legends Trouble Funk! WOW!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Cinema Eye Honors 2009!

wow. where do i begin? only in it's second year, Cinema Eye has already started to become one of the most coveted awards in the documentary community. now held at the beautiful Times Center in New York City, the sold out room was filled with filmmakers, broadcasters, festival types, celebs, and old friends.



The 2009 Cinema Eye Winners were announced this past Sunday March 29 and brought together luminaries of nonfiction filmmaking to honor and celebrate some of the best films of 2008. Award presenters included a bevy of nonfiction legends including Albert Maysles (Gimme Shelter), D.A. Pennebaker (Don't Look Back), experimental artist/musician Laurie Anderson (attending with Lou Reed, of course), and Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me).

The need for a new standard of award for documentaries that recognizes the breadth of the genre and includes the crafts of cinematography, music, editing and producing should have been obvious from the start. Who knows why there wasnt anything like this before... This award was conceived by and for those who had spent the year on the road watching nonfiction films at festivals all over the world, and felt that the Academy’s choices failed to fully represent the year they had experienced.

Man On Wire and Waltz With Bashir swept up most of this year's awards, with one of my faves of last year, Up The Yangtze, also picking up 2 awards. Over 20 nonfiction films were nominated throughout 10 categories that celebrate excellence and innovation in the field.

i could go on and on about each of the winning films, but nothing really tops meeting Phillippe Petit, the legendary "Man On Wire" himself, as well as D.A. Pennebaker and Albert Maysles. basically i shook their hands, said it was honor to meet them, asked to take the photo you see below, then fled in shame for being unworthy to even be in the same room with the men responsible for Gimme Shelter, Don't Look Back, and countless other amazing films....


Pennebaker quote of the day (approximation): "It's funny that we were called filmmakers Back then, because we spent more time making equipment than making films... "

Following the ceremony, i DJed the after party w/ Ion, who basically asked me to spin with him, however after playing 4 songs off his ipod mixer he pretty much disappeared into the open bar and left me (happily i might add) to spin the rest of the night. Im guessing folks liked the music because grand poohbah Bob Alexander asked me to turn it up, and one particularly beautiful bartender asked if i would play there more often. either that or it was just the open bar talking. ill never know....

Thanks to Cinema Eye sponsor IndiePix, Bob Alexander, Danielle DiGiacomo, Matt Posorske, Jason, AJ Schnack, and Cinema Eye for a great event! Disarm was aquired and released to DVD by IndiePix just 2 weeks ago, and im proud to be a member of the IndiePix family! Find Disarm in stores, on Amazon, Netflix, and more!

* Cinema Eye in other press:
Cinema Eye in the New York Press
Cinema Eye on Indiewire

* note: some text borrowed from IndiePix press release.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Emiliana Torrini on tour

photographed our longtime "lil buddy" Emiliana Torrini @ The Hiro Ballroom in new york this past weekend 3/28/09! the show was amazing, and it was great to see ET onstage again w/ the band with siggi on drums, and kari out managing Lay Low.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

old friends

Running into old friend Neil Strauss on a promotional world tour of his new book, "Emergency". We actually had to rescue him from groupies... Ha.:


You may know him from his reporting for Rolling Stone or New York Times or his bestselling biographies of Motley Crüe "The Dirt", Jenna Jameson, or "The Game", the boook that launched him into superstardom.