smARTer is an illustrative design firm serving creative agencies. Agency experience in creative and art direction means we’re smarter about how brand strategy and imagery work together. We think the way you think.

Smart Art for Creative Firms

smARTer is an illustrative design firm serving creative agencies. Agency experience in creative and art direction means we’re smarter about how brand strategy and imagery work together. We think the way you think.



Sherwin Schwartzrock is an award-winning designer and illustrator who has worked with clients ranging from Fortune 100 companies to startups. With over 20 years of experience as both agency creative director and contract illustrator, Sherwin understands how brand strategy and creative visual solutions work together to achieve the best results.

Agency Clients

smARTer fits seamlessly into your company’s process. Need upfront collaborative brainstorming? Or direct execution to complete the assignment? Our art direction experience elevates your visual solutions, helps you sell concepts to management, and builds emotional connection with customers.


Friday, January 3, 2020

smARTer helps the Target catalog team get approval before scheduling the photo shoot.

smARTer has been so blessed over the years to help the Target creatives get their catalogs approved and then move on to creating actual photography. Without a real photograph, how do you get a layout approved? You call smARTer and we draw the image the way you want it, hopefully with a little wink and style. In the trade, we call this “for position only” (FPO) images. Designers drop in my images into their layout, they get approval, and the photographer uses them to set up their shot for the catalog. Below are images from various projects over the years. This multi-year relationship with Target started when my talented grade school friend hired me to help with his catalog. Thank you, Jon Erickson.

Friday, January 3, 2020

smARTer helped Curious’ client leave a memorable proposal with a custom illustration.

From a sales perspective, how do you show a potential customer that you care about the little details. The creatives at Curious, Inc. thought a custom illustration of the client’s house would make a nice cover letter image… followed up with the actual art framed and delivered.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Working closely with Curious, Inc., smARTer designs a new employee recognition program logo for UMC.

Ultra Machining Company is manufacturing company in Monticello, MN. They produce precision parts for the medical and aerospace industries. UMC was refocusing their employee recognition plan and needed a logo to wrap all of the internal messaging together with a sub-brand.

Taking my direction from the well-produced brand and website, smARTer worked with the style of the existing brand to create something for the HR department that feels like it’s part of the company.

Friday, January 3, 2020

smARTer continues to illustrate ingredients for Talenti.

From the very beginning of the Talenti rebrand, smARTer has been at the ready to illustrate all of their new flavors. We’ve done dozens and dozens of them over the years. Even when the company was sold and the packaging agency moved to Chicago, smARTer somehow stayed on the team (for which I am very grateful).

Initially, the packaging was more luxurious and could accommodate the detail of the illustration. In recent years, they mostly have been used small on the backside of the packaging.

We’ve modified how we illustrate these ingredient so they look better at such a small size.

Marty Harris is the lead illustrator on this account and has brought his skill and continuity to the many years of ingredients.

Friday, January 3, 2020

smARTer was able to mimic the icon style created by Little to extend their icon library.

Not too long ago, Little and Co. rebranded Securian Financial. As part of that new brand architecture, they created a series of icons in a unique style. Here’s some screen grabs of the few located on their website:

As with a lot of rebrands, once the design firm’s job is done, assets are handed off to the internal team. Apparently the HR department had a new initiative and I was hired to expand the icons to include lots of diverse people icons and groups. Notice I was allowed to add shapes of color to the faces and hair to achieve a greater sense of diversity.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Working with Curious, Inc., smARTer helped tell Ostra’s story.

smARTer was asked to help tell the unique story of Ostra. They offer enterprise-level cyber security to small businesses. Small business owners are not IT experts, so we needed a friendly brand voice that communicated the urgent need and Ostra solution quickly and without the techy jargon.

The images above were used on an investor pitch deck. In addition, we continued the style onto the company’s website.

Friday, January 3, 2020

A small project for Target’s internal project.

Just a quick post of some hand-drawn faces for an internal Target project. Often times, projects come in fast and leave just as fast. Like this one.

Friday, January 3, 2020

smARTer helped Eches Design illustrate a new team logo.

I’ll be frank, drawing horses has always been an Achilles heal for me. To do it well, you really need to understand the bone structure and muscle groups of horses. But who doesn’t like a good mustang logo? So, when Jodi from Eckes Design called looking for illustration help for her high school client, I jumped at the opportunity.

Like many high schools, team logos are typically bad clip art or stolen from college or pro teams. Often, the logo will change from the volleyball team, to the football team, to the baseball team… generally because there isn’t a cohesive branding strategy.

With the initial round of designs, smARTer offered a variety of energetic poses in a wide variety of layouts anticipating lots of apparel applications.

Turns out the logo committee hosts some horse owners that know the distinct differences in breeds. What I designed was no mustang. The next round got extremely literal, trying to appease the experts.

Ultimately, we landed on a compromise that feels more mustang without losing the energy.

We were able to keep the “M” in the mane design making this logo less clip-art and more custom.
Friday, January 3, 2020

smARTer helps Kingstone Media craft mastheads for their comic books.

For years, I’ve been fortunate to help Kingstone Media by designing many of their comic book mastheads. Many don’t know it, but I was a full-time comic book artist years ago. Kyle Hotz is simply a brilliant illustrator, so riffing off of his style was great fun for his issue of “Hell”.

Friday, January 3, 2020

smARTer helps Target creatives visualize in-store experiences.

The creative people behind the Target brand are always coming up with imaginative layouts in their store to promote seasonal product or simply to be festive… creating that user experience we all love. Below are a smattering of sketches I’ve done for the internal team to get approval. Many of these ideas never see the fluorescent light of day, but it’s still great fun.

Other times, the digital team calls on smARTer to help visualize what a digital experience might look like. The 3D Halloween experience below had lots of specific product so it wasn’t easy. But you get the idea.

Friday, January 3, 2020

smARTer helps rebrand a health system in Mora, MN.

Of all of the diverse types of projects I work on, branding is by far the most challenging and rewarding. Recently, smARTer was given the opportunity to work with 3, 2, 1, Inc. and Curious, Inc. to help a health system in Mora, MN reimagine themselves with a new name. Legally, they couldn’t retain the name from a competing Wisconsin health system. And, it came at a great time, they were just putting the finishing touches on a new addition for the hospital and clinic. Jonathan Wiese of 3, 2, 1, is brilliant at helping organizations navigate change with a process that instills confidence from the teams. Jonathan helped FirstLight identify their unique value so we can communicate that through a new name and messaging. The naming process is one of the most difficult in the whole branding marathon. Even the best names don’t evoke strong feelings because they have no equity built into them, this is why a process needs to be solid and not willy nilly. After landing on Welia Health (a made up name that incorporates wellness), my job was to take this new name and give it a life that this community could truly identify with.

The original First Light logo.

First Light was a beloved name, so there was no ill will with the brand. One of the logo design solutions smARTer offered retained the three leaves above the “i”. This imagery was on the architecture of the building and interior way finding. It made sense to keep it if we could.

Working with the logo design committee, we made some adjustments and felt good about the logo below. Now we needed to build a design architecture around the logo so that the wide variety of communications all captured the same visual signature.

This design treatment felt too conservative and rigid for the organization.
Everyone loved this direction, but…
… this simpler design was finally chosen because of it’s clarity and visibility.

Not being from Mora, it’s fun and relatively easy to build brands I like, but may not fit the identity of the people who are the organization. I’m always aware of that so my work serves the customer, not my portfolio.

With final approval, we hit the ground running with new ads, radio spots, billboards, and interior signage. We eventually took all of our branding thoughts and condensed them into an easy-to-follow brand standards manual so no one would forget the rules of the brand.

The best part of this relationship is that it doesn’t end at the grand opening. smARTer continues to consult with Welia Health on ad campaigns and other marketing initiatives.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Merry Stocking asked smARTer to design some new stocking kits. is a resource to buy stocking kits for those people who like crafts and investing in a personal heirloom that will be cherished forever. These kits have all of the pieces of felt cut out, you just sew them all together with some embroidery on top. Merry Stocking sells a lot of Bucilla kits. To add to their collection, smARTer was asked to design some more scenes that are a bit more off the beaten path.

In addition to felt stockings, smARTer took a stab at designing some category groupings for laser-engraved wood ornaments. We covered topics like baby, wedding, and pets.

Monday, December 16, 2019

smARTer helped Curious create a logo for their client’s dating app.

Amanda Hanson came to the creative firm Curious to develop a development and marketing plan for her group dating app idea. smARTer was tapped to visualize the unique name into a memorable logo that also works in a digital badge. The 3 people in the “w” stands alone for the most simplest application.

Monday, December 16, 2019

smARTer creative Sherwin Schwartzrock worked closely with creative Initio3i explore their client’s new whole grain offering as a granola bar.

Initially, the creative team explored creating a 3-sized bar offering that had its own brand. Because of the sizes, the Three Bears brand idea was visualized in this unique packaging design (Papa Bar, Mama Bar, Baby Bar).

The three sizes and bears captivated our imagination, but the team liked a single name approach. Below are some flavor and color combinations at a glance.

After lots of review, the decision was made to stay with the InHarvest brand and focus the packaging design for school-aged children in a school cafeteria delivery environment. Below is the print die line.

Monday, December 16, 2019

smARTer helped Indian Harvest evolve their brand to InHarvest.

smARTer creative Sherwin Schwartzrock worked with Initio3i and Indian Harvest to evolve their brand over the years. The first step in their relationship was updating their overly-detailed brand into a more modern execution. The original mark was difficult to print in all of their packaging and didn’t reduce in size well. Sherwin kept the essence of their typography and incorporated the grain in the icon, into the word mark, making the new brand simple and very legible.

In time, cultural awareness made using “Indian” in their brand inappropriate. Initio3i helped the largest wild rice manufacturer in the world convert their brand to InHarvest. Just like the first evolution, Sherwin made sure to keep the brand essence and make a shift most consumers didn’t even notice.

Monday, December 16, 2019

smARTer helps Initio3i and InHarvest create direct-to-consumer packaging.

Continuing to help Initio3i explore consumer brand and packaging for InHarvest, smARTer creative Sherwin Schwartzrock designed these wild grain package designs.

Below is an alternative brand that could also be a third-party branded product.

Monday, December 16, 2019

smARTer creative Sherwin Schwartzrock built a new direct-to-consumer brand for InHarvest and Initio3i.

InHarvest serves restaurants, schools, and the military with fresh wild grains. Intio3i saw an opportunity to create a direct-to-consumer brand that would make typically complex recipes simple and easy to prepare. Sherwin and the Initio3i creative team first started with crafting a brand name that reflected our unique value proposition. Next, Sherwin designed this packaging to extend the brand promise to store shelves and into the kitchen with easy to understand cooking instructions and recipe ideas at Initio3i also imagined how this packaging translates into a Costco presence.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Working with Design Guys, smARTer brought their internal brand promise campaign to life.

smARTer loves building strong brands. A great brand makes a unique and valuable promise to their customers… and then delivers every time. Creative firm, Design Guys in Minneapolis, tapped smARTer to bring their ideas to life for an internal presentation.

Monday, December 16, 2019

W3 asked smARTer for some creative logo ideas to execute internally.

smARTer serves creative firms with all things illustrative. Logo design is a big part of what we do. But since we work with lots of creative people, sometimes they just need some ideas to execute themselves. W3 out of Stafford, Texas reached out to smARTer to jump start their brand work for Group2, an oil and energy industry client.

We know that a good mark needs to be legible and memorable. There is always a balance between clarity and creative. The ideas below try to straddle those two objectives.

Monday, December 16, 2019

smARTer illustrates GoPro Mountain Games poster.

smARTer loves working with creative Jodi Wegner. For years, she has wrangled all of the marketing for GoPro’s Mountain Games in Vail, Colorado. Coordinating with Open Mind Studio and The Vail Valley Foundation, she needed a poster to excite outdoor enthusiasts to attend this event. In addition, the illustration components would inform her rollout of event way finding.

Friday, December 13, 2019

smARTer created a new logo design for healthcare change agent Consulting IT.

Fred Lang of Consulting IT came to smARTer for a cost-effective new brand. smARTer created these two options and presented to the client showing it in context of a business card.

Friday, December 13, 2019

smARTer designed marketing collateral for co-working legend, Fueled Collective.

Fueled Collective needed help incorporating their new branding and style guide into a promotional folder with multiple inserts.

Friday, December 13, 2019

smARTer illustrated a missions book for The Foundry Publishing.

Because of a long and trusted relationship, The Foundry Publishing tapped smARTer to illustrate a missions book for the Christian publisher. Trying to fit the theme of the story, smARTer created a cover design and interior illustrations that helped illuminate the story in a bold way.

Friday, December 13, 2019

smARTer helped The Foundry Publishing promote their children’s division.

After helping The Foundry Publishing create a new name and brand, smARTer continued to work with them to promote their children’s division at their major convention with creative sub-branding.

Friday, December 13, 2019

smARTer helped the Nazarene Publishing House rebrand to The Foundry.

Because of the seismic shifts in the publishing industry, the Nazarene Publishing House needed to visualize themselves as a smaller company that uses innovative technology to serve their clients. smARTer, working with Good People Branding, helped NPH navigate a name change and new brand voice and visual system. This brand strategy guideline document brought the nearly 2 years of work together in a helpful document to keep all of their vendors on the same page.

Friday, December 13, 2019

smARTer designed a logo for a new creative firm.

Curious is a small team of creative thinkers and doers that collaborate to solve client’s business challenges and meet their goals. They needed a new logo and images for their website.

smARTer was also asked to design an invite for their 1-year anniversary celebration.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Crafting tool, Cricut asked smARTer to help visualize a store within a store.

Before this client called, I had never even heard of Cricut. Cricut is this cool table top machine that cuts, prints, and engraves on fabrics and other substrates for crafting. They support their tool with online patterns and decorative supplies to unleash your creativity. smARTer worked with Cricut for over a year creating new ideas on how to create a store within a craft store.

Friday, December 6, 2019

New brand storytelling to help a retail marketing measurement and optimization stand out in a crowded field.

Clario is a small company that gives small- to mid-level retailers the same marketing analysis tools the giant retailers use. Yet the marketing measurement and optimization marketplace is super crowded… how do you stand out? smARTer worked with Curious to help Clario turn their affordable offering into a story that is simple to understand and memorable. And who doesn’t like a llama.

We settled on a mountain climbing llama guide… but we explored some other ideas that didn’t make the cut.

Friday, December 6, 2019

smARTer created art for Padilla’s Scouting membership drive.

This year on your street corner, you may be seeing smARTer’s artwork on yard signs to get kids excited to sign up for membership. This campaign for Scouting was created and managed by Padilla.

Friday, December 6, 2019

smARTer created these quick and affordable sketches to convey FELLOW’s creative ideas.

The incredibly creative team at FELLOW called in smARTer to help them visualize some of their ideas for the world renowned health system. These type of ideation images are quick and affordable… with just enough detail to get the big idea across without getting sidetracked on the minor details.

Friday, December 6, 2019

smARTer creates logo for a new educational series.

smARTer was brought in to create a logo for an educational workshop series just getting off the ground. smARTer helped the client pick a more unique and memorable name and then crafted this mark. Knowing the logo would need to work in multiple formats (print, swag, digital), smARTer built a horizontal and square.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Fueled Collective asked smARTer to visualize what the finished interior of their new space to sign up new members while…

Fueled Collective asked smARTer to visualize what the finished interior of their new space to sign up new members while the space was being constructed. smARTer added people into the illustration so potential clients could see themselves in the space. In addition, the rendering was intentionally kept loose and unrefined forcing viewers to fill in the details.

Friday, December 6, 2019

smARTer created this visual journey for a 20+ wide wall installation for BI Worldwide’s client.

How do you entertain and educate convention attendees about the struggles and solutions for asthma patients? You create a massive wall and interactive spoken word installation. The creatives at BI Worldwide dreamed this idea up and needed smARTer to craft the visuals for their pharmaceutical client. As viewers reach each purple number, they can listen to character actors bring the visual journey to life. Fun!

Friday, December 6, 2019

smARTer created a BI Worldwide sales incentive campaign.

Working with BI Worldwide’s creative team, smARTer designed this sales incentive campaign logo to work seamlessly with the existing Pizza Hut brand.

Friday, December 6, 2019

smARTer created a series of icons for BI Worldwide’s pharmaceutical client campaign.

BI Worldwide has many pharmaceutical clients for which they create exciting sales incentive plans. Their creative team asked smARTer to create icons for their campaign.

Friday, December 6, 2019

BI Worldwide asked smARTer to illustrate an event map for Delta Airlines.

Every year Delta throws a massive party at their headquarters campus in Atlanta. BI Worldwide drove the creative theme, activities, and entertainment for the big event. BI Worldwide called on smARTer to help them with an event brochure map and massive coloring wall.

Below is the 20+’ wide coloring wall for the event.

Here’s a couple of detail shots.

Friday, December 6, 2019

smARTer brings BI Worldwide creative trade show design to life for John Deere.

Trade show events are big business. Clients like John Deere need to make a big impact with communication about new features and services, and drive sales. Working with the creative events team at BI Worldwide, smARTer brought their event layout ideas to life with these sketches. These visuals allow BI Worldwide work out the details with their client and get started on executing on these demanding projects.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Working with BI Worldwide again, smARTer was tapped to create a logo and series of icons for their dermatology client.

smARTer has had the wonderful opportunity to work with BI Worldwide for over 10 years bringing their creative problem solving to life.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Live event drawing helped BI Worldwide engage healthcare attendees.

BI Worldwide was invited to share their insights to other departments at UnitedHealthGroup and Optum. To engage viewers, smARTer was asked to draw live during the 2-hour event. Attendees were asked the question, “What inspires you?”. Sherwin then illustrated each answer on a 8’x8′ board while attendees watched their responses come to life.

Friday, December 6, 2019

smARTer works with creative agency Bader Rutter to build ag icon and logo library.

As a contractor for Bader Rutter Milwaukee, smARTer has helped craft iconography for the world’s largest livestock medicine and vaccinations producer, Zoetis. The single line quality of the icon series keeps designing these marks a challenge. Our background in agriculture has definitely made this work easier.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

A local classical music festival came to smARTer to help them build a brand.

The client wanted to convey the diversity and expansive influence Johann Sebastian Bach’s music has had in our culture. This festival showcases the music in diverse public locations like breweries, parks, warehouses, and other non-traditional venues. Because of this, the logo needed to convey a definite non-traditional spirit. smARTer showed a variety of approaches to the logo that were bold, flexible, and anything but predictable.

The final selection is evergreen with the color section of the mark constantly changing with fresh colors and shapes.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Agency Bader Rutter taps smARTer to build a branded icon library.

Bader Rutter, an ad agency in Milwaukee, continues to call on smARTer for icons and design for their ag chemicals client, Enlist. For years, smARTer has been creating icons for the Enlist brand. Conveying ideas visually is an important brand component. Combining these icons for step-by-step instructions on a tractor cling and app ensures proper application of their herbicides.

The large library of icons are used throughout their branded assets and education tools.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

smARTer created artwork for this Xcel Energy commercial.

Because the first Xcel Energy animation was a hit, Chris Averbeck asked smARTer to help with a new commercial promoting Xcel’s HomeSmart service. Because the animation starts with our character waking up in her bedroom, then pans down to the water heater in the basement, smARTer needed to illustrate the whole house in a single image. You can view the whole commercial here:

Thursday, December 5, 2019

smARTer collaborated with animator Chris Averbeck to produce this commercial for Xcel Energy.

Chris Averbeck reached out to smARTer to help him with vector art for his Xcel Energy commercial animation. smARTer explored a red and white theme. With the white theme selected, all of the scenes were built in Adobe Illustrator with layers so Chris could quickly grab and animate individual components. The final animation can be viewed here:

Thursday, December 5, 2019

smARTer collaborated with animator Chris Averbeck to tell the Hatching Hope story.

Animation guru, Chris Averbeck, asked smARTer to help him create vector art for his work with Hatching Hope, an initiative that empowers women in India. We started the process brainstorming the scenes and transitions. smARTer then provided a rough storyboard for Chris to start from. For smARTer, the real challenge was building the characters and chickens in a way that Chris could animate parts of their bodies individually to simulate natural motion. Check out the final video at

Friday, December 22, 2017

Bullseye the Target mascot once again populates the Target stores with his friendly mischief this holiday season.

smARTer helped the creative masterminds at Knock bring their ideas to life with concept sketches. This process usually hits our desks fast and furious during the summer time… the perfect time to be thinking about Christmas! 🙂 Once we get final approval, our talented friends at Neighbor animated Bullseye. In addition to the images hanging in-store, they also created animations that play on the huge flagship rotunda display. I also noticed the same animation played on the back wall of the electronics section.

I took some of these images in their flagship store in downtown Minneapolis. This is one of the stores that have seen the new interior changes. It’s simply beautiful.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

We are deeply honored to be included in the next LogoLounge 10 book.

LogoLounge is the most successful logo design series of all time and we’ve been fortunate to have marks in all of the books they’ve published since LogoLounge 4. This year, I know three of the judges, Felix Sockwell, Von Glitschka, and Andreas Karl… all three AMAZING talents I deeply respect. Thank you gentlemen!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

smARTer initially worked with Shawn Markert-Jones when she was employed at Target Creative. She has since moved on and thankfully for us, we’ve stayed in touch.

Shawn always showers her creative team with loads of praise, so as you can imagine, working with her is always a joy. So, when she landed at Udemy and wanted to collaborate on branding for their annual retreat, we knew there would be lots of fun ahead.

Shawn gave us a strong idea of what she wanted: a retro surfing aesthetic to their retreat event branding. “Let’s Go!” was the name of the event each year but now it needed to get employees excited about the leadership’s new vision cast for the direction of the company. This was easy, who couldn’t get excited about a Dana Point, California, 4-star resort right on the beach?

These were the sun-drenched ideas we presented:

Udemy settled on this visual which was a combination of two concepts. smARTer then set out to create the artwork and branding to fit a myriad of swag applications: towels, robes, shoes, and trucker hats. This needed to work in embroidery, silk screen, traditional print, and digital.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

When our friend, Shawn Sweeney, at The Lacek Group asked if we could create a coloring page for their client, Carnival… we said, “You bet!”.

Adult coloring books are now a big thing. TLG wanted to tap into that popularity with a direct mail promotion for Carnival. Our image needed to showcase the iconic ship design with other colorful shapes associated with a Caribbean cruise.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Our client,, wanted to engage their pop culture enthusiast audience by exploring imagining augmentation of their favorite characters with nanotechnology similarly to the popular video game, Deus Ex.

Wikia posted these images online and took votes from their customers for the best new Deus Ex character!



Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Sherwin Schwartzrock’s history as a comic book artist made him the perfect designer for Kingstone Comic’s mastheads.

Even though he doesn’t draw comics anymore, he keeps his hand in the business by working with publisher Art Ayris designing mastheads that are both memorable and descriptive.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Heimie’s Haberdashery of St. Paul is a one-of-a-kind shopping experience. Anthony Andler has recreated the shopping experience to that of a hundred years ago… but updated with clothes and gear designed for the modern man. Quality and service is key.

smARTer helped branding firm FloraFauna craft a mark for the new gear line, Heimie’s Made, that captures the essence of rugged and handsome leather goods built a century ago.

We started by doing our research. We explored dozens of typography solutions with antique font styles. We settled on this elegant dance of lines, typography, and iconography.


FloraFauna went on to flesh out the look and feel of the brand that included a website, tags, catalogs, and social media.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

smARter illustrator/design director Paul Gardner has been designing band event posters for over a decade. Paul is passionate about music and art so when he can combine his two loves, the result is amazing.

“A poster is a visual extension of the event. When done well, a poster becomes more than just ink on paper. It transforms from being a marketing tool that promotes an event, to a work of art that embodies a memory.”


Capturing the essence of the brand and capturing it visually is not just something Paul provides his music clients, it is just an extension of how he works with corporate clients when he designs brands.

To make his legacy even sweeter, Seven of Paul’s posters for Wilco have been bound in a limited-edition, 224-page hardcover book curated by Jeff Tweedy himself entitled Beyond the Fleeting Moment.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Have you ever heard of the Northstar Science Film Festival? Us neither. 🙂

The NSFF is a local group of science and pop culture enthusiasts who wanted to start something big. But like most startups, they had no money and no time. One of the event advocates and sponsors, Tadware & Company, called in smARTer to help promote the event. With so little time, we knew we needed to pique interest in the venue through social media. Working with Adware’s creative director Paul Ferguson and writer Jeff Neidt, smARTer created this campaign to focus on the science in Hollywood.


In addition, we wanted to communicate directly to our ideal audience: really smart people who also love movies.


Monday, March 13, 2017

I’m proud to show off a cover design smARTer created for Nazarene Publishing House.

Based on a John Wesley theology perspective, author Eric Vail makes this profound topic easy to digest for any level of theology enthusiasts. The cover visuals are based on the idea that our present understanding of God and his creation are paper thin and Vail invites us to explore deeper thoughts around the scope of God’s restorative narrative.

For more information about this book and to order, visit:

Atonement and Salvation


Below are some additional cover designs we’ve completed for NPH.

Reflecting the Image


Worship, Wonder, and Way

Monday, March 13, 2017

We had the pleasure of working with creative director, Eric Edel, of Mackey Creative recently. Eric asked smARTer to create a visual texture for packaging of a new bakery line for Super America stores.

The theme of the graphic was coffee as the whole strategy around this brand of bakery goods was connected to coffee sales.

Mackey Creative provided us with the preliminary packaging layouts so we had a good context of how the texture would interact with the rest of the packaging design. With Eric’s blessing, we moved onto final art.


Here’s our final design with plenty of graphic to wrap around the backside of the packaging. We also anticipated this texture being used for other purposes like signage or in-store marketing so we built the art in vector art so it can be scaled without losing resolution.

Friday, March 10, 2017

smARTer met Dan Fiskum years ago and we’ve stayed in touch over the years. Besides being a brilliant lawyer, Dan also writes and produces music professionally

Recently, we’ve been fortunate to help him with a new band logo and an album cover design for Black Blue Birds.


To show Dan’s diversity, he also released a new jazz piano album and we got to design the cover.

Friday, March 10, 2017

For over two years smARTer worked with Miroir helping them with packaging and in-store placement.

Over that time, the Miroir projector was sold in multiple stores, each with their unique display problems. Most recently, Apple began selling the remarkable product and the packaging made a dramatic shift to look like it fit on the iconic brand’s shelves.

The original packaging incorporated a beautiful jewel case, but we later learned it was too fragile for cross-Atlantic shipping, so the case became more compact.

Later, as we moved into the Apple store, the graphics became ultra clean and simple.


Our scope of work included naming and brand exploration, packaging, display designs, iconography, and housing design.

Friday, March 10, 2017

How do you celebrate 500 years? With a graphic novel of course!

This story began 15 years ago when author Rich Melheim of Faith Inkubators hired Sherwin Schwartzrock to draw book 1 of a 3-book series on the life of Martin Luther. Back then, the comic art was used to promote the Luther movie starring Joseph Fiennes. This original production occurred at a time when Sherwin was drawing comics full time. Fast forward to today, when Rich called again wanting to finish the story, Sherwin’s schedule wouldn’t allow for the intense amount of time required to design and illustrate the 72-page book. Naturally, he pulled in fellow smARTer artist Jonathan Koelsch to do the heavy lifting. With Rich writing, Sherwin on layout and production, and Jonathan on art and colors, we finished the graphic novel in time to meet the important book fairs.

As if promoting a book isn’t enough work, Rich has gone on to develop a rock opera and curriculum around the Luther theme. See it all for yourself here:

Friday, March 10, 2017

Everyone loves brand mascots. Because of my work with Target and their Target Field mascots, Little asked if I could help them create just the right character to get kids excited about banking.

US Bank’s old mascot was old and tired so they needed a new character to embody the “What’s Possible” brand campaign Little developed. First, smARTer explored different people and animals that could embody the hard work of saving and building. Working with the whole team at Little was amazing. Design director Tim Schumann and smARTer had a blast brainstorming ideas!

The second round exploration added color and some additional characters.

Believing the eagle was a great symbol of the USA, we started to develop different ways of building a costume that would be both visual and comfortable… especially during hot summer parades.

Once the design was sent to the costume developer, Little needed smARTer to capture “Coach Possible” in graphic form for stickers, activity books, and tee shirts.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Most of the time, clients know what they want and smARTer delivers just that. Sometimes, we have clients that want US to generate ideas for consideration.

With this project, our client wanted to augment their own creative for a client pitch. smARTer was happy to accommodate! Here are three concepts to promote home delivery subscriptions for the Sunday paper.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Our long-time friends at Helvecticka (yes, spelled with a “k”) in Spokane came to us for artwork to communicate how…

Our long-time friends at Helvecticka (yes, spelled with a “k”) in Spokane came to us for artwork to communicate how Greeley’s water budget is smart for the health of the community. Creative director, CK Anderson needed an assortment of illustrations to support their campaign in newspaper, direct mail, and social media. The style treatment needed to be friendly and affordable. 

Friday, March 10, 2017

How do you get clients excited about a new co-working space that is still under construction? Have smARTer illustrate what it might look like!

And that’s exactly what we did for COCO and their downtown Minneapolis addition. Our renderings were printed on large foam core for display as well as printed on postcards to get potential clients excited about the new space.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Our amazing client, Cricut, came to us to help promote their big push promoting all of the crafts Cricut can help you make for your wedding… even a dress!

smARTer worked with creative director Mike Thomas exploring different animation approaches.  We finally landed on a simple sketch animation that captures a little bit of the Cinderella magic we all love. Collaborating with Todd Bright, smARTer was able to finish this old-school animation under deadline and budget. Mike would later support this promotion with a full scale wedding complete with dress, invitations, and decorations.

Initial exploration:

Getting closer…


Final animation:

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Thursday, March 9, 2017

BI Worldwide wanted to show Lincoln how their creative idea would look like for an event unveiling the latest Continental model.

BI Worldwide wanted to show Lincoln how their creative idea would look like for an event unveiling the latest Continental model. The theme was all about the “Art of Luxury”. The creative team at BI Worldwide fed their idea to smARTer who rendered this image so Lincoln could envision how customers would interact with the car, bar, and kiosks celebrating the vehicles’ features.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

When we sat down with Ann Ness, CEO of Adopt-A-Classroom, she shared with us the great need teachers face each day in their classrooms.

Adopt-A-Classrooms works with teachers to connect them with donors to provide basic supplies children need to learn but are simply too poor to afford. Ann needed a simple tactic: a direct mail donations request people won’t throw immediately in the trash.

smARTer devised a clever illustration leveraging the famous WWII poster, comparing teachers to our heroes who are on the front lines.

Adopt-A-Classroom was so happy, they produced bag totes with the image as well.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

FloraFauna’s client, Alexandria Clinic, wanted to take their marketing experience (newspaper, outdoor, social media) inside the clinic.

smARTer worked with their “heartland” theme to produce an interactive mural where waiting patients can post why they love their community notes. Over time, the heart notes will leaf out the tree… a tree with five limbs accentuating the organization’s five values.

Once the event is over, each note is photographed and posted to their Facebook account.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

For the second year in a row, smARTer had the privilege of collaborating with Knock to produce Target’s holiday in-store experience.

Knock initiated the process with super-creative ideas that smARTer brought to life with full-color renderings for client approval. Once the scenes were approved by Target, Neighbor built the 3D renderings that you see hanging in their 1800 stores nation wide.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Hand-drawn typography for BI Worldwide's client, Pizza Hut.

I had a great time working with the creative talent at BI Worldwide for their client, Pizza Hut.  The talented Eric Werket designed this fun internal communications piece.  I helped out with some of the illustrated typography. All overseen by one of my favorite creative directors, Michelle Rollins.



Saturday, December 24, 2016

Our clients needed large-scale fine art for their event center remodel… not something we do everyday. 🙂

When our office neighbors from DwyerOglesbay Architects asked if smARTer could paint large scale canvases for The Blaisdell, an event center they were remodeling… I said, “Of course we can!”. Colin and Edward created a custom lighting fixture in the main ballroom using a Matisse pattern. The two architects wanted to continue the Matisse theme on the art hanging in the front rooms.

Collaborating with Colin, Edward, and Jodi from Hue Interiors, we presented several design options for the paintings. After considerable delay, the designs were approved and smARTer was left with only one month to complete the 7 large-scale paintings.

Since the thick set acrylic takes considerable time to dry, we found it most efficient to work on 3 paintings at a time in our studio to give the layers sufficient amount of time to set up. In the end, smARTer delivered the huge paintings (the largest was 8′ x 6′) via moving van on schedule for they’re first event in the space. Whew!

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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

New York agency, McGarryBowen needed whiteboard illustrations to be informative and fun.

Agency McGarryBowen out of New York creates informative short videos for United Airlines. They asked me to illustrate two scenes for their episode explaining turbulence. The images needed to look like whiteboard illustrations that would be added digitally in editing. I worked back and forth with the talented staff at McGarryBowen to get the technical elements and style just right… all for a couple seconds of air time on the final video.  That’s Hollywood folks! 🙂


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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Sometimes getting to the solution doesn't come on the first try.
I pride myself on getting to a great solution quickly…but that isn't always a slam dunk. My client, Nazarene Publishing House…

Sometimes getting to the solution doesn’t come on the first try.

I pride myself on getting to a great solution quickly…but that isn’t always a slam dunk. My client, Nazarene Publishing House, needed a cover to a new book that captured the spirit and tone of the edition perfectly. This can sometimes be subjective, so over the course of a couple weeks I submitted the following designs. I’m proud of the final design (bottom image), but I also really like the rejected concepts — casualties of war. 🙂
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Friday, December 11, 2015

It's nice to know we are on trend. LogoLounge just posted their annual trend report and our Oblivium logo for McGinley Associates was selected as an example. Thanks, LogoLounge…

It’s nice to know we are on trend. LogoLounge just posted their annual trend report and our Oblivium logo for McGinley Associates was selected as an example. Thanks, LogoLounge!


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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Five of our pencil illustrations for Target's Instagram Back-to-School Campaign were selected from 4,313 entries…

Communication Arts has included the work of Schwartzrock Graphic Arts among the winners of its 56th annual illustration competition. Five of our pencil illustrations for Target’s Instagram Back-to-School Campaign were selected from 4,313 entries.

In addition, the campaign won twice at The Webby Awards…the 2015 People’s Voice Award & the Social / Family & Parenting Category.

The process? We were holed up in a photo studio for two and a half days with the art director, photographer, and stylist, brainstorming these whimsical ideas. What a blast!
Credits: Travis Robertson (CD), Jon Baugh (ACD), Heather Bahr (AD), Erin Repesh (AP), Jesse Gadola (copywriter), Liz Matassa (producer), Cate Abbott (AE), Sherwin Schwartzrock (illustrator), and Sean Meszaros (Photographer)

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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Yesterday I was walking downtown and noticed that Target had installed the holiday graphics in their Minneapolis flagship store. It is so funny to work on these characters on your computer and then see them several feet high hanging from the Target atrium. It's impressive.

I was fortunate enough to work with the creatives at Knock to develop this concept. It looks like nothing but child’s play, but it actually was a lot of hard work put in by the whole Knock creative team. My role was to take the creative ideas from the team and illustrate how the individual scenes will actually look like.  The fun part was animating the cute characters within these imaginative environments that hang from the ceiling and visually activate the space. My renderings were presented to Target for approval then used by Neighbor to use as a reference for their final 3D renderings.

I think it came together nicely.

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Working with BI Worldwide's creative team, smARTer developed these icons for Delta Airlines.

Recently I had a blast working with the BI Worldwide creative team headed by their CD, Michelle Rollins. To help introduce some new internal changes, Delta Airlines reached out to BI for help. To solve this problem, BI devised a very creative card game and event and they needed some quick help turning these new behaviors into something visual and light hearted. I’m super proud of these solutions and even more proud of the creative collaboration that made this all happen in just a few days.

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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Kyle Gustafson and Aaron Muther of Target Creative came up with a super-fun Instagram installation to promote the Avengers movie and Target-exclusive toys. Because I was a professional comic book artist (in a past life)…

Kyle Gustafson and Aaron Muther of Target Creative came up with a super-fun Instagram installation to promote the Avengers movie and Target-exclusive toys. Because I was a professional comic book artist (in a past life), they called me in to storyboard their idea. Below is the final product and my layouts (with help from Jonathan Koelsch) next to the finals. This boxed layout looks best on a mobile device.


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Sunday, April 5, 2015

I had a blast working with Target creatives, Brian Bennett and Nichole Legare, to create this artwork for a DIY…

I had a blast working with Target creatives, Brian Bennett and Nichole Legare, to create this artwork for a DIY project on

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Saturday, April 4, 2015

LogoLounge will publish 20 logo designs by Schwartzrock Graphic Arts in its 9th volume…

LogoLounge will publish 20 logo designs by Schwartzrock Graphic Arts in its 9th volume!

LogoLounge, the online logo database offering designers a compendium of reference material for identity design, has selected the work of Schwartzrock Graphic Arts (SGA) to appear in its latest book, LogoLounge Volume 9.

With more than 22,000 logos entered for consideration, 20 of those submitted by SGA have been chosen by an international panel of judges.

“In my opinion, LogoLounge is the king of logo book collections and we are super excited to have so many marks chosen to appear in their next publication,” Schwartzrock comments. “As I look at the 20 marks they selected, I’m struck by the diversity of clients we serve: Bamboo paper products, men’s fashion blog, agricultural chemicals, air quality lab, industrial fans, radio show, church, construction company, children’s app, comic book, hospital, and granola bars!”



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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Thank you Jen Soik Smith for posting catalog spreads for Weight Watchers showcasing smARTer icons.

Thanks to Jen Soik Smith for posting some catalog work for Weight Watchers produced by Seth Johnson Design:  Jen is credited with photo and art direction with Seth on creative direction.

I had a great time working with Seth and Weight Watchers designing the icons used on these spreads. We tried to keep them all circular for a family effect.

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Friday, March 27, 2015

It's official, Schwartzrock Graphic Arts has changed its name to smARTer.

It’s official, Schwartzrock Graphic Arts has changed its name to smARTer.

It’s been a lot of work but we made the move to better position what we do, why we do it better and for whom. If you have a moment, check out our digital announcement.

In addition, be sure to note our new contact info:


227 Colfax Ave N #210

Mpls, MN 55405

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Friday, March 20, 2015

Chalk creates new can designs for Fargo Brewing with logo by smARTer!

My friend, Matt Charpentier (aka Charpie), just sent me some new images for Fargo Brewing Company.  Matt’s studio, Chalk, created the can designs for the whole line including the new brew, Ofest…all sporting the logo design we collaborated on back when the brewer was just getting started.  Looking good, Charpie!


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807 Broadway St. NE, #140
Minneapolis, MN 55413