Meet our resident sketch artist

You might say Launcher, Richard Wezensky is a little obsessed with sketching. After all, he’s been drawing for the past 31 days as part of Inktober, a social challenge that gives you a different prompt every day to inspire a different illustration for the entire month of October. But Richard’s had a pencil in his hand way before that. Recently, we sat down with him to find out what drives all this doodling.

What inspired you to start drawing?

After the HOW Design Conference, where I was inspired by many great industry leaders, I decided to take some analog breaks from my digitally driven days and just make things.

How do you fit sketching into your schedule?

I try to give my best time to myself—which is usually in the mornings. Sometimes, I get so into a sketch, that I take some of my lunch or evenings to finish. Occasionally, inspirations will strike and I find myself starting a rough sketch between layouts. I always keep my sketchbook available for when that happens.

What keeps you going?

Sketching makes me extremely happy. I almost forgot the joy making something for myself. It’s certainly a nice way to break out of a creative rut and it’s even more satisfying when I see other folks getting inspired to make things.

How do you think sketching helps you be a better art director?

This creative reset has given me a fresh perspective on the projects that I work on for my clients. I’m open to try more visually challenging solutions.

How does your future sketch out?

I’ve always had a desire to create a graphic story—perhaps one about riding my bike, which is my other passion.

Which artists or illustrators inspire you?

I follow a lot of great illustrators on Instagram. Among them, Jake Parker, who started Inktober – a grassroots challenge for artists to improve their drawing skills. I just finished participating in that challenge, which happens throughout the month of October – 31 days, 31 drawings.

Why do you dig drawing so much?

I truly love doing this because a ‘maker’ has to make. The greatest side effect is seeing people around me starting to make things as well. I shared a great evening with my son, where we just sat at the kitchen table, drawing together.

Have you received any high fives, awards or pats on the back for your work?

I was offered to do a show, but I’m only working out of a sketchbook, so I really don’t have anything to display yet. I’ve also picked up a couple of commissions, which I thought would never happen. And maybe the most surprising thing that’s happened is that one of my drawings became a tattoo. On a person I’ve never met. Kinda flattering in a weird way.

Tattoo photo courtesy of ink lover, Angie Malek

Typographics Festival: An Art Director’s Experience

Art Director Carolyn Sexton recently had the opportunity to attend the Typographics design festival in New York City,  centered around contemporary typography. The midpoint of the festival is a 2-day conference that bridges together two weeks of workshops and tours. With a more specific audience and only being in its third year, all attendees were able to fit in the Great Hall at The Cooper Union. Although the physical environment was on a smaller scale compared to other conferences she’s attended, there was not a lack of energy, wisdom or inspiration. “The next two days were a whirlwind,” says Carolyn.  “I heard over 20 speakers from all over the world discussing topics on graphic design and type design. Each talk was only 30 minutes and you could tell that the presenters felt a little rushed, but I took away a lot in just half an hour.” Check out a few of Carolyn’s favorites from the panels below:  Whitney Museum collateral, c/o  Grafik  Whitney Museum collateral, c/o Grafik

“It’s not Helvetica, and other facts about designing for the Whitney”

by Hilary Greenbaum, Whitney Museum of American Art Hilary spoke about the rebranding of the Whitney Museum and how her small team of in-house designers has maintained and established the identity system through an array of marketing, print materials, digital media, exhibition graphics, and signage. The challenges are very similar to those Launch faces with long-standing client, Park Place Dealerships. Substitute museum exhibitions with luxury car manufacturers and dealerships, and you have the same concept of creating consistency across the brand. She talked about how to push your design within the “rules,” and how sometimes you have to be willing to break your own guidelines.  “Silence = Death” AIDs poster, created by Avram Finklestein, Brian Howard, Oliver Johnston, Charles Kreloff, Chris Lione, and Jorge Soccaras, c/o ACT UP

“Resist Typography”

by Marlene McCarty ­Marlene explored how typography is used in political and social activist movements. Decades ago, protest posters utilized great design and branding. They were clean, simple and had a sense of uniformity. This can be seen in the AIDS marches during the 1980s. However, the posters of more recent years have seen a shift away from branding because of the subliminal association with big business and advertising. Now more than ever we have the digital tools to create well-designed activist posters and signage, but we’re choosing to create something handmade. Just look at posters from the Women’s March.  The message was unified but was communicated a hundred different ways with a hundred different mediums. This desire for authenticity has bled into the advertising world, where brands want personal connection with their customers and don’t want to be perceived as too corporate.  Seattle Women's March,  c/o Edith B. and A Mighty Girl  Seattle Women’s March, c/o Edith B. and A Mighty Girl  Ken Barber leading the class Ken Barber leading the class

Spencerian Letter Workshop

by Ken Barber Following the conference, Carolyn took a 2-day workshop on Spencerian Letter with Ken Barber. “This was probably the highlight of my trip,” she says. “Leading up to the workshop, I was geeking out over the newly released ‘House Industries’ book that Ken co-authored. To say I had high expectations for the workshop would be an understatement, and Ken did not disappoint. He was extremely knowledgeable and encouraging. I learned a ton about this extravagant lettering style, as well as other tips and tricks I can apply to future projects.”  Some lettering examples Some lettering examples

Crafting a Brand From the Bun Up

Sometimes there’s really nothing that hits the spot quite like a good old-fashioned burger.  Here at Launch, we like burgers as much as the next guy, and we were more than happy to partner with Texas burger chain Chapps Burgers to relaunch their brand.  We sat down with Dave Wilgus, Launch Principal, to learn more about the rebranding process.


Chapps Burgers, family-owned and operated for 34 years, spans 7 restaurants in the DFW metroplex and has a history of making great-tasting hamburgers. The family owners wanted to franchise their business and came to Launch to help them re-launch the Chapps brand. Our goal was to create an engaging brand story and cohesive brand experience that would attract new customers and franchise investors alike.


Customers told us that Chapps’ amazing burgers, quality ingredients and fair prices kept them coming back for more. Chapps’ long history of doing things right and treating people like family made them a Texas burger institution. The simple traits that made Chapps successful became our inspiration.  We created a brand that embodied their strong work ethic and passion for making a great tasting burger. We started with a graphic look and feel we call “Blue Collar Cool.” Classic and industrial in tone, the design direction takes its cues from an era of vintage craftsmen, when baseball tickets, painted signs and union logos were works of art. The voice of the brand is a common sense, no B.S. attitude delivered with likable, relatable wit and humor.


We try to use all customer touch points to get people to engage with the Chapps brand and tell our unique story. Starting in-store, we took advantage of every available square inch, down to the napkin holders. The new restaurant interior design incorporated the primary brand colors and graphics direction – modern industrial tone with a touch of vintage warmth. We used a white brick wall behind the order counter to hand paint brand graphics that tell the Chapps story and communicate our brand values. The new menu hanging above the counter reflects the modern vintage graphic look and feel of the brand with language that speaks to the quality of our ingredients and long history.

 Chapps Burgers Wall Mural

Chapps Burgers Wall Mural

We created five eye-catching posters with bold photography and smile-worthy headlines to help people understand what makes a Chapps burger so special.

 Chapps Burgers Poster Art

Chapps Burgers Poster Art

Packaging is another important way to tell our story in and out of the store environment. We used simple, recycled materials to make bags, boxes, and cups that continued the vintage graphic look and fun, memorable messaging.

The Chapps website gave us the opportunity to give people a big picture overview of everything the brand stands for starting with our history and the belief of the family patriarch that “we can make a better burger.” Mouth-watering photography paired with humorous headlines and copy feels warm and welcoming. Even if you’ve never visited a Chapps in person, you’ll understand how we became a Texas Burger Institution.

 Chapps Burgers Website Homepage

Chapps Burgers Website Homepage


Our limited budget was somewhat challenging but we were able to find ways, including more affordable printing techniques and materials, to communicate the brand story in-store and online.


Seeing the final results of all our work in the first Chapps remodeled store gave us all great satisfaction. And hearing that store sales were up – even better!


Texas Rangers Triple Play Posters

Every year, the Texas Rangers and Park Place Dealerships host the Triple Play Game Show Spectacular, a themed charity dinner featuring a star lineup from the Rangers’ roster. For this year’s “vintage circus” theme, Launch created a series of posters that cast the spotlight on these larger-than-life baseball players. The look and tone were heavily inspired by circus posters from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. And the designs proved a big hit, helping to bring a record number of attendees to the event, with signed posters raising extra charitable funds at the evening’s silent auction. One of the most gratifying parts of the project was when the Rangers requested another printed round of posters because the players wanted their own copies. It’s neat to think that these superstar athletes are going to have our artwork hanging in their homes! Art Director Carolyn Sexton had the opportunity to meet Derek Holland at this year’s event and he was extremely complimentary of the posters. “I could barely manage to mutter out a ‘thank you’ and was too star-struck to even get a picture with him,” says Carolyn.  “You live and learn. Next time, Derek.” Carolyn Sexton, Art Director/Designer/Letterer Alex Slotkin, Associate Creative Director/Writer Lauren Coleman, Digital Retoucher David Wilgus, Creative Director Rebecca Lauten, Senior Account Executive Texas Rangers/Park Place Dealerships, Client

Favorite Fonts: An Art Director’s Take

We sat down with Art Director Carolyn Sexton to pick her brains and learn about some of her favorite fonts: Let me start by saying that I hate “favorites” lists. I am extremely indecisive and the thought of having to pick my favorite movie, band, or even food is a daunting task. Can’t I have a million favorites? Sitting down to write about my Top 5 Favorite Fonts was no different. In order to narrow the selection, I’ve decided to focus on my current favorites—what I seem to be using the most of right now, at this very moment. Here it goes, in no particular order:

1. Gotham

“A Gotham for every occasion” is no understatement. There is an array of weights and widths to fit your every need. It works well for headlines, body copy, logos, anything – seriously, anything. What I like most about Gotham is its legibility. There’s a geometric quality to it that reaches beyond the grid.

2. Brandon Grotesque

I like Brandon Grotesque for a lot of the same reasons I like Gotham. It’s open, easy to read, and functional across multiple applications. However, there’s something a little more friendly and approachable about Brandon Grotesque. The shortened x-height and the way the letterforms have been optically corrected are some of the contributing factors.

3. Mrs Eaves

Inspired by Baskerville, Mrs Eaves is a transitional serif typeface. The wide letter-spacing and low x-height make it unique among other serifs. I like to use it as text or supporting type. It feels fancy and familiar. #imsofancy #youalreadyknow

4. Rolling Pen

My passion for calligraphy and hand-lettering leads me to my next fave. Rolling Pen is fluid, overly simple, and just delightful. I want my own handwriting to look like this. The delicate swashes and alternates add a sense of excitement and elegance. I’ve been having a lot of fun incorporating it into invitations.

5. Burford

Burford is a vintage display font that resembles European signage. What makes this font so cool is all the different layering options. The base is beautiful all by itself, but it really starts to come alive when you combine multiple layers. The possibilities are endless! Well that does it for my Top 5 Favorite Fonts at This Moment in Time. If you ask me next month, I’m sure they’ll be different. But please don’t ask me because I’ll have to spend 4 hours thinking about it.