Monday, August 31, 2009

Shopping. Just Because.

"This boutique takes a bow before you even walk in the door! The girls at Just Because believe in inspiring women to dress with confidence and style through clothes that compliment who they are; looking good and feeling great in clothes that will take them anywhere. They will add all the details that pull it all together. Imagine the possibilities with brands such as Brighton, Tribal and French Dressing just to name a few..." From the Shop Newport Map + Guide.

I had heard of the Just Because ladies from Maggie Christie of Shanty, a neighboring boutique, and finally got to meet them when I attended the Who Let The Girls Out!? event in May. Jill and Lonnie of Just Because are great. Super energetic, super nice and super business-savvy. (Jill Linton is the Owner and Lonnie Walkup is the Operations Manager.) I've been doing design work for Shanty since 2007. Jill and Lonnie noticed and thought I might be able to help them with a website redesign.

Just Because is a two-location shop (Downtown Newport, Washington and Hayden, Idaho), but they realize that what's just as important as keeping your shops relevant and in order is having a powerful online presence. They describe their shops as energetic, progressive, fun and fresh. Their current site just wasn't cutting it for them (shown below). We're getting a 'under construction' placeholder up on the site shortly, with the full redesign to follow.

All this boutique talk makes me want to shop. So I think I will. And if my husband asks, "Why?"(which he surely will) I have the perfect response prepared: "Just because." Wish me luck!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Typophile Film Festival

Last night
AIGA hosted an event at Portland's Art Institute. It was a "rare and unequaled selection of short typographic films...from Portugal, the Netherlands, Argentina, Bulgaria and the US" and it was awesome. Punchcut, a user interface design company out of San Francisco sponsored it. They are also awesome.

What we saw was pretty mind-blowing. For instance: type made from bacon and potato frying in a pan, jello letters bouncing around the screen, a Baskerville documentary, letters being used to communicate without them to making words. (I know, you're saying, "Huh?". I'll explain. It's like how Sesame Street shows little videos and there are letters jumping around, but they're personified....the 'O' is a large rolly-polly man, the 'S' is a slithering snake-like creature, the 'X' is a little being that seems way to excited about something...and they all interact and act out some story line. It's fun.) We saw the lives behind design, super refined letterforms, super degraded writing and....what I was most impressed with: When driving becoming writing.What do you get when you combine a software developer, 4 large colored dots, a smart car with a 'font driver' and two european font designers named Pierre and Damien? Oh my gosh. You can view it here (and you don't even have to pay $10 like I did). I try not to 'should' on people, but really. You should.

Type. Innovation. Inspiration. I love it. Let's celebrate it.

If you're up for a little typographic party, join me here:
*All by Ellen Lupton because I love her.

Elizabeth + Paul | Wedding Invitation

Happy Friday! I got the cutest invite in the mail's the story:

El contacted me to ask about designing wedding invites, but there was a catch: "...we are on sort of a time crunch since we've been gone so much this summer... eeks! Our wedding date is September 19th and we need to get them in the mail a month in advance. Is this something you even have time for?" This was on August 5th. So yes, we had to rush. Eeks!

If you know me, you know I'm always up for a challenge, so of course I said yes and jumped in. It turned out to be less of a challenge than I anticipated - El had basically laid out the entire invite for me. Not kidding. That certainly helped to rush the project along. All I did was throw my artistic touches into the piece using unique and fun typefaces, a beautiful illustration, a custom monogram, really detailed map renderings (by moi) and some secret design fairy, maybe not the fairy dust. But if I had it, I would use it. After printing, El assembled all of the pieces and added some hand-made touches. It turned out fabulously.

Invite complete. Ahhhh......Good work, team! Now, on to marriage! Funny how that seems like a relief compared to all of the planning and coordinating it seems to take to get married.....Enjoy, El. Much love, Meg.

Illustration: iStock image, modified
Photography: Jordan Philips
Printing: Reprographics in Longview, WA

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bakery D'Amour Party!

I'm exhausted and still full of pastries from last night's party at the Bakery. My girlfriend Amy graciously joined me as my date to attend Bakery D'Amour's Opening Party. It was a private affair, so we donned our baubles and skimmed past the 'Private Party' sign posted on the entrance. Being one of the elite is fun! What we found inside was delightful: the dining area packed with people, a pastry buffet, and lots of shiny new equipment and beautiful woodwork to admire. And that's what we did. We admired every little swirl of frosting and polished inch of stainless steel.

We mingled with the pastry chefs, newly-hired servers and project masterminds. We made new friends and caught up with old ones. (Yes, that's you, Leah! Love you.) We taste-tested eclairs, peanut-butter-and-chocolate cupcakes, pistachio cannolis, lemon poppy seed shortbread cookies, raspberry-shortbread dipped in chocolate.....


Pastry Chefs are my new favorite people.

Supplies galore.

A glimpse of what's to come.

Me and Mrs. Fran Berrey - the Interior Design Mastermind

I heart you, Bakery D'Amour!

The Bakery official opens this coming weekend. It's located at 2577 South Commercial in Salem, OR. Call 503-779-1011 or email for more information. Or....check out these previous blog posts: Opening Soon, Bread-Lovers Unite!, Bakery D'Amour Wall Art, or Sneak Peek. (To read more about Amy and Megan's post-party adventure, go to Amy's blog.)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Evangeline's Adventures in Russia

I have a dear friend named Evangeline. Vangie, for short. We went to school together at George Fox University. Vangie has a heart of gold and after working in Germany at a boarding school for the past two years she had decided to move to Russia and teach. She needed a contact card made to send to all of her friends, family and supporters. We whipped one up for her yesterday and it's super cute. To learn more about the organization she's working with, visit this website. Pretty cool stuff.

Safe travels, Vangie! I can't wait to hear more about your Russian adventures!

Photography by Jordan Philips.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Inspiration | Nature + Camping

Last week someone asked me, "Where do you find inspiration?". I answered, "As much as I hate sounding cliché....nature." I just keep thinking about how that is so true. Let's face it. The elements and principles of design originated in nature. And we continually emulate the work of God's hands with our own. Whether or not we can individually identify each design element (line, color, shape, space, texture, value) or principle (balance, emphasis, movement, pattern, repetition, proportion, rhythm, variety and unity), they exist all around us. Everywhere.

I went camping with the in-laws this weekend and sopped up some nature inspiration. Here's a small visual index of what I found (natural items + man-made adaptations):

Rhythm: When one or more elements are used repeatedly to create a feeling of organized movement. Rhythm creates a mood like music or dancing. These dark coals, although still, feel like they have a lot of rhythm because of the marks the flames licked onto them as well as the flowing layers within each piece.

Color: Color comes from light. Without it we would have no color. When the light hits an object, what we see is actually colored light entering our eyes.

Shape: A shape is created when a line crosses itself or intersects with other lines to enclose a space. Type is essentially a series of shapes, or glyphs. These shapes are geometric. Generally speaking, manufactured items, such as these letterforms, are created using geometric shapes.

Texture: Surface quality of an object (i.e. rough).
Value: The range of lightness and darkness in a picture. Value gives a picture depth. The cracks in the bark are dark because of a different actual color as well as the lack of light that can reach those areas.

Line: The ripples in the water cause what would otherwise be straight lines become beautiful calligraphic lines.
Movement and Repetition: Movement is the path the viewer's eye takes through the artwork, often to focal areas. Here, the focal areas are the light reflections. Repetition makes the artwork seem active. The ripples are repetitive and caused the reflection to look alive.

Pattern: The repetition of an object or symbol is pattern. The rope-maker worked a pattern into the product, probably for visual interest more than functionality.

Ummm: I don't even know what to say about this. It's a close-up (as far as my camera would zoom) of the melting glacier on Mount Adams. Wow. It has form, color, texture, movement, rhythm and variety.

Line: The silhouettes of the trees make sharp outlines.
Shape: When a three-dimensional object become two-dimentional (i.e. a shadow, sihouette or photograph) we see shapes. These tree silhouettes are organic shapes. They are informal and irregular.

Some content pulled from this site and this site.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Art Show Process | 'Voices' at George Fox University

You might have seen my call for help last week. I needed to get all my ducks in a row ASAP for an art show: 'Voices' at George Fox University. It's an alumni art show. Obviously, I studied there. I'm so honored they've asked me to come back with several projects in tow. After sifting through countless files and print samples (see above photo), this is what I settled on showing:
For a split-second I thought, "Great! I'm done." And then I remembered I still had to prep all of the work. Boo. I forgot how much work this involved until I tacked it this week. Thankfully my husband lent a couple extra hands and eyes to get it all centered and mounted. Thank you Bryce and all my informal editors! My work is finally ready.

Rulers and mat board and frames, oh my!

The show will be up from Tuesday, Sept. 1st - Tuesday, Oct. 20th. There will be a closing reception on October 20th from 5:00-6:30pm. You can view all of the George Fox gallery schedules here.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Alchemy Art Show. Goosebumps.

Mark Terry's show was up in Azusa last month. Mark filled me in this morning. It was a big hit! He said, "The critic for whom I have the most respect had one simple word to say about the show. He stood there open-mouthed, and then waved me over to take a close look at his arm, simply saying... 'Goosebumps!' " What a high, high compliment.

For a look at what part I played in the show, click here and here. And, check out the plexi signage in the gallery photos. That came from StudioM, too.

I'm not at all surprised the good reviews coming from California quickly made their way up the coast to Portland. Galleries will be scrambling for the Alchemy pieces. But there's always someone first in line: Bella Perla is a Portland gallery that has been keeping tabs on Mark and is hosting his work as of last week. If you're in the area, be sure to check it out. There will be more Alchemy news to come. I'll be sure to let you know when and where the next Alchemy show will take place. To stay in the loop yourself, follow Mark on his blog.

The artist and his wife, Missy.

Another gallery shot. Goosebumps.

Monday, August 17, 2009

StudioM | Help.

Here's the deal. I'm a part of an upcoming art show and have to submit my bio to accompany my work. It's so hard to write about myself! Therefore, I'd love love love some feedback and/or edits from all of you lovely followers. Help!

Here we go:

Since it’s onset in 2005, StudioM has primarily become known as a branding studio, but also executes communication design, web design, art direction, marketing strategy and believe it or not, studio art and illustration. The studio’s clients range from boutiques and cafés to iPhone application developers and private eyes and are located across the world — from Australia to Philadelphia to Portland. This client base makes for a exhilarating range of projects.

Designer and owner, Megan Clark, works out of her home office in a little 80-year-old bungalow in the Pacific Northwest where coffee’s always brewing and her very large, lazy Great Dane can usually be found sleeping by her desk.


Megan grew up in the Midwest as a pastor’s kid. She always had an inclination for artistic endeavors, but knew from the day she won Michigan’s Corn Festival Coloring Contest that she was destined to be an artist. That was in second grade. The following years held many art classes, toothpicks, popcicle sticks, paint fumes, pens, charcoal, kneaded erasers and ModPodge®. More formal training was received once Megan entered George Fox University, majoring in Art with an emphasis on Graphic Design. During the time she was at George Fox, she attended numerous conferences, design panel discussions and networking events. She obtained design internships on and off campus and registered StudioM as a business to accommodate freelance work.

Fortunately, all of the time and energy she invested in herself paid off; Megan received and accepted a job offer from a Portland advertising agency only two weeks after graduation. The ad agency, Livengood|Nowack, was a modest size, but offered a wide client base to work with and learn from. Sadly, the agency went bankrupt in September of 2008. This turn of events accelerated Megan’s plan to eventually work for herself. She immediately updated her portfolio and StudioM’s promotional materials, had business cards printed and hit the streets on a mission: help others grow and profit through design. Oh yeah, and keep the bills paid.

So far, so good. Megan is still running her own design shop and loves (almost) every minute of it.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Mark Coffin | Photographer Extraodinaire

Mark Coffin Photography shoots weddings, parties, portraits, fashion, concerts, product and everything else. Really. Needless to say, he has very diverse clientele. This diversity posed an interesting challenge in our work together. Usually, I consider myself a stalwart on the Team for Consistency. For Mark, I fudged. We created two very different business cards. The hope is that this approach will help him reach out to the rock stars and the princess brides alike. If you're a rock star, a bride-to-be or anyone else in need of some real photography skill, drop Mark a note at His website will be launching next month.
A glimpse of the sketching that preceded the digital design work.

The final products. Go get 'em, Mark!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cherry Hill | Postcard

Client: Cherry Hill
Project: Direct Mail/Postcard (7x5")
Target Area: Downtown Fredericksburg, VA - 1 mile radius starting from Old Town
Purpose: Get the attention of homeowners who want to stay in the downtown area, but need some kitchen upgrades to make the most of their house.
Communication Goals: "Let people know we can take care of a complete kitchen remodel, our craftsmanship is great...all that good stuff".

You got it! Cherry Hill has a lot of 'good stuff' to talk about (click on the above photo to view the postcard content). We took style cues from the Cherry Hill business card and crafted an elegant piece that will surely drum up some new Cherry Hill clients.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bakery D'Amour | Opening Soon

I scampered down to Salem this morning.

My agenda included the following:
1) Deliver printed menus and business cards.
2) Decorate!
3) Drink a copious amount of French Press coffee since the Bakery is going in just next door.
4) Pick up some more French Press goodies.

Done, done and done. Oh! And there was a tapioca + strawberry crepe with real whipped cream from French Press to top it all off. Not on the agenda, but a necessary deviation. Here are some preview photos...

The architectural awning over the drive-thru.
Love the striking design.

An amazing French platter Fran Berry found to hang in the bakery.
I'm jealous of her shopping skills. Go, Fran!

Bakery D'Amour collaborative wall art by StudioM and Christine Zollner.

I could fit in that mixer bowl. I should have climbed in there to give you a sense of scale.
Bread-making requires serious tools.

Jay Farmen, the Bakery Boss-man.

Ladders and boxes soon to be replaced with tables and patrons.

Until then.....Au revoir!

French Press Goodies

The procurement from today's trip to Salem:
A pound of organic whole bean coffee from Peru.
Two matching mugs.

How could you resist that perfect little copper Eiffel Tower?
I couldn't, obviously.

And you can't have one lonely mug.
So I got two.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Perfect Look | Gresham Grand Opening

A new Perfect Look Salon is opening today!
It's located in Gresham, at 2451 SE Burnside. If that's your neighborhood, you're one of the lucky ones! For the next two weeks, you can get a haircut for only $6.95! And while you're there, pick up a New Customer Discount Card; we designed these to give you another discount with each return visit. Sweet. (P.S. There's a new website coming soon, too.)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Bread-lovers unite!

Bakery D'Amour is coming. Soon.

Here are some images of the printed menus. They're planning on offering some of the most amazing menu items. You can walk-in, sit down, drive-thru or cater-to-order. How's that for options!? Get ready to eat some bread.

Bread-Lovers Unite!
You can read more about the bakery's design process here.