Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Quote | Paul Arden

Monday, September 28, 2009

Wacom is wonderful.

I finally took the leap and got a Wacom Intuos4. It's a professional pen tablet and I love it. In the past I tried to adapt and just got frustrated and gave it up. When my wrist started aching recently I decided it was worth trying again. The pen tool is much more natural to use than a mouse (although, as you can see, it comes with a mouse, too) and there are some other super features the tablet offers. It's pretty amazing technology. Definitely worth the second chance. Now I just have to hide the mouse from myself to avoid the temptation to return to my old ways...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Brianna's havin' a baby.

My girlfriends and I organized the most beautiful baby shower brunch I've ever seen. Granted, I haven't been to many. And I might be a little biased. But seriously: owls, pears, driftwood, dahlias, polenta, baby cupcakes, frittatas and mimosas. What more could you ask for? Maybe just the cutest prego girl ever (AKA Brianna Showell). We're all so excited for you, friend! Your baby shower was a blast and we can't meet your little boy in November.

Oh yeah! I forgot to mention our little celebrity baby game. If you want to borrow it, feel free. If you want the original (key included!) just shoot me an email. Although, I have to warn you: there are a couple errors, so the first part of the test will be making the corrections. Regardless, celebrities are crazy about crazy baby names.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sheila + Jason got hitched.

Congrats to the newlyweds, Sheila and Jason! We're all so excited for you. And, let's be honest: super jealous that you're in Hawaii right now. Escaping the clouds and oncoming rain....the same elements that were looming the day of your "Everybody loves a potluck" Post-Wedding Party. At the very last second the sun broke through and you had the perfect afternoon for such a fun celebration. Whew.

Fun it was. And it flowed well, too - thanks to Sheila's signage insight. She suggested we make some signs to help everyone know where to put the dish or beverage they brought and navigate their way to the bathroom. Good call! We created seven signs and I think they turned out pretty darn cute and cheeky. (Just like the invite.)

If you're intrigued by this couple, you can read more on their blog! And....their gorgeous engagement photos can be found on Green Chair Studio's blog. Wedding photos to come, I'm sure.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Windlab Air Mail

Windlab, the global wind energy development company, has new business cards! Now the West Coast office, the Canada office, the Midwest office, the two Australia offices and the South Africa office all look like they're a part of the same company. Good move. But how were we supposed to get the cards delivered to those offices? I couldn't really jaunt around the world dropping care packages from the plane. Although I wish I could. And it costs an arm and a leg (well, at least the cost of a designer handbag) to send thousands of business cards to Australia. Hmmm.

Then Alisa, the Regional Director for the West Coast had a great idea: One of Windlab's Australian employees, Ranmadhu, was working locally for a couple weeks. What if he could tote the cards home with him? Yes. That could work.

We called the printer and rushed through the approval process to get them done in time for him to grab them and still catch his flight out last night. With Brown Printing's help, the mission was completed. They turned these cards in 2 days flat. 3,750 cards + 5,000 preprints. Awesome. Once again they save the day.

Windlab, I have a great idea for you: Start an air mail service. It just makes sense: wind power + air mail. Right? Especially if it helps you afford a new designer handbag.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Jelly Helm the Storyist.

Shocking. Jelly Helm does not have his own page on Wikipedia. Shocking because he is a creative giant. And shocking because Wikipedia is one of his clients. Yes, one of his clients. He went on a sabbatical from his position as creative director at Wieden+Kennedy in Amsterdam and now has about four clients he's managing on his own. Creativity never rests!

Being on sabbatical has afforded Helm lots of time to think. He says what he shared with all 100 or so of us at The Cleaners, Ace Hotel is the result of 'thinking for a while'. There were lots of fantastic and/or interesting things about what he shared, but I have to say, the format in which he shared them was striking. In what he coins a David Kennedy-ism, Helm rips sheets of paper in quarters and carries them around for note-taking. His presentation this evening was a series of quarter-size sheets he imprinted with information using a typewriter and then scanned to share with us. How beautifully undesigned and unexpected.

Helm considers himself a storyist. Stories are how we make sense of the world. He says a brand is 'a story that expands our self-story'. But here's the catch: This isn't just any brand. In order to be an emergent, story-telling brand, it has to be about purpose, not profit. He vaguely referenced a W+K client as a good example of who this isn't. He says of their brown, carbonated beverage product, "If you drink it, you die. They're selling poison." (Here's a hint: they plaster polar bears all over their cans at Christmastime. Yes, them.) According to Helm, if a company extracts more than it gives, it will never work. Hmm. As he spoke on all of this, you could all but hear the electricity buzzing and rushing into the lightbulb that is Helm's brain.

"What is your story?"
"Where do you create value?"
"Where is your abundance?"
"Where is your joy?"
"Value vs. Profit"
"Abundance vs. Scarcity"

Thank you, AIGA, for hosting another great creative event. Pretty sure Jelly Helm will have a Wikipedia page in a matter of moments....and I hope this quote, my favorite from the evening, makes it in there somewhere: "There's something incredibly joyful about spilling out into the world." Thanks for spilling on us tonight, Jelly Helm.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Penchant for Pattern - Fresh + Fruity Collection

I love pattern. Especially when it involves pink.
These patterns are all derived from the same geometric structure. You can see how applying color and transparency differently can really change the end result.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Bakery & Bistro | Now Open

This is not the first time I've sung the praises of Bakery D'Amour. And it won't be the last. If you're in the Salem area and haven't modified your route to accommodate a bakery stop, you're missing out. That's exactly what I'm trying to prove with this post. Feel free to salivate/drool as necessary. Just stay clear of your keyboard.

Turkey Cobb Salad. Scrumptious.

Turkey Pot Pie. Comfort Food at its finest.

Ruben Romance. Really.

This was my Grand Opening gift for the bakery. It came from Every Day is a Holiday on Etsy. They were recently featured in New York Times Magazine for this piece in particular. You can read more about it in the online article. It's a very cool idea. And perfect, I thought, for the bakery.

I generally try to follow directions, but instead of a cupcake for dessert, I got....

...2 lovely cookies, a chocolate-dipped macaroon, a cannolo, and two florentine crisps. I'm pretty sure we made up for the directional deviation in proportion. And each item comes highly recommended by me and my tasting team! Ha.

One of my darling dates for the day. My mom. Because a trip to the bakery should be a family affair.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Font vs. Typeface | Know your vocab.

When I went to the Typophile Film Festival a couple weeks ago I was reminded how much I don't know about type. I might be a type nerd, but there's lots more nerdiness to be had. Like what exactly is the difference between a typeface and a font? Many designers use them interchangably. Or, like me, once they learn the word 'typeface' they use it in place of 'font' because it sounds so much more designer-y. When I realized that I had never taken the time to research the technical difference, I was so embarrassed. Gasp! Have I been using the wrong terms all this time? Let's see...

Back in the olden-days all of this would make more sense. Then, when they printed something they had to use little blocks of metal or wood that obviously could only one point size. And this was called a font - a complete set of characters in a specific size and weight of a typeface. Now, fonts are size-independent as we've all become digital typesetters (whether it's in Word, InDesign, or some other desktop publishing software). But a font can still be defined as "a complete character set of a single style of a particular typeface" (Wikipedia). Even if that character set is just digitally represented and you don't happen to have all of the hand-carved character blocks on hand.

If you want to get really intense, you can think of fonts as "the things that enable the printing of typeface" (Allan Haley for AIGA). This means the font is literally the set of wooden blocks...not just the characters and words they create. (If you're following, think about this: now-a-days a font can also be specified by it's format: TrueType, PostScript, etc.).

Typefaces come from type designers. Fonts come from foundries.

Foundries provide us with several fonts for each typeface. If the typeface is Futura, these fonts might include: Light, Medium, Bold, Bold Oblique, Light Oblique, Medium Oblique, Demibold, and Demibold Oblique...the list goes on and on. Paul Renner designed the typeface. Bauer Type Foundry and Neufville Digital were the foundries commissioned to produce the fonts.

Typefaces are created. Fonts are produced.

I'm planning on minding my typefaces and fonts from now on. Here are a few great real-life applications of our chosen vocab words from
  • What typeface was used for Star Wars logo?
  • Can you email me the font used for Aliens poster?
  • Which typefaces are web-safe?
  • What font size should I use when highlighting the captions?
Most content derived from these sources: The FontFeed and AIGA

Thursday, September 10, 2009

We're bookin' it! Pitchbookin' it, that is.

Project: StudioM Mini Pitchbook
Goal: Create a StudioM promotional piece that is cost-efficient, versatile and distinctive.
Components: Pre-made paper cover, 2 Screw posts, 20 pages of content (work samples, testimonials, contact information and the like)
Specifications: 6x6", 1/4" thick

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

StudioM | Day 365

September 9th, 2008 was my last official day at my previous job. I didn't quit, take a leave of absence, find a new gig or just get sick and tired of it. The company went bankrupt. Therefore, I embarked on an unexpected journey of self-employment. Although I had always done side work and found a lot of enjoyment and rewarding experiences doing so, I never thought I was actually ready to take the leap and go out on my own full-time. (Whatever 'ready' means.) Until I was forced to try. So try I did.

I've learned more in the last year than maybe ever in my life. I'm so thankful for the turn of events, however painful and sad they were.....because I've found my way into a new place where I'm experiencing happiness and growth.

I've been burned, learned some hard lessons, designed a lot of stuff, produced over 130 jobs, spent a lot of time and money at Kinkos, said 'yes' more than 'no', drank more coffee than one person should and stayed up later than my body wanted me to. I've played designer, art director, production manager, bookkeeper, receptionist, account manager and janitor all at once. (Good thing I get a kick out of multi-tasking!)

Now I have my very own thriving business that is sustaining my creative and financial needs. Don't get me wrong - there are days where I wonder if I'll ever get enough business to stay afloat, but inevitably a call or email comes in and someone can use my help. Those are the moments where I am so utterly amazed and so confident that I've found 'my thing'. This is right where I'm supposed to be. Thank you all for your support and business over the last year. There are more good years to come.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Susan + Rich | Wedding Invitation

When I was young and my family lived in Cleveland, Ohio, we had the best babysitters: Susan and Janet McGee. Two sisters who absolutely loved us. We've stayed in touch over the years, but I don't think any of us fully comprehend how much has changed. I don't wear pig-tails or sleep with my blankie anymore and Janet and Susan don't spend their days baby sitting and watching Big Bird in Japan with kids like my sister and myself. (By the way, Big Bird in Japan is a great 1980's Sesame Street Special. Especially if you live in Ohio when you watch it because then every time someone says "Ohio" you have a funny flashback of that goofy yellow Sesame Street character saying "Ohayo" and bowing to the people he's meeting. I still giggle thinking about it.)

Regardless of how much has changed, we still care about each other. When Susan contacted me to tell me she was getting married, I was so happy to be able to help by designing her wedding invitations. Plus, I think I owe her for putting up with many hours of my hyperactivity!

The wedding is going to take place at The Barn at Valhalla in North Carolina. We wanted the invites to reflect the natural elements of the venue as well as reflect a theme of giving. Another very fond memory I have of times with Janet and Susan is reading The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. The illustration used on the invitation was chosen by the couple because of it's similarities with the book's illustrations and meaningful message. Congrats, Susan and Rich! May your marriage be fruitful as you now give to those around you together.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Shake Up Your World | Logo

Just a sneak peek. There will be more to come.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Egg Press Sample Sale was AWESOME.

I just have to say it's a good thing Egg Press took all forms of payment for their Summer Sample Sale. A couple of my girlfriends and I trekked down to their little warehouse in SE Portland on Friday morning (after a cup of coffee and pastries from Sweetpea Baking Co.). When we walked in and saw the tables and tables of letterpress and offset goods, I just started drooling. And when I saw the prices I just drooled some more! $1 per card!? Bundles for $5 each!? Are you kidding me? Hallmark can't even do that. And these cards are waaaaaay better. Jackpot.

Way back last fall I attended an Office event where Egg Press's founder spoke about her entrepreneurial journey. Ever since, I've been enamoured with their company and killer work. Now, I have plenty of it in my stationary stash to admire. If you're nice, you might just get a cool Egg Press card from StudioM someday. And next time a Sample Sale rolls around I'll invite you all to join me in the bargain shopping. Love you, Egg Press.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Cherry Hill | Brochure and Letterhead

Cherry Hill has been printing away! Now they're equipped with business cards, a direct mail piece, a brochure and letterhead.

Problem: They wanted to send the brochure out with personal notes on their letterhead, but a normal letter-size sheet just wouldn't fit without loosing class. Solution: we had the letterhead design printed on a 5x7" linen sheet rather than the normal and ho-hum 8.5x11". Lesson: When you have to solve a problem you always end up with a better end result.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

William Roy Designer Kitchens | Form = Function

William Roy is eclectic, smart, creative, funny and the nicest man you'll ever meet. I first ran into him at a local church and eventually got to work with him while an intern at Lodestone Communications downtown Portland. Five years later, I still walk by his studio in the Pearl and am caught off-guard by the logo I constructed being shown on the signs and windows. Apparently it's served him well. I stopped in earlier this week to say, "Hi!" and he shared how many people come in and are surprised to find out that William Roy Designer Kitchens isn't an international brand. Very cool. I'm confident that this assumption isn't created solely based on the logo. For starters, the studio's location is prime. It's on the corner of NW 9th and Flanders. Secondly, the studio is gorgeous. Spacious, clean and well-designed (go figure). Thirdly, it's the only Oregon showroom that partners with Neff - a premium cabinet manufacturer. They can basically make anything you can sketch, render, think or dream as far as cabinetry goes. All that said, William Roy has obviously done well making a name for himself by doing really great work. (See some of it below, and more of it here.)

While I absolutely love love love his kitchen designs, what I love more is the philosophy behind them: "While everyone knows the phrase 'form follows function,' I think the concept needs rethinking. I believe that form should equal function. One does not need to override the other. You can strike the perfect balance."

Here are a few articles featuring William Roy:
OregonLive > Rummer Redo
Oregon Home Magazine > 16 Tips for Kitchen Islands
You'll also see him in architectural and other print publications - He's been published a lot. I'm obviously not the only one enamored with his work.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Are you at risk?

Various forms of dysfunction appear among populations exposed to typography for long periods of time. Listed here are a number of frequently observed afflictions:

An excessive attachment to and fascination with the shape of letters, often to the exclusion of other interests and object choices. Typophiliacs usually die penniless and alone.

The irrational dislike of letterforms, often marked by a preference for icons, dingbats, and—in fatal cases—bullets and daggers. The fears of the typophobe can often be quieted (but not cured) by steady doses of Helvetica and Times Roman.

A persistent anxiety that one has selected the wrong typeface. This condition is often paired with okd (optical kerning disorder), the need to constantly adjust and readjust the spaces between letters.

The promiscuous refusal to make a lifelong commitment to a single typeface—or even to five or six, as some doctors recommend. The typothermiac is constantly tempted to test drive "hot" new fonts, often without a proper license. "

Ellen Lupton (1963-)