31 August 2010


This slick 'Yes' sign pattern is from the dynamic duo, Christopher Gove and Bobby Evans of London-based Telegramme Studio, purveyors of fine design and illustration. The 3-color pattern is made from various languages of the word 'Yes'. Unfortunately, their website gives no other information about the who, what and how of this great looking piece. But that's okay, I don't really care because it's just awesome! While on their site perusing the many fabulous pieces of design and illustration, I found another I liked whole lot... the Shoreditch House pattern (shown directly above) commissioned for a summer promotion. Looking at it gets you in spirit of summer for sure! It's a must you take a look at some of Telegrammes' other work like their poster design and identity for The Book Club. Kudos to the duo for all the superb work! And don't forget to check out their great blog too.

Update 01 Sept 2010: Chris from Telegramme was kind enough to give me details on the 'Yes' pattern. It was designed for council housing in South London and will be used as a wayfinding system.

Images from Telegramme Studio website.

Meet Clifford

This is it! If I had a dream work space, this would be it. Plenty of interior room for design, crafts, books, painting, a dark room, a dinner party with friends or a little gallery show exhibiting work from local artistians. Big bonus: open those barn doors for lots of fresh air or watch the rain pour down for hours. I'd call it Clifford, my big red barn.

Photo from Ink+Wit website.

30 August 2010

Photo of the week

Fort Worth International Airport. It's no surprise I love traveling and exploring. I enjoy heading off to new places, wandering about and finding adventure and have been lucky enough to visit some incredible places in the world. But you know something, I also love airports. For most, having a long layover, flight delay or cancellation might induce a lose-it-all adult tantrum right there at the gate. Crazy as it sounds, I don't mind a bit. Give me a little more time to explore the terminals while people watching along the way and I'm one happy girl. Not to mention all the photo opts. The vast maze of an airport is intriguing to me, both the interior and exterior. The wayfinding systems and signs beg for my attention. The architecture and sounds please me (most of the time anyway). Yes, the airport is a place I could hang for a while and discover the mundane subtleties that make them each unique. Perhaps I was a globetrotting photographer in my past life....

29 August 2010

For the Love of Junk

Every now and then, I come across some very cute handmade dolls. But not just any dolls, not the ones your mom gave you as a little girl to feed and burp (never quite did get into that myself). I'm talking about creative, handmade... well, rather interesting dolls, like Ugly Dolls and Monsters. I've found an even better one recently and it's wonderfully different. The hand sewn details are unique and the mismatched buttons and fabrics are lovely. They are made by the talented JunkerJane (aka Catherine Zacchino) of Portland. She's also got some wonderful folk art prints and button sets... nothing junkie about her designs at all!

Image from Sweet Sweet Life website.

28 August 2010

Wonderful wall art

Always looking to spice my walls up, inspiration doesn't come easy at times. But I came across these wonderful alternatives over on the Paper n Stitch blog to get my creative juices flowing. Metal letters, a hanging message banner and a craft supply wall are not only unique, but great conversation pieces.

Images from Paper n Stitch website.


There's nothing like the deep flavor of the perfectly blended array of fonts, the harvesting of a unique logo, and the perfect fermentation of an aged homegrown label. My friends, I introduce you to the packaging for Tequila Ocho. Ahhh....

Image from the Laguna Beach Magazine website.

The view on nostalgia

For some reason I'm currently obsessed with creating photos that look like old Polaroids, the kind you'd find in a closet tucked away in a collapsing shoe box. They are just incredibly nostalgic to look at. In just the same way as the beautiful surf photography is from Dezign Horizon. I love how looking at the photos makes you long to be somewhere sharing the same moment in time. But there's an interesting perspective in a lot of DH's work that I'm drawn to... the enjoyment of the moment itself, yet not being completely engaged in it, like someone that would rather watch the shared moment from afar in their own solitary space. Perhaps it's the sweeping visuals, the wide viewpoint or the larger than life feel of the subject, that make you feel as if you're just far enough away to completely enjoy being in the moment and keeping a safe distance from it. I'm not really quite sure I know how to describe what I mean, but whatever it may be, it's beautiful.

Dezign Horizon has much more than surf photography from the beaches of Maui and Oahu, including incredible digital art and travel shots from places like Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Nepal. Be sure to take a look!

Images from Dezign Horizon website.

24 August 2010

The new meaning of 'going postal'

Ah... there's nothing like the feeling of getting a real, live bond fide handwritten letter, postcard or invitation in the mail. I know, I've said it again and again... the written word to pen and paper is something spectacular! But as we all know, unfortunately, people are rapidly moving away from sending anything via the United States Postal Service. Between email and the recession, the USPS is feeling the downward spiral.

Thankfully, there is a God! His name is Matt Chase and he too feels the same way I do! The D.C-based designer would love nothing more than to rebrand the USPS to evoke 'the very anachronisms that are costing it billions' (per Fast Company).

Matt in his own words: “When the organization was established, I feel like it was supposed to be this way for people to connect, to stay in touch with one another--and for a long time, it was. But digital communication sort of changed all that; cell phones and texting and e-mail became our primary means to get a hold of one another, and the Postal Service fell into this weird realm characterized by Pizza Hut coupons and utility bills. The new look is warm, inviting, and (hopefully) makes people want to grab a pen and a sheet of paper and see what that old friend's been up to."

The idea and branding is to make people nostalgic for the days when pen-and-paper letter writing was the primary (and certainly the most intimate) form of communication. And personally, I think he's done a fabulous job! It's retro 1950's Americana at it's best with warm, inviting colors and a case for tradition.

Great design works and this is a fantastic example of how good design can change the mindset and habits of people. If you're listening USPS, here are a few more ideas to keep the mail tradition alive.

See more photos of the brand application at Matt's Behance site.

Images from Matt Chase website.

23 August 2010

Photo of the week

Scottsdale, AZ. While in the desert a few months ago, I made a stop at the Celebration of Fine Art, a fantastic showing of artisans and their work. All the work caught my eye in different ways, but other things that are not suppose to hold the spotlight do as well. Like this table top owned by one of the artists. It was one of his many work tables, layered with with years trial and error, and has now created a beautiful textured work of art itself.

22 August 2010

A cucina of inspiration

While perusing the recent edition of Sunset magazine at the market, a story highlighted the San Diego restaurant Cucina Urbana, a California inspired Italian Kitchen and Wine Shop from owner Tracy Borkum. Not one to miss out on a great dish, I immediately went to the internet to peruse the menu... stuffed fried squash blossoms, ricotta gnudi, braised black cod, pepperoni and fennel sausage pizza, veal piccata, short rib pappardelle and strawberry fregolotta.... say no more. I'm there, very soon indeed! Not only does the food sound delectable, the interior and concept sounds just as delicious...

From the CU website: 'The restaurant’s interior evokes a modern kitchen combined with the history and comfort of an old rustic country farmhouse. A touch of home, splash of bohemia and many objects new and old attract the eye. A focus on raw, sustainable material and reclaimed local material is found throughout. Discarded fence boards recovered from San Diego county wrap columns, walls, service stations and the back bar.'

The interior design is one of the most incredible combinations of warmth and coziness with the perfect amounts of modern color and texture (all that from the photos alone, can you imagine what it must feel like to actually be there?) Its small touches of personality, like the hanging aprons and DIY chandliers, add to the overall cozy appeal. With a strong commitment to seasonality and sustainability and the use of organic and local product whenever possible, this is one restaurant I must visit! If I were to open a restaurant of my very own, this is exactly what I would want to create. Oh, and the branding, logo and whimsical nature inspired embellishments, magnifico!

Images from the Cucina Urbana website.

Build it and I will come

Every now and then I dream about the perfect living area. It would most certainly include the likes of a vintage mid-century Eames lounge chair in black leather with the Brazilian rosewood shell (now called santos palisander, a richly grained veneer that looks like the Brazilian rosewood used on the original chair, but is a sustainable tropical wood). And now, I'd like to add this really cool table from the guys at Sm1th. Reclaimed old wood block letters used for a fabulous new coffee table. Love it!

Images from Sm1th website.

Lean and mean

If you're like me, then one day you walk into your office space and somehow overnight you've got stacks of books that have no home. They're piled on the floor, underneath the desk and used as a tall plant stand. Because libraries are a growing matter, what one needs is a bookshelf that also grows over time. Look no further! Rotterdam-based designer, Reinier de Jong, has designed a bookcase to do just that. Consisting of five parts, the zig zag shaped parts slide in and out to accommodate each other in the resulting voids. The more books the bigger the bookcase gets. And the color palette is wonderful, a white high gloss laminate on the exterior and a warm grey satin on the interior. Reinier is a designer of all things furniture, interiors and architecture and has a knack for simplicity and function. Be sure to take a peek at some of his other fabulous creations here and his blog is a must see with incredibly interesting shots of Holland and other European parts.

Images from MONOmoda blog.

21 August 2010

The new math

After all these years, I've finally fell in love with math! See more hilarious equations at the MONOmoda blog.

Image from MONOmoda website.

Sound familiar?

Anyone in the creative field will fully appreciate this. Hilarious and so true! (click on image for a better view)

Image from Penquin Creative blog.

20 August 2010

My very first job did it

My first job was at a small printing company. I never would have thought it would pave the way for my career in graphic design and as a print-oholic. Thanks Ernie! So when I see vintage paper and ephemera for printing I go nuts. Like I did when first saw these incredible vintage printing ads and cards. The patterns, colors, typography and compositions are gorgeous and inspirational! I think I've got goosebumps...

Images from Sheaff-Ephemera website.

Superb Sara Jane

I would love to be able to sit with pen and paper and create enchanting and whimsical characters straight from inspiration and imagination the way LA-based illustrator Sara Jane Franklin does. Sara Jane, who's name sounds like she was born to be an artist, creates the most joyful illustrations. Looking at them simply makes you happy and carefree. And who wouldn't want to feel that way! I'm certainly not the only one who feels the same. Sara Jane has also been recognized by some other prestigious fellows including the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles, Type Directors Club and Print magazine. You must view her charming portfolio and blog here.

Images from Sara Jane Franklin website.

Not a chip off the old block

My friends, these aren't your old tyke wooden blocks of yesteryear. Oh no! These are top of line, replenishable Michigan-grown, kiln-dried basswood Eames House blocks, printed with non-toxic, lead-free, child-safe inks. And they're a bargain at only $175. You won't find these babies at any garage sale, for that price these are going to be family heirlooms. So get your set now from House Industries. Who says they aren't worth the price of a car payment?

Images from House Industries website.

Handwritten heaven

Isn't a handwritten note just the most wonderful thing? Everything from the paper, to the handwritten address, to the stamp, to the ink splatters, to the stains, to the crinkles...

Image from A Collection A Day website.

16 August 2010

Photo of the week

Singapore. There are very few places in the world where one can cat nap in the middle of daylight on a busy street in a big city without worry.

15 August 2010

Illustrator extraordinaire: Dave Stolte

This week was so hectic, it went by with nary a tweet or blog. I feel a little like I've had a cold and I'm just coming to. Glad it's the weekend and I can finally get caught up!

My first order of business is the extraordinary talented Mr. Dave Stolte. I found Dave's website via Twitter and let me tell you something... he's a genius! His clever illustrative personalities are brought to life with whimsy, humor, color and one very skilled hand. But there's more... I adore the way he blends his illustrative work with mixed-media introducing touches of paper textures, patterns, photography and found art, like his cover illustration for a conference in Palm Springs. And I love his series of classic mixed drinks, from the Zombie and Sidecar to the Tom Collins and Caipirinha, shown in the bottom row of his work above.

His work has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators in the prestigious Illustrators 51 annual book & show and his editorial illustrations have been published nationally. His popular line of hand-signed and numbered limited-edition giclée prints are also sold online at Etsy. Dave can also customize prints at no extra charge and is available for original commissioned pieces.

Dave is the kind of guy you'd like to bump into and spark up great conversation with and if his work is any reflection of his own personality, he's warm, witty and could probably tell some damn funny stories!

Images from Dave Stolte website.

09 August 2010

Photo of the week

Melaka, Malaysia. As I was wandering around Melaka, I came across the most wonderful little craft store, filled to the brim with supplies. It was so packed it was hard to find anything, but the shop owner knew just where everything was. Somehow no matter where artists find themselves, we can always search out arts and crafts in the most uncommon places without even trying.

06 August 2010

The anatomy of type

Thank goodness I perused Swiss Miss today. Tina always has the most interesting topics, people and fun stuff posted. Although I thoroughly enjoyed her account of her newly installed iPad app Flipboard, the post on a sweet little typography booklet really caught my eye. New from Fontshop is Meet Your Type, a beautifully designed field guide to typography. And it's not their only one. They have a few more to improve your typography skills and knowledge. As they say 'FontShop is more than a shop that sells fonts.' They are truly passionate about fonts and the use of fonts. And if you're looking for even more, check out their TypeTips on Twitter. Thanks FontShop!

Image from Fontshop website.

Celebrating Civic Center

If you didn't already know, the uber talented Candy Chang has got another fantastic gig going on, with some of her equally stellar colleagues. I'm an ardent fan of Candy's work and her passion to make communities and cities better places to live, work and engage. Her latest venture is Civic Center who's mission is simple and straightforward; the Center 'champions civic engagement through stories, services, products, and public installations.'

Each project addresses common and sometimes not so common issues in engaging ways, from flash cards that translate NY’s official Tenants' Right Guide into a fun and friendly format to Sidewalk Psychiatry, street art that encourages self-evaluation in transit by posing questions on the sidewalks with temporary spray-chalk.

If you live in an urban area, be on the lookout. The Civic Center has a lot more projects coming down the pipe, and one of them just might reach you and get you involved! Kudos to Candy and the Civic Center team for advocating better spaces for all!

Images from Civic Center website.

03 August 2010

The precious poster

No doubt, we all know water is THE most precious resource we have and vital to the survival of each and every one of us. Don't get worried however, this isn't yet another lecture about how to save water, we all know what to do by now. This is a post about some great folks in Germany who have taken a research paper on the value of water within nations, created a set of infographics to visualize the data and are spreading the word via a printed poster to make the issue of virtual water and the water footprint perceptible. So enough already about the do and don't list on how to save water, the data is here in black and cyan. It's called The Virtual Water Project and they have a poster (with a 2nd edition in the works) and an app, to help show the world how much freshwater is used to produce selected products, in hopes of getting people to rethink their consumption patterns. With a beautiful layout and well-designed visual graphics, we might actually learn even more than we thought about our most precious resource. You can order a poster here and get the app from iTunes here. Thanks guys and gals!

Image from Virtual Water Project website.

02 August 2010

Photo of the week

Anaheim, CA. In this technology-driven, computer-generated world, I would like to think some things are still hand made. Like this Mark Twain Riverboat Excursion ride sign at Disneyland for example. On closer inspection it sure looked hand-painted, but even authenticity can be forged these days. My search to find out whether or not the signage was authentic proved futile, but I did find an interesting site listing all the fonts used at Disney. Many have either been commissioned, licensed or created for Disney, but others are rather standard like Avant Garde, Bank Gothic, Copperplate and Helvetica. Typefaces are something most people overlook, but whether you're creating or choosing a typeface, fonts play a pivotal role in the outcome of a design. It's the icing on the cake that is as important as the design itself and should never be taken lightly. Carefully selected and executed, typefaces make designs come alive with personality, like the Mark Twain Riverboat ride.
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