29 September 2011

Saturday in the print

Last year I missed the LA Printers Fair. I'm hoping not to do it again this year, but work has been a little crazy and I'm not sure I'll want to make the drive to Carson. If you're into the printed word like I am.... cards, letterpress, book arts, posters, invitations, metal type, ink, platen presses and know print will never die, than the Printers Fair this Saturday put on by the International Printing Museum is where we need to be!

This Saturday in Carson from 9 am to 5 pm. Admission is $5.

Image from the International Printing Museum website.

28 September 2011

Land O'Lakes

Now here's something that really caught my eye. Not because the designs were all so unique, but because Nicole Meyer has guts. Real guts! Twenty-seven years of guts to be exact! After college in Minnesota, the Madison Wisconsin native moved to the desert of Phoenix and realized how much she longed for water. So to pay tribute to the land of lakes she so missed, the project Branding 10,000 Lakes was born. And I for one, am in awe of her huge undertaking. Nicole, it will make quite a book at the end of 27 years and those lakes better pay attention, they'll be calling soon to buy your logos! Here's a little backstory.

via Nicole Meyer website: As tourist destinations, lakes themselves are products. Each has a distinct personality, ecosystem, and specialty. There's a big opportunity within lakes for differentiation through better branding. I start by browsing a site that lists all of the lakes by county. Some days a name will inspire an idea right away, and I'll run with it. Other days, it takes more digging and deciding what kind of feeling the name elicits. For each lake, I try to research and learn as much about it as possible, so that the mark will come from as strategic a direction as it can. Lake logos have a tendency to be, well, fairly ugly. This project was created to rethink what they could be. One Minnesota Lake. One Logo. Every day.

Although just an exercise, it would be nice to see the lakes actually welcome her work. Good luck Nicole! I'll check back in 27 years... when I'm retired.

Images from Nicole Meyer website.

26 September 2011

Big city ranch

Known for its soothing and secluded health and wellness locales (Tucson, AZ and Lenox, MA), Canyon Ranch has ventured to the bright lights of Miami. However this time, it's a full package deal, the first ever luxury residential Canyon Ranch community. That's right, Canyon Ranch in Miami Beach wants you to live the life of luxury everyday, hence the tagline "this can be your everyday."

Now I've been to Miami and it's a little like Vegas, everything is big and over the top; big lights, big dancing, big music, big boobs, big botox and big personalities. The only thing I can figure is they thought those in Miami needed a little rest from all the big-ness! But the New York design firm, Warehouse Agency created an identity and found some peace and quiet with gorgeous black-and-white lifestyle photography (loving the yoga poses!) and extended the brand campaign from print, to collateral, to the website and ad banners. Overall I think they found the perfect tone for the big city ranch. I'm thinking Vegas could be the next stop... ?

Images from CommArts website.

Photo of the week

San Juan Capistrano, CA. Poor boxes could very well replace mailboxes soon.

25 September 2011


This new burger branding from Kansas City-based illustrator/designer Tad Carpenter is absolutely delicious! Seriously, who wouldn't want to take a big juicy bite of a burger from YEAH! Burger in Atlanta, Georgia. No offense to Bobby's Burger Palace, Flay is one of my favorite chefs with a fairly new burger joint himself, but you can't beat the fun branding and graphics of YEAH! burger from Tad. And the restaurant proudly serves up locally grown organic ingredients that are free of antibiotics, growth hormones, synthetic pesticides and herbicides, chemical fertilizers, ammonia and other nasty additives... for the 'Keepin' It Real' factor.

via Tad Carpenter site: I was asked to create a brand for a new restaurant concept who was wanting people to think in a new way about food within the casual dinning experience. The two owners goals were to find local, healthy and organic products to serve some of America’s favorite foods while adding a fresh approach to the American burger. The overall playful brand was a goal from the start when creating such health conscious, organic food experience. We wanted a brand that could speak to those goals without ever sounding too preachy.

The branding system includes signage, a stationary system, to-go bags and cups, stickers, sandwich wraps, hats, menus, napkins, T-shirts, gift cards and, most importantly, filling the wall space inside the restaurant, which educates people about the local/sustainable community and conscious food choices. The visual language of creates interest and gets the brand message across in a fun way. More images of this fabulous branding can be found at Tad's site here.

Images from Tad Carpenter website.

Day 24-26 - 30 days of good

Whew... been a hectic week, so I'm a little behind on my challenges. And frankly, I haven't been in my normal upbeat social mood. Socialize? Communicate? I'd rather hunker down in my office, watch the marine layer roll in, turn on some music, make some tea and be left alone to work. Hey it's fall, isn't that what I should be doing? Here we go...

Challenge 24. Go to a neighborhood business you've never been to
Okay, this weekend I'll try and find a place. I have a feeling it will be related to food too. Challenge might be accomplished.

Challenge 25. Call someone instead of texting or posting on Facebook
Oh, all right. Challenge will be accomplished.

Challenge 26. Lend someone a book
Whenever I've lent a book out in the past, it takes years to get it back, if I ever do. And I must say, I'm a little picky. I don't want it coming back with coffee stains and dog eared pages. I'd rather buy someone I love a book they will enjoy. I'll stimulate the economy, fashion a bookstore (wait, are there any bookstores left?), and keep print alive. Challenge will be accomplished.

Images from Good website.

23 September 2011

Day 20-23 - 30 days of good

Challenge 20. Give three compliments
Turns out I give compliments pretty regularly. No matter who I'm talking to, friend or stranger, I really do make a point to tell someone that they have a great smile, or they look great in a particular color, or they have a great laugh, or it was simply nice to talk to them, etc. This challenge made MY day! Challenge accomplished.

Challenge 21. Leave a positive comment on a stranger's blog
Left a comment on my hero's blog, the one and only Jessica Hische. Talented and inspirational, she rocks! Challenge accomplished.

Challenge 22. Ask for someone's advice and take it
This week, I met with a great friend and colleague (shout out to Ms. Deb!), we're like two peas in a pod and I value her opinion immensely. I asked her opinion and she said exactly what I thought she would say, which can only mean one thing... I must heed her advice! Challenge accomplished.

Challenge 23. Thank an old teacher
Since I'm getting to be old as dirt myself (okay, not that old), I wonder if I could even find an old teacher of mine? Might be hard since most of my k-12 learning was on the East Coast. But one definitely comes to mind during my colleges years.... Mary Scott, the Executive Director/Chair of Graphic Design at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Teacher, mentor, creative extraordinaire, she still inspires me today! Challenge soon to be accomplished.

Images from Good website.

Have sprung steel, will travel

London-based Ron Arad has designed the most incredible bicycle wheels. If you look too quick, you might see a floating bike frame and miss the naturally sprung properties of tempered steel, bolted in tension that make a surprisingly comfortable ride from the petal-like wheels.

Designed exclusively for the W Hotel London, the bike is available for guests in Leicester Square until October 29 to ride around the city. And as part of a fundraiser for the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the bike is up for auction along with other bikes custom designed by artists. Cool as steel. Read more over at Fast Co Design.

Image from Fast Co Design website.

20 September 2011

It's clean, real clean. Like my conscience.

All of these garnered a big laugh, but the very last one made me truly bust out loud. Here's to one hilarious bucket list from Geneva-based Neo Neo. (click the image for a sharper view).

Image from Neo Neo website via Swiss Legacy.

19 September 2011

Day 18-19 - 30 days of good

Challenge 18. Cook dinner for someone
Sure! I make dinner at least four to five times a week and if I must say, I think I'm a pretty damn good cook. Last night I wanted to keep it easy, so turkey tacos with all the fixings and warmed pinto beans with salsa was on the menu. Simple and delicious. I also think my husband is a very lucky man. Challenge accomplished.

Challenge 19. Send a friend three links they'll love
Montana kayaking, Bozeman restaurants and fall decor crafts from Martha Stewart for my best gal pal. Challenge accomplished.

Images from Good website.

Photo of the week

Palm Springs, CA. So today's Monday morning... the kind of morning I was hoping to wake up, slowly make my way to a comfy lounge chair with breakfast and newspaper in hand and bask the day away under a shady umbrella at the Colony Palms Hotel, the most relaxing poolside in Palm Springs. Unfortunately, not today. Time to get to work!

18 September 2011

Web-like interaction

The Austrian/Croatian design collective Numen/For use is at it again! This year they've created a site-specific installation project that consists of flexible nets (basically a cool two-story hammock) suspended in air to form a floating "landscape" for visitors to climb in and explore the high spaces of Belgium’s Z33 gallery. The installation, called Net, is suppose to resemble biomorphic architecture and urban utopias of former decades, but I think some could argue this. The work is an extension of the group’s interest in building transparent artificial landscapes of ephemeral architecture in public spaces, whereby by the main requirement is that people are free to interact with the installations.

Numen/For use is a collaboration between Sven Jonke, Christoph Katzler and Nikola Radeljković and gained international fame last year through their walk-in installations Tape: a huge suspended network of self-supporting cocoon tunnels built entirely out of 100 pounds of clear packing tape, which resembled the hearty work of silkworms. Visitors were invited to climb into and crawl around in the structure, of course. I find interactive installations like these fascinating and would love to explore them... or nap in them.

Images from Fast Co Design and Numen/For use websites.

Day 12-17 - 30 days of good

It's been a crazy week, so I've fallen a little behind on my challenges. But never fear, GOOD is here... to keep me going! Here's an update on the challenges accomplished and to-be-accomplished.

Challenge 12. Give five high-fives

Since I walk my dogs through several kid friendly cul-de-sacs in my neighborhood who love to pet my pooches, I was able to garner not five, but seven high-fives! Challenge accomplished.

Challenge 13. Call someone you haven't talked to in years
Yesterday I spoke to one of my dearest friends, who confirmed we hadn't heard each others voices in at least two years. It made my week to hear the sunshine in her voice and as usual, we easily picked up right where we left off. Challenge accomplished.

Challenge 14. Say hi to three strangers
During my morning walk, I was able to say hi to not three, but four complete strangers. Challenge accomplished.

Challenge 15. Make something for someone
I love making things! Preferably handmade things. I've got a couple of ideas so I just need to figure out which one will prevail. Challenge will be accomplished.

Challenge 16. Leave someone a thank-you note
Finally! I had no more excuses not to send those (very late) birthday thank-you's! Four to be exact. Challenge accomplished.

Challenge 17. Teach someone something
Educating any person (non-designers specifically) on PMS colors can be a challenge. CMYK, RGB, HEX colors... eyes glaze over instantly. Fortunately, I've got mucho patience and taught several people the in's and out's of their PMS designations. Challenge accomplished.

Images from Good website.

17 September 2011

Illustrator extraordinaire: Jonathan Calugi

It's been a while since I've profiled an illustrator extraordinaire, but your wait has been worth it, promise! Meet Jonathan Calugi, an amazing artist based in Italy who creates stunning and intricate patterns, illustrations and typography.

Supposedly his work space is chaotic, yet he creates superbly clean, minimal patterns with uncomplicated colors that you could seriously stare at for hours on end. Quirky and whimsical, Jonathan's patterns adorn a variety of items like t-shirts, posters, book jackets, even espresso machines and iPod wallpapers!

Images from Jonathan Calugi website.

16 September 2011

Cool as a Coda

The new electric vehicle start-up Coda opened a storefront in a Westfield Shopping Mall in Los Angeles this week... and I must say, in the words of The Tubes, she's a beauty. The Coda EV Experience Center shows off an electric charging station, an interactive educational area, a sign-up station for test drives and a pre-production Coda EV. All that stuff is just wonderful, but it's the presentation and graphics that are stunning, aside from the fact it will get up to 150 miles in a six hour charge. Read more at Fast Company here.

Images from Fast Company website.

Newport Beach Film Fest

I realize this years Newport Beach Film Festival has come and gone, but I just had to post my favorite ad from the 2011 marketing campaign. See more of the fabulous 2011 poster designs here from Santa Monica-based Rubin Postaer and Associates.

Image from CommArts website.

12 September 2011

The ultimate manifesto

You have to love a company with a manifesto like this! Let's hear it for Holstee!

Image from Holstee website.

Where ideas really come from

Image from the very clever Lunchbreath.

Photo of the week

Las Vegas, NV. Morning in Vegas has a whole different vibe, it's the polar opposite of what Vegas is really about, it's almost not real. It's weird to see people jogging, getting coffee and doing normal things. Two completely different worlds living in one.

11 September 2011

Day 10, 11 - 30 Days of Good

Challenge 10. Feed a homeless person
After going to school in San Francisco, I developed a huge passion for homelessness. It bothered me then, it bothers me now and it will continue to bother me in the future. Call me an unrealistic optimistic, but I believe that no one should be homeless in America. If I had gobs of money, I know exactly what I would do; rejuvenate, educate, provide shelter, support, therapy and job opportunities for homeless individuals. I've given many a lunch to the homeless in SF, but this week it's my job to find someone in San Clemente who deserves the same, a little acknowledgment from a caring stranger. Unfortunately, I know where to go and where I'll find a few. Challenged to be accomplished.

Challenge 11. Do something nice for a neighbor
Believe it or not, I like to clean. Nothing gets me more excited than a spotless bathroom, crumb-free counters and a floor so clean the 3-second rule would never apply.... I could have said lick your dinner from it, but it doesn't sound very appetizing no matter how clean. Anyway, every now and then I even clean mailboxes. Who cleans a mailbox you ask? Yup, that would be me. This afternoon I went outside armed with cleaning gear to clean my two neighbors mailboxes and mine, our three boxes reside side by side. Off went the tree sap, bird poop and built up dirt and grime. And it just so happens new neighbors moved in this past week too, so they got a new house and mailbox cleaning neighbor! Challenge accomplished.

Images from Good website.


Image from Daily Heller website.

10 September 2011

Putting the post in pie

These Pie Chart Post-It notes would have been so much cooler than my Trapper Keeper in 7th grade! You can get these and a ton of other funky designed office supplies from Hach in Vancouver, Canada. They specialize in hard-to-get items from Korea, Japan, and North American designers.

Image from A-Jothi blog and Office Supplies blog.

Stamp of approval

You know how I feel about stamps. I've said it again and again. So yes, today I reiterate once again. Why can't the United States Postal Service design good-looking stamps? Above is a nice collection from Italy designed by E. Consolazione, R. Cuzzani, and A. de Stefani to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Giro d’Italia cycling championship. And they were designed back in 1967 no less and look as current as if they were designed today. If you're keen on stamps, check out more from Hong Kong and Denmark.

Images from Grain Edit website.

Brilliant to a tea

Making tea can be a messy job sometimes, but the new sleek Tèo, a teaspoon designed by Austrian designer Karin Santorso for Alessi, is brilliant! It will be available in October at Alessi for $25.

Image from Fast Company website.

09 September 2011

Mad poster design

I'm not a huge Mad Men fan, but these self-initiated poster designs by Radio of Cape Town are fabulous!

Images from Radio website.

07 September 2011

Day 7, 8, 9 - 30 Days of Good

Well, I'm a little behind on the Good Challenges after taking 24 hours off to celebrate a friends birthday in Vegas. Vegas for me is all about eating well (and imbibing), therefore, in my food fog from Rao's, Society Cafe and the ever tacky institution The Peppermill, I'll need to follow-up shortly on a few challenges.

Challenge 7. Buy a friend a gift under $5

Does baking something count? Challenged to be accomplished.

Challenge 8. Have a conversation with a Twitter friend that is longer than 140 characters.
Mmm... will try. Challenged to be accomplished.

Challenge 9. Video chat with a faraway friend.
I'll be contacting my Swiss girl Helene very soon! Challenged to be accomplished.

Images from Good website.

Over the river and through the woods

There's no way, if I received an invite like this, I'm not going to attend! Anyone creative enough to design such an invite, must throw a great party too. That would be graphic designer Ian Collins and his bride-to-be, who are getting married next weekend. Too bad I'm not a professional wedding crasher.

See more photos here of this amazing invitation ensemble. And check out their very funny wedding blog here.

Images from Ian Collins site.

06 September 2011

Day 6 - 30 Days of Good

Challenge 6. Get coffee with a co-worker
It just so happens I'm having coffee with some smart, creative colleagues tomorrow, collectively called the 'Smart Biz Ladies of San Clemente' (the unofficial official name). Looking forward to seeing Ms. Brophy and Ms. Foley and meeting a few new business-savvy gals! Challenged accomplished.

Image from GOOD website.

05 September 2011

Photo of the week

San Diego, CA. One of my favorite places in Southern California is the gorgeous Balboa Park, which houses the San Diego Museum of Art. It's fabulous for a Sunday afternoon, with lunch at The Prado!

Day 5 - 30 Days of Good

Challenge 5. Coordinate a group event
Dinner with a group of 6 good friends, overlooking the Pacific has been established. Looking forward to it! Challenged accomplished.

Image from GOOD website.

04 September 2011

Day 4 - 30 Days of Good

Challenge 4. Ask a relative what they did today
Hard to believe, but my very vocal Italian mother simply said, "Not too much". Guess there are some days that's true. Challenged accomplished.

Image from GOOD website.
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