30 October 2011

Meet Eli

If you haven't met Eli yet, consider this your introduction. Eli has certainly made the rounds on the internet and there's good reason; he's an adorable bad boy! That's right, the new self-written and illus­trated children’s book "Eli, No!" was inspired by graphic designer Katie Kirk's real life Eli, a loveable brown Labrador with a huge personality.

Started over two years ago "Eli, No!" is a “story about a dog, amus­ing antics and uncon­di­tional love,” that was inspired by Katie’s nephew, Parker, and their daily adventures with Eli. It fea­tures bold typog­ra­phy and graphic illus­tra­tions in Katie’s sig­na­ture style

Katie and her husband, Nathan Strandberg, run Eight Hour Day, a wildly successful design and illustration studio based in Minneapolis where the office mascot is none other then, you guessed it, Eli!

The book is available from Amazon here.

Images from Eight Hour Day blog.

29 October 2011


For someone who's final thesis was skepticism, I can relate to Genis Carreras's amazing philosophical study. Genis is a Catalonian graphic designer living and working in London, who recently created a poster series and journal explaining complex philosophical theories through basic shapes and simple design called Philographics. I think it's simply magnificent!

Images from Genis Carreras website.

A living to love

I'm loving this roomscape! The wide plank wood floor, the orange against the stark white, the hanging art/chandelier and of course, the textures and textiles. And it's no wonder... the living room belongs to Shelley Goldberg, a textile designer from New York.

About the image above via Design*Sponge: This is a view of the living room from the dining room vantage point. We completely renovated the original wide plank pine floors and sourced matching pieces to repair and enhance it. Orange is my favorite color. I have made the focal point of the room one of my rug designs, and you can see accents of the color throughout the room. Because the living room windows face west, we get amazing afternoon and evening light year round.

See more of her very cool pad Brooklyn pad here on Design*Sponge.

Image from Design*Sponge website.

27 October 2011

Howl-o-ween tonight!

TONIGHT! Howl-o-ween at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel to benefit the Pet Project Foundation!

Image from Pet Project Foundation website.

24 October 2011


Just looking at this makes me incredibly unsettled and raises the hairs on my arms. OCD? Yup.

Image from a-jothi blog.

Photo of the week

Napa, CA. Autumn is here and it can only mean one thing, well... a few things; warm wooly sweaters, cozy comfort food, crisp cool air, hot apple cider, spiced pumpkin bread, falling leaves, beautiful colors... I could go on forever.

23 October 2011

Type on the block

Every block in America needs a kick-ass typographic mural like this! The design is by designer/illustrator Bryan Patrick Todd of Louisville KY, with hand lettering by Kirby Stafford and fonts from Lost Type Co-op. See more photos here.

Image from Bryan Patrick Todd website.

22 October 2011

Hair is the word

This 'Characters' poster made for a Grease theater production in Tonawanda, New York, from ASU visual communication design student Julieta Felix is fantastic! So minimal, so great! I found it on the ASU Poster Show 2011 site, which is their annual poster show and auction fundraiser. (all via Ten Fold Collection).

Image from ASU Poster Show site.

A warm welcome to Nordic style

If I had a dream company to work for, I think it would be Snøhetta. Snøhetta is an integrated architecture, landscape, interior and design agency based in Oslo and New York. The agency produces top-notch caliber minimalistic design. And here's why you should know them... they were commissioned to design the National September 11 Memorial Museum & Pavilion for New York City, the only building that actually sits on the memorial grounds, a huge honor. They've also been awarded the project to reconstruct Times Square into a car-free, pedestrian-friendly plaza with sleek silver-gray spaces populated by slab-like benches and metallic tiles (completion date of 2014) and the expansion of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art which will add significantly to the galleries and public spaces of the museum.

I think it's great to see America is going crazy for Norwegian design aesthetics or at least those who make the decision to award the projects are. But Snøhetta still does plenty in their homeland. Check out this stunning, but humble, nature pavilion at Dovrefjell National Park. Commissioned by the Wild Reindeer Foundation, the 800-square-foot observation building, that evokes eroded rock, offers a warm place for school groups and visitors to gather and learn about the area’s history. Visitors can also take in the extraordinary views and the native wildlife; Dovrefjell is home to Europe’s last surviving herds of wild reindeer.

And of course, they have a really cool office in Oslo! Where do I apply again?

Images from Fast Co Design and eArchitect website.

21 October 2011

You are here, really

Here's the thing, I have a great sense of direction, been that way since I can remember. But I also love maps and even if I don't really need one, I want one. I'm not sure what it is; the fact I'm moving, headed somewhere new or familiar, the lines, the grid, the names, the distances... I don't know. Maps are just damn cool. I think I picked this up from my Dad. As a kid, no matter where we were headed, he always brought a trusty map, whether we needed it or not, because sometimes, maybe we took a different route along the way. Maybe we'd get lost, maybe we wouldn't, but it was fun! And if we really did get lost, we'd have our trusty map... and compass (my Dad wasn't a boy scout, but he was always prepared!).

Unfortunately the maps of Paula Scher above probably wouldn't have helped us much if we got lost, but her typographic prowess is utterly beautiful! She began painting colorful typographic maps of the world in the 1990's (continents, countries, islands, oceans, cities, streets and neighborhoods) as a reaction against information overload and the constant stream of news, which, like the paintings, present skewed versions of reality in a deceptively authoritative way. They caught on... and now the paintings have been collected in Paula Scher: MAPS, out now from Princeton Architectural Press. It's a must for my Amazon wish list!

via Pentagram: MAPS presents 39 paintings, drawings, prints and environmental installations, including Scher’s recent commission for New York City’s Queens Metropolitan Campus. Many of Scher’s original paintings are huge—as tall as 12 feet—and the book reproduces the works in full and in life-size details that reveal layers of hand-painted place names, information and cultural commentary. The book’s jacket folds out into a 3’ by 2’ poster of a portion of World Trade, one of Scher’s most recent paintings, from 2010.

Scher has been a principal in the New York office of design consultancy Pentagram since 1991. A very impressive lady indeed!

Images from MONOmoda website.

Camerata identity sings

Demian Conrad Design of Lausanne, Switzerland has developed a new identity for the Camerata de Lausanne and it's absolutely beautiful! Camerata de Lausanne is a string ensemble that varies its size and formation depending on the repertoire being performed. Coming from all over the world, the talented young musicians that make up the ensemble represent a homogeneous and dynamic group from the same instrumental tradition. So how do you go about designing for something that's invisible, like music? Read Demian's explanation below and see more of the gorgeous branding on his website here.

via DCD site: Because of my ingrained curiosity, I often ask myself the question: how can something invisible, like music, be graphically portrayed? Some time ago I needed to find a solution to visualise the concept of rarity. I solved this puzzle by inventing a random print technique called WROP. For the Camerata de Lausanne, I looked for a way of visualising sound, but without using images from the world of music per se (notes, instruments, etc). The graphic identity of the Camerata de Lausanne is dynamic; it adapts to the time of day, to the context, and therefore breaks free from the myth of a fixed identity.

Images from Swiss Legacy website.

18 October 2011

Photo of the week

Praia Piquinia, Portugal. Been a little crazy on this end, so I've miss the last few weeks of photos. But today, I'm back up and running with Photo of the Week. I've decided to showcase a photo from a series of amazing shots courtesy of Christian Chaize, a self-taught French artist, who lives and works in Lyon, France. After a trip to Southern Portugal in 2004, he became obsessed with a small stretch of coastline called Praia Piquinia. And you can see why from his photo above, of this amazing beach. More photos of this drop dead gorgeous series can be found on his website here, along with other memorizing images.

Image from Christian Chaize website.

16 October 2011

Fall re-leaf

If I could transport myself anywhere in the world right now, it would be to this spectacular home in the middle of a gorgeous fall day! It appears to be an exterior stylized view of Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House in Plano, Illinois and was created by Lucy Williams, who lives and works in London. The most unique part of her artistry however, is the fact they are not print or 2D. When you get up close and personal, you see they are actually bas-reliefs. She re-creates modernist structures—glass houses, airports, public swimming pools, hotels–painstakingly assembled with a hodgepodge of layered materials: painted bits of paper, plexiglas, bubble wrap, balsa wood, cork, pebbles, wool, mortar and piano wire. I revel in her extreme detailed forms with delight. Lucy wields a mean X-Acto knife, my kind of gal! See more of her extraordinary work here.

Image from MONOmoda website.

I'll have the brand

The smart and simple design of the Great British Chefs from London's hat-trick design is spectacular, to say the very least! Hat-trick designed the black and white identity and iPhone and iPad apps for the recipes and menus provided by the best chefs in Britain (we're talking Michelin-starred chefs here!). The hope is for the user to experience and replicate these amazing dishes at home. Honestly, forget the food, I'll have the brand please!

via Commarts: Each chef designed three menus comprised of five courses that users can follow completely, or combine with others to create their own bespoke menu. The result is 180 beautifully-photographed recipes, with ingredient lists, cooking times, equipment, wine recommendations and clear steps. Giving the user the opportunity to search by ingredient, by chef or course, the app also includes a voice control function; a series of how-to films (for tricky prep stages); full information on all the chefs; and a cookbook list that links directly to Amazon.

Bon appétit!

Images from CommArts website.

15 October 2011

Label love

Nicholas Felton is a genius... in my opinion. I'm a huge fan, huge! His rise to fame started in 2005 with his first personal annual report documenting his every step for a year. He's an infographics god who spends much of his time thinking about data, charts and our daily routines. His annual reports (2007-2010) grace my bookshelf with great respect and this year Facebook, yes Facebook, got a hold of him and he's now a member of their product design team. But that doesn't mean his incredible annual reports or infographics work will stop. In fact, he recently completed these brilliant wine labels for Between Five Bells in Australia. The label design concisely displays lowest and highest growing temperatures, pH, baume, percentage de-stemmed, whole berry percentage and days of pre and post ferment maceration for each of the blended varietals. Read more about how the process and labels came about here. I'm in awe, as usual, and would definitely try the wine for the label alone!

Click on the images for a larger view to see the incredible Felton detail.

Images from Between Five Bells website.

Got respect, lots of it

Quilting is something I appreciate and admire, but I've never wanted to learn more about it. Until now. Because Brooklyn, New York based Luke Haynes (yes, a man) creates quilts like nobody's business and they are not your grandmother's quilts my friend! His objective... "To blur the distinction between function and art and alter the way objects are perceived."

Take a look at his amazing work and you'll see what I'm talking about... from photographic commissions and American nostalgia to flightless birds and man stuff, Luke's got you covered, literally! I have a completely new respect for quilts.

Images from Luke Haynes website.

14 October 2011

A grand table

I think I'm on some kind of interior design kick. I seem to be finding some of the coolest stuff.... like this Grand Canyon table from Amit Apel, an exterior and interior designer based in Southern California. A decorative crack from one corner to the center, with blue-tinted glass in between, acts as a glass river. If you're a fan of Arizona and the Grand Canyon, this table is for you!
Image from Design Milk website.

Watch your step

Although stunning to look at and beautifully executed, these stairs designed by Atmos Studio of London, could be trouble after a few martinis! See more of the stairs here on one of my favorite design blogs, Design Milk.

Image from Design Milk website.

11 October 2011

Fall is flying

Fall arrived this weekend with purchases from Yankee Candle, L.L. Bean and orange lights from Spirit Halloween store. I'm New England through and through, can you tell? Next weekend I'll finish putting up all the spooky goodies to scare the neighborhood kiddies, but there's one thing I won't have to do yet again this year... rake leaves. Because there are no leaves to rake in San Clemente or in California for that matter. Well, maybe down in Julian. Not that I miss it much, it was always a bit more of a drag when mom and dad told me to help rake when I was a young'un because there were more than enough leaves to keep us busy for hours, if not weeks. But these days, yeah, I could using a good raking. So instead, I'll just reminiscence with illustrator Jon Han's beautiful Autumn piece above. It radiates all the goodness of Fall in a swirl of texture and color. I thought California people didn't get Fall, but Jon (born and raised in LA) and who now calls Brooklyn, New York home, gets it. Jon captures everything about the season that's so magical, I'm impressed! The art was done for an Autumn in New York piece for the New York Sun.

Images from Jon Han website.

08 October 2011

ĒVO magazine launches!

I'm absolutely thrilled to announce the latest magazine to hit the newsstands, ĒVO! (Well, it debuted in August and realize I'm a little behind in getting this news out, but I'm already busy on the November issue so I thought I had better say something now before the second issue is ready!) A publication of The Green Schoolhouse Series, ĒVO celebrates the ingenuity of the products and resources used in The Green Schoolhouse Series (GSHS). GSHS is a unique collaboration bringing together corporations, foundations, school districts, municipalities, communities, media outlets, and volunteers to build high-performance, environmentally sustainable, LEED-Platinum designed Green Schoolhouses at Title 1, low-income, public schools.

ĒVO magazine was thoughtfully designed to bring greater awareness to the entire Green Schoolhouse Series movement and was meant to make a lasting impression on the reader, just as the schoolhouses will on the landscape of America. As the creative director, I'm ecstatic to be involved with shaping such an amazing brand and publication!

Read the premiere issue of ĒVO in the digital version here. Enjoy!

Making a difference

Any company who's concept and goal is a 'platform for the creation of quality design that matters and makes a difference' should be admired and Stockholm Design Lab doesn't fall short in the least. They take on all forms of communication and don’t differentiate between any of them, from design and architecture, to interiors, product development, digital applications and services, advertisements and film. And from the looks of their portfolio, they do it seamlessly and flawlessly. I particularly love the typographic styling of the brochure above for the Royal College of Music. The new visual identity developed by SDL, will be matched in a couple of years with a complete re-make of the college, including a new main building. See more of their amazing work here.

In true Scandinavian style, they have a rocking office too!

Images from Stockholm Design Lab website.


In Southern California, summer doesn't end necessarily until... well, it really doesn't end here. So break out this larger than life Scrabble game at bbq or even at Thanksgiving. What is it about things that are just big... Disney big? It's like being in A Bug's Life. Check out Sunset for all the details.

Image from Sunset website.
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