30 October 2012

Go Vote

No matter which side you stand on, one week from today will be your chance to show your support. So go, Go Vote!

And about that great Go Vote illustration... Yosi Sergant, the publicist behind Shepard Fairey’s Obama Hope posters) reached out to none other than Chris Piascik about doing a #GoVote illustration as a part of a social media campaign to get out the word to vote. He decided to do one today for his Daily Drawing — which works out nicely as it’s exactly one week from the election.

Image: Chris Piascik

27 October 2012

My jack-o'-lantern heros

Now this is what I call carving a pumpkin! Perhaps I should say, sculpting a pumpkin. I'm stunned with the brillant carving of Ray Villafane, Andy Bergholtz, Trevor Grove, Chris Vierra, Patrick Burke and Alfred Paredes of Villafane Studios. There's really no more to say, the photos say it all. There's also a great article/interview over on Gourmet if you want to read more about the artists. And definitely check out their website for more incredible pumpkins... and don't miss what they do with sand either!

Photos: Villafane Studios and Gourmet

Delicious Italio

Let's face it, branding Italian restaurants and food can be tricky, because in America it wants to be modern and fresh, but still hold some kind of tradition. Rustic, hearty, family, freshly prepared, authentic... then you need to deal with those colors... green, red and white. How do you separate it from the rest when it starts to look like all the other Italian outposts out there? And I'm not talking about The Olive Garden here my friends, the worst Italian representation of Italian cuisine in America. The ambience okay, but the food, retched. Sorry, don't mean to offend. 

But in the realm of fast casual, the latest restaurant concept flooding the market over the last few years, Italio is to Italian, like Chipotle is to Mexican and Pei Wei is to Asian. And Italio works. It's modern and fresh without the heavy accent on heritage, which is okay, because it's suppose to entice our need for the 'no time to cook, but want a good meal' American way.

The brains behind this superb branding is Orlando-based Push design, who created simple icons and descriptors for the brand to call attention to Italio's three main menu options; Pasta Bowls, Piadinas and Salad Bowls. I know what you're thinking.... icons? But yes, they do work and when you want fast, visual icons are the way to go and keep the line moving. And... they didn't use white or green. My compliments to the team! See more of the Italio branding over at Push.

Photos: Push

25 October 2012

A wall decision

The time has finally come! I've decided what to do with my blank wall space. Well, rather I've finally figured out how I want to post things for inspiration. And yes, I've blogged about this before and again, but this time I'm serious. It's true, really.

The reason I've been thinking so long about this, is I'm not a big fan of poking holes in paper or using tape, especially those things I want to keep and use as inspiration, so that crosses a cork board off the list. A magnetic board would be good, but I've got a big wall to work with and making just a section of it magnetic would look weird. But I came across the perfect solution and one that I love. Simple, easy and I get to use any kind of mini clips of my choice, just like the photo about. I'm sure to choose little clothes pins or some kind of cool metal display clips, which won't ruin my dear favorite pieces of paper. So there it is my friends, my upcoming inspiration wall! Maybe four or five pieces of antique twine, strung horizontally across the wall that will become an ever-changing area for creative thought and inspiration! I'll share when it's finally complete.

Photo: Squirrellyminds

24 October 2012

Underwater dog photography

I think I'm in love with Seth Casteel. No, it's really true! Seth is an award-winning Los Angeles-based lifestyle pet photographer and his latest book, "Underwater Dogs" of dogs photographed underwater are all over the news and internet. If you haven't seen the book or photos, they are absolutely amazing! There are so many incredible photos, I couldn't possible post them all, but here are a few of my favorites.

That's enough to love a good man, but here's why I'm really in love.... because of his passion for working with animals, he volunteers with numerous animal shelters and rescues and has learned the importance of photography and marketing in supporting the effort to end pet overpopulation. In doing so, he founded Second Chance Photos, a wonderful organization that provides resources and workshops to animal shelters and volunteers who understand the importance of photographing animals to aid them in finding their forever home. Second Chance Photos believes every homeless pet should be represented with a positive, professional photograph, offering a glimpse into their unique personality in hopes to make a connection with potential adopters and save its life. As a volunteer myself for the local animal shelter, I know the importance of photography and believe in love at first sight when it comes to adopting a rescue pet. A simple photograph can truly help a dog, cat or bunny find its forever home and family.

Bravo to Seth, his wonderful organization and amazing talent!

Photos: Little Friends Photo

21 October 2012

Tis' the season of crafts

They're back! Seasonal arts and craft festivals are on the calendar my friends. If you're in the Orange County area, the Oh, Hello Friend Vintage Sale in Fullerton on Saturday, 10 November is not to be missed! Housewares, clothing, accessories, shoes, jewelry, stationery and paper goods abound. For those in OC and beyond, check out Patchwork Indie Arts & Crafts Festival up and down the state. So much good stuff! See you there!

Photos: Oh, Hello Friend

A little wee

While I love the retro toys of yesteryear (slinky anyone?), finding fun, vibrant and customizable products for the kids of today's generation created by designers, really interests me. San Francisco-based design agency Office, recently introduced a new kids brand called Wee Society, with products to 'help bring kids and their parents closer together with happy apps, artful activities and tales to transfix short attention spans.' And the products are indeed, sophisticated and delightful!

The first line of products introduces the Wee Alphas, a quirky crew of 26 illustrated animals with a letter of the alphabet hidden in each one. Any mom or dad who's a typography buff, will surely need one for their little wee! The Alphas are available in a series of the cutest damn art prints and can be personalized with the child's name and a silly or serious statement of choice right here. The Wee Society are beautifully designed products for today's kids, but who's says I can't have one too... because Lynne loves loud laughs!

Photos: The Wee Society

Typographic quotes

These are some very funny quotes from some of the greatest photographers of our times. But Athens, Greece designers Dimitris Kanellopoulos and Yiorgos Yiacos of The Comeback Studio, gave them a fun typographic twist to create The Daily Typographic Quote project. See more here.

Photos: Typography Served

20 October 2012

Mouth watering imagery

I stumbled across San Francisco photographer Eric Wolfinger's exceptional talent back in September when I did a post on the Outerlands Cafe. Eric photographed their cafe for the website and menu. I was immediately taken with his work. So when I headed over to his website to see more, I was truly in awe. In awe of the beauty, composition, lighting, angles... he captures overwhelming beauty and emotion in every photo, as if you instantly become part of the story. It's no wonder really. Having spent the six years cooking and baking in San Francisco before getting behind the lens, Eric sees the beauty of both sides equally. Honestly, I believe food photography is one of the hardest things to get right, it takes patience and an extraordinary eye to make the viewer's mouth water with delight and Eric's got it! With clients like Williams Sonoma, Martha Stewart Living, Food&Wine and numerous San Francisco restaurants, he was born to photograph food. He recently finished a devine collaboration with Chad Robertson on the Tartine Bread cookbook, of the famed Tartine Bakery & Cafe and is now working on a Vietnamese cookbook with Charles Phan of the highly acclaimed Slanted Door in SF. I'm now really, really hungry. Bon appetite!

Photos: Eric Wolfinger website

18 October 2012

The ultimate quote

In the world of design, this is my favorite quote of all time, aptly quoted by Leonardo da Vinci. The Calm Gallery has many quotes and prints of some very cool things, including this one... and it's definitely headed for my wish list!

Photo: The Calm Gallery

16 October 2012

Been Everywhere

I know, I know, I've got some serious blogging to catch up on my friends! The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity between work and travel. Thankfully, there's no more travel in the near future, so I just might spend the entire next weekend blogging away. To get back in the swing of things and since I feel like I've been up, down and everywhere lately, it seems apropos to feature The Everywhere Project, a very cool online collaborative design project curated by Adrian Walsh, a Southern California designer and illustrator who works at the fabulous Column Five.

The Everywhere Project is based on the classic folk song “I’ve Been Everywhere” and a select group of designers and illustrators are invited to create luggage labels, each representing one of the 92 locations that appear in the American version of the song. Each artist has the opportunity to share their personal take on a place they’ve been, have connections with, or a place they only recently learned about. I picked a few of my favorites, but they are all pretty darn cool, so take a look here.

Photos: The Everywhere Project

08 October 2012

Woolly alpacas

This past weekend, I had a marvelous time in New England. My girlfriend married a fantastic guy in the charming town of Plymouth and I saw some old high school friends that all still look like they did back in high school. The weather was perfection, the company engaging and the wedding cake cupcakes to die for. What more could a girl ask for! After the wedding on Friday, my plan was to go to the Fryeburg Fair in Maine on Saturday, but that didn't quite come to fruition. Instead however, my parents and I drove to an alpaca farm to hang with some non-spitting, very friendly creatures a short drive from their home in Maine. At Oak Hill Ranch Alpacas, we got up close and personal with Geromino, Valentino, Big Chief, Dark Avenger, Chocolate Bunnie, Molasses and Annabelle. They like to sniff... close to your face, very close to your face. I'm not sure if that's normal, but these alpacas were incredibly docile and definitely enjoyed humans. The moved so quickly it was hard to get some good shots. I had a few opportunities of nose-to-lens shots, but couldn't adjust the focus quick enough before they had moved on to gently biting my big toenails. Yes, I wore flip-flops to a farm, but I only had flops or high heels from the wedding, so I figured stepping in 'it' was better than losing my balance and falling in 'it.' 'It' referring to, well you know... Alpaca poop. The farm offers tours and hay rides, and a store full of wonderful woolly co-op products, as well as other products they have knitted in Peru from their Alpaca wool. I walked away with all my toenails intact, a pair of beautiful hand-knitted socks and some Alpaca friends with huge personalities.

Oak Hill Alpaca Ranch, 2 Oak Hill Road, Shapleigh, ME 04076

Pixel perfection

For some reason, I've got a penchant for rulers... any kind of rulers too. But show me a ruler made for designers, and oh the joy of cold stainless steel measurements. Like this one from UI Stencils, the Pixel Ruler, the ultimate tool for responsive screen size sketching. It's a heavy-duty gauge stainless steel ruler with pixel increments for mobile, tablet and widescreen (laptop) sizing. It's definitely wish list bound!

Photos: UI Stencils via Swiss Miss
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