09 May 2015

Rough and Stylist

Hello friends! It's been some time since I last posted, but you know how it goes, life and work just always seem to get in the way. I've also been spending time developing my Pinterest boards and now that I'm feeling better about having more then a handful of pins, I can get back to other things, including the blog. While scoping out the overwhelming visuals of every kind and creating a board of 'Textures', it reminded me I wanted to post about a stylist new stay in Rome called G-Rough that has the most wonderful architectural textures. Owner Gabriele Salini opened a 10-suite hotel in his family's palazzo just 100 yards from Piazza Navona. The building was built in the 1600's and remodeled two centuries later, but as the names suggests, Salini preserved many of the building's imperfections; worn 16th-century tile floors left untouched, deliberately unrestored frescoes, walls sanded down to reveal layers of history. A sheer treat for the eyes to take in all the layers of history, literally. While the bare textured walls are worthy enough to pass for art, Salini added a curated selection of iconic Italian pieces from the 1930's to the '60s, giving G-Rough unconventional luxury with a personal touch in the Roman hotel industry. And... my bags are packed!

Images: We Heart

12 April 2015

Visual Letter Tricks

London-based graphic designer Silvia Baz has some very interesting visual projects, like this one called Typeworks, a set of black and white alphabetical prints. At close distance the letter designs are hard to see, but become more visible when standing far away. The prints convey the fundamental aspects of visual communication, or the use of basic graphic elements to describe visual patterns. The alphabetical prints, made with various sized black dots, were inspired by this quote from Goethe, “The hardest thing to see is what is in front of your eyes.” I love how Silvia's graphic prowess stimulates our visual senses, all with simple dots!

Prints they are available on the Typeworks website. All prints are 297mm x 420mm (A3) in size, printed on Mohawk Superfine White Eggshell 270 gsm, a smooth, uncoated environmentally friendly paper and are hand-signed by the artist.

Images: Silvia Baz website

24 March 2015

Illustrator Extraordinarie: Anna Simmons

Well friends, since I started my intention year, I definitely feel its presence! I'm happy to say, I've taken steps towards the goals I set and they are starting to blossom in many ways. Spring has surely sprung and it's wonderful to feel the benefits and see the rewards!

One of the goals I set was to learn some new skills. There are so many things I want to learn, I could literally take a year off! But you need to start somewhere right? So I wrote a list and said one project at a time. The first was honing my lettering skills thanks to a quick Skillshare class from the one and only Jessica Hische, (thank you Ms. Jessica!). I'm almost ready to reveal the finished piece, but you know how it is, just... one... more... final... tweak. But my next project might be mapmaking. I love the illustrative quality of handmade maps and when I saw the work of illustrator Anna Simmons in a recent issue of Traveler magazine, my heart skipped a beat. Her beautiful Oslo map made me want to move the mapmaking goal up a few notches on the ol' list for sure!

My first foray into mapmaking certainly won't be as beautiful as Anna's work, if ever, but I have to start somewhere, and that's as beautiful as it gets!

Images: Anna Simmons

12 March 2015

A Classic For Two

The classic Eames DSR Side Chair now has a sibling. The Raleigh, North Carolina-based design team of Clark Nexsen reimagined the legendary molded plastic chair with a wire base into a seat for two, appropriately dubbed the DSR2. The DSR2 comes from the idea that "Good design is meant to be shared" and I completely agree. The new two-seater also won the People's Choice award at the 2014 Good Design Challenge that was hosted by Herman Miller and Alfred Williams & Company. Congratulations to the team at Clark Nexsen! Read more about the process and creation over at Design Milk.

Image: Clark Nexsen

08 March 2015

The De-Cluttered Desk

De-clutter your desk with this simple natural wooden tray that holds a mug and saucer, memo pad and smartphone. I'm thinking every desk needs one of these!

Image: Spoon and Tamago

07 March 2015

The Jameson St. Patrick's Day Bottle Has Arrived!

Whiskey really isn't my thing, but if all whiskey bottles had illustrative qualities like this, then I'd have quite a collection!

Jameson, the world's most celebrated Irish whiskey, creates a little something special each year for St. Patrick's Day. Fifth in its St. Patrick's Day series, this years limited edition bottle was designed by award-winning, Dublin-based illustrator Steve Simpson. The 2015 design depicts imagery of landmarks such as Trinity College and Clery's Clock, and also features real Dubliner phrases on a map of roads to represent the lifeblood of the city: the people and their passion for Dublin.

The bottle will be available from March and sold in 33 markets around the world, demonstrating the global popularity of Jameson with its St. Patrick's Day campaign.

View more of Steve's plethora of amazing work here.


Images: Steve Simpson

04 March 2015

Leading Women

Recently, my savvy girlfriend Helene sent me an interesting link. It was an opportunity to participate in the CNN International Women's Day and celebrate the wisdom of women with an open call to artists around the world to illustrate inspirational quotes from leading women. Sounds pretty cool right? So I jumped right in, sent an email to CNN and received a quote from Oprah Winfrey to illustrate, and this was the final result. I couldn't be more thrilled to be a part of such a huge audience and cause for leading women. You can view all the beautiful submissions at the CNN International Women's Day Pinterest board and read a little background over at CNN. Here's to the leading woman in all of us!

27 February 2015

Stamps To Love

There's one thing, among many things, the United States is truly bad at. One of those is stamp design. Stamps are something I rarely think about because there are very few stamp designs that have caught my eye over the years. I'm not a collector of stamps, but I have amassed a whole three sheets of stamps because they were what I would consider well designed, and interesting. And probably because they were in the design realm: sculptor Louise Nevelson stamps in 1999, the Peanuts stamps in 2000 (I'm a huge Peanuts fan so no matter what the stamps looked like, I probably would have bought them anyway!) and the Eames stamps in 2008.

Now, I'm thrilled to add Jessica Hische's 2015 Forever Hearts Stamps, released in January, to my collection. I would have to imagine it's quite a honor to design such beautiful stamps for your country. In the future, I could easily see myself collecting stamps if the USPS continued to print visually interesting and unique stamps. 

The USPS even did a cool video with Jessica who shares her musings on the stamp design. Bravo Jessica!

Image: USPS

16 February 2015

Before + After: Maria Brophy

When Maria Brophy contacted me to give her logo a refresh, I was thrilled! Maria, as well as her husband Drew Brophy, are well known in the art scene both locally and nationally, each in their own right; Maria is an Art Business Consultant and Drew is an illustrator, muralist and surfboard artist.

After more than a decade of building her Art Consulting business, Maria decided it was time to freshen up her brand with a new logo and website to compliment her business direction, which included more speaking engagements and collection of ebooks. Maria's previous logo didn't fully capture who she or her business was anymore. When we sat down and talked about what she wanted in a new logo, “authentic”, “sophisticated”, “simple” and “down-to-earth” were key attributes to incorporate. And since this would be a typographic wordmark, void of a logomark or icon, the font selections would be essential. Because Maria caters specifically to artists on a variety of business matters and shares her own personal experiences, it was important to convey the who and what clearly, in a very straight forward approach, but with personality. The end result is warm, approachable and professional, just like Maria herself!

If you’re an artist who needs valuable business advice, guidance, expertise and encouragement, then you need to contact Maria. She knows the Business of Art and will help you find success on every level!

“Lynne took the time to get into my head and understand my brand, my needs and my personality. She was friendly, patient and professional. In the end, she created a design that perfectly captured the essence of my brand.” - Maria Brophy

If your logo or brand could use a little refresh too, get it touch and let's do it! There's no better feeling in the world for me, then when a client is delighted with their new look!

10 February 2015

A Longing for Letterpress

The Mama's Sauce card
The studio of The Aesthetic Union

Kristine Arellano of Presshaus LA
My business cards don't wow me. There I finally said it. Do you know how embarrassing it is for a designer to admit that? So... things are about to change. Goodbye old cards, I'm designing a new card and I'm on the hunt for a printer who will print a card that will wow with a capital 'W'. In thinking about what I want, the final product needs to be incredibly tactile and memorable, the feel of the card needs to be amazing. I'm a letterpress junkie and lover of heavier weight paper, so these attributes will require a special print job from a seasoned printer. I've narrowed my search to a few favorites and I want to share them with you. Here are some of the best in the business if you're looking for the ultimate business card to hand out and stand out. Because business cards are still important and potentially be the first touch point a prospective client might get from you.

Mama's Sauce - What about Mama's Sauce isn't to love? They have a reputation for some of the best printing in the country and designers love them. Based in Orlando, Florida Mama's Sauce has churned out some of the most memorable business cards, posters, stationery and invites. Just take a look at their Instagram feed.

Aesthetic Union - This San Francisco-based print house works with designers to flesh out ideas using traditional printing methods resulting in timeless ephemera. Printmaker James Tucker specializes in letterpress work, and designer Risa Culbertson of PapaLlama (her personal line of stationery and gift items) have teamed up to open a printing/studio/shop/gallery space offering a bevy of paper products. They carry locally and specialty made cards, notebooks and writing desk hard goods. And all their paper products shine with goodness.

Presshaus LA - Kristine Arellano learned the craft of letterpress printing in Germany. Vandercook anyone? She. Knows. Printing. And her passion for printing is clear. Just watch this video of Emma Dime's Lovely Lady Studio Tour Series of Kristine's letterpress journey. Her LA-based bespoke letterpress studio produces timeless pieces, and I suspect her soon-to-launch line of paper goods will be just as fabulous! Oh, and her sidekick Bagel is the cutest pup in print!

These are just a few of the many incredible letterpress printers out there who's work I greatly admire. If you're looking for a letterpress printer in your area, you can find an extensive list of top notch printers over at The Beauty of Letterpress.

I haven't decided which printer I'll be going with yet, sometimes the design needs to fit the right printer and vice versa, but I'll keep you posted on the final results!

Images: Mama's Sauce, The Aesthetic Union and Presshaus LA

02 February 2015

Design Like You Give A Damn

James Victore. Have you heard of him? He's a creator, a teacher, a speaker and he's genius. And what he's really good at is teaching creative courage. That's right. He's brash, truthful and gives you permission. Permission to break the rules, fail, get up, try again and keep going. And I love his quotes of encouragement!

He's the man behind a series called Burning Questions, a free online weekly video series for creatives who need a little insight.... and soulfire. I highly recommend you sign up to receive his provocative words straight to your inbox every week. He'll make you think, get uncomfortable and give you the courage to get out there and give ‘em hell!

And check out some of his letterpress quotes on Holstee. You can buy the entire set, or a single 5" x 7" card of your favorite. Perfect to frame and put on your wall so each and every time you sit down at your computer, his words will beam at you. Onwards and forwards my friends!

Photos: Holstee

20 January 2015

Triple Purpose Furniture

When a single piece of furniture has not one, not two, but three functions, what's not to love?! This is the Woodieful Chair, a sustainable, multifunctional chair, magazine holder and side table in one. It's primarily built for sitting (and can hold up to 160lbs.), but with its innovative shape and design, you can use it as a stool, a side table, night stand or however it suits you best. Read more about the superb functionality and design here at Stolzek.

Images from Design Milk

Wear the Dewey Decimal System

Cool graphic t-shirts pretty much make up most of my wardrobe. There's nothing like wearing a super comfy tee with neat graphics, jeans and some beaded jewelry. Remember the card catalog? As a kid, going to the library, learning the Dewey Decimal System and stamping out books was fun... getting them back on time wasn't as fun, but for the most part I got my books back before the due date. That's why I love this vintaged-inspired Library Stamp Shirt by Out of Print. And for every tee purchased, the company sends one book to a community in need. It's a win-win!

07 January 2015

Hot off the press from Mr. Cup

Still looking for the perfect 2015 calendar? Then head over to Mr. Cup immediately. Again this year, Fabien Barral has created a stunning letterpress calendar that is both visually and texturally exceptional. The calendar is composed of 13 cards, each month offering words of wisdom from the Mr. Cup creative manifesto in perfectly curated fonts. The special painted edges edition is already sold out, but the regular edition is still available here. Every one is hand numbered limited edition. And you can still get the 2014 calendar too. Forget the dates, hang the colorful quotes on the wall for daily inspiration!

Images: Mr. Cup

06 January 2015

Quick and Punchy Design Advice

There is definitely something to be said for clean, simple design and these Base Design '5-Minute Posters' are no exception. And with great design advice to boot! Even more interesting, read about why they are called '5-Minute Posters' over on Design Taxi.

Here's an apropos quote to go with those beautifully simplistic posters:

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”  - Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry, Airman's Odyssey

Images: Design Taxi

02 January 2015

Forget Resolutions... Here's To Intentions!

Happy New Year all! I have a great feeling about 2015 and I hope you do too!

Mine started early this week while at yoga practice, my teacher said something that really resonated with me. She said instead of making a resolution, set an intention, and whatever that intention may be, do your very best. Carry the intention with you tomorrow, next week, next month until you're satisfied with the end result. I like the idea of this. A resolution is a solution to a problem or conflict, but I don't have a problem or conflict to resolve. Rather I'm looking be present, act purposefully and reach the goals I've set for myself in 2015. That my friends is intention! But an intention is more personal and meaningful because it makes us wake up to the life we're living, be accountable, show up and make it happen. 

Since it was unseasonably cold on New Year's Day in SoCal (we even got a little snow!), I put myself in a cozy spot on the couch with my warm doxies, my thoughts and my notebook. I thought about what intentions I wanted to take on this year and here they are; get in really damn fine shape, eat better, learn new skills (like hand lettering) and grow my business even better, among others. And here's why I'm not going to stress about them, because I can do anything, but not everything. Because life will inevitably throw a few curve balls my way when I least expect it. And because I can get back on track tomorrow. Marie Forleo said it best... 'Creating a business and life you love means recognizing that you get to write the rules. That you get to decide what success and happiness looks and feels like for you." Bravo!

So here's a big adios to resolutions, because we never finish them anyway right? What does success and happiness look like to you? I encourage you to take some time and think about what intentions you may like to set this week, this month or for the whole year. And remember, we are responsible for our happiness. Life isn't about finding ourselves, but creating ourselves and the life we want to live. May your 2015 be everything you want and more! Here's to a spectacular year!

Warmly, Lynne
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