Posts Tagged ‘graphic design’


What a week it has been…

I, like the a majority of Americans in this country were stunned, heartbroken and deeply disturbed by the US election results this week. I’ve been lazy in 2016. Admittedly, I’ve only blogged twice this year. Not only have I been lazy in blogging and forcing myself to create the new work I’ve been talking about (for years), but lazy politically. I voted in both the primary and the general elections. But that’s all I did. I didn’t give my time, money or contribute my skills to electing our next president. And looked what happened. Hillary lost for many reasons. But I refuse to forget and not fight for the optimistic version of American she and Bernie Sanders talked about. I will no longer be lazy.

So in the mean time, it’s important to mourn, vent, and act. I feel a DEEP sense of dread and despair, but I feel compelled to channel those feelings into action. You may wonder, this is a design blog, what does the election have to do with art and design?


In 2015, Toni Morrison wrote this beautiful article for ‘The Nation’ that perfectly illustrates our role as artists and designers in times like these. Morrison writes,

This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.

I know the world is bruised and bleeding, and though it is important not to ignore its pain, it is also critical to refuse to succumb to its malevolence. Like failure, chaos contains information that can lead to knowledge—even wisdom. Like art. –link

So in 2016, and beyond. I’d like to personally challenge myself to do just that. Not only give my time, money and services to causes I care about, but to finally create the work that speaks to me and brings me joy. It’s so important in times of darkness to find light and joy.


Poster from my thesis project, above.

Years ago, I blogged countless times about my Pratt MFA thesis centered around the search for “Joy” in the creative process and in a creative life. It consumed me for a solid year. While the process of creating and writing my thesis at Pratt gave me little joy (ironic right), time and distance have inspired me to explore this topic again. And in light of current events, finding, creating and sharing joy has ever been more important. So that’s my challenge to myself. I’m putting this out there in the universe, in words. So keep me accountable.

And take joy.


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Roy Lichtenstein American Flag, 1985 (above).

At work our design team spends lots of time looking at all things America(n) and objects that symbolize American style. And what does this better than the American flag? Nothing! One of my new interests is finding different ways the flag can been graphically re-represented, especially by designers and artists. I’d never really thought about the American flag in this way, so I love seeing how creatively it can be recreated. In this post are some of my favorite modern twists on the classic American classic. Get into it, and may God continue to bless America.





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Sonny Clark Blue Note record cover

Sonny Clark Blue Note Album Cover (above).

The other week I blogged about vintage jazz album covers and today I wanted to share a second round of favorites from this period. Many of these album covers were designed by Reid Miles for Blue Note Records. According to Wikipedia, “After working in New York in the early 1950s for John Hermansader and Esquire magazine, Miles was hired in his own right around 1955 by Francis Wolff of the jazz record label Blue Note to design album covers when the label began releasing their recordings on 12″ LPs. Miles designed several hundred covers, frequently incorporating the session photographs of Francis Wolff and, later, his own photographs, although many of his later designs dispensed entirely with photographs.” It’s pretty amazing he designed hundreds of these covers, what a great artist output! Hopefully one day I can get my hands on some of these classic covers. Get into it.

Gil Melle Patterns in Jazz Album Cover
Gil Melle Patterns in Jazz Album Cover (above).

Indestructible by Art Blakey. Cover design by Reid Miles

It's Time by Jackie McLean. Cover design by Reid Miles
It’s Time by Jackie McLean. Cover design by Reid Miles (above) – love this one typographically!

Joe Henderson. Cover design by Reid Miles
Joe Henderson. Cover design by Reid Miles (above).

Let Freedom Ring by Jackie McLean. Cover design by Reid Miles
Let Freedom Ring by Jackie McLean. Cover design by Reid Miles (above).

Midnight Blue by Kenny Burrell Cover design by Reid Miles
Midnight Blue by Kenny Burrell Cover design by Reid Miles (above).

The Magnificent Thad Jones Blue Note 1527 12" LP 1956
The Magnificent Thad Jones Blue Note 1527 12″ LP 1956 (above).

Thelonious Monk with Sonny Rollins and Frank Foster (1954)

Thelonious Monk with Sonny Rollins and Frank Foster (1954, above). This particular cover was done by Andy Warhol, he did a whole series of album overs which are pretty great.


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Leanne Shapton_Book Cover - Extraordinary Things to Do

Last year around this time, I stumbled across the beautiful work of New York artist/illustrator/designer (and Pratt Alum!) Leanna Shapton after a trip to John Derian here in NYC.  I found her book, The Native Trees of Canada, and was immediately hooked. Much like Maira Kalman, I love her illustration style and use of painted typography. Once I spent more time looking into Shapton, I discovered she’s designed many beautiful book covers, and written + illustrated many books of her own. I seriously can’t get enough of her work and style. As my friend Theresa pointed out, “she’s like the Sofia Coppola of graphic design.” So true and well put.  According to the bio on her site, “Shapton grew up in Mississauga, Ontario, and attended McGill Univesity and Pratt Institute. After interning at SNL, Harper’s Magazine and for illustrator James McMullan, she began her career at the National Post where she edited and art-directed the daily Avenue page, an award-winning double-page feature covering news and cultural trends. She went on to art direct Saturday Night, the National Post’s weekly news magazine.” Years later, she started a non-profit imprint, J&L Books, specializing in art and photography books, in addition to writing/illustrating her own.

Leanne Shapton_Book Cover - Native Trees of Canada

Leanne Shapton_Book Cover - A Wander in the Woods

Leanne Shapton_Book Cover - Not That Kind of Girl

Leanne Shapton_Book Cover - Swimming Studies

Leanne Shapton_Book Cover - Swimming Studies2

Leanne Shapton_Book Cover - The Tree



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162 Stanton

Windows of New York is a project by NYC-based graphic designer José Guizar. Each week Jose draws different windows he sees during his travels around NYC. You’re probably thinking, windows? Why would anyone be inspired by windows? As someone also living in NYC, I can attest to the large variety in architecture that appears throughout the city. This is such a simple idea and José illustrates his area of exploration so well. This project really speaks to his skill as an illustrator! So take a trip through NYC with José and his Windows of New York. See the entire project here.


290 Lafayette


461 W. 47th


617 9th


199 E. 4th


962 Lexington

See them all here – Windows of NY.

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Today while exploring the wonderful world of Pinterest, I stumbled cross the work of Foundry Co, a Dallas,TX-based design collaborative. Quickly I feel in love with their typography, crisp vector work and layering, which seems to signature of work from this studio. I particularly enjoy their sensitivity to color, which is apparent in several of their different projects. If you find yourself working for one brand (ie, an in-house situation, as I do), it is quite refreshing to see work from independent studios that cover a range of projects and brands. I enjoy seeing the freedom from these independent studios and finding ways to push my brand forward.

So let’s see some of the work! First up, Weld: A collaborative photo studio

Weld is a collaborative creative space in the industrial district of Dallas, therefore the building and space is the product that sells and furthermore the brand itself. Our goal with the logo was merely to accompany the space so we had to do something in the spirit of the building: industrial, clean and simple.

Urban Organics is a local organic food co-op that retrieves crops from local farmers and brings them to the city, allowing members to purchase local organically grown food direct from the farm.

Emporium Pies is a boutique pie shop in the Bishop Arts District of Oak Cliff Dallas.

And finally, here’s a sampling of some of their branding projects.
I particularly love the branding for Ashlee Renee (below).

How awesome is this church branding?? Can I get an amen?

If you’d like to see more of what Foundry Co. is up to, check out their website, blog and see their work in progress on dribble.

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It’s been a while since my last post but a lot has happened in the last few months! No longer am I an unattached freelance designer, free to design for any client of my choosing. I’ve entered into an exclusive long-term (design) relationship with …. Moroccanoil! In a few days I’ll have been there 2 months. Time really does fly. While adjusting to a full-time work schedule, I’ve tried to blog here and there but I haven’t been able to get back into my grove, but I plan on changing that soon. I have a huge list of artists, designers, illustrators and photographers I’d like to share, and hopefully some new work of my own too.

I also want to celebrate that for the past FOUR consecutive months, I’ve hit 2,000 page views. While that pales in comparison to many design blogs out there, it’s miles away from the 17 views a months I had back in May 2010. This blog has been a great outlet for me to share inspiration and put into words my goals and passions, especially when it comes to design during my two years at Pratt Institute. Blogging turned into cheap therapy for a grad student that never felt at home in an MFA program. Good bad and ugly, it’s all here. And some really GREAT things have come from this blog too!

While studying abroad, I blogged about Scandinavian Textile Design and was featured on a few blogs about my travels through Sweden, Finland and Denmark. Blogging about the artists we saw and the showrooms we visited ignited my interest in learning more about textile design and writing about design in general. It also gave my blog a particular focus. Last summer I was completely shocked when I was invited to interview with a creative director that has and continues to make work I greatly admire. Last month my thoughts on resume design and interviewing were featured on another blog, also to my surprise. So while this remains a side hobby, no matter how small, your hobbies and interests can open doors! So here’s to opening new doors in the coming months and sharing more stories.

See more of my pin’d type quotes (here) on my pinterest.

Lastly, a quote from one of my favorite posts, and read more about Marimekko here.


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Earlier in June, I blogged about Lotta Kühlhorn, the Swedish pattern, textile, product and graphic designer. I was first attracted to Lotta for her beautiful pattern and textile designs that cover tea towels, cutting boards and trays in many Scandinavian stores, but she’s done an impressive amount of book cover design, the holy grail of graphic design. I wanted to take a moment to look at this work more closely. So sit back and enjoy more of the work of Lotta Kühlhorn, and if you’d like to see her pattern/textile designs, check my earlier post here.

I also really like this style of her illustrations.

Hope you enjoyed seeing more work from Lotta Kuhlorn.
Check out her website here.

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Today I’m sharing a beautiful project by Michael Freimuth. The Glass Shop is a coffee shop in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood and in 2009, Michael created a new visual identify for the place. I’ve seen this project on several design blogs and have always been curious about the project and his work. Here is a little about the project:

Glass Shop sought to establish itself by communicating its local, neighborhood commitment as well as its dedication to classically prepared espresso drinks. Catering to a younger demographic in this new and emerging area of the city, it was important for the venture to not appear overly polished or pristine – the antithesis to a Starbucks or conventional chain coffee house. A dual-sided poster distributed guerilla-style throughout all of the New York City boroughs helped launch Glass Shop – and once on the premises, clientele are discretely greeted with collateral, messaging and environmental design that strive to represent the retailer’s perspective and values. -September Industry


Back side of poster.


Detail (above and below





The Glass Shop itself, at 766 Classon Ave.




So if you find yourself in Crown Heights looking for some great coffee, hit up the Glass Shop. And if you’re looking for some great design work, check out Michael Freimuth’s portfolio site here.


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Hey guys – this is my last thesis-related post (I promise) … and why the last?? This week I turn in everything signed-seal-delivered to Pratt. It’s been quite a drawn-out process but I guess that’s to be expected trying to finish and thesis and working full-time. But in the end, I’m so happy with how everything turned out. I spent the last few weeks designing my thesis book and I’m thrilled with how it looks. I’m going to post a few of the spreads in this post, but you can flip through the entire book here. I’ve also spent a bunch of time tweaking my website and trying to polish it up, check out the progress at dcwdesign.com

So now that my Pratt MFA thesis is done – it’s time to plan for the next 5 years. I was talking a few weeks ago about how everything I’ve done post-Appalachian was to get me to this point, living/working in NYC with my masters. So what’s next? I’ve had an amazing job these last few months so I’m off to a great start. I’d also like to start creating my own work again and possibly send another round of letters out for The Joy Project. So lots on the horizon, lots of things simmering in the kitchen – stay tuned to what comes next!

Joy, Delight and Growth: Harnessing the Power of Joy in Design
by Daniel Wiggins

In order to strive for a remarkable life, you have to decide that you want one. -Debbie Millman

Maira Kalman spread about And the Pursuit of Happiness.

Spread with my poster for the United Nations Youth Pre-Conference,
Summer 2010.

The Joy Project spread.

10 Things I Did in 2010 (need to work on the 2011 version of this!)

Take your pleasure seriously -Charles & Ray Eames.


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