Is this what Starbucks thinks of me?

I went to Starbucks this AM to combat the little sleep I got last night with a big 'ole Frappaccino. I ordered my normal Mocha Light Frappaccino; I got a Mocha Light Frappaccino.

However, you know how they write the initials of your drink on the cup? Well this is how mine was labeled:



Ahhhh... Saks

So today I found myself at Saks; which, quite frankly, is easy to do when you're me. I actually had to go to the Apple Store in Stamford, which is conveniently (or not so conveniently, depending how much money I have in my wallet) located in the Stamford Mall, right by Saks. So, faced with the close proximity, what's a girl to do?

While browsing in Saks (today was a not-so-convenient kind of day), I noticed their visuals (mannequins, store displays, etc.); I do in every store, as that was my first job out of college. But what struck me as particularly awe-inspiring, was the "trend" signage throughout the store: high heels! Capes! Textured cardigans!

But instead of the usual high-fashion photo accompanying those words, the artist had worked clever illustrations into the script font (which is Sloop, I believe). Behold:

I couldn't get enough: not only were they gorgeous--how could you resist buying a cape after seeing this?--but they were so inspiring as well. Before I saw these, I was trying out a similar idea for a logo I'm working on. The idea wasn't really panning out, I just couldn't make it work; but once I saw these I got completely re-inspired. The logo--which I won't show right now, because I'm still in the first phases of design--works well now, so well that as of now it's my favorite out of the small handful I've designed thus far.

Just goes to show you, inspiration strikes when you least expect it!

PS. The flagship Saks in NYC has a great marketing campaign going on for their revamped shoe department: it's own ZIP code.
''Our new shoe floor is so big that it deserves a ZIP code of its own,'' said a Saks spokeswoman. Ummm, seriously: how cool is that?

PPS. If you own a Mighty Mouse, and the ball gets jammed up and won't scroll one way or another, clean it with a damp cloth. That's what I learned at the Apple Store today.


Shameless self promotion

Today the kids were off from school, so we (finally!) got some back to school shopping done. After an exhausting outing, I wanted nothing more to do than to come home and lay down... but first let me check the answering machine, and pick this toy up, and oh, yeah, I need to check the mail... (you know, the usual).

After checking the mail, the need for nap completely left: I had a pretty nice package waiting for me from Graphic Design: USA; the 2007 American Graphic Design Awards came in! Out of all the contests I had entered this year, I probably had the most entries in this one (10). And I'm happy to report, 6 of those entries came out winners!

They are as follows:

Bodd Fitness: website

Imagine Imaging (now Justin Marantz Photography): website redesign

Saturnia: logo

Saturnia: stationery

traciedesigns: website

traciedesigns: 06 holiday card

In addition, let me add that this is the second year in a row Imagine Imaging has won; last year I received an award for website design for their site as well. This year we went bigger and fancier, and it's nice to hear that the judges thought the same.

So thank you, thank you, thank you, to all my clients for trusting my design skills and ability, and for going with me in the first place :) And thank you to all those clients that keep coming back for more, and who refer me out to others. I've said before that I find that a referral from a client is one of the best compliments I can receive.


If only I had the time...

I love the Thursday edition of the NY Times; there's Thursday Styles (a much, much more abbreviated version of Sunday Styles), the Arts section, of course, and Home and Garden.

In last Thursday's Home and Garden section, the cover story was about people who buy/find stuff from Ikea (or, as Mattio affectionately refers to it, i-crap-a), and modify it to how they would use it. Like the guy who took some broken Ikea chairs, attached a surfboard to the top, and called it a table. Inneresting....

Further into the article, it turns out, that yes, there really is a website for everything: witness Ikea Hacker. This blog documents--through reader contributions--the different ideas out there for Ikea furniture. Got some spare sofa legs? Don't discard them, buy some wood and fashion the whole thing into a table! Tired of not having enough storage? Add some hinges to your dalselv bed frame, and voila!

There's a lot of decoupage on the site, but also some pretty cool ideas for some otherwise plain, unstained, DIY, cheap furniture.


Skinny Betty

I admit, I don't watch a ton of TV... and although Ugly Betty gets rave reviews, I've yet to see an episode. But I have, however, seen the star of the show, America Ferrera, enough to know that girlfriend's got some curves. Not in a bad way at all, I think her body is great--I've said before how I wish more actresses would embrace a "normal" looking body rather than the size 0 that seems to be today's standard.

So when I saw this month's cover of Glamour magazine, I thought to myself, "Hmmmm. Something's just not right here..."

Looks like America Ferrera either went on a crazy diet, or Faith Hill's photoshop magician really went to town. Behold, the un-photoshopped version of the actress:

What really gets me going, is the following cover lines:

America Ferrera: Ugly Betty is Hot! (But apparently not hot enough for our cover without digitally taking off a couple of inches)

1st Annual Figure Flattery Issue (huh?)

and my favorite:The Secret Reasons Women Gain Weight (and in really small print below: And How to Stop)

Hey Glamour, the not-so-secret reason that women gain weight is that you place women with "real" bodies on the cover, only you're afraid that their extra 20 pounds won't sell, so you digitally alter their waistline. It's no secret that women's magazines--especially the covers--are heavily photoshopped; unfortunately a lot of women choose to ignore that, buy the magazine, and get depressed reading about girls with unrealistic bodies, like Keira Knightly (someone please feed that poor girl!). And when a woman with actual curves makes it to the cover, she's gets digital liposuction.