A couple of weeks ago, an old friend contacted me via facebook. Hmmm, I wasn't even aware that I had a facebook, but apparently, at some point or another, I signed up. And there was little lonely me, nothing on my home page, no friends (How sad is that??!).

Cut to yesterday: I was reading Hello, Elements (as I am wont to do at least once a week), noting that the most recent post was about their facebook, and inviting users to become a fan. Hmmm, I'm a fan of Elements, so I figured, why not? But seriously, how pathetic was I, now with a whopping 2 friends (Mattio was my second) and still no real home page.

So late last night I set out to change all that: I went through my address book and found friends on facebook (I think I'm up to 9 now! Woo hoo!); I updated my home page a bit. And now, it's completely addicting. Now I realize why I didn't have a facebook in the first place: this thing takes up way too much time!! There's all kinds of friends, activities, messages, walls, applications... way, way, WAY too much going on there!!

I think it's a great idea for networking (it's like a fun LinkedIn!), but it's way too much for me on a daily basis. I think I'll try weekly and see how that works out. In the meantime... come on over, and be my friend.


Thoughts on Democracy

This Wolfsonian exhibit was featured in the Times a couple of weeks ago; it's a modern take on the classic Norman Rockwell paintings, the Four Freedoms. The new interpretations are anything but Rockwell-esque; but then again, we live in much, much different times.

Chip Kidd's posters, I have to say, are among my favorites:

There's a Thoughts on Democracy blog here worth checking out; and the original story in the Times here (click here to see the slideshow). The posters are powerful, I can only imagine the feeling one gets when viewing them larger than life-size (in the mall, of all places. How appropriate).

One final note: The kate spade creative team is responsible for everything from the logos to the advertising. Bravo!


Weekly wrap up

Bonjour, friends! This week was a busy busy week for me--not only work-wise, but personally, too: my middle child Madeline is celebrating her 5th birthday. Today was her "friend" party; about 6 of her preschool buds met us for a couple hours of sun and surf (if you can call it that in Fairfield) at the beach. The weather was perfect, the kids were happy, and at the end of those 2 hours, a good time was had by all. Tomorrow, her real birthday, we'll celebrate with family.

As I sit here and listen to her play in the next room with her brand new Polly Pockets, I can't believe that she's going to be five. Starting kindergarten five. "Mom, you don't need to hold my hand anymore" five. "I can do this all by myself!" five. My goodness, how the time flies.

As stated above, work was also busy. This week was chock full of fun stuff, like:

--finalizing and sending logo designs to Christy Murray (it was so hard on my end narrowing down which ones to present! I had so much fun with this project!)

--scanning and retouching some images for Marcy

--researching and beginning to put together designs for the Greenwich Dance Studio website

--beginning development on the HB Home website

--conference calling with a couple of different clients

--bracing myself for the One Kid onslaught next week: photography is just about done for the catalog and posters, so that'll definitely keep me busy!

This weekend, as I stated above, I'll be busy celebrating on Saturday. On Sunday, I will--as usual--be working. Enjoy the weekend, and don't forget to use sunblock!


Cornflake girl (with superpowers?)

I was never big on comic books. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the art; but I was never one to go out and spend my allowance on one (I was a baseball card kid--every Friday my grandfather would buy me a pack of baseball cards. At it's peak, the stack was about as tall as I was).

I am, however, a big Tori Amos fan; and her world has recently collided with that of the comic book genre, and as a result, we get "Comic Book Tattoo."

To sum it up briefly, a bunch of (from what I understand, big-name) comic book artists have collaborated and each created a comic inspired by a Tori song. But the story doesn't end there; Tori Amos was very involved with the making of this book. There's a really great (but long) article about the book over at Comic Book Resources.

Considering that I'm not a comic fan, I am really excited for the release of this book (7/24)! I can't wait to see how different artists have interpreted Tori's songs. It's a really interesting concept, and from the rave reviews I keep reading about, it sounds brilliantly executed.


Weekly wrap up

Hey kids! It's time for the weekly wrap up... It was hot hot hot here this week--hope you all stayed cool!

--Our wonderfully fantastic architect, the super-awesome Mike Armstrong, of Design One, got back to us with preliminary sketches of our new addition on our house. All of the positive adjectives associated with his name should give you an idea of how happy I was with his work

--I worked on Christy Murray's new logo: I've got some great ideas down and a couple more I want to play around with. I found like, 18 different fonts I want to buy for this logo as well. So I guess I also tried to find a way to justify the purchase of 18 different fonts. For 1 logo. Sigh.

--I scanned and retouched some images for a project I'm working on for Marcy

--I got more new work! A friend of Mattio's contacted me about designing some websites for him

--I worked on a postcard design for One Kid

--I sent Jill over at Glow Gluten Free some business card designs

--But most importantly, Marcy and I had lunch today, and we started planning a shopping field trip up to Woodbury Commons--only *the* best outlet center in the world (having earned that title by having a Tory Burch outlet--Tory Burch!!)

Saturday I'm heading over to Marcy's, where I'm sure we'll talk more about our field trip. Also, she better show me the awesome Marc Jacobs shoes she bought this week. Sunday I'll be working most the day.

Enjoy the weekend!


Project runway

Last night I managed to catch the last half hour of Project Runway--and it did not disappoint! When I watched Kelli's design come down the runway, I predicted that she was going to come out on top, because of her creativity and ingenuity.

I was also a big fan of Daniel's plastic cups. While almost everyone else went straight for the tablecloth (God, did you not just LOVE how Tim Gunn scolded the designers for all using a tablecloth??!), these two designers stood apart from the crowd and definitely made a big impression.

Oh, and how annoying is Blayne? I get that he's trying to be last season's winner, Christian; but holy cow, he is the opposite of fierce.


I heart PB

Last week we got the latest Pottery Barn catalog, and--oh, my:

I love these graphic patterns they're showcasing!

Oh dear, I think I'm going to need a much, much bigger decorating budget...



I'm working on a new logo for a wedding photographer. In my research, I always spend an insane amount of time at logolounge--it's good inspiration, and you can search every logo in their database.

However, much as I love logolounge, they don't filter what logos appear on their site (They save the best of the best for their books). Basically, if you pay the annual dues, you can upload your logos and add them to their database. Which essentially means that some of the logos on the site are less than stellar--and dated.

However, I just came across logopond, which describes itself as "The cream of the crop, top notch identity work from very skilled designers."

And do you know what? It is. The logos are beautiful--I've already spent a decent amount of time here, mouth agape, puddle of drool starting to collect on keyboard.



Weekly wrap up

traciedesigns HQ was a-buzz this week! Lots of stuff to do, lots of stuff to report:

--I got new work! Yay! I am excited to begin redesigning a new website for the Greenwich Dance Studio. I had a really great meeting last week with Kate Truesdell, the owner, and I'm so psyched to be working with her!

--Researched and worked on some logo ideas for Christy Murray

--Developed the website for family friend and local author Sharon Martins

--Caught up with a couple of (different) old clients

--Worked on a "Monthly Favorites" e-newsletter with my pal Cyndy of art + interiors

--Finalized some designs for the HB Home website

--Got approval from Marcy for the imagemaps I'm working on

--Worked out a new method of obtaining information for my daughter's school directory (If you had any idea the headache that this used to involve... it was such a breakthrough, even though it's not official traciedesigns business, it warrants mentioning)

I also have to give a major, major mention to Camera Wholesalers, in Stamford. Last weekend, I went to take a picture of my kids, and all of the sudden, my camera just stopped working. I was incredibly bummed, as I love my camera (Nikon D40), and it wasn't all that cheap (OK, it's not a Lieca, but it's not a sissy point and shoot, either). Because of the holiday last week, I took it to Ritz Camera here in town for a quick diagnosis--according to the woman I spoke to, it was the lens. Since I bought the camera at Camera Wholesalers, I thought it'd be best to take it there for repair. Boy, was I glad I did! Apparently, the people that work there are magic, because all the guy had to do was take my (supposedly faulty) lens off, and put it back on (same thing the chick at Ritz Camera did). Voila--camera is in fine, working order. Thank you, magic guy at Camera Wholesalers... I never did make it to happy hour, though.

Tomorrow I plan on spending the better part of the day at the beach, relaxing. Hope you all enjoy your weekend!


Lazy posting

Ahhh, God Bless Marcy. I was at the gym this AM, thinking I really should post to the blog... and I came home, saw the front page of the Arts section of the Times, which practically had a post all but gift wrapped for me--until I went to type it out. The words were coming out about as un-eloquently as they possibly could, it was taking much, much longer than I had anticipated, and after far too much thought on my end, the post was subsequently stuffed in my desk drawer for another time. Then I went check to see what my pal Marcy was up to, and she all but gift wrapped this for me. Thanks again Marce!

What were you doing 10 years ago?
Mattio was home for the summer from graduate school, so I was definitely soaking up as much time with him as possible until he returned to South Carolina; I was working at MicroWarehouse (cringe) as a "desktop publisher" (apparently, I published desktops)--it was my second "design" job (if you could call it that), and except for the few friends I made there, probably one of the worst jobs I've ever had. But then again, I think a lot of people come out of MicroWarehouse saying the same thing. I was also waitressing at night.

Five snacks I enjoy in a perfect, non-weight gaining world:
Well, if this isn't a loaded question...
Ice cream, but not just any ice cream, ice cream with gobs of cookies, and brownies, and peanut butter, and fudge...
Cake with buttercream icing (I am such a sucker for cake)
Chips and Dip
Graham crackers

Five snacks I enjoy in the real world:
Chips and guac
Raw veggies (carrots, peppers, tomatoes, etc...)
Kashi pumpkin spice flax granola bars
Graham crackers

Five things I would do if I were a billionaire:
Shop. A lot. I cannot stress this enough.
Travel the world
Teach my kids the value of money, so they don't grow up to be rich, obnoxious snobs
Donate to various charities (it should really be 4 things, as I'm sure everyone is going to put donate)

Five jobs I have had:
Waitress at Ruby Tuesday (the chain, not the strip club--I think, in the Southern CT area anyway, that should be the name of the restaurant: "Ruby Tuesday: the chain, not the strip club")
Adjuct professor at Fairfield U
Sales clerk at Lord & Taylor
Desktop Layout Artist for Brooks Newspapers (my first real "design" job!): I essentially designed and laid out the ads in the paper. And, as a bonus, I got to update the sports section of the website every Friday. Fun times, people, fun times.
Sales clerk at Poster's Arts and Crafts here in Fairfield (my first job--ever. I worked there right up through college; which is why it was difficult for me to come up with 5 jobs that weren't graphic designer, graphic designer, graphic designer...)

Five habits:
Picking at things
Cracking my knuckles (as I sit here trying to come up with some habits...)
Checking my email
Twirling my hair
Procrastinating (as I sit here, trying to come up with some habits... :)

Five places I have lived:
Fairfield, CT
Norwalk, CT
Bridgeport, CT
Carlsbad, CA
Fairfield, CT (pathetic... I know)


Weekly wrap-up

Sigh, I love a short week.

It's the week after the short one that's the bitch.

This week was a bit slower than I anticipated. But I know next week will more than make up for it.

So what'd I do this week?

--Researched a new logo

--Made some revisions to another logo

--Met with a potential new client (it went well, and I'm really excited for it, so fingers crossed!)

--Finalized and presented some designs to a couple of different clients

--Went and saw the fireworks! I like fireworks, but I love watching the smoke images they make in the light that they create. Beautiful spindly flowers, wisped away by the breeze. I would have caught the moment on film, but...

The rest of the weekend will be spent cleaning up, relaxing and going to have the camera fixed. Yep--stupid lens went on the Nikon this weekend. I'm beyond bummed, because A) I was with my nieces today, and I love to take pics of all my girls; and B) rumor has it that the cost to fix the lens is approximately the same cost as buying a new one. Sigh.

Oh well, enjoy the weekend everyone! Happy 4th!


Logo lovin'

I'm working on some logos this week, and in my search for inspiration, I came across some interesting logo redesigns I thought I'd share:

First up, WalMart's new logo:

There's a ton of buzz on the articles I've read, and none of it is good. People feel it's bland, and there was nothing wrong with the old logo. I've read about it looking too pharmaceutical, and what's up with the enormous asterisk?

My take: Eh. I felt like the old logo really embodied what WalMart was: it's big, and has great American story behind it. The new logo is kind of wimpy. I think one of the commenters said it best when they said "This is K-mart, Apple, and Sprint churned through a meat grinder."

Thanks to LogoDesignLove, for pointing me to the article.

Next, MillerCoors' new logo:

Miller and Coors were 2 separate companies, so there's really no "redesign" here; however, I thought the new Pentagram-designed logo was worth mentioning.

My take: I like it. It's very different from the traditional beer logo, but then again, according to Pentagram's blog; this logo isn't going to be made available to the beer-drinking public; it's mostly going to be used for b to b communications.

I like the mark, but when I first saw it, I didn't immediately "get it." Don't get me wrong, it's a beautiful, simple design; I just didn't see the tie in to beer. After looking at it for a while (and then going to Pentagram's blog, where I saw the animation) it all made sense.

Thanks to Logolounge, for pointing me to this article.

Finally, we have the London Olympics mess (Oh no! Not this again!):

The redesign: taking the original mess, and adding Union Jack to make it more "British."

My take: Seriously?

This logo is a mess, no matter what. Taking the British flag and adding it into the logo confuses it even more. Now I don't even see the 2012, I see crumpled up Union Jacks. All of the UK is in an uproar over this logo (rightfully so--it sucks), and now there's rumblings of holding a redesign "contest" (terrible, terrible idea. Every Joe Schmoe is going to enter, and then London will have a plethora of safe, bad logos to choose from. If you're going to redesign it, hire a firm and redesign it--don't hold it open to a public of graphic-design wannabes).

Thanks to Logolounge, again, for pointing out the article.