No sleep till Brooklyn

Monday night my pal Greg and I took a field trip to Brooklyn--DUMBO, to be exact (and no, we didn't stop at West Elm)--to see a panel of top designers make presentations and pitches as they would to their clients. The lineup was as follows:

Jonathan Alger, C+G Partners: pitching Yankee Stadium graphics (which they won the job, btw)

Debbie Millman, Sterling Brands: Tropicana redesign

Jessie Arrington, Workshop; and Liz Danzico, SVA: Charter for Compassion

Michael Bierut, Pentagram: Museum of Arts and Design

First of all, the cool factor was way high; DUMBO, the fancy bar/performance space, me, Greg (oh come on, we upped that cool factor by quite a bit), Debbie Millman, Michael Bierut... The place was going to burst with awesomeness.

Second? The presentations were awesome. Jonathan Alger was very charming and funny explaining his pitch to "Mr. Jeter" while making funny asides about his (not Jeter's) lack of baseball stadium knowledge. Debbie Millman addressed the Tropicana "elephant in the room" and went through a a bunch of back and forths and market research (note: the orange juice in a glass concept tested very, very poorly). Jessie and Liz had an incredibly detailed presentation about the Charter for Compassion (including a very awesome logo), and Michael Bierut just killed it with his logo process for the Museum of Arts and Design.

All in all, it was a great time. It was pretty amazing to watch the presenters actually present their work as if they were pitching the actual clients. So cool... definitely glad we went.


Mad Cap Monday

Ciao, Monday! Are you digging the drop cap? Lovely, isn't it? Designed by illustrator Jessica Hische (who's also behind the awesomeness that is Buttermilk), Daily Drop Cap is a new site devoted to a different stylized drop cap every (work) day. The best part?

Each day (or at least each WORK day), a new hand-crafted decorative initial cap will be posted for your enjoyment and for the beautification of blog posts everywhere. To use a Daily Drop Cap on your site or blog, follow the instructions in each post and read about the usage limitations. Enjoy!

Enjoy? Um, yes, I think I will. I hope you will too. This might have to be a new Monday feature; I can call it Mad Cap Monday. Ooooohhh, I think I like that--nothing like starting off the week with some gorgeous typography.


New work! (sort of.)

It shouldn't be so long in between me posting new work... my apologies for the gap. I'm working hard on 3 really cool logos; each one is for a completely different business. One of them, for a local website, has been all but approved, so I'm going to give you a little taste:

I'm so excited for this one to get approved and go live! The other two I'm working on are, interestingly enough, for 2 areas of business that are making lots of headlines these days (and, unfortunately, not in a good way): finance, and real estate. Perhaps if they're looking for new logos, that's a sign of a turnaround? I'll keep you posted.


Fait accompli

This weekend was looking to be pretty ordinary as far as weekends go; no crazy projects for me--or my husband, for that matter--no pressing issues, no plans in general. Which, considering my life is dependent on ical alarms, was pretty refreshing.

We've been working, for almost 3 weeks now, on potty training Eleanor. This weekend, she jumped over a major hurdle: actually announcing that she "had to go potty" before the fact (usually it's after. Way after). That is HUGE. Considering she's not yet 2, we're really impressed with how far she's come. A pretty amazing accomplishment.

The other pretty amazing this that happened this weekend is that Madeline, 6, mastered riding a 2-wheeled bike. Pretty much just like that. I let go of the back of the bike, and she weebled, and wobbled, but she didn't fall down. And, of course, the more she practiced, the better she became--and as a result, her self confidence soared. She thinks she can do anything now (which, of course, she can).

I think what makes me most excited about both incidents is that we never set short term goals for either child. No pressure at all, they just accepted the task at hand, and decided that they would do it. So inspiring.

So that's the way I'm tackling the to-do list today; I'm just crossing things off as they get done. Sure, I have deadlines, and there are many things on that list that take priority, but I'm taking a cue from the kids, and just doing it.


PARK(ing) Day

I consider myself pretty lucky to live Fairfield. It's a nice, middle class town; we have great schools, 2 fabulous shopping districts with an abundance of stores--both chain and mom and pop--and a ton of parks and open space.

One thing Fairfield doesn't have--to my knowledge, anyway--is an active participant in PARK(ing) Day. What on earth is PARK(ing) Day, you ask?

Originally created by Rebar, San Francisco art and design collective, PARK(ing) Day is an annual, one-day, global event where artists, activists, and citizens collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spots into “PARK(ing)” spaces: temporary public parks.

Anyone can participate in PARK(ing) Day, though it is strictly a non-commercial project, intended to promote creativity, civic engagement, critical thinking, unscripted social interactions, generosity and play.

When on earth is PARK(ing) Day? Tomorrow!

I wish I had the time and the resources to do something like this! Plaid, an agency in Danbury, does:

Employees with Plaid, an interactive firm based in the city, are planning to spruce up one of the parking spaces in front of their office at 155 Main St. as part of the international PARK(ing) Day.

The project, which includes more than 500 "PARK" installations on four continents, is aimed at challenging people to rethink the way streets are used and reinforces the need for broad-based changes to urban infrastructure.

Employees with Plaid are planning to line their parking space with a large rug, along with a couch and other chairs that residents passing by are welcome to use. There will also be free wi-fi access available -- many of the company employees plan to do their work from the parking space on Friday.

New York City has it's own PARK(ing) Day planned as well:

Park(ing) Day NYC is a New York City Streets Renaissance collaboration which supports the conversion of parking spots throughout New York City's 5 boroughs into human-friendly places for a single day. These small, temporary public spaces provide a breath of relief from the auto-clogged reality of New York City, and aim to spark dialogue about our valuable public space and how we choose to use it.

Awesome, awesome, awesome! Let me know if you come across any PARK(ing) Day displays, I'd love to see it!


Phone FAIL: The Saga Continues

Some time this summer, my Palm Treo--which was admittedly not the fanciest, nor the best, smartphone, but did the trick--croaked. Not just croaked, but died a very ugly death. "I'm sorry, Mrs. Valentino," they said at the Sprint store, "we can't retrieve any of your data. This phone is dead." Now, had I been able to backup said Treo, that would have been one thing. But since it stopped syncing with my computer half a lifetime ago, it was a fail of the most epic proportions (do you see where this story is going yet?).

To add insult to injury, because I was roughly 5 months out of a new contract with Sprint, even the most basic phones cost upwards of $200. $200, for a phone. Just a phone. To make phone calls with. No internet, no email, just. a. phone.

Whatever, Sprint.

Thus began my campaign to switch over to AT&T and get an iPhone. Hubby was not--and is still not--thrilled. AT&T is notorious for crap connections and horrid customer service (well, OK, horrid customer service and cell phone providers go hand in hand). But, at the other end of the spectrum is the pretty, shiny, iPhone. The iPhone, for the love! So we sacrifice... right? Right???

I'm still working on it.

In the midst of all of this, the Friday before last, my Sprint connection in the house--which, mind you, has been flawless for 4 years now. Oh, and is also my business line--just dropped. That's it, no bars for you. I have to either stand in one spot and hope and pray that the connection does not get dropped, or go outside, to talk on my cell phone. Sprint's answer? Oh, they don't have one. But they do have a product that they can sell me to boost my signal inside my home.

Seriously, they have no explanation why all of the sudden my service--which worked fine before--has dropped. Nothing. And their best customer service practice, even after I told them I was considering leaving, was to sell me yet another service.

Oh, and by the way? When talking to the customer service rep, guess what? The call was dropped.

Whatever, Sprint.

So now I just have to hope and pray that I have an AT&T connection in the house. Because Sprint can go and jump off a cliff, as far as I'm concerned.


Yummy site

Jason Kottke, who writes the brilliant kottke.org, posted this on his personal Twitter account today:

I hate the web. It reminds me of all the interesting books I won't read, places I won't visit, ppl I won't meet, ideas I'll never understand

Completely and totally agree.

Except when--well, you know how when you go to a website, and an ad gets your attention, so you click on that and are brought to another site? Then another external link calls out to you and before you know it you're 20 sites in and you've just randomly happened upon the most. interesting. thing. ever?

Yeah, that happened to me today. Ladies and gentlemen, meet OutNext:

OUTNEXT is a web magazine featuring all the things you crave, the best modern contemporary design, hot gadgets, amazing places, ... We are just passionately curious! and you?

Ummmmmm... yes. Yes, I am passionately curious. And passionately in love with half the things on this site! I think the only thing wrong with the site is that it hasn't been updated lately.




I just love weddings. I love that they are full of happiness and joy. You'd be hard-pressed to find something sad at a wedding--unless you count some unfortunate bridesmaid's dresses.

However, all you bridezillas out there might be interested in this: The Dessy Group (which has very lovely bridesmaid's dresses, btw) has introduced the world to Pantone Weddings. That's right, with Pantone Weddings you can:

Design inspiration boards that show off your favorite colors, styles, accessories and inspirational photos.

Share your inspiration boards with your wedding party and vendors via email or post them on your wedding website or blog.

Coordinate your colors with Pantone Color Swatches that you can leave with your bridesmaids, florist, wedding planner & more.

Being a designer, not a bridezilla (but yes, a little bit of a control freak--maybe you can call me designzilla. Oooooh, I kind of like that), I can honestly say, Holy crap! This is BRILLIANT!

Playing with this, it makes me wish I could get married all over again, so I could bring a little designzilla to being a bride...

(via HOW Magazine)



Well hey there stranger! Holy cow, it's been a while, right? What is up with the owner of this blog? What a slacke... oh, wait. Nevermind.

So suffice to say it's been a busy week (or two). I've been pretty crazed, getting ready to launch a site for a gallery (deets to come soon), working on some collateral for a hospital, meetings, meetings, meetings, and getting more new work. Yep, I've just signed on two more logo projects. Yipee!

Also? Mark your calendars: October 15th I'll be speaking to the FINE Business Networking group on the importance of branding your business. I joined the FINE Networking group earlier this summer, and have nothing but positive things to say about it. It's an interesting and diverse group, and I've even gotten a few jobs through the people I have met there. So come check me out Thursday, October 15, at the Westport Country Playhouse. All the cool kids will be there (plus, you know, the whole branding thing).

In my two-week absence, I've collected a couple of interesting things to post. So stayed tuned... I promise, no more neglect!