Weekly wrap up

Whew--this week was a blur. Between the rotten weather (cold rain and snow took over the latter half of the week), and deadlines, deadlines, deadlines, this week flew by. Let's get to it.

This week I worked on some logo revisions. The client is looking to keep things simple without the use of an icon; however, I came up with the above icon in our first round--which the client liked but decided against. I, on the other hand, fall in love with it a little more every time I see it--and now I need to use it SOMEWHERE. Hmmm, I'm going to keep thinking about that one...

I also did a lot of image/artist research for a web site I'm working on. I'm so excited--it's a little on the girly side, and let's face it; I am a girly girl. Perfect fit.

Tuesday night my pal Ed Kuyluk (of Right Mind Marketing and Hey Fairfield fame) and my new friend Amy DeLardi (of Infinite Web Design fame) threw an awesome tweet up, called Infinite Mind Share. Those who know me know that I love my social media--especially Twitter. It was so much fun to go out and meet--face to face--friends that I've been chatting with for months via social media. Some really great connections were made; I can't wait for the next one! (March 30th, at the Smart Car Dealership in Fairfield, in case you're wondering. You should stop by and say hi!)

Here I am with Twitter friend Marcy Michaud, and new friend (and artist) Dave Pressler.

I was supposed to have a meeting this AM with a client regarding naming their business, but unfortunately mother nature had other plans. Rescheduled for Monday. I have a bunch of ideas that I'm really excited about to present, so it should be fun.

This weekend I'm going to take advantage of the new snow and go skiing; I'll probably end up doing a little bit of work as well. Monday is my oldest's birthday--she'll be (GASP!) 15. She's a great kid--and I'm not just saying that because I know she reads this (Hi Ash. And Molly)--but I just can't digest that she is 15. She is a middle teenager. I don't even want to know what that makes me.

Next week is the big naming presentation, website design, logo revisions, and the beginning of a logo design project for my friend, and long-time blog reader, Sara with no H. Sara, I am going to rockstar the heck out of your logo.

Happy weekend all!


Photoshop v. Patrick Star

One of my Christmas presents this year was this awesome set of Adobe Creative Suite Coasters (Should you care to own a set of your own, you can order them here). However, in an extra twist of creativity, our 6 year old has renamed them. So Ps doesn't stand for Photoshop, it stands for Patrick Star (from Spongebob).

The entire set, as follows:

PS (Photoshop): Patrick Star

AI (Adobe Illustrator): Ashlee Igloo (Ashlee--our oldest--will be 15 next week. I think the "igloo" part of the name was born from her younger sister just plain trying to annoy her)

ID (InDesign): Ay Dios Mio (Have I mentioned that our 6 year old came up with these?)

DW (Dreamweaver): Daddy Wow

AE (After Effects): Ashlee Elizabeth (which is our oldest's actual name)

Fairfield Ludlowe (Flash): Where Ashlee Igloo (or Elizabeth) goes to school

The coasters are no longer referred to as AI, or PS; but as Ashlee Igloo, and Patrick Star--by the entire family. Actually, when I open up something in Illustrator, I giggle to myself as I think of Ashlee Igloo.

Something tells me that the 6 year old could have a future using these icons as their native applications.



3 years ago, on February 19th, the traciedesigns blog came to life (alright, I'm a few days late in celebrating, but let's not get all technical here).

In celebrating my 3 year blogiversary, I thought it would be interesting to see what the traditional 3 year anniversary gift is.

You guys, it's leather (or crystal, or glass. But roll with me here, guys--I can always use a new handbag or shoes. Glass? Notsomuch).

So, if my blog could pick out it's own leather gift, I'm pretty sure it would love these shoes, and this handbag. However, since my blog can't actually wear either of these, I'd happily oblige. Just sayin'.


Bacon: an awesome customer service story

For those not in the know, I am not a fan of bacon. Actually, I'm probably the anti-fan. It's gross. It smells. It's pig fat, people.

Unfortunately, my husband loves the stuff. He's one of bacon's BIGGEST fans.

We've managed to make our biggest difference work--he cooks it when I'm not home; then promptly burns every candle we have while keeping all the windows open. Yes, even in the dead of winter--that stuff smells!

In turn, I buy him bacon, and bacon related products every once in a while. Case in point: his birthday was a few weeks ago, and that called for some bacon. From a site called Bac'n.

Actually, the one thing I did NOT buy from Bac'n was actual bacon. There was some fun novelty stuff (bacon bandages, toothpicks, and a Baconista t-shirt), but no bacon. Until I got a call the day after I placed the order.

You guys, Bac'n called me.

Long story short, something happened to damage my original package, and something in the original order was out of stock and would hold up the order for a few days. As a result, Bac'n was offering me a gift. "Pick something out," they said, "free of charge."

Awesome. If you like bacon. Also awesome if the gift recipient isn't standing 2 feet away. Neither of which applied to me.

The poor guy on the other line. I said, "Why don't you just surprise me?"

To which he replied, "How about some bacon?" (of course)

"Sure," I said.

Then, he asked what kind. Hold the phone--bacon comes in FLAVORS??!

Oh this poor guy--all he wanted to know was what flavor of bacon he could give me, and between my utter ignorance, and the fact that Mattio's ears have completely perked, I could give him nothing. He threw a flavor out there, and I quickly agreed.

So the Bac'n came today. And Mattio was thrilled.

To the Bac'n guy I talked to? I'm so sorry I'm a total bacon flake. Your generosity is much appreciated--especially by my better half, bacon's (and now Bac'n's) biggest fan.


Wednesday Wrap up

Wait--wha? What happened to weekly?

Sorry for the curveball, folks--it's been a while since my last post, and I never properly wrapped up last week. Plus, this Friday I'm sneaking off to the slopes--Shhhh. Don't tell.

Last week was actually pretty uneventful; I worked on a website that I thought was going to go live, but I still have a few eensie changes to make to it. If not the end of this week, then I'm really hoping for next week. It's been a while in the making, and I love the client to death and want her to have a proper website, not just a placeholder. Plus, you know, I kind of like it.

This week: Monday was a great day, because I got stuff done like nobody's business. It was actually a bunch of little things, but they were taking up way too much room on my Teux Deux list. Monday night I went to the inaugural New Media Haven event--it was... interesting. I actually met my friend Koleen there, as well as my pals from Elements. The event was billed as:

...the first ever New Media Haven at Black Bear Saloon! The event is the first of its kind in the New Haven area and will bring all techies, creative’s, entrepreneurs and anyone who is interested in the digital space together, someplace other than Twitter!

It was really a networking event (good) with the 2 guys who put it together doing short presentations on their companies (not so good). I had a good time with my friends, got a few new business cards (and handed mine out as well), connected with some other social media friends, and ended the night enjoying some hummus (not the bacon variety) with Koleen at Claire's Corner Copia.

Yesterday I had a good first round logo presentation for a home accessories curator/interior designer. I got some good, solid feedback and am currently working on round two refinements. I also... got a new client!

Which leads me to today: today I was all city-chic, meeting said new client in the West Village (where I have never felt more suburban in my life!). The project is a website/blog design... and it has to do with... are you ready? FOOD. AND. SHOES. Seriously. I'm not too sure there's a more perfect match up out there.

Tomorrow brings more networking in the AM, then some website refinements before I close up shop for a bit of a long weekend. Tomorrow is also my version of Friday. Enjoy the rest of the week!


Don't go breakin' my heart

So, truth be told, I'm not a big fan of Valentine's Day. It's just another day, in my book. However, there are millions of people that choose to spend obscene amounts of money keeping the greeting card/chocolate/flower industries in business celebrate their love for one another; so my friends, this post is for you.

First up: If I'm going to send an e-greeting, it's definitely going to be one of these adorable ones courtesy of kate spade.

Next: Normally, I'm not about posting Republican rantings on the blog, but this made me giggle: GOP e-Valentines (which I will not be sending). They're so lame, they're laughable. Example: "You won't see this Valentine's Day card on C-SPAN." Oooooh, way to insult.

Also? Nice font, Republicans.

Finally: Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Armin Vit of Under Consideration/Brand New fame, have been given the task of redesigning Valentine's Day. Now see? This is a Valentine's Day project I can get behind. New icon, less cheese, and we get to keep the chocolate. I'm all about keeping the chocolate.

I hope that your Valentine's Day, should you celebrate it, is full of beautiful design, love and chocolate.

And if you could, save some chocolate for me.


Not so Super at Mario Brothers

Yesterday was a snow day--for the children. Unfortunately, when your office doubles as your home, you can't exactly say you're not going to risk life and limb on snowy roads to come into work--people just don't buy that.

The problem with yesterday being a snow day for the children is that our house is roughly half the size it used to be, due to our impending construction. So there wasn't a lot of places they could go. Which would be fine if there wasn't 2 adults trying to work. Once our 2 year old got up from her nap, I just gave up--she clearly had other plans and they involved her mother not working.

Her latest fixation? Watching someone play the Wii. Her latest Wii fixation? Super Mario Brothers.

So yesterday afternoon, I got to play "Mario Brothers"--as she refers to it. And she sat on one side of me, and our 6 year old sat on the other side, and they were in their glory:

2 year old: "Watch out for those guys, mommy!"

6 year old: "Mom, I can't believe you died again. Maybe you should go to an easier level. Or just skip this one.

2 year old: "Watch out for those guys, mommy!"

6 year old: "Mom, there's got to be an easier way for you to get to the castle. You should try the easier way."

And so it went, for a little while anyway. I have to admit, as frustrating as the game is--and if you couldn't tell, I'm not that good--it's a good way to release stress.

Especially since my desk--piled with all the work I wasn't doing--was 3 feet away.



Stuff I found floating around the internets today...

"Refreshed" MTV logo: "Music Television" tagline was dropped.

Apparently, after years of non-music programming, their logo has finally caught up to the station itself. Also? Now they can customize it with Jersey Shore cast members.

In other things of note: if I had a barcode, I would definitely want this one:

Vanity barcodes? Yeah, they rock.

And finally, I. NEED. This. Chair:

Seen at anthropologie. Soon to be seen somewhere at traciedesigns HQ.

(MTV logo news via HOWblog. Vanity Barcodes via SwissMiss)


Oh, right. This.

There are 2 things that I love about the Super Bowl: every SB Sunday we go skiing. Everyone else is home, watching 20 hours of pregame, making wings, or doing whatever it is that one does to prepare for such a monumental game. So it's great because there are virtually no lift lines, and the mountain is pretty empty. Thank you, football.

The second great thing? The ads.

The standouts (in my opinion):

While I don't necessarily think that a Snickers bar is the way to go if you're looking for energy, the commercial is great. Plus, really: Betty White and Abe Vigoda? Awesome.

Nobody really needs an ad to tell us what Google does; however, the execution of this one was great. The only other way I think they could have done it was to say, "We help you find stuff online. Duh."

I have a special place in my heart for VW; their advertising has always been a little quirky, and I like that. While I did like the Das Auto ads, I think I'm going to enjoy the Punch Dub campaign just as much. Also? We still play the punchbuggy game in my car. It's pretty much a rule.

I actually didn't see all the ads--I grew pretty bored with all that football stuff in between commercials--but from what I saw, those were definitely my faves.

My least favorites? Well, I think a very special BOO! goes out to Sketchers (really, Sketchers? You spent all that money, and that's the best that you can do?) and GoDaddy (Yes, GoDaddy, sex sells. We get it. Perhaps next time, though, you don't have to be so sleazy about it).

Wanna see more SB ads? Check out YouTube's AdBlitz.


Weekly wrap up

Not much to wrap up this week, I'm afraid. Spent a lot of time working on a food logo (my favorite), a little bit of time working on a brochure, and a decent amount of time being a Wordpress superstar (let's just say we're using the term "superstar" very loosely here).

Construction updates are being discontinued until there's actual construction to be updated on. Unfortunately--and I knew this would happen--builders aren't very partial to working in the snow and rain. So Mother Nature--and I can't believe I'm quoting Dr. Evil here--can you throw me a frickin' bone?

This weekend will be spent catching up on some little nagging things, and skiing on Sunday.

Happy weekend, all!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Government Printing Office

Yesterday was budget day (!); the day when the President Obama releases his proposed spending plan to Congress. Quite frankly, I can't imagine that it is an interesting read... (oh come on, it's numbers. And a lot of them) but I do find it interesting how the budget came together. No, not how Obama put the budget together... how the *printer* put the budget together (hint: it's not done at Kinkos).

Ladies and gentlemen, meet the Robert Tapella, the "public printer of the United States" (um, cool job title? check). In these 4 short videos, Robert explains how the Government Printing Office (motto: Keeping America Informed) works, how the budget is put together, how sometimes there actually is a need to go to Kinkos, and how nobody gets their mitts on the budget before it's released.

Huh, I wonder if the government ever does any spot varnishing?