I love the internet, and I love the convenience of ordering things off the internet, and having them delivered to me. Know what I don't love? This:

(and no, I'm not talking about the pants--but more on how adorbs those are in a sec)

So, package on the right: 2 toddler sized shirts, and 1 toddler sized pair of pants. Teeny tiny box, for teeny tiny clothes. Way to go, Gymboree!

Package on the left: not loving it so much. The only thing that came in it was the pictured envelope liner templates--yes, they are the width of the box, but what the photo isn't showing you is that A) they're about as thick as a piece of cardboard; and B) that box is 4.5" high (and filled with all sorts of plastic air pockets). For reals, they couldn't ship that in an envelope (I would imagine that the cost to ship an envelope would be less expensive as well)??

This isn't the first time this has happened. Over the holidays, I ordered gift cards, which cost me $5 to ship. And they came in a box. Gift cards. In a box. The silliness--and wastefulness--of it boggles my mind.

OK, now to the pants: seriously, how cute is the intern going to look in those fancy-pants! Adorable, right? Know what's not adorable? Wasteful packaging!

(OK, rant over)



Logo Lounge Master Series Book 4: Typography and Enclosures.

See that book title up there? Yeah, I'm totally going to be in it.


I can't even begin to tell you guys how totally thrilled I was when that email showed up. Aside from the fact that it is a HA-YOOOOOOGE honor to have one's work selected for inclusion in ANY of the books put out by Logo Lounge, the email was perfectly timed. Friday afternoon, a file that I had been struggling with all week long crashed, and--to add insult to injury--corrupted.

Yep, I was starting from scratch.

So Saturday morning, I locked myself in my office, and started working. When I heard the PING! of my email, I was so unfocused on the annoying task at hand that I immediately checked--and boy, am I glad I did. Because upon seeing the words

You are receiving this email because your logos have been selected to be in Master Book 4.

I immediately forgot all my woes and did the happiest of happy dances.

While there isn't a ton of info on this Master Library book, previous versions have included "...3,000 outstanding very focused logo designs from the LogoLounge.com database..."

Dude. Outstanding. Very focused.

OK, OK, enough of my rambling. Which logo was selected?

Well Written is a logo I did for a company started by an independent writer/editor.

I am so BEYOND psyched to be published in this book (in case you couldn't tell), I can't even begin to describe it. Time to start celebrating!


True love:


Sorry internet friends, this is yet another post that doubles as a love letter to my most favoritest social media application, like, ever.

Why? Why do I love the Twitter so, so much? Last Thursday, the answer became very clear to me in 3 distinct tweets.

Tweet #1: Oh Joy for Target:
Joy is a super cool graphic designer, who wrote a super cool book about being a graphic designer, as well as having a super cool blog that chronicles her super cool taste. Via Twitter, I found out that she has a line of notebooks coming out at Target. This is awesome because, obviously, I admire her style (and will be purchasing said notebooks), and also, because I follow her tweets, have read her book, and was genuinely happy to hear about her success.

Tweet #2: Alejandro Paul and the Daily Drop Cap:
I have professed my love of type designer Alejandro Paul before. His work is simply stunning, and I think Daily Drop Cap creator Jessica Hische (who I also have a design crush on) sums it up well when she says:

Ale makes fonts that designers love. They’ve got a lot of personality, are well crafted, and include all sorts of extra characters, ligatures, and swashes that make designing with them super fun. I cannot believe how prolific this man is. I don’t hesitate to direct people to his fonts (here’s a link to both veer and myfonts) when they approach me for lettering but have no budget or no time, his work is pretty much the next best thing to custom lettering.

Turns out that last week, Alejandro was the guest designer for her ongoing Daily Drop Cap project. LOVE.

Tweet # 3: Gary Hustwit appearing on Design Chat:
Design Chat is a weekly video conversation between host Ryan McGovern and an inspiring member of the design community. Past guests include the likes of Swiss Miss (Tina Roth Eisenberg), Debbie Millman and Sean Adams. Apparently, Ryan (and another Twitter friend, @gariphic) have been using Twitter to persuade the acclaimed Helvetica and Objectified producer to be on the show. Hustwit's response (via Twitter, of course)?

Okay okay, I give! But it's going to have to be sometime later this summer, okay? Cheers!

See that? Twitter totally brought them together!

Yes, to some people, Twitter is yet another way to broadcast what they had for lunch. But for me, it's a way to meet new people, and get information, especially about the creative community and things that I'm interested in.

Oh, Twitter, don't ever change.


Friday LOL:

Nerd Merit Badges.

After all my printer woes the past few weeks, I might just have to get the Printer Hero badge for Mattio:

PS. I think a new goal in my life might be to earn that Inbox 0 badge.


New work (sort of):

Last fall, I was hired to do a logo redesign for Recovery Network of Programs--formally Regional Network of Programs. RNP (which is the acronym they go by) is a Fairfield County-based... well, network of programs to help people with addictions, homelessness, counseling, etc.

Unfortunately, as I've said before, sometimes jobs don't work out--and this was one of those times. It was a very different project for me, but I'm still proud of the work I presented.

One of the things that the people at RNP had spoken about at length was the name change--going from Regional to Recovery. They really wanted the focus to be on the recovery aspect, as that was their business. The idea behind the first logo is really spotlighting the R in recovery.

The second and third logos both use stairs as a design element--I can't imagine the hurdles that the people RNP help have to go through, but at times I would think it's like climbing an endless flight of stairs. I thought that tying RNP with the stairs would help illustrate that they are there to help you with that journey.

Logos 4 and 5 are similar, in that I was looking to use color as a way to differentiate between all of the different programs. I liked the thought of beams of light--RNP is the light that is going to guide you... something along those lines (note: for first round logos, very rarely do I present in color--I find it distracts people from the actual logo. If I present a blue logo, and the client doesn't like the color blue, they might not consider that logo, even though the color can be changed. I find that if I take the color out of the equation, clients can really get a feel for the actual logo itself. Obviously these 2 logos were the exception to that rule, as they require color to get the point across).

Finally, the north star--again, a guiding light, but in a completely different format.

We started to play with some color ideas, and they were loving the orange and slate blue combination. Unfortunately this was as far as I got before they decided to change direction and go with another designer.

And, just like with any unused logo, into the reserves--for future inspiration--these go!



It's no secret that I totally judge books by their covers. So of course when I saw these beautifully-designed covers for Less Than Zero, and Imperial Bedrooms, all I could think was, who is this Bret Easton Ellis guy? I have to get my hands on his books!


Of course I know Bret Easton Ellis. But now I can't wait to reread Less Than Zero, American Psycho, and start reading the recently released Imperial Bedrooms. Iconic book designer Chip Kidd did these great covers to celebrate Less Than Zero's 25th anniversary.

Also of note: newly designed set of covers for Don DeLillo's books, by the super awesome Noma Bar. Love, love, love Noma Bar's simplistic, negative-space approach to everything he does, so it was no surprise that he had designed this:

You can check out the complete set of both author's books here at Creative Review.

So, if you're in my book club, and it's my turn to choose the book... don't be surprised if it's one of these classics.



Blurry photography by Trever Hoehne.

I thought my favorite might be the Lines series, but after viewing the site, I can't decide--I love them all!

(found via my new BFF, Pinterest)



Amy Butler fabrics.

Remember, last week, how I was all, I don't sew, or anything of the sort? Well, because of that, I never have the need to purchase fabric. Like, never.

However, we have these dining room chairs, and the off-white fabric that they came upholstered in is no longer off-white (and a little sidebar here: Seriously? WHAT were we thinking, getting chairs with off-white fabric?? It's like we were brain dead the day we decided that off-white + kids was a good idea. OK, rant over)--actually, they kind of look a little Jackson Pollock-y, what with all the stains and spatters. But not in a cool Jackson Pollock-y way; more like a sad, dingy Jackson Pollock. So, you know, time to re-cover them and make them pretty and fresh.

So, hello Amy Butler.

Holy cow these fabrics are great! I want to learn how to quilt, just so I can make amazing patterns with all of these designs (OK, not really. But now I want to find a quilter and art direct quilts--because I'm sure that's not annoying). But seriously--how fun! I've got my eye on 5 different patterns--which, coincidentally, look pretty great together, if I do say so (without me having planned it, either. In picking them out, I knew I wanted yellow, orange, or gray, or some combination of those):

If they look as great in the swatches as they do online, I might just go ahead an upholster each chair in a different fabric. Because, OMG, LOVE.


Friday LOL:

Sad Etsy Boyfriends.

Fortunately--for Mattio--I don't knit, sew, or do any kind of clothing- or accessory-making. Which means that I don't sell the things I don't make on Etsy, and therefore, he doesn't have to model anything.

Unfortunately, for these poor guys, their significant others/friends do. And they seem pretty sad about it.



I spent an embarrassing amount of time last night looking for cute, green things to showcase today. Like, it was ridiculous.

I'm not Irish, so I've never been one to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. But, I figured, I'd go with a green blog post. You know, show all kinds of cute green things. Well, maybe the internet was broken last night, because I found so few cute, green things, that I just gave up. Dude. I even searched Pinterest. And that's like the bible of all things great and creative. And I got nothing.

I kept coming back to kate spade, though (like they were going to add a bunch of green items at 10:00 last night), and specifically, to this purse:

It's not green, but oh my, is it cute. And you know what? I think I'd consider myself pretty lucky if I got to carry such cuteness around.

So there you have it, internet friends: my St. Patrick's Day post. No green, but a very cute purse that I would be lucky to have.


I like:

I have sort of a designer-crush on Jessica Hische, because she's A) awesome at what she does; and B) beyond creative. She comes up with fabulous stuff like the Daily Drop Cap (see what I mean?), Should I Work for Free?, Mom, This is How Twitter Works, and now, Blurry Pictures of My Friends:

Because, when you see a blurry photo right after you take it, you're like, "Aw, crap. How is anybody supposed to tell that that's so-and-so in this picture?" But then you submit it to this website, and the photo--next to a bunch of other blurry photos--instantly takes on a different kind of beauty.



So sleepy.

Between getting little sleep to begin with, and that silly little time change (oh, hello 5:30AM. I see you're dark AGAIN), I'm beat. If you need me, I'm just going to crawl into this lovely bed... with all these comfy pillows... in this fantastic charcoal room... See you in a few... Zzzzzz...

(image found on my new best friend Pinterest. Original image from Bright, Bold & Beautiful)


Cooking with color:

Coconut yumminess granola bars.

A few months back, Mattio tired of eating artificial flavor (a real ingredient) in his granola bars, and found a recipe so he could make his own. It called for things like dried fruit, and peanuts--both of which I like in a granola bar... but do you know what I like better? Coconut! It also happens that if there is one fruit (nut?) on the planet Mattio doesn't like... you guessed it. It's my coconut against his bacon (although, to be fair, he is not putting bacon in his granola bars. I know, shocker, right?).

So a few weeks ago, I hijacked the recipe and made my own coconut yumminess granola bars. And they were indeed, YUM.

You'll need:
2 cups of oats
1/4 cup ground flax (I use this in place of wheat germ--you can get it at Trader Joe's)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup almonds (sliced or crushed. If you crush them, crush them good--those whole almonds are a bitch to cut through)
1/4 cup brown sugar (I used 2 tablespoons in my last batch, and it needed a little more sweetness, so I would say somewhere in between 1/4 and an 1/8 cup)
1/2 cup of honey
4 tablespoons of butter (again, I modified in my last batch--I think you'll need at least 2 tablespoons... and if you go light on the butter, go more on the honey)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 oz. coconut (BEWARE! A lot of coconut comes with added sugar. I get mine from either Whole Foods, or Mrs. Green's market--it's just coconut with no added sugar)
A few handfuls of dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Spread crushed almonds, oats, ground flax, sunflower seeds on a baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes, stirring every few.

Line a glass baking dish (we use Pyrex) with wax paper, and spray with non-stick oil (lightly).

Put brown sugar, honey, butter, vanilla in saucepan and simmer, stirring constantly.

Mix liquid and nut/oat mixture in a bowl extremely well.

Sprinkle half of the dark chocolate chips on the bottom of the baking dish.

Put mix into lined baking dish and spread. Add the remaining chocolate chips. (Don't mix the chocolate chips into the mixture--it's hot and they'll melt)

Put another piece of wax paper over the mixture and press hard. Wait 2-3 hours to cool, then cut into bars and enjoy!



Retired subway cars being thrown into the ocean.

This has made it's way through my twitter feed all week, but the images--and the concept--are so striking, I couldn't resist sharing.

For more than a decade, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority has treated the Atlantic as its very own graveyard, tossing thousands of old subway cars off a barge to rust away on the ocean floor. An environmental crime? Hardly. The program creates habitats for marine life from Georgia to Jersey and gives New York’s aging subway cars a vibrant (and free!) retirement home.

Now I want to see photos of the marine life making use of all these old cars.


New obsession:


Holy cow, you guys, this site is awesome. Seriously: new. Favoritest. Site. Ever.

What is it? Take a design/inspiration board, and introduce it to tumblr, and throw in a little Twitter while you're at it.

Basically, you see a photo you like on the interwebs (just one more reason to hate on the Flash sites, though--you can't use it with a flash-based site), and "pin" it to a board. Your boards are categorized; and you can follow other users and re-pin what they've already pinned.

In other words: awesome.

As my neighbor--who introduced me to it--predicted, I can't get enough of it. I want to scour the internet for pretty things, just to pin them and categorize them all in one place.

Just when you thought the internet was awesome as it is, something like this comes along.



This Scrabble set (that's been making it's way through my twitter feed the past week):

It's actually not available for purchase--but if you sign up on Andrew Capener's (the master behind this piece) website, the reality of fancy font Scrabble (Oh, how I would LOVE it if they called it that!) being put into production gets closer and closer.

I mean, really. Look at these tiles, and tell me this isn't automatically more fun than regular scrabble!


New work:

Peggy Garbus.

Peggy is a Wilton-based portrait photographer--her work is gorgeous. Sit with her for a few minutes, and you will be completely at ease--it's easy to see her subjects feeling the same way.

Anywho, Peggy had an identity already, and was originally looking to update it. After a round or two of updates, we decided to just start over (which was way more fun! :)

After I designed this version, it occurred to me that it looked like an eye. I totally mean that I had that in mind when I designed this version, not after! (nervous laughter).

One of the things that struck me on Peggy's old logo, was the descenders for the Gs and Y in Peggy. They were all very similar, and as a designer, I wanted to fix that. I had a lot of fun coming up with this font, and the swirlies. Oh, how I love the swirlies!

We had also talked about maybe incorporating an icon or something--something that could be used in maybe a pattern?

More fun shapes and swirlies. Actually, these swirlies began in a font called Brownstone (YUM)

Taking Peggy's initials, and making them into a bottle cap-like stamp:

And finally, playing with the P and the G:

Ultimately, Peggy chose version 5--but we went through a lot of different fonts before coming up with this, the final logo:

I love the thought of Peggy using the PG bottle cap icon as a watermark on her photos--I think this logo is so versatile, and so very HER. I can't wait to see it in action!


Sweet sixteen

My baby turned 16 today:

This photo was taken when she was mere days old. I don't even think we were out of the hospital yet. Sixteen seemed so far away then--the next week seemed so far away then! And yet here we are; embracing legal driving age (well, some of us are. Some of us parents, ahem, wouldn't exactly use the word "embracing").

Happy birthday to my super-awesome teenager.