Sneak peek:

Just a little side project I'm having loads of fun with... I'll have more details soon, but for now, you guys will just have to live with this little taste.



It's been a busy couple of days here at traciedesigns HQ. I have enough work to keep me going, but the kind of busy I'm talking about is life.

Last year at this time, I was the HBIC of the PTA at the 8 year old's school. It was not an easy job, and looking back, I see exactly how much of my time it took up (A LOT). But I enjoy volunteering at the school, I've met lots of great people and I can't even begin to tell you how rewarding it is (seriously. If you're feeling down, go have lunch with your kid at school. Watch their face light up and I guarantee that you will feel light years better). The 8 year old took great pride in my role as president (getting so frustrated with me if I couldn't answer her questions; "You're the PRESIDENT. Don't you know EVERYTHING??!" I wish).

But this year, I'm not the HBIC. Somebody else is running the show, and I'm OK with that. I enjoy having my time back, doing things with my kids, and not constantly checking my email to approve email blasts and flyers (OK, I still constantly check my email, but not for things like that). I enjoy letting the kids play on the playground after school gets out, and not having to run home to... yep, check email. I enjoy coming downstairs in the morning to a clean kitchen, instead of last night's dishes still in the sink. Most of all, I enjoy the sense of order I am restoring to my life.

So this past week, I've been doing just that. I've got work that I'm doing, but I'm really concentrating on a healthy work-life balance. And so far, it seems to be working.



When you work from home--alone, for the most part--sometimes simple things like getting the mail is exciting (don't be all envious of my thrilling life). I don't know why I look forward to it day after day, as it's mostly bills and junk (let's play how many credit card offers will we get today!); but every once in a while, you get a pleasant surprise thrown in.

Like, yesterday, for example.

Yesterday was a pretty standard 5:1 junk to bills ratio (I guess it's good that it's not the other way around), with the exception of one Big Envelope. And that Big Envelope had a GD USA return address on it. Which could only mean one thing:

American Graphic Design Awards came in the mail!

The American Graphic Design Awards is a design competition that "spotlights areas of excellence and opportunity for creative professionals... It honors outstanding work across all media." This year's awards attracted 8,000 entries, with a select 15% winning.

There seems to be some sort of mistake on one (2 entries are listed--does that mean they're both winners?), so I may have won 5 total--Wheeeeeeeeeeee! And the winners are:

Melt Sandwich Shop website

Objects blog

Stylesson blog

The award with 2 entries listed:

art + interiors website redesign

Mari the Studio website

I'll find out later this week what the mix up was, but in the meantime, let's start pouring the bubbly and celebrating!


Monogram this:

Fun with monograms? Yes, please!

I'd never be able to pull it off (because I have children who ask questions), but I love the idea of a WTF monogram. Hee hee (or, should I say, LOL?)!



The (powerful) message is clear here: from the great stop motion animation, to the completely appropriate use of Coldplay's The Scientist (chillingly redone by Willie Nelson), this might be my new favorite commercial.

Chipotle, I'm yours.

(via Fast Co. Design)


Friday LOL (nostalgia edition):

This one's not so much funny ha-ha, but funny like, awwww, we used to work on that machine!

Shrine of Apple:

Awesome photos and videos of every Apple product, ever.

Remember the Lisa? Maybe you have a little ipod nostalgia--it's all here (and if it's not, the site says it's coming).

Fun to go through and see how very, VERY far we've come!



It's a good thing these are on the internet--I'm afraid my drool would ruin them if I had the real deal. Ladies and gentlemen, Sanborn Fire Insurance Map TYpography:

Holy cow, the typography on these maps is CRAZY gorgeous. I could look at them all day. As a matter of fact, if you need me, that's where I'll be...

(via kottke.org)


Inbox zero:

Yeah, I've pretty much come to terms with that never, ever happening.

Like, ever.

How do people do it? How on earth do people stay so organized--so ON TOP of their email--that they can claim inbox 0??!

I try so hard to be good--deleting Twitter notifications as they come in... OK, that's about as good as I get. I mean, I have client folders. I have etc folders. I'm not sure what prevents me from taking the extra 2 seconds to place an email into one of said folders.

This madness has got to stop--I have got to get on top of this email disaster! Internet, how do you keep your inboxes from becoming such a mess, that they end up looking like, well, mine?



This always slips my mind, because this time of year I am in full-on back to school mode, but--you guys, this week traciedesigns is 6!

Now, traditionally, the 6th anniversary gift is iron. Boooo-ring. The modern gift is a wood object. I'm sure if I went through my bookmarks, or scoured the internet I'd probably find at least 20 wood objects. But do you know what the traditional UK gift is?


Ah yes, sugar. The stuff my dreams cupcakes are made from. Mmmmmmm, cupcakes. The perfect 6th business anniversary present, ever.


Friday LOL (baseball edition):

More Alec Baldwin/John Krasinski funnies.

"Call 912! Call 912!"

"What is 912?"

"911 for rich people!"