Thursday, January 31, 2013

Best of Valentines

I do not celebrate Valentine's Day, but there are some designs that are trending this season that I admire.

1. Black Suarez The illustration is fun, and the humor is cute 2. Sandra Blikas A little on the gross side, but I can admire that for this saccharine holiday  3. Kristie Arthur The hand type feels unique and personal and the saying is sweet (I can identify with the love of cupcakes, but still loving Tyler more!)  4. Wit & Whistle This line of valentine cards border on grotesque and humor. I loved them all, but this zombie was my favorite  5. Fancifone narwals are so cute!

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Beast Rears Its Nasty Head Again

That beast being—motivation. Maybe its just the season, maybe its bills or taxes, or stress. Low periods in our life come and go, and what matters is how do we pull ourself out of it.

We are all mad here

How Do I Fix That? Try Something New.
I found this tutorial site,, it combines the usefulness of educational tutorials and the joy of competition and social media. I have only done the "free" challenges so far, but I plan on buying the plan because their challenges and videos appeal to me. This site could actually help me learn new skills and remember them.

Joined a Book Club
Not only does this get me to read books I would have never read, but also it gets me out of little bubble. It is out of character of me to join a club, especially when I don't know anyone. Part of the troubles of being an introvert, but challenging myself to try something new can be invigorating. It takes me out of comfort zone, yeah its intimidating, but I am better for it in the end.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Inspirational Heros

I have had many "heroes" in my childhood that have brought me on the path. One being Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland (which is why I love Florence and the Machine they have a trippy Alice quality. The imagiative characters have struck-a-cord with society for ages.

The wood engraved illustrations that are some of the most prolific illustrations of that style today. These were provided by John Tenniel. Originally the illustrations were created by Lewis Carroll himself, but then turned to Tenniel for his expertise. Together these two created my favorite children's book with striking characters that spark the imagination. That will inspire me for a lifetime.

Once color has been added to the story of Alice it was forever the vibrancy of "wonderland".

1) Disney's Alice in Wonderland (2010). This film was directed by another of my favorite inspirations: Tim Burton. The combination of his creativity and the inspiration of Alice created a visually dazzling film.
2) Design Army: Designs for the Washington Ballet. The beautiful movements of the performers, the imaginative outfits, and the intriguing typography is a beautiful dream down the rabbit hole.
3) My Design: This was the front of the card I sent out for my bridal shower. It is a screen print for the Alice in Wonderland themed bridal shower my aunts gave me.

4) Engraved Woodblock Print: One of the original engravings by John Tenniel. Alice at the Mad Hatter's Tea Party.

5) Gwen Stefani's What You Waiting For?: Another one of my inspirational heros. It is interesting that some of my heroes have chosen Alice to find the burst of creativity.

6) My copy of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. This a library bound copy with gold leaf and embossed cover. These extra elements make this book feel special and long lasting.

7) The Chesire Cat from Disney's Alic in Wonderland (1951). Easily a Disney classic. The Chesire cat always scared me as a child, but now he is a eerie, yet charming character.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Illustrations in Process

I am still in the first 3 weeks of resolution season, and 40% of us who make resolutions will drop out by 3 weeks. I am still going strong (for now). I have mostly stuck to drawing with pencil and pen, but in the coming weeks hope to bring and color and maybe some computer drawings. (I have done a little bit with color on my ipad. I have been enjoying trying out different sketching apps for iPad). Staying passionate becomes increasingly difficult as work picks up again and my house just seems to be falling apart. "When it Rains it Pours".

 I may be struggling to create my own personal work, but luckily work has provided some suprises with some projects that need some "affordable" illustration.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Merry ol' land of Oz

It was no surprise to hear that Pantone named Emerald the color of the Year! The time seems fitting for jewel tones to come back in style as well as the movie Oz coming out this March. The time is right for emerald.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Monday, January 14, 2013

Type is Process

Design is one of those careers that everyday is practice, type especially. Anyone can plaster Helvetica in all caps on a page, but type takes year to be a true master. Type takes into consideration various details of type style, kerning, leading, word spacing, type size, and alignment. Mastering typography is not easy, and it will be something I will be working towards the rest of my life. Today is just another day of practice.

"Proper" kerning is to make consistent spacing between letters, visually, not necessarily measurable spacing. Line spacing is something else that is also considered in its best form when consistent through a paragraph and optimized for best legibility. Both of these terms come from back in printing press days. Leading, is the bars of lead that is used between lines of text.

In metal typesetting

The word kerning is a cognate of corner (that is, the two words have a common root). In the days when all type was cast metal, a corner was notched to a consistent height on one or both sides of a letter-piece. Such notched pieces were only set against one another, not against unnotched ones, which had straight sides. The corner allowed for a character's features to reach into the area normally taken up by the next character, for example the top bar of the T , or the right diagonal stroke of the V to hang over the top left corner of an a .

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Designing in the Browser

For years website design has taken certain steps before acheiving the final goal of being usable in the browser, but there is a new methodology developing. Before many designers and web developers would start with a site list and create a wireframe based on the navigation. From the wireframe a designer would create a design based on the user's or client's needs. Once a design had been approved it would then be passed to a web developer to put that design into real-world implementation.

Now designers and/or developers are thinking of moving toward designing right in the browers to help create a clear idea of what the end product will be like. The earlier process (that is still in use) can create dificulty when design does not quite match up with implementation due to limitations of variety of browers and screens or what types of coding is accepted within browers and users' devices.