Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Candy Cane Lane, Lancaster, California
They don't have snow out here in the desert...but they know how to make up for it by making their houses extra festive! The whole street looked like this!

I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas and a happy holiday season! I had a wonderful day yesterday here in Palmdale, CA with my family. We saw the famous Candy Cane Lane in Lancaster, decorated cookies, went to church then out to dinner, exchanged presents (I got Adobe CS5, woo hoo!), and took the dogs to the park (it was 60 degrees and sunny, very different from the Michigan blizzards that I'm used to).

I saved some images of some Christmas Tree themed emails that I got that I thought were cool:

This email from Anthopologie was super cute, each underlined gift idea directed you to that product on their website. I also like how it helps you decide what to get for the people on your list.

This image from an email from Apple caught my eye immediately. It is very creative and visually stimulating...I'll take one of each of the products featured on that tree! :)

Sugar Overload!!! Here is one of the cookies that I decorated this year, yum!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Thanksgiving was great this year! It was our first west coast Thanksgiving dinner, and I think it knocked the socks off of our east coast tradition. :) My friends from San Francisco came to visit, adding two more to the 10 people who came to dinner. We had a full house! Here are some pics:

You can't have Thanksgiving without the excess of tasty food!

We rented a table and chairs from a local rental place, this was the BEST decision because everyone could sit at the same table! (and it looked good too).

This plastic silverware looked so real, and it made clean up a snap.

I got some cool appetizer plates and napkins from Target, I loved the design so much I might use the leftovers again next year!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Information is Beautiful

We are inundated with information every day, but how much of it is visually pleasing to the eye? Not very much, but David McCandless is out to change this using pictograms of data to illustrate issues facing the world today in beautiful ways. Click on the video below to view him in action (it is about 20 min. long, but it is worth it).

Here is one of his pictograms showing the differences between the two political sides. The data and information is organized in a very interesting and visually stimulating way. The reflective way that he designed it depicts the pluses and minuses of both ways of thinking.

For more visualizations: click here

Friday, November 5, 2010

Packaging Spotlight - Justin's Almond Butter

I found this product in the health food isle of my local grocery store. It is called Justin's Almond Butter, and it is amazing!! I love the design of the packaging, and the taste of the product is just as good. Another plus is that it comes in small 1 oz. packages, so you can try it before you buy it (the full size product is kinda pricy at $12.00 for a 16 oz. jar). If you like peanut butter, I dare you to try this product!

Proof that simple packaging works, especially with all-natural food items. The packaging design makes me think that there isn't a lot of nonsense and fillers in this product, and I'm right! There are only 4 ingredients, and 2 (almonds & maple sugar) are featured in the clever illustration. It has been my favorite snack lately...on celery sticks, apples, and by itself!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cool Halloween Poster

I saw this poser in downtown LA while I was shopping. I made my husband take a picture of it with his iPhone because I wanted to share it with you guys! I think the way they connect Halloween costumes and their logo is ingenious! Goodwill did a good job!

This poster definitely made me look twice, it is so cute! It is a perfect example of a large company being playful with their logo (Google also does this). It would've been fun to work on this project and decide which "costumes" the Goodwill guy would dress up in. The werewolf is my favorite! :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Who Says a Band Needs Musical Instruments...

Has the iPhone made musical instruments obsolete?? Check out this cool video of Atomic Tom playing an inpromptu concert on a New York subway...using only their talent, iPhones, and an amp. So cool!!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Graphic Design for Kids

Check out this cool book (Paintbox Press, $24)...I guess it is never too early to teach kids about good design. I would've LOVED to have this book as a kid. It would've fit right in on my bookshelf, next to my ancient Egyptian "Create Your Own Hieroglyphics" book and The Klutz book of Magic. :)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Gap...What were you thinking?!?

True redesign...or PR stunt?

I just had to write a blog about this monstrosity of a logo change...

Last Monday, Gap replaced its iconic 20-year-old blue box logo with "Gap" written in Helvetica with an echo of their blue box perched on the "p". I'm not against Helvetica, I think American Apparel does a wonderful job incorporating the typeface into their identity (see below), but Gap's redesign seems to have cheapened their image.

Tons of people Tweeted about the recent change, with one saying "The new Gap logo looks as if it were done in Microsoft Word"...ouch, that hurts. However, Gap stands behind its new look saying (via facebook) "...We love our version, but we'd like to see other ideas...". This leads me to believe that they want to see what the design community can come up with. What a perfect plan...

1. A big company releases a new logo that gets everyone all fired up
2. Then they suggest that designers come up with other better ideas
3. Wait for designers to send them ideas (for free!)

Will they keep their new logo? or Will they use someone else's idea? I'm interested to see what will happen!

A nice use of Helvetica. It's clean, simple, and to the point.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Viva Las Vegas!!

We stayed in the big pyramid!

Last weekend we went to Las Vegas for the second time in three weeks. I know, I know, you're thinking "Isn't that a little excessive??"...but it is just so close (we can drive there), and trust me, there is nothing to do in Palmdale. We probably wont be continuing this trend though, I think we have now seen all of the major casinos and attractions (not to mention, my wallet gets emptied each time we go).

There was so much to look at, I knew I had to do a blog on Vegas advertising when I got back to here are some ads that I liked:

I saw ads for this place EVERYwhere...but I never actually saw the store. I like how the colors of the letters in "factory" echo the colors of the balls (gum balls???), but I don't understand the use of the rubber ducky... What does that have to do with candy?

They used celebrities as spokespeople for their rhinestone encrusted lollypops (here's Whitney Port). There is a series of pictures on the side of a construction walkway depicting various celebs eating the suckers, can you guess which person was the only one who was defaced with a Sharpie? It was Britney Spears, poor Britney :( However, it was washed off the second time we went, so Vegas does care about the Pop Princess.

This display really caught my eye. It is a Statue of Liberty made entirely of jelly beans!

I saw a bunch of these billboards advertising the Monte Carlo along Highway 15. They use phonetic spelling in a very clever way. I reminds me of this game.

Another rubber ducky...must be a Vegas thing...

The ads for Cirque du Soleil's "Zumanity" were my favorite. They featured stock photos of everyday boring items and situations on the top/left and crazy Zumanity images on the bottom/right. The contrast of the colors, content and typefaces was really cool. The show was also very entertaining!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Robot Logos!

Check out this collection of cool robot logos! All were obtained via logopond.

I like the combination of the hand-drawn typeface, sans serif font and the robot sketch. Does anyone else read this as "First One"?

Clueless robot...?...?...?

Mad robot!!! This logo has a retro feel, and it reminds me of Nick at Night.

I like this one a lot...especially the corresponding dots.

This one is really cute. I like how the investment arrow is subtle and not in your face.

This one is my favorite! I love the robo-cow, the colors, and the typography!!!

Is the red background square tilted, or is that just an optical illusion? Either way, it makes me look twice.

I probably would've used the second "o" for the body of the robot, it would make the word easier to read.

Thumbs up! This one is great! I love it when designers omit spaces in words, but also make it easier to read.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Girl Scouts Logo get a Haircut

The Girl Scouts logo recently was upgraded. It got a new brighter color and a haircut, she has bangs! I like the looks fresh and updated. I'm glad they didn't alter it too much, the original message of unity and friendship still stands. Good job! Now...if they could only do something about those uniforms...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

So that's how they got their names...

Ever wonder where companies get their names? Where did companies like Adobe, Pepsi and Google come up with those catchy names that we remember in an instant? Well, the answers might surprise you...

The name "Adobe" came from "Adobe Creek" which was located behind the house of one of the founders.

It is rumored that Steve Jobs named his company after a farm in Oregon or a record company. Either way, I couldn't picture any other logo on the back of my laptop. This fruit is now synonymous with technology.

Did you know that Google used to be called "BackRub"? Can you imagine getting into an argument with your friends about a meaningless piece of trivia (like Arnold Schwarzenegger's age, for example, friends had an argument about this) and then having someone say "I'll figure it out, I'll just BackRub it". Haha, that would be hilarious. :)

Intel is short for "Integrated Electronics". I always thought it was an abbreviated form of the word "Intelligent".

Pepsi was crated under the name "Brad's Drink", named after the pharmacist, Caleb Bradham, who invented it in 1893. Five years later, it was renamed Pepsi-Cola after two of the ingredients: "pepsin" and "kola" nuts. Pepsi is WAY better name than Brad's Drink, which would only be cool if you were named Brad.

Did you find these interesting?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Missing Missy

If you are a graphic designer (or just someone who apreciates design humor), you should read this email exchange written by David Thorne:

It is hilarious!!! :D

Friday, August 13, 2010


If you have noticed my lack of posts lately, it is probably because I have been busy moving and traveling around the country. I used to live in Fort Worth, and now my husband and I have moved to Palmdale, CA. I do miss Fort Worth...hanging out at The Saucer, going to dinner at all of the tasty restaurants, walking my dog on Trinity Trail, and my favorite frozen yogurt place, Yogolait (The espresso yogurt with oreo cookie pieces and choc chips is to die for!) nothing else even compares!

However, I think I am fully adjusted to my new home, but I did have my reservations at first...

Where are all of the trees?
What!?! It is going to be 107 degrees tomorrow???
It takes how long to get to LA? But it is just over the mountains!
I just saw a real tumble weed...I guess we do really live in the desert!

Just as I was getting used to my new home, this happens less than 2 miles from my house:

Thankfully the fires were out in a few days. After the stress and all of the smoke inhalation, I needed a vacation. It was perfect timing that we had already planned a trip to Canada with my family. We spent a week in the North Channel, which is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. Just check out this pic of a secluded mountain lake, aptly named Lake Topaz after its brilliant blue color:

Lake Topaz, Ontario, Canada

I am now back in California. The fires are gone, the temperatures are down, and I am busy with freelance jobs. Look for future posts on my recent work!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Inception: It's a must see movie!

Last weekend my husband and I went to a matinee to escape the 100+ degree temperatures. Which movie did we choose? Inception - directed by Christopher Nolan, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

This was one of the BEST movies I have seen in months (maybe even years). Everything came together perfectly, as a result, the audience was entertained throughout the whole movie. The cast did an exceptional job, the direction was awesome, and the creative storyline blew my mind. My husband and I discussed the plot on the car ride home, and then later with friends over dinner, and I'm still thinking about the ending. I would highly recommend seeing it!

On a different note, the publicity for the movie was equally as impressive. Just check out these cool New York City billboards:

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Cool Music-Making Flash Websites

Check out these fun flash websites when you have some time to kill...don't worry, they are worth the loading time!

Make you own beat box group! (this one is really addicting, in English or French)

I just LOVE this concept! You can use a live feed of people walking around Hamburg to create your own symphony orchestra! Just assign instruments to pieces of sidewalk, street or river, and when a person or vehicle touches them you instrument gets played. It was a little jumpy on my computer, but I didn't mind because it is such a cool idea.

I just couldn't take my eyes off of this one. The animation is amazing...the butterfly and "square with frog legs" thing look like they are going to fly/jump right off of the computer screen. The drum beats are cool too.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Google Pac Man!

I just went to Google to search for a shuttle to LAX (yes, I have moved to the west coast!!! More on that in a later post...) and I was pleasantly surprised, their logo has been transformed into a playable Pac Man game! I played it for a little while and completely lost all motivation for what I was trying to get accomplished this morning...haha. Google should definitely make more interactive logos! :D