Monday, December 20, 2010


In light of the recent news of Carine Roitfeld's resignation from Editor in Chief post at French Vogue, I thought I would post my favorite cover from her time at the magazine (2000-2010). It features Natalia Vodianova playing the part of the expectant bride, from April 2006. Along with her creative director Fabian Baron, Carine raised the bar for the Vogue enterprise, artistically and stylistically. This type treatment, an elegant serif expressed through italics and all caps has been widely imitated, but this is where it started. It's a perfect example of elegant type placement paired with a stunning cover image.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Ever wonder what you'd look like as a blonde? The artist Alexandra Bircken offers up
a quirky alternative to a blonde wig or hair dye.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Newness is the Mode

One of the more interesting highlights of my fall was attending the NY Art Book Fair. Unfortunately I was unable to see the whole show due to the large volume of exhibitors, but I got a good taste and was lucky enough to snag a couple of books. One of the books was Lay Flat 02: Meta (pictured above), a photography book edited and produced by the artist Shane Lavalette. It's a book that I will endlessly revisit, to pore over the amazing photography and thought provoking essays, but also to admire as an art object, in and of itself.

Since I'm on this subject of the NY Art Book Fair, I thought I would link to this article written by Rob Giampetro about the fair. It's such an interesting analysis of this moment we're experiencing within the world of books and in the larger sense, print. I found it smart and inspiring. Lately I find myself thinking, "When I look back at this time in history, what defined this moment for graphic designers?" and "What will it look like in retrospect?" Everyone talks about how print is dead or we're on the cusp of a revolution in print (moving to web). But maybe print won't die. Maybe physical, tangible books will always hold value. Regardless of what happens, if in this moment, "newness is the mode", that's okay by me.

Friday, November 26, 2010


Watercolor paint, especially watercolor typography, has been lingering in the back of my mind for about a year and a half. While researching imagery for a campaign at work, I was inspired by the work of Jody Barton (above) and had the big idea that I would illustrate type using watercolor, or commission an illustrator to do so. Due to budget and time restraints I decided to shelf the idea and pursue an alternate course. Fast forward to November 2010 and I discovered more watercolor typography that still has me itching to experiment. Since I've decided 2011 shall be the year of the personal project I might add watercolor type onto my list of things I want to explore. My recent discovery was the work of Sasha Prood, an illustrator and designer living in Brooklyn. I was also excited to find out that she designs graphics for J.Crew, considering I've been drooling over their graphics, catalog design and photography since high school. It's always nice to know who the behind the scenes talent is.

Getting back to watercolor, I'm really fascinated by the precision these illustrators have achieved in their work. A few months ago I bought watercolor masking fluid, to help refine my method of application, but I was so turned off by the toxic fumes I put it away and haven't re-opened it in months. I was convinced that Jody Barton was using some tool, like masking fluid, to keep his paint from running. But after seeing this image below from his website, I'm not so sure! This is obviously a matter that requires further investigation and experimentation!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Feather Lust

I think what I like about these ornaments is that they don't scream Christmas and they can hang as a decoration year round; for that reason I can give them to friends who don't celebrate Christmas. The juxtaposition of feather on glass just enhances the delicate quality of the ornament.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I love the idea of a moodboard. The process, the visual aspect, I even love the word moodboard! It's really satisfying to land on a refined, finished design concept, but sometimes the preliminary moodboard gives greater insight into the depth and breath of the creative concept. The act of creating one is so free flowing and limitless. I came across these moodboard "tests" on the Ensuite blog and found them so inspiring and rich with detail.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Miss Fitzpatrick

This font, part of the Charles Bluemlein Script Collection, has been bookmarked under the design tab on my browser for ages now, and I'm still waiting for a project to use it! A font that harks back to the pre-digital glory days of good penmanship and calligraphy, the description of the font includes this interesting tidbit:

"The odd way in which the Bluemlein scripts were assembled and created - by collecting different signatures and then building complete alphabets from them - is a fascinating calligraphic adventure. Because the set of constructed designs looked nothing like the original signatures, fictitious names were assigned to the new script typefaces."

So cool! From the Sudtipos project.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Chocolate Bar

We're living in a sort of culinary renaissance era. It seems like everyday there's a new way to redefine what is considered gourmet. Take the chocolate bar for instance. Aside from a handful of artfully designed wrappers, the chocolate bar itself has largely remained the iconic brown rectangle, sometimes divided into smaller rectangles, sometimes not. The availability of quality chocolate has vastly improved, and you no longer need to look as far as Belgium or Austria for artisan chocolate. Thankfully America has come a long way since the Hershey bar. But now it's taking a new direction, wherein the design of the bar itself is evolving and becoming more decorative, more reflective of the variety of ingredients and ingenuity of the chocolatier. These are certainly impressive looking treats, and seem as fun to make as they are to eat! I love the color block-ish Mary & Matt bar and the gold flecked Chocomize bar.

From the top: Byrne & Carlson Chocolate Bars, Mary & Matt Chocolate Editions, Chocomize

Friday, November 5, 2010

Sisters of the Moon

If ever there were a reason for me to be jealous of Courtney Love, this would be it. Late 90's Courtney borrowing from late 70's Stevie Nick's wardrobe....

"Madm and CLC in Stevie Nicks ‘s borrowed finery. Toasting a lovely world gone mad."

Images via Silk & Rayon via What Courtney Wore Today

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Hardware Store Nostalgia

This song was playing when I went to the hardware store the other day. Maybe it's the impending holiday season that's putting me in a nostalgic mood, but there's something about walking into a hardware store, being greeted by friendly sales people who've been working there for 20 years and the sound of The Guess Who in the background that makes me feel warm and fuzzy. Which is funny since the "hardware store" I frequented the most during my childhood was The Home Depot :(

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Flora / Fungi / France / Famille

My last post included an image from this Vogue Paris November 2010 editorial, Une Dimanche a la Campagne (A Sunday in the Country) with Sasha Pivovarova. Today I came across this mushroom image from the blog, Cannelle et Vanille, and the colors reminded me of the Vogue editorial, so I decided to post more images from the spread. Vogue Paris is hands down my favorite of the Vogues, and is one of my top favorite fashion magazines. I'm not sold on Sasha as a mom and I wished she looked a bit happier, but I like the story that's being told, or at least the story I'm interpreting; a nostalgic view of a daughter's first steps into fashion guided by her mother. These images feel like memories, as though years the daughter later is sifting through old childhood photos, reflecting on happy, playful times with her maman.

Click on images to enlarge.

Mushroom image from Cannelle et Vanille, all Vogue Paris images from Fashion Gone Rogue.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


There were a few trends that stood out to me among the SS 2011 fashion shows; Minimalism, menswear styling, and especially 70's revival. 70's fashion was defined by billowy dresses and flowing silhouettes, but I forgot about the amazing hats. Many of the hats featured in the shows were wide-brimmed and floppy, but I've noticed quite a range in the fall magazine editorials. My favorite is classic black. It's very "of the moment" and classic at the same time.

From the top: Marc Jacobs SS2011, Anja Rubik in Vogue Latin America, Alexa Chung in Elle UK, Elise Crombez in Vogue Turkey, Sasha Pivovarova in Vogue Paris

Thursday, October 7, 2010


I'm really digging all the home interior blogs that have proliferated over the past couple of years. What could be cooler than seeing the apartment of someone whose work you admire? Or just someone with amazing style? I appreciate all the quirky little details that going into transforming a house (or apartment) into a home. The Selby hit a niche with his casual, un-styled photographs of the interiors of his extremely stylish and artistic friends. freundevonfreunden is another one that is gaining popularity in the design blogosphere. I spent some time on it and was excited to discover that Sarah Illenberger is featured. She's been a source of inspiration for me for quite a while. A few pictures of her apartment below, mixed with some images of Antje Taiga's home. I just wish I could read German..

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Different Types

I have a thing for well thought out type, as I've posted before. I'm always impressed when I see well-executed, handmade type and lettering treatments. I saw this interpretation of the word "Modernism" a while back, and I think it's brilliant. It's so unexpected to see the word modernism rendered in this goth, death metal sort of way:

It hangs in the office of Dutch design studio, Experimental Jetset. Last week, I fell in love with another letter treatment for the New York Times Style Magazine. The caption is really clever too! This one must have involved some heavy set design (or photoshopping!), I would love to know how they pulled that off.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Minimal Masterpiece

I am blown away by the new cookbook that Ikea just came out with, “Hembakat är Bäst” (Homemade is Best). The styling was done by Evelina Bratell and the photography is by Carl Kleiner. I have a decent collection of cookbooks and even though I don't have room for any more in my apartment, I might have to make an exception for this one. I'm used to seeing a very organic, lush manner of food styling. Leave it to the Swedes to come up with something so quietly beautiful. When I think about the Swedish aesthetic I think of modesty, practicality, and accessibility. These qualities manifest themselves into work that is timeless and elegant. Not only is it stunning to look at, but it's so much easier to follow when you have such clear visuals guiding you.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


How to persuade a package-design loving female to buy a pack of cigarettes.

Exhibit A:

If I was a young woman in the 1970's, this pack of cigarettes would have really appealed to me. The early days of targeted marketing:

You're not going to be beautiful if you smoke those cigarettes!

When it all went downhill: