December 21, 2009

Holiday Wallpapers

Still very much in the holiday spirit, I wanted to share these great desktop and iphone holiday wallpapers from nien design. Beautifuly simple, these vintage inspired images are one of my favorite freebies this season. Counting down the days!

December 18, 2009

Merry Newsinator

This is such a brilliant idea and beautifully designed as well! The newsinator allows you to answer specific questions about your year and creates this wonderful design piece with all the final answers. Then give the final piece to friends and family as a wonderful alternative to the lengthy and drab holiday letters! Start one for yourself right here


December 17, 2009

7 Rules of Designers

Here is a fun list of the '7 Rules of Designers' found at harmonie-interieure. I would say that I agree with about 80% of the rules... overall its pretty accurate and inspirational (especially as an enormous wall decal!)

1. Designers are meant to be loved not to be understood.
2. The purpose of design is to make the ordinary extraordinary.
3. The best designers are the ones who find the good clients.
4. Design must seduce, shape &, more importantly, evoke an emotional response.
5. Good design can be planned but great design just happens.
6. Design the right things, design the things right.
7. Imagination is more important than knowledge.

December 16, 2009


One of my favorite new additions is this typewriter fellow garage saler Chelsea and I picked up a few weeks ago. We have a few projects in mind for it but even if we hadn't, who can resist a $10 working typewriter! It surprisingly took effort to use it (being a typewriter novice) but once we got the hang of it, the possibilities were endless!

I was excited to see that typewriters, although limited in type size, typeface, leading, kerning ect., are versatile in the materials they can print on. Since I love the texture and tactfulness of fabric I decided to create this years Christmas tags combining two of my loves: typewriters and fabric. A crafty alternative to the store bought stick-ons.

December 15, 2009

An Ode to Neutraface

Ok, so I normally don't go crazy over the newest youtube hype but this one definitely kept my attention. Hysterical and true.. anyone who loves type (hopefully every designer out there) should appreciate this spoof and those of you who don't love type might learn a thing or two in the process. This video could very easily kick Helvetica off of its pedestal...

December 14, 2009

The worst of the worst (design)

Design Observer, an influential design news source came up with the top ten things that need to be redesigned. The results are so funny because they are oh so true!

The list is:
1. Lottery Tickets
2. The Hearse
3. Monopoly Money
4. TV Remote Controls
5. The State of New Jersey
6. Political Lawn Signs
7. Childrens' Skip Jackets
8. Kennedy Airport
9. Blister Packaging
10. IRS Forms

December 10, 2009

Dirty Design

Design author, Steven Heller never fails to impress me with his accurate articles based on the modern day design world. His depiction of what contemporary design is takes into consideration the styles of the past and outlooks of the future. While the late 80's and 90's were a purely digital (and somewhat outrageous) design aesthetic, Heller states that we as designers are now in an era of what he claims, 'dirty design'.

Design was losing its realness and now we are grasping at everything real we can get our hands on. From the use of silkscreen, sewing, typewriting, crafting, letterpressing, ect. designers are yearning for tactile solutions to design. Humans are too real to be expressed purely through digital form. In my opinion, we are just trying to put a little bit of our true selves back into design.

December 9, 2009

Packaging that thinks outside the box

I was very interested when I read about NY based designer Harc Lee's idea for a colorless coke bottle. While not only beautiful and intriguing, the naked bottle serves a noble purpose as well.

Lee states:

“A convex logo substitutes colorfully sprayed can. Naked can help to reduce air and water pollution occurred in its coloring process. It also reduces energy and effort to separate toxic color paint from aluminum in recycling process. Huge amount of energy and paint required to manufacture colored cans will be saved. Instead of toxic paint, manufacturers process aluminum with a pressing machine that indicates brand identity on surface. ”

Tailoring the Image to Fit the Clothes

This week, I received a very interesting article in the mail about designer Patrick Li. A new idol of mine, Li works in the fashion world translating high fashion into graphic design. A great source of inspiration about a talented man's work that I will definitely keep a close eye on.

December 7, 2009

'The Lazy Designers Guide to Success'

I was happy to read inspirational designer, Michael Bierut's philosophies on being a designer this morning on Azure. He has simplified design in 7 steps and while the entire article was definitely worth reading, I will highlight just the 7 steps.

1. Keep it simple.
2. Don’t reinvent the wheel [Part 1].
3. Don’t reinvent the wheel [Part 2]: Rotate the tires instead.
4. Do as you’re told.
5. Steal. (of course, this is directed towards ideas)
6. Once you come up with something, never let it go.
7. Make other people do the work.

December 4, 2009

DIY Simple Light Switch Cover

This simple DIY project only takes about 10 minutes and the results are more than worth it!

1. Simply unscrew the current plate and trace the borders (outside and inside) on a specialty paper (could use wrapping paper as well)

2. add about .25 inch around the outside outline in order to cover the sides

3. make a small notch cut on the corners for easy folding

4. use spray mount or decoupage glue to mount the paper on the original plate and let dry

5. punch the screws through the paper to re-attach the plate to the light switch... and voila!


December 3, 2009

Classicly inspired Wine Pakcaging

These packaging examples come from my favorite site for packaging inspiration: theDieline. Classical design is based around the ideas of restraint and simplicity but it is great to see these modern examples use the basic ideas of classical design while adding their own unique contemporary twist.

December 2, 2009

Thonet Inspired Chairs

Recently my boyfriend told me I reminded him of Martha Stewart because of my facination with finding old things and fixing them up. But really, there's something so satisfying about taking something ready to be thrown away and turning it into a great new design piece (oh, and the money you save is great as well!) We found these old chairs at an old Hollywood prop warehouse that was going out of business. This place had everything you could imagine but unfortunately we only had enough room in the car for these great chairs. At the steep price of $5 each, we decided to take all 4.

As we were paying a lady came up to me and said, "great Thonet find!" Not knowing Thonet's work I decided to google him and sure enough, the chairs definitely do resemble the German furniture designer Thonet. With a little fixing up and a coat of black semi-gloss paint, these chairs are a perfect combination of modern vintage.

December 1, 2009

Sign Painter, John Downer

Living in Los Angeles isn't as bad as I've also thought. There is so much to take advantage of if you are open to it, like this presentation / exhibition of John Downer, the well-known 'sign painter'. Not only did we get to view some of his original pieces, we actually got our names personally signed by Downer himself. It is great to see that traditional means such as these are still popular and promoted!