06 December 2010

New Work | 2010 Holiday Cards

I have been incredibly busy lately, which explains the lack of posts recently. One of the projects that kept me so busy was designing new holiday photo cards for Papier Gourmet! Check out all of the details on Pam's post here.

Photography on this card done by Kari Herer Photography.

22 October 2010


Today, there was an article by CBS Moneywatch.com about when to call in the pros to do something. The number two item on the list was Formal Printing Jobs. I love this! I feel like everyone these days is going cheap on their printing. For some reason people think they can do a better job than someone who actually knows a thing or two about printing. Only with the rare exception do I relate to this logic. If you actually know what you're doing and it's a small quantity, go ahead Joe and give it a shot.

If you're trying to go cheap on something that you shouldn't be, reconsider. One of my best friends was about to get her wedding invitations for free (gasp!) before I stepped in and saved her from utter humiliation. That's one place I will never understand the logic as a girl's wedding day is one of the most important days of her life. The invitation for your wedding (or any event) sets the tone for the entire affair.

Commercial printers know their stuff. They can help you out and provide valuable insight on your specific job. Most people on the whole, I think, know little to nothing about commercial printing. Don't get me wrong, every job should not be commercially printed, but some things should. And you should not go cheap on them.

Read the article here

14 October 2010

Mad Men, Mad Props

I realize this is old, but none the less it is a great nerded-out article on typography. What surprises me the most by this is that when Mad Men first premiered there were a lot of articles talking about the extensive research done by the crew to show authentic (or authentic looking) props for everything from vintage Tanqueray labels to the Slinky that the kids play with in one episode.

Read the article here

02 October 2010

Not My Type

NYC has been mandated to change all of its street signs. Why? Because they are in all caps. The Federal Highway Administration has determined that a mixed case of uppers and lowers are easier to read. Which they are. It looks like the FHA is just now catching on to what typographers have known for ages. Of course a mix of uppercase and lowercase are easier to read. In this day and age, most people equate all caps to someone yelling.

In printed matter, serif typefaces have more readability than sans serif. On a computer screen, most would argue that sans serifs are easier on the eyes. I wonder if they thought about this before deciding to keep these signs in sans serif fonts. The new font that will adorning these new signs is called Clearview and these new signs will cost the city approximately $27.5 million.

It seems fitting to me that, in NYC especially, there was always a sign that appeared to be yelling at you.

01 October 2010

A Quick Lesson In Color

Yesterday I heard a "graphic designer" say, "Really there's no reason why you should ever design in CMYK." I almost burst out laughing.

For those of you who may not know, or haven't figured it out yet, I have a heavy printing background. I studied printing prior to studying visual communication. And all of the knowledge that I have gained about printing has helped me immensely in becoming a better designer... that's another post though.

First off, let's talk about my four favorite colors--cyan, magenta, yellow and black... otherwise known as CMYK. These are the primary pigment colors in which most everything you see printed in full color is comprised off. They are also the four toners in your inkjet/laser printer.

These differ substantially from the primary colors of light, otherwise known as RGB (red, blue, green). CMY are considered subtractive color and RGB are additive color. If you add R+G+B, you get white. If you subtract 100% C&Y&K, you get white. If you add C+M+Y, you get a muddy brown. Black is the key (K) to achieving a better spectrum.

If you are looking to design something for the web, use RGB. Anything for print should be CMYK. I realize that pre-flight software will adjust colors and even your printer will print and RGB image, but shouldn't you try from the very beginning to get the best color in the end?

My guess is that at some point in time the logo you designed will in fact, be on press utilizing the CMYK color space. You should plan accordingly.

17 September 2010

Innovations in 3-D Printing

This is a pretty awesome video highlighting the capabilities of 3-D printing. Since this blog is about printing (among other things) I thought that all types of printing should be included. This is also a glance at something that most people wouldn't necessarily think of when they think printing.

I love the ability to create prosthetics and how Summit can really emphasize and push the design aspect of the limbs. In this instance, form and function are working together and complementing one another for a great result.

How cool could it be to draw something up and shortly have your very own prototype?

03 September 2010

Hello Brooklyn!

So this video has been around for a bit, but I thought I would post it for a few reasons: 1) The typography is great  2) It has a sample of Marvin Gaye and  3) I am heading to NYC this weekend and needed a catchy song stuck in my head.

10 August 2010

The Great Typo Hunt

Incensed by a "no tresspassing" sign, Jeff Deck launched a cross-country trip to right grammatical wrongs.

28 July 2010

Don't be Stationary

In my line of work as a visual communicator and design/print consultant I deal with a lot of printers and graphic designers. There are many ways to tell the good from the bad, my favorite is the malapropism "stationary". It is painstakingly hard for me to take anyone who works with design/printing/paper seriously when they don't know their product.

There are an astonishing number of people out there who use the wrong word and yet every time I see it on someone's website I giggle aloud. So often I will visit a designer's site and see them telling me how great they are and really trying to sell themselves and then they just end up shooting themselves in the foot with one word.

I would never hire someone who shows off "stationary" design, but apparently there are people out there who would. This misuse makes me believe that they are a stationary designer/printer and never evolving in their work; their process is never moving forward.

Remember, just because you can spell a word correctly doesn't mean it's the right one.

16 June 2010

Moleskine Does it Again

After all of the great product Moleskine has been coming out with lately, most notably, the Portfolio for large products and the Passions collection, I was pleased to see this new one. The Kindle Cover.
I love that new eReaders can have the old school flair of a real book. I am not anti-eReader, but something about the idea (no matter how practical they are) just seems wrong. I will forever have an affinity towards the touchy-feely, pick it up and throw it across the room quality that printed material has. I am also loving that you can take notes while you're reading right there. If only I had a Kindle... 

04 February 2010

Heinz Redesign

By Sarah Skidmore, AP Food Industry Writer , On Thursday February 4, 2010, 3:05 pm EST

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- The ketchup packet has been around for more than 40 years, and complaints about it for nearly as long: too messy, too small, too hard to open. Now ketchup giant H.J. Heinz Co. is unveiling the first major packaging change to the to-go condiment.

The new design has a base that's more like a cup for dipping and also a tear-off end for squeezing, plus it holds three times as much ketchup than a traditional packet.

"The packet has long been the bane of our consumers," said Dave Ciesinski, vice president of Heinz Ketchup. "The biggest complaint is there is no way to dip and eat it on-the-go."

Heinz has long struggled to find a design that lets diners dip or squeeze ketchup that could also be sold at a price acceptable to its restaurant customers. For this effort, it bought its design team a used minivan two years ago to test if their ideas really worked while eating on the road.

Heinz sells more than 11 million cases of its ketchup packets in the U.S. every year and it will continue to sell the traditional packet. The new packet is in test markets in the Midwest and Southeast and will roll out at select fast-food restaurants in the fall.

Heinz is still working out prices with customers but said packets will cost a little more than regular packets.

Will they catch on? It's hard telling, but the news may cheer some ketchup fans like Matt Kurtz, a 22-year-old student who finds the problems are as ubiquitous as the packets themselves.

The self-proclaimed ketchup aficionado became so annoyed two years ago after spilling ketchup on his jeans while on a road trip, he started one of hundreds of anti-ketchup packet groups on Facebook. He dubbed it "Prop 57" as a gentle poke at Heinz, saying it is to "draw awareness" to the packets' shortcomings.

"I said 'There has to be a better way'," he said.

07 January 2010

My First Go at Furniture Design

As a lover of letterpress, I decided to create this table. After buying some lots of type (one with three ligatures!) and getting a drawer I started putting this together. There are a few different typefaces here and the patina of the type is gorgeous. These letters are not adhered in any way so they can be removed if necessary. My husband cut the glass that sets over the entire case. Needing a base for the table I turned to a furniture case that my father had given me that came from a shop in central Indiana.