Feeling the Design Inspiration

branding, design, design inspiration, inspirational people, letterpress, music, typography, vintage design, websites

Do you ever have days where you just feel like little bites of inspiration are coming at you rapid fire? In a good way! I feel like this week has been full of fun graphic design pieces and I wanted to take the time to share a few of my favorites from the last few days.

While reading an article on one of our local New Orleans websites about Bob Dylan horrifying the crowds at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, I got to thinking that I wasn’t sure which Newport the festival is named for. So, I looked it up (Rhode Island, but I think I’m the only person out there who didn’t know this!) and was pleasantly greeted by a lovely website! I’m totally down with the current vintage and hand made/hand cut trend. You already know I love letterpress, so any chance to take it to the electronic side and warm up your space on the internet is welcome in my book.

music festival website

website design music festival

So of course, I clicked around to find out who made this beauty, and it was none other than Christopher Capotosto, the mastermind behind bunches of other great folk music related design. Check around his website for some lovely examples of his work!

The other bit that hit me yesterday was a paper sample look book from Utopia Papers. It came packed in the lightning bolt slip cover so just a little sliver of “Spark” showed itself in the hole. The inside is full of samples of brochures and catalogs and other pieces that used Utopia’s stock for the final product. View the featured pieces here.


My Utopia online search pointed me to Pratt’s Center for Sustainable Design Strategies and it’s definitely worth your time to poke around the student and thesis project pages – especially for Communication Design and Architecture. Oh how I wish there were a program like this in Louisiana!

That being said: What are your thoughts on grad school? Did you go? Are you planning to? How important is an MFA vs. a more business focused art program?


New Orleans Baby Cards and Design Odds and Ends

design, exhibitions, fine arts, galleries, guerilla art, inspirational people, outdoor art

Lots of exciting things going on over here in New Orleans – including a brief visit from a couple of my favorite ladies from back home. I’m in the process of getting a bunch of awesome baby products together for a mommy tradeshow in May. I’m super excited to have the cards below for sale at ZukaBaby on Magazine Street very soon!

Print Print

The cards will be available in a couple of different color schemes – for boys and girls, and also gender neutral.

I also just recently finished a new logo for Let It Be Midwifery on the North Shore, here in the New Orleans area. I loved the owner’s idea of tying beauty and water and birth all together for this piece with a little New Orleans fleur de lis to tie it all together.


Outside of working on some exciting projects, I’ve been online-stalking a large-scale light show that is finally up and running. You may have heard of it, but if not, The Bay Lights installation on the East Bay Bridge (between San Francisco and Oakland) went live on March 5. This light installation was created by artist Leo Villareal and will be on view at night for several hours at a time for two years. I hope to make it out west to see for myself!

I had a great excuse to hit up the Sazerac Bar at the Roosevelt Hotel downtown this past weekend and fell in love with the murals in the dimly-lit vintage bar. My friend Melissa poses in front of one mural below:


The murals in the Roosevelt are commissioned deco/modern pieces by Paul Ninas from 1939. They are incredible (and so are the drinks)!

In other exciting art news, I’m planning to head down to the Angela King Gallery on Royal Street to check out the Peter Max pieces on view this month. I’ll report back after I’ve been! Peter Max is a personal favorite for his incredibly unique and detailed music posters in the 1960s (think Yellow Submarine).

I’ll leave you with an image I love that I snapped after a dinner party recently. I think, by now, you all know I love deviant art and beautiful textures.


Design Tid Bits for Today

design, inspirational people, poster

I saw this incredibly beautiful post at Herman Miller that I had to share with you all. It’s not terribly often you get to see what’s going on at the Eames house, so this was a super nice surprise. While I was hunting around in their blog, I saw this awesome post about Herman Miller-related posters. You know I love a great poster!

Image from Herman Miller and taken by Francois Dischinger for Herman Miller

The husband and I wasted some time playing a silly game on the iPhone the other day – you can also play on the computer via Facebook. Famous Objects from Classic Movies was a totally fun time suck and graphically pleasing. You guys may already know about this as I’m often a bit late to the app game. I will warn you though, their definition of “classic” is a bit loose, so don’t try to search your brain for the name of every Judy Garland or Bing Crosby movie out there.

Lastly, I wanted to share with you a host of design-nerd things that you are all welcome to get me for the holidays. In no particular order, I’d like:

Pantone Christmas Ornaments

vintage inspired turntable

Bamboo and glass water bottle

This one is a stretch, but the cat appreciates good design too:

Modern scratch-free catbox

And finally:

A lovely set of desk accessories for my new office.

Oh and a vintage emerald ring, since it is the Pantone color of 2013!

New Art and Design Tid Bits From the Interwebz!

design, fine arts, galleries, inspirational people, music, photography, sculpture

Greetings from rainy Richmond! It’s a dull dreary day here and it makes me want to run off to the beach to sit in the sunshine with a book, but that’s not in the cards this week. I know a lot of you don’t live in the path of the storms currently sweeping across the Southeast, but I thought I’d pass along some sunny art and design news to get your spirits moving regardless of where you are. Or, it’s purely selfish and I just want to de-fog my own brain!

1. Huffington Post (I hesitate to even send you there before the election is over, no matter which way you sway.. yikes) had a post about some amazing grass human sculptures by Mathilde Roussel. These living grass pieces are beautiful studies in movement, reminiscent of early college days creating figure drawings in different mediums. I love how she pushed the envelope. People’s creativity never ceases to amaze me. Ms. Roussel has a large catalog of exceptionally beautiful pieces from a wide range of mediums – check out her website.

Image from Mathilde Roussel website.

2. Design Week posted an interview with Vaughan Oliver (who you already know I love). And nothing says “sunny days lay ahead” like a solid Pixies album cover…right? Judge me if you must, but sunny is in the eye of the beholder. I love the Pixies. Desert Island Album style love. But that’s not the point. Oliver is totally funny and insightful, so go read his interview. I love how he talks about working with 4AD: “… it wasn’t just a record company to me, it was like putting sleeves on my own records.” A designer’s dream! (Oh and if you’re reading from the UK, there’s a link to contact someone for inquiries on attending his upcoming talk at the bottom of the article.)

3. The Washington Post tells me that there are (at least) two big shows worth noting in NYC this fall and winter: Andy Warhol at the Met and Edvard Munch at the MOMA. The Warhol exhibit will showcase his lasting effect on other contemporary artists, featuring both his works and those where he may have been inspiration. Munch at the MOMA will showcase his famous work The Scream for a six month period of time starting October 24. Evidently this is the only non-Norwegian original version of the work, so check it out while it’s in the area!

3.1. While you’re visiting The Scream, stop in to the new photography exhibition. The show features the works of Michele Abeles, Birdhead, Anne Collier, Zoe Crosher, and Shirana Shahbazi. Collier was also featured on the Highline this past February with a billboard-sized commissioned piece.

Image from Highline website.

Happy Birthday Andy Warhol!

design, fine arts, inspirational people, painting

Quickie post for the afternoon: I’ve just learned that today would have been Andy Warhol’s 84th birthday. The Huffington Post posted an interview with Warhol’s friend and colleague from The Factory, Ms. Ultra Violet. Definitely worth a read, in a bazaar-yet-insightful sort of way. Love it.

Michelangelo Reclining in the Asymmetrical Universe. Image from Ultra Violet’s website.

Check out Warhol’s last known interview, just for giggles.

Summer Art and Design Out West

design, design theory, exhibitions, fine arts, galleries, inspirational people

So rumor has it I’m headed to San Francisco for a work trip next month, and I am excited to get a little time with my favorite Modern Commissary duo from Oakland while I’m there! I am planning to sneak out and get a little time with some art while I’m in the neighborhood. My picks are below, but I’m sure the MC team will have some more local perspective on what to see while I’m in town!

SFMOMA is hosting exhibitions on Josef Albers/Paul Klee, Buckminster Fuller and Parra, all of which I want to see. If you’re not familiar with Parra, I suggest you visit his website. He’s an amazing and bold illustrator from Amsterdam. I want to go there and find his show posters to steal.

Image from Parra’s website

And frankly, if you aren’t familiar with Josef Albers, you had better get familiar. He’s one of my favorites, so I’m biased. He was a brilliant color theorist and authored a (THE) series of color theory books, which have been fairly recently remastered and re-released. There’s also a 2012 book about the man himself, which I have not yet read, but have heard good things about.

The De Young will be hosting a Chuck Close exhibition I wouldn’t mind seeing. And hopefully I can catch the Man Ray/Lee Miller exhibition and Marcel Duchamp at the Legion of Honor, since they open while I’m there.

Happy travels!

Sunday Design Tidbits of Fun

design, design books, fine arts, guerilla art, inspirational people, music, non-profit, typography

Thank you to all who voted for my shirt designs at Storyville Apparel! I got the designs in before the voting ended, though I thought I had a few more hours of voting. But to those that tried and couldn’t, I thank you for your effort and support as well! I will find out tomorrow morning at the Storyville blog whether or not I won. Even if I didn’t, Storyville has some very cool items for you to check out!

I read the other day on Steven Heller’s Print Magazine blog that there is a new book about one of my favorite typographer/designers coming out soon! Long past due, this new book at Herb Lubalin will be out in August, and I cannot wait. Pre-order here.

Shepard Fairey is on the move again, with a new mural up in Paris called “Rise Above Rebel.” Check it out at Street Art News! And in other Shepard Fairey news, the VMFA in Richmond currently has one on view. The link is a little unclear as to whether it’s a new acquisition or is on loan, so you better check it out sooner than later just to be safe!

Yesterday I took a trip out to Culpeper, Virginia to see the property my dad has recently acquired. On the way home I stopped into Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park to see some of the National Park Service wayside panels I designed about 10 years ago! From what I understand, it took them about 6 years to produce and finally install the pieces, but that’s still no excuse for waiting so long to see them in person.

And my husband ordered himself some new business cards that he designed himself this week! I’m either rubbing off on them or he’s been holding out his design skillz on me – I love them!

And my last little tid bit of design news for the day is that the Music Box musical architecture experience in New Orleans has seen it’s last big events before they will disassemble and begin work on a permanent structure. Check their blog in the next few days for sound and video clips of the work and talks – they are fantastic about uploading parts of all the amazing events that have taken place. I’m sure they will update the weekend’s events as well. But for now, they have plenty of interesting clips to keep you busy.

TEDx coming to Richmond and Other Odds and Ends

exhibitions, guerilla art, inspirational people, music, TEDx

Hello team,

So, things have been totally busy at the day job, totally busy on the freelance front, and since I’m a glutton for punishment, I’ve applied for and received a TEDx license to hold an event here in the good ole RVA. Very exciting indeed! It will be TEDxHullStreet (@tedxhullstreet), to be held in the fall at Plant Zero. I’m busily gathering all sorts of presenters on design and art, roots media, community involvement, music, branding, sustainable food, urban agriculture and other topics. Richmond has so many great, out-of-the-proverbial-box things happening right now that can make a difference on a much larger scale if we can just spread the ideas. I’m really excited about this project and cannot wait to give you all updates.


In other news, as a follow up to my previous post about New Orleans’ Music Box, I’ve heard that there are now sound clips on the Dithyrambalina blog if you want to check them out. They recently held a benefit show at the Music Box, and let me tell you, it did not sound like that when I played the instruments. Beautiful.

Also, I went down to the RVA Food Cart Derby yesterday with a good friend from work and she told me about this cool project in Detroit, called the Heidelberg Project. Maybe I’m a little late to the game, but this was news to me and I find it to be fascinating. Similar in theory to the Music Box, this project creates something new and beautiful out of blighted homes and it involves the community in a new, inspirational, innovative way.

Happy Monday folks!