Celebrating Museum Day in New Orleans

design, design inspiration, exhibitions, fine arts, galleries, poster, sculpture, vintage design

Two weekends ago, the Fried Green Mister and I took full advantage of the Smithsonian’s Museum Day Live and visited both the WWII Museum and Longue Vue House and Gardens. If you didn’t get out to any museums for Museum Day this year, I highly recommend marking your calendar for next year! It was pretty crowded, but not totally out of control, and a great way to get a lot of bang for your buck. We did about $75 worth of awesome activities for $10!

In efforts to keep this post from droning on for days, I’ll give you a photo summary of my favorite things from our day:

longue vue house

Longue Vue is a secret den of fantastic modern art in New Orleans. The owner was an avid art collector and there are some unique pieces housed in the sunroom.

longue vue art collection

longue vue modern art

longue vue gardens

longue vue art gallery

longue vue house new orleans

The World War II Museum was incredibly well designed, though I had a hard time finding any information the exhibit designer for the original portion of the museum, Gallagher & Associates seems to be tied to the new Boeing section with the full sized planes. I have always had grand dreams of being an exhibit designer…

wwii museum new orleans


At museums from this period, I’m always taken with unusual propaganda posters. It always seems like there was so much more thought put into the propaganda during WWI and WWII. You just don’t see pieces like these anymore.

wwii museum posters

wwii propaganda posters

wwii museum new orleans posters



Something Beautiful Showed Up Today

design, poster, Uncategorized

Today, I got something beautiful in the mail! It is my very own work, but I think it’s lovely! The ABCs of New Orleans poster has arrived and I couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out!

new orleans abcs poster

nola abcs poster

This 18×24 inch horizontal poster is available on my Etsy site, unframed on heavy, glossy poster-weight paper with a background in either blue, pink or light grey. This is a must-have for every New Orleans nursery – and for many adults too!

Unrelated, but still important: I’m planning a trip across the canal to Tulane University’s A Studio in the Woods, which I have just found out is painfully close to my home. The studio is an environmental preservation and art haven along the Mississippi, with emphasis on nature and fully enveloping oneself in creativity. I can’t wait to see what the studio looks like and all they have going on. I will report back with my findings!

Goodbye Carnival, Hello Wedding Season!

branding, design, freelance, invitations, letterpress, poster, printing, weddings

Hello and hope you all made it through Mardi Gras with lots of throws to show for it! I had an amazing first Mardi Gras and I even claimed my Zulu coconut and one for my man too, since he had to work on Mardi Gras Day. I can’t wait until next year! I will be far more prepared with costumes next time around!


photo photo[1]

I also bumped into this little street art piece somewhere along the parade route:


This person’s work keeps popping up around town and I’m intrigued. I’d like to know a little more and will keep you posted if I find anything out!

But the real story today is that Carnival Season is officially over and February 15 marked the unofficial, official start to wedding season! I love weddings because I get to help brides and grooms design a little piece of their history and something that their closest friends and family have been waiting to receive in the mail since the couple’s big announcement! Invitations are the first teaser for your big day that will set the tone for the whole party. I love the challenge to create a piece that speaks for and about the happy couple on their happiest of days.

Over the last several years, I have spent a lot of time looking at amazing wedding sites and blogs, and I’m going to give you all a list of my favorites, which are especially nice for the DIY-type of couple in this budget-conscious age. But these are also great for finding resources local to you for your big day. If wedding shows in a big convention center hall aren’t your thing, these are great for finding local vendors from the comfort of your own home. So, without further adieu, here are a few of my favorite blogs:


And here’s the best bit of wedding collateral advice I can give you: Do not sign up for The Knot and their “free” wedding website option. They will spam you for the rest of your life and then their sister publication The Nest will do the same. I had a fantastic time using MyWedding.com for my personal wedding website. I highly recommend it and they do not spam your inbox for years and they have a really classy assortment of templates.

Most of the above blogs and sites can be found on Pinterest as well, for easy stocking and storing of wedding goodies. And of course, I would love to chat with you about custom wedding invitations – I can work with all budgets and styles of printing (high end cotton papers with letter press, offset printing on pearls and metallics, digital printing with recycled papers, print-at-home, you name it!) for invitations, wedding posters, table cards, and anything else printed that you can dream up! Check out templates at the Fried Green Etsy site, or email me directly at emily(at)friedgreendesign(dot)com to talk about custom pieces!

Happy wedding season!


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!

Save the Empire!

design, non-profit, poster

Big news, y’all. We are finally back in the land of the internetz. I am crazy excited. First order of business: watch too much Netflix. Second order of business: tell you guys about an awesome Superstorm Sandy fundraiser.

Image from Print Aid NYC by Cole Nielsen

A group of NYC artists came together to create Print Aid NYC to help raise money for the City’s relief fund in the wake of the devastating storm. There are some incredible posters for great prices (all $30). I see a bunch of holiday presents in this bunch. Check it out and help out a great cause, but do it soon! These are only available in limited quantities until December 2!

Read up a bit about the project in HOW Magazine and be sure to check out the extra bit about socially conscious design at the bottom. I had an opportunity to take a class with Noah Scalin in college, and the idea of design as a medium to (on the most basic level) promote good, and take a stand against bad has really stuck with me over the years. Being conscious of who I work for, why and to what end result is something I keep in mind with all my clients – not to mention keeping the same principles in mind in all areas of my life!

JR Makes the Hong Kong Street Art Scene

fine arts, guerilla art, outdoor art, photography, poster, TEDx

The French street artist known as JR has struck again – this time with his TED prize-funded “Inside Out” project hitting Hong Kong. The Wall Street Journal posted a nice article with video yesterday.

Image from JR’s website.

JR won the 2011 TED Prize and his wish for the world was to use art to create change. JR says “I wish for you to stand up for what you care about by participating in a global art project, and together we’ll turn the world… INSIDE OUT.” Since March of 2011 JR has been taking photo submissions from individuals and groups and then sending back a large format print of their piece for them to paste up as a statement for a cause or idea they care about. Additionally, JR has continued his work of bringing attention to the various faces of the world. It’s pretty incredible and I am really happy to know a bit more about the idea behind this quiet, global movement. Check out the follow up on JR’s year of turning the world Inside Out.

SFO Art Fun Part 2

architecture, design, exhibitions, fine arts, galleries, guerilla art, outdoor art, painting, poster, vintage design

Welcome back for Part 2 of my San Francisco artventures. I finally encountered one of the reclaimed parking lot spaces I’ve been reading about on Untapped Cities. I love a good parklet. This was a particularly adorable “porch” for a restaurant in the Haight.

Also in the Haight, I found one of my secret crushes – odd bathroom graffiti. Yep, that’s my pink camera strap. I’m totally professional.

But seriously, I did make it to the SFMOMA to see some of the highlights I’d been hoping to catch. First up, the Parra piece was awesome. It’s huge and bold and strategically placed. Worth a visit for sure. I wish there has been more Parra pieces to see!

I stopped into the Paul Klee/Josef Albers comparative exhibit. The museum tried to explain and showcase the similarities in the focus of these seemingly unrelated artists. It was kind of a cool concept, for sure. And the pieces were great.

I got the chance to go to Alcatraz for the first time this go-around, and one of my favorite parts (besides the creepy fog and birds all over the island) was the room with old movie posters near the gift shop.

The middle, sort of orange block poster is one of my favorites ever – thank you Saul Bass.

And lastly, on a mostly related note, we visited a fantastic winery called Artesa in the Napa Valley. Not only did they have great wine (available for retail in a lot of states) but they also had an incredible spread of land overlooking the Valley and incorporating some unique architectural, water and sculptural elements. I also got to spend some quality time with our fabulous hosts from Modern Commissary. Thanks guys, y’all are amazing tour guides!


Vintage Graphic Design Finds

design, fine arts, poster, printing, typography, vintage design

I spent today with my mom and her bestie and the birthday girl, my Tante Karin, antiques shopping our way around downtown Fredericksburg, Virginia. It was lovely weather in a quaint, Jefferson-era setting. We hit up a bunch of different stores that never disappoint in the design inspiration category.

The first item of interest I noticed was this 1925 No No Nanette record album. The colors and fonts are so classic for that period and the illustration is priceless. They were not afraid of soothing negative space. It makes me long for the days of outrageously fine arts-driven music albums. Artists inspired by other artists.

The next pile of design fun was a bowl of these amazing buttons. Some were political, probably 1950s to 60s, and others highlighted the Rose Bowl – I’d assume one button for each of the two teams playing that year. I’ve always loved this style of bold, boxy political buttons. I had a killer “I like Ike” one that is probably somewhere still at my dad’s house. I also had a “we give a damn!” one with an elephant that I’d love to see again.

Found these Columbia Records relics at the same place as the other two items. These are direct relatives of the album art I posted about here, from the late 1940s. Awesome.

This incredible piece of Americana was from a different store. Have I mentioned how much I love kitschy political design work? What’s not to love here? And if you think you’re getting a taste of my political leanings, you might be wrong!

Who doesn’t love a crazy b-list movie poster? In all seriousness, I miss how often our society used to put hand illustrators to work.

I mistakenly took this little cutie as some sort of beer ad or book cover, but turns out it’s the cover of a Gmund paper sample book. These papers are something I’m going to look into, as they are made with malt and hops, and my German heritage and design-nerdiness makes me want to dig deeper. I’ll keep you posted on my findings. Right now I’m going to sit sheepishly and feel silly about my mistake. Adorable package with fantastic typography, either way.

The last item of interest was not found in a store, but spotted on the street. It was a KONY 2012 flyer taped to a building. Do you all have opinions on this campaign? I’m still undecided as to what’s real and what’s not. I watched the video and I read some articles that counter the video, but the information is still pretty foggy for me. There are some holes and I have some lingering thoughts on “doing more harm than good” when it comes to working with semi-(or fully) corrupt foreign governments. What do you think? Is the campaign just a hipster film maker with a personal agenda?