Archive | December, 2010

Catalog Living

30 Dec

Good news, Gary. Another couple has declined our New Year’s Eve invitation because our living room makes them seasick.

Meet Gary and Elaine, fictional occupants of the super glossy pages that arrive bound as catalogs in your mailbox. I needed a break from some tedious assembly work this morning (the 3-ring binder kind, sadly not anything that would appear in this resource I’m sharing), and Catalog Living came to my rescue, thanks to a reference heard on NPR last week. It is the creation of a Los Angeles writer & actor named Molly Erdman. I’m going to put it right up there with RegretsyCake Wrecks, and Unhappy Hipsters. I’ve drooled over catalogs since I was a girl, and the older I get, the more I realize that they portray an improbable–and sometimes irrational–world.


An amazing opportunity for recent grads (as well as those about to be).

21 Dec

I hire students from my classes as interns. I teach, hire and mentor them, closely observing their progress. I stay young because I get to borrow their eyes. In fact, I get more out of it than they do. Paula Scher

Please familiarize yourself with AIGA Wisconsin’s Cultivate mentoring program. It is an amazing opportunity to get to know an experienced designer who can hopefully help you with advice, resources, and networking as you begin your career. You need to be a member of AIGA, but don’t let that be a hurdle, as membership will get you access to much, much more… including exclusive job postings and the ability to showcase your portfolio to a much wider audience.

But you’ve gotta act fast: the deadline is January 10th!
From the program’s website:

Cultivate connects emerging graphic designers with established design professionals in mentoring relationships, encouraging the future success of the design industry in our region.


Emerging designers, like all new professionals, need to tap into the strength of their communities in order to grow. That’s why we started Cultivate, AIGA Wisconsin’s three-month mentoring program, in order to spark new relationships for the benefit of designers in all levels of professional development.

After an initial mentoring match at the kick-off social event, the Mentors and Mentees sit down and get to know each other. Each pair will be encouraged to set a meeting schedule, and agree on a few topics of interest to discuss and ponder over the next few months. AIGA Wisconsin as a chapter will remain in the wings as a resource, allowing the mentoring relationship to grow organically, until the “Harvest Party” when we’ll celebrate a feast of design from emerging professionals at the end of the program.


If you’re an associate level member in AIGA (4 years or fewer practice in any design community), or an AIGA student member in your final semester, you can reserve a place as a Mentee with an established professional level AIGA member in a similar field. Your Mentor will have the experience and perspective to answer questions you may not want to ask at work. A Mentor can help you focus on a career development plan, and give you the confidence and insights that will guide you for years to come. The Mentee fee is $20.


Cultivate Application

Because you can’t have a royal wedding without proper table service.

20 Dec

A group of designers over the pond have taken a decidedly modern approach towards designing the inevitable ceramic souvenirs that celebrate Big Royal Undertakings. In my view, they are probably the least tacky commemorative  plates that will result of the whole William/Kate wedding thing.

Jealous? Me? Never!

See below for reference imagery. I remember watching this wedding on TV!

I imagine it would be hard to scrape the butter off of this one:

Let’s observe the pastry.

17 Dec

Here we are: it’s the last day of the Fall 2010 semester. Projects are graded and ready to go in the classroom. Time to switch gears. Or just to get a good night’s sleep. We’ve earned it.

You might find yourself eating christmas cookies over the next week or two. But I’ll bet none of them were cut from the mold of one of my favorite illustrators, Christoph Niemann. Niemann regularly shares his interpretation of the world with the readers of the New York Times. I’m already a big fan: I’ll eat up anything he puts out. Including this. Enjoy.

A few of my favorites are just below. Of course, I’m starting with the map….

And, of course,

A little holiday color from my sister. And I’m passing it on to you.

15 Dec

Sometimes I secretly dream of opening a decent stationery store in the Fox Cities. We’re seriously deprived. (As You Wish in Fond du Lac is a rare bright spot.)

I received this in the mail yesterday: my sister has great taste in greeting cards. And because she lives in the Twin Cities, she has access to some of the best. The credit for this one goes to Seltzer, a design firm out of Long Island City, New York. Next year, I want to see the colors of Thanksgiving. I’ve always liked how the yams and the rutabaga complement each other, especially when placed next to the cranberries.

OK, back to grading….



This makes finals week look like a hayride.

13 Dec

Here’s a link for my stressed-out students, rushing to finish projects right now: Clients from Hell. I know sometimes you think your professors are a little demanding. But at least we’re not crazy!

Not yet, at least.

My favorite bits from the site, which is as funny as it is depressing (please pardon the inconsistent line spacing. WordPress is not playing nice with that right now):

CLIENT: “Why is the text slanty?”

ME: “It is in italics.”

CLIENT: “No, it is slanty.”

ME: “It’s called italics.”

CLIENT: “I don’t care what you call it, make it stop.”


CLIENT: “This layout looks absolutely amazing; I completely love it! However, my husband is from Germany and so he has a natural born sense of design (I’m from the South, so I have to trust what he thinks) and he doesn’t like it at all. He’ll be calling you shortly with his revisions.”


CLIENT:“Photography is not art goddamnet! It’s just a Xerox of what just happened.”


“I work on an in-house design team and our boss consistently walks past our monitors and peeks at what we are doing. On occasion, there will be something on screen that bothers her. One day she walked by and asked, ‘Are you really putting pink stripes on that?’ The pink stripes were my grid guides.”


CLIENT:“When we said “sexy” we really meant “slick.” Can you make those changes?”


CLIENT: “This isn’t what I was looking for.”

ME: ”No problem, this is all part of the process. Can you explain what you don’t like?”

CLIENT: “I’d rather shove you down the stairs for wasting my time.”


ME: “Unfortunately some of the images you sent over can’t be used as they are the wrong file type.”

CLIENT: “Oh, okay. Which files?”

ME: “The animated GIFs.”

CLIENT: “So why can’t they be used for the brochure?”


CLIENT: “The concrete in the images has to be pale grey not light grey. Please change it immediately.”


CLIENT: ”A hundred dollars?! For a hundred dollars, I would expect a hundred logos!”


CLIENT: “Can the word ‘apparel’ have an accent so that it looks more French?”

ME: “The French word doesn’t have an accent.”


CLIENT:It’s not eye catching enough.. I tried to show it to my dog, and she wanted nothing to do with it. How are we going to sell our products if dogs aren’t even interested?”


CLIENT:“Let’s put a border around it.. and can the border throb a little? I need it to throb.”


CLIENT:“I need you to keep the colors, fonts and layout the same. Please just make make it sparkle.”
CLIENT: ”So they say that art is a passion. Do you really think that it’s right to charge someone for something you’re passionate about?”
CLIENT:“One pixel is still too big. Please make it smaller. ASAP.”

CLIENT:“The logo ideas you made were horrible. Where have you ever seen logos that cleverly merge graphics with words?”

Ride your sled over if you must!

9 Dec

UWO Senior Design Exhibition is having its reception tonight! The celebration goes down from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. in the Priebe Gallery in the Arts & Communications Center. I just returned from the exhibition, and I think it’s one of the best yet. I saw many of my favorite student projects of yore re-imagined and reinvigorated. These students obviously worked their, um, behinds off.