Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Office Re-design

Well, my life this last week has been a bit hectic. After getting very very very little sleep while working on an event last weekend (plus cutting out to go to a Ghostland Observatory concert - so good) I wrapped up my job at Microsoft by Friday. I had so many projects to complete I had very little time to even check in on my blog or the blogs of others.

Yesterday I started my new event planning job. My first task (that I've basically given myself) is to clean/organize my new office. Basically, I require a space that is both functional and comfortable and a little fun. Call me high maintenance, but if the office (my home as well) doesn't aid in me accomplishing my goals and make me feel good while I'm doing it - well... then I'm going to make it that way or be quite unhappy at work.

Here are some tips about Office Design. Regardless of what you do, it's important to have good design in the office for your happiness and productivity.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Fixing Conferences

Fast Company produced an great article with six lessons on how to fix conferences. I clicked through to this because my new job involves planning conferences - although not for designers. Regardless, it gave me a few ideas. Maybe it will help you too.

Here's a quick run-down of the 6 lessons:
1. Social media is the enemy of time-based productivity
2. All problems are systems challenges
3. Big thinking loves tight parameters
4. Ask for what you want
5. Meeting in-person is powerful
6. Action is harder than rhetoric

Read the full article here and learn more about how these tips can create a more collaborative environment.

Say Cheese!

This is just plain funny.

But seriously, this cheesy camera is part of a Smithsonian exhibit celebrating the evolution of the camera. Check it.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Urban Cursor

I don't know why I love things like this so much. Maybe it is because it's unique, completely random, out of place, and interactive. It might even make you think. Maybe you just think "I don't get it" or "Why is this here?" but still you use your brain. It's a nice break from the mindlessness that occurs when you're walking down the same street you walk down everyday.
Check out the Urban Cursor! I don't think it's a form of advertisement but it's not a bad idea. Maybe Photoshop CS4 could advertise my having giant tools that manipulated the ground covered in chalk. Just a thought.

Holiday Marketing

Meylah, a crafty person's business blog, offers some holiday marketing ideas. They are designed for crafters but really I think most businesses could take this advice, tweak it and run with it.

My favorite idea is "Send clients an early holiday card or newsletter" - so easy! Also, I like the idea of taking your products and making them look like they fit in with the holiday theme.

Another great idea, throw a party! Invite people over and sell your stuff. Not only good for business, it's just fun.

Check out the rest here.

Masters in Branding

The first branding masters program in the United States! I want to go. I really want to. But I have to wait.... Malcolm Gladwell is one of the instructors! Patience, patience, patience.
Visit the School of Visual Arts in NYC for more info.

Beautiful Losers

Beautiful Losers film trailer from beautifullosersfilm on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Competitive Patience

I just had an interesting experience. Basically, I got a job without even trying... at least I thought that until my friend reminded me of the time I'd spent building a relationship with my new employer, and doing so with an intention.

I'd been volunteering on projects for the last five years and so when it came time to hire someone they thought of me. It was quite possibly the easiest job I've ever gotten. No application. No interview.

So, I'm starting to think... maybe patience and hard work really can pay off. And I'm profoundly impressed by this notion of building intentional relationships. It's the purest form of advertising and marketing! It might even be the perfect example of branding (a topic I've come to learn is quite vague and difficult to explain - more on that later).

I'm very excited to have a new position where I can be creative and think a lot about advertising, marketing and design and put my energy toward something I'm passionate about!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Monday, November 2, 2009

Crisis = Opportunity

Throughout this recession, I've been blown away by the way some businesses (specifically credit companies) have decided to handle it. Sometimes it seems that they are placing all of the blame on the consumer for not buying enough. They've told us that buying more is the only way to save our economy even when buying more means more personal debt.
In my opinion, it's the business world that needs to change. We, the consumers, have already made our decision to buy less. How will you deal with it now?
John Gerzema gives a great talk on the post-crisis consumer. It's hopeful. He explains that maybe the crisis wasn't such a bad thing, that maybe the only solution isn't to return to our old ways of buying on credit and constantly looking for what is bigger, brighter, shinier, newer, faster.
I keep hearing this mantra across business media: now is the time to build your business. I see the word crisis and think decision or turning point. We have an opportunity to build someting new and great and wholesome. I, for one, am excited!

The Rules

One Hundred Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do... really? 100! I've never worked in a restaurant but I'm pretty sure the average restaurant doesn't have this many rules, but I think they probably should.
I might be one of the pickiest customers on the face of the earth. If I go to a restaurant and the staff doesn't welcome me or they seem impatient or they interrupt I am quickly turned off and I rarely go back. Restaurants have a lot of competition. If someone isn't happy with your restaurants service or food they can probably walk 20 feet in any direction and find another place to eat.
I appreciate this restaurant owners attention to detail. I also wish that other businesses would also take note of these details. I would love to own a restuarant/bar someday and I definately plan on using this list as a starting point and reference when hiring and training my staff.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

B Sides, Vol. 1: Plays Well With Lasers

I've always enjoyed making mix CD's (or tapes back in the day) and I do think of it as some kind of art. As a fun project, I thought I would start making mix CD's for a few friends each month. I find it to be a good exercise in creativity, specifically in naming the mix and such. I made a little design with a sharpie on this one but I'd like to get a bit more creative in the future.

1. My Girls - Animal Collective
2. 1901 - Phoenix
3. Heartbeats - The Knife
4. All The Right Moves - OneRepublic
5. Whatcha Say - Jason Derulo
6. I Want You back - Discovery
7. Paparazzi - Lady Gaga
8. Sleepyhead - Passion Pit
9. Ce Jeu - Yelle
10. Animal - Miike Snow
11. Rollerskate - Matias Aguayo
12. We Are Golden - Mika
13. M.A.G.I.C. - The Sound of Arrows
14. Dancing On My Grave - Ghostland Observatory
15. Stay Alive - The Pains of Being Pure At Heart
16. I Gotta Feeling - Black Eyed Peas
17. Empire State of Mind - Jay-Z
18. Hello Seattle - Owl City
19. Clocks - Vitamin String Quartet

Friday, October 30, 2009

Pattern & Texture in Video

Since we are doing a study on Pattern & Texture this week in Design class, I've been keeping my eye out for these things. When I saw this video, it really stood out for me as a good use of both pattern and texture to draw people in and create focal points and movement.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Half Way There

I've hit the half way point of the quarter. 5 weeks down, 5 weeks to go. I'm really enjoying drawing class these days, so I thought I would share some of my sketches from class so far.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Oh Snap!

My cousin is an awesome photographer and graphic designer in the Seattle area. I really like his style and soon I'll be getting my own personal photoshoot, compliments of Mike Folden of Joe Photo & Design.

Here are some of my favorite photos from his collection:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Personal Advertisement

Attending design school isn't cheap. Luckily between working full-time and going to school most nights of the week I don't have much time to spend money. Nevertheless, let me beg for just a moment.

I've started a little shop where you can buy some things with some photos of mine stuck right on the front. This way we're all winners. You get something cool like a mug with a beach on it (the beach from the Twilight series, folks) and I get some money to buy new sharpies.

If you don't want any more junk filling up your closet... well then, just click that little donate button over there on the right.

Thanks for your support!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Contrast Collages

The assignment for this week's Design class was to create a collage that effectively draws the eye in and creates some sort of order through contrasting images/shapes/colors/etc. Mine is ok. Not the best collage I've ever made (since I used to make them all the time). I only wish I could create something as interesting as these collages by Robert Mars.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


I swear I had a breakthrough in my drawing class yesterday. We talked a bit about pre-concieved notions and how they can create walls that are seemingly impenetrable. The great news is - they can be broken down! I guess you just have to let go.. or something like that. Basically, I realized that I'm a messy drawer and I kind of like it so I'm just going to go with that and stop trying to be perfect.

Anyhow, I actually enjoyed drawing for once and I can't wait to draw more! I'll post pics soon but until then I discovered this site Odosketch. You can draw online with different colors and lines. It's pretty sweet and the drawings some people create are AMAZING. I don't know how they do it.

This one is mine. The other cool part is that once you draw it, you can rewatch how you did it! So cool. Just one tip: save your drawing and then go back to the main page to start another. I lost a few when I just saved and then trashed the drawing to start over. Boo.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Senior Class

The boomers are on their way to old age... how are we catering to their needs? An article about Senior Hair Salons caught my eye today in the Seattle Times.

Think of the opportunities! Most good and intelligent design seems to focus itself on the youngest generations and technology, but soon we'll have a generation of senior citizens with new needs and preferences and concerns.

In the case of the hair salon, they thought about the design details that would draw in the elderly - from the cape to the decor on the wall to the sounds and sensations around the salon.

What other services could be changed to accomadate a clientele a bit advanced in age?

A Love Letter For You

This is the kind of thing I really enjoy about art: using it to make the world a more enjoyable place.

This is a project from Stephen Powers called "A Love Letter for You," a series of wall murals across his home town of West Philadelphia.

Idea: learn how to design advertisements and then design ads that promote nothing other than happiness.

The Powers of 10

This short video has been recommended to me multiple times by a variety of people involved in the design world. I finally watched it today. It's slightly mind-blowing.

(via thatswhatmarielsaid)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Long Time No See

I'm back from my trip! It was so nice to relax with friends and play in the sun (and heat - 83 degrees on Saturday!). I flew Virgin America and it was a really great flight. I've heard of a lot of people flying to CA from here lately so they must have some cheap tickets right now... or have I missed some new advertising campaign and I just happened to stumble onto their plane by accident?

Anyway, back to reality. I'm completely obsessed with TED talks online. You must see them. I posted one last week, but there are so so so many good ones. I'll refrain from posting them all here so this doesn't become some TED commentary blog.

However I will post some pictures from my vacation. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

No Posts for the Weekend

I'll be spending my weekend remembering what sun feels like. Maybe it's a little premature to post this, but it's pretty safe to say that I've already checked out.

I leave tomorrow! See you in....
(via bedbungalow)

Rory Sutherland: Life Lessons from an Ad Man

Watch it!!!
I got a new phone yesterday. It's NOT an iPhone. Condemn me if you must.

Pepsi Pickup Lines

Oh Pepsi...

It is quite troubling to hear that there is quite the controversy over your new iPhone app.

I actually think the base idea is pretty great and funny, but maybe you chose a few words and images that turned over half of the population against you.

First of all, don't use the word "score" if you want women to approve. Second, maybe putting up a "brag board" is just a bad idea. Save it for the locker room... or wherever you guys partake in gossiping.

Here's a way to rework this. Create something more like "dating tips" and a "discussion board." I think that women could appreciate an app that would help the male species to step up their game.

And where's the app that tells women how to talk to men? Or... maybe... a rejection app?

Here's an idea! An online dating app with people who are in the same room! Discuss.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Desperate times call for Creativity

I wish more business people would see the potential of what they have and use creativity to actually make money when it seems impossible as well as help the community.

Here's an article in today's NY Times about landlords who are renting out vacant (and difficult to sell) space to local artists. Good business people are creative and this is a prime example. Sometimes to survive, you have to think outside of the box and remember, any money (even a little) is still good money. Especially when you have high fixed costs such as a mortgage, electricity, and taxes.

Can we see this in Seattle, please?

Milton Glaser

For those of us who need a little encouragement in the world of drawing.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Drawings and Logos

Finally! Some pictures...
Here's a hot mess of my drawings. Most of the time we are encouraged to doodle to open up our minds. They are so random but also kind of fun.

In Design class, we studied Figure and Ground this week. The homework was to create a logo using our initials - one in white, one in black. I came up with this classy one:

And this one that is more fun and playful:

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Whoa, it's Saturday?! Sorry for not updating in the last few days. My apartment shows the wreckage of my whirlwind schedule - drawings cover the table, newspapers and flyers on the floor, glasses of water everywhere (I can never keep track of those). I did finally hang up some clothes that I washed 2 weeks ago. Anyway, I'll post pics soon of my new personal logo design a of my drawings.

Good things of the week:
-Major compliments on some posters I made for a raffle at work.
-Improvements on my drawing and creativity skills

Not so great:
-My brain hurts while stretching my thoughts during drawing class
-Macs are not my friend, I'm a PC apparently.

More later. I'm off to a Windows 7 House Party (jealous?)... I'll take some pics and post soon.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Studio Tours

Tour 4 of Seattle's super creative design agencies this Thursday, October 8th. More info here.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

FTC Rules Over Blogs

The FTC will soon enact laws requiring bloggers, facebookers, tweeters and other internet media writers to fully disclose any connection to or payments from the products they may be endorsing through social media.

Read the full article from the NY Times here.

Good luck regulating that!

Work Hard & Carry a Big Sharpie

Sometimes I think about the fact that I'm in school and actually pursuing something I've always dreamed of and I can hardly believe it's real. After graduating with my BA in Business, I never wanted to go back to school. At that point, school meant math homework and big classrooms of people who weren't really that interested in what they were studying.
Now, design is something I can really get into. Especially when I pair it up with what I've learned in business. And it's quite exciting to be actively chasing after my visions of what my life could be.
AIGA offers some advice to Emerging Designers. 11 tips in total, I found the 5th particularly interesting.

If you know me, you know I dream often and I dream big. I create new businesses in my head - complete with name, location, design, marketing plan and exit strategy. Unfortunately, I haven't acted on these ideas. And I've never figured out what the problem is. But maybe this is it.

Just do it. That's what I take from this. It seems that the best things that have happened to me have almost always happened when I just decided to go for it, without too much thought and time to dwell. It won't necessarily be easy, but as the quote goes (as far as I can remember) "Go out on a limb. That's where the fruit it."

Monday, October 5, 2009

Design Elements and Principles

As I mentioned before, I spent the better part of my Sunday finishing up my homework. It required that I find a few examples, collected from my everyday life, to display each of the vocabulary I listed below. It started out as a huge mess of paper clippings covering my living room floor. It ended all nicely pasted into my sketch book.
First, I got creative with food - my caprese salad with heirloom tomatoes from Wenatchee.

The mess!





Look! I found my name!


Coming this week Figure and Ground.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

100 Yard Dash

This music video is so so sweet. I've been really into the graphic words, black and white and most anything retro inspired (hence my Madmen marathon today, while finishing up my homework).
Watch it here.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Homework: Design Elements and Principles

It's a beautiful Saturday! Well, partly. Out my window I can see the blue sky and the sparkling water of green lake as well as some doom-filled clouds. Either way, I'm off to find some cool flyers, ads, postcards, billboards, etc and then analyze their design elements (line, shape, form, space, value, texture, color) as well as the unifying principles of design (repetition, variety, rhythm, balance, emphasis, economy).
Got an ad that you love? Send it my way!

PS-Part of me wishes it was raining today so I could stay in and watch the Austin City Limits live Webcast... ahh the only time of year I'd wish to be closer to Texas.

Friday, October 2, 2009


The Honest Sketch Project

You are so clever Domonic Patrick!

Each day, Domonic creates a new drawing being as honest as possible. It is pretty great to see an artistic vision of the simple things in life. AND you can submit your own!

Left Brain Right Brain

This quarter, I'm taking this class called "Elements of Drawing - a Creative Approach." First of all, taking a drawing class scares me. I've never thought I was a great drawer. There's something so difinitive about a pencil on a piece of paper. Of course, it's erasable but you've got to leave something on the page if you want to call it art (in most circles). And if drawing class doesn't make me nervous already, lets add in Creativity. How can I be a design student and be scared of drawing and creativity? I don't know.

We discussed left and right brain characteristics and how it is important to use both when producing art and drawing. We did some mind-opening excercises in class to explore what it feels like to use either the right or left brain and the conflict that can sometimes pop up between the two when making decisions. We were then told to analyze our day to day life and find out which side of the brain we use when making the choices we do. It's been interesting. Here's my list so far:

Left brain:
-I'm always on time
-I enjoy efficiency
-I follow rules and don't ask a lot of questions
-I like observing

Right brain:
-I look disorganized but I know where everything is
-I read multiple books at once and rarely feel the need to read to the last page
-I hate reading recipes and other instructions
-I remember face and not names

My challenge now is to apply this all to drawing. I'll learn more about that next week but I'm pretty sure all this time I've been trying to use my left brain to draw instead of my right brain.

Art & Copy

ART & COPY Trailer from ART & COPY on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Personal Business Card

I'm trying to create a business card that I can give out to a multitude of possible clients. As you may have gleened, my work can't be narrowed to one type quite yet. I do many different things but all carry a vein of creativity. So, I hope one of these cards does that justice. Please let me know your thoughts!

Advertising as Art

As I'm starting on this new route to a career in Advertising, I've been noticing how much of a hot topic advertising is and how it seems to be somewhat contravercial. So, I'm here to say that I think advertising is a good thing. It's a form of art, it helps the customer to know what's out there and it spreads ideas. I agree that it can go too far and become manipulative, but I think that's an extreme exception.

Check out this article from Blog of the Nation and decide for yourself.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Back to School!

I'm going back to school in less than a week... I'm really excited/anxious/nervous. I've been interested in marketing and business for so long, but this time I'm going to go at it with a creative angle. I'll be studying advertising. Hopefully I'll keep some inspiration going on this blog. If I can find the spare time!
(via adgoodness)
(via joelapompe)