Tuesday, June 30, 2009

utah arts festival faves

> I love going to the Utah Arts Festival. It was this past weekend in Salt Lake. I get inspired by all the creativity, the talent, and the unique ideas. In past years, I'd collect the business cards of my favorite artists, but then forget what it was they did that impressed me enough to take a card...but this time, I got home, and the next day, I pulled out my little stack of cards, looked up the artists' blogs and web sites, and was able to learn more about them, and see more of their work. I even emailed a few artists to ask questions about specific pieces.
> I have friends who have a similar taste in art, so I pulled a couple of the images off to show them the work I really liked, and it occurred to me, I should share my favorites here too. I hope the artists whose work I'm including see this as a compliment, and a way to share with other people how much I was inspired by their work.
> For reference, web sites and blogs for the above artists:

Thursday, June 25, 2009

all a-twitter

> I had a grandma who was distrustful of escalators, and she was probably a hazard on the freeway because she would putter in the right lane, afraid of all those cars going "too fast". My husband's parents have learned how to email, but they're afraid of doing much on the computer, for fear of hitting the "wrong button" and losing everything, because they're not familiar enough with it to really utilize it. As people get older, it seems like if they don't stay pretty current with everything, it doesn't take long to get behind. 
> I saw a news story about some politicians who don't have a clue what twitter is, but are realizing how important it's become—that it's been a vehicle for telling the inside story of the riots in Iran, when other news sources aren't able to get word out. 
> I'm happy to say I've got a twitter account, and while I don't use it constantly like some people do, I update it at least once each business day, and it's my goal to utilize it more for my business.  http://twitter.com/mGraphicDesign
> I read a lot and make an effort to learn about "new things", to keep from getting behind over time. I'm not that old yet, but recently I've wondered about that thing in the future... what will it be—the thing that's so incomprehensible to me that I'm afraid of it?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

coming back around

> I find it interesting, and kind of humorous that trends come back around and around again, convincing younger people that they've come up with something "new", a breakthrough, something unique and fresh! Kind of like the skinny jeans that are everywhere...(I'll date myself by confessing to stitching the leg seams tighter in all the pants I owned in the last couple years of high school and early college. Skinny jeans are not new, they're just called something different. Been there, done that).
> So, I was working on the design and layout for a magazine article recently, and I used a retro font for the title. The subject matter had a nostalgic feeling, so it felt appropriate to use a "dated" font and color scheme. I designed the article stylistically to look modern-retro (talk about an oxymoron...). I got fast approval to continue the design through the rest of the article, sent the artwork to my client, and moved on with my next project.
> Days later I was browsing web sites, and came across one with some great t-shirt graphics. Of course they were all trendy—the newest thing for teens and trend-followers, and what did I find, but that retro font that sat unused for years with the exception of that one retro article design. Shortly after, I received a font catalog with other "new" fonts (amazingly similar to those that I've had tucked away for fear that someone might see them and think I'd actually use them in a respectable design...) Well, it appears if I want to be "fresh" and "trendy", I guess it's time to dust them off and use them again, til the next recycled trend comes back to replace them. I wonder how long til the big hair days are back...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


> Even before I studied graphic design in college, I had an early love for my initial: the letter M. Maybe it was the pendant necklace I received as a birthday present from a grade school teacher. (Add the study of typography in college, a job in the font development group at WordPerfect in my early career...you see where I'm going with this). 
> Several years ago, I started collecting M's. They used to be hard to find. I looked in antique stores, in little boutiques, online, and wherever I found them, I'd buy them, because I knew I might not find another one.
> Now, letters are everywhere! Pottery Barn carries one or two fonts each year. Craft stores have lots to choose from: painted, plain, chipboard, dimensional, weathered, script, modern, large, small, in a variety of fonts. I'm a little bugged that was once my own little obsession is now a "trend". I have a love/hate relationship with the "initial-everythings" that are all around right now. But even though it feels like cheating, I still have a hard time passing them up. I've got a wall in my studio that's devoted to the wonderful, symmetrical, perfect letter M, and it's full. It hasn't stopped me though. There are additional M's located throughout my studio. I've got an M keychain, M magnets, and some of my clients even call me M, as does my husband (although I kind of think he's teasing me when he does it...).
> So, with an overflow of "M's" surrounding me, one would think it's enough. And to a non-obsessed trend-follower, I supposed it would be. But, when my husband asked me for gift ideas for my upcoming birthday? I got on ebay and found 2 wonderful vintage letter M's. There are never enough M's.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

clocking creativity

> At the end of each year, I send out a promotional gift. I've been asked how I figure out what to send. I guess I keep my eyes open all the time for things that inspire me, or that might trigger a great concept later on. Then I start like I do on any project: I determine what the message is, who the audience is, and what results I expect from the finished design. Then I start working, following my process, til along the way ideas resurface and creativity comes in (from its magical hiding place) to influence what I'm working on.
> Why am I talking holiday promotion now? Well, it's on my mind. When ideas come, they come. I keep track of them in a notebook to remind myself later, and sometimes they start to work on themselves in my head. Some designers claim to work better under pressure, but I don't mind starting the process a little early. Writer Penelope Trunk states, "...get out of your head that you work well under pressure. You don't. No one does. Not when you are promoting yourself. And it is a myth that creativity happens best under pressure." (http://blog.penelopetrunk.com)
> Don't misunderstand—I don't need a 6-month lead time on jobs. I'm a fast and efficient worker, and meeting deadlines is of utmost importance. But you can't force creativity. I take it whenever it comes—even if it starts working before I do.