Thursday, April 23, 2009

New Justic video + co-workers and other design minded friends = great new after work game!

Justice - DVNO from Freedom Record on Vimeo
Justice has done it again. You've probably seen their amazing video, D.A.N.C.E. (below) that knocked everyone (well, graphic designers) off their feet two years ago. The video above, DVNO is all type all the time. And it's it could also be a fun, name that typeface, after work game! C'mon, who's in?
Grade yourself against someone who's already done it, by checking out fontfeed editor, Yves Peters.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ray, dear Ray.

Ray Fenwick is a Canadian artist and illustrator who's hand was meant to hold a pen. Maybe the occasional sword, but definitely a pen. I got his book last year, Hall of Best Knowledge and it's wonderful wisps of swirls and lines cradling dark and humors stories spills from every page.

What lead me to this was his hand drawn type and patterns. It's so distinguishable I think I'd recognize it if he doodled on a post it note and dropped it on the ground. Here. In North Carolina. The best part about Ray Fenwick is that he has a flickr site. Okay well maybe that's not is very best attribute, but it certainly makes him obtainable. A fairly serious flickrer like myself appericates that. The following images are ones on his flickr that I can't get enough of.

"This Just In" skateboard made from book covers and deck. This was auctioned off for skate park benefit.


The Final Campaign

Here is an installation he did of loads of drawings of friendship bracelets.


Let's Turn This Into a Math Problem

Seamless Swords Pattern

Thee Battle of Excelsior Gulch Pattern

A Canon of Type Design Pattern

Hacked Flourishes Pattern

Cloud Diaper Pattern

And now you wrap your next gift with a Ray Fenwick pattern. Check out Naked and Angry to order.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


I recently joined postcrossing which is a wonderful 21st century postcard exchange. My friend Steph signed up a while back and she has received very cool postcards and stamps from other countries that I was instantly envious of. Actually I was instantly envious of all the fun mail she was receiving. I haven't received any yet, but I've sent nine. Four of those have reached their destination so I should be receiving some any day now. Once a postcard is received the recipient registers it with the site, posts a picture, and usually sends a thank you message/post to the sender via the postcrossing site. So far I've sent postcards to Finland (3), Germany, China, the US (2), the Netherlands and Canada.
I love the site, not that its design blows me away but there's so much information. And that information is laid out in a way that's easy to navigate, interesting and simple. If you thoroughly read the Please buy me these art books post, then you'll know that isotypes are my pillow talk. Take these statistics for instants:
(click for larger view)

Simple, interesting, pretty.
And now my favorite part. There's a constant stream of uploaded postcards in the gallery and you can go through and favorite the ones you like (like flickr). These are some of my recent faves.
(click on any postcard to see where it's traveled)

I encourage you to join. It's a fun way experience different places while you're *uhm* stuck at work.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Here a Peep, There a Peep, Everywhere a Peep Peep.

Think back. Way back. Way back to when Mama Said first started. Waaay back to September 2008. There was a post on the above-the-desk-decoration I inherited from Regan Wood.
Peeps. Yes Peeps. Two-year-shelf-life-any-color/flavor-imaginable-sugary-marshmellowy-Peeps. You either love'em (Wade) or hate'em (Chelsie). No matter the season, you can't ignore them. They transcend Easter and fly off the shelves at Rite Aid leaving little granules of sugar confetti in their wake year round. And by wake, I mean desk, because what was once a modest display of peepery has become a colorful collection of rock hard, multicultural peeps.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Whole Foods Earth Month design

About once or twice a week Wade, my-friend-manager-volleyball-team-mate-car-pool-buddy and I stop at Whole Foods on our way into work. It's a nice way to begin the day. I usually get coffee or chai and a muffin and Wade can't resist the spinach and mushroom dish on the hot bar.
It's not too often that I go out of my way to closer inspect design that catches my eye, but this morning I did. And by out of my way, I mean fully extended my arm to reach for their Earth Month/April 2009 Calendar.

One, I'm a sucker for "aged" looking materials.
Two, I've been referred to as a neo-hippie which really just boils down to a preference for organics and recycling.
Three, "Enter For Your Chance To Win" narrowly escapes my attention. As long as I don't have to enter too much information, I try to get something for nothing pretty regularly.
Four, the color scheme is right up my ally. Blue and Greens with a yellow undertone and a splash of red. *sound of kissing the finger tips like a carton Italian chief*

So I would just like to condone the designer/design team that put this together. I saw the calendar. I took it. I read it. I typed in the website. And now I'm blogging about it. This is exactly what they wanted. And I will not deny them what they've earned.

I really hope I win that Energy Star Fridge.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Please buy me these art books.

I'm surrounded by readers. My husband Thurston falls asleep every night with a book on his chest. My friend May went and got a library card as soon as she unpacked her car when she moved here. My friend Steph is a professional book lover. My friend SarahRice reads for pleasure and has a job archiving things other people want to read. And even my desk neighbor Matt Wood carries a book in his pocket at all times.
Me? I read Harry Potter and Twilight. When I do read a book one of the above mentioned recommends to me, I really enjoy it, but it's like pulling teeth to get me started. I also read Readymade and Real Simple cover to cover, and I absolutely love looking through art books. (which Steph keeps me abreast of the best)
The following are the ones I want to call my own:

Fingerprint: The Art of Using Hand-Made Elements in Graphic Design

This is my #1 pick. It's exactly what I'm interested in. The title may as well be, "How Bliss Can Use Hand-Made Elements in Graphic Design".

New Vintage Type: Classic Fonts for the Digital Age

I really love typography. It's funny how in college, I didn't care for typography or textiles and now that's what I'm most interested in. I have Mike Perry's book, Hand Job: A Catalog of Type, Over and Over: A Catalog of Hand-Drawn Patterns and they're both really amazing.

Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life

A classic. One day it will be mine. One day.

Printing by Hand: A Modern Guide to Printing with Handmade Stamps, Stencils, and Silk Screens

This is my porn.

Maps: Finding Our Place in the World

My friend Smitty and I had an on-going joke that maps and puzzles were one in the same. If you like maps, you like puzzles. Like puzzles? Must love maps. At my old job, I ended up drawing/designing a few maps for some residential developments and it was really a lot of fun. I think Smitty was jealous.

Otto Neurath

This book could be the book that Thurston and I read together to reinstate family time. Otto Neurath is an Austrian sociologist who made major achievements in graphic design and philosophy. You know isotypes? Yeah, he made those.