Archives for posts with tag: graphic design

So, I know it’s been a long time. I’m sorry. I’ve been working on tweaking/reworking all of my work for this. It’s been hard. And will continue to be so. But I have a super post I’m working on right now. It’s even got a Mo Willems picture book,

Amanda & Her Alligator—detail, girl reading upside down, mo willems

Amanda & Her Alligator—detail

when I (SHOCK AND AWE) don’t always love Mo Willems! Unless he writes about dinosaurs or works with Jon Muth. I know, sacriligious for a bookseller, but what can I say? I think he can be funny, and even is funny (and sweet and charming). But the pigeon books annoy the crap outta me. There, I said it. Sorry, Mo. Hope you’re not reading, and if you are, you can see that I do like many of your books. The new one, Amanda & Her Alligator is one of those. A lot. But I’m getting way ahead of myself, because I wasn’t going to write about that today.

Fake Book Store Collateral

Fake Book Store Collateral

I was going to talk about what I’m doing now. That’s right, I want to talk about me. Me, me, me.

So here’s the list: adding new pieces to old projects, updating logos, perfecting identity pieces, printing so many signatures for the book I redesigned…

Book Redesign Detail

Book Redesign Detail

Even more:  designing two covers for another book, working on a portfolio website, thinking about any pieces I may have missed that should be a part of my portfolio… and working and eating and sleeping.

So later this week, when I have access to all the photos that were going to be in this promised “super post,” I will finish it and you will understand the meaning of the word “super.” Now that I have put large shoes in front of me on the ground, I will try to fill them soon.

When I was Born by Isabel Minhos Martins & Madalena Matoso

Coworker Caitlin holds the most beautiful baby book made this year.

Booksellers like myself get excited about a book when it looks pretty, then if the insides end up being awesome, too, we get really uppity. Sometimes we end up foisting it on everyone we see and people start to get tired of it. When it’s a new baby book, it’s hard to be optimistic. So many of them are kind of cliche and syrupy. But when this one came out, “When I was Born,” by Isabel Minhos and illustrated by Madalena Matoso we all gathered around to flip through it. Not only are the pictures beautiful: simple paper cut like shapes, minimal, bright colors and a sense of humor, but the words are wonderful. Which can be woefully rare.

When I was BornThis is what the cover looks like. I recently gave this to a pregnant co-worker, I don’t know, a mere week or two after discovery. That usually doesn’t happen. New baby books are carefully chosen from my vast list. But recently, two of my favorites (Carry Me, by Rosemary Wells and Bittle, by Patricia MacLachlan) have gone out of print.

When I was BornHere are some more pictures. I truly love the way this has been translated; the author speaks Portuguese, I believe.

When I was Born

See that text? That there is gorgeous!

Beautiful Endpapers

Beautiful Endpapers

In other news, I FINISHED MY QUARTER! I’m so excited: to get some sleep (I’ve slept like 2 hours in the last 60), to catch up on my reading and work on all those freelance projects I managed to secure. Accidentally.

The Real Joe Brokken

The Real Joe Brokken: we sometimes step away from the desk.

UCDS identity!!!

UCDS Identity: I've been working on this ALL QUARTER!

Inside Spread #1

Inside Spread from the Graphics Standards Manual I created

Inside Spread #4

Collateral. I didn't realize I took so many pictures of this thing...

Breakfast for Dinner!

We literally had cereal 2 out of 3 meals today.

From The King's Speech

My friend made this for his boyfriend in like 3 seconds.




TOM SAYS jump and we say HOW HIGH?

Nigh on done (with one final)! Here are some images from my night. And week. More to come at a less crazy time.

Inside Spread #2

Another spread

Inside Spread #2

Some UNACCEPTABLE logo configuration examples.

The other day, I was production assistant to my Design School BFF Courtney Comfort. He is interning at Equal Rights Washington, and needed to make a poster for Equality Day, coming up on March 22. (If you pick up a current copy of the Seattle Gay News, you’ll find his half page ad in there, using the same graphic you see here. His first real print ad!)

Naturally he decided to screenprint these. This means: a 3 color run of 60 posters. Which means pulling a squeegee through the thick ink on the screen at least 180 times. During this time, it is necessary to run back and forth bringing wet sheets to the racks to dry, making sure the screen has enough ink on it to pull, etc. I did all that running , etc., not to mention all the prep beforehand. I mixed the inks, which was fun, and prepped the screens. Courtney had the hard jobs: making the film and burning the screens so they would register correctly—and then the printing itself. Registering 3 colors isn’t easy, neither is all that hard work on the hands after designing on a computer all day. You forget how to use your hands. This is why I love this class.

Mixed Inks

Mixed Inks

Final Product!

Final Product!

The posters turned out great, and Courtney’s pulls got better and better as he printed. We were such an efficient team, and it was great fun.

Sometimes I get to help on my own projects! Unfortunately, some of the screens are so long, and I am so short, that it can be hard for me to get a decent pull, which is why I’m glad I have tall friends.

Allerina or Crocodancer

Allerina or Crocodancer



Screenprinting is what led me to Graphic Design in the first place; a friend and I taught ourselves from an old Dover title and a kit. I fell in love with printing. From there I learned linocuts, then woodcuts, then monotype, then etching… and then I decided I could do more and applied to SCCA.

Best $15 investment ever.

The Red Shoes, by Gloria Fowler, illustrations by Sun Young Yoo

Detail of the cover

It’s the lack of color that makes this book.

That’s a lie; the illustrations are gorgeous, and would be equally gorgeous with a little color. But why gild the lily? The fact that they are illustrations for an adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’sThe Red Shoes” and that there is NO RED anywhere in the book except for the book cloth (hidden by the matte white dust jacket) is what makes the whole operation a little cheeky. Not too cheeky, just enough so you think you might find a splash of it somewhere, as startling as blood. And when you don’t, you find you are not disappointed.

The Red Shoes: under the dust jacket

On a really beautiful book, I always peek under the DJ, just in case. This time, I was totally rewarded!

Or I did, anyway. I looked at the cover, and thought, “ooh, I bet there’s like one page of red, or a bit of red on each page.” I got so immersed in the gorgeous lines of Sun Young Yoo‘s illustrations and the absolutely beautiful typography that I forgot to check, and by the time I was done, I realized a trick had been played on me. And I loved it. How important is the color red to this story? Answer: really not at all.

ENDPAPERS! Beautiful.

You can't ignore endpapers this pretty.

Look at the type!


More and more beautyThe Red Shoes was published by AMMO Books in November 2008.

Shirley Chisholm

Poster for African American History Month

This week the assignment is a randomly chosen (by drawing) person from a list my teacher got off the internet. Actually he said he spent some time researching. I’m stoked I got Shirley Chisholm. Not only because she was awesome, but also because this picture of her is amazing.

She has a wonderful quote that I wasn’t able to use it in full, but here it is, in all it’s glory:

“When I die, I want to be remembered as a woman who lived in the twentieth century and who dared to be a catalyst for change. I don’t want be remembered as the first black woman who went to Congress, and I don’t even want to be remembered as the first woman who happen to be black to make a bid for the presidency. I want to be remembered as a woman who fought for change in the twentieth century. That’s what I want.”

I wanted to focus on her as a woman, doing my best to respect her eloquent wish. All the time she spent in legislature (1964-82) she said she “had faced much more discrimination because she was a woman than because she was black.”

The fonts used here are DIN 1451 and DIN 30640.

Another poster designed for school

“When all men think alike, no one thinks very much.” —Walter Lippmann

For this weekly assignment, each of us must make a poster and be finished by 9 am, with it printed and mounted. No other requirements, other than it must have whatever subject given to us that week. This week, we had Walter Lippmann’s quote. One of my classmates had the idea that we all make the same poster, and so we did. Bold Helvetica on white.

As a failsafe, we also designed our own posters for this assignment. In case our instructor didn’t like our little statement. You never can tell!