Monthly Archives: December 2009

The ModCloth ‘Nubby Twiglet’ Dress

modcloth mod cloth dress fashion nubby twiglet

modcloth mod cloth dress fashion nubby twiglet

modcloth mod cloth dress fashion nubby twiglet

I have a special announcement to make….ModCloth just named a dress after me! What an epic way to end 2009! Of the dress, ModCloth says:

Named after one of our favorite fashion blogs, this little black dress will help you market yourself as a master of entrepreneurial style. Crisp, curving seams contour the bust and the subtly zipped back, giving this sleeveless number innovative detailing and a form-flattering shape, while the dazzling black sequins that adorn both the shoulders and the bow add sartorial splendour that even the late, great Michael Jackson would approve of. A full, black satiny lining and a ruched, patent-tipped belt keep you feeling free and footloose as you glide into a gallery, sway into a swanky soiree, or shop for shoes. Wear this dress with statement-making striped stockings, towering stiletto heels, ruby red lipstick, and white nail polish for a look that will brand you as a pioneer of edgy, yet elegant, fashion.

I have also been named a Blogger of the Moment and the accompanying interview is here.

modcloth mod cloth dress fashion nubby twiglet

modcloth mod cloth dress fashion nubby twiglet

modcloth mod cloth dress fashion nubby twiglet

To showcase the Nubby Twiglet dress, my brother and I collaborated on a photo shoot yesterday.

modcloth mod cloth dress fashion nubby twiglet

modcloth mod cloth dress fashion nubby twiglet

modcloth mod cloth dress fashion nubby twiglet

modcloth mod cloth dress fashion nubby twiglet

modcloth mod cloth dress fashion nubby twiglet

modcloth mod cloth dress fashion nubby twiglet

Perhaps funniest of all, I took a quick trip to Seattle earlier this week and Miss Mary Bee decided to give me a full sleeve of temporary tattoos (mostly consisting of flowers and skulls). No tattoos to straight thuggin’ in 15 minutes flat? You bet! When I arrived home, the Nubby Twiglet dress was waiting for me in its sleeveless glory and I had no time for serious scrubbing action. My favorite tattoo of all? ‘Fresh Diva.’

But now, back to your regularly scheduled programming…

When you’re chosen as a Blogger of the Moment, ModCloth asks you to pick twenty items that showcase your style. Here are my top picks:

modcloth mod cloth dress fashion nubby twiglet

modcloth mod cloth dress fashion nubby twiglet

modcloth mod cloth dress fashion nubby twiglet

Thanks so much to the ModCloth team for your continuous support!




Kristin Cofer Photography Identity

typography graphic design logo nubby twiglet

Over the last month, I’ve been working closely with Pittsburgh-based photographer Kristin Cofer to create an updated identity for her business. Well-versed in fashion photography, Kristin and I share a similar design aesthetic with a preference for a black and white palette, edgy type and crisp lines.

For her identity, I purposely kept the type minimal but added a twist with lines that can be extended, depending on the use. From the basic logo, visual interest can be created through scale, rotation and the line extensions.

We are still in the early stages of developing corporate collateral, but I gave her some ideas of how her logo can be played up on a variety of products and surfaces. More coming soon!

typography graphic design logo nubby twiglet

typography graphic design logo nubby twiglet

typography graphic design logo nubby twiglet

typography graphic design logo nubby twiglet

typography graphic design logo nubby twiglet

typography graphic design logo nubby twiglet

typography graphic design logo nubby twiglet

typography graphic design logo nubby twiglet

typography graphic design logo nubby twiglet

typography graphic design logo nubby twiglet

typography graphic design logo nubby twiglet

typography graphic design logo nubby twiglet

typography graphic design logo nubby twiglet

typography graphic design logo nubby twiglet

Thank you to Kristin Cofer for allowing me to share her new identity! And, now you know where to go for your photography needs!




The Week in Pictures: 12.26.09

week in pictures

week in pictures

week in pictures

week in pictures

White Room. My favorite room in our house is the ‘white room.’ My brother and I have been working on it for the last few months and it finally came together this week. We refinished the hardwoods, painted out the walls and woodwork matte white, bought a mod 60s couch and had it recovered in white vinyl, hung all white IKEA curtains and are determined to avoid color at all costs. It’s so otherworldly and bright and I absolutely love it.

week in pictures

week in pictures

week in pictures

Speakeasy. On Monday, I had my first ever speaking engagement. Kelly Coller from Office PDX and I discussed how to build a killer portfolio with students at PNCA and it was so much fun that we’re already in talks to collaborate on future events.

week in pictures

week in pictures

Disco Crepes. After the speaking engagement, a group of us went out for crepes at Le Happy. The crepes were awesome and so was the disco ball, complete with Christmas-y decorations thrown in for good measure. But, the night didn’t end there – we got invited out to Dean’s Scene, a full-blown pub built into a guy’s basement. We must’ve spent three hours chilling with Dean and the regulars. So good!

week in pictures

week in pictures

week in pictures

Twenty Four Seven. Earlier in the week, I stopped by Twenty Four Seven, a firm that specializes in branding, retail and graphic design and was taken on an impromptu tour. I have no words to do this place justice. Taxidermy, modern decor and a full fabrication studio in the back of this building that takes up a full city block are just the beginning. Expect a behind-the-scenes post in the new year!

week in pictures

week in pictures

week in pictures

Thrift Magic. To be honest, I’m not big on thrifting but my brother is obsessed and sometimes drags me along. Thank god, because I hit the jackpot with this oversized three dollar hand–knit sweater from New Zealand. It is so fluffy and cozy that I feel like I am being hugged by a llama. In these photos, I am wearing Retrofuturist lipstick by Lime Crime makeup.

week in pictures

week in pictures

IKEA Food. I guess I am a bit late to the game, but I just discovered the frozen yogurt at IKEA and it’s pure deliciousness. Seriously, the best dollar I’ve ever spent.

week in pictures

week in pictures

Pre-Christmas Warm-up. I never knew that I could have so much fun on Christmas Eve. My friend invited me to a holiday cocktail party complete with a cute but grouchy wiener dog, then we met up with my brother and friends for grilled cheese sandwiches at C Bar. We made a pit stop for some dancing girl action and the place was packed (season’s greetings!) and finally, ended the night at the worst karaoke bar in town, where he was talked up by an old man dressed as an elf (complete with pointy ears) in the bathroom who said, “I bet you’ve never pissed next to an elf before.” Hey, there’s a first time for everything.

week in pictures

week in pictures

Murder at the Mountain. I hope that all of you had a great holiday and enjoyed a relaxing day off with family and friends. My brother and I took our friend Jason up to my grandma and grandpa’s cabin in the forest near Mt. Hood and of course, they are always in high spirits. My grandma makes her own secret berry home brew, tried on these ridiculous glasses, was telling Jason about the time she tried to beat up a guy at the bar (she’s 80!) and the look on Jason’s face was priceless when my cousin showed him his ‘survival kit.’ After many hours of fun, we decided to call it a night and leave but the highway was blocked off because a murderer was on the loose with a semi-automatic rifle. Seriously. We had to turn around, go back to the cabin and kill another five hours laying on the couch, downing mixed nuts and Fritos with mix drinks while my grandpa sang along to the tunes playing on his 8-track player. I love my family!

week in pictures

Honorable mentions: A special delivery of the world famous Sexy Beast Treats (the best vegan peanut butter cups in the entire universe), an outing to Stumptown that included conversations about chickens, strippers and movies with Russian subtitles, pomegranate mimosas, sitting on the couch at 1 AM watching badly dubbed Journey videos, talking nonstop about Nigel (my dream llama), trying to explain away the fact that I bought shoes that I can barely walk in, late nights by the fire at Doug Fir eating massive amounts of garlic mashed potatoes, repeated visits to RonTom’s to admire their huge Christmas tree, finding handwritten notes inside of Think And Grow Rich by people I admire, and finally deciding that I am going to start watching movies instead of sleeping through them and / or pretending that they don’t exist.

Quote of the week: Infinite patience produces immediate results. –Buddha

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Link Love: 12.24.09

link love typography

kiss xmas christmas nubbytwiglet.com nubby twiglet

Merry Kiss-mas!

• The Book Design Review shares its favorite book covers of 2009.

• Steve Pavlina’s 11 Ways to Gain Clarity is chock-full of timeless, solid advice. He says, “I’m sure you’ve read that clarity and focus are important qualities for success. Decide what you want, and then pursue it with passion and energy. But what if you’re feeling uncertain and don’t have a lot of clarity about your future direction? What if you can’t decide what you’d like to do next? This is a common problem, especially for today’s 20-somethings who are growing up in a world of unprecedented change. Fortunately there are many actions you can take and mental adjustments you can make that will help you shift from uncertainty to certainty.”

• The best movie posters of the decade. So much good stuff!

• Freelance Switch shares tips on how to stay productive over the holiday break.

• According to swissmiss, CardsInk “is for notecard design what Threadless is for T-Shirts. It’s a place where you can buy cards that are crowdsourced designs by its audience. The users vote on cards and the highest rated ones get printed. The designer gets paid $100. If they reprint the card the designer gets $50 for each reprint.”

• Could you read one book a week for an entire year?

• Amazing! A bunch of scans of the original plans for the Eiffel Tower.

• If you’ve ever had any questions about applying foundation, Amelia Arsenic answers them all!

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Creating A Killer Portfolio Discussion

freelance design portfolio nubby twiglet

freelance design portfolio nubby twiglet

On Monday night, I was invited to be part of the Creating A Killer Portfolio panel discussion at PNCA (Pacific Northwest College of Art) and shared my experiences with creating a portfolio and building a freelance design business. The conversation was moderated by Kelly Coller, the founder of OFFICE PDX, a business specializing in portfolio covers and design goods.

Currently a marketing director at a multidisciplinary design firm, Kelly has worked with clients including Apple, Starbucks, Nike, Purina and Whirlpool. She has been doing business development, marketing and branding for over fifteen years for internationally-recognized design firms in architecture, industrial and retail design. During this time, Kelly has has put together over 2,000 portfolios for client pitches. And, as if that’s not enough, she has met, critiqued, hired and / or turned down 500 to 1,000 creatives. In short, this woman knows what she is talking about!

Kelly started out the discussion with a quick summary of how to create a killer portfolio. I found her information about formatting do’s and dont’s especially helpful. Kelly relayed that a simple portfolio cover is fine for showcasing your work (I am a big fan of Pina Zangaro). Projects mounted to cards and fancy, handmade books are much harder for an interviewer to navigate and can show wear. Additionally, a portfolio cover with pages is nice because projects can be quickly reprinted without much fuss.

Also, Kelly had some advice regarding how much work you should show when making initial contact with a client. She said that the first correspondence should be kept short and sweet; emailing a PDF ‘teaser’ with 1 to 3 pages is fine. If a client shows an interest, it’s then okay to show more. But, save the full scope of your work for the actual meeting. If you give it all away immediately, there are no surprises left!

For the second half of the discussion, Kelly and I had a Q&A session. Here are some of the questions she asked and a quick summary of my responses:

freelance design portfolio nubby twiglet

typography moschino fashion nubby twiglet

I’ve been actively freelancing since 2005. Some of the clients I have worked with both on my own and in an agency setting have included Forever 21, Virgin, Nike, New Line Cinema, Skullcandy, Smith Optics and Fuel TV. Currently, I run my design business full-time and split my time working with my own clients as well as a handful of agencies around town.

Originally, I wanted to attend PNCA for fine art, but my lack of interest in drawing or painting made that route difficult. In 2000, I wasn’t aware that graphic design was an option and decided to go to school for business instead. In 2006, I decided to go back to school for graphic design and graduated in 2008 from a two-year community college program.

typography moschino fashion nubby twiglet

typography moschino fashion nubby twiglet

typography moschino fashion nubby twiglet

typography moschino fashion nubby twiglet

For a print portfolio, I try to limit the content to no more than 10 to 12 single page projects with an absolute max of 15 pages if there are some with multiple layouts. It’s important to remember that the interviewer’s time is extremely valuable and that you may have a half hour total to meet. Because of this, you should be able to talk your way through the entire portfolio in 15 minutes or less. If you’re in New York, chances are that you’ll have less than 5 minutes, so be prepared and practice!

For initial contact, I email a PDF version of my portfolio and resumé. Agencies are busy and these days, art directors and the people in charge don’t have time to flip through many unsolicited books; a PDF is quick and relatively painless. Once a meeting has been set up, my print portfolio and a selection of physical samples (products, catalogs, etc.) come out at that time.

It’s nice to include a brief description about each project in your portfolio. One to four sentences should be sufficient. Remember to include the project title / overview and client name as well. If you’re going to include any in-depth sketches and further insight regarding your solution, this may be better suited for an accompanying process book.

typography moschino fashion nubby twiglet

typography moschino fashion nubby twiglet

I have always used an 11 x 17 format for my print portfolio with a Pina Zangaro presentation book in Vista Snow. I had a unique situation when I graduated because I didn’t have to show my portfolio to potential employers. I was hired immediately by the agency I’d interned with so my portfolio was literally delegated to the back of my closet until a year into my career. This spring, I finally began the process of reworking and updating the contents and I am probably on my fifth revision.

When you’re in school and building your portfolio, chances are that you want to ‘wow’ everyone. But with time, you may realize that simple really is better. Plain backgrounds and minimal type will let the projects that you’re showcasing speak for themselves.

When I began showing my portfolio, I was really conscious of replacing most of my school projects with client work as soon as possible. I wanted to show that I could handle real world briefs, feedback and deadlines and I think that this helped me immensely. One note: when showing your portfolio, ALWAYS turn it to face the client, even if you’re flipping through the pages for them.

typography moschino fashion nubby twiglet

typography moschino fashion nubby twiglet

I’ve been incredibly blessed to have almost all of my work come to me directly through my blog and word of mouth. After discussing the scope with a potential client, I follow up through email or over the phone. I work remotely with almost all of my personal clients.

typography moschino fashion nubby twiglet

typography moschino fashion nubby twiglet

With my personal clients, communicaiton is made over the phone or through email. With agencies, we try to set up in-person meetings as often as possible. Each interview is different, but it’s important to dress the part, to be on time, to have a portfolio that isn’t too precious (it’s meant to be flipped through, after all!) and to always be honest about what you can and can’t do; the design world is smaller than you think! Naturally, a big chunk of your interview is based on what you can do and how good your portfolio is. The other part is much more subtle and often personality–based; do you fit in with the corporate environment and can you get along with the team? Are you a hard worker and can you handle agency hours?

typography moschino fashion nubby twiglet

typography moschino fashion nubby twiglet

I keep a daily planner with due dates and a list of projects that need to be done, dutifully save every business receipt in date order and invoice my clients immediately once the job is finished so that I don’t forget! I am pretty lo-fi in this area and try to keep things as simple as possible.

typography moschino fashion nubby twiglet

typography moschino fashion nubby twiglet

When I am working with my own clients, I usually do everything on my own unless there’s a need for a web developer. I have a huge network of friends that are all a phone call away, so if more help is needed in the future, I can find it very quickly. I like balancing working on my own with time spent at agencies. Being in a collaborative environment with other designers and art directors really helps push the boundaries of what seems possible.

typography moschino fashion nubby twiglet

typography moschino fashion nubby twiglet

typography moschino fashion nubby twiglet

typography moschino fashion nubby twiglet

Marketing is one of my passions, so this is one of the favorite parts of running my business. I always carry business cards and stickers with me and have actually gotten jobs by handing them out. I also blog five days a week, regularly share my portfolio with placement agencies, designed my own media kit and make a point to go out and network with people I know in the industry. My business is very much personality-based and as a designer, it’s okay to let people know who you are. Go out of your way to make that personal connection!

Thank you to PNCA, Kelly Coller and Jason Resch for making this seminar possible.




A Crazy Year Calls For Crazy Shoes.

typography moschino fashion nubby twiglet

typography moschino fashion nubby twiglet

When I was in Scottsdale a few weeks back, I stopped by Barneys and tried on these Proenza Schouler heels..and then promptly waved goodbye. But, I woke up the very next day haunted by them. When a pair of shoes is the first thing on your mind when you wake up, you know that it’s meant to be. I’ve had the craziest year ever and it made complete sense to reward myself for making it through…with a crazy pair of shoes.

In case you’re wondering, they’re not very walkable. But that’s okay; I’ll set them aside for when I have a sit-down interview with Oprah. These will officially be my ‘sit-down interview shoes’ from now on. And, until that day comes, I’m going to track down a clear display case because these shoes are art.

typography moschino fashion nubby twiglet

typography moschino fashion nubby twiglet

typography moschino fashion nubby twiglet

typography moschino fashion nubby twiglet

typography moschino fashion nubby twiglet

typography moschino fashion nubby twiglet

typography moschino fashion nubby twiglet

typography moschino fashion nubby twiglet