Monthly Archives: March 2010

Nubbytwiglet.com 2010 Identity

2010 corporate identity design nubby twiglet

I just finished up the 2010 identity for Nubbytwiglet.com. As a challenge, I create a new version each year. Last year’s can be seen here. The original exploration of the 2010 identity began last October. All of the type is done in two weights of DIN; 1451 Mittelschrift and 1451 Engschrift.

2010 corporate identity design nubby twiglet

2010 corporate identity design nubby twiglet

2010 corporate identity design nubby twiglet

2010 corporate identity design nubby twiglet

2010 corporate identity design nubby twiglet

2010 corporate identity design nubby twiglet

From top to bottom: 1. Double sided square business cards, 2. cover sheet, 3. CD, 4. letterhead, 5. invoice and 6. mailing label.





An Insider’s View on Entrepreneurship: CRAVE Portland Business Chat

nubby twiglet crave portland business networking

On Sunday morning, I had the pleasure of taking part in the CRAVE Business Chat: Local Inspiration alongside Sheryl Stewart, Kami Gray and Sandra Colton at Little Urbanites in Portland.

For two hours, we shared our stories with the audience and answered questions about entrepreneurship. CRAVE did a great job of picking an intriguingly diverse cast of speakers. Sheryl Stewart is a local radio personality on 105.1 The Buzz, Kami Gray is a TV / film wardrobe stylist, professional image consultant and author while Sandra Colton is a well known professional dancer, singer and author. Once we began talking, it became apparent that although each of us has taken markedly different career paths, the one thing that tied us together is a sense of passion for what we do.

What I found especially helpful about the CRAVE chat is that each panelist explained how they got started in their respective industries. Often times, when we meet someone and see them for what they are in the present tense, we are left wondering how they achieved their level of success. The women were open and completely willing to share their experiences, both good and bad. The general consensus was that each has put in years of hard work and drilled down their focus to a specific niche. Though highly accomplished in their respective fields now, it was refreshing to hear that none of the panelists were overnight successes. And, some had previous careers that bear no direct relation to their businesses now.

Sometimes, professional networking events can gloss over the hard work it took someone to get where they are and simply refer to a larger-than-life bio of accomplishments. All of the CRAVE ladies kept it real, answered every audience question and even admitted that the balance between work and family is as tough as it seems.

nubby twiglet crave portland business networking

We all noted that while it’s okay to have multiple interests, there still needs to be a commonality that pulls them together into a more defined niche. For instance, though I blog, it is often about design and marketing; the focus tends to revolve around my interests and lifestyle. If you try to cover too many areas and be too many things to too many people, chances are that you will spread yourself too thin and lack a general direction.

To promote their careers, each of the panelists has taken an increased interest in social media to promote their businesses and most of the questions I answered pertained to this topic. I was lucky that I got an early start with blogging (back in 2001) and many of the people I befriended during those years later became influencers in their niches. When I began blogging full-time in 2007, I was still in school and also interning at an ad agency. I didn’t wait until my image or theme were perfect; I didn’t wait until I had more free time; I just jumped in. As time progressed, I was able to drill down to specific topics, columns and content that I wanted pursue. Just like everything, blogging is a natural progression. Online content is constantly shifting and changing. My advice to a few of the audience members was to get started as soon as possible; you can always make refinements as you go.

what i wore nubby twiglet fashion style outfit

Entrepreneurship is amazing because it’s completely open-ended. It’s up to you to dream up an idea for your business, to define boundaries, to develop a name and to set your sights on the customer base you’d like to target. Sure, there are general guidelines that you may want to follow, but beyond that, the sky’s the limit. This is precisely what makes entrepreneurship so exciting….and scary.

As a start-up, it’s okay to not throw yourself 100% into your business right away. The reality is that most of us don’t have the means to survive off of what we do immediately. It takes time to build a brand and it’s not fun to be stressed out over money while you’re getting up and running. A local jewelry designer shared her story about how she also keeps another, more stable job while she is building and expanding her business. For many years, I worked jobs completely unrelated to design while in school and interned at an agency before I really took what I did and turned it into a full-time gig.

what i wore nubby twiglet fashion style outfit

Some people have a seemingly unlimited pool of luck and talent and their businesses take off right away. I am a little bit more structured and ‘old school’ in my approach; I’ve always felt that slow and steady wins the race. Take your time, define your focus and don’t expect immediate success. Build your business to last.

CRAVE has made me realize how many inspiring women (and men) are out there making their dreams a reality. It’s not easy, but you can do it all. It is possible to have a career, relationship / family and a house. Sure, there are times when your work & life balance will be totally out of whack, but the people who love you and are really looking out for your well being will do their best to be patient and supportive.

In the last year, one of my primary goals has been to work on this balance and in the process, I’ve grown closer with my core support system. The people that couldn’t handle the long hours and sometimes stressful situations have left my life and the ones that believed in what I am doing have filled in the gaps. You can’t just turn off your dreams. If you believe in what you’re doing and share that vision with the world, eventually that energy will come back to you.

what i wore nubby twiglet fashion style outfit

In the meet and greet afterwards, I noticed that almost all of the attendees had brought along business cards. Some people claim that they’re so last century but I cannot stress the importance of business cards enough. From an entrepreneurial perspective, my first ever freelance job came to me after I handed a photographer my card in a New York club. The magazine I designed for him helped me get one of my next jobs. On Sunday, as we all exchanged cards, I ended up with the contact information of many local business owners and students, some of which have services and products that I may very well seek out in the future.

I’d also like to point out that the power of face-to face networking is still very much alive and important in this digitally obsessed society. Many of the business owners in the audience claimed that they’ve made some of their biggest sales and built repertoires by simply walking around their neighborhoods and introducing themselves. You never know who you’re going to meet. People have walked into my living room and changed my life. It’s really amazing how simply opening yourself up and putting yourself out into the world can cause a total shift in your life.

what i wore nubby twiglet fashion style outfit

Entrepreneurship is about more than just being your own boss. It’s about getting to do what you love every day. As Sandra Colton noted, everyone has a unique talent and outlook. Anyone can do anything they want. The defining difference is that some people dream and plan while other people actually go out and make those dreams a reality. As an entrepreneur, hard work and long hours are inevitable in the beginning. But when you’re truly passionate about what you’re doing, it doesn’t seem like work at all.

what i wore nubby twiglet fashion style outfit

nubby twiglet signature


What I Wore: 3.27.10 // Matching Stripes

what i wore nubby twiglet fashion style outfit

what i wore nubby twiglet fashion style outfit

When I first met Rocky, I realized that we had a lot in common, namely a love for stripes and monochrome color palettes. Though, while he likes to chase after squirrels and bark at dogs five times his size, I’m much more content to stroll along in ridiculous shoes, sipping a latte.

Rocky is Joey’s dog and almost immediately after I met him, he felt like family because I have an uncle named Rocky and my stepdad’s 90 year old mom has the same hairdo. I wake up with perpetually flat hair while he’s always perfectly coiffed. Jealous much?

what i wore nubby twiglet fashion style outfit

what i wore nubby twiglet fashion style outfit

what i wore nubby twiglet fashion style outfit

what i wore nubby twiglet fashion style outfit

I wore:

Dress and leggings, Forever 21
Cardigan, thrifted
Belt, vintage
Clinic wedges, Jeffrey Campbell
Headband and necklace, Forever 21
Watch, Nixon

Rocky wore:

Sweater, Dicken’s Closet

what i wore nubby twiglet fashion style outfit

I hope all of you had a great weekend. This morning I participated in a biz chat with fellow female entrepreneurs for a CRAVE Portland event and learned so much! I’m feeling really energized and inspired by all the business owners and amazing, strong women I met. I’ll be sharing my experiences very shortly.

what i wore nubby twiglet fashion style outfit

nubby twiglet signature


The Week in Pictures: 3.26.10

week in pictures

week in pictures

I spent most of my week with the Nemo HQ crew which was especially good because the boys indulged me with Journey tunes two days in a row. This is the first time in a long while that I can say that I’m truly excited about all the projects I’m working on and though tired, I am endlessly inspired.

week in pictures

week in pictures

My daily urban uniform tends to be pretty basic and usually revolves around a black palette. I’ve been working at agencies around town a lot lately and semi-early mornings call for streamlined, pre-planned outfits. Black skinny jeans, fitted shirt, tiny studded belt, wedges, statement necklace and oversized black cardigan (not shown) are my staples.

week in pictures

week in pictures

I am embarrassed to admit that I have yet to read this classic. Have you? What did you think?

week in pictures

week in pictures

I was recently inspired by Amelia Arsenic’s daily documentation of her looks and I, too remember the camgirls that populated the internet 10+ years ago. It only takes a few seconds to get a snap and it’s always fun to look back.

week in pictures

week in pictures

I love shoes and I love Oprah. I was working on a type-based project today and needed content. Instead of reaching for the good ol’ lorem ipsum, I pulled up some inspiring Oprah quotes. I have a soft spot for anyone that’s self-made and she is a shining example. The shoes are the Jeffrey Campbell Clinics that I had on backorder for a million years. Find yours over at Solestruck.

P.S. I’ll be a featured speaker at the CRAVE Portland business chat this Sunday. Here is some more information about the event taken from the CRAVE website:

Local celebrity entreprenesses doing amazing things in their industry will be sharing their experiences in the business world.
Speakers: Kami Gray, Sandra Colton, Nubby Twiglet, and Sheryl Stewart
When: Sunday, March 28, 2010 • 10am-12pm
Where: Little Urbanites – 916 NW 10th Ave, Portland
Price: $20 per person, $30 for two OR $10 w/Student ID

week in pictures

Until next week,
nubby signature


Advice #26: Short and Sweet Q&A

ask nubby advice nubby twiglet

ask nubby advice nubby twiglet

ask nubby advice nubby twiglet

Determining what to charge for design services is extremely subjective but some factors to consider are experience, the quality of your portfolio and client demand. When freelancing, I charge my personal clients a flat rate. When I work for agencies, I charge on a per hour basis. In Time and Money Management for Freelancers, I gave the following advice:

When giving a client quotes on a project, you’ll have to decide whether to charge a flat rate for the entire project or do it hourly. Both have implied benefits, but I usually just charge a flat rate since it helps a client know what to budget for upfront. Additionally, I like knowing from the start that I’m guaranteed a specific amount of money (I always require a half of the total down to begin work). When pricing by the hour, consider that you may end up cheating yourself because as you get faster, the same project you did a year ago might have taken 10 hours and now only takes 5. There’s no reason to set yourself up to learn less!

With each job accepted, you’re in a position to be creative and the goal is to make an idea tangible. Your ideas on how to best tackle the project might not come right away; a vision might take hours, even days. If you’ve charged a flat rate, it’s much fairer to the client in this respect.

With regards to charging people I know personally, I have an amazing group of friends that have supported me since the beginning. They include bloggers, web developers and photographers. While I usually charge them, they do get a discounted rate or, if it permits, we barter services. As an artist of any kind, your time is valuable and relationships should be about sharing and mutual inspiration.

ask nubby advice nubby twiglet

ask nubby advice nubby twiglet

ask nubby advice nubby twiglet

Prints by Antigirl

Some female graphic designers that come to mind are Marian Bantjes, Antigirl, Jessica Hische and Abby Clawson Low.

ask nubby advice nubby twiglet

ask nubby advice nubby twiglet

I highly recommend community college! Some of the most talented designers that I know started out at community colleges. Besides being extremely affordable, community colleges tend to be geared towards the real world, meaning that they offer fairly flexible schedules that make working possible. When I decided to go back to school for graphic design in 2006, I didn’t have the budget for an art school or the time for another four year degree. I enrolled in a limited entry graphic design program and earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in less than two years. The class sizes were small, the teachers were very hands-on and after my first year, I began an internship at an agency that led to my first design job. Community college is a great place to start to learn the design basics; if you choose to continue your education, you can always transfer into a four year school afterwards.

ask nubby advice nubby twiglet

ask nubby advice nubby twiglet

ask nubby advice nubby twiglet

ask nubby advice nubby twiglet

Truth be told, I really don’t have any magical system. For photos that I have taken, everything lives in iPhoto. For edited photos and other images that I’ve collected from the internet, I simply keep a folder on my desktop called ‘Pictures’ and drop everything I find inspiring into it. Inside are a gazillion folders with specific categories (as seen above). About once a month, I try to set aside an hour and organize everything new that I’ve managed to collect.

ask nubby advice nubby twiglet

ask nubby advice nubby twiglet

Have a vision. Develop a brand name and an aesthetic as soon as possible. Stay consistent with your posting schedule. Invent columns and content that are unique to your blog. Be passionate about what you do. Don’t be afraid to share your knowledge and unique outlook with the world. Try to respond to as many comments and emails as possible. When the going gets tough…keep going. Find a mentor. Remember that not everyone is going to love you or what you’re doing. Surround yourself with people who will be honest with you. Remember that at the end of the day, the internet isn’t reality. And, always stay true to yourself and your ethics no matter what offers get thrown your way.

For designers specifically, instead of just posting new projects and focusing 100% on self promotion, diversify your content by offering advice, tutorials and sharing work / internship experiences with readers.

ask nubby advice nubby twiglet

ask nubby advice nubby twiglet

Deciding what to charge often comes down to a case of supply versus demand. If you find yourself incredibly busy with customers lined up around the corner, raise your prices. At some point, if you are getting turned down repeatedly because your prices are ‘too high,’ back them down a bit if you are in need of work.

ask nubby advice nubby twiglet

ask nubby advice nubby twiglet

ask nubby advice nubby twiglet

ask nubby advice nubby twiglet

Excerpts from my 2010 Portfolio

Everyone’s method for creating and presenting a portfolio will be different but I recommend always starting and ending with your best work. Other than that, create visual interest through showcasing a variety of mediums, projects, clients and design styles. If you’re not particularly excited about a project or comfortable discussing it, leave it out. And, portfolios are about quality, not quantity. A maximum of 10 to 15 projects is more than sufficient. If you need more portfolio-related advice, revisit 7 Tips for Creating a Print-Based Design Portfolio.