Monthly Archives: May 2011

The Week In Pictures: 5.14.11

week in pictures


Is it just me or did this week fly by? Did you get out and do anything fun? On Monday, I met a designer friend for dinner and it was so nice to just hang out, take it easy and catch up. I mentioned this a few weeks back but lately, when I’m spending time with friends and family, I don’t even bother pulling out the camera — I just enjoy that time for what it is. Sometimes, the tiniest moments are my favorite — like on Thursday after a long day when I cuddled up with Joey and Rocky and watched America’s Next Top Model. We’ve been staying in a lot lately and eating tons of homemade popcorn.


week in pictures


I love these tie-dyed tights, even if they make me look like I have a weird skin condition. It’s true – I occasionally like tie-dye and floral patterns….as long as they’re black and white.


week in pictures


I’m beyond excited to start making art again…it’s been far too long! For my show in November, I am going to do a handful of ceramic crosses. They were some of my most popular pieces last time.


week in pictures

week in pictures


These are the clippings I’ve collected for the week. After I’m done reading magazines, I save all my favorite images and collage them into three notebooks. Shown is my Typography Notebook but I also have a Fashion Notebook and Decor Notebook.


week in pictures


Lately, as I feel the end of my twenties near, I find myself constantly making lists and wanting to get really organized. I mean that in the best possible way — I want to feel like I am on the right track and ready to roll with whatever’s next. This is coming out in some funny ways though. Just last weekend, I bought a heavy duty paper shredder for my office. The weekend before, I dutifully organized the magazines in my closet by title and date. Then, I decided that the storage areas under my desk needed to be in order (see above). Yes, this is all leading up to something else — so many of you have asked me how I stay organized over the years so I am putting together a big article!


week in pictures


Pops of neon are so much fun peeking out of an otherwise black and white ensemble.


week in pictures

week in pictures


It’s quite convenient that my favorite bar just down the street has a photo booth; Joey and I stopped in last night. I think I’ve mentioned this before but I try to take every opportunity to stop at photo booths and have acquired quite the stack of pictures with friends and family over the years. The appeal to me is that they all look uniform — there’s a constant, old school look that holds true over time even as we change.

I’m off now to get wallpapering supplies. Joey and I are covering a wall in the dining room and neither of us have wallpapered before. Wish us luck! I hope you have a great weekend!


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Link Love: 5.12.11

link love typography


link love

Elle Denmark, May 2011.


• Just the thought of Liz Taylor, Michael Jackson and Marlon Brando on an ill-conceived road trip full of constant stops at KFC is way too awesome, imagined or not.

• Something that we could all use a reminder on: How to Blog Without Comparing Yourself to Others.

• Liven up your bathroom decor with the DIY shower curtain.

• I’m loving the updated identity for Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD).

• Portlanders, there’s going to be a day of creative workshops at the Ace Hotel in June, aptly called Summer School. Classes cover topics including blogging, packaging 101, photoshop tips and flowers. To me, this sounds like the best ever version of summer school in existence!

• You deserve good things.

• A new addition to my must-have book list is Explorations in Typography: Mastering the Art of Fine Typesetting.

• Why don’t more people move to the so-called most livable cities?

• Vogue has just soft-launched Voguepedia, a search tool that delves into its 119 years of archives!

• So inviting! I love the neon pink handwriting adorning the new Site Murt pop-up shop in Barcelona.

• How to shop at discount stores without looking cheap. I read this article from beginning to end and it has some great advice!

• You have to check out perhaps the best road trip photos ever in Across America.


link love


What I Wore: 5.9.11

what i wore nubby twiglet fashion style outfit


what i wore nubby twiglet fashion style outfit


This dress strikes me as being very…90s goth. Maybe it’s in part because of the shoulder cut-outs that you can’t see paired with the stretchy black material. Anyway, I’m fine with that. By pairing it with straight hair and graphic wedges, I can only hope that it fast forwards to at least 2020. Because I really don’t want to relive the 90s.

I’ve been digging tiny pops of neon either on my nails or a tank top layered with an otherwise monochromatic ensemble. This ‘highlighter yellow’ polish is by Nina and I found it at Sally Beauty Supply.

If you’re interested in this dress, it is listed as a dress but it pretty ridiculously short and requires layering for us more modest folks. My one complaint is that I wish the material was higher quality. Other than that, this will on the top of the pile my suitcase when I go clubbin’ with my my BFFs in New York this Fall.


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

what i wore nubby twiglet fashion style outfit

what i wore nubby twiglet fashion style outfit


I Wore:

Dress, Dimepiece
Cardigan, J Crew
Leggings, Silence + Noise
Helvetica Necklace, Thisisstar
Wedges, Finsk courtesy of Solestruck
Bag, Versus


Love you guys, thanks for all the awesome feedback on the Design Books post!


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8 Design Books That I Love: A List of Personal Favorites

week in pictures


There’s always an endless stream of internet design inspiration at our fingertips but the feeling of flipping though a book can never be replaced. Over the years I’ve gathered a small library of design books that I refer to on a regular basis and though all quite different, I consider many of these titles to be indispensable for varying reasons. I am by no means proclaiming these books to be the best out there; these are simply titles that I personally own and have found to provide great content. Note: these are not listed in any particular order.


01: Graphic Idea Notebook by Jan V. White


If you’ve ever wondered how designers got inspired before the internet was commonplace, Graphic Idea Notebook can easily answer that question. This book definitely has a spot in my top three all-time favorite design books. Each page is brimming with basic design concepts that are as relevant today as they were in 1980 when the book was first published.

Graphic Idea Notebook is overflowing with inspiration that will help you think in a whole new way when working with page layouts, type and images. I own the second edition from 1991 and the ‘new’ introduction from that time now sounds laughably quaint. An excerpt: “Imagine a time when there were no faxes, no answering machines, no microwaves, no CD players, no VCRs, no Cuisinarts, no Post-its — how primitive. No computers? (Big number-crunchers were around at that time. They didn’t do pages.) You mean people actually enjoyed making up pages using rubber cement, razor blades and scotch tape? Indeed they did ten short years ago…” The introduction goes on to say that even though technology has changed dramatically since 1980, we are still very much faced with the same old design dilemmas today. I agree. Perhaps the best part about White’s series of books is that they are completely accessible — you can pick up most of them for just a few dollars each!


02: Helvetica: Homage to Typeface by Lars Muller


Helvetica: Homage to a Typeface was the first ‘design’ book that I ever purchased; I found it back in 2002 during my second trip to New York, tucked away in the F.I.T. bookstore. This book helped me understand how graphic design relates to our every day environments. The book’s premise is very simple; it features snapshots taken throughout the world’s major cities of Helvetica in use, most commonly on store and subway signs. Also mixed throughout the pages are packaging, maps, logos and more, all featuring Helvetica as the unifying factor. Of the book, Müller says, “The designs gathered together here in honor of Helvetica have been created by superb designers and anonymous amateurs from all over the world…Helvetica is the perfume of the city.”


03: How to Be a Graphic Designer without Losing Your Soul by Adrian Shaughnessy


How to Be a Graphic Designer without Losing Your Soul has probably been mentioned on my blog more than any other book. I bought it while still in college and referred to it constantly. Why? It is brimming with practical, common sense advice that every beginning designer should know. I love the introduction: “Designers are quick to tell us about their sources of inspiration, but they are much less willing to reveal such critical matters as how to find work, what to charge, and what to do when a client rejects three weeks of work and refuses to pay the bill.” This book answers all those nagging questions designers have when starting out but don’t know who to ask. Written in a very straight-forward manner by a designer for designers, this is a must-read for design students.


04: The Brand Gap by Marty Neumeier


The Brand Gap isn’t exactly a design book. But, if your goal is to be a designer at ad agencies (like mine was), it’s important to have a basic understanding of the relation between business strategy and design. This book can help you understand why some of the biggest brands in the world have been so successful in a simple, fun manner. Marty Neumeier wrote a brilliant introduction that starts out with, “A lot of people talk about it. Yet very few people understand it. Even fewer know how to manage it. Still everyone wants it. What is it? Branding, of course — arguably the most powerful business tool since the spreadsheet.” Bonus: If you want a sneak peek, I shared my favorite slides from the PDF version of the book here.


05: Experimental Formats 2 by Roger Fawcett-Tang


Experimental Formats.2 is a bit more gimmicky than the rest, but in all fairness, it lives up to its name. With an emphasis on books, brochures and catalogs, the book has a split spine and folds out into two books. It’s full of edgy and inspiring printed matter and fantastic if you’re looking for new ways to liven up your publication design projects.


06: Typography Essentials by Ina Saltz


Typography Essentials: 100 Design Principles for Working with Type is a recent addition to my collection and perhaps quite telling, it is already bookmarked with a pile of sticky-notes. Each page in this book is brimming with relevant, of-the-moment examples. I have found the huge number of editorial design layouts that are showcased to be particularly helpful. Sometimes, when you’re stuck on a basic page layout, you just need a few visuals to jog your memory. This book isn’t the most cutting-edge but it is one of the most practical — the 100 principles and corresponding images are well curated and fairly timeless.


07: Super Identity


Super Identity: In Your Sight and in Your Mind is a must-have if you’re an identity junkie. Incredibly well designed and with a focus on mostly fashion and retail brands, it doesn’t just showcase the same old logo and letterhead combos. Promos, ads and other integral pieces of collateral are shown off, creating a truly inspiring and well-rounded look. Martin Margiela, American Apparel, and Saks Fifth Avenue are all covered. Disclaimer: My identity design for Nubbytwiglet.com was included as well but even if it wasn’t, I would still consider this book to be one of the best curated examples of identities out there.


08: The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst


The Elements of Typographic Style is often referred to as the “Typographer’s Bible.” This book is super wordy, detailed and…poetic. Bringhurst’s attention to detail when it comes to typography is unparalleled. He speaks about type in a truly enlightening manner and really makes you notice and appreciate even the smallest details in typography all while absorbing proper etiquette. Especially useful is the inclusion of a glossary of design terms, an explanation of letters in foreign alphabets, and even a listing of type designers and foundries.


Hopefully my list of recommendations will help those of you who are looking for some new design books to add to your collection. In return, I always love hearing about the titles that other designers swear by. What are some of your favorites?


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The Week in Pictures: 5.7.11

week in pictures

week in pictures


Laundry, one of my least favorite things to do in life. But sometimes you have to get the pen marks and stains out of your faux Frenchie sweatshirt.

The highlight of this week was Cinco De Mayo, which I think most agencies use as an excuse to party during working hours (I’m not complaining). The highlight of my day was witnessing a guac-off (guacamole making contest). And with that came a horrifying realization that out of seven contest entries, I unknowingly picked #5 as my favorite…which contained the secret ingredient of bacon. Bacon in guacamole!? I’m vegetarian. Ah well. We all got a good laugh. I do have to say one thing: just because designers sit behind computers all day doesn’t mean they’re weak. I watched an entire staff swing away at a pinata and let’s just say that if I crossed some of them in a dark alley, I’d run for my life.


week in pictures


For the last few years, I’d been using some badly painted second-hand night stands but I wasn’t sure what to replace them with. Then, when I was in Iceland, I noticed that our hotel room had acrylic nightstands. And after reading one too many home decor magazines, I know that acrylic in general is great because it allows light to come through and makes a room feel much more open (perfect for black-walled rooms like ours). I found these tables on Ebay. P.S. The phone and curtains are a few years old and both came from Urban Outfitters.


week in pictures


Joey has been working hard on his new line of 80s inspired skateboards, Luna. We stopped by a pool last weekend to take a few snapshots of the outcome.


week in pictures


I’ve just pulled out a stack of my favorite design books to start work on a post for next week…


week in pictures


Modern basics: Topshop asymmetrical type t-shirt paired with gray nails.


week in pictures


Last night Joey served me homemade popcorn in a heart-shaped bowl. Sweetest. Have an awesome weekend! xoxo


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