Monthly Archives: September 2012

The Blogcademy Pins!

The Blogcademy Pins

In an ongoing effort to share our sources for our collateral, The Blogcademy just had pins made through One Inch Round. The pricing was reasonable, the service was quick and the customer service was super prompt and helpful. Two thumbs up!

One of the main reasons we went with One Inch Round is because they’re based in Portland and offer you the option to save on shipping in return for local pick-up. I couldn’t be happier with the quality and outcome. I should mention that we went with the 1.25 inch size so the type is legible and crisp but the pin still feels wearable.

The Blogcademy Pins

We’ve now got pins, business cards, stickers and rubber stamps! But of course, we’re saving the best for last. Stay tuned!

The Week In Pictures: 9.21.12

The Week in Pictures

The Week in Pictures

The Week in Pictures

Hello, hello! I’ve been staying in a lot more, trying to enjoy this bit of calm before the storm and wrap up as many little things as possible before I head out to a design retreat next Thursday. I’m really excited about that but also just as excited to be rooming with my longtime friend Star — we’ve met up in cities across the U.S. but never vacationed together and I really can’t wait. She’s the one that first encouraged me to blog on my domain in 2007 and most recently coded up my redesign. LOVE her.

The Week in Pictures

My birthday was awesome. My dad took me to The Rheinländer last Friday and the night just kept getting better. At the end of our meal, I was serenaded in German by a guy with a ponytail wiggling his hips like Elvis who proceeded to dab whipped cream on my nose. Then, since I was sick, I asked my brother to blow out the candle and a wave of powdered sugar blew across my dress with it! I just laughed in embarrassment.

The Week in Pictures

My dad knows how to deliver for my birthday — he handed me some gift cards to my favorite stores and I didn’t waste a minute heading to the mall over the weekend, ripping through it like a crazed teenager and picking up some new baubles (H&M! $16.00!) and fresh inspirational reads.

The Week in Pictures

Clutter is okay as long as it looks fashionable, right? I LOVE that Anthropologie tag! They know what’s up when it comes to branding.

The Week in Pictures

I got dressed the other morning and realized I must be attempting to relive my youth because I’m pretty damn sure I used to have a sweater just like this…in 1994. And wore nude-toned lipstick. And had a similar haircut. HELLO, 90s!

The Week in Pictures

I’m always on the lookout for rad type treatments and this was in the new Bergdorf Goodman catalog of all places! So good. And Rocky always likes to be the center of attention; he gives us the stare-down any time we’re shooting photos that don’t include him. Haha.

The Week in Pictures

I’m happy that Fall is finally here. It’s my favorite season and my birthday gift from Joey were these yellow suede shoes which I’ve been wearing constantly with plaids. Very School’s Out Forever.

I’m off to continue packing, answer a pile of emails and go out on my morning walk. Besides that, I’ll be in my office, working on The Blogcademy magazine throughout the weekend. Have any plans you’re looking forward to?

Link Love: 9.20.12

link love

Bazaar Spain, October 2012

• Time just gathered up its list of the 50 best websites of 2012.

• Are you on the lookout for a clean, minimal WordPress theme? Here’s a list to get you started!

• It seems like guest columnists are popping up more and more on my favorite blogs but this isn’t necessarily the right fit for everyone, including me. I loved Kartina’s thoughts on this.

• A pretty cool DIY: Make your own collar necklace!

• Have you seen Jessica Hische’s Drop Caps popping up on classic Penguin books? So pretty.

• Jenna of A Sweet Fine Day pulled together a little guide of restaurants in the Northwest she just visited.

• 25 lessons from Patti Smith’s Just Kids.

• Construction on the tallest residential building in Manhattan is happening and naturally, the apartments within are being snatched up by billionaires. Yes, billionaires.

• My friend Anna has been blogging for 14 years! I enjoyed reading about all her past blogs and her thoughts on where blogging stands today.

• 9 warning signs of an amateur artist.

• If you’re currently apartment hunting, PadMapper allows you to plot locations on a map and then filter for what exactly you’d like.

Advice #49: Do I Need To Draw Well To Be A Designer?



I’m considering changing careers from biological research to graphic design. I’ve always loved graphic design, and while I have an eye for color and composition, my drawing skills stalled somewhere around 8th grade. How necessary is drawing ability in graphic design? Will I always be passed over for designers who can create their own illustrations?


Makers Gonna Make by Jude Landry.

Don’t let your lack of drawing skills hold you back! This is a surprisingly common question — but you know what? Don’t sweat it. I’m not a great illustrator either but what I realized long ago is that instead of spreading myself too thin, I’d rather be awesome at a few things than a jack of all trades, master of none. Instead of questioning your lack of drawing skills, focus on your strengths and do everything you can to play those up.

My Story

From the time I was four, I drew almost every day. I drew so much on my worksheets in the first grade that I won my school’s art award. I kept on drawing and won contests but as soon as I discovered other mediums, my level of interest began to drift. In my early 20s, I fell in love with collage. It fit in better with my love of fashion magazines, type and textures and this became my preferred art style. My interest in drawing waned even further once I discovered computers. I got my first laptop and a copy of Photoshop 7 in college and that changed my world. I barely picked up a pencil after that except for a life drawing class. I did well in it but I wasn’t passionate about it — design was where my heart was.

Your Role

As a designer, it’s often necessary to do quick thumbnail sketches of concepts, especially when it comes to storyboards and logos. But even more important is your ability to describe your ideas and effectively sell them to your audience. For example, if I’m at an agency and five designers are given an hour to knock out as many logo concepts as possible to present, if I can’t get all of my ideas into the computer, I may sketch a few. And while I’m not a brilliant sketcher, I need to be confident enough in my ideas to stand in front of a group and explain my thought process and how each design relates to the brief. In these instances, sketches are meant to be more gestural — a means to get the idea across.

While you should get to a point that you’re confident putting basic illustrations together in Illustrator and on paper, beyond that, if a studio or agency needs a professional illustrator for a project, they’ll often call in a freelancer for this specific purpose. Don’t get me wrong, there are some designers that naturally excel at illustration like my friend Jake Hollomon — but even more often, you’ll be called upon for your creative concepts, layout solutions and production-based skills.

Market Your Strengths

If you’re not an awesome illustrator, ask yourself what else you can bring to the table. Where else can you excel? Perhaps you’re amazing at photography, social media or trend forecasting? Focus on your positives!

In closing, while it’s an added bonus to be able to illustrate as a graphic designer, if you’re not passionate about it, don’t let it hold you back. Instead, push yourself in other areas. We can’t be the masters of everything but we can excel at some things. Choose your battles and most importantly, do what you love.

Latest & Greatest #9: Olle Eksell

Olle Eksell

Olle Eksell

Lately, Swedish illustrator, writer and graphic designer Olle Eksell’s iconic eyes, which he designed for Mazetti’s Cacao seem to be popping up everywhere I go online. Eksell’s work ranges from wacky to geometric but no matter the style he was working in, the outcome was always thoughtful and precise. When Eksell came to the U.S., a close friendship developed between him and Paul Rand that lasted throughout their lives. He participated in international exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Louvre in Paris, and the Biennale in Venice and continued to work until his death in 2007.

Olle Eksell

The Eyes poster was printed in 1999 for his exhibition at the Form Design Center in Malmö, Sweden. Though best known for his design and illustration, Eksell also penned the classic Design = Ekonomi.

You can purchase Olle Eksell merchandise through this shop, see more of his work in his Facebook tribute group and see even more images of the famous cocoa eyes poster here.

Image sources: 1, 2, 3.