Monthly Archives: December 2012

Link Love: 12.20.12

link love

link love


Elle Fanning for Bullett Magazine


• Anil Dash has some great insights on the web we lost.

“When you see interesting data mash-ups today, they are often still using Flickr photos because Instagram’s meager metadata sucks, and the app is only reluctantly on the web at all. We get excuses about why we can’t search for old tweets or our own relevant Facebook content, though we got more comprehensive results from a Technorati search that was cobbled together on the feeble software platforms of its era.”

• Just in time for the holidays: a collection of celebrity Santa magazine covers!

• Bond Creative Agency was brave enough to rebrand Santa Claus!

• Someone asked Cary Tennis why people in L.A. are so mean. I liked his response and the comments were also really good. In my opinion it’s probably more of a generational gap — and it’s never cool to write off an entire city based on your own bad experiences. Some of my best times have been in LA! It’s all about perception and who you choose to surround yourself with.

• Gala has some advice on what to do when you feel like your heart has been ripped out.

• If you’re a photographer (wedding and otherwise), here’s some solid legal advice.

• Breanna Rose shares what creatives should consider including in their contracts.

• Have some extra time on your hands before the holidays hit? Make your own hand-painted wrapping paper!


• The Dare To Play campaign by Sephora is so beautiful in its simplicity.

link love

The Typofiles #122: Jan V. White Books at Your Fingertips!

Jan V. White Books Graphic & Publication Design


An outtake from a Jan V. White post, 2008


I’ve been posting about magazine guru and design consultant Jan V. White since the beginning of this blog, ever since I discovered his best known title, the Graphic Idea Notebook.

He’s a hero of mine because he has spent the majority of his life making a whole world of design techniques and ideas accessible through his many titles, all painstakingly thorough. These books were groundbreaking at the time because most were released before designers had widespread access to the internet and the world’s collective inspiration at their fingertips. Books like this were the gateway to learning about great design.

To this day, I still use his his titles like Editing By Design and Designing for Magazines when I’m working on publication-based projects like the Rock N Roll Bride Magazine from earlier this year — they’re timeless and are a great way to jog your memory when you’re trying to come up with unique, original page layouts.

Jan V. White Books Graphic & Publication Design

The big news is that Jan V White’s books are now all available under the public domain in their entirety, completely free on his website! This is amazing because a lot of these titles are no longer readily available.

Upon the completion of the digitization of his books, Jan wrote, “This 84-year-old thanks you for your gift of remaining extant forever.” His works now have the chance to become cultural artifacts, not just design relics. And for that, I’m very grateful. A whole new generation of designer can now access his books with ease. I hope you love his content as much as I do!

Jan V. White Books Graphic & Publication Design


You can view all of The Typofiles right here.

Holiday DIY: Customize Your Ornaments!

3M ScotchBlue Painter's Tape Holiday DIY Customize Your Ornaments


With Christmas fast approaching, I decided it was well time for an ornament DIY project! This is our first year with a full-size tree and I wanted it to have some personal touches. Store-bought ornaments are perfectly fine but we all have unique tastes and my goal was to find a way to spice up our tree with a few of my favorite patterns and symbols.

Joey and I got to work with a handful of simple, graphic designs we are so happy with the way they turned out! Now it’s your turn — we promise that this is super easy and much more manageable than the shakeboard D.I.Y. he came up with last time!

3M Scotch Blue Painter's Tape Holiday DIY Customize Your Ornaments


Let’s get started! First, we found these oversized silver ball ornaments at Target. Have you seen their Christmas decor section this year?! It’s AWESOME. Since these were going to be the main accents for our tree, we wanted them to be larger than the rest of our ornaments.

Supplies needed:

• One roll of ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape

• Krylon X-Metals Spraypaint

• An X-Acto Knife

3M Scotch Blue Painter's Tape Holiday DIY Customize Your Ornaments

For designs, it’s best to stick with angular, bold shapes and patterns that can easily be masked off on spherical surfaces. Think along the lines of varying stripes, symbols, letterforms, chevron patterns. To customize your ornaments, first mask off the ornament surface completely. Secondly, trace on design. Next, cut design out of tape. Once that’s finished, spray in design in the color of your choice. And once it’s completely dry (we let ours sit overnight just to be sure), peel off tape. See, that was easy!

3M Scotch Blue Painter's Tape Holiday DIY Customize Your Ornaments

I am SO excited to finally have a cross ornament! And a Helvetica A! I’ve used both elements in my design projects for a long, long time and it’s nice to have those special additions to our tree. I’m sure we’ll come up with even more for next year.

3M Scotch Blue Tape Holiday DIY Customize Your Ornaments

This is the first year that we’re all ready for Christmas early enough to actually sit back and enjoy the decorations!! How about you? Have you decorated yet?

3M Scotch Blue Tape Holiday DIY Customize Your Ornaments


scotchblue, scotchblue painter's tape, painter's tape, tape

A huge thank you to ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape for collaborating with us on this post! All thoughts and ideas are our own. To join the creative community, visit Facebook.

The Week In Pictures: 12.14.12

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

I met the best Santa ever last night. As you can see, he was very, very enthusiastic about his job and even topped off his big red suit with sunglasses and a hand-carved cane!


Beyond all the excitement that goes along with holiday festivities, this week is different and for that reason, I’m cutting this post short. I went back and forth on whether I should even post today because everything including blogging seems superficial in comparison to the tragedy that took place in Newtown. Collectively, we wonder if things will ever be normal again. I think, at least to me, the answer is no.

I still remember when the Columbine massacre happened. I was in high school and that shift was very obvious — we were in that first wave of students that went from having no cameras in school to coming back to find them installed in every possible corner. Things never really went back to normal. Or at least to the way they were before.

The other shooting this week at Clackamas Town Center hit very close to home — it is where I do a lot of my shopping and it still feels very surreal.

I’m reminded tonight how lucky I am and to those people who did absolutely nothing wrong, those who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, my thoughts are with you.

I saw a tweet earlier today that said something along the lines of “Be kind to the people you meet. You never know what they’re going through.” Let’s remember that. Have a great weekend, everyone.

Media Kit Insights: The Who, What & Why!

The Blogcademy Media Kit

I just wrapped up a digital media kit for The Blogcademy (we’ve been super busy this month between putting this together and launching our updated website!) and I’d like to shed a bit more light on media kits overall.

One of my most popular articles ever on this blog was a press kit how-to. It’s very out of date at this point but that’s okay because since that article was written, we’ve become increasingly more digitally savvy and these days, for the most part I wouldn’t recommend a press kit for most people to use. Over the last three years, I’ve switched over to digital media kits and my clients have found huge success using them. With sharp editorial-style layouts and clickable links all in a PDF format that’s email-friendly, it’s easy to get the word out in a quick, professional manner whether you’re a blogger or small business.


The Blogcademy Media Kit

The Blogcademy Media Kit


Historically, digital media kits have been most commonly used by large magazines to provide information including circulation rates and stats of their target audience for advertisers. Often, they also include a brief bio, testimonials and contact information.

The Blogcademy Media Kit


After designing my first media kit for a print magazine in 2008, I had the realization that they would be ideal for bloggers too. Sometimes a one-sheet just isn’t enough information if you’re trying to land bigger gigs and advertisers. I’ve designed a lot of media kits over the last few years — my two personal favorites are for Rock N Roll Bride (this is her older version — we just wrapped a 2013 refresh that more closely matches her magazine) and Veronica Varlow.

At The Blogcademy, we’ve had a one sheet since the beginning to send out to sponsors but realized that while that was perfect for filling goodie bags, we needed something more robust for larger corporate partnerships that may pop up. It’s important to always be prepared for those potentially huge moments! 14 pages later, we’re feeling much more prepared for what 2013 holds.

The Blogcademy Media Kit


In the media kits I put together, especially for bloggers, I usually start by suggesting the following:

• Front and back covers with a visible URL and logo
• An introduction with key accomplishments
• Testimonials from readers and clients
• Stats including traffic and social media numbers
• Rates / packages / availability
• Suggestions for how to make the most out of your partnership (recommendations for achieving the best results)
• Professional images of your brand / blog / yourself throughout
• Contact page with clickable links

From this list, we add and subtract content until the balance feels right. Each media kit should be very specific to that brand. There are some crossover design elements I’ve used but for the most part, every media kit is a clean slate.


The Blogcademy Media Kit


If you’re attending The Blogcademy London, I do a much more in-depth media kit overview during my branding segment. I hope this glimpse inside media kits makes them feel less mysterious!

*All photos in the media kit are by Devlin Photos and Made U Look Photography.