Monthly Archives: January 2013

Link Love: 1.31.13

link love


Today has gone something like this: Waking up in darkness in Paris and taking a cab to the Eurostar. Taking the Eurostar into London. Catching a cab to Heathrow. Flying from Heathrow to San Franscisco. Then, home. And with that, here are some of my favorite links of the week. Enjoy!

• I always get excited when I see a blog relaunch with a new design so I’m glad to see the best of the best collected in a new column from Pugly Pixel.

• The secret ingredient to success is often self-awareness.

• Here’s a treasure trove of color photographs from Paris taken in 1914!

• Freshen up your living space with this quick and easy pillow DIY.

• Designer Breanna Rose shares even more great web fonts.

• Gala’s Things I Love Thursday sums up our jaunts to London and Paris quite well. Oh, the hilarity of those Vine videos!

• What does it mean to live an inspired life?

• If you’re on the lookout for a healthier Valentine’s Day alternative, this box of sweets is for you!

• The Everygirl has some great debt reduction strategies.

• I am in love with these blinged-out crowns and best of all, you can make your own!

Getting Schooled: Computer Arts Design Student Handbook

Nubby Twiglet Computer Arts Design Student Handbook

“If you have the right skills and attitude, sooner or later you’ll be in the right place at the right time.” —David Annetts

There are a lot of students out there who read this blog as well as a lot of people questioning whether they should go to school for design. This post is for you. Even though I’ve been out of school for close to five years now, I started this blog as a design student and I remember having more questions than answers about the industry I was beginning to break into. I only wish there was a guide like The Design Student Handbook around at that time.

I now take a lot of the information I’ve gathered for granted but flipping through this guide makes me remember exactly what it was like. And I commend Computer Arts for putting this together. It’s approachable, solid and takes a lot of mystery out of what it takes to start a career in design. And it doesn’t sugarcoat the fact that the design industry is more competitive than ever.

The handbook is divided into 8 chapters and covers topics including picking the right learning method (from self-taught to university), how to find an internship, what works (and doesn’t) for self-promos, what it takes to make it in the real world and how to get noticed in a sea of other designers.

I like the practical approach to the guide — it even weighs the pros and cons that come with traditional schooling routes and covers alternatives to getting qualified that involve a lot less expense. And, it gives you tips on how to survive while studying from staying inspired to keeping a budget! I feel like alternative methods aren’t discussed often enough and I’m glad this guide breaks down those barriers. For instance, I attended an accelerated design program at a community college and it taught me everything I needed to know at a fraction of what it would have cost at university. It’s important to weigh your options before incurring a huge amount of debt.

Of course, getting into school and doing the work is only the beginning. I love that the guide says that you should treat your final year at university like a job. And, to always be your worst critic. Because honestly, when you’re in school, these are the two things you don’t want to hear! Beyond that, submit your work to design blogs, put time into your website and never stop networking, both online and off.

Nubby Twiglet Computer Arts Design Student Handbook

Remember that no matter how great you are, you still have to nail your first interview. A few points on the list stood out in particular, namely to not be late, personality definitely counts and YOU’RE NOT GOD. The takeaway: be confident but never arrogant!

The internship section is also spot-on. This starts by explaining the difference between internships, placements and work experience. Who knew?! I interned at the same design studio for a full year and agree with many of the sentiments including confidence is king, speak up, become irreplaceable, act interested and act as though you’re already on the staff!

“Your portfolio serves as an extension of your personality.” —Dominic Lippa

I found the self-promotional section perhaps the most helpful because the truth is that no matter how talented you are, you still have to get out there and let people know that you exist! Portfolio tips and promo ideas are covered but also perhaps more importantly, tips on how to avoid social media pitfalls are as well.

Finally, there’s a resource guide in the back. I like that it’s not just the usual list of inspiration sites and schools. Instead, the list runs the gamut from courses to essential reading to legal to finances, housing, digital folio sites and industry advice. What more do you need?!

I found my copy of The Design Student Handbook at Barnes & Noble but you can head on over to the Computer Arts shop as well. Students, if you’re looking for an affordable, go-to guide this is a great place to start.

Digital Portfolio Update: New Projects!

Nubby Twiglet Digital Portfolio Update

Portfolios are a popular topic of conversation with creatives because most of us need them to gain new clients. To this day, my career is heavily reliant on my portfolio. It doesn’t matter how great of a designer you are — whether you’re showing up for an interview or trying to land new clients, your portfolio holds the key to opening up new opportunities. I believe in doing a refresh a minimum of once a year. If you wait beyond a year, the updating process just becomes more overwhelming and easier to put off.

Over holiday break at the end of the year, I got to work pulling out old projects, adding new ones and creating a mix that I was happy with. I am working on a self-hosted portfolio site that will go live in a few months but for the time being, Cargo has been working out just fine. While I tend to keep no more than 10 to 12 projects in my print portfolio, I show a lot more online since there aren’t the same time and length constraints.

Without ado, here are a few recent projects and additions to the portfolio:

Nubby Twiglet Digital Portfolio Update

1. Miss Anastasia Perfume

This project was a dream come true because I got to design everything from the identity to the packaging and collateral for this fragrance. Launched by Olivine, Miss Anastasia features a classic, seductively French visual direction and a great story. Better yet, as someone who usually shies away from perfume, I now carry a vial of this in my purse everywhere I go. I love it that much. Get yours here!

Services: Identity Development, Packaging Design, Splash Page, One-Sheet, Postcards

Nubby Twiglet Digital Portfolio Update

2. Juliane Berry Photography

Photographer Juliane Berry splits her time between Paris and L.A. and I first met her when she shot Gala & I in Paris two years ago. After getting photographed by her, I not only fell in love with her work but as a person as well. Instead of simply shooting us and sending us on our way, she gave us a day-long tour of the city, showing us all the cool, lesser-known sights. Her style is inviting and romantic and I’m so glad to call her a friend.

Services: Identity Development, Web Design (site and blog), Collateral (business cards, stickers, invoice, DVD label). *Responsive development on blog by Star St. Germain.

Nubby Twiglet Digital Portfolio Update

3. Lindsay Taryn Photography

Brooklyn-based wedding photographer Lindsay Taryn wanted an identity that aligned with her modern, free-spirited style. I love that she stayed away from the soft and sweet colors normally associated with the wedding photography genre and instead followed her own uniquely modern path. Once we were finished with her identity and business cards, we created a guide that helps clients know exactly what to expect when hiring Lindsay Taryn for their big day.

Services: Identity Development, Business Cards, Photography Guide

Nubby Twiglet Digital Portfolio Update

4. Rock n Roll Bride

You probably know Kat quite well around these parts now! She’s a friend of mine, part of The Blogcademy and the founder of Rock n Roll Bride! We just gave her digital media kit a facelift for 2013, reworking it to more closely align with the look of her wildly popular print magazine. And, we followed up this project with her revamped website. Go, Kat!

Services: Editorial Design, Production

Nubby Twiglet Digital Portfolio Update

5. The Blogcademy

By far, my proudest moment last year was launching The Blogcademy, a strategy-based blogging workshop with Kat & Gala. Being in charge of all the branding and collateral that included everything from a one-sheet to a workbook to a website was a monumental task but it was important for me to put forth a professional image that complemented the content we worked so hard to craft.

Services: Identity Development, Web Design, Media Kit Design, One Sheet Design, Workbook, Collateral (business cards, stamps, stickers, pins, graduation certificates and report cards)

Nubby Twiglet Digital Portfolio Update

6. Sasha Gulish Photography

Lifestyle photographer Sasha Gulish has such great, energetic images! She came to me in need of a full brand overhaul and we’re still in progress with many projects — this overview only scratches the surface but I love how our outcomes so far convey her sunny, inviting style.

Services: Web Design, Portfolio Design, Print Promos, Web Promos, Business Cards

There are many more projects to check out as well — almost every one has been tweaked and updated in some way. Have a look around!

The Week In Pictures: 1.27.13

Week In Pictures London

Photo by Shell de Mar during Blogcademy London #1

Hello again from London! It’s been quite the week and I wanted to check in and share these photos before we’re off in a few hours to teach at the Photography Farm (where we’re spending the night in Freddie Mercury’s old bedroom!)

Honestly, my routine has been a bit frazzled on this trip due to teaching two Blogcademy workshops and catching a killer cold (between the snow and feeezing temps, it seems as if half the city is sick). But when you’re visiting London for the first time, sitting around is not an option! Here are a few of my favorite moments thus far.

Week In Pictures London

We held both Blogcademy workshops at the beautiful Curtain Road studios in Shoreditch (there will be a full recap soon). When we found out that none other than Tim Walker was shooting there during our two-day break, we nearly jumped out of our skin. The space was everything we could have hoped for and definitely set the bar for future classes.

Week In Pictures London

During my last few trips with Gala, she’s relied heavily on her iPhone instead of an SLR and I’ve been encouraging her every time to dust it off and put it to use — she has a great eye for composition and while I love my phone as well, nothing beats the atmosphere that a real camera creates.

And, on one of our days off, we visited perhaps the tiniest Ladurée shop in existence.

Week In Pictures London

As we walked down a side alley during a Blogcademy lunch break, I spotted this scene. Details like this make me fall in love with London even more. I don’t want the new, I don’t want the chain stores and restaurants, I want to encounter scenes like this.

Week In Pictures London

Our shopping trip to Westfield was a complete and total bust but the coffee shop we discovered inside more than made up for that.

Week In Pictures London

From my side of the pond, the red phone booths have always been one of the icons of London. As a tourist, I wasn’t aware that in actuality, they’re often used as a quick toilet stop…some things you have to learn the hard way. :/

I wore this Sonia Rykiel dress during the second London class and it was great to teach in something that was so comfy and covered in my favorite European cities.

Week In Pictures London

The first day I got into town, Kat yelled across the noisy tube, asking me if I wanted to stop by and visit the Queen at her stately home…I thought she called it Popcorn Palace! We got a good laugh out of that one.

Week In Pictures London

We quickly became enamored with Selfridge’s. Even with the sad exchange rate, we couldn’t be stopped from a little retail therapy.

Week In Pictures London

It took me awhile to get used to pounds. The best part were the £2 coins though, which I was unknowingly throwing around like they were 50 pence for the first few days. Live and learn!

Week In Pictures London

The weirdest thing I saw in London was the Diana & Dodi tribute in the Harrod’s basement. It was a little creepy to learn that the wine glass in the shrine was Diana’s from their last meal together. Harrod’s is so Vegas — it’s like Caesar’s Palace and The Mirage had a baby.

Week In Pictures London

Our friend Laura took us out to a celebratory dinner at a restaurant that was stuffed to the rafters with bizarre statues and taxidermy. I had a special fondness for this monkey that is a dead ringer for the one on Michael Jackson’s Dangerous album. Bubbles, is that you?

Week In Pictures London

Kat and Gala have the most insane phone cases. And Liberty has the most gorgeous flower displays.

Week In Pictures London

Without a doubt, my favorite store to visit during this trip has been Liberty. So classic and unique. Every time we passed by the tudor-style structure I demanded that I should be allowed to move in.

Week In Pictures London

Topshop Oxford Circus has boldly numbered dressing rooms and Liberty has the cutest hat displays.

Week In Pictures London

I’ll leave you with this little discovery — in the basement of Harrod’s you’ll find a bunch of Egyptian relics but upon closer examination, it becomes clear that The Sphinx has a new face. Yep.

Have a great week, everyone! Cheers!

Link Love: 1.24.13

link love

link love

Photo: Dorian Leigh by Richard Avedon

• Wee Nudge helps you explain the mysteries of the web design process to your clients.

• I love Elsie’s D.I.Y. Instax wallpaper!

• Never be afraid to charge what you’re worth.

• WikiCancel lists the steps to delete your online accounts including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

• Nicole of Making it Lovely explains how her blog went from a hobby to a job.

• 10 reasons why 2013 will be the year you quit your job.

• Jenna of Sweet Fine Day reflects on a decade of being a freelance designer.

• Tina Fey’s secret to success is to say yes.

• You can never go wrong with scallops.

• How to create the right mindset to pay off your debts.

• As a blogger, it’s up to you to demand your worth.

• Odd but so stylish: the Pearl + Soap Chain was specially designed for The Ace Hotel.