The Typofiles #126: A Peek Inside TypoMag

Typofiles: TypoMag

“While magazines are mainly seen as colorful things with loads of pictures, they are actually the best living example of the marriage between image and text.” —Luis Mendo, TypoMag


They say that you should never judge a book by its cover but I’ll admit that what first drew me to TypoMag was just that. In 2010, it seemed to be popping up everywhere and I was definitely intrigued by the simplicity of the design.

Typofiles: TypoMag

TypoMag painstakingly documents the role of typography in magazines, most which are on the obscure side (and even a few which are now sadly out of print). The primary goal of the book is to focus on covering magazines that are dedicated to creating their own identity through typography.

While I found the visuals to be wonderful, the Annex section in the very back is especially valuable because it includes a directory of both typography blogs and magazines.

Typofiles: TypoMag


I’m on the lookout for more books with a focus on editorial design — any recommendations?

View even more Typofiles columns here.

A Helping Hand: These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

Office Supplies

One of my biggest weaknesses by far is office supplies. Everyone has their triggers and when it comes to accouterments to decorate my space, there’s never enough. I tell myself that it doesn’t matter because these are things I use and therefore, somehow practical (excuses, excuses).

With that mindset, I picked up this hand cup last week. And with that, an Instagram shot of the said hand last night produced a hilarious roundup of one-liners. It’s been great for holding pens, makeup brushes and so much more. And even better, the end is magnetic for those stray paper clips and bobby pins!

Beyond that, I also stopped into Canoe for the first time ever last week. I know, I know…how had I never made it into this store?! A minimalist haven of perfectly curated everyday items, it very much reminded me of the MoMA gift shop. I walked away with a beautiful Ogami notebook comprised of pages made of stone that also happen to be waterproof. And, a very gigantic eraser. It’s so large it’ll easily double as a paperweight.

Office Supplies

How many office supplies are too much? I haven’t quite figured that out yet but I need to get my addiction in check before Hoarders comes calling.


Office Supplies

On the hunt for something special for your workspace? These are a few of my favorite things: 1. Ogami Notebook, 2. Poppin Scissors, 3. Hand Pen Holder, 4. Acrylic Tape Dispenser, 5. Stainless Photo Frame, 6. Mini Binder, 7. Milan Gigante Eraser, 8. Hay Box Set, 9. Acrylic Pencil Holder, 10. Mini Binder, 11. Identity Suite.


Have you made any cool additions to your workspace lately?

Minneapolis Recommendations, Please!

Minneapolis Recommendations

At the very end of this month, I’ll be heading to Minneapolis for the first time ever with The Blogcademy. Joey is from Minneapolis and has been going on for years about what an awesome city it is so I can’t wait to finally see it for myself! Before our class, we’re going to have an open day on our hands for exploring.

So, I want to know: what are the must sees? What restaurants should we absolutely not miss? What shops do you love most? Let me in on your secrets!

The Week In Pictures: 6.7.13

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

I love that anticipation of summer and the impending sense of adventure that goes along with it. Every day this week I felt like I was on a mini expedition around my city, soaking up details both big and small. The highlight of my week though was dogsitting Raleigh. Rocky and him have been BFF’s since he was a baby and his all black exterior and cute little underbite win me over every time.

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

Raleigh and Rocky = Ebony + Ivory. They spent most of the weekend lying around my office like this.

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

The view from my couch. I’ve been trying to chill out more but all these impending travel plans are making it hard to just relax.

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

On the weekends, we love taking walks around the Reed College campus. It’s so beautiful and picturesque.

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

Our backyard is almost complete, 40 bags of river rock later. Finally, it’s feeling like more of an oasis than a dumping ground and I can’t wait to show you the final results!

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

My weekend accessories: red glasses and lipstick.

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

A few days ago, I met a goat named Bambi. Just 3 months old, she was a tiny little thing. We became fast friends but I let my guard down a little too soon. Before I knew it, she was chomping down on my Rick Owens jacket! Haha.

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

Have a great weekend, everyone! xo

Link Love: 6.6.13

link love

link love


Chris Nicholls


• If you only click one link this week, make it Joy’s The Art of Being a Goal-Getter. She had me at “75% of the business successes I’ve had are ones in which I sought out the opportunities and pitched myself or my ideas in order to make them happen. It’s all about knowing what your goals are, then taking the right steps to achieve them.”

• At its core, the best design comes from problem solving.

Stalker Sarah is the most famous celebrity fan in the world…and she’s only 17.

Casa Washi Tapes are larger versions of regular washi masking tape and are meant to be used all over your home’s interior surfaces including walls and appliances!

• 10 celebrity photobombs.

This color film shows what New York City looked like in 1939!

• Paul Octavious photographs the everyday and matches the colors to Pantone swatches.

• As a blogger, do you keep resource lists?

• Finding full-time work in San Francisco is an uphill battle for a lot of folks.

Here’s what to say after someone tells you that they can’t afford your services.

• I love Sian’s no-nonsense website tips.


Check out even more Link Love columns here.

5 Tips To Jump-Start Your Post-College Design Career

5 Tips To Jump-Start Your Post-College Design Career

‘Tis the season for graduation! But beneath all the anticipation and excitement, I have been receiving a number of nervous emails from freshly minted design grads looking for ways to carve out their post-college careers. Most of us have been in that boat as well and I know how stressful it can be so I’ve compiled some tips to help make the transition smoother.


1. If full-time work is your goal but you don’t have a job lined up, try placement agencies.

I’ve worked with both Aquent and 24 Seven in the past and have had fantastic results with both. Placement agencies are great for a number of reasons. If you’ve never been to one, here’s what happens: first, you’re interviewed by an agent and they review your portfolio in-depth to determine your skill set. From there, it’s their goal to place you in jobs that they feel are the best possible fit. They have a good reason for wanting to keep both you and your employer happy: for each hour you work, they earn a commission.

Through placements, I was able to get into a number of boutique design studios and even Nike. The experience I gained was incredibly valuable and by moving around, from the tip of corporate America all the way down to 10 person studios, I learned a lot about how the design industry functions in a really short period of time. By trying on different hats, you become much more adaptable to varying management and design styles and I would argue, more valuable as a designer.

With placement agencies, since the work isn’t consistent (unless you get offered a contract), you tend to get paid substantially more than you would at a full-time position. I had times where I would get booked for two days but I can tell you that if you’re a good fit, they will find a way to make room for you. One particular short-term gig I had turned into an entire year! And if the company loves you, there’s a chance that they will offer you full-time employment.

Placement agencies are a great way to test the waters, especially if you’re still finding your way and settling into a niche. You’re able try out a variety of places and determine what works best for you (Agency or in-house? Digital or print? Design or production?) And if things don’t work out, that’s okay, too. Your agent can help you with parting ways gracefully and it’s a lot less painful than quitting a full-time job.


2. Before you reach out, whip that portfolio into shape!

When I graduated in 2008, print portfolios were absolutely mandatory. I know that since then, a lot of job seekers have switched over to digital portfolios exclusively to showcase their work. While I do use my iPad for supplementary work, I still have a print version. Maybe I’m old school but I know that a lot of the people I meet with are older than I am and appreciate the time and energy it takes to put together a print portfolio. I limit mine to 10 to 12 projects max and then share a larger variety on my iPad if they request more samples. If you’re curious, here’s a peek inside the last print portfolio I did.

While my print portfolio is very tightly edited, my digital portfolio is much more broad. I love Cargo for its ease of use and very reasonable fees. The pre-made templates are fantastic and with a little CSS magic, you can refine them further. I’m working on a full website to house my projects (more on that later!) but in the meantime, Cargo has treated me well over the last two years. Also, Squarespace has some beautiful template options, too.


3. Nail the interview basics.

We’ve all heard tips for nailing a great interview from friends, family and industry professionals enough times to feel like they’re one big cliché. Show up on time! Dress the part! Act enthusiastic! We know, we know! UGH!

But seriously, all of these small things combine to make an unforgettable impact. I’ve been on dozens of interviews and can vouch that most run incredibly smoothly — most creative staff were once in your position and remember that nervous, uncertain feeling well. As long as you move through your portfolio quickly, they are usually incredibly accommodating.

But, there’s always those curveballs when we least expect them and that’s where practicing these tips comes into play so you can remain graceful under fire! There was one interview that I’ll never forget: it was so intense that I felt like I’d been transported to the O.J. trial. I kept thinking, “I’m being interviewed for a job so why does it feel like an interrogation?!” Even so, I made it through, smiled, shook the interviewer’s hand and thanked him for his time. And then quickly left. Always keep your cool! My 11 tips for acing your next design interview can help you get started.


4. Knowledge Is Power.

I’m always reading books about my field in an effort to stay current with design trends, strategy and business. My top three picks for highly valuable insight on breaking into the industry are:

A. How to Be a Graphic Designer without Losing Your Soul by Adrian Shaughnessy

I found this book to be hugely beneficial when I was first starting out — it’s simple, relatable and immediately applicable. And that’s exactly what I needed.

B. Work for Money, Design for Love by David Airey

I love the smooth flow of this book, from beginning to end. It’s so rare that hugely successful designers open up and share the inner workings of their businesses along with detailed insights of their processes.

C. Design Student Handbook by Computer Arts

Looking for a guide that covers all the nitty gritty of prepping a killer portfolio and breaking into the design industry? The Design Student Handbook is for you. I wish there was something like this on the market back when I graduated!


5. Blog about your projects. Always.

When I was first starting out, I used my blog to share all of my new client work. The good, the bad and the ugly made its way up for the world to see and each project I shared brought in new prospects.

Getting comfortable with sharing my work was hugely beneficial in getting my foot in the door at a number of design jobs because I’d already developed my voice and style very publicly. It can be scary putting your work out there but it’s something you have to get accustomed to because you never know who’s reading it. A good example: In 2009, I was three days into a Nike contract when I got called into my department manager’s office. I thought I’d done something terribly wrong and was getting fired! Instead, he said he’d recognized me from my blog and wanted to know if I’d be interested in permanent positions.

If steady work doesn’t pop up right away post-graduation, your blog can be a great way to drum up freelance work. And who knows, you might be so successful at it that a full-time job becomes a fading memory. Oh, and don’t forget to share those in-progress snippets on dribble and your glowing final outcomes on Behance.


Graduates, I know it’s not easy but view each opportunity (no matter how small) as a learning experience and with time, your path will unfold. Good luck on your new, exciting journey!

In Bloom: A Stroll Around My Portland Neighborhood

In Bloom: Portland Tour

At the end of March, the Made U Look girls, fresh into Portland after a 14 hour drive from Bakersfield, swung by my house for a pre-game hangout. When it came time to line up a photographer for The Blogcademy, they were at the very top of our list — their style has always stood out to me because the majority of their photos are shot on a variety of film cameras. I love that sense of mystery because really, you never know what you’re going to get and the results are always so varied. I always feel that sense of suspense creeping up, just waiting to see what they captured and it’s always even better than I could imagine.

Made U Look had perfect timing: when they arrived, my entire S.E. Portland neighborhood was full-on in bloom. That week, the usual drizzly Portland weather had decided to part for us and it didn’t rain for a record five days straight (haha).

In Bloom: Portland Tour

In Bloom: Portland Tour

Only one photography team could convince me to crawl into my grumpy neighbor’s yard and pose in his flowers: Made U Look, of course. As I looked on at Gala, there was a creepy undercurrent…an element of a dark Alice In Wonderland vibe permeated the shoot.

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