The Typofiles #124: Super Cahier Alphabet Book

Typofiles Super Cahier Book

One of the coolest design-related discoveries I made during my stay in Paris last week was this slightly bizarre type-filled activity book. I found it while perusing the always hip shelves of Colette and though the accompanying text is completely in French, Super Cahier º1 by Claire Gautier is an imaginative, inspiring visual trek through the alphabet. Each letter gets the star treatment with two full pages (one large specimen and another grid of 12+ examples).

Typofiles Super Cahier Book

Typofiles Super Cahier Book

Typofiles Super Cahier Book

While this might not be a practical purchase for most folks, I’ve found it to be inspiring (you just can’t go wrong imagining “O” as a sprinkle-covered donut!) and best of all, the pages are easily removable if you want to cover your walls in rad lettering. The alphabet has never looked so stylish — leave it to the French (as usual) to elevate the everyday to art-worthy status!

You can view all of The Typofiles right here.

Digital Facelift: Luke Copping E-Promo

link love

Towards the end of 2012, photographer Luke Copping decided that it was time to make some big updates to his marketing plan. Our first order of business was to update his e-promos.

The template we’d designed two years before to accompany his print promos was feeling a bit tired — there was only room to feature one story and we’d been noticing a trend towards digest-style promos which allowed for multiple stories and a lot more reader engagement.

After working together for three solid years, Luke and I tend to be on the same wavelength — we nailed this design on the first try and since it’s a template, Luke can easily change out the content each month to share his latest project highlights.

About the new promos, Luke noted on his blog that, “This sort of format just makes sense to me. It is easy to quickly read and understand, gets the point across without being overly obtrusive, features a range of current projects that recipients may find relevant, and gives them a choice of which stories they want to engage with and explore further.”

When it comes to e-promos, it doesn’t matter how good they look, they still need to perform. I was excited to receive a recap of the stats after Luke sent out this new format and at this point, it appears to be our most successful digital promotion yet!

In the weeks since, we’ve started digging into a few more small updates to Luke’s branding including his Facebook header, which is also a template that he can change out as often as he likes.

We’ve got quite a few more projects coming up and I’m looking forward to seeing where this year takes Luke — he’s got a lot of ideas up his sleeve for both his branding and photography.

link love

View some of my previous collaborations with Luke Copping here:

• Print Portfolio
• Magazine
• Letterpress Business Cards
• Various Promos

The Blogcademy London On Film!

The Blogcademy Header

The Blogcdemy London was an experience we’ll never forget — we taught two classes of of 60 blogcadets (the name our graduates have given themselves in our Facebook group!) over four days at the beautiful Curtain Road Studios in Shoreditch. And, we were incredibly grateful to have the talented Richard Wakefield of FX Media to catch all of the action. EARS! SHOES! CAKES!

We’d also like to thank Lisa Devlin, Shell De Mar and all of our crafty sponsors (more details in the recap coming soon).

And last but not least, we’re gearing up for workshops in Portland and LA next — hope to see you on the West Coast!

The Week In Pictures: 2.1.13 | Paris Edition!

Nubby Twiglet Paris 2013

Oh, Paris! After we finished our two London workshops and then headed out to the English countryside for a talk at the farm (the farm is getting its own dedicated post — just you wait!), it was time for Gala, Kat and I to move onto Paris for a few days’ worth of R&R.

Nubby Twiglet Paris 2013

While London felt very Americanized to me, Paris is always another world together. Paris is one of the only places I’ve ever been that’s even better than what the history books and travel guides convey.

Nubby Twiglet Paris 2013

While it’s great to plot your voyage to make sure you don’t miss anything on your list, the truth is that you could aimlessly wander the city and be just as happy because every cafe, every sign and every menu has so much charm. Overall, Paris feels untouched by the big corporate chains that have overrun a lot of other cities. It’s as if the forces of the city join together to perfectly curate every last detail — the French understand the art of presentation like no other.

Nubby Twiglet Paris 2013

Nubby Twiglet Paris 2013

Last time I was in Paris, Gala and I stayed in the Hotel Du Petit Moulin in Le Marais and its themed rooms were very charming. This time around though, we partnered with Go With Oh and stayed just 2 blocks from the Arc De Triomphe. I still remember the first time I saw my parent’s photos of the Arc De Triomphe from when they visited in the 80s and it’s one of those structures you have to see in person to really grasp the scale.

Nubby Twiglet Paris 2013

On our first day in Paris, we met up with my friend and client Juliane Berry who, as a wedding photographer, knows all the best spots. This time, she took us to the Siene River, Louvre and Palais Royal. When I spotted those striped columns, my eyes nearly popped out of my head.

Nubby Twiglet Paris 2013

As I stood back and watched Juliane shoot Kat, I knew the photos were going to be good — she has a way with capturing those quintessentially Parisian moments.

Nubby Twiglet Paris 2013

Nubby Twiglet Paris 2013

From there, we made a pit stop at Angelina to get out of the rain and sip their world famous hot chocolate that we’d heard so much about. Angelina is a hotel and restaurant from the early 1900s and the ground floor features their incomparable sweets selection.

Nubby Twiglet Paris 2013

All of the recommendations we got from friends were spot-on; this is a must see place that feels very regal and frozen in time.

As we skipped down the streets humming George Michael tunes (obsessed!) we also made stops at Fauchon (a mecca for food lovers — this post by Luxirare sums it up well), Colette (great for art and design books, magazines, modern gifts and tech accessories).

Oh, Vine!!!

To our delight (and the internet’s horror), Vine launched while we were in Paris and to commemorate the occasion, we danced a whole lot, wore crowns at the Eiffel Tower, drank extremely bitter espressos, guzzled wine, let our inner ballerinas loose and got a little mental with our greetings.

Paris will always exude romance, elegance and a sense of magic to me — I’m glad I got to experience it this time with friends who love the city as much as I do.

Nubby Twiglet Paris 2013

Recommended In Paris

Transportation between countries: If you’re traveling between London and Paris, take the Eurostar. Affordable, efficient and easy, there’s a lot less hassle involved than flying. Use your downtime on the train to grab one of the free Paris maps on the train (above) and map out your moves!

Accomodations: We bypassed hotels this time for Go With Oh, which is similar to Air BnB in Europe. The apartment we found through them was pristine, clean and decorated better than most hotels. With a well-stocked kitchen, a cozy bath and a large living room, we felt right at home in Paris and were just two blocks from the Arc De Triomphe. If you’re looking for an extra special experience beyond the usual hotel fare, rent an apartment.

Nubby Twiglet Paris 2013

Food: Paris is blessed with cafes on nearly every corner and we had great luck at every single one we tried. As you get closer to touristy areas, expect to pay a few Euros more. Many have meal specials with wine, an appetizer and dessert included for a flat rate — when in Paris, eat!!! And then, loosen up your pants and eat some more.

For Early Flights: Be warned that the city stays awake till late and if you have to travel home at the crack of dawn, taxis are nearly nonexistent. We awoke to find the streets dark and silent the morning we left Paris and were thankful we’d planned ahead and googled a car service.

Getting Around: A lot of taxi drivers don’t speak much English so if you have somewhere you need to be, find the closest popular landmark to tell them or write the address down so they can read it. If you’re up for it, the Metro is efficient and never as packed as cities like New York and London.

Nubby Twiglet Paris 2013

I just arrived home to Portland last night and am still coming down from my Paris high. Have a great weekend, everyone! I’ll be sneaking in lots of cuddles with Joey & Rocky — these two weeks were the longest we’d ever been apart. While I love traveling, it feels great to be home.

Any plans for this weekend?

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!