The Week In Pictures: 5.11.12

week in pictures


week in pictures

week in pictures


Over the weekend, my dear friend Star stopped by Wolfgang Manor for a visit. Since she lives in San Francisco, we only get to see each other about once a year but it’s one of those friendships where we pick right back up where we left off. I met Star online close to 10 yeas ago and later, during a visit to LA in 2007, she was the one that convinced me to start this blog! We have a tradition of tracking down a photo booth whenever and wherever we meet. :)


week in pictures


The new issue of O magazine showed up in my mailbox yesterday and I thought this A was pretty rad. Here’s the truth: I’ve never even read a complete issue but the design is so good that I mostly subscribe for pure visual inspiration.


week in pictures


I took a midweek break with some friends at Jam on Hawthorne for an afternoon breakfast and tasty mix drink. Turquoise walls, loud music and a handful of chandeliers — what’s not to love about this place?


week in pictures


This week, I pulled out one of my favorite combos that I wore constantly a few years ago: Tripp NYC zipper jeans paired with Minimarket boots.


week in pictures


Over the weekend, I ended up at Best Buy and noticed this black wall complete with a glowing Apple. So, there you have it: my version of the super moon!


week in pictures


I have been going rubber stamp crazy and through some trial and error, I finally found a great, affordable source and ordered a slew of different designs and sizes. I’m sharing what I’ve learned on Monday here on the blog!


week in pictures


Do you ever get hit with the “I can’t keep my eyes open and I’m going to fall asleep at my desk RIGHT NOW” feeling every afternoon? It seems like between 2 and 3, I get hit all at once…and sometimes, a good cup of coffee gets me back on track. Sometimes not.


week in pictures


This book cover is an ongoing inspiration of mine. I’ve been really trying to back up, stand still, ignore the internet and simplify the designs I’m doing to stand the test of time. This cover reminds me of that. Sometimes the best inspiration isn’t on the internet; it’s right in front of us. We just have to be aware. Have a great weekend! I’m going to be taking some long walks (if the weather dude isn’t lying, it’s supposed to be 85 here in Portland) and playing with my new rubber stamp collection. Sounds dorky but some of the best things in life are!


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Link Love: 5.10.12

link love


link love

Vogue China, March 2011.


• If you read just one thing this week, start with Things I’m Afraid To Tell You, bookmark it and then work through the series. Why? 50 bloggers have decided to get real and share stories or experiences that they were previously afraid to put out there. It’s a brilliant reminder that we’re all truly connected and that blogs only offer a small glimpse into our daily lives.

• 33 must read books for entrepreneurs.

How to start your blog with a bang!

• A lot of people are getting burnt out on social media chatter. It’s relentless. I like what Jenna of Sweet Fine Day had to say: “There is so much chatter over what we’re working on, where we’ve been, where we’re going, who we’re hanging out with, what we’ve accomplished and we’re all high fiving each other every day and this is all really good stuff, but sometimes it’s really exhausting too. In the end, what does it mean anyway?”

• I love Promise’s advice on how to break up with a client lead that’s just not a good fit.

• The 2012 logo trend report is out!

• Elsie of A Beautiful Mess just write a great article about failure, success and moving forward.

• How to Be an A-List Blogger: One Simple Step is a pretty good read but equally as so are the heartfelt comments.

• Has the internet run out of ideas? “We’re now at the stage where we should be getting the next wave of disruptive surprises. But – guess what? – they’re nowhere to be seen. Instead, we’re getting an endless stream of incremental changes and me-tooism.”

• Designers, how do you go about landing interesting work?

• AIGA NY has opened a store celebrating its 30th anniversary.

• Cary Tennis always keeps us on our toes: I’m rich, privileged and drunk.


Developing A Design Process: 01

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ask nubby advice

Moodboard for Sasha Gulish Photography branding


One of the questions I get asked most often is about my design process. Most of us have a method for working through a project but once it’s done often enough, it begins to feel like second nature. I’ve continually held off writing this article until now because truthfully, my design process has become so routine that I don’t think of it as being significant. But, when I take the time to step back, I realize that we each have a different method for working through projects and can learn from one another. Today, I’m going to share an overview of the general design process I go through when working on a project. Please note that the process detailed below is focused solely on the creative side of a project and not on any of the administrative or strategic tasks that take place.


1. The Questionnaire


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Nubbytwiglet.com Questionnaire


When I’m working with a new client, I begin my process by sending out a questionnaire. It’s comprised of a short, succinct set of questions meant to jog memories and provide the basic information clients might not otherwise think about. The last question encourages clients to gather their own visual inspiration and links to sites and content they like. After all, we know ourselves better than anyone else and the more we share about what we love & loathe, the easier the designer’s job becomes.


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Nubbytwiglet.com Pinterest


2. Visual Research


While the client is doing their own visual research to show me what they like, I’m doing mine at the same time. Conducting visual research is important because it helps you become aware of current trends. This doesn’t mean that you should rip off every hot color, font and lockup you see. It’s meant to inform you of what’s happening in the world around you. Think about the flipside; you don’t want to end up with a logo that looks exactly like someone else’s because you didn’t do your homework! Clients tend to want a logo that’s on-trend while still remaining unique. But by on-trend, I mean current, not trendy. Nobody wants to go through the hassle of redesigning their logo every few years if they can help it!

My top places to search for visual inspiration are:

1. Designspiration

2. Pinterest (This is my personal account where I save some of my favorite images).

3. FFFFOUND!

4. Flickr: I have a private folder that I upload everything I find into and have been actively adding to it since college. I do this mainly because I can be anywhere in the world, log in and have my full collection of inspiration at my fingertips.


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Thumbnail sketches from a recent logo design


3. Thumbnail Sketches


Ah, yes. Our college professors made us do page after page of thumbnail sketches and they do have their benefits! My head is usually full of potential fonts and lockups the second I start working on a new project and getting them onto paper helps me define some of the options I really want to explore. Plus, being away from the computer helps me clear my mind and creatively focus in a fresh way. To be completely honest, I’m not a big sketcher. Often, my notebook pages will be composed mostly of lists, like “try this font” and “reference this image.” Sketch, make lists, do whatever suits your style best. Just try to do some part of your creative process away from the computer. Breaking up your routine often yields some of the best, most unexpected results.


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Inspiration section from my presentation deck


4. Presentation with Visual Research


A moodboard (at the top of this post) is more of an arbitrary, outward-facing step I’ve included to show online folks what outside influences inspired me on a particular project. But usually, the visuals I’ve gathered are placed in a section within the first client presentation I deliver called, you guessed it, “Inspiration.” This is beneficial for the client because it can make them more feel more confident of the outcomes when they understand the general reference points. Also, something lurking in the visual inspiration may very well grab their attention. Perhaps they’ll say, “I love the layout of option #4 but the type feels off. Can you modify it to feel more like the type in XYZ?”


5. The Moodboard


I’ve noticed a huge trend lately of designers showing moodboards online of what inspired a particular project. I’ve never shared this part of my process with my readers but am considering making a change the next time I showcase a project. Of course, in my world the inspiration is just a folder of gathered imagery tucked inside the client’s job folder on my hard drive but in an effort to present a so-called organized, methodical look, an example of the visual research I gathered for photographer Sasha Gulish’s identity development is at the top of this post. Looking back, it really did help speed up the design process and aligned perfectly with the colors we’d already been considering.


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The final outcome of Sasha’s identity / business cards (note that only the blue version was printed).


6. Revise / Review / Redeliver


Once you’ve delivered that first round, it’s time to wait for client feedback, revise the options they liked, perhaps gather even more visual inspiration if they’re feeling a particular direction and send off the second round. Rinse and repeat until complete!


I’ve titled this article Developing a Design Process 01 because I figured that you might have more questions about specifics. If there’s something further you’d like to know about developing a process, please leave a question in the comments!


The Typofiles #103: Elle Revisited



The one fail-safe fashion magazine that I continually subscribe to year after year is Elle. The art direction and type treatments are always amazing but beyond that, the articles are intelligent, often times humorous and extremely well-written. I have a few other fashion favorites (W, Marie Claire and the freshly redesigned Bazaar) but relate most to Elle. Now the world’s largest fashion magazine (with 42 international editions in over 60 countries), they’re constantly pushing their boundaries with the design and I appreciate that. Plus, the fashion is killer. I’ve always felt like I related more to the world of advertising than fashion but my one exception is Elle. My ultimate dream job is to work at Elle.



I always have a stack of books and magazines sitting around. Fresh issues of Elle are almost always on top because their fresh type treatments and edgy fashion draw me in every time.



These are a few of my favorite pages from the last few issues. Elle always feels so crisp and modern. I should mention that beyond the design, my guilty pleasure each month is flipping straight to Ask E. Jean; do any of you read her as well? Maybe Elle appeals to so many because it’s so much more than just a pretty picture. The images draw you in but the content goes deep.


What I Wore: 5.6.12 // Tire Swing

what i wore

what i wore


When you’re walking down the street and spot a tire swing, there’s only one thing to do: try it out! I don’t think the neighbor lady peeking out of her front window was as entertained as I was yesterday. But in these moments, if I’m unsure of what to do, I ask myself “WWMJD?” Really, what would Michael Jackson do? He’d sure as hell hop on the tire swing! I may be 30 now but who’s counting? I’m all for having a good time!


what i wore

what i wore


I Wore:

Zipper Jeans, Silence + Noise
Lace Top, Forever 21
Hair Bow, H&M
Minimarket Wedgewood Boots, Solestruck
Neon Belt, Target


what i wore


I’ve been working way too much and these little moments remind me that life is short and we should squeeze in some fun whenever possible. I hope you had an awesome weekend. My friends Star and Tim were visiting from San Francisco and I got to show them a few of my favorite hangouts. Ah, Monday. Time to refocus!


what i wore


The Week In Pictures: 5.5.12

week in pictures


week in pictures


What a week. Major deadlines, really late nights, friends and family in town, too many lattes. Glad to have made it through! I sat down last night and started reading a new book that I’m really excited about. As soon as I finish I’ll post a review. Feeling really, really inspired. I need to remind myself to never underestimate the power of words on paper (and to read more often).


week in pictures


My current desktop looks like this (in the dark). I LOVE this cover of USED Magazine so much!


week in pictures


Even though it seemed like I spent the last few days of my life shackled to a computer, I did manage to squeeze in some fun times earlier in the week. My mom was in town visiting and during some downtime, we visited Target. I feel like I’m so busy working that I never shop in stores anymore? It was really nice to wander the aisles for a change! Anyway, it was like a color explosion. Rainbows of awesomeness everywhere. I was recruited to work on a Target campaign earlier this year….wish it would have worked out because I love what they do. And, how good is that top packaging?!


week in pictures


Since my mom was in town, we drove Rocky out to the suburbs to visit his ‘grandma.’ He loves riding in a car and hangs his head out the window to feel the breeze in his hairdo! The next morning, my mom and aunt took me out to breakfast and when they ordered coffee, the cream came in baby bottles! The stars aligned that day because when I got home, my dad stopped by to help me with some house projects. Then, my grandpa called to let me know he was at a bar down the street. I live in the city and he’s an hour and a half away in the mountains so I was really surprised to find him 10 blocks from my house, gambling and having a beer! Everyone calls him Sharky — he’s in his 80s and still out-parties me! A few days later, I was standing in line at a coffee shop and noticed these doll arms peeking out of the planter. Totes creepy and awesome!


week in pictures


When Joey and I were shooting outfit photos in Ladd’s Addition over the weekend, I noticed this house. Pretty amazing, huh? I think that people imagine that most of Portland looks like Ladd’s….I love the tree-lined streets and beautiful old houses. Reminds me of a fairytale.


week in pictures


Soooo….I have a thing for this llama, Nigel. We’ve met on many occasions and visit at least once a year. Everyone seems to know about our friendship. Last year, I walked into a bar and the first thing my friend’s boyfriend said was, “So, I hear you have a relationship with a llama.” Haha! When I heard he was going to be in town this week, I raced downtown to R.E.I. and circled the building. No Nigel. I paced around the store in all black and Adidas wedges, looking slightly out of place amidst the camping gear. I finally found Nigel’s owners, Wallowa Llamas giving their slide show about backpacking in Eastern Oregon (the llamas carry the gear) and they told me that Nigel’s trailer had broken down. No Nigel this time! You should have seen my friend and I whip out our planners, trying to find an open weekend to go visit him. Wallowa was beyond entertained and even offered to bring him down to the hotel in town to hang with us. We’d probably try to squeeze Nigel into a sweater and do his hair so not a good idea! Ahhh, Nigel. He loves the attention! Another reason to visit Nigel on his native territory: he fathered his first baby last year named Rhubabrb! I asked around and nobody seems to know who the mom is. 😉

One of my go-to daily lipsticks is NARS Love Devotion. It adds a touch of warmth to my deathly pallor. Oh, and yesterday two dozen Voodoo Donuts magically appeared. I normally skip them because years ago I worked at an agency that was doing a campaign with Mountain Dew and Voodoo delivered Dew-infused donuts with neon green frosting. People were taking bites, turning around and spitting them back out. I’m not into funky flavors so I played it as safe as I could with a tiny sprinkle donut. Finally, my friend Star is in town! She has a solo show at Sequential Art Gallery that you must see. It’s got some amazing installation pieces and much of the work is composed of wood and acrylic.


week in pictures


You know how there’s always lost pet posters tacked up everywhere? I always wonder if they made it home and this poster totally made my morning. Tabor the cat not only made it home but walked in smelling like grandma’s roses! And just look at that seductive pose! Gotta love a happy ending. Have a great weekend!


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Link Love: 5.3.12

link love


link love

Source.


• What exactly goes on during Pantone color forecasting meetings? And perhaps more importantly, is black really the new black? “A good navy,” says a French woman with short blonde hair, “is going to fulfill the role that black used to fill, because black is now launching into another dimension.”

• The recession is waning but artists are still starving.

• If you’re feeling stuck, please read the Zen Habits Do What You Love Guide. It’s simple and life changing. I was especially drawn to this: “It’s the doing and loving that matters. Many people focus on growing, or hitting goals, or making money, but they forget what matters. What matters most is loving what you do.”

• I love how Molly Crabapple answered this question about having a strong work ethic!

• You have to check out Jacquie’s jaw-dropping D.I.Y. Pantone nails post. Wowza.

• I feel the same way Anna does about design. My design, my house and the way I look are all connected to form one big picture.

• Have any of you stayed at The Saguaro in Palm Springs? Seeing it in all its rainbow-colored glory on Gala’s travel list reminded me of how much I want to visit!

• Designers, if you’re struggling with what to include in your contract, here are some good pointers.

• This post showing us the inner depths of Hermes made me appreciate their eye for detail and craftsmanship even more.

• I’ve been staring at grids all week and this grid wall just takes things to a whole new level.

• Are you a designer who didn’t get paid? Add your total to The World’s Largest Invoice!