Latest & Greatest #11: Braniff International Airways

Latest and Greatest

Braniff Airways


I believe that as creatives, instead of getting sucked up in Pinterest or trying to determine what the “next big thing” is, occasionally we need to step back and look to the past for inspiration — a lot of trends that are happening now are deeply rooted in previous decades. I’ve always been drawn to vintage airlines for design inspiration because they had some of the most inspiring branding, collateral and yes, fashions. My favorite by far always defaults to Braniff International Airways.

Braniff Airways

Braniff was an American airline that operated from 1930 until 1982. Perhaps the most fashion forward airline in existence, at the height of its popularity it employed the dream team of architect and textile designer Alexander Girard, fashion designer Emilio Pucci (responsible for the infamous bubble helmets for air hostesses), and shoe designer Beth Levine in conjunction with its “End of the Plain Plane” campaign.

Braniff Airways

Beginning in the mid 60s, plane exteriors were painted in a single, bright color while the interiors were outfitted with 57 different variations of Herman Miller fabrics. Additionally, many of the color schemes were applied to gate lounges, ticket offices, and even the corporate headquarters.

Braniff filed for bankruptcy in 1982 and the colorful era of airline travel came to an abrupt end. Just thinking of Alexander Girard (have you seen the inspiring House Industries collaborations?), Pucci and Herman Miller all sharing the same employer seems too good to be true. These three designers were so far ahead of their time that these days, their work feels more relevant than ever.

The Week In Pictures: 10.26.12

the blogcademy new york city


Photo by Femke Leemans


Welcome to The Week In Pictures! This last week was a whirlwind in the best possible way — last Thursday, I boarded an overnight flight to New York to join my friends Gala Darling and Kat Williams for our first ever Blogcademy workshop. Arriving at 6 am at JFK, I took a cab straight to The Brits’ pad (Kat and Lisa let me stay with them and I was so jealous of their posh accents) and we immediately got to work. Sleep was out of the question — we had just one day to prepare all the goodie bags, sign all the report cards and graduation certificates and run through our content.

I hadn’t seen Kat and Gala at the same time since our Las Vegas meet-up back in February which, when you think about it, seems a bit crazy because we’d essentially planned and built out the entire workshop over emails!

After spending Friday gobbling up a comforting lunch of fried Southern food, making a trip to Gala’s storage locker (trust me, it’s quite shoppable) and running through downpours, we ordered in and put the finishing touches on our presentation.

the blogcademy new york city

Kat and Gala went a bit nuts and stamped the hell out of every fashion magazine in the apartment! I was doubled over laughing…but at least they were in the spirit of branding defacing everything around them!

the blogcademy new york city

The anticipation sure was building; Kat and I both hopped up at 6 am to add a few last details to the presentation (practice makes perfect!) and get ready. Our first day of class (last Saturday) was a blur. A truly amazing blur. I still remember hearing the laughs and conversations in the hall before we opened the doors. We were ready to roll!

the blogcademy new york city

We started off every morning with a nice, strong coffee — I still hadn’t slept a proper night and we were pulling days lasting 6 am till 12 am every day trying to make everything perfect. They say that the devil is in the details and we paid attention closely, adjusting and recalculating our presentation as we went. It was important to give the attendees the best experience possible.

the blogcademy new york city

Gala’s Wolford tights on the second day of class were swoon-worthy. Why didn’t my teachers ever dress like that?!

the blogcademy new york city

And, Gala also procured a sparkly Blogcademy-inspired manicure as well. That girl’s got mad style.

the blogcademy new york city

By the end of my stay, girly-girl Kat was rocking black, spikes and even some occasional Mickey Mouse ears. I’d like to think that I got under her skin a bit. ;)

the blogcademy new york city


Photo by Femke Leemans


During class, we talked, answered questions and talked some more. Our audience was so enthusiastic and welcoming and we all learned from each other.

the blogcademy new york city


Photo by Femke Leemans


None of us wanted to see the end of the workshop come. Just look at that energy after two nonstop days of instruction!

the blogcademy new york city

Monday was my last day in the city. Exhausted from the workshop, I wasn’t about to sit still — Lisa offered to take new promo shots of Kat, Gala & I so we headed to Soho. The MAC store was absolutely stunning.

the blogcademy new york city

Kat and I also took time to grab coffee at Gala’s favorite haunt, 9th Street Espresso.

the blogcademy new york city

I caught up with my longtime friend and collaborator Bianca for a quick shoot while Kat and Gala were getting their makeup done. Bianca is alllll about rockin’ the daytime drama!

the blogcademy new york city

One thing I adore about New York: great type and inspiration are around every corner.

the blogcademy new york city

Perhaps the cutest mode of transportation ever?

the blogcademy new york city

Bianca oozes style down to her fingertips!

the blogcademy new york city

As I was walking back to the apartment to pack and head home, I spotted this fire station. So quintessentially New York.

the blogcademy new york city

Oh, and that Instax I packed along? Turned out to be my best travel investment in a long time. So many memories were captured and I love the imperfect, old-school outcomes.Thanks for following along on my journey to New York — look for a full recap of The Blogcademy coming soon with many more details! Have a great weekend, everyone!

Link Love: 10.25.12

link love

link love


Marilyn Monroe by Richard Avedon


• I’ve been needing a reality check as of late regarding what’s important in my life and this simple article was so thought provoking. Please read it and reconsider what you really have time for.

• 30 awesome WordPress tutorials for designers.

• What is a copywriter and more importantly, should you be one?

• I love Gala’s recap of our Blogcademy launch! Our student Femke did such a great job photographing the event!

• Dita Von Teese just shared her full beauty routine and the products she prefers.

• If you’re itching to learn the difference between CMYK, RGB and PMS, Chelsea and Emma break it all down for you in this week’s Design Guide.

• Looking for a hilarious time waster? How about Cat Bounce!

• If you work in an office, always steer clear of water cooler gossip! CEO Cheryl Bachelder says, “You can’t be a ‘Negative Nancy’ and create great things. I’ve watched mergers, acquisitions, breakups, sales, and all the lost productivity that comes with hallway conversation that does absolutely nothing for the company or your career. It’s just pointless.”

• To Have And To Hold is an amazing collection of vintage shopping bags. The graphics of these relics from the past are so inspiring!

• The West Elm Market is a new concept store from West Elm that is full of rad tools and solutions and I love that they have a Made in the U.S.A. section.

• Why do we behave so oddly in elevators?

• Over the weekend, one of our most popular talks at The Blogcademy was how to launch a digital project and Gala is sharing some of her insights.

• I LOVE this site of emergency compliments!

The Blogcademy New York: A Quick Recap

the blogcademy new york

I just returned to Portland at midnight last night but I wanted to stop in and give you a quick recap! The first ever Blogcademy took place in New York over the weekend and since I’d never done a workshop before, I had no idea what to expect. On Friday, Kat, Gala and I saw each other for the first time face-to-face since February (crazy, huh?!) and we had a lot to catch up on in one day before the workshop! We ended up pulling days that lasted from 6 am until 12 am every day, making sure our content was in tip-top shape. And while hosting a workshop was some of the hardest work I’ve ever done, it was also the most rewarding. Bonding with 30 amazing, driven women with big dreams over the weekend was so inspiring in ways I can’t even put into words (the whole weekend is still sinking in). Sharing the strategy and insights we’d gathered was heavy at times — our presentation numbered nearly 150 pages and that can be a lot of content to absorb in just two days. But our attendees remained focused, scribbling down page after page of notes.

This first workshop is an experience I’ll never forget — we poured our hearts into the content and I hope that everyone walked away with a better understanding of how to take both their branding and blog content to the next level. Thank you to every single student who believed in our workshop; we feel like we’ve made some new friends and your questions and insights are what drive us to keep raising the bar.

Stay tuned for a full Blogcademy recap (I have a lot more to say once I’m settled in) as well as a thank you to our wonderful sponsors who helped make this event extra special.

Computer Arts Collection: Photography

Computer Arts Branding

As you know, I am a huge fan of the Computer Arts Collection, a series of themed guides for creatives. The one reason I keep going back to these issues is that while they are beautifully designed and overflowing with amazing inspiration (much of which I’ve never seen online), there’s never a case of all style and no substance. They dig in deep and always manage to provide glimpses into current industry trends, studio tours, peeks inside real campaigns, suggestions for processes and even a talent directory in the back. In the age of Pinterest, I want more than just pretty pictures. I want to understand how those pretty pictures were created and that’s where Computer Arts delivers.

Computer Arts Branding

Today I wanted to give you a peek inside of Issue 5, which focuses completely on photography. Though I don’t consider myself to be a photographer (I know how to get what I want out of my basic DSLR but I’m very point-and-shoot in my process) I feel that it’s so important to be aware of what other industries are doing since there’s more crossover than ever these days. This weekend, we had a guest speaker at The Blogcademy named Lisa Devlin — she’s been a professional photographer for 20+ years and listening to her share her tips made me want to step up my game. Flipping through this issue, I’m now paying more attention to lighting and composition. Sometimes we just need that little push.

Computer Arts Branding

While I have loved all the issues I’ve managed to get ahold of, this release is perhaps the most visually stunning. With photography, it’s just easier to push boundaries sometimes. As I’ve mentioned before, these issues aren’t cheap but they’re so worth it — with very few ads, they’re less of a magazine and more along the lines of a softcover book. It feels good to learn about how folks outside of my industry take in the world through their cameras. I believe that we all have something to teach and in return, there’s always something new we can learn.

Computer Arts Branding

To get your hands on the Computer Arts Collection, go here for further information.

Link Love: 10.18.12

link love

link love


Iselin Stero by Tyen for Vogue Paris


• The Best About Pages is a site dedicated to gathering up the most unique and best designed about pages from around the web! It’s great to rethink what we can do with this space.

• If you need to take a break from work madness but can’t escape, visit Calm.com.

• What is the transition like when you decide to shift your career path?

• Learn how to write the perfect email to busy people.

• I enjoy reading the What Katie Ate blog because of the gorgeous food photography and was pleasantly surprised to spot a peek inside her new cookbook.

• When things are feeling off, it’s okay to admit when you’re feeling scared.

• Deborah Bowness does some of the most stylish and unique wallpaper I’ve ever seen.

• Yohi Yamamoto’s insights on fashion are priceless.

• Easy ways we can save time.

• Business cards should really showcase your personality with those special touches. Designer Sarah Drake nailed it when designing Brad Goreski’s cards.

• I know slogan-laden posters are everywhere but this one really rang true with me.