Link Love: 1.9.14



• I applaud Alexandra Franzen for writing about a tough topic that has touched almost all of us that share our lives online: hate blogging and bullying. These 555 words just may change your life.

• Fascinating portraits of Michael Jackson impersonators.

• I love this beautifully designed free calendar download from Observant Nomad.

• Photographer Greg Alessandri documented the diners across New York City throughout the 1990s, most of which are now sadly gone.

• Bri just bravely shared her experiences with anxiety and insecurity.

• I always love catching glimpses into Anna’s home (partially because we both share a love for black walls).

• Looking for awesome things to do in New York? This Pinterest board will make your life a whole lot easier!

• If you’re a blogger, please take the time to read Kathleen’s post about why she quit Google Analytics.

• My newest fashion blog obsession: Micah Gianelli. Avant garde looks that are straight out of the future.

• If your makeup brushes are in need of a good cleaning, this post will get you motivated to follow through.

• Are you on the lookout for American made workout clothes? Here are three great options.

• When it comes to setting goals, if something scares you, it might be a good thing to try.

• This upcoming Bill Cunningham exhibit features work from his Façades series in which he placed models in period costumes across New York City.

• A Beautiful Mess just put together a really awesome post all about juicing basics.

• How should you handle your parents not liking who you want to marry?

Photo: Philippe Salomon.
Check out even more Link Love columns here.

Blog Log #13: The Key To Building an Engaged Audience Plus 30 Ideas For Fresh Content


Nubby Twiglet | The Key To Building an Engaged Audience Plus 30 Ideas For Fresh Content

The quickest way to grow your blog doesn’t hinge on implementing the latest SEO techniques or posting a lot of pretty images. If you want an audience that’s engaged and keeps coming back for more, create genuinely helpful content.

If you poke around the internet, you’ll notice that a majority of the most popular blogs are heavy on content that teaches you something. Whether it’s how to live a better life, how to tie a scarf or how to whip up something new in the kitchen, people are always searching for opportunities to learn something new, even if it’s ridiculously simple.

Think about it this way. When you sit down to google something, would you key in:

Popular lipstick shades or how to pick flattering lipstick shades?
Graphic design portfolio or how to build a print portfolio?
Cute hairstyles or how to style short hair?
Chunky sweater styles or how to style chunky sweaters?

Audiences want applicable advice that is helpful and benefits their lives in some way. The concept of being helpful can feel a bit daunting at first. After all, not all of us are gourmet chefs, DIY masterminds or decorating geniuses. But, it doesn’t have to be that complicated. When it comes to being helpful, we each have a unique set of talents and life experiences. We just tend to assume that everyone else knows how to do what we do. You’d be surprised at how popular some of your tried and true skills can be when turned into a series of blog posts.

To be genuinely helpful, the key is to think of little ways to add a twist to what you already enjoy doing.

Here are some ideas to get you going:

1. Bake your way through a stash of favorite family recipes and photograph the results.

2. Review the books that have had the biggest impact on your life.

3. Break down your favorite makeup and skincare routines along with the products you recommend and why.

4. Document before and after shots of your home renovations with how-to guides.

5. Are you a green thumb? Create guides around what grows best in which climates.

6. Tour your city’s food carts and let us know your top picks!

7. If movies are your passion, create guides of must-see films broken up by genre.

8. Did you bypass college and follow a self-taught path to the career of your dreams? Tell us how you did it!

9. Share styling tips on how to get creative with a very limited wardrobe.

10. If you’re a master at smoothies, create a series around your favorite recipes.

11. Do you have a knack for hairstyles? Let us know the best ones for long, short, updos and more!

12. Create a series of helpful email templates related to your industry.

13. Share your tried-and-true social media tips and tricks for each platform.

14. Develop a series of paint swatch combos for the color challenged.

15. If organizing is your thing, share before and after shots alongside your sources for supplies.

16. Do you have a talent for modifying the mundane? Share your best IKEA hacks!

17. Are you a web designer? Let us know your favorite web font combos.

18. If you’re a thrifting champ, create guides for cities you’ve visited.

19. Is bartending your specialty? Share recipes and photograph your best drink concoctions!

20. Review your favorite restaurants in town and come up with your own rating system.

21. If you’re a shoe obsessive, create guides for the best shoes from working out to going out.

22. Is traveling your passion? Create guides for each locale you visit including transportation, dining and hotels!

23. Create a series of style posts centered around a favorite wardrobe staple.

24. Do you have a specific way of shooting and processing your photos? Show us how you do it.

25. Have you mastered how to clean your house without using harsh chemicals? Teach us your tricks!

26. If you’re a creative that’s burnt out on “pinspiration” posts, inspire us through real life mood boards.

27. Run your own business? Create an advice column centered around what you’ve learned.

28. Have you pulled off a career change into a completely different industry? Break down how you did it!

29. Are you a fitness junkie? Share routines for busy, on-the-go types.

30. Is event planning your passion? Teach us how to make gatherings and parties run more smoothly.

When it comes to building an engaged audience, be genuine, be helpful and share what you know.

Your turn: What are some recent helpful posts you did that were a big hit?

Image: Alexa Loy Photography.

The Typofiles #131: Elle UK Accessories

Nubby Twiglet | Elle UK Accessories

Over the last year, I’ve been crushing hard on the editorial design laced throughout Elle UK. During the holiday break, as I cleaned a solid 50 magazines out of my office closet, I came across this supplemental accessories guide.

What struck me most is that the design was completely of the moment but the executions were very timeless. Elle always balances edge with sophistication, both in its fashion and editorial design.

Nubby Twiglet | Elle UK Accessories

Throughout the pages, there was a fair amount of color blocking but it was done in completely unexpected pairings. Set in very standard columns, type was then rotated on the page. Dividing lines broke up content but instead of being black, they were done in full-on magenta. When it came to sunglasses, hand-drawn lines were woven through the page to draw attention to particular pairs. It’s all these subtle details that make the magazine such a standout.

Nubby Twiglet | Elle UK Accessories

Featured: Elle UK
All scans and photos: Shauna Haider
Check out more Typofiles columns here.

Tools Of The Trade #15: Present&Correct Office Supplies

Nubby Twiglet | Tools Of The Trade: Present&Correct

Readers are always emailing and tweeting me, inquiring about where they can find cool office supplies. If you’re on the hunt for goodies that are anything but run of the mill, Present&Correct is an absolute treasure trove.

They take great care to photograph their finds, many of which are one-of-a-kind and sourced throughout Europe. New life is given to long-forgotten supplies like French post office labels. And if vintage prints and ephemera are your thing, you’ll also love their blog.

Nubby Twiglet | Tools Of The Trade: Present&Correct

Small businesses with a clear passion for what they do make the world go round. And even better, Present&Correct now have a brick and mortar shop in London.

P.S. Their Pinterest boards are off the hook!

Adventures In Queensland: Lady Of The Manor

Nubby Twiglet | Port Douglas: Lady Of The Manor

On our third day in Australia, I got sick and after hopping a quick flight to Cairns, I ended up in a crowded medical clinic. After that stop, darkness was already setting in and I fell asleep on our drive through the windy roads to Port Douglas. It was pitch black when we finally came to a complete stop at a set of gates. Slightly disoriented, I looked around but couldn’t see much.

Nubby Twiglet | Port Douglas: Lady Of The Manor

We then pulled into the driveway of our house for the rest of the week. We were shown around and I got lost several times through its maze of rooms, quickly realizing it was more of a mansion. I settled into the master bedroom and drifted off to sleep. This is the view that I awoke to. It was a full-on paradise with birds chirping in the palm trees. Australia is home to some of the most beautiful scenery on the planet.

Nubby Twiglet | Port Douglas: Lady Of The Manor

This set-up was so completely opposite of my everyday existence. I knew I had to document it to show my family back home (because I doubt they believed half of my texts). I borrowed one of Gala’s dresses, posed by the pool and quickly earned the moniker Lady Of The Manor. Haha.

Nubby Twiglet | Port Douglas: Lady Of The Manor

But, all good things must come to an end. After 4 days at this glorious hideaway, it was time to head back to the city (and reality)!

Photos: Janneke Storm.
I Wore: Sunglasses, Dries Van Noten. Dress, borrowed from Gala. Boots, All Saints.
Special thanks to Tourism and Events Queensland for making this post possible.

The Week In Pictures: 1.3.14

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

It feels good to be slowly settling back into regular routines including blogging after a nice, long holiday break. Over the last month, it’s been a little chaotic around these parts with half of our downstairs feeling like a disaster zone as Joey rebuilds our entire bathroom from bare bones to a subway-tiled masterpiece. He’s been doing all the plumbing, electrical and construction himself and I’m amazed watching it all come together. Progress shots are coming soon!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

The new year flew in at full blast. I’ve been tucked away in my office all week, taking a nonstop stream of client calls and sending out proposals. I can already sense that this is going to be a very busy year for Branch.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

When it comes to Christmas, I always think the best gifts are things that feel a little too special and luxurious to splurge on for yourself. Gala knows me well and sent me this amazing Jonathan Adler bowl emblazoned with lips. It’s the perfect addition to my collection of white ceramic body parts!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Half the fun of putting together my gift for Gala was picking out all the little pieces.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

One of my resolutions for 2014 was to read more. I do read (on the internet!) but it’s never anything that meaty and I’m longing to dig into new business and design books. I picked up a stack of new titles and can’t wait to review them for the Look Book column.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone. I’ll be off wrapping up the design of the new Blogcademy site (you can see a sneak peek here) which will be going live later this Spring. I hope you’re feeling semi-rested and ready to take on 2014!

Link Love: 1.2.14


Nubby Twiglet | Link Love

• When it comes to your social media in the new year, work smarter, not harder!

• An open letter to young female creatives.

• Kelli Anderson just pulled off one of the best IKEA hacks of all time with her stand-up desk!

• What are you building in 2014?

• 10 things they didn’t teach you at design school.

• What if you stopped focusing on past performance and quarterly goals when it came to your small business and instead set goals that were more in line with your personal new year’s resolutions?

• These 7 tips will help you find the time to blog.

• Jasmine Star shares how to set goals.

• Design Work Life rounded up their 12 favorite typefaces of 2013.

• Do you ever catch yourself dreaming about that perfect house? Stop.

• Make sure your WordPress blog is secure in the new year with these manageable security tips.

• A shout-out to the two projects we recently shared on the Branch blog: Luke Copping’s corporate photography booklet and Olivine Atelier’s gorgeous line of perfumes.

• 7 ways to spring clean your blog.

Photo: The Kennedys in New York, 1960.
Check out even more Link Love columns here.