Latest & Greatest #15: Liz Taylor and Connecting the Dots

Latest and Greatest

Liz Taylor and Connecting the Dots

It’s interesting how the human mind connects the dots and draws parallels. I’ve been intrigued by the Gabbani Identity by Demian Conrad Design for quite a long time now and it’s obvious why: the graphic patterns, the simple color scheme and yes, the poster of Elizabeth Taylor hanging just so-so in the background of one of the shots is totally up my alley. This branding in particular kept churning in my head and I referred back to it often for inspiration because it felt so perfect to me.

But something kept lingering…it reminded me of something else but I couldn’t quite place it. Then I woke up yesterday morning and it hit me: the Topshop Unique Spring 2012 collection had also used graphic black and white patterns and Elizabeth Taylor. I always say that inspiration is everywhere and I love it when contrasting worlds cross over and inspire us in new, unique ways.

*Sources: and Demian Conrad Design.

Blogcademy News and Venues!

Blogcademy Portland March 2013

I have a few Blogcademy announcements today and couldn’t be more excited to finally share some of the goings-on that have transpired since our London workshop last month!


First off, we’ve just finalized our venues for Portland and LA! We did a soft launch of both cities last month so you could plan ahead and now it’s time to share all the firmed up details:

In Portland, we’re hosting our event at one of my all-time favorite hangouts, the Ace Hotel. We’ve got their amazing event space, The Cleaners on lock and it will be the perfect spot to spend the weekend learning! Not only are there big, comfy couches in the Ace lobby to lounge on during breaks but there’s also an old school photo booth (and yes, we’d love to climb in with you and make some memories so BYO ears!)

If you need a little morning pick-me-up, Stumptown coffee is right next door. Looking for a tasty lunch? Kenny & Zuke’s is also on the same block. Oh, and for you shoe-crazed folks who would rather shop your lunch break away, the Solestruck Portland flagship is right around the corner (shhh, don’t tell Kat & Gala!)

Blogcademy Los Angeles April 2013

Next up, we’re heading to LA over April 6th and 7th to hold our workshop at the beautiful Beachwood Studios right in the middle of Hollywood! It’s such a beautiful, modern space. I’ve been in contact with some of the LA folks who’ve registered and there’s going to be an awesome cast of personalities and professions in that workshop. What I love about LA most is that there’s never a dull moment and all that glorious sunshine hits the spot — I can only handle so much Pacific Northwest gloom!

Finally, we’re super thrilled that talented Made U Look Photography crew will be joining us in Portland to shoot the workshop and hang out with our group at The Ace all weekend. If you are interested in shooting with film and enjoy experimental photography, they really are some of the best around. These girls mean business — they often have a trio of cameras around their neck at any given time!


We’re always looking for ways to improve our content and after some feedback from past Blogcadets, we’ve decided to switch up a few parts of the curriculum. First off, we called upon Richard Wakefield of FX Films to shoot Lisa Devlin’s photography talk in London so that we can offer it with your ticket purchase — you’ll now receive the password and can watch the video as many times as you’d like. Lisa is an award-winning photographer and has a lot of content packed into her talks and this will benefit you since some of the technical info can take a few viewings to get down.

Onto the good news: with the time saved from offering Lisa’s talk as a video we have more time to add in content in some other areas that we felt were lacking from the original lesson plan. We’re adding in a new segment that includes how to form industry connections and includes key tips to successfully network (in a non-creepy way!). Next, we’re opening up the discussion to cover key learnings on image use and copyright for bloggers.

Finally, there will be more one-on-one time with the headmistresses (another thing our past graduates said they wanted more more more of). This is especially helpful for those of you who are seeking personalized feedback for your blogs and online businesses. We want to make sure you get all of your questions answered!


If you run a business making something cute, practical or just awesome, we’d love to hear from you! We are on the lookout for new sponsors for both the Portland & Los Angeles events. In return, your product makes its way in front of 60 enthusiastic (and instagram-obsessed) bloggers. You’ll also be featured on all three of our blogs (with an overall reach of over 1 million views per month) so check out our one-sheet and get in touch!


For every city, we offer one scholarship spot and the deadline is quickly approaching. If you have an entry, publish it on your own blog and then simply post a link to it on our Facebook page by February 15, 2013. Videos, blog posts and drawings all work — use your creativity and personal style!

Portland and Los Angeles, it’s gonna be a blast. Join us by registering here and take your blog to the next level!

The Week In Pictures: 2.8.13

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

Another week down…it’s my first full week back from Europe and even though I usually tend to think jetlag is a made-up ailment for hypochondriacs and whiners (ha!), I’m realizing just how real it really is. After traveling 20+ hours straight to get from Paris to Portland last week, I got hit hard and it’s (still) getting to me so I’m going to keep this short and sweet.

I can sense that Spring is in the air, hence the crazy floral pants. I’m normally more of a stripes and polkadots type of girl but these were oddly irresistible (and they’re majorly on sale). I have that one sweater that I refer to as grandma’s couch. Maybe these are made of grandma’s wallpaper?

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

I’m living in that post-vacation come down, the one where you have to readjust to reality and unpacking suitcases. Where the magic is over. But my Parisian trinkets remind me that I was there. I also have a stack of Instax shots and photo booth strips alongside Kat and Gala, some of which are totally old school and very smeared.

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

One promise I made myself at the beginning of this was to get my act together when it came to thank you cards. I’m great at firing off emails but thank you cards feel so much more personal and I need to make more of an effort! While at Liberty in London, I found these Rifle Paper Co. thank you cards in the sale bin and then, came across some beautiful gift tags (seriously, Liberty was my favorite stop in London). And then, at Selfridges I spotted this minimal Swedish stationery line and picked up a few more basics. All set!

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

With that, I’m signing off — I’m still feeling under the weather and am determined to kick this weird feeling of post vacation limbo once and for all. We’re working on some great things for the Portland and LA Blogcademy workshops over the weekend and will be making some announcements on Monday so stay tuned.

Have a restful weekend, everyone!

Link Love: 2.7.13

link love

Source: Nylon Journal.

• Instead of embracing even more social media, maybe it’s time to take the road less traveled and get back to basics.

• Haters gonna hate. Instead of letting them get you down, take Ellen’s approach: “Normally I try not to pay attention to my haters,” Ellen said on her show, “but this time I’d like to talk about it because my haters are my motivators.”

• You can’t go wrong pairing Pantone swatches with food!

• In 1967, Walter Cronkite gave us a tour of what the home office of the 21st century would look like.

• Making orange juice seems simple enough, right? Not at all if you’re Coca-Cola…there’s a deeply complex algorithm involved!

• Jasmine Star has some great advice on how to cope with people who tear you down.

• Never again can you use the tired excuse that there are no interesting female entrepreneurs. The list is right here!

• Most of the time, New York really does feel like it’s part of another planet and Garance Doré rounds up all the reasons why.

• Jess Lively reflects on her business school experience. An enlightening read for all entrepreneurs.

• If you’re interested in fashion sketching, Elsie has some tips on getting started.

Snowdrifts & Smiles: The Blogcademy London Recap!

The Blogcademy London 2013

First Things First

There’s an epic recap of The Blogcademy London ahead but before digging in, I wanted to start this one out a little differently. I’ve been back from Europe for about a week now and the full experience is just starting to sink in. If you’d asked me what I wanted to do with my life five years ago, I might have not been able to string together the thoughts perfectly but the overall consensus would have been along the lines of The Blogcademy because in my mind, my dream job combined combined branding, teaching and blogging — I just didn’t know a job like that actually existed back then.

What I’ve realized since launching The Blogcademy last August is that some of the best things in life aren’t planned. Sometimes, the right people come along who happen to have similar mindsets and opportunities present themselves. And even if an idea seems far-fetched and maybe even impractical, it’s our job to take the reigns and convince ourselves that it is possible. A sense of community is so important when you’re taking big steps into unknown territory and that’s part of the reason why we emphasize group activities and lots of Q&A in the workshops — because as adults, we’re aware that not everyone on the outside will “get us” but having a tight-knit group of people that believe in what we’re doing works wonders.

The Blogcademy London 2013

While all the photos from the workshop look fun and glamorous (Shell de Mar has a way with the camera!), I’m not going to sugarcoat it — putting on a workshop on another continent was stressful! This is real life and little things always go wrong when you’re putting on an event of this size. But we did it and I couldn’t be more proud of the 60 enthusiastic students that braved the snowstorm and dived into the 16 hours of class. The days were long and we were so exhausted by the end we could barely move (I’m sure the students felt the same!) but you know you’ve found your calling when you wake up the next morning and are excited to do it all over again.

The Blogcademy London 2013

This introduction isn’t really about me though, it’s about you and it’s about taking those chances — if you have one of those crazy dreams, block out the noise and write it all down and plan and plot and find a way to make it happen because life is to short to wonder “what if.” A year ago, The Blogcademy didn’t even exist. Now, we’re coming off of three sold out dates and thankful that this world of blogging not only brought us together but created friendships with many of you that last far beyond the classes.

If you’re open and willing, opportunities will present themselves not only in blogging but also relationships, business and in life.

Recap Time!

Onto the recap — the two London workshops were all kinds of awesome (I’m running out of adjectives here!) and we spent a total of four days bonding with our 60 students over blogging, cupcakes and business advice but carrying on about the experience really doesn’t do it justice — in a way, I’m at a loss to really sum it all up. Instead, here’s what our “Blogcadets” had to share about the experience in their own words…

The Blogcademy London 2013

“Well I have to say that it was officially the greatest weekend I’ve ever experienced! I have never in all my days, felt so inspired or excited in my life. My head is jam packed with ideas, my notebook is full and my head is now covered in sparkly bows and bunny-ears”. —Emma Rose Black

“When I initially booked in for my Blogcadet training, I was concerned about the cost – but I left utterly satisfied, and genuinely convinced that the time, effort and sheer volume of actual applicable, real-world advice that you packed into our little London jaunt was worth its weight in gold. The result: I feel so well-equipped with the guidance I need to take my blog to lofty, Eiffel Tower-ish heights, and invigorated and energized to get my butt into gear and do it!” —Caroline Gallatly

The Blogcademy London 2013

“I didn’t realise just how much I learned until I found myself slipping advice learned from The Blogcademy into everyday conversations that didn’t have anything to do with blogging. I’m totally going to be ‘that girl’ who keeps talking about ‘this one time at The Blogcademy’…” —Xandra Burns

“Don’t be fooled by the pink sparkles and bunny ears, there’s nothing frivolous about The Blogcademy. Real business advice from three successful professional women who are doing it their way… in fabulous shoes.” —Scarlett Nymph

The Blogcademy London 2013

“Just being in the same room as Gala, Kat and Shauna makes you feel like you can do anything.” —Emily Fisher

“I don’t think I learnt as much in a year at Uni as I did from The Blogcademy girls in two days. That’s where I think The Blogcademy really shines, we were given real life scenarios and case studies and things were explained in perfect detail. It is blatantly obvious that the three lovely teachers know what they are talking about because they have lived and breathed it for years.” —Stephanie Hind

The Blogcademy London 2013

“Something inside has clicked. I’ve done B-School, I’ve read numerous books & listened to countless voices, but the bringing together of like minded souls is something really special. So for now I just wanted to say from the bottom of my heart, thank you for all the time, energy & love you put into The Blogcademy. It truly feels like a gift that will keep on giving and one that will enable me to grow and pass on the gifts I have for the benefit of others.” —Jayne Rusby

“Words like fabulous, inspirational, glittery, engaging and epic are all accurate descriptions of The Blogcademy but they do not come close to describing the life changing experience that came in the turquoise packaging.” —Georgina Webb

The Blogcademy London 2013

“I would love to tell all the bloggers out there who are writing in any other language than English that The Blogcademy´s awesomeness totally translates and that there is so much to learn, regardless of one’s language.” —Julia Safronova

“Being a bit of a natural cynic, I was a little worried about spending a not-insubstantial chunk of money on a two day course. I need not have feared. This was, and I’m not exaggerating, the best money I have ever spent – an investment in my blog, yes, but much more importantly, in myself.” —Lucy Loves

The Blogcademy London 2013

Getting schooled!

Surroundings Matter

The Blogcademy London 2013

We held both events at Curtain Road Studios in Shoreditch and the staff and space were incredibly charming. What we’ve learned since our first Blogcademy is that the space you hold your event in is just as important as everything else — the days of instruction are long and the more comfortable everyone is, the more engaged and excited they’ll be.

The Blogcademy London 2013

The Goodie Bags

Of course, there’s always a bag of treats to perk our attendees up over the long weekend and our sponsors really delivered!

The Blogcademy London 2013

The custom screen printed tote bags and phone cases were by Awesome Merchandise, the rings were courtesy of Finest Imaginary, Thimble & Fred and Pugly Pixel, Moleskine notebooks were from Finest Imaginary, sparkly hair bows were courtesy of Crown & Glory, the glitter collars were handmade by Alexandra King, the eye shadows were courtesy of Sugarpill, the shoe clips were by Head Full of Feathers and the CD of Photoshop actions was courtesy of Lisa Devlin.

The Blogcademy London 2013

And Charlotte of Restoration Cake deserves an extra special shout-out for braving the snowstorm to deliver bundles of cupcakes, each individually wrapped for the students. They really made our days extra special…especially when that dreaded post-lunch coma hit!

We Adore Our Students!

The Blogcademy London 2013

If you couldn’t already tell, our Blogcademy graduates are an energetic, enthusiastic bunch and have a lot to share about their workshop experiences! We’ve been keeping touch with them through our private Facebook forum and gathered up their blog posts below:

1. You Can Wear Fluffy Cat Ears When You Grow Up 2. Glitter Bows and Bunny Ears Galore! 3. Blogcademy Chit Chat 4. One Of The things That Impressed Me The Most… 5. When Is The Reunion Party!? 6. Four Big Reasons I Loved The Blogcademy 7. Where Dreams Become A Reality 8. Surround Yourself With The Right Influences 9. Inspired to Action 10. Confessions of a Blogcadet 11. Words of sparkle 12. Things I Learnt at The Blogcademy 13. Be Inspired 14. Take The Initiative 15. Dreaming Big 16. The Best Dream I Ever Had 17. Blogcademy: Who Needs University? 18. How To Get The Most Out of Blogcademy. 19. The Blogcademy 20. We Were Taught… 21. The A-Z Of The Blogcademy.

A few overachievers made videos as well and they are so incredibly rad:

1. Confessions of a Blogcadet 2. One Big Huge Thank You and 3. Emma Talks The Blogcademy.

The Class Photo

Of course, no Blogcademy is complete without the class photo! What a stylish bunch!

The Blogcademy London 2013

London #1 (Class 2), March 19th – 20th

The Blogcademy London 2013

London #2 (Class 3), March 23rd – 24th, Photo by Emily Quinton

Behind The Scenes

The Blogcademy London would like to thank the following folks for making our event extra memorable:

Photography (except where stated): Shell de Mar Photography
Video: FX Media
Venue: Curtain Road Studios
Decor Items: The Tea Set and Peach Blossom
Cakes: Restoration Cake
Flowers: Hayford & Rhodes
Guest Speaker #1: Lisa Devlin
Guest Speaker #2 : Emily Quinton

Up Next: Portland & LA!

The Blogcademy London 2013

Illustration by Veronica Dearly!

What a long post — did you make it this far?! A few weeks have gone by and we’re still exchanging excited emails with graduates and watching as their blogs blossom. It’s been a truly awesome experience and when you’re blogging, I’ve always felt that the sense of community is so important.

Now, we’re busily planning a workshop in Portland followed by LA and we’d love it if you could join us for an action-packed weekend of learning, blogging and branding — register here! Hope to see you on the west coast!

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