Monday, August 31

Stay Organized with Weekly Planners

With a new school year beginning and fall right around the corner, it is easy to get overwhelmed with appointments and to-do lists. Keep your family organized with one of these great planners.

{Mom - A Thon Planner by Periwinkle Press}

The personalized planners are available on eInvite in sheets of 60. Additional styles available here.

{Weekly Menu by Periwinkle Press}

Sunday, August 30

The Occasional Design Disaster

Every once in a while, a design goes horribly awry. Sometimes it is a lack of planning and sometimes it is just simply miscommunication. We don't make a point of being negative on this blog but there has been a great deal of controversy lately about two huge design undertakings. I'd love to know everyone's thoughts!

The London 2012 Logo


The London 2012 logo has made headlines around the globe, generally evoking shock and horror amongst designers. Ever the optimist, I'm looking for someone who can point out the good in this design. Personally, I'm not sure there's anything that's working for it. Even the type is somewhat bizarre. I simply don't know what to make of it, but my initial reaction is much like that of everyone else: confusion. Generally, when doing identity work, confusion is not the emotion you're looking to evoke.

The IKEA Verdana Fiasco


Needless to say, this controversy has made huge waves in the design community, particularly amongst the typophiles. It even made Time magazine. The short story is that, after twenty years of using a custom designed Futura face (IKEA Sans), IKEA suddenly changed its identity to use an off-the-shelf screen face, Verdana. So, what do you think? Love the logo? Identify with IKEA's new look?

Friday, August 28

A perfect wedding gift...

{image of sample website via buy our}

This morning, during my daily read of Cup of Jo, I discovered the genious website called "buy our honeymoon". She is planning her own honeymoon and is using and endorsing the service. I would take her word. As Joanna Goddard clearly states, they never see the tacky name and she's right. Your website looks like a customized home page and then a cute little list of gift ideas. You MUST visit just to check it out, here is a sample of a European vacation registry. I just love my Cup of Jo!

Living Flora

Thursday, August 27

Jewish New Year on eInvite

September will be upon us quickly and with it, Rosh Hashanah. Check out eInvite's impressive Jewish New Year greetings collection: it's artful, soulful and tasteful. This year, there is also a stylish earthiness that I am loving.

Tuesday, August 25

Inside the studio

{image courtesy of}
Last night on the Sundance Channel I watched an excellent documentary called Painter's Painting: The New York Art Scene, 1940-1970, directed by Emile De Antonio. It examined the Abstract Expressionist art scene in New York and how it segued into the Pop Art movement of the 60's through interviews with such ground breaking artists as Robert Rauschenberg, William de Kooning, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Helen Frankenthaler, Frank Stella, Barnett Newman, Hans Hoffman, Larry Poons, Robert Motherwell, and more who were instrumental in forging modern American art.
Also interviewed are critics and collectors such as Clement Greenberg, Leo Castelli and Henry Geldzahler. It was released in 1973 and features these artists in their studios as they worked, talked about their process and personal history as well as their place in 20th century art. I strongly recommend this to any artist or art lover.

Monday, August 24

Match Maker

Not only as a designer, but also as a collector of vintage tins, I truly appreciate old typography and graphic design. Anything that dons the aesthetic of days-gone-by has a cozy place in my heart. At the moment, I’m particularly enamored with vintage matchboxes or anything resembling them in the slightest. Their illustrative graphics, paired with interesting phrases and colorful typography, are captivating and otherworldly. The fact that older boxes are made of wood, make them ideal for reuse, either to store more matches in, or perhaps small valuables. At a vintage themed wedding, old matchboxes could make for great favors, or decorations at each table. However, if shopping on Ebay for days-on-end, or scouring antique shops is not necessarily in your schedule, there are fabulous alternatives that would give the same old-world vibe. I’ve featured a few options above, as well as, some photos of the real deal. Be sure to check out wackystuff’s photostream on flickr. The Russian matchbox labels circa 1965 are amazing!!

{images L to R}
Vintage Belgian Matches from P.O.S.H
Daily Fortune Matchbooks by Rosebud Design Studio
Luxe Covered Matchboxes by Cori Kindred
Vintage Matchbox Labels via Wackystuff's Photostream on Flickr

DIY Bridesmaid Card

This DIY bridsmaid card designed by RIFLE Design for Once Wed is so much fun. I would love to receive this in the mail!

Additional Photos and Instructions here.

Saturday, August 22

Art and Copy

My personal background is in advertising, so I still keep a close watch on what is happening in the advertising and creative worlds. One of the interesting developments has been a documentary called Art and Copy, a film about advertising creative and inspiration. It looks at the impact of some of the famous campaigns of the past. The director was also inspired by such films as Koyaanisqatsi (one of my favorite films of all time).

Take a look and check out the website:

Friday, August 21

Coming Soon! Crane's Martha Stewart Holiday

Here's a sneak peak of the stunning collection! Coming to eInvite soon :)

Tuesday, August 18

Exciting time for fashion!

{images: vera wang fall 2009 via instyle}

Of all designers, Vera Wang is one that stands alone for me. Her edgy and sophisticated forethought is amazingly accurate. The latest InStyle mag has gotten me so fired up about today's fashion. The epitome of the times, her grasp of texture, line and color, femme and mod interpretations are perfection!

By the way, i love what is happening with shoes. Have you seen the latest? Avant-garde at the most conservative labels. I am loving the guts and gusto.

Love, War and Letters

Jaime and Jeremy, on their wedding day.
{image via NY Daily News}

If you have been reading any online news source in the past week or so, you have more than likely seen the story about Jaime Benefit and Jeremy Clayton. During the Persian Gulf War, Jaime (then 13 years old) decided to send a letter addressed to "any soldier" thanking them for their service. The letter ended up in the hands of 19 year old PFC Jeremy Clayton and the two became pen pals, writing back and forth whenever they could.

Fast-forward almost 20 years, and Jaime decided to try to find Jeremy.
After some unsuccessful attempts at trying to reach him through more traditional methods, Jaime used Facebook to sort through over 300 Jeremy Claytons! The rest happens only in the movies - Jaime and Jeremy met, instantly fell for each other and were married in July of this year. After reading an article about them, I knew I had to speak with Jaime about her extraordinary romance and how paper brought them together. One of the things that really got me about Jaime and Jeremy is that they still write each other little notes every day. She puts them in his lunch and he'll put them on the bathroom mirror for her - she says that they're as simple as "I love you" or "hope you have a great day", but that they mean so much to the two of them. Jaime says:
"Handwritten letters add a personal touch and it means a lot more when you take time to write someone, especially in today's society when emails and text messages have become the norm. With a handwritten letter you actually put your hands on it and they can save it to read at a later time."
Jaime actually kept all of the letters that Jeremy sent her during the Persian Gulf War, and Jeremy had to hide a couple of Jaime's letters in his truck so he could hang on to them. Most of us delete our emails or text messages or let them pile up in our inbox - Jeremy took the time to hide letters during a war. Jaime and Jeremy are just as technology obsessed as the rest of us but Jaime still sees the letter as a way to let someone know that you care about them.
"[It's] a way to show them that they are in your thoughts and that they are worth the extra minute it takes to write something out for them."
Who knows, that extra 5 minutes you take to actually mail a letter could make someone's day 20 years from now. So put down your cell phone, pick up a pen and piece of paper, and connect with someone special.

Monday, August 17

Natsko Seki

I want to share with you one of my favorite artists, Natsko Seki. Raised in Japan, Natsko now lives in London, but enjoys success in both cities. Her impressive client list includes Louis Vuitton, Bloomsbury Publishing and American Express magazine.


I came across her travel and lifestyle work last year and was immediately drawn to the combination of sketch and collage.

{Louis Vuitton Japan- a relaxing weekend}

Saturday, August 15

Can Minimalism Retain Culture?

You've got to check out this clock by Stanislav Katz, which goes to prove that even the most simple, minimal design, can still contain a wealth of cultural signs and symbols. Beautiful work. The update on this design (which was done in 2008) comes from a variety of blogs that have been picking it up with hopes of a near-future release.

Friday, August 14

Ahh, vacation

Recently I went on vacation to Wells, Maine for a week. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love the ocean, beaches, the summer sun, and especially the Maine coastline. There are so many beautiful spots along the southern part of the state.
One late afternoon some of my family and I decided to take a drive down to Ogunquit and walk along the Marginal Way. The large expanse of ocean always refreshes me and gets my creative gears moving like a blank surface to fill with my imagination. The winding walk of the Marginal Way has many stunning views of the ocean, rocks, flora, etc. and as you can see in the above photo I snapped, this afternoon the air was clear and warm and the late sun truly brought out the brilliant colors of the coast.

Thursday, August 13

InStyle flowers and eInvite Invites

Floral selections
paired up with eInvite's floral invites

{shown: california poppy, pink orchid, amaryllis all by eInvite, and
sweet pea by Checkerboard}

On InStyle Weddings today, I noticed the floral choices while checking out the latest scoop. One after the other were representative of our floral watercolor invitations on! We also have other interpretations of the flowers. Whether your choice is bold graphics or soft watercolors, if you are going with a floral theme for your wedding you will find a "bunch" of florals to choose from!

Cute AC adapter

On Point Click Home today I saw this and had to chuckle. It's so cute. As much as I cannot stand unsightly cords, this is a great alternative and also shows your fun side! A product of iida designed by Shunsuke Umiyama.

Wednesday, August 12

More Kate Spade!

Emily mentioned Kate Spade's looks today and I just had to quickly add that our merchants brought in Kate Spade's designs from Crane & Co. Check a few of these out, they're wonderful:

Adorable Hedgehogs for Family Announcements...
I love the blind embossed Kate Spade logo.

Crane & Co. always knocks it out of the park when
it comes to engraving. Combined with Kate Spade's sense of style,
it's very cute without being frou-frou or ironic.

As a man, it's nice to see the occasional
androgynous/masculine design in stationery.
It needn't be chauvinistic to be strong.

I love this style. It reminds me the best of the Ralph Lauren editorial
and advertising photography/styling from the late 1990's (not at all an insult -
Ralph Lauren went public in 1997, one of their more successful years).

I really like how Kate Spade and Crane & Co. have found a nice synthesis between using modern design and paying homage to classic typefaces. It's interesting to see how Kate Spade carries their sense of design through all of their product, be it fashion or paper.

Tuesday, August 11

Fallin' for Kate

I'm just loving the fabulously fun colors of Kate Spade's Fall collection! Such an inspiring alternative to the more traditional rust, olive and brown that appears every fall...

{all images via}

Monday, August 10

Two Lines to the World

One of my favorite bands, Anberlin, has a song that starts with these lines:

"If I could write one letter to the world as we know it
I would list these rhymes that mean everything to me"

It got me thinking - if I had two lines to write down that would then somehow get sent out to the entire world, what would I say? Would I be my usual sarcastic self? Would I try to pass along some huge amount of wisdom? I spent a while thinking about it, and I think it would be just one line. I have a print of this framed on my dresser so it's the first thing I see in the morning and at night.

{image via Hijirik Studio on Etsy}

If you had 2 lines to say to the world, what would they be?

Color Trend: Purple

Purple has been inching its way back to a top trend color over the past year. And while I originally fought this (Purple? Yuck!), I find myself gravitating toward it more and more. With any bold color, I still think it’s best appreciated in small doses. Like this gorgeous Michael Kors bag, versus, say, Barney.

Sunday, August 9

Beds and Bargins

I love simple, clean design that shows a quality of craftsmanship. The quality of the handcraft is always important to me because in our mass manufacturing age, we tend to value quantity and price over skill and service. When I make a long-term purchase (like furniture), I seek to find designs that not only appeal to me aesthetically, but also ensure a quality that will endure. I find defects like unintentionally exposed molding seams to be down right upsetting. Fortunately, you don't always have to pay exorbitant amounts of money for well crafted, well designed, attractive objects.

Charles P. Rogers, the furniture company, is an example of these qualities: well crafted, well designed, attractive, and affordable. Here's an example of the joinery on one of their beds:

©Charles P. Rogers 2009

Too many manufacturers of consumer goods fail to take the time to put in the small details, like the example here of matching the grains and mating them correctly. It might seem like a small detail, and it is, but when every detail is achieved with the same level of care, the finished product is vastly more pleasing (and usually, far more enduring).

Of course, most consumers now are more concerned with paying less for more, rather than paying more for less - and who can blame them? I suppose it is my small hope that this economic downturn will make us recognize the value in something that lasts rather than something that is cheap.

Here is the finished product in its entirety - the Alden bed by Charles P. Rogers.

©Charles P. Rogers 2009

Friday, August 7

Master of the pen

Arthur Rackham (1867-1939) was an illustrator of mostly children's books in the late 19th - early 20th century. His works, done in ink and watercolor, are some of the most beautiful and fluent drawings and was a huge influence on my own draughtsmanship.

His skill at drawing human, animal and plant forms in fantastic scenes matched his ability to create dynamic compositions. I love how he can turn hair and water and flora into beautiful patterns and textures. Books and images of his work are easy to find as he is still to this day considered a master of the medium with few if any equals.

{top image courtesy of An Actress In, above image courtesy of The Melvillian Blog}

Bambuddah cocktails for your weekend

Exotic Cocktailing: Bambuddha-style
In case of emergency, break out a glass. Since there will be times when you just can’t make it to Bambuddha for your favorite cocktail, the following recipes will help you cocktail in the Bambuddha–style.

Bambuddha Ginger-Peach Punch

2 /1/2 oz Skyy Citrus Vodka
2 oz Lemongrass Syrup
To make Lemongrass Syrup:
4 stalks fresh lemongrass,
2 cups sugar,
2 quarts water,
1 cup fresh mint leaves,
juice of half an orange.
Bring to boil and simmer until liquid reduces by one-third.
Refrigerate. Once chilled, it is ready to use.
Garnish with Lemongrass stalk or freshly sliced kumquat.
Served up.


1 oz Skyy Vodka
1 oz Cointreau
1oz Guava juice
Squeeze of lime
Shake in cocktail shaker and serve up in a chilled glass.

Pimm’s with Ginger Syrup

2 oz Pimm's
1 oz ginger syrup
3 oz dry ginger ale
A squeeze of lime
Combine all ingredients and serve in a tall glass with cubed ice.
Garnish with strips of sliced cucumber.

To make ginger syrup:
1 cup fresh grated ginger,
1 cup sugar,
2 cups water.
Bring to boil,
simmer until liquid is reduced by one-fourth.
Refrigerate and served once chilled.

Guava Cocktail

1 oz guava juice
Fill with sparkling wine or champagne.
Serve in champagne glass with a lemon twist.

Bambuddha Lounge, is located poolside at the legendary Phoenix Hotel in San Francisco on 601 Eddy Street. Dinner is served nightly, both poolside and indoors from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. The Lounge, serving exotic cocktails and featuring rotating DJs is open until 2 a.m. Reservations are suggested.

Cocktail recipes and logo/info taken directly from the bambuddahlounge site. Also visit Hotel Phoenix and the joi de vivre hotel sites for more great inspiration for decor, color, or even travel to SF! Mix it up with everyone from politicians to rock 'n roll famers and in-crowd, or in your own back yard/private island this weekend! Sun, sun please keep shining on Cape Cod this weekend!

Thursday, August 6

Kusho • Shinichi Maruyama

The amazing work of Shinichi Maruyama, stunning images of unexpected abstractions of Indian ink and water in motion. Kusho, Japanese for "writing in the sky" is captured by strobe light technology.
I love the insane detail and capture of something you know was there for a split second.

Tuesday, August 4


So excited about these new paper delicacies from Paper Orchid. They are exquisitely laser die cut and so delicate and festive. They make you want to bake, even if there is no occasion at all!

Monday, August 3

Judy Geib Glasses

I love these glasses by Judy Geib. The intricate details are gorgeous!

Sunday, August 2

Deviations from the Daily Drive

Let's face it: sometimes we get bored. It's not anyone's fault, it's just a function of being human. We could be doing the one thing we have always wanted to do, but some day, we'll wake up and say to ourselves, "Hmm, I really should have been a spelunking guide in central Asia" or some similar, wonderfully obtuse and impractical wish.

Fortunately, for those of us that work as professional creatives, there are many companies that recognize the need to variety and encourage their creative staff to do something outside the company's core competency. A car company putting its design staff to the challenge of redesigning a piano, for example.

Yes, a piano!

In a sense, a piano is a bit like a car: it has a body and a frame that must undergo immense stresses (more than 20 tons of force is exerted upon a piano frame). It must perform with delicate maneuverability for Chopin and raw power for Mussorgsky. It is a monstrous object that must be beautiful not only in sound but in appearance. Personally, when I think of these characteristics, I think not of BMW (reminds me of a cello) nor of Mercedes (reminds me of a tuba) but of Audi.

Fitting, then, that Audi tasked its designers to redesign the grand piano (with the assistance of Bosendorfer). Here is the fruit of the designers' labor (care of AutoBlog and Core77):

Personally, I feel that the designers did well in thinking about the essence of what a piano is and used those metaphors to create the foundations of the design. The "piano" gets its name from pianoforte, literally meaning "softly loud", as its invention was a revolution in keyed percussion instruments, allowing the player to use dynamics in their performances. I interpret the exposure of the metal in the "legs" to be the piano's core of strength, while the almost liquid curves of the cover remind me of soft, gentle passages.

Thus, the philosophy of the work seems strong. However, I have a lot of discomfort with the 1980's synthesizer finishing and the car-trunk cover. I suppose the cover was an homage to their roots as automotive designers but it feels rather tacky. The design clearly draws from the Bauhaus school and in my opinion, "modernizing" Bauhaus is always risky business. The same curve is used to connect every line, which is sort of whimsical but also somewhat dull. The philosophical underpinnings reappear when the piano is in its playing position; it converts from its placid closed form to a form that suggests power and is visually engaging.

Overall, I would have to say that the core ideas are strong, the synthesis of car design and piano design is interesting, but it's not something I would want in my house (and certainly not for €100,000). Just as important, however, is the fact that Audi would embrace such a challenge. As long as they are stretching their creative selves, though they may not have a future in piano design, they will always be on the leading edge of automotive design. It's important to realize that, as creatives, if you do exactly the same thing every day, your design will fall into habit, just as any other activity. Variety, as they say, is the spice of life.