Monday, December 14, 2009

Timeless design.

The other day I was paying the rent, and while waiting for my receipt, I glanced around my landlord's office and noticed a letter from the Community Legal Services of Philadelphia. I admired the logo, thought the designer had done a nice job with the type. I'm pretty sure its Helvetica. I think its strong, really embodies the no-nonsense style a legal organization should. Then I glanced at the bottom of the letter...... and realized it was from 1975! My initial thought was, wow, could this logo be considered timeless? To me it still looks great, its effective, powerful....

I took a picture with my phone and went home to research. Unfortunately, Community Legal Services has redesigned it's identity since 1975. Although the new one is much more friendly, I prefer the old version.
Then I thought some more about what a timeless design means.....Jacob Cass calls the CocaCola logo timeless. Some more internet research led me to this. Seems what it all comes down to is to avoid design trends when creating your logo. Utility over beauty.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

idle hands.....

.....make sweater-shaped cookies.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Mail Chimp to my heart.

A friend and I are planning an ugly sweater party and wished to send a creative invitation to our guests. We decided to create an email using HTML, and as I was searching for directions on how to do so, I came across MailChimp. MailChimp is a GREAT resource, and totally FREE. Of course you can pay them as well, and I'm sure a ton of additional resources come with that, but the free version is pretty sweet. MailChimp helps you format and track your email. Here is a preview of my invitation.

MailChimp lets you schedule the time to send your message, save lists of friends/addresses/cohorts/enemies to send repeated 'mail campaigns', add images, change colors, fonts, sizing, etc. For those of you who aren't too familiar with CSS, MailChimp makes it very easy to customize by offering lots of palettes, templates and video instructions.

Once the email is sent, MailChimp, will track who opened the email, clicked on the links, or unsubscribed (Mike). Zero complaints, phew! It even shows you in what part of the globe your readers clicked!

Apparently MailChimp has some competition. I've heard from other designers/marketing folk that they've used Constant Contact before. Here's what the Chimp has to say about that:

They boast 200,000 clients globally, including power clients such as Firefox, Mercedes, Canon, Intel, Staples, Dwell Magazine, the Penguin Group, Georgia Tech and the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

Of course, to make a truly unique email, you should code it yourself. This will just save you valuable time and energy.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

friend in film

Be sure to check out Patrick Smith's new short film. I see a great improvement since he started studying at Temple. I really enjoy the giant mouth. This kid is always taping something. Its kind of amazing.

Monday, November 30, 2009

my old hood!

This is a map of my first home in Philadelphia. Working on a project for my friend Josef Reyes, the former editor of Conveyer, for his new zine about Philly. Be sure to click on the image to view the finer details.

Monday, November 23, 2009

sneak peak.

A preview of something I'm working on. ; )

Thursday, November 19, 2009


If you have a friend/child/parent/significant other who is a Graphic Designer, and yearn to understand what it is that drives them, well....good luck. No,wait, read The Cheese Monkeys, by Chip Kidd. Its a good place to start.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lesson learned.

The announcement for the annual event Book, Paper, Scissors, held by the Philadelphia Center for the Book. They put a call out for design entries back in August. I submitted two. You can see them below.

I see alot of meaning in the winning design (above). I enjoy it because the graphic is clean and simple; it expresses the fundamentals of what this organization is all about: CMYK, printmaking, and ofcourse books and the paper and sharp objects that create them. The hands are symbolic because they reveal the reason why this organization exists: the enjoyment derived from their products appreciated only through the fingers, hands and eyes. Their art is meant to be touched, rubbed, flipped through, caressed, studied, inspected and handled.

The only thing I see lacking here is the typography. A sign that the creator of this flyer was not a Graphic Designer (this I actually know for a fact), but a printmaker.

When I created my original designs, I just went with the first ideas that popped into my head. After sharing them with a former teacher, I realized I should have researched the organization more before I started. My logo/illustration currently does not in any way convey the principals of the organization. Books like this would have been a great resource. I'm using this as a lesson and going back to "tweak" (or re-create, ha!) my original ideas. I hope to create several versions (a trip back to Vis. Comm 101). Stay tuned! Oh, and I hope you'll attend the event.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

the proper way to eat a burrito

My coworkers are OBSESSED with the fast-food restaurant Chipotle, which I have yet learned how to pronounce correctly. We stopped in the other day to grab some burritos. I was instructed by my NAPKIN on how to flawlessly eat mine (burrito). What a great use of printing space! If you have to print legal/recycling info there anyway, why not look at it as a marketing opportunity. Well done, Chipotle, well done!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Little friends

love these guys. Check out their new posters.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Monday, November 9, 2009

Nuclear Beauty

Over the weekend, some friends and I took a trip to the woods of Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. We stayed at a quaint little campground/trailer park known as the Council Cup Campground. It being November and freezing, the place was pretty deserted except for the year-round residents. We met one resident who was the proud owner of a beautiful wolf named Sage. It made me a little sad/confused to see these people living permanently in campers, but who am I to judge...

But I will tell you, if you ARE interested in camping LATE in the fall, this is the place to go. It is quiet, scenic and friendly. My fellow campers and I had a great time staying up till the late hours of the night drinking spiked Cider and singing BonJovi. Although, unlike other camping trips, my most memorable moment from the trip was NOT Anthony catching his foot on fire, Eric eating 8 bowls of Chili nor waking up a victim of spooning. Oh no, this time it was the view of the Nuclear power plant.

Please take a second to glance at the pictures of the majestic Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, a nuclear power plant only a mile or two from our cozy campsite. Friday night, on our ride to Wilkes Barre, we discovered this wonder of nature in the middle of the night. It was truly a beautiful site I will never forget. The two towers, I'll call them "steam towers," stood tall, pouring thick, fluffy clouds of steam into the dark sky. The tall, curvy steam towers are an excellent complement to the very flat surrounding land. Perfect spot for a nuclear plant I suppose. I couldn't find any pictures of them at nite, maybe one day I'll go back and take my own. Its only two hours from Philly.

I remember my first thought being, "Will we see this from our campsite?" Next thought being, "Is the water safe?" I included a screenshot of my google map to show how close we REALLY were. I'll probably be talking about this for weeks, or days atleast. Thanks SSES!


Monday, November 2, 2009

K. Ward

Hahaha, I wish. This is the new album out by M. Ward, who ALSO just released a collaborative album, Monsters of Folk, with Yim Yames, and some guys from Bright Eyes. The reason I'm posting this is not only do I love the music, but the DESIGN OF THIS CD COVER IS SPECTACULAR. It is truly a beautiful piece. I ran into it at a used CD store down in Old City (first of all, this is one of those record shops where they still sneer at you when you ask about an artist that's not up to their music-obsesssed standards, just like High Fidelity). I didn't realize what it was when i first looked at it (now kicking myself for not buying it right there). Right away I recognized the superior design of the case. There was foil lettering and screened detail printed on the outside of the ACTUAL case, viewed overtop an image of old wallpaper. The same foil lettering is used on the back cover. Alot of detail went into this. Buy it!

Good Game.

I know this is over, but I CANNOT wait to see who wins. My money is on Ryan. He is quite the dresser, and pretty creative with his ties...

New Site Design!

I have officially redesigned my website. Be sure to check it out. MUCH simpler than the last design, and easier to navigate. Thanks Michael Estok for all your help!

Daily Drop Cap

A new website created by Jessica Hische displaying some beautiful typography. Be sure to check it out. She even includes how to use the drop cap in your site!

Monday, October 5, 2009

hey septa, whatcha been up to?

The last three months of my SEPTA trans pass. Septa probably makes a decent amount of money printing these, yet the trains are still late, dirty and broken. hmmmmm.....Joe Casey....hmmmm....

Monday, August 17, 2009


Here is some recent work for the Osiris group. This project was great. I learned about places and activities in Philly I have yet to do or visit, and it also involved some illustration. These are displayed in the Independence Center on Market St. for incoming groups and tourists. Basically some incentive to help boost the economy in Philadelphia.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Print Liberation

Just purchased this shirt for my brother. Thought it was hilarious. The Print Liberation shop is pretty great. I don't know about the hipsters at the register, but the t-shirts are hilarious. Be sure to check it out when you visit the Piazza!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Learning Wordpress! Yiiiiikes!

I'm attempting to learn Wordpress and my brain hurts.

Sunday, July 5, 2009



Here is the updated resume. Still professional, with more style. Doesn't break too many rules. Will most likely stand out in a pile of other resumes. Added a business card as well. If only I could convince her to let me design a web-site where she can share with the world her experiences as a professional interpreter. If you agree, be sure to e-mail her!


Here is an original resume created by my good friend Jess Munn. She is a freelance American Sign Language interpreter (impressive!). As you can see, it's very professional and created within the standard Microsoft Word template. I'm not trying to hate on Word, just trying to show the positive effects a designer can have on your life. Stay tuned.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Shipping these out to Karen and Andy tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

<3 Bosco

The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) launched its new marketing campaing. I loves it.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


My completed silkscreen project! Dental Hygiene at its brightest everyone! You might think, ..hmm, why a toothbrush Kate? Well, let me tell you friend. Dentistry holds a special place in my not really, it just happened to be some artwork I had sitting around. And as for why i made this in the first place, well, that's what artists do, we're weird. As you will notice in my previous post, i started out with a digital file and created separations then stencils. I was a little disappointed the art-center where my class was held does not have the equipment to produce films/screens, BUT they did help me learn the basic concepts of screen printing, so I guess theys is all right. Enjoy!

Be sure to click and view up close so you can see the exquisite detail!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Citi Prepaid moves to CS4

We have officially transitioned to Adobe Creative Suite 4. A little late, I know, but exciting none the less. I installed the software to my computer last week, and this morning was getting to know the new features. I must admit its pretty different and slightly intimidating, but so was CS3.

Some of the new features are a little over the top. There was a big jump from CS2 into CS3. Some major improvements were made: InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator were all more compatible, the software was easier to use and easier to learn, overall more user-friendly. Now, I think it is a little harder to use because everything is so flashy, and alot of the tools and actions I've come to know and love are gone.

While looking for an *awesome* graphic to show with this post, I came across some interesting plugs on the Adobe website. Some students from the Savannah College of Art & Design talk about their interactive work.

Go Welsh: Site Re-Design

Our friends at Go Welsh! have posted a new and improved website. It is clean and simple, showcases some of their great work, and of course Craig has to mention allll the awards they win. I'm very impressed with the Armstrong spots.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Silkscreen dreams

I signed up for a silkscreen class at the Fairmount Art Center in Philadelphia. Its one night a week, and will cover a few different methods of silkscreening. Unfortunately for me, my college printmaking course completely skipped over the silkscreen section, so I'm forced to learn later in life. The Art Center is a cute little building in Fairmount that provides a variety of classes. My teacher Tom is pretty cool. Seems he is very excited to teach adults because most of his time is spent with kids.

I missed the first class (because I'm a slacker), but the second class was cool. At first I was disappointed because there's no film or dark room involved, and I figured, eh, this will be a cinch. Tonite I sat down to make some stencils, and well, it is not a cinch. Anyone who is good at silkscreening will tell you that figuring out the negative and positive sections when using more than one ink ain't easy. Also, unlike popular belief, the screens are NOT made of silk. : )

I've included an image of what I'm attempting to print. We shall see how it goes....I will try to scan and post the final print.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Save the Date!

Friends of mine, Andy and Karen, are getting married this summer and requested I design their Save the Date announcements and wedding invitations. Here are the postcard announcements we created. It is raaather unfortunate that, thanks to the inept employees of FedEx Kinko's, they did not mail as soon as we would have liked. I know earlier in this blog I rave about the services of FedEx Office, but maaaaybe I take that back now. I felt like I was in a Chapelle episode when I called the office in Chicago about some printing issues. 

Sustainability Heros

AIGA Philadelphia's Campaign 2 Sustain Student Poster Exhibition (phew!) was a great success. For photos from the event, visit the AIGA Philly flickr gallery. You can also view some of the amazing, winning and runner-up designs, as well as the cutie-patootie student winners. And oh my, there's me! I have to say, I was uber impressed with the submissions. All the attendees were allowed to vote on their favorite. It was rather difficult due to the wide range of styles and concepts. Some utilized strong, detailed illustration, while others focused on the message and type. All in all, they kicked ass. 

I think I was mostly impressed with the designs by Tyler Graduate Student Bernardo Margulis. I'm not sure if he has them posted anywhere, but I will try to find them.  

The winners received various prizes, as well as an award-certificate designed by yours truly, with the assistance of Dave Copestakes. I went with a sustainability "hero" theme. I originally had two designs, one with "Sustainability Man" and his female counterpart. My fellow committee members wanted to go with something more "unisex," which I interpreted as "less sexy" and more "designer looking," so I came up with the skinny-hipster character with the funky glasses. Scrawny, but a hero none the less.

Also, the exhibition was placed in the Crane Arts building, home of GDloft, and one of the coolest gallery spaces I've seen. Woot!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Campaign 2 Sustain

AIGA Philadelphia has sponsored a Student Poster Design Competition focused on Sustainability practices. The closing reception is this Friday, Jan. 30. The winners of the competition will be announced, as well as refreshments and a DJ. Hope to see you there!

For more info, click here.