Friday, August 31, 2007

Anyone recognize this guy?

How could you forget such a lovely face? You may have laughed at his silly jokes during a presentation on your college campus. You may have chatted with him about design and illustration philosophy during a quiet side-conversation during an on-campus workshop. You may have been inspired by his artwork: diverse, simple, beautiful. No matter where you might recognize him from, Daniel is about to become famous (and I'm becoming very jealous!).

Click here to find out more!

Monday, August 27, 2007

New York Type Directors Club :: Hallmark Displays Traveling Exhibit

The Type Directors Club is an international organization founded in 1946. Members of this group include design professionals, typographic designers, and typophiles. Each year, the TDC has a competition. 2007 marked the TDC's tenth open Call for Entries for Type Design. All entries were judged by a panel of distinguished designers in January 2007.

Winning works are currently being exhibited in six traveling shows and will soon be published in Typography 28, the hardbound, all-color competition annual designed by Number Seventeen. The annual is published by CollinsDesign and is sold worldwide. We are fortunate enough to have the winning entries on display in the Creative Division Gallery (employees only) at Hallmark. Below are some of my favorites from the show. Enjoy!

Poster designed by Hallmark

Crane letterpress paper

Design :: Jonathan Nicol, Montreal, Canada
Client :: Zero Hertz

Designer :: coming soon!
Client :: coming soon!

Design :: Jed and Jennifer Heuer
Letterpress :: Abbey Kuster-Prokell

Designers :: Brady Vest and Matt McNary, Hammerpress, Kansas City, MO
Clients :: Houlihan's :: pipeline productions :: Jay Doc Health Clinic

Designers :: Nadine Fliegen, Silke Lohmann, Anne Schmidt & Rene Wynands, Bochum, Germany
Client :: Rheinisches Industriemuseum (LVR)

Design :: Katrin Adamaszek, Hamburg, Germany

Design :: Stephanie Yung, Toronto, Canada
Client :: Canadian Film Centre

Designers :: coming soon!
Clients :: coming soon!

Design :: Hans Seeger
Client :: Barbara Morgenstern

Saturday, August 25, 2007

It's in the Details

In the midst of the majesty of the Teton Mountain Range, I spent a lot of time photographing the tall snowy peaks. But as we walked the 10 mile trail around Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park, I started to realize that though the peaks were indeed beautiful, powerful, and full of intrigue, there was inspiration in even the smallest details along the trail.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Kansas City: Modest metropolis in midst of mighty renewal

My friend from Atlanta, GA sent me the following article this morning. It caught her eye a few days ago in USA Today's online edition. After reading it, I thought it was worth more than just a link -- so read on (click the links to learn more about KC highlights). Might I say before you read on, that I am so excited and so proud to live here in KC!

By Gene Sloan, USA Today

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Reed Cordish has watched one city center after another make a comeback over the past two decades. Indeed, his family's firm, the Cordish Co., is credited with reviving several of them, including downtown Baltimore, where it developed the now-vibrant Inner Harbor.

But he has never seen a city blossom quite like this one.

"What's remarkable is it's all happening so quickly," says Cordish, looking across a sea of construction cranes from his company's 30th-floor offices. "What you see happening this year in Kansas City is what you'd see happening in other cities over 20 years."

Early next year, the Cordish Co. will cut the ribbon on the Power & Light District, a massive redevelopment of a nine-square-block chunk of Kansas City's long-dilapidated downtown. Like Baltimore's Inner Harbor, it will feature restaurants, bars, shops and live entertainment.

But the $850 million project is only one piece of a citywide makeover that is adding to the allure of a destination already well known for jazz clubs and barbecue.

Not far from the nearly complete Power & Light District, Cordish points out a major construction site that will house the $326 million Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, scheduled for completion in 2009. Off in another direction is the $276 million Sprint Center, an 18,500-seat arena for concerts and sporting events opening in October with a concert by Elton John. And next door is the new College Basketball Experience, including the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, also opening in October.

Still, one of the most notable additions in the city is a recently opened $200 million expansion of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Heralded by The New Yorker as "one of the best (expansions) of the last generation," the new Steven Holl-designed wing cascades down the side of the museum's sloping sculpture gardens.

Even before the addition, the Nelson was highly regarded for its collection of Asian art and Henry Moore sculptures. But the semi-subterranean new wing, topped with glass-walled "lenses" on the sky that The New York Times described as "breathtaking," cements the city's art standing.

The light-filled expansion adds 65% more exhibit space in a succession of soaring galleries — no two alike — filled with post-World War II and contemporary art, African art and photographs. There are noteworthy pieces by the likes of Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Donald Judd and Sol Lewitt, as well as a whole room for the museum's famed collection of Isamu Noguchi sculpture.

"There are cities three times our size that would kill for something like this," Marc Wilson, the museum's longtime director, says of the new building. "It allowed us to do many things that the community has wanted."

The Nelson expansion is just the newest art-related site in the city, which also is home to the nearby Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and the growing, gallery-rich Crossroads Arts District. In October, yet another art museum, albeit a smaller one, the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, opens in suburban Overland Park, Kan.

Kansas City, despite its modest size (metro population: 1.97 million, making it the 28th largest in the USA), lures nearly 17 million visitors a year.

Among the more established draws is the 18th & Vine Historic Jazz District, home to the American Jazz Museum and nightspots such as The Blue Room. But tourism also has gotten a boost from another significant new museum that opened in December, the National World War I Museum.

Built underground at the site of Kansas City's iconic Liberty Memorial — a 22-story obelisk-like war monument that is one of the city's most imposing structures — the new museum offers a comprehensive history of the Great War, with thousands of rare historical objects ranging from battle flags to biplanes.

"I can guarantee that this is the only place where you can touch the tube of a Bavarian field howitzer," says curator Doran Cart, rubbing his hand along one of half a dozen howitzers on display.

The designer of the $26 million museum, Ralph Appelbaum, is perhaps best known for his work on the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. And like that museum, the new World War I museum is a reminder of the man-made horrors of the last century — and a not-so-subtle plea not to repeat them.

"The war was an awful thing, but it's part of history," says Cart, crossing a glass bridge entryway built over 9,000 silk poppies — one for every 1,000 of the 9 million soldiers and sailors killed in the war (there were also an estimated 5 million civilians killed). "And you can learn from history."

Despite such new museums and other attractions, the city's core area has continued to struggle — at times almost appearing abandoned. But that, too, is changing, Cordish says.

"This time next year, it's going to be so active and full of life, you won't believe it," says the developer, pointing out everything from historic theaters under renovation to the site where his company is building a hipsters' bowling lane. "It's going to feel like a big city should."

Source: USA Today Photos: Top-Kansas City's expanded Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, by Timothy Hursley, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art; Bottom-Digital rendering of the Power+Light District, currently in development, rendering by the Cordish Co.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Getting in touch with my inner-graphic design history geek...

I'm back from the Tetons and Yellowstone -- what a relaxing and beautiful trip it was! My boyfriend and I hiked a total of around 20 miles, took tons of photos (I will post some soon!), cooked yummy campfire food (including s'mores, of course), saw lots of wildlife (elk, deer, moose, bison, osprey, and grizzly bears), slept in a rainstorm in a tent on the ground (fun, actually - if you haven't done it you need to!), went to two micro-breweries, went white water rafting, and just enjoyed being away.

Anyway, I have much more I could say, but I'll post some photos later that will hopefully tell most of the story. One thing I didn't think I would think about while gone was design -- but as we creatives always do, we observe and absorb and take notice of visually compelling things. I noticed these vintage posters on notecards while in a gift shop near Old Faithful in Yellowstone.

On the back of the box of notecards was the following story, which definitely appealed to my inner-graphic design history geek.

"Between 1935 and 1943 the WPA's (Works Progress Administration) Federal Art Project printed over two million posters in 35,000 different designs to stir the public's imagination for education, theatre, health, safety, and travel to America's national parks. Due to their fragile nature only a few of these images have survived to this day. In 1993, Doug Leen, artist, found and began to restore many of the images from black and white photos. Today you can enjoy his stylish, nostalgic recreations that recall a bygone era of long summer road trips and grand western scenery." My trip can be completely summed up in that last sentence.

For more information on the WPA Federal Art Project, Doug Leen, or to order posters or notecards, visit

Trip photos coming soon!

Thursday, August 2, 2007


This is where I'm going in less than 36 hours -- Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone -- I'm pumped! These photos are from Getty, but I'll showcase some of my own photography when I return [digital photography is one of my favorite creative releases, along with travel].

The poll results are in!

30 people who responded to the latest survey, What is the best way to get your creative juices flowing? Results are as follows:

Research: reading, shopping, web-surfing, etc. 12 (40%)
Talking with other creatives 8 (26%)
Creating with your hands (getting away from your computer) 4 (13%)
Being Active: working out, going for a walk, running, etc. 4 (13%)
Getting a good night's sleep, taking a nap 2 (6%)
Plain and simple: Caffeine! 0 (0%)

Thanks for your input! Feel free to comment below if you have any other ways to inspire your creativity.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Be aware, Be absorbent, Be alive.

Today I have been distracted by all of my to-do's during these three short days in the office before my long vacation. I am feeling burdened by my work -- completing my to-do's with an uninspired and unenthusiastic mindset, mindlessly checking off tasks on my list as I complete them.

While taking a short break before hitting "the list" hard again, I was reminded of some advice I once heard: "Be an observer of the things around you. Inspiration can come in small doses from unexpected sources, so be aware, be absorbent, be alive."

When I was at Iowa State University working toward my BFA in Graphic Design, my classmates and I put in long, late hours to finish projects and papers. Many of us worked part-time jobs, putting ourselves through school, so we were booked to the max. We would be on our last leg, only one night left before the big crit, running on little or no sleep, fighting through problems with the printers, banging our fists when the famed "spinning wheel of death" appeared on our screen, even shedding a few tears when we'd drop a bunch a cash on laser prints only to find out that our crop marks were off by an 1/8 inch.

It was in those moments of futility, even despair, that the smallest things would make a difference. Someone would crank a funny song on their iTunes and we'd sing along; we'd take a quick walk to get Chinese food; we'd put all of our rejected designs and printing errors up on a wall and create a collage; we'd have a waterfight in the hallway outside the restrooms.

There were even times when the most unexpected things happened that got us through yet another crazy-late night. The most memorable for me was the time when we found an unlocked maintenance door leading to the roof of the design building. We felt somewhat rebellious climbing up the metal staircase to the top, but as we stood, overlooking Ames, IA, we felt like we had achieved, like we had conquered. Maybe it was because of our lack of sleep, or because we were almost done with another grueling semester, but I think it was because it was new. Standing on the roof, overlooking the sleeping town of Ames, IA, I remember feeling like I had gained perspective. Though I was only a small part of that town, I was conquering it. Though college at ISU was only a small part of my life, I was going to get through it -- and become better because of it. I had gotten into the design program, I was almost done with my last project of the semester, and in only one more year, I would have a BFA in graphic design.

We were on the roof for a short time that night, but those few, quiet, simple minutes would get us through the late night hours and into the morning. It only takes a few minutes, and some quiet observation, to find the inspiration you need to get you through. I look back on those minutes, and realize that I need to make time each day to absorb: to look to the little things, to be aware, be alive. [photo, top: Iowa State University College of Design interior at sunset]