Sunday, March 23, 2008

Form or Function?

Or both? Are these forms simply for fun or is there function behind each friendly facade? Take a look and make a guess. Answers below.

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Answers: 1. paper towel holder 2. pepper mill 3. soap dispenser 4. toilet paper holder 5. toothpick holder 6. cheese grater 7. bathtub drain plug 8. vegetable chopper 9. egg cup with salt reserve and spoon 10. dip dish with mini-spreader 11. corkscrew 12. colander 13. salt mill 14. tea bag drainer 15. corkscrew 16. nail brush 17. fruit juicer with cup 18.nut cracker and bowl 19. sugar castor 20. kitchen timer

All products can be found (and purchased) here. I love this site!

Friday, March 14, 2008

1000 Journals

I bought Journal 1001 recently and was completely enthralled. Click here to learn what the 1000 Journals Project is all about!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

"What do you like about living in Kansas City?"

This is the question I get the most when talking with students and professionals about coming to work at Hallmark. This question, as well as, "So where is Kansas City located?"

A recent article in The Beeswax (a newsletter publication by a top local creative firm Willoughby Design Group) touches on a few of the reasons people love it here in KC. It's a great city (we're not biased or anything)! Here's the top ten from the article for your reading pleasure. Click the links to learn more and to see for yourself why KC is great!

10. Two words: Swing state. (Our vote counts!)
9. Three-hour flight to either coast.
8. “More boulevards than Paris, more fountains than Rome.”
7. The new Bloch Building at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
6. The up-and-coming Power and Light District. (Welcome, Sprint Center!)
5. Parking: It’s cheap — and usually free.
4. Nothing like KC barbecue and jazz, local legends that have stood the test of time.
3. Thriving (not starving) artists, thanks to Hallmark, the Kansas City Art Institute, Johnson County Community College and more.
2. Breathtaking stars in 45 minutes or less.
1. The intelligence, compassion and creativity found throughout this community...

Oh, and the answer to the 2nd most asked question: Kansas City is located in Missouri and Kansas. Hallmark is located in Kansas City, Missouri, on the Missouri side of the state line.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Stefan Sagmeister

I'm not sure why I'm always so surprised when someone comes to speak at Hallmark and they are funny, entertaining, clever, talented, etc. but Stefan Sagmeister was all of those things and more. Makes sense, right? I mean he's a world renown typography and graphic designer with a new book out: Things I Have Learned.


Stefan shared his work with us in 4 different areas of design. Design for music, socially responsible design, corporate design and images from his new book. It was a pleasure to hear him talk and learn about his method (or resistance to having a method) in solving design problems. If you are in KC, catch him tonight at Unity Temple. I definitely recommend it.


Be sure to check out this website -------->thingsihavelearnedinmylife.com to see how his book has inspired others.


Friday, March 7, 2008

leave ripples.


In the bookstore at the San Jose Museum of Art, I bought the most inspiring book, The True and the Questions, written by the most inspiring artist/author, Sabrina Ward Harrison.

"Where do you place the questions you carry? and sadness and epiphanies? the quiet worries? where can you put down the truth, as messy and new and raw as it sometimes feels. where are your colors? I believe we must create what we most need to find. I make journals to understand, to vent to dream up and mostly to untangle. who I am becoming. I don't aim for pretty, I aim for release. We have to make room for our life in progress. I give you this journal to rest your life down softly and tangled between these pages. ..trust the mess. trust yourself. leave ripples." --sabrina ward harrison

Read Sabrina's story. It may appear to be a bit long, but you'll be drawn in, and hang on every word. Especially if you are trying to understand yourself. Your purpose. Your creativity. Your inspiration. Your fears. Your sorrows. Your dreams. Your life...and hey, aren't we all trying to figure it out?


The above images are pages from Sabrina's Book/Journal "The True and the Questions," available for sale here.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Perfect California Equation

Oh the glory for the California sunshine! Returned to chilly (ok, just plain cold) Kansas City today after a three-day visit to San Jose, CA. Here is the perfect equation for a great visit to San Jose State University:

House of Chai + Shrunkenheadman + Figure Drawing + History of Forks + In-N-Out Burger = Totally rad visit to SJSU!

House of Chai House of Chai is the independent animation studio of Dave Chai, SJSU Animation Professor. Dave's films have screened in over ninety film festivals nationally and internationally, including Sundance, Annecy, and KAFI. While this is all well and good (and pretty darn impressive), the coolest part is that Dave works with a team of his SJSU students to create his films and make them a success! Check out the awards and the award winning films from House of Chai, "Home cooked animation prepared fresh daily." Also note that one of Hallmark's very own Animators was named House of Chai's Artist of the Month for March 08!

Shrunkenheadman The Shrunkenheadman Animation/Illustration Club, founded in 1995, is one of the largest campus organizations at San Jose State University. SHM is a student-run organization that was founded to create a sense of community among the Illustration/Animation students at SJSU. The club holds monthly meetings, hosts guest speakers as professional lecture series, donates money to local high school art programs, and keeps a pluse on the ever-changing animation and illustration fields. I wear my SHM t-shirt with pride (thanks friends)!

Figure Drawing The ever-important skill of figure drawing is alive and well as SJSU. I was impressed by the figure and gesture drawing in the many sketchbooks and portfolios I reviewed with the Hallmark team. Rock on friends! I believe that all of the students are being influenced directly by their faculty's skill in illustration. Here are links to some of the faculty's illustration for your inspiration: Professor Dave Chai, Professor John Clapp, Professor Barron Storey, and Professor Courtney Granner

History of Forks We learned about the history of forks in Leslie Speer's Industrial Design 1st year class. Did you know that forks didn't come to the U.S. until the 18th century (after making a couple-of-century long trek across Europe)? Best of luck in your creative endeavors, ID students, as you design and cast your forks for your second project of the semester! The only question I have is, can I do this project??


In-N-Out Burger Well friends, those of you who know me know that that it was my mission last year to visit a famous In-N-Out Burger during my visit to SJSU. After a jam-packed visit in 07, we did not have time to go (and well, it wasn't exactly "top priority" for us of course!). But this year, the SJSU faculty, namely John Clapp, put it on the official schedule for our visit. Yay! I must say, my first In-N-Out experience was a great one, complete with a convertible ride, a juicy burger, real potato fries, and a cold chocolate shake. Delicious!


All that being said, it was an inspiring, exciting, and imaginative visit. I can't wait to see all of your portfolios and demo reels on March 17th!

Thanks for the great visit friends! "Fire it up!"

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

"Knock, knock!" "Who's there?"

Stefan Sagmeister!

(Full report after he speaks here next Monday.)

Monday, March 3, 2008

ISU College of Design Career Day

Hey from San Jose, CA! I'm on the road this week in sunny, warm California at San Jose State University. It's much warmer here (72 today!) than Iowa was last week (15!), but I wanted to give a shout out to all of the ISU students and faculty who stopped by to chat with Hallmark and/or came to our presentation at the College of Design Career Day last week. Here are a few photos from the event of our (Hallmark)RED booth. Thanks for coming to see what we're up to at Hallmark, and remember: the Hallmark Creative Summer Internship deadline is only 14 days away (March 17th)!

Left side of the booth. See the black and white books in the front of the photo? Those were all the goods we handed out! White books: Award-winning (A4, Kansas City AIGA Awards Show 2007), stitched booklet with an embossed cover chock full of info on Hallmark Creative and Kansas City (plus some of the top-selling cards from our RED line. Black books: Award-winning (Communication Arts annual, 2006) spiral bound book focused on typography and various paper stocks, all about Hallmark's Design Studios.

Right side of the booth, "See How Far a Card Can Go" posters designed by our Environmental Graphic Design Studio for Hallmark Gold Crown front-of-store (Jan-Feb 08). Similar signage was on a billboard in Times Square, NYC in December 07 and January 08!

Gift Presentation product (bags, tissue, boxes, gift wrap, hang tags) and a few cards and stationery (boxed cards)

Some of the RED cards and some print collateral from the Marketing Design Studio, our internal ad agency.

Me and Meg B., a Hallmark Designer (check out her blog, so fun! link under "Hallmarkers Who Blog" on the right)

(Hallmark)RED booth in full

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Black Star


During the month of February, an exhibit in Hallmark's gallery (within our headquarters building in Kansas City, MO) celebrated Black History Month. The exhibit honored African-American actors, actresses, and writers in film. I took some photos yesterday to share with you all. Visit the exhibit blog to read about the exhibit, browse black movie quotes of the day, see the list of black academy award winners, and more!