I know, I know, everyone seems to be jumping on the Pinterest bandwagon lately. But for good reason! I have been constantly on the lookout for a good way to organize the inspiration I find online or while out and about. Pinterest seems to be the best place for me to keep track of all of my photos from both my iPhone and my online hunting. Already on Pinterest? See my top 3 favorite boards to follow after the jump.
Recharge your creative juices with a little inspiration.
If you haven’t already heard the news, I have spent the last half of this summer working on getting the little Golding Pearl no. 1 letterpress I recently acquired back into working order. She’s a great little 5×8 platen press, but in definite need of some TLC! If you are interested in following my efforts to restore her, or just like looking at nicely letterpressed objects, check out the Tumblr page I set up over at Thrill of the Chase Letterpress.
The first week of July marked the beginning of Back to School season for 2011. Naturally, I have been counting down the months for this ever since spring of 2010: mostly because I can finally share with you all that I worked on last year. This week, I scouted out the lunchbox section at my local Toys’R’Us and was able to find these goodies all sitting on the shelves.
This past winter/spring season I made good on my New Year’s Resolution to get out and be more involved in the local design community once again. One cannot live and work in a vacuum, and Chicago has a great community: due to it’s large size, there are always events or show openings going on. By far the best event, or rather program, I have discovered so far is AIGA Chicago’s Mentorship program.
Whew! What a winter! I have a ton of news to share and am just now getting back into the swing of things after the holiday rush. Let me start today’s edition of Wednesday’s Weekly Reader with a bit of backstory.
My good friend, Jen, and I had the great idea to host our own designer/illustrator-friendly version of NaNoWriMo this past November. (More on that later…) Rather than spending time writing every day, we decided we would spend at least 15 minutes working on a personal project every day. No rules, no pressure. To hold ourselves to it, we sent each other photos to recap our week each Sunday night.
Fast forward to the beginning of December, and lo! the birth of Jen’s latest endeavor: Seg’s Mints. The stationary line is illustrated by Jen and each piece is unique. She’s also hoping to expand her offering this coming year. In the meantime, be sure to check out her etsy shop!
Continuing the theme of long-overdue recaps, (and certainly not the least of them) is today’s review of the inaugural Two Night Stand event. At the end of September, Bright Bright Great and friends hosted 20 designers for a weekend charette. Honestly, I have been meaning to post this event recap ever since, but that weekend ended up kicking off a busy month and a half for me. I’d say it’s a testament to just how inspiring of an event it was that I ended up putting blogging on hold to instead work on numerous side projects. (more on this to come later…)
The premise to 2NS is pretty similar to Camp Firebelly: throw a handful of designers together in order to tackle a common project under limited time constraints. However, with 2NS the designers were mostly professionals, and the client this time was a start-up brewery. Circumventing any objections to spec work, no files were released to the clients: rather, the clients were free to contact any of the teams should they decide to pursue their design/strategy.
As someone who is still new to Chicago, I loved the opportunity to meet and work with so many wonderfully talented people for a weekend. There is something so energizing about working under these kinds of constraints that force you to look at a problem from an entirely new direction. In addition, it was great working for a small brewery who is as passionate about beer as I am. (Think “connoisseur” when you read that last statement…not “alcoholic”!) In the end, each of the three teams came up with vastly different approaches to Trenchermann’s branding and initial grassroots marketing strategy. It’s amazing what options are available to start-ups operating on a shoe-string production budget. Below are some of the branding materials we (Team Horseplay) came up with over the two days:
Logo was created to invoke a bottle cap silhouette. The brand name is capped by an abbreviated wordmark with a slightly industrial flair.
Bottling and labeling system was designed to be inexpensive, multipurpose, and reusable, as well as easily applied by hand to small batches.
If I have one criticism of the event, it is that I would have liked to work with more of the people there. Although it wasn’t really possible with the direction the group went with, I would have liked mixing it up even further. However, I suppose that isn’t really a criticism so much as wishful thinking. If you are in Chicago or the surrounding area, I highly recommend applying for the second 2NS event that will take place after the first of the year.
If you follow me on twitter, chances are that you’ve probably already heard me talking about the archival project I was working on all summer at work. To continue with the theme of posting news I missed sharing while I was out, this week’s Weekly Reader is about Thermos’ Lunchbox Memories Site. The microsite, which went live at the end of the summer, is the digital archive of many of our most popular lunchboxes since the 1950’s. I love antiques and animation, so of course I had a blast cataloging all of our images from the 50’s through the 80’s (my coworker had the second half of the archives) for our interactive agency. It brought back great memories of playing with my best friend growing up (she had the Rainbow Brite lunchbox below from ’85) and watching The Snorks and Smurfs with my cousins during the summer.
Thermos’ Lunchbox Memories
What lunchbox did you have growing up? Mine was the Tiny Toons one…
USA Today Reviews Site
Incidentally, this past week I found out that USA Today reviewed the microsite. The write-up is worth it for the comments…made me really excited to be designing lunchboxes.
After a nice month off, the fall season is officially here for the blog. Upcoming posts will include some more recaps of the past month, and what better way to kick it all off than with a recap of the past summer? This summer marked the first Summer Interview Series, and a huge Thanks! is in order to all who participated. Below are links to each week’s featured creative…and stay tuned for future interviews. Cheers!
The changing seasons always get me in a crafty mood. Luckily, I can now go to Renegade Craft Fair each year: Chicago’s event is perfect timing for some fall inspiration. This year, witty sayings, type-nerd tees, and sewing projects all really caught my eye: