Saturday, January 30, 2010

Candy Package Design

I like when Print & Pattern takes readers into stores to see how retailers are using colors and patterns.

I especially liked the packaging for candy and sweets at Marks and Spencer in the UK. Yum.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Oh my. Watching this trailer broke my heart a little bit.

Then realizing that I missed a screening in Salt Lake City back in November broke it a little bit more.

This movie, Typeface shows the beauty, simplicity, and craftsmanship of handcut wood type. Even in my bubble of limited contact with designers and craftsmen, I feel passionate about this subject. I love what we can create with the latest technology. I love the Internet and web design. But I hope (and believe) that there is a place in the modern world for old fashioned, tactile craftsmanship to survive.

I hope it does.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Collection a Day

A Collection a Day is a project by Lisa Congdon where she will draw or photograph all or part of a personal collection each day this year.

You made me look, Lisa.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Mike Stilkey

Whoa. Lisa sent me this link about the work of artist Mike Stilkey.

His subjects are a little twisted and spindley, ghostly and gaunt. Painting on the spines of books gives a sense of depth of character and a very tangible weight to his works.

I like how the books (and the paintings) seem to spill off a shelf, almost as if they fell there and the characters were formed, and that they could just as quickly fall to the ground and be gone.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Just My Type Valentines

I'm so excited.

I gave myself a Print Gocco for Christmas, which is a fantastic little personal screen-printer from Japan. I can't get over how well it's designed: Very compact and user friendly, even when all of the instructions are in Japanese. The instructions at Felt Cafe were a huge help.

With limited supplies in very high demand (pleaseohplease let the rumors be true that Paper Source is taking over production of new materials), I had a hard time deciding what to print. I decided on Valentines for someone like me (a silly typewriter collector--do you see a pattern here of falling in love with obsolete technology?) would love.

And I do.

And I think my robot is developing a crush. I can't blame him.

If you want to send a little typewriter love to your sweetie this Valentine's Day (or any other day), you can pick up a card over here.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Humble Pied

In case you, like me, need to be inspired once in a while.

Humble Pied is filled with micro-interviews with "inspiring creatives" wherein* they share a single piece of advice for other designers, all over iChat.

Good idea.

via swiss miss.

*"Wherein"? I told you I needed some more inspiration.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Spring City Barn Print

About four years ago, my parents moved from Salt Lake City to a small town in Central Utah populated by artists and sheep farmers: Spring City, Utah. It's a historical district and the residents have done an amazing job maintaining and restoring homes and buildings from the late 1800s. One of those homes is my parents': The Judge Jacob Johnson house. Their hard work on this home (and my brother Jeff helped!) restored the home to its former glory and earned them an award from the Utah Heritage Foundation. I'm very proud of them.

For Christmas, my dad only asked me for "something handmade by you," because he's clearly the cutest dad ever. So I thought about what would mean a lot to me to make, and what my dad might like to receive. I decided on a woodcut inspired by the stone barn on my parents' property. Originally built as the Judge's carriage house, the barn is now used for parties, art exhibitions, and weddings.

For my gift to my dad, I created a design inspired by the broad side of the barn, and cut it into a linoleum block.

Then printed it in black ink on bright white Rives BFK, a 100% cotton, French-made paper.

Dad called the next week to ask what size frame he'd need for the print. I told you. Cutest dad ever.

I made several prints of the barn, which are now available in my shop.

Seaweed Clock

My plan for Christmas gifts was to be super prepared: I made a quick and easy homemade component (more on that later), then started shopping back in September. I wasn't going to kill myself making gifts or scrambling at the last minute. I stayed on track for a while. Good plan.

Then, my brain shorted out with all that Christmas spirit, and I decided to make several Christmas gifts. One of those gifts was a wall clock for my friend Maureen.

I printed my handcarved linoleum block with the seaweed design (you may recognize it) in bright green ink, mounted it on a board, drilled a hole and put together this little clock.

I think I might be in a green phase of my life right now.

Maureen was super sweet when she opened her gift. I hope she found a good home for it.

A similar clock is now for sale in my shop.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Faux Bois Cards

I used to play viola in the music department at Utah State University. During my time there, we had an exceptionally awesome viola section, full of exceptionally tall violists. One of these violists was Jentry, who now molds young minds by teaching kids music.

Anyway. Jentry sent me an email and asked if I could make some stationery for her sister for Christmas. I think we're safely past Christmas now that I can show the internet what I sent off to her sister.

I carved a linoleum block and printed this woodgrain pattern in peacock blue on crisp white cards.

Then used one of my typewriters to type her name on half of the cards and "Thank You" on the other half. Block printing and typewriting, two great tastes that taste great together. I hope Jentry's sister (who is not named Jana Matheson) liked them!

The faux bois cards are now for sale in my new shop.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Going West

This video has already been floating around the internet, so you've likely already seen it. But it's still amazing. Thank you Mallory for making sure that I saw this.

Next up: a break from all of these videos. I'll show you stuff I made around Christmas and some New Years resolutions.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Between the Folds

Last summer, my charming snowflake cutting, mathematician brother and I had a conversation about math in nature. About how something as beautiful as a wave or a current of air can be broken down and explained in mathematical terms. It's a beautiful idea, that math and science and art and beauty all intersect. And it's comforting that our world makes sense in a logical way. For those people, like Jeff, that are smart enough to understand.

This video made me think of you, little brother.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Afternoon Travel Type Performance

Mallory sent this to me:

It kind of makes me want to make giant paper letters and icons. It kind of makes me want to do some crazy demonstration in a public place. It kind of makes me hope that you'll do one or both of the above with me.

Monday, January 11, 2010


I feel oddly voyeuristic looking through the letterheads of famous people.

But that doesn't stop me from doing it.

I thought that letterhead was a severely neglected part of a company's identity and brand. Clearly, I was mistaken. At least in some cases.

All images courtesy of Letterheady. Via this tweet from swissmiss.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I Say Fever

I don't know anything about Ramona Falls, but I liked this video.

It reminds me of the Wondermark comic by David Malki!, which can only be a good thing.