Food Type: Birroteca

 

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Live in Baltimore? Visiting soon? Be sure to check out Birroteca, a modern take on delicious Italian cuisine. Not only is the food fantastic, but the atmosphere is spot-on for a laid-back meal in its quaint Hampden locale. I’ll be heading back soon to dabble in some brussel sprouts and get my fix of the olive oil and sea salt ice cream—sound weird? You won’t be disappointed, I promise.

Cheers!
J.

Americana Done Right

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It’s World Cup time and the U.S. has slowly swarmed with more and more red, white and blue. Anything that could possibly have an American flag added to it, now has one. However, as everyday, non-designer folk, many Americans don’t realize the difference between great stars and stripes and those that lack, erm…designer swag, shall we say?

That being said, for today’s post I decided to go show this great country of ours that “Americana done right” is in fact, a beautiful thing.

1. Simplicity is key: Vintage Rower iPhone case from Society 6

2. Red, white and blue prevails in this great DIY wedding table design from Homemade Bride

3. I can’t lie, corn dogs gross me out. But some package design from Williams-Sonoma might just change my mind…

4. I’m a sucker for vintage so this scarf definitely hits the mark

5. Happened to spy this flag throw at B&N yesterday. Bonus: it’s also super soft

6. Burn some apple pie scented candles in Hayneedle’s Bailey Lattice Candle Lanterns for instant Ameri-fication

7. This can design from Miller can make even the fanciest of fancy want to crack open a cold one

So if you’re planning to watch Team USA tonight, throw on some well-designed Americana and wear it with pride!

Cheers,
J.

Food Type: Candied Bacon

Bacon recipe

Today’s Food Type is Father’s Day appropriate! Need a last minute gift? You know Dad will love something made by his favorite child—and believe me, you WILL be the favorite after he tastes this. The best part? It’s so simple! Creating the typography for this one took longer than making the actual recipe; in case you can’t tell, that is love…design love with a side of bacon.

Bacon photos

A special shoutout to my friend Allison for documenting each delicious step! We certainly enjoyed the final product.

Cheers!
J.

 

 

Awesome Dads

Cards

Looking for a great card for dad? Who doesn’t love some handmade goodness?! Check out these gems from Etsy and support small business at the same time!

(1. HeidiNicoleStudio; (2. papertieaffair; (3. PapermintStudio; (4. moglea; (5. HennelPaperCo; EmDashPaperCo; (7. Cardtorial

Wishing you and your Pops a splendid Father’s Day!

Cheers,
J.

 

Wine & Design

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To get the ball rolling, a little creative grape juice…

1. Ampersand label design for Hither & Yon
2. Ombre stemless glasses from Uncommon Goods
3. Some simple typography and a pop of color goes a long way on this bottle from Vinkara
4. I’m in love with these quartz crystal stoppers; who says all bars have to be manly?
5. It’s called Helvetica—need I say more?
6. Alphabetical highlights the designer-y love of the letterform plus beautiful vintage illustration, all in one
7. That is one foxy Chardonnay
8. An infographic on a wine bottle? Sold.

I know I’m not the only person whose wine selection is generally driven by the label. While wine and food are meant to pair well, I don’t think we should overlook the fact that—especially for the younger generation, which is up-and-coming in the wide world of vino—the design of a label also needs to pair well with its audience.

Take the average mid-20’s female (ohh, let’s say blonde hair, blue eyes, about 5’3″, enjoys typography and long walks on the beach…) and ask her to describe the tannins, the nose and the mouthfeel of the wine she just tasted; more often than not, you will receive nothing more than a blank stare. This particular audience is not usually perusing the aisles of your local wine shop looking for “a bold red with a smooth finish,” she’s looking for bright colors, quirky names and attractive imagery.

In case you haven’t gotten the hint, I’m far from a wine connoisseur. I drink it, I love it and I do occasionally dabble in the foreign language of Wine Speak, but most evenings I’m picking up a bottle in between “this and that” and don’t really have time to spend exploring the cellar notes on the back, half of which I probably won’t understand anyway. 

Second Glass, creators of the quickly growing event Wine Riot, have accepted the challenge of helping this younger generation become more involved in the science behind the vino we love so very much. I attended Wine Riot in 2012 and was pleased to see that they are successfully helping novices such as myself learn about the world of wine in a fun and non-intimidating way. 

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The bold design and display of information that can normally be rather “dry” (pun intended), combined with humorous things such as temporary tattoos and photo booths has brought it down to our level and created a world where wine is less intimidating and more interesting. Make sure you check out the schedule to see when Wine Riot will be closest to you!

Cheers,
J.

 

 

 

Bold

Bold

When I was younger, I was the little girl that clung to her mother’s leg and spoke only when spoken to. In high school I was the cheerleader that no one believed could yell loudly enough to wake a sleeping baby, let alone cheer on a team of 40 boys. In college my hands shook and my voice trembled when forced to present my work. But after transitioning into a “career woman” (if you will), I like to think that I’ve gained some much-needed self-confidence; because quitting your steady job to start your own business is nothing short of terrifying and I would never have done it otherwise.

Every day should be filled with a little thrill. Switch up the ol’ routine, maybe part your hair on the opposite side (woah!) or practice your finest karaoke number with the windows down (apologies, fellow commuters). I’m convinced that these small, bold moves are what keep us on track to a fulfilling life that forces you to destroy the limits every once in a while.

Bold design contributes to this as well. Pushing your clients outside of their comfort zone is necessary if you want to continue to challenge yourself artistically. I always try to provide clients with one option that goes beyond what they’re expecting; maybe they choose it, or maybe they ask what the hell you were thinking but at least you’ve allowed yourself an opportunity to fully flex those creative muscles with each and every project—and no, 20 reps of picking up and putting down your pencil does not count. 

Click here for some bold design inspiration and go get your creative workout on.

Cheers!
J.

Friday Sip & Sit: Mini-Vacay

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Today’s Sip & Sit comes from one of my favorite places on Earth. In an effort to soak in some early summer rays and enjoy every bit of relaxation this holiday weekend, the gal-pals and I decided to make the 8-hour trek from Bmore city life to paradise in Topsail Island, NC.

Obviously the beach comes with a plethora of more-than-acceptable alcoholic beverage options, but finding something that is refreshing and easy to drink in the hot summer sun can often be a challenge when contemplating options that have a ton of sugar (also known as a headache waiting to happen). So I’ve settled on this scrumptious and simple choice, which I’ll have in-hand in about t-minus three hours (#5oclocksomewhere).  

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Rum with Coconut Water & Lime

  • 1.5 oz. high-quality rum
  • 1.5 oz. coconut water
  • Squeeze of lime (appx. 1/4 lime)

Pour all ingredients in a lowball cocktail glass, add one large ice cube, and serve.

Thanks to two-tarts.com for today’s recipe!

Easy as pie! Usually my “sit’s” are places I’m daydreaming about each week. But today, I’m going to cut this post short and go enjoy my vacation, drink in hand. Don’t mind my shameless Ravens plug…

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Here’s hoping your holiday weekend takes its time, right now Tuesday is miles away…

Cheers!
J.

Man v. Machine: The Artistic Dilemma

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I don’t know about you, but a few glasses of Syrah and binge-watching my DVR is pretty heavenly. Finding the time in our busy schedules to catch up on a week’s worth of shows in one sitting is rarely feasible, yet deeply fulfilling for our inner-lazy bone when we can swing it. Hello, Sunday.

Let’s dive right in. Last week on Mad Men (season 7, episode 5, if you’d like to catch up…) a computer was brought into the SC&P office. Like it or not, the 1960s were suddenly introduced to the age of technology. There I sat, attempting to multitask and clicking away on my MacBook propped perfectly in my lap, when suddenly I looked up and realized that the entire “creative lounge” was being transformed into an office of digitization—the thing was a beast.

Mad Men

I suppose I don’t often think about the fact that computers weren’t always so prominent in the lives of creatives. When IBM introduced that first wizard of a machine, boasting the motto “THINK,” I’m sure the mighty little MacBook Pro wasn’t even a glimmer in the eye of Mother Technology. And as Mad Men‘s Michael Ginsberg was overtaken by paranoia that this computer would capture their souls I began to compare the late 60’s Madison Ave creative jungle with my own 2014 work habits, realizing that our time spent in front of the screen should not have such substantial front-runner status and that a true graphic designer must use their pen and paper equally as much as their mouse.

Recently, I read “Steal Like an Artist” by Austin Kleon, in which he writes about having both a Digital Desk and an Analog Desk in his studio. I love this idea, so while setting up my new space I purposefully developed a triangle of constant creative motion by developing a Digital Desk and a Analog Desk of my own—not to mention, I threw a brainstorming space into the mix as well. The result being that I’m situated perfectly between point A of the isosceles (my lovely MacBook + Thunderbolt duo), point B (my brainstorming chair) and point C (my drafting table) and feeling the spidery creative fibers beginning to form a brilliant web of ingenuity (or so one can only hope) that not only makes good use of our amazing technology, but also screams “don’t forget to use your hands!”

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So in the upcoming months I plan to spend more time roaming my newly-formed creative isosceles and contemplating how I can improve my work by being more hands-on. Need a burst of creativity in your own life? Join me in a revolution that will revert us back to the time when the “Creative Lounge” was just that—a space for expressive minds that succeeded with nothing more than paper, pens and brilliant, artistic ingenuity.

Cheers!
J.