Ideas & Inspiration

Abandoned Homesteads Photo Project

A few years ago I started photographing old houses. I especially like the ones that are falling down. I'm not a purist and I'm not opposed to using Photoshop. I like to add drama with high contrast and saturation to make them a little more powerful. You just have to wonder... Farmers? Was it good times or bad? Lot's of kids? Why did they leave? Did the well dry up? Did the Dingos take the baby? Cool, creepy, sad and history all rolled up into one photo.

Abandoned Homesteads Photo Project2020-07-01T17:38:18+00:00

Music to Design By

Need fresh music to design or code by? Try one of my favorites, Ghostly International. It’s a great mixture of experimental avant-pop, electronic and ambient, with a selection of nifty abstract and geometric art prints as well. With the music, you can try before you buy with their handy app Ghostly Discovery, available on iOS or via a streaming web app. Adjust the sliders to match your mood and you’re off. If you have money to burn, jump right in with the 30-track ‘We'll Never Stop Living This Way: A Ghostly Primer’, a composite of the label itself. To get the full record experience from a single artist, give one of these a try—in order here from upbeat to nearly ambient—Gold Panda, Tycho or Seattle’s own The Sight Below. [...]

Music to Design By2020-07-01T17:40:54+00:00

My Thrift Shopping Obsessions (3 of 3)

Smoked Glass Somewhere along the line, I picked up a collection of smoked glass. I didn't even know I was doing it. Some pieces I have multiples, some pieces I only have one. I mentioned in an earlier post that I still have room for one more bowl or tablecloth, but unfortunately, that does not stand true for glasses. I once took a count of all drinking vessels—mind you, this includes coffee cups, pint glasses, champagne flutes, and everything in-between—and while I won't tell you the number, it is a 3 digit number. So as you can imagine, my cabinets allocated to drinking glasses are very, very full, but in my defense, the majority of them were purchased at thrift stores, for a dollar or less per glass, and some [...]

My Thrift Shopping Obsessions (3 of 3)2020-07-01T17:41:51+00:00

Mid-Century Design Favorites

I'm a little bit obsessive about design; besides graphic design, I have a special affinity for what are, in my opinion, well designed furniture and housewares. Any object I bring into my life has to be both beautiful and functional; stylish but unfussy. I can obsess over the smallest details, like the shape and depth of the bowl of a spoon, or the legs of a table, or just the right shaped water pitcher. Many modern designers of the 50s and 60s felt this way as well, which is why I am so drawn to designs from that era. Much that falls under the umbrella of mid century modern is both bold and minimal, softened by the use organic shapes, and is often made of a brilliant mix of man-made and [...]

Mid-Century Design Favorites2020-07-01T17:44:57+00:00

My Top 5 Favorite InDesign Features

I work with InDesign every day. It is, without a doubt, my favorite program. Having worked with it since InDesign 2.0, I've learned quite a few ins and outs with the program. While there is always more to learn, here are my top 5 favorite InDesign features. The double click. If you double-click on an anchor point of a text or image box, it will automatically resize the frame to fit the content, whether that be text or an image. If you click on a side anchor point, it will resize the content from that direction; if you click on a corner, it will re-flow the text and resize the frame in what it thinks is the best manner. I especially find this useful for heavily styled text boxes with background [...]

My Top 5 Favorite InDesign Features2020-07-01T17:47:04+00:00

Beauty and Functionality in Type

Type can get overlooked in design as being the unavoidable workhorse: something that is there to do a job and not look beautiful. But type can and should be beautiful, and an elegant means of conveying information. As with everything else, there are guidelines that should be followed that will make your copy look neat and professional and convey your message with elegance and ease. Here are some tips for making your type look its best:Use a single space after periods.Entering two spaces is a holdback from monospaced typewriter days. Today's word processing programs enter enough space between a period and a first word; doubling that space will make your copy look like it's riddled with small holes.Don't make your lines too many characters long.Robert Bringhurst, author of The Elements [...]

Beauty and Functionality in Type2020-07-17T22:57:08+00:00

My Thrift Shopping Obsessions (2 of 3)

Vintage Enamelware Another item that I'm mildly obsessed with is enamelware—this is metal (steel, cast iron, or aluminum) that's covered with brilliantly colored enamel. Cathrineholm is specifically highly collectible and beautiful (as seen on the teapot and bowl). Dansk also made a line of enamel cooking ware from the 1950s to 1970s that has very recently been revived and is now being manufactured again and distributed through Crate and Barrel. I love it because it's both functional and beautiful, and the colors are intensely bright and fun. Shown below, from front to back and left to right: Emalox of Norway red bowl (circa 1960s-1980s); orange Cathrineholm bowl in the Lotus pattern (circa 1960s-1970s); blue enamel butter warmer (circa 1980s); orange Cathrineholm Lotus teapot (circa 1960s-1970s); Dansk yellow pot with teak handle and [...]

My Thrift Shopping Obsessions (2 of 3)2020-07-01T17:42:13+00:00

My Thrift Shopping Obsessions (1 of 3)

Vintage Teak Those that know me know I'm obsessed with thrifting and its ilk—estate sales, garage sales, scouring craigslist for a screaming deal on that certain piece—these are all things I love to do.  But thrift stores are where I go most frequently since they are stationary constants. My love of thrift stores started as a teenager, when I would go with friends, looking for unique and kitschy clothing and accessories. My interests in them have waxed and waned in the years since, but as I've grown more and more fond of,  interested in, and educated about mid century design and vintage items in general, my interest level is at an all-time high. Some may look at thrift stores as dingy and dusty places to find old clothes, beaten up [...]

My Thrift Shopping Obsessions (1 of 3)2020-07-01T17:42:30+00:00

New Year, New Projects

Every year for the past few years, I've tackled new projects come the new year. I guess you could call them resolutions, but I don't really care for the word resolution, because to me it sounds like a chore, whereas a project sounds like something fun and interesting to do. This year my project is based on photography; it's something I love, but I haven't been taking photos as much lately in my off time and it's something I miss. So, together with a group of other people, we've all committed to taking 7 photos every week for the entire year, otherwise known to us as 7/52. Hopefully by the end of this year I'll have learned something new and reinvigorated my love of photography, as well as have some [...]

New Year, New Projects2020-06-30T22:51:48+00:00

Frosty Days

It's been cold here in Seattle, and we've had some of the biggest frost I've ever seen in the last week or so. I went out early Saturday morning to take a few shots in the early morning light.

Frosty Days2020-06-30T22:56:30+00:00
Load More Posts

The Simpler the Brand, the Sweeter the Victory

Don't let your brand fall victim to being too complex. Many companies get caught up in research, spending countless hours in brand meetings without really focusing, making the whole process wasteful.

Brandgineering by Design™ can help. We've taken our deepest, most meaningful brand experiences and simplified them into a simple step-by-step process. Request a free hard copy of our book, or if you're ready to partner with V2Works now, contact us to take your brand from ambiguity to Brand Victory.