Category: Graphic Design

Do Designers Work or Do Designers Play?

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Recently I met someone and, upon finding out I’m a graphic designer, they said to me “Oh how nice! You get to play all day!”

Haha.

Of course I smiled and agreed, not bothering to mention that this is akin to claiming “hey, Dr. Doctor, you get to save lives all day” or “hey, Policeman, it must feel good to put away the bad guys every afternoon”. Most people forget about the paperwork and meetings nearly all jobs entail.

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Gift Ideas for Graphic Designers (that they might actually use!)

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Most “gift ideas for graphic designers” articles are full of lame gifts. They are either totally kitschy (a CMYK mug! a Pantone brand stapler!) or stereotypical (it’s contemporary!┬ásomething written in Helvetica!). From one graphic designer for another, here’s a round-up of gifts I would actually use/want.

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Reflecting on Steve Jobs. From a PC.

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There are very few people about whom, upon their passing, you can say “they changed the world” and truly mean it. Steve Jobs belongs to this minority.

Let me begin by saying I’m a graphic designer and I’m a PC. Sacrilegious. I know.

I’ve used (and enjoyed) using Macs for educational, professional and recreational activities. They are good computers – but I just like PCs better. Plain and simple.

But there’s more. I didn’t start using iTunes or get an iPod until they had been in circulation for six years. I do not have an iPhone and, while I’ve played a few games of Angry Birds, I don’t really want one. I’ve rolled my eyes at many an Apple snob.

I have an HP laptop, and LG display screen and have touched an iPad a total of two times. The only times I go into the Apple Store at our mall is to buy my brother Christmas gifts.

I’m plankton-level on the Apple-fanatic food chain.

In spite of all that, I thought Steve Jobs was pretty brilliant.

Like IKEA, he brought good design to the masses. After dropping out of Reed College one semester in, Jobs studied, and fell in love with, typography. He brought good type to the masses with his technology *I’m lookin’ at you Helvetica. And sorry Bill Gates, Arial is not an equivalent substitute.* Thus, computers were equipped with beautiful and well-proportioned typography.

Apple is king when is comes to product and packaging design. (Hence, why so many designers are Apple fans.) Apple has helped the general public recognize good, clean and function design in the most basic principles.

And finally, their smart marketing is incomparable. Every company wants to look like Apple with it’s short taglines, funky imagery and simplistic look. Any article you will read on well-branded companies, Apple is the man to beat.

Bringing music, news and technology to the masses in a simple and transportable way – this is how Steve Jobs changed the world. More older people are using computers. More younger people are using computers. You can connect online virtually anywhere these days.

And Pixar films. Finding Nemo is full of awesome.

Lost? Check your iPhone satellite location.

Going on vacation? Bring your iPad for movies, books and entertainment.

Exercising? No more bulky Discman for you. Enter iPod and coinciding workout arm strap.

[Insert Problem Here]? There’s an app for that.

So, thanks Steve Jobs.

Sincerely,

a PC

Vintage Art Prints: Window Shop Wednesday

It’s Window Shop Wednesday with The Katie Chronicles again!

As you may remember from this post, I love reproduction prints. Namely travel posters and old advertisements that marked the beginning stages of graphic design as we know it today.

Today I’m picking some of my favorite reproduction prints from CafePress.


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I love everything about this Chicago poster!

From the mustard yellow background, to the fun striped shopping bag to the random lion (did he escape from the Lincoln Park Zoo?) in the background. Plus I love the styling of her face. It makes me smile.


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I love that this looks like a woodcut print with the etching in the waves and sail.

This print would be great next to a big comfy reading chair! Forget the comfy chair, I think this guy has the right idea. Send me off to sea with a pile of books, a sailboat and open waters. Yes please! (Although I’m not sure how I’d get home…)


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This skiing poster is beautiful too. I love the watercolor feel and layered look of all the skis. This would be a cheerful sight on a dreary winter day!


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I love this Greetings from Jamaica print! It makes me feel like I’m on my honeymoon again drinking pina coladas on the beach!

Thanks Katie for sharing CafePress! I had never heard of them before today!

Graphic Design a la Etsy: Window Shop Wednesday with the Katie Chroncicles

It’s that time of the week again with The Katie Chronicles!

(And sadly, since I was a lame blogger this week, I only have one post between my last Window Shop Wednesday. Actually, I am just noticing that a post I had written, and thought I published, has disappeared. And it’s nowhere to be found. Oh well! One less Fourth of July post from Kat.)

This week is featuring items from Etsy. I truly enjoy Etsy. I like supporting individual artists and owning one-0f-a-kind things. Etsy is also perfect for gifts!

Today I thought I’d highlight some fellow graphic designers. I have toyed around with opening an Etsy print shop and making some fun prints for framing. Maybe someday. When I have more time. So, maybe never. : )

Check out this amazing Helvetica alphabet print from ModernPop. Who says that the alphabet is only for kids?

Helvetica? Check. Funky colors? Check. Cool opacity and layering? Check.

This adorable crafty print from Yellow Heart Art would look so cute above my desk. Or above my sewing machine. That poor machine is lonely and crying in the corner.

This dining poster from GraphicAnthology would be fun in any kitchen nook! I love that pop of mustard orange against the midnight navy blue.

Finally, I love this adorable cake poster from TenderBeasts. The color is so cheery and the sentiment is sweet. It reminds me of birthday celebrations and would make a cute birthday gift.

Thanks for the link up Katie!

And a hearty shout-out to all my fellow graphic designers. I love being inspired by the creativity of others on a daily basis. It’s soul food!