Designer For Less

December 5th, 2012

“Design is a personal expression rooted in conceptual and innovative ideas.” – Rodarte founders Kate and Laura Mulleavy

From this line comes the design philosophy of Kate and Laura Mulleavy, more formally known as the founders of fashion house Rodarte.  This holiday season, the two sisters have teamed up with an unlikely brand: none other than Starbucks. Though Rodarte’s designs typically involve innovative, conceptual ideas geared toward a female audience, the Mulleavys have come together to create a pixelated checkerboard using white, grey, and silver against a backdrop of green that is marketed towards both genders. Just in time for the holiday season, the collection — which includes a tumbler, tote bag, reusable cup sleeve, and Starbucks card — is now available.

Starbucks is not the only brand milking designer collaborations. Target is infamous for teaming up with fashion brands to deliver discounted designer creations. This go-to superstore has previously released both Rodarte for Target line and Jason Wu for Target lines, as well as the chaotic launch of Missoni for Target. Designer-thirsty shoppers lusting after these products are infamously known to wait in line for hours, ready to snag the items at the top of their list. Target’s most recent launch, Neiman Marcus for Target, features 24 CFDA designers such as Marc Jacobs, Oscar de la Renta, Alice and Olivia, and Proenza Schouler. These items range from home goods to ready-to-wear.

Will you be picking up anything from the new Starbucks or Target collections?

Responsive Web Design

September 27th, 2012

There’s been a lot of buzz around the term “responsive web design” among the designers at JB Chicago. The idea behind the concept is that a design has the capability to respond to a user’s behavior and environment in accordance to screen size, platform and orientation. A website using responsive web design should have the ability to adapt by accommodating multiple devices from laptop, to iPad to mobile.  Finally: new technology that lets a page look great on every device!

Here are a few of our favorite responsive website designs:

Fork, a CMS platform, has executed the use of responsive website design flawlessly. Notice how as the viewport gets smaller, the number of icons is reduced with page size, but the option to view “more extensions” is still available.

The Boston Globe has successfully created a design that transfers a busy newspaper layout seamlessly across varying screen sizes.

Do you want another example? Check out CSS – Trick’s page and try changing the window size. And if you want to see for yourself how responsive your website is, ResponsivePx’s page will test out the dimensions.

Cool stuff, folks.


Lucy Engleman’s Illustrations of The Doughnut Vault

September 17th, 2012

Due to the Doughnut Vault’s dangerously close proximity to the JB Chicago office, we have become quite familiar with the shop’s to-die-for doughnut selection. With weekly and seasonal flavors, there’s always something new and exciting to try. The first week of September featured a mouthwatering selection of birthday cake, pistachio, pineapple, almond and double chocolate flavors – no, these are not your everyday doughnuts.

Recently, illustrator Lucy Engleman contacted the Doughnut Vault to ask if she could create some illustrations inspired by the popular shop. Engleman is known for her ability to create cheery, optimistic scenes and we’re loving her fun doughnut illustrations.

The Doughnut Vault is located at 401 ½ N. Franklin St., Chicago IL 60653. Open Tuesday-Friday starting at 8:30 am until they run out and Saturdays at 9:30 am until they run out.


CTA Seeking Artists For New Red Line Project

September 14th, 2012

We’ve all been warned about the up-and-coming overhaul to some North Side Red Line stations. While this is undeniably annoying, it’s Friday, and we’re looking to share positive news: The CTA is looking for artists to create work for seven stations scheduled for construction. The idea is that these original pieces of artwork will contribute to each station’s identity, while enhancing travel for customers.

The CTA has more than 50 art pieces at 41 stations along the Pink, Red and Brown Lines.

If you’re planning on entering, know that the competition may be stiff. An evaluation committee will select approximately 25 artists based on artistic merit, qualifications and professional recognition of the artists, as well as written statements of interest. Seven of the selected artists will be offered a commission. Application information is available at


X-Ray Art by Nick Veasey

September 13th, 2012

We were immediately drawn to photographer Nick Veasey’s fascinating X-ray images. Each piece of work is composed of a complex collage of multiple x-rays, which are layered and compiled to form the finished product.

He says that his inspiration came from his desire to counter the obsession with superficial appearances by using X-rays to expose what lies beneath the surface. He explains that he likes “to challenge this automatic way that we react to just physical appearances by highlighting the, often surprising, inner beauty.”

We would definitely agree that he has a talent for finding a unique raw, inner beauty.

Pantone Spring 2013 Color Palette

September 11th, 2012

Since we’ve already confessed our devotion to Pantone, it should come as no surprise that we’re incredibly excited to see the latest fashion color report for spring 2013! The global authority on color has prepared a palette that will booth soothe and energize us through a wide variety of shades. Who says you need to be a fashionista to enjoy spring’s color trends? Artists, designers and marketers, alike, can enjoy this palette in numerous different ways!

After extensive research on the color trends in the spring 2013 fashion shows, Monaco Blue has been chosen as THE color of the next year. That’s right, color forecasting is a real job, and you’re not alone in feeling envious of the lucky folks that work for Pantone. So, why Monaco blue? Pantone’s executive director Leatrice Eisemen said, “It speaks to the practicality that we are seeing in society.” We couldn’t agree more.

If you’re not loving Monaco Blue (Pantone 19-3964), chances are that there is a color in this palette that will certainly catch your attention. From soft to vibrant, these colors perfectly embody all of the shades spring has to offer. Here at JB, we love Grayed Jade and Poppy Red.

The following are some unique ways to implement Pantone’s spring 2013 colors into your designs for the season to come:

  • Brochures
  • Invitations
  • Flyers
  • Inspiration for new brand identity

Here’s the big question: What’s your favorite spring 2013 Pantone color, and how do you plan to use it in your designs?

Let Fashion Week Inspire Your Designs

September 6th, 2012

The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week has officially kicked off in the Big Apple, and we couldn’t be any more excited! In addition to luxurious presentations of the most coveted fashion collections, this week offers artistic inspiration of all shapes and sizes. From creative runway shows to uniquely-designed invitations, fashion week is the perfect place to gain out-of-the-ordinary inspiration for your next design endeavor. Here are some of the coolest fashion week invitations from designers over the past years:

Antonio Lopez


Diane von Furstenberg

Jeremy Scott


3.1 Phillip Lim

Jenny Packham

Lauren Moffatt


Maison Martin Margiela

Make sure to follow the fashion week excitement on!


Inspiring Business Cards

August 29th, 2012

How do you make yourself memorable when it comes to clients and employers? Creating unique business cards is a simple way to keep you ahead of the competition! We all get a little stumped every now and again when it comes showcasing our awesomeness on a tiny card. Never fear, we’re here to showcase some creative business cards that have left us inspired — and a little jealous!

Think Beyond The Card


Get Crafty

Play With It

Give Them A Reason To Use It

Get Real

Make Their Mouths Water

Highlight Your Skills

Show Your Results

Help Them Find You

Are you inspired yet? We can only hope. Now, tell us which is your favorite and why!

Passion for PANTONE®

August 20th, 2012

Like any agency with a creative department, we’re pretty obsessed with PANTONE®. Why wouldn’t we be? They’re the world-renowned authority on color and the standard language of color communication for designers, manufacturers, retailers and customers everywhere!
Here’s a list of ways to show your true appreciation for the goodness that is PANTONE®. And yes, we want it ALL:

Folding Chairs
Portable PANTONE® seats mean you can bring color wherever you go!

Super Creative Edibles
We have to thank Pinterest for this fantastic find! We love this fun edible take on our favorite PANTONE® colors.

Storage Containers
Now you can stay colorful and organized!


The PANTONE® high-top is sure to please!

The holidays just got a little more colorful!

Nail Polish
PANTONE® is the perfect addition to any nail color palette.

This might be PANTONE®’s coolest product yet!

Decorated Nails
These PANTONE® nail tips have us in awe.

Which PANTONE® product do you NEED?

Ads That Entertain

August 8th, 2012

Ah, vintage advertisements. There’s nothing quite like them. They tend to leave us longing for a time where things were just a little bit simpler. Today we experience the clutter of digital advertising on a daily basis. Let’s take a step back in time with these ads:

Joy De Jean Patou


Career Club


h.i.s. Jeans and Western Shirts

Lustre Cream

Pabst Blue Ribbon

Volkswagen Station Wagon

What is your favorite vintage advertisement?

All advertisements were found on