Archive for the ‘design blogs’ Category

X-Ray Art by Nick Veasey

Thursday, 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.

If we’re being honest….

Friday, August 26th, 2011

The logos of a brand or product are supposed to define its personality with one quick glance. They are designed to strike something with the consumer internally that will describe what type of product they are dealing with. For the most part, the logos for major brands are recognizable and go without saying, but what do they really mean?  These revamped logos of major brands take a swing at what people really see when they look at these particular logos:

Alright...kinda sad

These logos and more were found on this website:

Doodle doodle doodle (’till you just can’t doodle no more)

Friday, July 29th, 2011

Just like eyes are the window to your soul, I believe that doodling is also another way to get to that destination.  If you’ve ever peeked at anyone’s doodles after they’ve had a class or been on the phone for a long time, you’d be able to tell a lot about them by looking at what they drew. Regardless of quality, a sketch can display a lot about someone’s personality. Even though sometimes the sketches are awful, and sometimes they’re fabulous.

And sometimes, if you’re Christina, your doodles end up turning out like this. It’s just like Cinderella turning into a princess, except with Christina being the godmother, and the wand being talent.

In honor of sketches and personality and life and all that jazz, we give you Doodlers Anonymous, the blog for showing off doodles and sketches. They call themselves a “permanent home for spontaneous art,” which is definitely accurate; people from all over submit their work, and the best are posted in the “Featured Artists” and “Showcase” section. And I do mean “best.” All of the work shown is super-intense and drawn by obviously talented people. (All pictures below courtesy of

Instead of just posting one doodle a person, the blog showcases a lot of their work, and gives a short blurb about each doodler. This way, you can see a series of talent by one person, and learn a little bit more about them through text as well.

Although a picture really is worth a thousand words.

That’s vintage for ya

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Vintage things are one of the best things about life. Actually, apart from love, cake, good photography and cheesy romantic comedies, I can’t think of anything more wonderful than vintage pieces and art. The appeal is the thrill of looking at how the world was before you, depending on what your favorite time period is (I myself am partial to the 1920s). Looking at items from that period is like looking through a time machine, and c’mon—who wouldn’t want to look through a time machine?

Apparently graphic designer and blogger Megan Cummins felt the same way as me, and decided to create Vintage Me Oh My, a blog devoted to all things vintage, all the time. She uses vintage art, ads, photos and typography as inspiration, and she shares all that she has with the general public. (All photos from the Vintage Me Oh My blog.)

A vintage 1920s ad.

An example of vintage-inspiration in signs today.

Brookfield Zoo posters, back in the day (1930s, to be exact).

For all you true vintage-heads out there, check out Etsy’s vintage page, Silver Moon vintage shop in Chicago and and some of the vintage photos from The Sartorialist blog (like, for example, this one). And if you have something cool and vintage to share, Cummins encourages all fans to spread the wealth and email her.

Seriously? How can you not like vintage eras? They give us great gems like these.

A plate is never just a plate

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Whether they want to admit it or not, everyone had a little bit of fascination with the royal wedding. I personally did not get up at five to watch the celebration because, well, sleep trumps Kate Middleton, always. Afterward, however, I poured through pictures and magazine clippings of wedding dresses, ridiculous hats and cost prices for so long, I felt like I should get a Bachelor’s in High Society England Affairs.

Even if you rolled your eyes at the whole spectacle and wore “Go America!” shirts on the 29th of April, your life was probably affected by the wedding, even if it was just your growing annoyance of everyone turning “Middleton” into a household name. And, unless your eyes have been shut closed for the past six months, you’ve also seen all the wedding merchandise. Especially the plates. I understand that the royals are special, but it was all I could do from wanting to throw the dish on the ground (or buying one. I don’t know; I was torn a lot).

Freelance illustrator Owen Davey apparently felt the same thing, and decided to create plates that commemorated the “not-so-special moments of the general public,” according to his blog, “The Things I Do.” After he was done, he had created 33 separate plates that told the stories of 33 separate people living ordinary lives in the great country of Britain.

Courtesy of Owen Davey’s blog.

He didn’t just create stories in his head, however: Davey set up a Twitter account, and asked people to commemorate their lives in a tweet. By asking the commoners about their day, Davey got everything from “went for a bike ride in the sun,” to “I talk to my cats too much but they never answer back.”

Courtesy of Owen Davey’s blog.

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why the general public is amazing.

My poster brings all the kids to my room…

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011
Posters are the windows to our souls. Or at least, posters are the cool pieces of art we keep next to the windows on our walls that tell people about our souls. Or something like that. The point is, posters are pretty cool. However, it’s sometimes hard to find new posters that set you apart. There are times when you treasure your “Pulp Fiction” poster like it was your own baby; there are other times when you want to tear your eyes out when you realize you’re not the only one who loves Quentin Tarantino. When two of your friends have the same one, it means you have great taste. But when it’s five of them with the same one, that’s the wake-up call to get more swag for your walls.

This is where the 1200 Poster project comes in. Every month on the 12th, design company Big New Ideas releases a creatively designed poster to the public. They’re different, specialized posters made by different, young up-and-coming artists each time, so no two same concept and ideas are repeated.

Poster courtesy of 1200 Posters.

Each poster comes with a little theme for the month, such “Invite everyone who cares to work on what’s possible,” or “Expect to be surprised” (the one for the poster above, and my personal favorite), as each of the artists took time and poured thought  into each one. The prices for the posters range from $20-$25, which are a little pricey, but totally worth it when you consider that you’re getting original, skillfully done works of art for your buck. Did I mention they were one-of-a-kind? You’ll have the coolest walls on the block.

Do YOU have this 1200 Poster artwork, Brigette? No. I didn't think so.

Top 30 Reasons You Know You’re A Graphic Designer

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

We here at JB Chicago enjoy laughing over the crazy similarities that all of us designers share. We hope that as a designer, you have at one time or another, been involved in or agree with one of the following items from the list below. Some of these have been “borrowed” from other lists and others have been added from our own experiences. Please enjoy!

You Know You’re a Graphic Designer When:

1. You will ONLY work on a Mac

2. You show 3 designs and you know your least favorite will be chosen or a combo of the worst

3. You can tell the difference between Helvetica and Arial immediately

4.  You watch the Superbowl only for the commercials of course!

5. You color coordinate everything (food in refrigerator, cds, dvds, etc.)

6. Command + Z goes through your mind when you make a mistake in real life situations (note to self: you can’t undo breaking a light bulb)

7. You would rather eat moldy bread than use Papyrus

8. You are never satisfied with any project… something can always be changed to make it look better

9. You tell your boss to look at and you still have a job the next day (oops!)

10. Every time you are wrapping up leftovers you are haunted by the filter plastic wrap

11. You’ve learned your lesson and stopped using the word “final” in any file you have saved (JBWebsite_FINAL, JBWebsite_FINALV2, JBWebsite_FINALFINAL)

12. You’d rather organize your desktop than your sock drawer (very exciting!)

13. You bookmark resources more than you have fun nights out on the town

14. Every restaurant you go to you secretly critique the menu design

15. Someone hands you an invite or business card and you are more excited to see the design than the content

16. You say “why didn’t I think of that” when you see something that is an awesome design

17. You don’t care what the words say you just are concerned with how many words there are

18. You still enjoy buying toys and have one sitting on your desk now

19. You know powerpoint is and never will be cool! (ooh the curse of PPT!)

20. You use your pantone book instead of a paint chip for remodeling your bedroom

21. Most of the work in your portfolio is not the work that the client actually approved, but the design you liked best

22. You drink your coffee out of a pantone mug (courtesy of Jimbo)

23. Lock up doesn’t mean going to prison

24. NSFW (not safe for work) doesn’t apply at your work place

25. You can wear jeans everyday (hell… on some days… sweatpants can even fly!)

26. Your friends and family members on a regular basis want your services for free or extremely cheap

27. You request a vector logo and you get a pixelated 72dpi jpeg from the web (placed in a Word document of course!)

28. You share battle wound stories from Exact-o knives

29. You have been working for days on a project and it still looks like shit

30. You buy a bottle of wine purely on the design of the label only

Please share some of your own with us as well!

What’s Bloggin’ Got to do with it? (got to do with it…)

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

Well we’re on to about our 30th post and we figured we might as well take a step back and ask ourselves why exactly we decided to take part in this whole blogging phenomenon. Does blogging really do designers any good? You might be asking yourself this same question… so let’s investigate. We realize that the design world has changed quite a bit over the years. We all get our inspiration for design somewhere: books, artists, friends, pictures, magazines, teachers, etc., but now more than ever inspiration can be found right at our fingertips via the web. Design blogs have become much more popular with new bloggers popping up each day lending out extra tips, tutorials, inspiration, and experience. 

Design blogs have many different benefits. Here are just a few we have found:
• They allow us to gain exposure where maybe we wouldn’t have had the chance to before. 
• They keep our brains and creative minds churning at all times coming up with new posts and ideas to blog about.
• Blogging can be a challenge. Just like any other project that comes our way, we must be proud of what we put forth.
• Design is all about communication; visually communicating with your viewers. With blogging, we are able to embellish on those communication skills and learn new techniques.
• Creativeness. Of course as designers, we love to be creative and push things to the extreme and blogging allows us to do just that. We are our own clients! What we say goes!

Each of us decided to highlight one of our favorite blogs that we enjoy visiting from time to time to keep up with our fellow bloggers in the design industry. Enjoy!

First up is Jim’s:

Sometimes designers need to look back in order to move forward. One of my favorite blogs is Grain Edit. They are focused on classic design work from the 1950s-1970s and contemporary designers that draw inspiration from that time period. Site content includes interviews, articles, designers’ libraries as well as examples of rare design annuals, type specimens, Ephemera, posters and vintage kids books.

Visit the blog:

Next is Christina’s:

Web Designer Wall, a wall of design ideas, web trends, and tutorials, is designed and maintained by Nick La, who also runs N.Design Studio and Best Web Gallery. He’s been designing for several years and his work has been published on numbers of magazines. He loves to share ideas and design techniques. Web Designer Wall serves as his public blog where he posts design ideas, tutorials, and talk about modern web design trends. I like that his site is kind of a one-stop-shop; I can search through how-to tutorials, new inspiring trends and read up on some design news. Not to mention his blog is well designed. Thumbs up to Web Designer Wall!

Visit the blog:

Last is Megan’s:
One of my favorite blogs to visit for inspiration is Bad Ass Ideas. The author, Samantha Warren, communicates well with her audience, while also giving it that extra edge that I love. She adds a personal touch to her blog, while also providing great resources for the beginner designer and the advanced designer. While her focus is on web design, she offers great inspiration for all designers. She calls herself a “people person,” and in my book is one of my “people.” Great job Samantha!

Visit the blog: