Archive for June, 2011

We want you…

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Here in the JB Chicago world, we are looking for a new Graphic Designer. If you don’t know what that is, you probably shouldn’t apply. But if you’re a graphic designer, and think you have the right stuff, then brush up your resume, polish up your portfolio and apply to Designer@jbchicago.com.

Have doubts? Well, here are just a couple of reasons why you should apply…

                4. Chicago is a great city to work in. LaSalle is surrounded by a million and five places to eat. Plus, we’re next to a river. Isn’t that all anyone ever needs?

                3. You’d get to work with Creative Connor and Cranky Christina (just kidding… it’s more like Sassy Xtina). Seriously, they’re very talented, and would love to have you on their team.

                2. JB Chicago is a magical place. Everyone loves each other and works well with each other, the company is the right mix of professional, smart and funky and they don’t care if the interns can’t make coffee. It’s just a good group of nice, intelligent good-looking folks.

                1. You know you’re looking for a job. And you know this one will be fun…

So if you can use Paint and can spell decently well (this is a joke. I repeat, THIS IS JOKE. Please do not think you can just get away with only knowing how to use Paint, because you will get laughed at), check out http://www.jbchicago.com/careers.aspx. I hope you apply, and good luck to all of you out there!

Because I know you all want to join the United Design Republic of Christina.

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.

Sewing isn’t just for grandmothers…

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

In the past, whenever I thought “embroidery,” I thought of little old ladies with nothing better to do than to crochet blankets while talking about their grandkids. Maybe this is why when my mom suggests I should take up knitting or sewing, I make a face like someone suggested eating my big left toe.

Not exactly the right situation at the time, but the face is basically the same.

But now, thanks to Daniel Kornrumpf, I have a whole new concept of embroidery. The artist spends his time creating realistic portraits…all through the medium of embroidery.

Picture courtesy of the designworklife blog.

I’m not really sure where he gets the patience to stitch all the detail and color into his subjects, but however he does it, it really pays off. From a far, you can’t even tell these are stitched; the art looks effortless painted with a unique line pattern. It makes me wonder just how many more artists are out their embroidering realistic-looking portraits, and just how much you can stretch the limits of traditional embroidery.

Daniel also does other projects, such as work with colored pencil on Mylar and paintings with and oil on canvas. You can check them out, and his whole portfolio here.

The only thing better than weddings is a safari-designed one

Friday, June 17th, 2011

It’s summer, and I think you know what that means. Apart from light dresses, picnics, Frisbee tournaments and boat races (yes, my summers are very fun), it also means that people are getting married all over the place. Ever since this Kate Middleton business, I feel like I’m seeing a lot of couples tie the knot. Then I get a little bit jealous at England’s ability to make everything so cool and to make everyone follow them. Then I calm down and remember that, as I said before, it’s summer: weddings are like a sport this time of the year (and I need to stop blaming the British for everything).

A lot of people look at weddings from the love aspect, or the dress aspect, or even for the possible chance at a comical mishap. But it’s interesting to look at weddings from a design aspect. There is something really special about a wedding in general, but something  makes it extraordinary when the creativity and colors are amazing. Wedding blog site Love and Lavender recently featured the wedding of Parker and Laura’s, and the designs that the couple picked are especially pleasing on the eyes. They decided to do a safari-themed wedding, complete with a nice combination of a South-African-feel and outdoorsy style elements.

All pictures are courtsey from the wedding blog site Love and Lavender.

What’s cool is that they stayed on the theme well, without being overbearing. Instead of something cheesy, like pictures of animals all across the wall or forcing their bridesmaids to dress up as hippos, they went with simple, yet classy ideas. For example, the tablecloth was made out of burlap, there were flowers in color-coordinated tin cans on the tables and each of the tables were named after safari animals.

Team Lion!

A wedding is only as good as its food, and this wedding got really creative with the whole cake concept. Instead of the traditional big white pastry, the couple decided to give everyone individual apple pie cakes baked in mason jars.

Genius. I’d take pie over cake any day.

And of course, following the safari theme, Laura and Parker had a safari-themed photo booth. With giant giraffes.  Giant giraffes!

When have you ever not wanted to take a picture next to a giant giraffe?

It makes me want to get married, even though I’m only 20. Um…wait. Scratch that. It just makes me want to crash a well-designed wedding.

Because, seriously. Who doesn’t want their wedding to go out with a bang?

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.

Design and words in perfect harmony

Friday, June 10th, 2011
One of the greatest things about Twitter (besides the fact that it lets you decorate your profile page and aids you in your quest to properly stalk John Mayer) is that is encourages the death of wordiness. With only 140 characters available, you really have to condense down the ideas you want to tweet to your devoted followers.

Imagine, however, that instead of tweeting about your day in 150 characters, you only had six words. I don’t even know how I would go about talking about my jumble of thoughts in six words. What would I say? “I hate when rain attacks me?” “I’m hungry, bring me some eats?” There is something so hard about saying what you mean in so few words.

That’s the concept of designer Anne Ulku and writer Van Horgen’s Six Word Story Every Day (SWSED) project. In 2010, the two of them paired up and, and for a year, told each day’s story in just six words. Now they have 365 days worth of short stories, posted on their blog.

Courtesy of the Six Word Story Every Day blog

The coolest thing about their project, though, is that in 2011, they opened the idea to the public, encouraging everyone to design a six-word story about their day. Masters of concise language and designers of great skill have all sent in their pieces since the beginning of the year, proving that it is possible to say it in less.

Courtesy of http://sixwordstoryeveryday.com

“I smell bread. Sandwich time now”

Sweet Ts, Mister

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Whoever made T-shirts something more than just articles of clothing that keeps us warm was a genius. I’m a huge sucker for designs, and the funnier/cuter the design, the better. That’s why shirt.woot.com is up there on the T-shirts-sites-that-rock list: they’ve got adorable and witty shirt designs for every kind of person.

The great thing about shirt.woot! is that besides just selling awesome-looking T-shirts, they have a short, funny blog post about each one, describing the concept, why you should wear the shirt (and why, if you’re a certain type of person, you shouldn’t wear it), what the shirt “tells the world” and more. Here’s an example post:

http://shirt.woot.com/friends.aspx?k=18060

My personal favorite tee is, of course, is “Odd Bear Out.”

Odd Bear Out, courtesy of shirt.woot.com

It was on shirt.woots!’s Top 20 List of the Week, something I am not surprised about. Because who doesn’t love pandas? And bamboo plants?

Awesome, indeed

Monday, June 6th, 2011

So, we kind of have an art-crush on Jessica Hische, since she’s nothing short of amazing. As a letterer, illustrator and designer, she creates intricate word art for all sorts of literature. One of her most delicate and whimsical projects is the designing of covers of famous Barnes and Noble Classics (think Pride and Prejudice and Withering Heights), an art she achieved by leather-binding the books and foil-stamping two different foil colors into the jacket and foil. When it comes to beautiful designs and lettering for books, cards, signs and other forms of written communication, Hische is Superwoman.

Hische's book design, courtesy of http://jessicahische.is/awesome/

Plus, she has the best side projects. One of her blogs is called “The Internet Sends Me Cake,” where she has people send in pastries they made, then writes about and photographs the sweets. Hische also has a blog named “Mom, this is how twitter works,” which is a simple, step-by-step, colorful guide to tweets and hashtags. You gotta love a lady who appreciates cake and teaches middle-aged women the finer points of social media.

See her site: http://jessicahische.is/awesome/