Spring Has Sprung (Finally)...

There are signs of life in my backyard. Could it be spring has finally sprung? I can't remember what I planted but this early bloomer sure is a pretty sight and makes for some painterly photos. A good sign that my other flowers will come back to life in the next couple of weeks. Now on to the preparation for my garden and controlling my strawberry monster plant (weed). Much to do and then to spend some time actually enjoying the view. The weeds will not win this year!



A stream,
a constant movement,
the flow of Nature's gravity,
following its own path.


A reminder,
the cascade will return.

We are making progress.


30 Stellar Links of Inspiration

Working as a full-time senior graphic designer, it is important to stay in tune with graphic design, typography, photography, design management, web design, packaging, marketing, and even home design.

Here are 30 stellar links that keep me inspired.

    Visual Stimuli

  1. Imprint - The Online Community for Graphic Designers
    In depth posts that cover the span from branding, color, historical design, packaging, typography, styling, and much more
  2. The Dieline.com
    The best of the best for creative packaging design
  3. Oh So Beautiful Paper
    The crème de la crème of stationery design - letterpress, offset printing, the works
  4. Style Me Pretty
    The ultimate wedding inspiration blog where every post is unique and gorgeous
  5. Pinterest
    A place to pin the things you love *see my previous post 
  6. Colour Lovers
    All things color including color palette generators, color trends, and color forums
  7. Art of the Title
    Creative film title sequences and the story behind them

    Design Studios

  8. Marian Bantjes
    Canadian graphic designer known for her obsessive hand work in lettering and pattern and her custom Valentines
  9. Beast Pieces
    Design and Letterpress Blog of Studio on Fire - Beautiful and creative work
  10. Graphic Exchange
    The creative space of Fabien Barral of his own work and submitted works


  11. The FontFeed
    Interesting fonts in use, font news, and excellent type tips
  12. Wordle
    Generate beautiful word clouds *see my previous post
  13. Typophile
    Where all the type geeks hang out
  14. Quotes on Design
    Old and new words of inspiration about design


  15. Learning DSLR Video
    Online chronicles of learning how to shoot HD video on a Canon T2I. Also helpful tips for photography, perfect for an amateur like me.
  16. Pictory
    Photo stories - curated and presented in a beautiful format
  17. Lensbaby Forum
    Forum to show and tell, critique, and share photos using Lensbaby creative dslr lenses


  18. The KISSMetrics Blog
    Online marketing information that is actually interesting and presented in beautiful easy to read infographics
  19. What Makes Them Click
    Understanding how people think from a psychological viewpoint and what that means for design

    Books + Magazines

  20. Uppercase Journal
    The online journal of Uppercase magazine - for the curious and creative. Features the works of artists, illustrators, collections, and inspiration
  21. Chronicle Books Blog
    Behind the scenes of the creative publishing company located in San Francisco. What they are designing, what is inspiring, what they are reading
  22. Anthology Magazine
    Inspiration about home decor, style and substance

    Industrial Design

  23. Ponoko Blog
    Creative laser and 3D design work
  24. Ana White (aka Knock Off Wood)
    This talented furniture builder provides her blueprints of modern designs for you to DIY

    Design Management

  25. The 99 Percent
    Tips, videos, and articles on the art of making ideas happen


  26. Brand New
    Corporate and brand identity work - before and afters
  27. Brandchannel
    Brands in Use, brand news, brand successes and failures

    Home Design

  28. Apartment Therapy
    Home design and tours, DIY home decor inspiration. technology, green, and kids
  29. Adventures Renovating a Brooklyn Limestone
    Renovator, graphic designer, and photographer
  30. Young House Love
    A look into the life of one young family, one old house and their renovating experiences


Shopping Finds

“How to decorate?” – that has been the question I have been contemplating over almost two years. The neutral walls and floor of our house have been a refreshing contrast to our previous interior. There have been many required improvements - such as backyard landscaping, new garage siding, newer exterior doors with still more to come (newer kitchen window!!!).

Over the last couple of weeks I have been updating some of the decor while staying true to the minimal neutral style. Here are my shopping finds that I have purchased. I still need to place an order for the calligraphic lampshades soon!
  1. Female Cameo Head Sculpture by Torre & Tagus
  2. Tweeting Tea Party Dishtowel by Anthropologie
  3. Banu Bamboo Bath Mat by Umbra
  4. Medium Script Drum Lamp Shade by Pottery Barn
  5. Lovebird Bookends by Umbra
  6. Saguaro Tray by Anthropologie
  7. Carpenter's Folding Ruler by Kikkerland
  8. Crunch Recycle by Umbra
  9. Saguaro Ring Dish by Anthropologie


San Francisco City Hall

Outside of San Francisco City Hall From Front
San Francisco City Hall is an architectural beauty. Italian Renaissance and Baroque in style, the structure is a popular choice for tying the knot. In one short hour while we were touring the center there were three separate weddings taking place. The building has made appearances in a number of famous movies. America's first openly gay politician was assassinated inside the building in 1978. (Previous post here.) The building boosts the fifth largest dome structure in the world and occupies a space of two city blocks.

Here are photos taken last year from inside the historic structure.
James Rolph Jr. Mayor 1912 - 1931 Clock

City Hall Detail of Dome Fifth Largest In The World
One of Three Couples Getting Married At San Francisco City Hall Within An Hour
San Francisco City Hall Front Doors From Inside
Dome with Chandelier
City Hall Sculptural Detail


Ideas Amplified By Type

Typographic collisions and collaborations. Combine images with words and you can produce some unexpected statements. Contrast provokes, sometimes it just entertains. A single word in a carefully considered font is stronger than multiple words. The end result leaves more of an impact and more to the imagination.

Here is my exercise in typographic collisions using images taken by me.

Font - Plumero Script
Font - Poppl Exquisit

Font - Scene Ultra Black
Font - Stencil Bold


Ode To Ampersand

Ever notice that the word ampersand has the word and in it?

That is because publisher André-Marie Ampère used the symbol in his widely read publications, and people began calling the new shape representative of and - Ampere's and.

To typographers the ampersand & is a celebrated ligature of the letters in et, Latin for “and”. The & is as unique as the typeface it was designed for as you can see above.

In today's handwriting, the ampersand is sometimes simplified as an e superimposed by a vertical line. The ampersand is used to address a couple as in Sarah & John. With Twitter and instant messaging the ampersand is used also to represent the sound of “and” as for example “pl&” which stands for “planned”.

The ampersand is one of the most beautiful characters in the English language and many graphic designers' favorite character to work with.


Snow + Mother Nature

Even though there is a light to the end of the tunnel, Mother Nature still wants us to know she is the boss. Spring in Alberta always has that snowfall that makes the roads just on the level of freezing and melting. Maybe it is because she can not make up her mind or maybe she is just trying to teach us a lesson. But at least as we enter April the chances of the snow not staying are getting better. After all we are supposed to be in the season of April showers. But with all the snow moisture can we just jump to the flowers of May this year?

Okay, so if Mother Nature determined to give us snow, then at least the average temperatures are going up. This means it is more pleasant to be outside to capture the beauty of the last falling flakes. Here is my tribute to Mother Nature and hopefully the beginning of Spring.

For a recap of the Bitter Winter of 2010/2011 click here.


  © 2010 Design by Stephanie Janke - sjjdesign.com

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