Saturday, March 19, 2011

then and now

Not long ago, a friend of mine shared photographer Irina Werning's series titled "Back To The Future." At first glance, I thought it was plain old Photoshop trickery. Being quite familiar with just about anything that can be done on the computer, I'm the biggest skeptic you'll find. It's hard to believe a photo for what it is these days. But when you scan through her entire collection (a few are a bit disturbing... be warned), the level of detail and lengths she went to replicate the original photos decades later is astounding. The locations, the lighting, the expressions... über-cool!

My aunt recently shared some old family photos on Facebook (see picture above). It's always strange finding photos of yourself that you've never seen. This one is proof that I was indeed close to bald until well after my 2nd birthday. And if anyone can find the dog that's in this photo, I'd be glad to strike a pose in that cute little dress. ;-)

Friday, March 11, 2011

DIY Kitchen (and a baby on the back burner)

I'm a huge admirer of people who can repurpose things and make something beautiful out of something, well, ugly. Perhaps that's why I love the "Before & After" section of Design Sponge!

Myself, I'm a person with the best of intentions. My basement is full of things with "potential." But when it comes down to the sanding, stripping paint, or use of any type of tool other than my x-acto knife, and general "getting around to it" of these larger projects, I must confess that I'm a bit of a failure.

Sure, I married the son of a hardware store owner, and he really is quite handy. But I'm saving up points on the "honey do" list for a kitchen reno this spring, so asking him to make a kitchen out of a 70's TV console would be absolutely out of the question.

So no, this is not a project I had any part of, but I wanted to share it nevertheless. It's pure genius, topped with a whole lotta love.

If you'd like to see another phenomenal custom-made kitchen, be sure to visit this article by "The Mrs." I can't say enough about this über-talented mom and her hysterical articles on parenting, baking, and frugality. Complete with upper cabinets, chrome knobs, and a fridge, this is the whole kit and kaboodle. If they could have done so, it probably would have running water. Which is only natural for a daughter of a carpenter and a baker and food blogger.

Our son? Well, he got the store-bought kind. Which serves as a perfect segue into this next photo of what our son's been cooking all week in his (not homemade) little kitchen:

So I suppose when the next person asks me if a baby is on the way and I'm tempted to give them one of these cards, I can simply look at them and say, "We've got a baby on the back burner for the time being."

Saturday, March 5, 2011

I'm pleased to share that the site Landgraff Design Group has designed for "The Shoe Shine Guys" is now live! You can read more about the paper goods and branding we've done for these guys here.

I love to see how a brand can come alive both in print and web form. It's not just about having a strong and memorable brand... it's about using it consistently across all media platforms. Bla bla bla... have I lost you yet?

In the past, I've worked with some great programmers to help my clients' visions to life on the web. For this site however, the client wanted to be able to maintain and easily update the site themselves, so we chose to go with a site through Clover. With Clover sites, you don't need to have any HTML programming skills to edit your site. You don't even need to know what HTML stands for. It could stand for "Here's To Making Love" or "Had Too Much Lasagna" for all you care.

Clover offers a user-friendly "drag and drop" interface that they call the "Greenhouse." Start with one of their templates, skin it with your brand, and you've got one sweet site.

And all within a shoestring budget!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

wish you were here

Hi guys!

I'm excited to share a design that I recently submitted for the AIGA Detroit "Wish You Were Here" postcard competition. I'm not usually one to enter contests, but I liked how the goal of this one was to bring some positive publicity to an area that typically gets a lot of bad media coverage. The top 25 postcards will be printed and used to promote the state of Michigan! :)

I just learned my card design is one of the finalists! Please take a moment and vote here. You don't need to sign up for anything, or give away your firstborn child. Unlike other contests, which require you to sell your soul (or even worse, access to your Facebook account), voting here takes a matter of seconds... just go to the link and click "VOTE." You can vote once daily for the next seven days if you REALLY want to represent. ((grin))

In a nutshell, participants were invited to design a card that promotes Michigan and is based on the theme "Wish You Were Here."

One of my favorite places to visit in Michigan is Traverse Bay. If you've never been, add that to your bucket list. I based my postcard design on this area, which is located on the 45th parallel, offering the perfect climate for lush cherries and grapes that yield some of the world's best wines. Top that off with some stunning 360-degree views when driving up Old Mission Peninsula, and you'd agree that it's truly beautiful.

I've shared some of my other favorite cards as well, including the work of some of my über-talented colleagues! See their names and links to vote below each of their cards as well... because it's all about sharing the love!

Do check out all of the card entries if you have a moment... it's cool to see how the same creative call to action can yield so many different ideas!

Wish you were here,

Below are some of my favorite cards. (Click here to view all 48 finalists)

Above by Lauren French.

Above by Lisa Wallace.

Above by Christine Jones.

Above by Danny Jacobs.

Above by Meg Walsh

Above by Fred Restum.

Above by Kyle Lawson.

Above by Nicky Intalan.

Above by Craig Steen.

Above by Kelly MacArthur.

Above by Alex Jacque.