Chinese New Year Event Poster

Recently I had the pleasure of designing an event poster for a Chinese New Year Celebration the Chinese Alliance Church of Westchester is holding. I had a lot of fun with it, so I thought I'd share it.


Herb Lubalin - PBS Logo

A short video of Herb Lubalin explaining the process behind the PBS logo. I had no idea it went through so many iterations. Definitely worth a few minutes of your time.

via: @YoungJerks


Saint James Infirmary

It's been pretty quiet around here for a while now. I've had a couple of projects keeping me busy and have been posting a bit more on my lettering blog. I hope to share a few of the things I've been working on soon, but in the mean time, here's wonderfully creepy animation for you to enjoy.


A Year in New York

A lovely video by Andrew Clancy recording a year in New York City.

via: Brandflakes for Breakfast


Marks of the Trade

When you pick your shoes entirely because of the logo.


Kern Type, the kerning game

The Kerning Game a fun and sometimes difficult game that tests your kerning chops. Good luck.


Steve Jobs – Stanford Commencement Address


I'll miss you Steve.

Cory Say

Cory Say's lettering work is beautiful. I love it when letterers include shots of their work mid-process. Check out the rest of his work over on Behance.


Things that make me wish I studied science

This is pretty amazing—well worth a minute of your time.



It's in the details #4

I found this in a Citibank. The yellow burst is a cut out piece of printer paper with comic sans in the middle. It's amusing to me how much time and effort can be spent creating a pristine, uniform brand experience only to have it undone by Microsoft Word and good intentions.


It's in the details #3

Signs like this always amuse me. There are so many type crimes being committed. A "5" is used instead of a "S", it's set it in brush script, the script is set in all caps rather than upper and lower case and there's a lower case "i" in midst of all the caps. The truth is, this was probably thrown together one afternoon by the owner of the shop just to get the message out there. They would have no reason to know that setting the text in all caps with a script typeface makes it illegible and ugly, or that brush script is almost always a poor choice. Even so I'm left wondering what this sign is accomplishing. Whether you intend it or not, design communicates much more than just the meaning of the words on that page. In this case the craft speaks louder than the text.


Just My Type

A few weeks ago I received a copy of Just My Type, a book about fonts by Simon Garfield to review. Just My Type is true to its subtitle and covers topics from ranging from the origin of letterforms to web-based font identification software. Garfield refreshingly intermingles significant events in the history of typography with some of the most contested issues of the past few years. He provides an analysis of IKEA’s hotly debated change from Futura to Verdana, discusses the advent of the ampersand, addresses the much maligned Comic Sans and even explains how points and picas work. Garfield separates many of the chapters with font breaks in which he takes the time to give the history of select typefaces. These are some of my favorite parts of the book. Decent histories of even popular typefaces can be hard to find despite the breadth of resources available. Garfield does his part to remedy this, providing brief histories on typefaces ranging from Albertus, to Mrs. Eaves to Frutiger.

This book however, shouldn’t be compared with books like Thinking with Type by Ellen Lupton or Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst. While both of those books are also about typography, they focus primarily on using type. Just My Type is not a design book in a strict sense, it’s about fonts, and the histories that surround them, not about how to use them. Similarly Just My Type shouldn’t be confused with coffee table-like design books full of large color reproductions. Instead Garfield provides a narrative on the art-form, adding color, humor and intelligence to a subject that in the wrong hands could be rendered dull and lifeless. For those that love letters and want an lively, enjoyable introduction, Just My Type is a great place to start.

Here's a lovely trailer for Just My Type designed by Pentagram.


Try Helvetica

Try Helvetica is brazilian-based blog that displays signs painted mostly by hand and shows a redesign as if they had been created with Helvetica. It's an interesting contrast to the hand-drawn, loose, almost outsider art typography that's so prevalent in the U.S. right now.


Do Designers Need to Know How to Code?

Frank Chimero addresses the question: "Do designers need to know how to code?" It's well worth a few moments of your time.

via: swissmiss


Jessica Hische on Inspiration

A great comic by Jessica Hische on developing as an artist and moving from pure imitation to work that takes inpiration from many different sources.


I'm Thankful

As a relative youngster in the graphic design profession much of my time outside of work has been spent learning, practicing and seeking out feedback and advice from other designers. I'm continually impressed by the openness and generosity of the established designers that have taken the time and replied to an email, spoken to me at a conference or taught a class.

Here's just a short list of a few of the designers who have been generous with me:
Ed Benguiat
Roger Black
Matteo Bologna
Aaron Draplin
Adam Greiss
Rob Harrigan
David Matt
Brian Miller
Ryan Paul
Darryl Ohrt
Timothy Samara
James Victore
Massimo Vignelli
Genevieve Williams
Anita Zeppetelli

Thank You.


Humbled Pied – Aaron Draplin

Good advice for students from Aaron Draplin. Especially appropriate given the economic news of the past few days.


Designing Like I Mean It

There's a question that's been on my mind quite a bit recently—what if every designer designed like me? What would the world be like if every designer worked with the same integrity, dedication and attention to detail as I do? Would it be a more beautiful and useful place, or would it be sloppier and less inspiring? The statement might sound trite, but it gives me pause when facing the temptation to just "bang the work out" as tight deadlines pile up one after another.

When I was fresh out of college I took a temporary job designing artwork in the screen-printing and embroidery department of sports shop. I was told by the owner that unless the customer paid to have original artwork created—which was never the case—that I was allowed a maximum of 15 minutes of design work per job. In the first few weeks at the job I naively attempted to comply with his mandate. I turned out 10–20 projects in a day. Since leaving the job, every once and a while I'll spot someone wearing something I designed while I was trying to stay under the 15 minute cap. It makes me wince. The designs reek of poorly chosen type and bad kerning. What I made in 15 minutes, is making the world an uglier place even four or five years later.

Making things for a living brings with it responsibility. The objects we create will last, often for much longer than we might anticipate, and people spend their lives looking at, using and living with them. Much of the reason that the general public is willing to put up with average, junky work, can be traced right back to us. Feed people enough shlock and they become accustomed to it. It can be easy to become frustrated by those who undervalue the importance of design, but every time a designer turns out mediocre, just good enough work it reinforces that undervaluation.

I don't want to perpetuate a cycle of mediocrity in the name of the next tight deadline. I want to make things that are excellent, even if they're small and might go unnoticed. I want to make things that I won't be ashamed of looking back on them five years from now. I want to make things that are beautiful and don't add to the clutter. I want to design, knowing that if everyone designed with my same work ethic the world wouldn't be worse for it.

Off Book | Typography | PBS Arts


Mapping Manhattan with Flickr and Twitter

Eric Fischer created these amazing maps of cities around the world using geotagged photos from Flickr and geotagged tweets from Twitter. The red dots represent Flickr use and the blue dots represent Twitter. I love how much these maps communicate without the aid of labels. Central park, for example, is clearly defined by the frequency of Flickr uploads.

via: Fast Company


Pursuing Dreams

It's been quiet here for a little while. This last week I had the pleasure of taking an intensive poster design class with James Victore. The class challenged much of what I've known and experienced as a practicing graphic designer, and for that I am thankful. Prior to taking the class I drew this sketch about pursuing dreams for VERBOSE .

After the week spent soaking in work and being pushed to break conventions, I find that this sketch has a different meaning for me, but I thought I'd share it all the same.



Verbose - My daily lettering blog

For the past couple of weeks I've made an effort to draw something every day. I draw as a part of my design process during work, but I wanted this to be separate from both work and any classes I might take. VERBOSE is a catalog of these drawings and will be updated almost daily. I hope you enjoy it.


Posters in Amsterdam

Posters in Amsterdam is a gallery site that is exactly what it says it is. It's definitely worth a look.



I've been really enjoying the work of Hyperakt, a Brooklyn-based design firm that focuses on creating design for the common good.


Hobbes and Bacon

Dan and Tom Heyerman of Pants Are Overrated drew two comic strips as if Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes finally grew up, got married and had a daughter. As I've made clear in the past, I'm big fan of Calvin and Hobbes, so it was fun to get a brief glimpse into the life of Calvin's daughter, Bacon.



Here's some more lettering from my sketchbook.

Also, Happy Memorial Day!


40 Ounces to Freedom

A quick drawing from my sketchbook I scanned in and colored this evening


Chalk Lettering Timelapse

I've mentioned Dana Tanamachi's chalk lettering here before, but watching the process gives me new level of appreciation for these pieces.


It’s in the details #2

Every once and a while I see a design that's mostly fine, but has a little quirk that makes it hard to bear.

The Metro PCS logo is a perfect example of this. Sure it's plain, but it's not the straight up helvetica that bothers me. It's the tightly kerned “PCS” with the nearly, but not quite aligned “CS” terminals. They are so close together and so close to being the same height that it's maddening. The part of me influenced by Ed Benguiat wants to trim just a little bit of the “C”, to make it nice and even.

Like this:


It’s in the details #1

I love my profession. Being paid to make things all day long is amazing. However the intense focus required in order to be any good at it does have some side effects. Ben Terrett calls it a disease, and I agree with him. It causes you to notice that on three floors in your building they have three completely different ways of labeling the exact same stairwell.

Stefan Sagmeister on Failure

Some great advice from Stefan Sagmeister on the importance of failure.

via: Brandflakes for Breakfast


Rebranding El Museo del Barrio

This spring I took a branding class at the School of Visual Arts with Anita Zeppetelli. One of the class assignments was to rebrand El Museo del Barrio, the Latin American museum in New York City. I don't typically show much of my own design work on this blog, but I enjoyed this project and thought it was worth sharing.


Inception in Mac OSX

Video by Chris Baker

Update: You may want to view in full screen to see the text. The column width isn't wide enough for great detail viewing



Malcolm Grear

Graphic Designer, Malcolm Grear describes his life and motivation as an artist.


Ira Glass – Ambition & Skill

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”


Michael Okuda

Michael Okuda is a graphic designer who was responsible for many of the interfaces seen in Star Trek. His work falls in a perfect sweet spot for me, right at the intersection of my childhood obsession with Star Trek and my current fix—graphic design.

via: @benbarry


Anna Garforth

The stunning typography of Anna Garforth. Go ahead, explore the rest of her work you'll be glad you did.

via: Quipsologies