Archive for January, 2011

my coffee, myself

For some reason I am lacking a design-inspiration vibe today.  I can’t claim that our industry isn’t providing plenty of inspiration, but somehow it’s not feeling bloggable to me at the moment. Perhaps (shameless self-promotion plug coming) it’s because all of my energy has been going towards my new project, Coffee|Served Daily.

Last year, because doing this blog and a personal blog (Tour of No Regrets) wasn’t enough (I know, I know),  I embarked on Project 365, taking a photo a day for a year. It made me crazy and there was plenty of complaining. But with a little cheating, I finished it. And I realized that my favorite part was connecting with other people, being inspired and motivated by them, and seeing what was happening around the country, and the world.

I started to imagine an interactive blog, focused on coffee. Afterall, coffee is social and personal, it’s homey and it’s international, it’s beautiful and it’s ordinary. It’s the perfect connector.

Of course, I don’t go small on this kind of stuff, so I committed to 1000 cups, one photo at a time. And it’s working, on several levels. I have a lively blog, I’m paying closer attention to my coffee, I’m drinking better coffee, and I am taking photos almost every day.  My friends are sending me coffee photos, and even people I don’t know are contributing. I have new coffee friends and renewed caffeinated inspiration.  Coffee photos surprise me in my in box several times a day. They are of varying quality, but they all come with a story.

Some of my favorites, so far:

From Lana V., aka Lanamaniac.

From my friend (and talented designer) Kevin Cahill.

From Reina.

And finally, Coffee Gods, from my good friend, Leslie Flores.

I’m learning more, about coffee, the product and the process,  and connecting the dots of social media. And as a bonus, it’s great fun. I love the internet, and I love a good project. And of course, I really, really love coffee.

Come over and visit (see, it’s easy….right here). Better yet, bring a photo of your coffee with you. Would love to have you.

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mindful by design | part two

Another piece from the studio…just a reminder that January is no time for hibernating.

moo cards (and new ones, too)

I’ve never been a fan of outsourced, gang printing and have always done my part to support the craft of printing, especially letterpress. My business card history includes letterpress, oversized, rounded corners, custom duplex stock, extra heavy stock…everything to make the cards as special and tactile as possible.  But I have to say, my last set of cards (radius corners with the line create something that matters on the back) never excited me, or anyone else.

I also realized that print just isn’t “fun” anymore.  We barely print, and when we do, it’s such a small, serious quantity.  Where’s the whimsy, the inspiration, the delight of print?

Last year I discovered Moo Cards, a British company that prints, really inexpensively, cards with individual backs. As many different backs as you like. And the cards come in three sizes…close to standard (a tad tall), narrow (mini cards) and square. They only print on two stocks, one with a matte laminate and one recycled. Normally I am not a fan of laminate, but the one they use looks and feels nice.  Did I mention they were inexpensive?

Inexpensive makes whimsy much more feasible.

I decided to give it a try and printed 11 of my photos, with the websites for two of my blogs on the back (this one and coffee|served daily, thanks for asking). They came this week, and I am 100% thrilled with the concept and 98% thrilled with the quality.

The photos printed much cleaner than they appear here. The color is awesome, front and back. The type does print a little heavy. I printed a set for my daughter last year and used the laminate, and tried the recycled stock for myself.  Honestly, I prefer the laminate. But all in all, I am really excited. Today I gave one person three (my dog’s ears, the bowl of cherries and the coffee cups).

I’m going to do more…next time the mini cards, and maybe even the stickers. I envision a bowl full of cards in the studio, like candy….maybe even with candy. Who says there is no fun in print anymore?