Posts Tagged 'design blogs'

lettercult | best custom lettering of 2009

Prepare to swoon. Via Quipsologies, with all credit to (check out their site for more…it’s pretty inspirational). Some of my favorites:

Jessica Hische. As I was putting this  post together, Lettercult named Jessica 2009 Person of the Year. Well deserved. Read more about Jessica and her work here.

Michael Doret.

Carolyn Sewell.

Richard Perez.

Josh Kenyon and Colby Nichols.

B.T. Livermore.


wordles| yes, I am a typography cheat (don’t tell anyone)

I love typography, but I am not a typographer. A few years ago I discovered Wordles, but considered them a guilty pleasure, hiding my addiction from those who were skilled and accomplished designers. I considered starting this blog with a post about Wordles, but was embarrassed to confess spending time with a program that names fonts Alpha Fridge Magnets and Grilled Cheese. But then Wordles began showing up last week on other designer blogs (Dear Coffee, I Love You and Steve Mehallo), I felt ready to share…openly and without shame.

Wordles are “word clouds” created quickly from your content, emphasizing the most significant words. You can alter the number of words used, the colors, the font and the shape. It happens instantly (hence, the addictive quality). And yes, I do feel a small pang of guilt thinking of designers spending hours pondering over the placement of each word, the weight of the type, the shape of each ligature and it’s relationship to the others…I try to maintain my dignity by using “coolvetica” and staying away from fonts that could also be food names.

I have done Obama’s speeches, each of my blogs, my friends’ blogs,  and my daughter’s college essay. For birthday gifts, my youngest daughter has written stories about her friends, created Wordles, then framed them. I did a job description once, and do letters, poems, quotes and lists.

I did this based on a blog post I wrote during a trip to India.

For a friend who was fighting breast cancer (she won).

The big surprise was discovering how valuable they were for design work, to engage others to experience concepts and copy in news ways as we begin projects. I often create Wordles out of creative briefs, and have had my own clients want to use them to present design programs to their staff.  I use them to kick off naming projects and sometimes just to kickstart my own imagination. I can see what words come to the surface, and see new relationships within the language.  It’s particularly interesting to take all of the content from website, or a really length document, and create a Wordle out of 25 words. Try it.

My crowdsourcing|Peace o’ Pizza post, reduced to 25 words.

They’re fast, fun, and safe (as long as you stay away from the aforementioned food as fonts).  Mine tend to look the same, as I stay with the same settings (half and half, coolvetica, and I try to keep it simple with the colors). But you can go nuts…and if you do, send them over. It can be our secret, I promise. Have at it.

This post.

design + coffee | an extra shot, please

From my new favorite blog, Dear Coffee, I love you. This spot on art was done by Brian W. Jones. Just to give credit (where it’s so clearly due), his studio website is Welcome Design. While you’re there, check out Pie Lab. And hold the cream, just the coffee please, with an extra shot. (first scouted at BB Blog)

Update: Poster credit goes to Adam Brackney at Workerman. T shirts available, too.

re:sources | feeding your inner-infographic geek

If you were raised on Edward Tufte, then your heart races when you see a great infographic. Perhaps even a small adrenaline rush when narrative, color, shapes and understanding all collide (or is that just me?).  And of course, one hit leads to another, and you want more. Pretty soon, every day you are seeking unexpected information presented in unexpected ways. Ah, the life of an infographic geek.

I’ve been doing some recognizance to feed my own habit, but also to help nourish yours. A daily dose, along with your coffee, extra strong please:

Chart Porn is compiled  by Dustin Smith, an economist in Washington DC. Visit for treats like this:

Chart Porn’s caption: An entertaining compendium of visualizations about the upcoming year, created for Chronogram Magazine. The magazine write-up included a wonderful self-denigrating statement from designer Jason Cring: “Cring believes infographic purists like information design guru Edward Tufte would be appalled. ‘Tufte’s very opinionated about the right and wrong ways to present information. He would not approve of any of this, I’m quite sure.’”

Chart Porn also brought us the Evolution of Crayola Color Chart (credited to

Randy Krum powers Cool Infographics. He collects graphics, sells posters and serves as a resource for those who love information. Clearly, he knows how much I love coffee.

One of my favorite sources is Good Magazine. Some of their most popular infographics of 2009 are here.

This season produce chart is interactive. Click on the chart to visit their site and play vegetable roulette.

And then, there is some stuff that’s just fun to know. Like the Chocolate Pie Chart from Mary and Matt.

And the very best seem to be the very simple:

(can’t identify the original source of this, though I’ve traced it through Swiss Miss, Design Crush, DSharp and fffound. It looks like it could have come from

This American Life Infographics

This American Infographic, based on the public radio show, This American Life. Designer EJ Fox made it his New Year’s resolution to do one new infographic for each episode.  Because you know, some of us just can’t get enough of this stuff.

Thanks to Design Observer for the original link.

visual learners

Oh, those small ideas that keep on going and growing. Young, a UK design firm is creating a buzz with their blog, Learn Something Every Day. Odd little tidbits offered daily to make you look smart, or perhaps obscure. But clever, for sure.