Updated occasionally with projects, inspirations and ideas. Find my main site here discover more of my work.
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Have A Happy New Year

Happy New Year all! I'm signing off for a bit for a much needed vacation and hopefully some sparklers. Talk to you in the new year.

I Heart Veer

I'm on a Veer kick. Every since I got my fantastic portfolio I've been added to their mailing list, and it's a good list to be on! Every so often they send out clever, fun, "I wish I designed that" freebies. The latest is a notebook/doodle pad. It came in an envelope from "The Very Secret Order of Creatives Understanding," I'm in a secret order now! I feel like Ralphie in A Christmas Story when he gets his Little Orphan Annie decoder pin. Oh joy! Inside the notebook there are clever sayings and drawings that you can add your own twist to. Thanks Veer!

Funny Train Crossing Sign

Over the past year there has been massive amounts reconstruction and renovation along Commonwealth Avenue. One addition is this sign at all sidewalk and railway crossings- Boston has an elevated street train so pedestrians and trains duel daily. It certainly gets my attention and makes me laugh. I think it's the eyes. I like it, it pops. Have a great day and always look before crossing.

Check Out My New Portfolio

One of my projects over the summer was to organize and pull together my portfolio. I'm so happy with how it has come out. The portfolio was a special gift from my mom and brother and came from one of my favorite design sites, Veer. I was looking for a unique portfolio for some time and was very happy when I found this one. I love the aluminum accents and the gorgeous cherry cover. It will match the wood floors in Boulder!

Now all I have to do is finish up my thesis (four months to go) and put all of that soon to be gorgeous work in this portfolio. I've seen some really unique ways of presenting work and I was really racking my brain on what to do. For me I wanted something sleek, elegant and professional looking but still a bit different. After all, this is an extension of me. I had a lot of fun with my cover page and made matching leave behind material so you get the complete package. Yay!

New Transit Maps I Love

One of my favorite sites, Visual Complexity, just added a new project that I am very interested in. The project developed by Kim Ji-Hwan and Jin Sol takes individual city's railway maps and redesigns them to reflect the character of the city. It's a very interesting concept that creates some beautiful images. From Visual Complexity:

"The first image depicts Tokyo's intricate network of subway, lightrail and monorail, with more than 1500 stations covering the metropolitan area. Placed in the city center is the Imperial Palace, the residence of the current Ten-no (Japanese Emperor). Subway lines circumvent the expansive ground claimed by the Imperial Palace. This characteristic is visualized in this map by the concentric circles spreading out to the entire city, with the center in the Imperial Palace ground. This strong representation of circles is reminiscent of the national flag of Japan and the Japanese identity expressed in the flag."

And also this: "The second represents Seoul's network. The city boasts 600 years of history as the capital of the South Korea and its crossed by a river of great magnitude, which has become one of its most important symbols, the Han Gang. The depiction of Han River in this map mimics the curvature in the middle of the Tae-Geuk mark of the national flag of Korea. The overall circular shape of the map was also inspired by the Tae-Geuk mark. The brighter area in the center of the map shows the territory of Han Yang, the old capital of Cho-Sun Dynasty. This was the old Seoul marked by the Four Gates, and the growth of the city becomes clear when compared to the modern metropolitan sprawl."

On the designers'
website I found this explination and photo of the Osaka Railway: "Osaka is closely tied to the surrounding cities of Kyoto, Kobe, Nara, and Wakayama. Many people traveling to Osaka also visit the neighboring cities. We connected this concept with octopus as the main ingredient of Takoyaki (Tako in Japanese), the dish Osaka is known for. In this map, Osaka metropolitan is visualized as an octopus with the head being Osaka and the legs sprawling out to the other four cities. Combination with the calendar adds more practicality. In this map, coordinates map months and days instead of latitudes and longitudes, an attempt to link temporal and spacial dimension. The additional functionality as a scheduler using enclosed post-its allows creative uses of the fresh aesthetics that the railway map provides."

While I find these to be very interesting and wonderful pieces or art, my practical side prefers to see maps that reflect the actual route a line takes. Granted in some cities organizing a map to scale that shows all stops and lines needs to fit in a certain space so that isn't always possible. I love to be able to look at a map and know how that relates to the geography. There are some bus lines I use that on a map are a straight line but weave through many different neighborhoods, I'd love to get the feel of that on my bus map. Project? Maybe! Until then, I'll keep staring at these gems.

Animal Silhouettes Are So Cute

I was looking around the internet for some animal silhouettes and happened upon this fantastic invention via Apartment Therapy. Combining some of my great loves...animals, books, silhouettes and organizing! These were designed by Hiroshi Sasagawa and if you know Japanese (?) then you can order them here. Or, if you are feeling adventurous you can create some yourself!

Take Me To The Island Of San Seriffe

I just finished a great book, You Are Here: Personal Geographies and Other Maps of the Imagination by Katharine Harmon. The book has several essays and a very inventive, intriguing collection of maps. I've continued to research different approaches and topics for my thesis and this book has been a great inspiration. I had to laugh at the below map, I saw it after I finished my last Font File post. Sorry for the quality, my scanner is acting funny. I wonder what kind of city Bodoni would be like. From the looks of this map, I'd like to visit Gillsands- I picture white sand beaches with fun, classic cabanas that never go out of style! I am happy to see that the Northern Island has a good train transportation infrastructure too! Oh, if only I were headed to a warm island now...sigh.

Valspar Paint: Still Love It

Awhile back, I blogged about how fantastic Valspar paint is. I just fell even more in love! Last week I was out in Boulder checking out the house addition and I couldn't be more excited! The paint is up on the walls, Valspar naturally, and it looks fantastic. I'll have more pictures of decorating one of these days but in the meantime you should check out Valspar's color blog here. It's great if you need some color inspiration and it also has advice on decorating.

I've also been meaning for some time to write about Valspar's fantastic advertisements for colors in nature. Again, these are from awhile ago but better late than never! I noticed these when I was recycling my old Coastal Living magazines (from the past three years!). I love the concepts, colors right from nature! Very simple yet powerful. I find myself inspired by textures and patterns in nature so this is an obvious choice for me. I saw a fantastic spread using coral, I tried to find it online but couldn't. Sad face. These pictures via
the inspiration room.

Charley Harper Illustrations

I was in Barnes & Noble recently when I came across this darling little book of illustrations by Charley Harper. ABC's has the cutest collection of animals and I think I'm going to have to get it! I love Harper's geometric style and the simplicity of his work. They feel whimsical, fun and lighthearted. Harper passed away last year but through his beautiful prints and books his legacy will live on. For more, I suggest the books An Illustrated Life and Birds and Words. This site by the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati also has a great summary and some high-resolution photos to share (I have some pictured below, click to enlarge) along with Wikipedia, that information catch-all. There is a really neat Flickr group here and if you'd like to buy something (I would!) check out this site for prints.

Humane Society Logo

Lately, thanks to cable, I've been watching Animal Planet...a lot. I heart a good animal story. Somewhere along the line, during my animal obsession (and thoughts of a pet), I came across the Humane Society's logo and I love it! Regular readers, can you guess why? Yup, the silhouettes, and keep reading below to find out why, of course, I'd have to love it. But first, a little more on the good work The Humane Society does, from their website:

Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest and most effective animal protection organization—backed by 10 million Americans, or one in every 30. Established in 1954, The HSUS seeks a humane and sustainable world for all animals—a world that will also benefit people. We are America's mainstream force against cruelty, exploitation and neglect, as well as the most trusted voice extolling the human-animal bond. Our mission statement: Celebrating Animals, Confronting Cruelty."

Under Consideration I found out that the logo and identity for HSUS was done by the Chicago office of Euro RSCG, and "the rendering of this American Animal Kingdom" was done by, none other than one of my IDOLS, Michael Schwab. It's a great logo, the variety of animals and their placement makes it a very balanced picture. Now, if only I could decide on a great pet...

I Heart My New Embosser

I just received my first embosser and I'm wondering why I've never had one before! This really classes everything up. Mine says "sarahheartsdesign" and I'm using it on cards I'm making. I ordered through the Paper Source (I heart them). Now that I have the embosser, if I want another design all I have to do is order the plate. I can't decide if I should get one with my initials or one with my address, or maybe both!

Frank Furness: Train Station Architect

I was taking the train from NYC last month (so relaxing) and reading Amtrak's magazine when a short little blurb on architect Frank Furness grabbed my attention. With the article was a picture of this pretty station in Wilmington, Delaware:
The station was completed in 1908 and was part of a major upgrade by the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. This year the Friends of Furness are celebrating the station's 100th anniversary. The original 1908 renovation included raised tracks to eliminate dangerous foot and pedestrian crossings (good idea). The design had to support the weight of the tracks and trains above the concourse level and to do this Furness built a grid of steel columns and truss work that was left exposed. I wish I could find pictures of the interior, guess I'll just have to pass through someday. I love train stations, the hustle and bustle and romantic idea of travel that doesn't include a pat down or security check.

I tried to find out more about Furness and his work on different train stations but have come up a little empty handed. Via that A1 source of information
Wikipedia, I found the following: "During his career, Furness designed over four hundred buildings including banks, churches, synagogues, railway stations for the Pennsylvania and Baltimore & Ohio railroads, and numerous stone mansions in Philadelphia and along Philadelphia's Main Line, as well as a handful of commissioned houses at the New Jersey seashore, Washington, D.C., New York state, and Chicago, Illinois." I did also find out that there is a biography about Furness and a collection of his works that I'll have to add to my reading list. Until then, happy and relaxing travels to you.

Logan Airport Terminal C

I'm on an airline kick this week. In Terminal C of Logan Airport in Boston there is a wall of mirrors that is very fun to watch people walk by. It's on the top floor, departures, by the Legal Seafood. If you're passing through, walk by to check it out.

American Airlines Logo: Heart It!

I really have a new appreciation for American Airlines' identity with all the flying I've been doing. It started back in February at Logan Airport with the photo above. And continued at LAX when I saw a hangar for AA with this eagle:
Vignelli Associates designed the AA eagle logo in 1967 and according to Wikipedia:

"American's early liveries varied widely, but a common livery was adopted in the 1930s, featuring an eagle painted on the fuselage. The eagle became a symbol of the company and inspired the name of American Eagle Airlines. Propeller aircraft featured an international orange lightning bolt running down the length of the fuselage, which was replaced by a simpler orange stripe with the introduction of jets.
In the late 1960s, American commissioned an industrial designer to develop a new livery. The original design called for a red, white, and blue stripe on the fuselage, and a simple "AA" logo, without an eagle, on the tail. However, American's employees revolted when the livery was made public, and launched a "Save the Eagle" campaign similar to the "Save the Flying Red Horse" campaign at Mobil. Eventually, the designer caved in and created a highly stylized eagle, which remains the company's logo to this day. In 1999, American painted a new Boeing 757 in its 1959 international orange livery. There is a Boeing 737-800 painted in the retro AstroJet livery.American is the only major U.S. airline that leaves the majority of its aircraft surfaces unpainted. This was because C. R. Smith hated painted aircraft, and refused to use any liveries that involved painting the entire plane. Robert "Bob" Crandall later justified the distinctive natural metal finish by noting that less paint reduced the aircraft's weight, thus saving on fuel costs. Eastern Air Lines and US Airways have also maintained unpainted airplanes in the past."I'm a fan of the silver jets (Hi, have we met? I love silver, sparkly things). If you're a fan of AA check out this site for apparel!