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October 7, 2016

excelsiorama typeface designed by UNY DesignersYou know how they say “it takes a village”? Well this village (AIGA UNY) got together and made something pretty fantastic. Over 30 designers contributed to “excelsiorama” a typeface by graphic designers living and working in “Upstate” (not NYC) New York. We each got to pick a letter (or number) and take our own spin on it, making the typeface fitting for every wacky situation. Check out this awesome feature on How Design. This project shows the power of having fun, and collaboration. Thank you so much to Tyler Fink for organizing this circus show (also fan girl time – how cool that I get to meet people like Tyler and all the collaborators through AIGA and design?) You can too – just join AIGA! (shameless plug).



September 20, 2016

I recently had brunch with two really lovely ladies, and quickly realized it should be more of a regular occurrence. First off, brunch is delicious (DUH) and second, getting out of the office and talking with like minded individuals brings me so much fuel!Gain Influence Not Fame

Natalie’s a wedding photographer in Rochester, NY, and her work is magical. Her  work is primarily locally based, and she truly values the experience her customers get when they work with her. I’m not going to spoil all the juicy details of her brand experience, but working with her is so much more than hiring a photographer. She creates memories, she makes you feel wonderful beautiful things, and she has consistent beautiful messaging throughout. Her goal is to have an impact on those clients who choose to work with her, not to make some sort of global photography empire. Her success is not measured by her instagram likes, or how many clients she books, but by the influence she has on them. And let me tell you, she books a lot of clients. Thanks Natalie for reminding me how lovely brunch is, and for keeping me inspired!

July 22, 2016

If you’re active on social media, I sure hope you’ve seen this already. Tuesday Bassen, an incredible illustrator, posted about her experience with fashion company, Zara. Zara copied her designs, and when her lawyer approached them, they basically said “you’re small, we’re big” and completely dismissed her concerns. Fortunately, the virtual world has her back, and we’re all pushing to help her out. What surfaced after her announcement was tons of other talented artists also showing the same thing happening to them. Take a look at the image below to see how blatantly Zara has ripped off these talented designers. Zara Art Theft

Imagine how differently this would have worked out if Zara had contacted these designers and asked to license their work, or collaborate on a pin collection. Everyone would love Zara for supporting them, and the artists would be making a commission (let’s say 4%) of sales to pay for their artwork. Wouldn’t that be nice? Win/Win.

As a designer, it’s discouraging that this is what we have to watch for. We want to grow, and share our work, but the more we share, the larger we get, the more likely this is to happen. It happens everyday, and often times goes without being talked about. I’m so glad this group of artists is talking about it, and that the media is noticing.

Thank you to Adam J Kurtz for compiling this list, and be sure to support the artists by shopping the link, and buying the originals.

Basically, SCREW YOU ZARA!

July 21, 2015

Creative Crush is back! I put blogging to the back burner as I focused on some exciting projects, but I’m so happy to be back at it today with Dina Rodriguez of Letter Shoppe! I subscribe to Dina’s newsletter (and you can too). Dina just quit her job to pursue her lettering career, and she’s going to, and already is kicking some MAJOR ass!

by VEV Studios

by VEV Studios

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS : I love being my own boss and being in charge of my own time. I work when and where I want. I have a very specific process that goes against industry standards so it’s nice that I can create my own terms so I can deliver my best work. Also, being paid to do what I love doesn’t hurt either.

FAVORITE CANDY/TREAT : Is it weird to say fruit? I love chocolate and candy but I don’t really eat them very much. Healthy body, healthy mind right? If I had to choose I would say it’s a tie between apples and cherries.

WHAT’S A RECENT FAVORITE FIND : I’m a big fan of Buffer, both their product and blog and they recently shared there top reads, one of which was “How To Win Friends And Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. I remember my mom actually telling to read it when I was about 13 and I totally threw my nose at it. Come to find later in my twenties it was the most life changing book I’ve ever read and in retrospective I probably would of have made much better decisions if I had read it in the first place when my mom suggested it over 15 years ago. Go figure.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED WITH YOUR WORK : I’ve been a designer for the past decade but didn’t really fall in love with typography until 2012 where a popular lettering artist by the name of Sean McCabe came on my radar. His work inspired me to try lettering and I have been lettering every day since. I’m proud to say that it’s because of that spark of curiosity that I’m a full time hand lettering artist today.

WHY DO YOU BLOG : Honestly, I blog to connect with people. I’ve gone to my fair share of networking events where there were so many green designers coming into the industry completely unprepared for what was ahead of them. Being one of those naive designers myself not to long ago, I wanted to help these creatives in a much larger way. I can reach much more people blogging than I can in real life and by writing down my thoughts I can solidify my own ideas and better educate myself on how to be a better artist.




ANY ADVICE FOR FELLOW ENTREPRENEURS : Try it before you buy it. If your anything like me you get a ton of ideas and you change your mind at the drop of a hat . You see something cool, new and shiny that you wanna try and then by the time you figure out you don’t even like doing it you have already invested a large some of money and resources.

So to those of you that are interested in learning a new trade or skill, I recommend scouring the internet for FREE resources first. The internet gets bigger and bigger every day and I’m sure no matter what you want to learn you can probably learn for free and try it out little by little. Then once you have reached the bottom of the barrel of free tutorials online, and still have the craving to learn more, then take the opportunity to invest in a paid course or class. Work smarter, not harder and save money.

 WHO’S A FELLOW ENTREPRENEUR YOU’RE CRUSHING ON RIGHT NOW : There are a few creatives that have a major influence on me. The three that I talk about the most would be Mary Kate McDevitt, Nathan Yoder and Sean McCabe. They are all lettering artists that have paved the way for me in one way or another. There willingness to share what they have learned and there transparency on their failures has very much been a large part of how I got to be where I am today.


Get to know Dina and check out her amazing work! Beautiful photos from talented Gia Goodrich.


January 20, 2015

There’s nothing better than getting a love letter, so when Jonathan Stiers of Stiers Aesthetic emailed me to tell me he liked my work, I felt wonderful! I clicked on the link in his signature, and was blown away! I felt so complimented and couldn’t wait to chat more with this talented guy.stiers aesthetic on sugar and type stiers aesthetic on sugar and type stiers aesthetic on sugar and type stiers aesthetic on sugar and type stiers aesthetic on sugar and type stiers aesthetic on sugar and type

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS : Getting to share what I love and what inspires me – OH – and total creative control. 🙂

FAVORITE CANDY/TREAT : Ferrero Raffaello Almond Coconut Treats

WHAT’S A RECENT FAVORITE FIND : I love food photography so I’m currently obsessing over “Donna Hay: The New Classics,” cookbook. It’s beautiful. The Kate Spade Melamine collection from Macy’s.  And I may have sipped on some of the Taylor Swift, “1989” Kool-aid. I think it’s laced with kittens and rainbows. Don’t judge.

WHY DO YOU BLOG : Working in the graphic design industry, design and photography have always been a passion. And while I’ve always loved food photography, I never had the opportunity to art direct many shots, where the sole focus was FOOD. I’d drool over issues of Bon Appétit and Food & Wine, wishing I had shot this and that, so a blog made sense. This allowed me to share the things I love, from restaurants to recipes to design AND would provide me with a creative outlet, outside of my day job. The only problem: I didn’t have a camera and I had never actually been the guy with the camera in his hand!

ANY ADVICE FOR FELLOW ENTREPRENEURS :  Be a sponge. Learn all you can. Do the research and avoid taking shortcuts, just because “it’s easier.” Have a plan! Flying by the seat of yours pants is fun and all, until it isn’t. Map out your path, setting goals that give you something to work towards. Most importantly, be authentic.


Get to know Jonathan!  Site


December 9, 2014

When I started exploring the wonderful world of paper goods and walked NSS, I walked past Allison of Ink Meets Paper and her booth filled me with joy! I’m so glad that Emily Jeffords gave me a reason to reach out and say hello to her!

Ink Meets Paper on Sugar and Type Ink Meets Paper on Sugar and Type Ink Meets Paper on Sugar and Type Ink Meets Paper on Sugar and Type

Photos above are from the talented Olivia Rae JamesInk Meets Paper on Sugar and TypeInk Meets Paper on Sugar and Type Ink Meets Paper on Sugar and Type Ink Meets Paper on Sugar and Type Ink Meets Paper on Sugar and Type Ink Meets Paper on Sugar and Type Ink Meets Paper on Sugar and Type Ink Meets Paper on Sugar and Type  Ink Meets Paper on Sugar and Type Ink Meets Paper on Sugar and Type Ink Meets Paper on Sugar and Type

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS : I love that my husband Daniel and I are able to run Ink Meets Paper together— that it fits both of our talents so well, and we really do enjoy working with one another. I also love how no two days are exactly the same. One day may be filled with long-term planning and goals for Ink Meets Paper and the next day may be spent all day in the studio printing. While it can be exhausting to keep up with everything, it’s never dull, and I always look forward to the next day.

FAVORITE CANDY/TREAT : Sweeteeth chocolate (especially the “Sea is for Caramel”salted caramel chocolate bar)

WHAT’S A RECENT FAVORITE FIND : Candlefish — a new shop in Charleston, SC (on Wentworth Street) that has the most wonderful and carefully curated selection of candles, including an entire library of scents as well as candle-making classes. Their careful attention to detail makes for such a remarkable retail experience.

TELL US HOW YOU GOT STARTED WITH YOUR BIZ : In 2008, a neighborhood friend and I signed up for a printmaking class at a local art gallery/studio (Redux Contemporary Art Center). We did monoprints, etchings, screen printing, and so forth, but I really connected with letterpress printing. At the time I was an editor in a corporate job, so it was really refreshing to be so hands-on and part of the process. That same year we also bought our first (and still our currently only) press, a 1923 8×12 Chandler & Price floor-model platen press. It’s 1000+ pounds of cast iron and truly a workhouse machine. It’s motorized, but each of our cards is still hand fed into the press, and each piece is printed one color at a time.

WHY DO YOU BLOG : We blog to share a bit more about the people and the story behind Ink Meets Paper, as well as current projects we’re working on.

[Tweet ““Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt”]

ANY ADVICE FOR FELLOW ENTREPRENEURS :  I think this quote from Theodore Roosevelt sums it up nicely: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” With a constant barrage of amazing work and talent available via social media, blogs, etc., it’s easy to feel you’ll never measure up to others. But once you’re able to let that go, you realize the importance and meaning in following your own path and business goals (and realize that your timeline isn’t the same as someone else’s timeline).


Get to know Allison and Daniel!  Site / Instagram / Facebook / Twitter


Represented by Jennifer Vaughn Artist Agency. For commercial work please contact Jen Vaughn at jen@jenvaughnart.com or 760-808-2462