Design Humor

Because sometimes you just need to laugh. Check out this design humor repository at Here are my favorite "You Know You're a Designer When..." sayings:

  1. You've almost rear-ended the car in front of you because you were analyzing a font on a billboard.
  2. You get mad when a free Photoshop brush you download is less than 1000px in size.
  3. You've learned your lesson and stopped using the word "final" in any file name when saving.
  4. You clean your keyboard more often than you wash your car.
  5. You've had a great design concept ruined because the client changed it beyond all recognition.
  6. You've nicknamed the OSX spinning wheel. (and not affectionately)
  7. You can't go to a restaurant without secretly critiquing the menu design.
  8. Activating your entire font collection makes your computer crash.
  9. If you had a penny for every mouse click, you would have been a trillionaire 3 years ago.
  10. You know the difference between fuchsia, magenta, and maroon.

My Work: Nassau Co. Master Gardeners banner

This banner promotes Nassau County Master Gardeners. My client specifically chose to only include a title, logo and website so this banner could be used for multiple events. I certainly enjoyed having all the extra space to work with.

Update: Final banner on the right. My client requested a different butterfly hovering on the top edge and her name and title added to the banner.

Plants and Their Application to Ornament

There's something I love about vintage flower drawings so this book cover really caught my eye. The typography is a bit weak but the illustration and patterns are just beautiful. From Chronicle Books.

Milk: The Surprising Story of Milk Through the Ages

On almost any other cover, this font would be too fussy, too ornate to be used for all of the cover typography. But here, the swirling script works perfectly with the milk bottle and makes this a stunningly simple and elegant cover.


Avenir is a graceful sans serif with options. With Avenir, I never run into the problem I sometimes have with other fonts: the roman cut is too heavy but the light cut is too light. Avenir's font weight increases gradually: light, book, roman, medium, heavy, black. I wish all fonts came in 6 cuts!

Setting Your Own New Document Default Presets

If you're like me and you find yourself annoyed with your new document in InDesign because you have to turn off facing pages, remove the extra master page and setup the bleed amount, be annoyed no more. Here's how to make your new document always appear just the way you'd like it:

  1. Open InDesign but don't open a new document.
  2. Click File > Document Presets > Default.
  3. In the dialog box that comes up, adjust the document setting as you like. Click OK. All new documents will now use those settings you've specified.

You can also use the Define option (File > Document Presets > Define) to create multiple new document settings for different types of documents.

Destructive Vintage Type/Art

I'm not usually a fan of abstract art but I like the vibrant colors and use of typography in this series by Albert Seveso.

Similar Book Cover Design Elements

When I first saw The Believers cover in Borders, I thought I'd already seen it somewhere else. Turns out I had only seen the same effect—lots of lines/swirls in the background right next to the text—on the All the Sad Young Literary Men cover.

I prefer the All the Sad Young Literary Men cover design. I like the small drawings and the gray swirls feel more purposeful, almost like whorls of a fingerprint.

Folk art from Dutch Door Press

I can't help but love this charming folk art from dutchdoor on Etsy. Year of the Ox, Folk Love, Red Heart Noteset

How Do You Know What You Don't Know?

The obvious answer is "you don't." If you don't know something, by definition you don't know that you don't know it. Knowing that you don't know has been something I've been meditating on and experiencing lately.

If I don't know something, there first has to be that glimmer of knowledge, the realization that I don't know it, then the desire to know it, and then the stumbling in the dark trying to learn it.

In regards to design, if I don't know the right words to google, how will I ever find out how to do the Photoshop technique I'm envisioning? If I don't know there is an efficient short cut to a regular program task, how will I know to even look for it? If I don't know what exactly I'm looking for, how will I know when I find it? I may miss the perfect piece of design inspiration or graphical technique for a project because I don't have patience to go through more than the top 20 google results. Or I don't even know to search for it.

We often live our little slice of life in ruts—driving the same route, eating the same meals, visiting the same websites, day in day out. Part of learning is stretching out into the unknown but sometimes the amount of information out there can be overwhelming and sorting the treasure from the trash exhausting. So, while I know there are many things I don't know, sometimes I try to know them and sometimes I'm just happily ignorant of how many things I don't know.

Artitote & Carrotall

These nylon grocery bags make grocery shopping fun with simple styling, fun colors and cute puns. Artitote, Carrotall, Totematoes from