Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I Double-Dog Dare You.

Think you know your Helvetica from Times New Roman? What about Arial from Myriad? Ok, ok... some of you actually do, but what about the difference between Adobe Caslon Pro and Adobe Garamond Pro?

I'm one of those really dorky people that loves typography almost as much as life itself, and I do know the difference between those two. Sometimes I can't control myself and I'll blurt out, "That was [insert font name here]" during a commercial or movie preview. It's embarrassing. Even last week while watching Jack Bauer get the crap kicked out of him on 24, I knew the "terrorist" font they were using.

I just wanted you all to know that someone slightly nerdier than me has created a game that I am now addicted to. I've only played twice so far, but yes, I am addicted. My high score is just over 100,000. I dare any of you out there to beat me. ;) Good luck.

Check out this poster I found the other day too... it's pretty amazing.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The 6 Challenge

I'm taking Renee's "Sixes Challenge." Here's how it works: go to the pictures folder on your computer, go to the sixth file, go to the sixth picture, post it, then tag 6 people.

I've been absent from the blogging world lately, so I don't know if 6 people actually read this blog anymore. But if you're out there... post your photo... I want to see it.

This is a photo taken on the 4th of July last summer from a friend's beach house overlooking Monarch Bay. It was one of the most gorgeous sunsets ever. And it just so happens that this is my favorite holiday. I LOVE BBQs, watermelon, water-skiing, beach volleyball, and watching fireworks... and this photo.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

My bad habit... not so bad.

If you've ever had the pleasure of sitting next to me during church, a long movie, a plane flight, and/or any class I took in college you know that I have a "bad habit" of doodling. I'll doddle on anything from receipts to napkins to paper cups. I always carry at least 2 nice pens with me just for such occasions. I also keep a small dark green leather-bound notebook in my purse, exclusively for doodling in. I've had it for two years now and every time I start drawing, I get a question from at least one person. Mostly they want to know my motivation behind my designs—I always tell them it's to keep me from daydreaming. This is usually followed by a strange look.

I guess from the outside world it looks as if I'm being rude and not paying attention, but it's really just the opposite. The doodling helps me pay attention. Growing up, my mom would draw on the church program during Sacrament Meeting. I didn't think much of it until I started doing the same thing (I wanted to be a good little artist just like my mom). Eventually I noticed that when I got home from church, I retained a lot more than I normally did. Coincidence? Maybe. Either way, I've continued to doodle my way around town.

This morning I feel vindicated. I happened upon an article in Time magazine entitled, "Study: Doodling Helps You Pay Attention," by John Cloud. Not that I needed a published article to tell me what I already know, but now I have "proof" for the non-believers that have told me Freud would have a field-day with me and my little green notebook.

Here are a couple examples of my "bad habit" in action...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tropiscandal '09

Being a graphic designer, I'm always aware of good and bad design wherever it may be (sometimes at a fault). Kerning and leading issues are the worst. They drive me nuts! This past week at the grocery store, I noticed that Tropicana has had a major brand overhaul... and not in a good way. They were obviously trying to appeal to us Whole Foods shoppers, but it backfired. To the normal consumer it looks more like a budget brand of orange juice. And who wants to stand in that freezing cold isle trying to figure out which one has added calcium and high pulp? Not me! Where's my orange with a dumb straw in it? Before this disaster, I knew exactly which color of Tropicana juice box I wanted. Now I'm at a loss.

Be not afraid... I'm not the only one in a tissy over this. It has caused an uproar of protest amongst designers and consumers... to the point that the brand execs are pulling the newly designed packaging off the shelves and reverting back to their original well-designed packaging they had in the first place. Thank you!

Not to dis the agency who designed these; I'd be chomping at the bit to redesign the packaging of such a huge label. But I do have my limits. You can only change a brand so much before it's completely unrecognizable. Did they not take beginning design in college? To their credit, the new orange cap is pretty cool. I hope they keep that one element.

Just don't get me started on Pepsi and Jack in the Box What's going on?!

"Welcome to my home and thanks for the OJ."

For New Year's Eve this year, Sara and I decided to be über-adventurous and go to a church-sponsored Young Single Adult activity in San Diego. It was hailed as "THE" party to go to in Southern California... and it didn't disappoint... surprisingly. Other than the fact that we were utterly confused by the preemptive countdown to 2009, it was a pretty fun party.

Later that evening we stayed the night at our friend Dan-O's home in San Diego. He was home with his family for the winter break from law school in DC. It was super fun to see him and meet his parents. They were so kind. When we arrived around 2am, our beds were all laid out nicely and we awoke the next morning to the smells of a home-cooked breakfast. It was amazing: freshly squeezed orange juice, hash browns, ham, and pancakes... smothered in yummy mapleness. Yum.

Dan, both his parents, his sister, brother, friend Jon, Sara and I squeezed around their little breakfast table that morning. The first morning of 2009. And what a way to begin! It couldn't get any better, right? Right. Just as I took one last HUGE swallow of orange juice (a "two-gulper", if you know what I mean), my lovely roommate Sara said something funny... and a bit delayed... which made it even funnier (to me) and my "gut" reaction was unstoppable. My lungs catapulted the massive volume of freshly squeezed orange juice all over the place. I was MORTIFIED! With my head still in my lap trying to recover from the shock of what I had just done, I tried to replay it in my head. I know I turned my head away from the tiny table just in time to spray the kitchen floor and not... and not... OH NO.

During all of this I should mention that the entire room was erupting in uncontrollable laughter... and I was one of them... the only nervous laughter at the table. I finally had the nerve to lift my head and open my eyes to find that my worst nightmare had just appeared right before my eyes. My aim was a perfect 10 - ALL OVER DAN'S FATHER... ALL DOWN HIS FACE, NECK, AND MOST OF HIS WHITE BUTTON-UP SHIRT AND SLEEVE.

I wanted to crawl in a hole and DIE. HOW COULD IT GET ANY WORSE?! The whole table was actually shaking with everyone's laughter. In fact, Dan's mom was laughing and shaking so hard that she almost fell off of her chair! I think we laughed for a solid 5 minutes. I was horrified, but I couldn't help but laugh too... I can't believe that I actually did that. I SPAT a mouthful of OJ all over this man I just met. This man who let me sleep at his home and made me breakfast... and how do I repay him? With a two-gulp mouthful of freshly squeezed high-pulp orange juice all down the front of him.

Thankfully he wasn't upset, in fact, I think he was utterly amused. I don't know why. Now I'm going to be one of those infamous stories in the Oakes family... "Hey Dan, remember when your friend came over for New Year's and dad made breakfast for her and she spit all over him? Yeah, that was funny. She was crazy... Yeah, who does that?!"

I still cringe.

Just a reminder...


"I didn't think it would happen to me," but it did, and I lost almost everything on my computer. These famous last words still haunt me. Just when you think you're safe, you're not... even if you own a Mac, trust me.

After my 5-and-a-half hour lunch break last Tuesday at the Beverly Center Apple Store, I wanted to cry. I had taken my computer in to have any remaining files rescued off of my dead hard-drive. Luckily the guy helping me was super nice, patient, and was able to get a couple folders worth of pictures and my most recent portfolio. That's it. 28 Gigs of info gone. Gone forever.

It kinda makes me sick.

This will teach me to wait 6 months to back up my computer again. Thankfully the hard-drive was covered under the extended warranty, but the 500 GB external hard-drive I bought wasn't. Yikes.

Monday, March 2, 2009

December & January...

Since I have so much blogging to catch-up* on and I'm super-duper busy at work this week, I'm going to be brief. Enjoy!

Bethany's Birthday Brunch @ Café 50's

Holiday Work Party @ L.A. Live... it was awesome.

2008 Greenfield Christmas Party: CUPCAKES GALORE!

Dinner & Annual Cookie Decorating Party

36-Hour Christmas in Utah w/the Fam

New Year's Day** on Coronado Island

*Kami, I hope you're temporarily satisfied with this little update! :)
**More to come regarding New Year's weekend