December 31, 2012

Typography in the City: Volume 1 makes a “best of” list!

Typography in the City: one of the best typography books of 2012

My book Typography in the City: Volume 1: West Loop made Creative Bloq’s list of The Best Typography Books of 2012!

The self-published book features photographs of found typography from my West Loop neighborhood in Chicago, including building signage, street signage and “guerrilla typography.” Typography in the City: Volume 1 is available as a printed book and eBook.

Get a sneak peek

See an online preview of Typography in the City: Volume 1 here.

Learn more

Visit the Typography in the City blog and read the inspiration behind this project. 

November 27, 2012

Typography in the City gets some love, both locally and abroad. #TypeTuesday

Typography in the City book Creative Bloq  Typography in the City featured on ChicagoJournal.com

Hooray for urban typography!

I’m excited to share that my “type-spotting” blog Typography in the City and the related book were mentioned in two places yesterday.

Bill Motchan, writer of the Chicago Journal’s ‘West Loop Wanderings’ blog posted an article about my inspiration for Typography in the City—including a photo of one of my favorite West Loop typography spots. Read the Chicago Journal article.

My self-published book, Typography in the City (based on the blog) was featured on Creative Bloq, a blog that delivers a daily dose of design tips and inspiration. Read the Creative Bloq post.

Thanks Chicago Journal & Creative Bloq for spreading the word about urban typography!

November 26, 2012

Small biz spotlight: Visage Joli

Filed under: Local (Chicago),Small biz spotlight — Tags: , , , , — lidia @ 10:58 am
Wendy Kimmell of Visage Joli

Wendy Kimmell of Visage Joli; Wendy at work.

small biz spotlightWendy Kimmell is owner of Visage Joli in Chicago and an experienced makeup artist. From 1987–1996, she was the guests’ makeup artist for The Oprah Winfrey Show. She has also done makeup for national commercials including Kraft, Head & Shoulders and Pizza Hut. She was 1st Assistant to Key Makeup on the movie Rudy. And since 1993, she has been the senior makeup artist for CBS 2 Chicago.

I can personally vouch for Visage Joli: Wendy and her team did my bridal makeup and hair two years and it turned out fabulous. She and her team helped me start out my wedding day relaxed and stress-free—which any bride will tell you is truly appreciated. She even made sure I ate lunch!

Wendy Kimmell of Visage Joli

Tell us a little about your business.

Visage Joli is an award-winning on-location bridal makeup & team hair. We are comprised of pros from the television and film industries with 25 years of experience. Our makeup artists are airbrush-certified and their expertise is based in fine arts education.

Our hair stylists can do anything a bride and her mom and attendants desire, from a simple blow dry to the most cutting edge up-do. We pamper and relax bridal parties and have lots of fun with them.

What do you love most about having your own business?

Because this is my business, I can choose the quality of the hair and makeup artists who I work with. We can work directly with the brides so that they can get to know us, and see that we will give them the best service possible—all the way up to and including their wedding day.

What I love most about my work is enhancing women’s natural beauty!

Who are some of your past clients?

I have been fortunate to work with some wonderful media figures & celebrities. My favorites were Hilary Clinton, James Earl Jones, Anne Rice, the cast of Friends (loved Jennifer Aniston & David Schwimmer!), Clint Black, Rosie O’Donnell, Tom Hanks, Martha Stewart & Michael Douglas.

What skill(s) do you feel is most important for a small business owner?

I think the best qualities that a small business owner can have are flexibility and patience. Brides are very often overwhelmed, so what they may like at their makeup trial can change after they “live with a look” for 12 hours. Being agreeable with what a client wants or with sudden changes are very important to the success of a business.

Tell us about an exciting project you’re working on or have recently worked on.

The most fun project that I have worked on recently was The Blues Brothers Revue produced by Judy Belushi. The actors who play Jake and Elwood were fabulous and sweet. And I got to make-up Paul Shaffer and “Father Guido Sarducci” from Saturday Night Live! It was a very enjoyable day.

Visage Joli

Chicago, Illinois
www.visagejoli.net
Twitter: @visagejoli
Facebook: VisageJoli

November 14, 2012

Recap: The One Show Creative unConference in Chicago

The 4 principles of the unConference, the DIY session board, and session-in-progress by Big Cartel

You may be wondering: what the heck is the Creative unConference? It’s a conference with a theme, but without any agendas. The day’s sessions are created by the participants. Someone has a session idea, they write it down and post it on the session board.

Hosted by The One Club (a New York organization that promotes excellence in advertising), I happened to stumble upon Creative unConference through a twitter mention. I was hooked once I found out my alma mater Columbia College Chicago was hosting.

Thinking like a start-up.

This year’s theme was “Thinking like a start-up.” Being a first-timer, I wasn’t quite ready to lead a session (though I would consider it next year) but I found the sessions to be relaxed and open. It was easy to ask questions or chime in.

A recap of the sessions I attended:

  • Kevin Willer of 1871 gave an overview of how their co-working space helps digital start-ups.
  • Jim Coudal of Coudal Partners spoke about how their business grew and evolved to include products (Field Notes) and a premier ad network (The Deck).
  • Dave Reidy from closer look gave a lunchtime session to a variety of aspiring book-creators about writing your book.
  • Leo Burnett Farmhouse led an interactive idea session that resulted in an audience-created idea.
  • Dan Kristofferson of Big Cartel gave an inspiring session that made me want to follow all of my creative aspirations—and open up a Big Cartel shop!

My former stomping grounds: the Art & Design Department at Columbia College. Some of my professors are still there!

I left the Creative unConference with a notebook full of ideas for my design business, as well as my new “start-up” (my baby goods business).

Reminiscing…and seeing the future

It’s been, ahem, a few years since I attended Columbia College. So after the conference, a fellow CCC alumna and I took the opportunity to tour the Art & Design floors and reminisce about how much had changed.

I also browsed ShopColumbia, the fantastic student art store on campus. A great opportunity to see “what the kids are making” and get some cool art. I applaud Columbia for helping these up-and-coming artists get their work out there, even before graduation.

Did you attend the Creative unConference? What did you think?

October 29, 2012

Small biz spotlight: Mercury Organizing Professionals

Mercury Organizing Professionals in Chicago improves efficiency and reduces anxiety and frustration levels. They can improve utilization and control of your space, streamline filing, storage and scheduling systems, and help set sustainable organizational parameters. They provide a personalized plan for you. They put clutter in its right place and create efficient systems that eliminate obstacles, minimize distraction, and allow you to function at your best!

Founder Elizabeth Lourdes (Lulu) Miranda and I have known each other for many years, she is one of my dearest friends. Over the years, Lulu and I have collaborated on several successful art shows and currently co-host Neighborhood Networking in Chicago. Oh, and she is also helping me organize my home and office!

Elizabeth Lulu Miranda of Mercury Organizing Professionals

Elizabeth Lulu Miranda of Mercury Organizing Professionals

Tell us a little about your business.

The company was founded by Elizabeth Miranda. The name was chosen with the concept of the planet Mercury’s retrograde in mind. Three to four times a year the planet Mercury appears to slow down and appears to reverse direction in its cycle.

People commonly attributed technical malfunctions, setbacks, lost luggage, obstructions, misunderstandings, and sudden unexplained ‘out of the ordinary’ events to the Mercury Retrograde. They were advised to take things slowly during this stage of the cycle, to look at the details, and take extra precautions. Out of this came an awareness that instead of feeling loss of control and disappointment, one can create an advantageous moment, to redo, reassess, review, reconsider, and reorganize their activities.

I discovered that the concept of Mercury retrograde is quite meaningful. Whether you rewrite your business proposal, take time out to do the things you enjoy or reorder your messy cluttered closet, Mercury retrograde is about finding the treasures you hold, finding what really matters to you and honoring them.

What do you love most about having your own business?

I love the daily opportunities that come up for me to be creative and create solutions to a challenge. The sense of ownership comes from the freedom to learn from mistakes as well as celebrate the wins.

Who is your dream client/customer?

An ideal client is an individual or a small business dedicated to starting and staying organized. Keeping a schedule, whether weekly, monthly or annually with us to assist them in keeping up with their system we helped implement into their daily routine.

What skill(s) do you feel is most important for a small business owner?

A small business owner has to wear many hats and it’s difficult to reach beyond the daily grind. Once a system is in place, it’s the ability to reassess their current priorities that will keep them on task to reaching their goals.

Tell us about an exciting project you’re working on or have recently worked on.

People I work with generally comment on how frustrating it is for them to get organized and generally don’t know where to start. I enjoy that I can coach and pass on my skills to a person who wants to “get organized for life!” (that’s my slogan). Each case is different but the outcome is always the same, a person feels empowered to move forward with their ideas and dreams, not seeing clutter or obstacles any longer hindering their progress. I am happy to contribute to making that happen.

Learn more:

Mercury Organizing Professionals & Design Studio, Inc

Chicago, Illinois (they work with clients nationwide)
www.mop-ds.com

Twitter: @mopdscom
Pinterest: elmiranda
Facebook: MercuryOrganizing

And stay tuned to Biz Mama for an upcoming feature highlighting some of the organizing solutions Lulu has created for my office!

October 12, 2012

Paul Shaw’s Walking Type Tour highlights #sta_chicago #typeinthecity #typography

On Wednesday, I attended a wonderful walking typography tour with Paul Shaw, organized by STA Chicago and AIGA Chicago.

I’ve been blogging found typography in my West Loop neighborhood, so I was eager to see what Chicago’s Magnificent Mile and Loop had to offer. Two-and-half hours later, my freezing fingers had documented 20 typographic spots—and Paul was still going strong at the Chicago Cultural Center when I had to head home (Little One was waiting for his dinner).

Paul Shaw has a mind-boggling knowledge of typography and thoroughly explained each type specimen, with humorous anecdotes along the way. He reminded us that much of what we saw was not typography, but in fact lettering.

Downtown Chicago lettering highlights

  1. Clarendon-style lettering on a water fountain at our starting point, the Historic Water Tower.
  2. Versals in the uncial form on the downtown Loyola University building. IWAC stands for Illinois Women’s Athletic Club, a social, athletic and residential club in the ’20s-’30s.
  3. Uncials on the Fourth Presbyterian Church entryway. Paul explained that the lettering was designed to fit the space.
  4. Slab serif cast letters on the Chicago Water Works building. Paul pointed out that there was no period after the title (the grammatical style during that period).
  5. Helios relief on the former McGraw-Hill Building facade. Another example of lettering created to fit the space.
  6. Paul doing a stone rubbing of textura blackletter lettering on the Tribune Tower.
  7. The quirky sans/serif-combination lettering on the Old Republic Building. We also peeked inside the lobby to see a fabulous ’20s-’30s era mailbox.
  8. Art deco lettering on the Carbide and Carbon Building (now the Hard Rock Hotel). Paul pointed out the thick and thin lettering with echoes of Florentine Sans serif.
  9. Dome of the Chicago Cultural Center (I missed the explanation because I had to leave!)

Thank you Paul, for an amazing tour of Chicago typography! 

If you are a fellow type geek, check out Paul Shaw’s website, which includes info for his urban lettering walks. Sign me up for the Italy tour next year!

See more photos from the tour on my blog Typography in the City.

July 10, 2012

Lichtenstein with Little One: art through the eyes of a baby @artinstitutechi

Filed under: Design & Art,Local (Chicago) — Tags: , , — lidia @ 3:26 pm

Details from Lichtenstein’s paintings and my pint-sized art museum companion

One of the perks of being a mom in business is taking off a few hours to do something fun with Little One. Ever since he was a few months old, my son and I have been attending the Art Institute of Chicago’s stroller tours: a baby-sized tour of one of the Museum’s exhibits or rooms.

July and August’s stroller tours feature the Roy Lichtenstein exhibit. Since my 11-month old son is starting to point at and notice everything around him, I thought the lively modern art would appeal to him. Not to mention, Mama needed a little art break.

Recognize these haystacks? Lichtenstein’s ‘Haystacks’ based on Claude Monet’s series.

Admittedly, I never had a penchant for modern art, so I enjoyed hearing background on the evolution of Lichtenstein’s artwork and techniques. Being a graphic designer, I enjoyed seeing the hand-drawn “Ben-Day” dots and other graphic patterns.

I especially enjoyed seeing the way Lichtenstein combined expressive brush strokes with his pop art aesthetic. I liked his works that were representative of artworks I was familiar with (see inset). And I was surprised that some of his paintings were downright subdued.

As I suspected, the Lichtenstein exhibit was a hit with my little guy. His eyes darted and delighted in the bold colors, dot patterns and stripes all around him. Perhaps he enjoyed it a little too much! (yes, I was the mom with the wriggling, happily shrieking baby in the gallery around noon yesterday). Needless to say, we both left the exhibit energized and inspired!

Artsy mamas (and dads): the next Lichtenstein Stroller Tour takes place on July 23rd

July 2, 2012

Now available: Typography in the City, the book!

Filed under: Featured Design Project,Local (Chicago) — Tags: , , , — lidia @ 10:00 am

Click below to see a preview of the book!

June 7, 2012

Typography in the City is featured on the HOW Blog!

Filed under: Featured Design Project — Tags: , , — lidia @ 2:48 pm

Watch for the book coming soon!

Exciting news: my new photo•typo•graphy blog, Typography in the City was recently featured on the HOW Blog!

Typography in the City was inspired by my experiences at last year’s HOW Design Conference in Chicago. I shared my story with HOW editor, Megan Lane Patrick and she was kind enough (read: awesome) to mention it on the HOW Blog.

Read the post “Inspired by HOW Live” here. Thanks HOW!

Visit the HOW Blog for a daily dose of design goodness

May 15, 2012

New side project: Typography in the City blog…and book! #typeinthecity

a few examples of my new photographic obsession: typography

So, I was just recently talking about creative side jobs on the Creative Freelancer Blog. I’m happy to finally announce one of my side projects: a photographic essay on typography titled Typography in the City.

the inspiration

The inspiration for this project came about in July 2011. I had recently attended the HOW Design Conference in Chicago and picked up a book called Photo Idea Index by Jim Krause. It gave me a new perspective on photography and most importantly, the encouragement to practice daily.

At the time, I was in my last month of pregnancy so my only form of exercise was long walks with the dog. On these walks in my West Loop neighborhood, I started to notice typography—a letterform on a sign, an address number, words spray painted on the ground. With my new found photographic inspiration, I started taking photos and sharing them.

the blog

To share my collection of images—and to add to it when I’m on the go—I recently created a blog called Typography in the City. 

the book

I’m also currently designing the related book, titled Typography in the City. Send your email to be added to the mailing list when the book is released!

Follow along on instagram and twitter with the hashtag #typeinthecity

 

« Newer PostsOlder Posts »