Color correction. I spent a good portion of today continuing to prepare photos for the new website. No magic here, just good old fashioned Photoshop work; just like your grandparents showed you. We also had a visit from a recent design graduate out of the state of Washington. I always enjoy it when people stop by to show their work, especially because I am in the process of putting together an “official” portfolio for myself, and because I will probably be in a similar situation at the start of next year. It’s nice to see how others present themselves and their work.

If you haven’t heard yet, Christopher finished the writing for his latest book last night. This afternoon we spent some time helping him brainstorm for a few final details, but the bulk of the work is done. Keep checking in on the Good Design Book blog because there is going to be more activity on those pages. We talked about a few contests and activities/events surrounding the book… I’ll stay hush for now so as not to steal Christopher’s thunder. Just stay alert.


Last week we transformed the office into a photography studio, getting images of the some of the studio’s work in preparation for the upcoming website redesign. Today we took a break from shooting to do some slight image retouching and to take stock of what pieces we still need shot.

Additionally, the sample archive has been reorganized. The garage is a better place for it. We have broken down several of the old boxes; some will be recycled and others will get reused. The only thing that remains is to modify the labeling system and place stickers on each of the boxes to clearly identify their contents. I took some time today to sketch out a few ideas for the updated label, and we will probably print and apply in the next day or so.


A few posts back I mentioned the reorganization/refiling of the studio’s print samples that was about to take place in the garage. Well, folks, it’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for. That’s right, The Reorganization is officially upon us. You are all witnesses. If the print samples could talk, they might be discussing this right now. We will be holding a live press conference tonight on ESPN at 9:00pm EST. Stay tuned for further developments.


One of the jobs in the works here at the studio has a component that requires us to create 15 or so small (nickel-sized) icons that will be used in a clients’ conference/training materials. Each icon will represent a particular step or activity in the training, and will allow participants to easily locate and [more]

Friday roundup

A modest collection of phrases and images for this Friday’s roundup post. I was in the office just four days this week after returning to foggy and cold San Francisco from a week-long trip to the hot and sunny Pacific Northwest.

01.  While in Seattle last week, I stopped by and visited with friend of the studio Robynne Raye of Modern Dog in their studio. She was very kind for taking a few minutes out of a busy day to show me around. It was also awesome that only half of our conversation was about design—the other half was about, get this, dogs! (I like dogs, so this was win-win.)

02. “This is going to be my legacy to you.” While working in InDesign with Christopher next to me directing me on a particular edit for a client, I began to replace an element on the page with another, forgetting a shortcut technique that he had shown me several weeks before. This was his friendly comment to me before reminding me of the shortcut.

03. We were silently working the other day when Christopher suddenly told us of a thought he had that morning while getting ready for the day. It was about the saying, “the past helps us understand the present.” He offered up the reasoning that it might be, in fact, the opposite that is true; that the present helps us to understand and make sense of the past. I eventually concluded that there is no such thing as the present; that instead we exist in a rapid sequence of “pasts.”

Such are the conversations that randomly occur every now and then here at MINE™.

Penguins + skulls

= hang time.

Today I spent the bulk of my time working on some logos/artwork for House of Air. A little something extra that might grace the surfaces of t-shirts and head protection gear. I got to do a little research on the bone structure of penguins to inform the creation of the work—sweet. We’ll find out in the next few days what the HOA folks think, but it’s all looking pretty nice. Also in the works is a classy red carpet gala/grand opening invitation for another client.

Overall there was a lot of activity today. Christopher is in the process of writing a book, and a lot of his focus the last few days has been directed toward that endeavor—on top of all the day to day details of running a studio. I’m realizing that one of the big challenges in the “real world” (post-school) is in fact balancing all of the daily tasks, client interactions, emails to answer, etc with the creative work—whether it be designing or writing or whatever; the process of making time to think/create amidst the hubbub of the everyday.We also had a potential new client come in for a first meeting. It’s an awesome project from a pretty inspirational guy, so I’m excited to see what happens moving forward.


Whoa, it’s like I went through a time warp. I go to sleep after a day’s work and when I when I sit back down to blog, two weeks have passed! My apologies for the moment of silence to all of the loyal blog followers out there (I’m especially looking at you, Pennsylvania—keep the visits coming).


Back to the lab

Because we observe Federal holidays here at MINE™, today is our first day back after the long Independence Day weekend. As I was packing up my belongings and about to head out the door on Friday, I didn’t realize this, and was preparing to be back to work bright and early Monday morning. If it wasn’t for Christopher’s wife nonchalantly wishing me a happy long weekend as I was about to head out, I probably would have been here ringing the doorbell at 8:25am yesterday! Close(ish) call. To celebrate the extra day off, I decided to check out a few books from the studio’s library.

This week we are waiting to hear back from a client with feedback on a design direction for an exhibition catalog. We spent part of the day today communicating with a few printers about the job; getting proposals, making adjustments to paper stocks, quantities, etc. It was nice having Christopher walk me through the steps he normally goes through when reviewing/comparing proposals from printers. I love being involved in details like that, as in school it’s just not the sort of thing one is typically exposed to.


Funny & Interesting Friday Announcements

A smattering of thoughts from the week. Have a great weekend!

I never remember that monkey claw, said Christopher, referring to the hand contortions required to execute a particular InDesign super-keyboard-combo-shortcut.

#1: Don’t do it.  #2: Do the minimum.  #3: F* it and go all out. Your three options when deciding whether or not to take on a project with no/low budget.

Impress your employer with a new diploma of Harvard. was the subject line of an email from “Will Smith.”

Own goals are bad. Or good. (Depends on which side you’re on.)

Time is…

One of the things we’ve discussed in my Transitioning to Professional Practice class and that I am experiencing in my internship here at MINE™ is the idea that when you’re working for someone else, in their studio, your time is no longer your own. When you start a project, you can no longer approach it in the same way that you might approach a project for school—time-management wise. In school, you might get a new project brief toward the end of a class session, and then have at least a whole day or two before you have to show anything new. In a studio setting, you get the project brief (or direction from a creative director) and in most instances need to start working right away. As students I think many of us are used to working late at night and into the wee hours of the morning, or at particular times we feel most creative or productive. The adjustment moving forward, of course, is how to be creative and productive at any point during the day—especially if working for someone else—and how to overcome any creative blocks along the way. I think showers might play an integral role here.

Rapid rewards

Today I spent most of my time working on design directions for the exhibition catalog project I mentioned the other day. I am very excited about this project and am looking forward to when we get feedback from the client. One of the things that has been nice is finding a way to work around the budget constraints and real-world printing logistics. That’s one of the things that feels so rewarding to me—finding a way to get it done within the constraints. [more]


Happy Monday evening to all MINE™ fans and friends out there. We have some new projects on the horizon and spent a little quality time with a few of them today. One is an upcoming exhibition catalog. I read through several pieces of information on the exhibition and did some research surrounding some of the topics and concepts addressed in the show. Because it’s still early in the process I can’t divulge too much information, so in the meantime I will (hopefully) pique your interest with the following project I came across during my research.

This project is from a group of design students in Denmark. Dubbed the ecochair, it is a “multi-functional piece of furniture… made of a 100% cotton mattress and a frame of reusable corrugated cardboard.” (Image below from their website.) The video on their site is also worth having a look!

Are you a frozen treat enthusiast?

A good ol’ collection of random stuff for Friday…

One of my projects over the next few months is going to be helping redo the MINE™ reel. There’s nothing wrong with the current one, aside from the fact that it’s a few years old, but now is just a good time to spice things up! So today at lunch (at The Liberty Cafe, which I highly recommend), we discussed a few details on how it might all go down. It’s going to be pretty awesome, so stay tuned. Also, MINE™ is going to be featured on the CRAFT Magazine site soon. A couple of nice folks stopped by today and took some photographs. Be on the lookout.

Seen/heard over the past week-ish:

“Bacon is like a little hug from God”

“It’s all good until 2012″

“At warmer times of the year ice cream trucks bring wintry refreshment to eager customers of all ages. These vehicles use distinctive chimes to notify frozen treat enthusiasts of their whereabouts, and are common to city and suburban areas.”

Connect the dots, la la la la la

Sometimes you just don’t know when your work on a particular project will come full circle and be the very reason that several months—or even years—later someone approaches you about new work.

In the Spring of 2009 I created a video while a student in Christopher’s level 2 Graphic Design class at CCA. Part of the assignment was aimed at getting us to work outside of the more typical design projects—posters, logos and books—and getting us working with tools that maybe we weren’t as familiar with. The assignment was to create a one-minute video narrative on the subject of secret(s). I created this piece that follows a DJ through a record store digging for gems buried beneath the dust (video after the jump): [more]


You never know when you’ll need to say “hello” in a different language from your own… to impress a new client, while traveling to a different country, when the boss’ son gets home from Chinese school.

Always handy.

English (America, Australia, UK): Hello
English (Australia): G’day
Cantonese (China): Néih hóu
Cassubian (northwestern Poland): Witôjze
Icelandic (Iceland): Góðan daginn
Canela (Brazil): Hââ-pô
Zulu (South Africa, Lesotho): Sawubona
Chamorro (Guam): Hafa
Egyptian (ancient Egypt): Iiti em hotep
Welsh (Wales): Dydd da
Tahitian (Tahiti French Polynesia): Ia ora na
Shor (Russia): Ezen
Norwegian [Nordmørsk] (Norway): Goddág
Mien (Laos, Thailand): Yiem longx
English [New Oreleans dialect] (Lousiana): Where ya’at

Properly formatted

One of the things that has been on my mind recently is the upcoming creation of a portfolio of my (mostly student) work over the past few years while at CCA. I will receive my degree at the end of this year (knock on wood), and am currently enrolled in a class called Transitioning to Professional Practice, in which the actual creation of said portfolio takes place. In addition to an online portfolio, we are creating a printed piece, despite the fact that these may be becoming more and more irrelevant in searching for work. There is definitely less emphasis placed on them, at least. Still, a succinct printed presentation of ones work can make a [more]


It was pretty busy last week here in the studio. A lot of small, fast-turnaround type projects kept popping up and keeping us on our toes. As soon as we’d finish one of them, another would have to be turned around in an hour or two. For a while there it was like a non-stop carousel of fun. Those are the moments when you know you’re alive. [more]

Are you my MoMA?

Last week Christopher’s oldest son finished his school year, but that doesn’t mean the learning has to end.

I send you on your weekend way with

Bounty from the Bottom of Baker’s Book Bag.


It’s been quiet on the blog front the last few days as I was out of the office tending to a family medical situation. All is well, but what it had me thinking about is the balance between one’s work life and non-work life. It’s a top priority to take care of family, of course, but I always feel weird taking any time off from work, especially as an intern relatively new to the field. I feel I haven’t earned the privilege to take any time off. Even taking a lunch break feels a little weird. (I think I’ve gotten better, though, in recognizing the benefits of taking breaks every now and then to stay fresh and energized.)


These five

Today’s entry consists of a few brief quotes/phrases/insights collected over the past week or so. Listed in no particular order except the one you see here, with limited additional commentary.

05. “Going to a design conference is like going to a spa.” People are in a good mood. Ideas flow; inspiration is abundant. Everyone is a winner.

04. A new MINE™ website is in the works, and during a recent discussion surrounding the “Clients” page, it was offered that visually-inclined people might like seeing a big grid of company logos rather than a big blocks of company names. In response, it was reasoned that a huge list of names is “in itself a visual.”

03. “If everybody did this, would the world as we know it still be able to exist?”

02. “I’m not a coupon” —During a discussion partially related to this.

01. “I want to color in the future.” —Proclaimed this morning by Christopher’s three and a half year old.

Meatball and spaghetti

When we were visiting Singularity University down at Ames yesterday, we heard on a couple of instances the NASA logo being referred to as “the meatball.” Apparently it’s a semi-official nickname used by NASA personnel. When we got back to the studio I looked it up and found out that NASA has three official marks. The round meatball is officially known as “the insignia” and was designed in 1959 by James Modarelli, a former employee. When I think of NASA this is the image that pops into my head, along with a shuttle launch scene.

And Ben Affleck in a bright orange space suit.

The meatball insignia sort of replaced the red wordmark—a stylized N-A-S-A rendering known as the “worm” that was retired in 1992. And I don’t know if this is actually true, but word on the street is that the worm was also called the “spaghetti” logo. This would possibly explain the meatball thing, but I don’t know about that one. More triangulation needed.

For more info on the NASA meatball, this is a pretty funny official release that mentions what a “design nightmare” it is. And this is NASA’s beautifully designed online graphics standards manual. Make sure you have at least Netscape Navigator 4.0, though!

iMINE™ technology

What did you do at work today?

Went to NASA and talked to a robot.

The end.

Actually, that is indeed what happened. We took a trip this afternoon down to NASA’s Ames Research Center to meet with Singularity University (see red circle). The branding we’re working on for their 2010 Graduate Studies Program is almost finished, but we needed to finalize a few last details. As we were sitting around a conference table, I heard a mechanical whirring sound slowing increasing in volume in the adjacent room to my right. From where I was sitting, I could see past the doorframe into this room, and a little further into the hallway. Suddenly a mechanical “thing”—I couldn’t tell exactly what it was—maybe four feet tall and on wheels, rolls past the open doorway and starts down the hall. I only saw a second or two of it. Christopher, seated across the table, heard the whirring sound as well but didn’t have the same view. The Singularity folks were oblivious to it, as I guess it’s a regular thing there.

When they realized we were intrigued by what was making this sound, they called it over! Turns out it’s a robot used primarily for video conferencing purposes, currently being controlled by a human somewhere in the building. A person can log-on from anywhere and gain access to the robot’s controls via webcam. The person’s face appears on the LCD screen, and they can see and hear everything that the robot “sees” and “hears.” They can then control movement using two cameras that give them a view of the robot’s surroundings. It didn’t look like this or anything, but it was pretty sweet and less eerie. The greatest part was that they gave us guest log-in access so that we can assume controls of the robot—from here in San Francisco—during our next meeting with them. Nice.


In addition to reading this post, be sure to also make time for Part II—the conclusion—of Christopher’s Design Business + Ethics entry.

When the mail came around mid-day, there was a small poster tube in the pile. Those are always exciting. In it was this small poster by Julian Hansen, loosely based on FontShop’s 100 Best Typefaces. If you’re ever feeling stuck as to which typeface to use on a project, look no further! It’s full of helpful decision-making questions to lead you to that perfect typeface for the job. For example, You cried when watching the Terminator? Yes or No. 

This morning began with some revisions to the Singularity University banners. Before we left the studio last night we got additional feedback on a few changes to make, so getting those done was the first order of the day. These banners are going to be printed large and displayed at the NASA Ames campus as a way to highlight and identify several areas of study during their Graduate Studies Program this summer—from renewable energy production, to the frontiers of space flight, to food production for large cities. It was/is a great opportunity to use bold, eye-catching color schemes for the banners. They’re turning out to be quite vibrant. The client really liked them. Each component of the Program curriculum is identified by a particular color and represented with a specific icon. These icons will also appear as a group on t-shirts of the same colors. At one point in the day Christopher made the comment that it was kind of nice using colors that the studio maybe doesn’t normally use—or hasn’t used a lot of in the past. I haven’t used some of the colors in any of my work, either. It got me thinking about a question Jon Sueda brought up in my Typography class last semester. He asked us if we had any particular methods for working with or selecting color. Some people (myself included) seemed tended to gravitate toward certain colors or palettes, but nobody had a particularly strong criteria for selecting them, other than just gut feeling and whether it seems appropriate.

So, to anyone out there reading, do you have any particular methods for selecting or working with color?

Design business +

I will keep today’s post short so as to encourage you to read this timely entry from Christopher. I encourage you all to post your thoughts to that one.

Here at the studio today I spent most of the day helping out on a project for Singularity University. I have been sketching, designing and revising a series of large banners and t-shirt graphics for their upcoming Graduate Studies Program. It is the first time that I have been this involved, contributing to the design of each piece, presenting variations to Christopher, etc. I have had to adjust a little to the process, but I think I am starting to feel a little more comfortable. I have realized that it can be helpful to set a time limit, and after that time is up, get some feedback on the progress made. In certain instances, this can be a real timesaver, preventing me from going down a path that I don’t really need to be going down.

Be sure to check back tomorrow for Part II of the above link.

Friday fan day

Some of you may have noticed over the past couple months on Facebook that MINE™ has been looking for suggestions on stuff to give away once the 1,000 Facebook-fan mark is reached. There have been a handful of suggestions—a few being a jar filled with 1,000 black and white jelly beans (from Brett MacFadden); an ipad (totally reasonable request by Omar Dbeis); each of the posters the studio has printed (thanks, Kate Earhart El-Bizri)—all equally excellent suggestions, no doubt.

Well, earlier this week we hit the magic number (woo hoo!). We decided against the ipad route and spent some time scouring the archives to pull some posters, stickers, and a few surprise items; it was a pretty fun task. Today we finished picking all of our lucky winners by way of a random, but highly structured, process. It was even more entertaining selecting the winners. The first thing we did was open the Fans window in Facebook. This window only shows a small portion of the total number, so we figured out how many of these subsets existed that made up our total fan count. Based on those figures, we began a scholarly, well-respected technique for determining number pairs. It went like this: Justin, pick a number between 1 and 10. Okay, now pick a number between 1 and 100.

After several rounds of this we had our winners, but in number only. The next, and longest step, was to use our previously identified window subsets and manually find out exactly who 3, 44 and friends were, and then getting a mailing address from them. If we encountered any problems—like the person not allowing any emails via Facebook—rather than simply choosing the next person on the list, we would use our 1-thru-10 number and move down that many steps to the next person. Needless to say, it was a very exciting system, and the suspense kept building as the number of available prizes dwindled. As we were selecting, an interesting thing happened. The fan count began to increase fairly significantly in a short amount of time, dropping people into different number slots. This just made it more exciting—like hitting a moving target!

So to all you winners out there, the faster you reply the faster you’ll get the goods!

Is this yours®?

In addition to a number of small-ish tasks that got taken care of today in the studio, there was plenty more discussion and design surrounding MINE™’s new future website. One of the interesting topics that came up—one that I hadn’t really previously considered—is the idea of balancing one’s personal communication (and to a certain extent, work) with a studio’s own communication (and work).

This is especially applicable with a studio such as MINE™ that has multiple streams of information constantly flowing to the outside world—the main studio website, this intern blog, the studio’s facebook page, Christopher’s CCA blog and his twitter feed, etc. If an employee of an active studio like this is extremely active as well, and accustomed to posting links/images/articles throughout the day, at what point do they stop [more]

uu uu uu dot com

Smells like the Internets up in here (said in this manner). All kinds of discussion today about MINE™’s upcoming website redesign. Questions (and some answers) about user experience(s), specific work to highlight, integration with other channels of info (social media, blogs)… goodness in the works!

First day, sort of

After the long weekend, MINE™ was back in business today, sans Tim. Well, kind of. The morning consisted of some standard studio maintenance tasks—breakdance fighting, file organization, spam email deletion. Then, about mid-day, the doorbell rang. It was Tim and he was sleepwalking, his muscle-memory kicking in and leading him to the office! When he woke from his deep sleep he decided to stick around for a few minutes and take care of some last minute odds and ends.

There are a few upcoming design competition entry dates, so I took some time today compiling all the pertinent entry information in preparation for our potential submission. I finished off the day doing a little Photoshop work on a file for Christopher, and am now finding myself having to cut this post short to head out to the first day of my summer Transitioning To Professional Practice class at CCA, taught by Cinthia Wen of Noon (and CCA’s newly appointed chair of the Graphic Design program). The class meets twice a week in the evening, so I will have to start my blog posts earlier on these days! Until tomorrow…

The end of an era

Today, Friday, May 28, 2010 is Tim Belonax’s last day at MINE™. He is leaving the studio to go live next to an amusement park (as Christopher puts it). I have had the pleasure of working beside Tim for two weeks now, and while a little bummed I won’t be able to continue learning from him, I am ultimately excited for him.

(Never fear, MINE™ fans, as we have a great designer stepping in to get busy.)

I will post more about that later, but for now will let Tim take it home.

May 27

The first few times the phone rang this morning I was fully expecting a callback from our friends from yesterday. Luckily that feeling didn’t persist too far into the day, as Thursday turned out to be a rather uneventful one. I spent a few hours in the morning combing through samples of MINE™’s previous work. I first saw some of the studio’s pieces a few years back, and it’s been an interesting progression, first viewing the work as an outsider, then getting a different perspective having Christopher as an instructor and him bringing in and discussing work in class, and now getting an inside view of the operations behind the work.

In the afternoon Dave and Paul from House of Air came by to talk about the website design Tim and Christopher have been working on. They were really digging it, and it sounds like a few small tweaks here and there is all that is needed. It was a smooth meeting. They also made some decisions regarding furniture—café tables, picnic tables, and the like. No $3700 Belgian picnic tables this time around, but that’s okay.

To wrap up the day, Christopher, being extremely involved in the education of young designers’ minds across the land, headed out early to the Academy of Art Spring Show. I continued making some changes to the grid/layout of the intern binder, and Tim was busy burning some project files to CD. Every third disc made this weird tuba-esque sound as it spun in the drive. Sort of like this.

Other than that, at the end of the day I made a few things on the scanner with stuff lying around the comp room.

For example,

something dark

and something light.

Potential New client

In the words of our good buddy Ice Cube, Today was a good day.

Mid-morning we got a call from that potential client I mentioned on Monday. Christopher got on the line with him and went upstairs to talk about the proposal he had spent a good chunk of time crafting after the meeting. After a long while he came back down and revealed the good news. We got the job! Sweet. I am really excited to see how this thing unfolds over the next several months. Once the ball gets rolling further, I will fill in some more details. Stay tuned.

As many of you know, Christopher is an adviser to Project M and Tim was a participant down in Hale County, Alabama a few years ago. I don’t have quite as strong of a link to John Bielenberg or Project M, although I did participate in a mini “M Blitz” at the end of 2009 while in Eric Heiman’s level three class at CCA. Well, today we had the pleasure of chatting via Skype with a few current Project M’ers in Alabama. One of them is a classmate of mine on hiatus from school for a bit while doing his thing down in AL. (Hi Matt, aka matt_in_black.) They are part of a team involved in a variety of community projects, but one of the problems they are running into is distinguishing themselves and their scope of work from other, affiliated groups. So who better to contact for advice than the masterminds of identity, MINE? Some really good and smart ideas were generated during the brief conference call. Matt, keep me updated on what happens with it!

Let me speak to your manager!

If you happened to be in the studio today around 4pm or so, you would know that today’s blog post can only be about one thing: the phone conversation that went down between MINE™ and the Fake Yellow Pages scammers.

In retrospect, it all began earlier in the day when I fielded a call from someone purporting to be from the Yellow Pages’ online directory. I immediately had feelings that it was suspect, but decided to listen for a minute in case it was legit, especially as the guy on the other end simply wanted “confirmation” on the studio’s “business information”—phone number, address, etc. Basic info that anyone can find out and that makes sense being in a business directory. As soon as the guy wanted me to start giving him new information, I declined and suggested we just stick with the basic info. He said okay and then thanked me for my time.

Done, right?

Nope. Around 4pm, I get another call from the same guy. I already spoke to you, I tell him. He replies with some business about a problem with a server and having to redo it all. Whatever. The thing that changes on this call is that now he wants me to create some “easy to remember 4-digit password” in order to secure the information. I told him that I didn’t feel comfortable creating a number and that we would decline, and that it doesn’t even make sense for me to create a password for a free business listing. So basically, for the next few minutes, after I keep telling the guy no and hanging up, he calls back about 4 or 5 times. Rapid-fire style. Christopher is on the other line and is hearing what I’m saying, so when he gets off, he tells me to put the call through to him.

The rest of it plays out more or less like this:

Christopher (CCHS) tells the Fake Yellow Pages Guy (FYPG) that he’s the owner. Christopher sits through the same “information verification.” Then he stops the guy short.

CCHS: So let me ask you something. Is this ever going to cost me anything? (his voice starting to raise)

FYPG: No, it’s free.

CCHS: So this is never going to cost me anything? Ever?

FYPG: Totally free. Forever. All you need to do is create a passcode and confirm blah, blah, blah and (speaks this last part fast—think Micro Machine Man from the 90s style) you’ll be upgraded to the elite listing for $39.99 a month, which you can cancel within two weeks.

From here on out, Christopher’s voice, tone, temper gradually accelerates with each second.

CCHS: Wait a minute. You’re telling me I have to cancel after two weeks or I’ll have to pay for it? That’s not what you said a minute ago. When I asked you if it would ever cost me anything, you should have said yes.

Fake Yellow Pages guy starts talking.

CCHS: Stop talking. Stop talking and listen for one second. I don’t want you calling here ever again. Do you understand?


CCHS: Do you understand?


CCHS: What? What don’t you understand? Never f****** call my office again. (voice especially raised)

FYPG: (pause) You bloody motherf*****; You are a motherf*****.

CCHS: Are you serious? (laughs) Are you serious? Let me speak to your manager.

Hears phone rustling.

Same guy gets back on; changes voice to different pitch: Hello?

CCHS: Yes, i just spoke with your associate who called me a bloody motherf***** after i told him i didn’t want to buy his services. Is this how you’re operating your business?

FYPG, part II: You are a bloody motherf******. I will f*** you in your a**, you motherf*****. I can take more than you can, you motherf*****

CCHS: (very forcefully without hesitation) Don’t ever call my office again.

(hangs up phone)


This Fake Yellow Pages Guy either needs to take the advice on my tea tag and act a little greater, or he took the advice too far and was feeling a little too great about himself.

The bizniz

Today was awesome. We had a potential new client come in and meet with us over tea for a few hours in the morning. It was exciting for me to be able to listen to, and even participate in the conversations at this really early stage. Plus, the person we met with was real cool, and the business pretty sweet. It would awesome if we end up being selected for the job. Christopher will be spending the next few days writing a proposal, and hopefully we will find out soon. Exciting stuff, no doubt! One of the items on my list of “things I would like to learn/do while at MINE™” that I gave to Christopher is to be a part of a project from A to Z, from its inception to its completion. Maybe this could be the project.

The whole business side of the job is fascinating to me. The presentations and meetings, the creation of proposals—basically everything needed to be done (aside from doing great design) to successfully run a business. One of the things that is hard to simulate in school is this client interaction. I love the assignments I have gotten in school, have loved getting up and speaking about my work, and have learned some invaluable lessons. But creating your own fictitious ________(insert event/publication/etc here) and creating an air-tight, compelling story to inform or back-up your design choices is one thing (a fun one at that). The added variable of a client, and the direction that a project can take based on the clients’ interaction can be quite a different experience. The quote on the back of Dan and Andre’s book Never Sleep (which I have received three copies of as gifts recently) comes to mind: There is a major disconnect between the life of a design student and the transition to being a design professional. I guess you could say that a big part of my internship here at MINE™ is to help with the bridging of that gap.

03. I would like to make paper in…

…your bathtub.

This phrase was uttered a few days ago, and was shortly followed by I would like to make a volcano in your office.

04. Sometimes I take screenshots of my workspace at different points during the day. Sometimes it’s for a specific reason, to keep track of something, and other times it’s just because I like screenshots.

05. Fun fact: Last Monday somebody visited the blog on an iPad and stayed for 0:00. Horray!

06. Happy birthday to Pac-Man (tomorrow).

07. Happy birthday to the Empire Strikes Back today (courtesy of College Humor).


Through rain, sleet, or Ice

When I arrived at the studio this morning, I had a pretty important email sitting in my intern inbox. I knew it was important by the subject line. It’s amazing how much urgency one can convey with just a few words. The subject began, “For Mr. Intern…” Before I could properly respond, my attention turned to an even more important matter of the day: packing and shipping a few design competition entries, particularly for the 2010 Chicago International Poster Biennial and the Mohawk 11 show. It was my first experience filling out the entry forms, printing all the necessary labels, and properly packaging the work for safe delivery, so I took extra time to make sure it was done properly. It’s the type of thing that, once you do it several times, probably becomes second nature. In the early afternoon, a few folks from Mohawk stopped by and chatted with Christopher, and then took our entries to delivery for us. Convenient.

For the past couple of days I also have been doing some image research for a few projects, and even some furniture research for House of Air. I was looking into picnic tables that can be used for the kids and families that will be populating their facilities in the near future. I came across this especially nice set of tables from Belgian designers Wim Segers and Ronalde Mattele, also known as Cassecroute. After spending some time browsing their site, I decided that I really want one of their tables. I just have to figure out how I’m going to find one and pay for it. I’d use it in my house, even if it would take up the entire living room. Those are some nice picnic tables.

We finished the day out by listening to some great music provided our newly created Vanilla Ice Pandora station. Vanilla Ice, MC Hammer, Marky Mark, Will Smith and Right Said Fred all in the span of 20 minutes. Quality.

Road construction

This morning before heading in to the studio, I decided I would try to run an errand that I didn’t get to last night. I left a few minutes before my regular departure time to compensate for the additional driving. The problem, however, is that I allowed just the correct amount of time for a flawless trip—a trip that doesn’t take into account unforeseen circumstances like weird traffic patterns or construction. So, as luck/fate would have it, I did indeed encounter a few obstacles. Literal ones. The first was a block of road construction just getting underway, funneling traffic down to just one lane. A cop was directing traffic by hand which slowed things down a bit more. Second, because my journey placed me in a different part of town (a much more populated part of town) from where I normally get on the freeway near my house, there were many more people trying to squeeze onto the on-ramp. I would say that it took 4x as long just to get on the freeway this morning. This shift in timing to a later freeway departure made a huge difference in the time it took to get to the studio. A few minutes makes a big difference in how many cars are on the road during the morning commute hours. It took me twice as long to get to the studio this morning, and I ended up getting here a little late.

One of the lessons that can be taken away from this experience, and how it relates to design (and just life in general, I guess), is that it’s wise to leave enough time for unexpected things to occur during the process of making or doing. Don’t factor in a “just-right” amount of time to get things done, if you can help it. Instead, it’s best to build in a buffer that will allow you to respond and adapt to any obstacles that might be thrown your way or mistakes that are made. And, as often happens in life, these obstacles and mistakes are indeed often encountered. It might also allow you to explore a different path that reveals itself during the process—a path that you were not aware of previously.

Male model

Today I took part in my first photo shoot of the summer. One of the projects underway here at MINE™ is a book of the studio’s logo and identity work. Tim and Christopher have been discussing possible front and back cover options over the past few days in between work on the Stern Grove, House of Air, The Energy Project, and other jobs, and it’s been fun listening in and seeing the progress each day. There are a few spreads in the book that still need images, and so today Christopher asked if I would do some modeling for a few of those spreads. We grabbed the camera and headed upstairs. The first task was to do a little hand/ring modeling for a Singularity University project the studio did a while back. I had to look super sophisticated, of course, so somehow I managed to contort my long arms just enough to slide on one of Christopher’s button up shirts and jackets. Actually, it took two jackets because the first one’s sleeves only made it down to my mid-forearm area. We had to grab a second one so I could slide my right arm in to give the impression in the photograph that it was one, super-sophisticated garment. I have to be honest, I had flashbacks of this clip with the coat(s) on (video after the jump): [more]

Field trip Friday

On Friday, after taking care of business in the studio, we headed over to CCA to check out some of the graduate thesis exhibitions. Here’s a taste. (Photos by Christopher and me.)


Throughout the work day while carrying out my various intern duties—whether it’s filing away print samples, conducting image searches, or even just being a part of conversations that pop-up—there always seem to be little moments of humor or inspiration or just general interestingness that reveal themselves (grammatical correctness pending on that last one). Sometimes it’s a funny phrase or comment said by someone here in the studio (I’ve noticed that the best phrases get written down by Christopher on a post-it note and slapped up onto a vintage Denoyer-Geppert wall map). Other times it’s just an interesting image that prompts me to construct a whole backstory for the people/places/things in the image.

So anyway, I figured that every now and then I’d post a few items from my list. Here are five to start out.

1. Your work is successful like an obituary is successful. It’s probably not a good thing if someone says this to you.

2. I went to file some business cards the other day in the studio’s growing collection. One particular card had a thin layer of what looked like a blue cotton coating, clearly not part of the original design. (The small tuft of cotton on the back set it off.) I went to file it but stopped short when I saw an identical (save for the cotton fur) pristine white card in a protective sleeve. It made me wonder about the blue-ish card in my hand. Where had it been? What adventures might it have gone on, and what stories might it have to tell? Instead of filing it, I placed it on my desk with a few other items. I planned to take a picture of the two cards the next day, but when I came into the studio the blue-ish card was gone. Vanished. Off for more adventure, I guess.

3. Because the physical studio space of MINE™ is located on the first floor of Christopher’s home, there are brief moments in the morning and afternoon when his kids come bursting through the door and fill the place with joy (and sometimes crying). I feel somewhat fortunate (privileged, even) to be a part of this home/office routine and the chance to get to know his family.

4. Time-lapse videos are soothing. Poetic, even, in that the busiest, most chaotic activity amounts to a slow crawl over an extended amount of time. Here’s a time-lapse video from the House of Air folks:

5. MINE™ is a small studio in terms of square footage. I’m 6’7″ on a good day, but this doesn’t phase me one bit, because for the past few years, I haven’t been able to stand up straight while showering at my apartment. Compared to that, MINE™ is an auditorium.

Hmm, that’s interesting.

Jimmy jam box

Today at MINE™ was filled with a little variety in the activity department. Mid-morning I worked on some final revisions for the walkathon t-shirt. The drawing I had done/modified was fine, but I needed to make a few changes to the type. After browsing the collection of fonts on hand for a few minutes, I ended up drawing some letterforms that fit in with the “modern 80s/90s hip hop” feel the client was looking for. I hope so, at least. Christopher saw it on my monitor from his desk and liked it as well (“that’s cool” were his exact words), so hopefully the client is into it. We also learned that another way to refer to a boombox is to call it a jam box. I may change my name to Jimmy Jam box. Once 12pm rolled around we had to head out of the office for a lunch meeting at RN74, a wine bar and restaurant by Michael Mina. It was a great place with some good food. One of the coolest features is the wine list, displayed large on the walls as an old train station timetable. At various times of the day, you hear this “click, click, click, click, click” and look up to see the information changing. After lunch we had to book it back to the studio so Christopher and Tim could meet with a client regarding the House of Air project, which is sounding and looking pretty cool. I finished out the day looking everywhere in the studio and in the garage for a simple CD case for Tim. After several unsuccessful attempts, I finally found a pile of old CDs from some of Christopher’s former students, so I stacked them neatly together and stole the jewel cases for future use. Tomorrow morning when I get in I will be doing some touching up of an image for Tim. And since this is the 3rd post in a row with no images, tomorrow I’m going to focus on taking some photos to add to the blog.

The longest hour

I know you’ve seen the new Stern Grove poster. It’s sweet. If you haven’t yet, visit that link for a moment. The technique Yulia Brodskaya is flexing her superior skills with is called quilling. We had a brief history lesson today courtesy of the Internets, and learned at one point in Europe quilling was thought to be one of the “few things ladies could do that was thought not too taxing for their minds or gentle dispositions.” Hmm, I wonder what Yulia would say to that statement, because from my seat her illustration looks like it would take the mind of a razor sharp paper-ninja.

When I got in this morning, I completed some typical early-morning intern tasks: printed some labels, filed away some print samples, churned some butter. A good chunk of the day, however, was spent by all working on various aspects of the Stern Grove Festival project. Tim was busy working out the type for large signage, several versions of some shirts, and about a hundred other things. About midday Christopher and Tim had me trace the edges of paper within the Stern Grove poster. At first I just did one section to give them an idea of whether it was working and whether or not I should continue. It looked pretty nice, so the plan was for me to spend the next hour or so finishing off the rest of it. But I tell you what, those paper lines just kept coming and coming! It took slightly longer than an hour. The process of tracing became almost a meditative one as I located each edge of the pieces of paper and tried to match its path. I then passed it off to Tim who began integrating into the work he was doing. It looked pretty sweet; hopefully the client thinks so as well. Time will tell!

Happy birthday to Amelie today!

Push things forward

Today was a humbling one for me. At the end of the day yesterday I found out that I would be working on some graphics for a t-shirt; a project that previous intern Reena had begun. The client responded to the first round of submissions and we had some feedback to move forward with. It’s not an overly complicated project by any stretch of the imagination, but I found myself struggling to work fast and just get it done. It’s insightful to see the differences between school projects, where you might have a big chunk of time dedicated to brainstorming, then sketching, then revisions, etc. Here “in the real world” that process just has to be condensed into a much shorter timeframe, and after working most of the day today, I just need to get better and faster. That’s why I’m here. Theme song for my ride home.


Friday was a rather eventful day, and I didn’t even have to step foot inside the office (hence the blog entry about Friday today). Before I left for the evening on Thursday, Christopher mentioned that we’d be heading down to Palo Alto in the morning for the Opening Day of the’s new digs (Building 550, the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford). MINE™, if you recall, recently completed a project for the, which I, and many others in attendance today got to see for the first time.

So on Friday I met Christopher outside of Building 550 at 9:30am (I decided to commute by train + bicycle) and we signed-in and got assigned to teams. I had initially thought I was going down there to hear some introductions to the new building and to meet some people, but I soon realized I was wrong. (I should have known better from description of “ hootenanny” in the studio’s calendar.) I was now the newest member of “Team 7″ and was being directed to quickly customize my name tag before joining the rest of my team already underway upstairs. For the next 3 hours I got to experience a good dose of design thinking fundamentals in the form of a hands-on design challenge dubbed “Reboot Camp.” My team consisted of a Clorox marketing person, three Stanford professors, and of course little ol’ me, Intern™. Through a flurry of idea generation, rapid note-taking, strategizing, prototyping, testing, revision and reflection, we participated in a project centered around engaging 10,000 kids for 90 minutes a day over the entire summer, as part of a volunteer program. One of the coolest parts of the challenge was having a group of 5th graders come into the room to test out our prototypes and give feedback.

After lunch we attended a small workshop conducted by the editors of Ambidextrous, Stanford’s Journal of Design. There were about 10 of us at this particular workshop, and the goal was to redesign/rethink the magazine specifically for someone else in the room. We paired off and had 5 minutes each to interview the other person. Based off this brief exchange we then had 10 minutes to quickly sketch/construct a prototype of our customized magazine. I have to admit, at first I was a little nervous at being put in this situation with such a small amount of time to work, in a small space, knowing that I’d then have to get up and share it with working professionals. But what nerves did exist quickly dissipated as we got to work and I realized there was absolutely no reason to be nervous. Not only did it turn out to be a fun exercise, but we were given a boxed set of all 12 Ambidextrous magazine issues as a gift. Nice!

To top off an action-packed Friday, we all gathered in the large central hall toward the end of the day and were ceremoniously recognized as co-founders of the new building. Tears were shed by many in the audience (not so much by me, though). Next thing we knew it was 5pm and time to make the trek back home. It was definitely an interesting event to take part in, and probably a bit of an atypical first full day of an internship.

Thursday, revisited

Yesterday I mentioned the futuristic-nature of my new camera and its photographs. Here’s how that works: Let’s say I take a photograph on a Monday. Well, this camera is so scientific, so futuristic, that the world just isn’t capable of seeing or comprehending the photograph on that same Monday. We have to wait another 21 hours before we’re even ready to view it. Our human minds essentially have to play catch-up. So I was pretty excited, to say the least, to see what gems we took with this thing on Reena’s last day yesterday. I was not disappointed. Here’s a beauty, taken just as we were leaving the office for pizza:

Here I am trying to get help stepping over the caution tape, but Reena is too busy laughing at the suits Tim and Christopher decided to eat lunch in. (We set the camera up on the shelf and Hailey the cat pushed the shutter release for us.) I think to bypass the whole 21-hour time restriction thing moving forward I’ll just take photos with a regular DSLR. You never know when I’ll want to post a photo the same day I take it; that might come in handy.

We were out of the office all day today, so on Monday I will fill you in on a bit of what we were up to.

Hey Young World

“Hey Young World”, Slick Rick, 1988

This is Justin Holbrook, broadcasting from Putnam Planet 190. As Reena mentioned yesterday, I will be assuming control of the blog-writing duties for the summer. I am very excited and grateful to begin my internship here at MINE™. I applied as a joke after losing a bet with a classmate this past semester. It wasn’t even my fifth choice.

Actually, the truth is that I knew I wanted to be a part of MINE™—even if only for a few months—after I took Christopher’s GD 2 class a few semesters ago at CCA. I learned a lot that semester and figured that it could be an even greater learning opportunity if I had the chance to see how he runs this ship from a closer view. So here I am.

My first official day, I think, was yesterday. Reena, of course, was in and I spent much of the day familiarizing myself with the studio and getting the lowdown from her on various tasks/procedures. We all went out and had a nice little lunch up the hill, and I figured out my bicycle route for the upcoming days. Today Reena was in for just half of the day, so we ate some delicious Indian pizza and saw her ride majestically into the Mission sunset, onto BADder things (BAD = Bigger And Deffer).

To top off my glorious first day of blogging, I got to take some photos with my brand-new, futuristic, top-of-the-line camera of our eventful day. This camera is so futuristic, in fact, that the world isn’t ready for the pictures that were taken with it. You’ll have to wait until tomorrow, but trust me, it’ll be worth it!

Signing off

It’s my last blog post and my last full day at MINE™. I’m really sad to go, but at the same time feel like this internship has prepared me to move on. Christopher and I went over the list of things I wanted to learn that I wrote back in January. One logo, a press check, some client meetings, typography knowledge, a few thousand photos, and six web banners later, here I am standing before you with 10.5 out of 14 goals achieved. I smell success.

It’s been a great run. I’ve learned a lot and made some friends along the way. Goodbye to all my international fans especially in Azerbaijan, Yemen, and Qatar. Thanks so much for reading!

Justin Holbrook, CCA student and the newest addition to the MINE™ posse, starts blogging tomorrow.

Be excellent to each other.


Last Tuesday post

Today is a Tuesday like any other Tuesday at MINE™. Nothing exceptional happened on my end. There was some file making, WordPress tinkering, and package preparation. It’s strange to feel so comfortable with my routine, but at the same time know that I will be leaving soon.

I was helping Christopher prepare the Haiti Poster Project posters to be shipped out, and I totally felt like Ralph Macchio in the Karate Kid. In one scene Mr. Miyagi has instructed him to wax the car, and has a very particular way of doing it. “Wax on, wax off,” he chants. Ralph is a little peeved because he doesn’t understand what waxing a car has to do with karate. Finally he understands that there is a state of mind that he must achieve that will then permeate everything he does. That is totally what this internship has been about for me. Working at MINE™ has helped me reach a higher design sensibility that will then permeate everything I do. Preparing that package is my car to wax and Christopher and Tim have collectively been my Mr. Miyagi.

Last Monday post

The Stern Grove Festival poster has made its debut.

For Bob

For the past two days, we’ve been having a really great time watching videos posted by Mr. Bob Aufuldish. Mr. Aufuldish is Christopher’s colleague at CCA and one half of the design firm Aufuldish and Warinner. If I were to describe one of the videos, you would probably wonder why said video was interesting. I might even go as far to say that you would think it was boring. For example, one minute and 31 seconds of a rock drying in the heat. Doesn’t sound interesting right? You are very wrong. Mr. Aufuldish has a gift for making the mundane seem artful, beautiful, and at times ethereal. To see them, you’d have to be his friend on Facebook.

This is our homage to Bob Aufuldish (video after the jump).


A Hard Day’s Night

It was a long night, but we did it! Haiti Poster Projectposters are ready to be stamped and shipped off.

We arrived at CCA in the afternoon with the hopes of everything going quickly and without hiccups. That is never what really happens though. At least this time we knew what we were doing. After our first batch of ink ran out, things got a bit trickier. The viscosity was not the same, which lead to some trial and error. Eventually we got it down and were rolling again. At first we were looking at the prints and thinking that they weren’t turning out the way that we wanted. Tim pointed out that the beauty of this art were the imperfections, which caused me to remember what Jim Sheridan of Hatch Show Print told us in a print making workshop that I attended once. He instructed us never to throw away a print that you make. Save it and look at it another day. Mr. Sheridan explained that with print making, we often have an idea of what the outcome is suppose to look like in our heads. When our prints don’t look like that image, we get disappointed. Well today is the next day, and they look pretty fantastic. The imperfections and sometimes hasty looking washes of color add to the urgency of the message. The five posters spell out the word Haiti and have the national motto overprinted in magenta on top of the letter. It says “l’union fait la force” or “unity makes strength.” The posters will be sold as a set on the Haiti Poster Project website.

You can see all 5 posters and some of the process on our Facebook page.

My first press check

It was rad!

Christopher let me tag along on a press check for the House of Air business cards. It was a simple one, but I got the idea. We were there to make sure that the color is correct, the copy is correct, and that there were no strange marks on the print out. Then Christopher signed the proof and it was over. We had a discussion about larger printing jobs and how sometimes you might have to hang out at a printer all day. He informed me that in the good ol’ days they would wine and dine you, but alas those days are over. After we signed off on the proof, Christopher took me on a tour of the Oscar Printing facilities. Some how I got out of design school without ever going to a printing press, so this was interesting for me to see. I didn’t realize presses were so huge and that printing could be such a technical skill. Christopher explained some technical aspects of printing to me such as using an instrument that measures light refraction to see if you color is even on the paper.

Going on a press check was on my list of things I wanted to learn at MINE™. I’m down to the last eight days of my internship and we might have officially completed my list.

Deadlines and screen printing

Sorry for not blogging on Friday. We were out of the office to screen print posters. The good people of the CCA Oakland campus were kind enough to let us use their facilities.

We’re running a tight ship today. We have a deadline to meet for a client tomorrow, and it’s all banner ads.  They are simple enough, but there are many to do. Flash can be a tedious program so it just takes some time to do these. Tim is a machine. I have built two in the same amount of time he has done approximately six to eight. Other than the Flash, I checked my first printer proof today. I didn’t ask if this is a common practice, but as I checked each letter to see if their were any errors, I placed a tiny red dot next to the letter. Tim also informed me that if you have a lightbox, you line up the crop marks from your files with the printer files and check for errors that way. I like learning little things like that, because it makes me like I’m a part of a  profession that has it’s own secret codes and ways of doing things.

Tomorrow we might be back at CCA to finish screen printing posters, so it’s possible that there may be no Tuesday blog. Look out for pictures of our finished posters on Wednesday!

The Final Countdown

Things are picking up around here again. There are so many exciting and new projects on the horizon. I’m kind of sad that I won’t be here to see them all through. The countdown to my last day has begun.

I worked on the Stern Grove Festival poster with Christopher and Tim. We are finalizing the type and adding our own touch of craft to it to compliment Yulia‘s cut paper illustration. So for the past few hours, I have been cutting out typography that we will put on the poster. It’s a tedious thing to do. Though if you think about how graphic design was done before the time of desktop publishing, the magnitude of my task wanes in comparison. The way I was doing things was fine, but talking to Tim I learned that there are best practices that I haven’t been aware of before this internship. Not just best practices on how to use cut paper in your design, but other things I wish I could remember at this moment. There are may be a of doing something that gives you better results.

Tomorrow the MINE™ team will be knee deep in ink and squeegees. We’re screenprinting! I am super excited. The posters we make tomorrow will be sold on the Haiti Poster Project website.

Civic duty

We are very patriotic around here today. Tim designed the most awesome logo ever. I think it would bring a Tea Party Patriot/dodge ball enthusiast to tears.  I know I’ve piqued your interest, but I should wait until it goes live to show you.

MINE™ has done it again. Out of  34,000 logos submitted, the House of Air logo and the Humanity Plus logo were chosen to be in the next volume of Logo Lounge. Hooray!

Lastly, the second annual World’s Smallest Poster Show was a success. Libations, cheese, friends, and a stunning poster collection. What more could you want? To sweeten the deal, Shasta designed and gave away a poster to every guest. They are die cut and can be folded into little circus tents. Thanks for hosting, Shasta!

You can learn something from anything.

Everything is a learning experience, no matter how many times you have done it before. Every time I repeat a task I notice something that I didn’t notice before. For example, when I am typesetting I notice the curve of a bracket or a unique serif for the first time. It’s kind of like listening to music and noticing sounds that you had never heard before.

Today my main task was typesetting documents for The Engergy Project. The work isn’t the most exciting, but I was able to practice my ninja like type skills. Earlier this morning when Christopher was at CCA and I had nothing pressing to do, I reorganized all the paper samples. Like I said before, everything is a learning opportunity. My knowledge of paper increased, and the alphabetizing put me in a meditative state.

Besides the Energy Project, Tim has been working to finish up the Stern Grove Festival poster. I’m really excited to see what the response will be like when the poster debuts and they announce the line up on May 1.

We’re all attending the second annual World’s Smallest Poster Show tonight! Hopefully we’ll get some pictures to you tomorrow.

Off to the presses

We’re continuing to keep busy at MINE™. In one day we collectively worked on 5 different projects, checked in on one, and was referred for another by poster designer extraordinaire Jason Munn. It seems as though there is a steady flow of work. When we finish up projects, there are more on the horizon.

Today we are working to get this d.School project to press. Tim and I made production dummies for the printer. His was a smaller version with the art on it. The one I did was to actual size without art. Because I did things by hand, they were a little off. So Christopher went back and made notes throughout the piece with exact instructions on what to do. I rarely made production dummies during school, but I see the importance of them now. They are especially important when there is a client paying you. If something goes wrong and your instructions cannot be refuted, the blame cannot fall on you. To make a mistake at this stage would be an expensive one.

We just ate the cake I made. It wasn’t awful. Awesome!


House of Air and I are totally besties. At least for today. I worked on their wristbands, made penguin feet to scale and designed socks! You know you’ve made it as an intern when you’ve designed socks.

Besides House of Air and some scanning, I also brought Christopher a chocolate cake for his birthday. I made it from the Tartine cookbook. Enitrat lives on. You might think, “Why would you go to Tartine if you have the recipes?” I now know why. Baking is hard, and their baked goods are way prettier.

I would write more, but I started the blog late today. Also the rest of the team is heading out. Until tomorrow.


There are a lot of exciting things happening at MINE™ today. We are finishing up the project for the Stanford d.School, we received final art from Yulia Brodskaya for the Stern Grove Festival poster, and we continue to rock the House of Air branding.

I apparently need a tutorial in making shadows in Photoshop. Unfortunately for Tim, I looked at the tutorials after I gave him the files of some faked Post-it notes. Christopher made fun of me for how long it took me, but at this point in the internship I’ve got thicker skin. It’s very strange to think back to my first days and how nervous I felt about the tiny tasks they gave me to do. Now I am a more confident person than I was in January, but obviously have much to learn.

The illustration we received from Yulia is beautiful! If you have been anywhere near a design blog in the past year, you’ve probably seen her previous work. She uses the edges of cut paper to make intricate, well-crafted, gorgeous illustrations. We’ve have been back and forth with her for the past few months about layout, typography, and color. Everyone needed to be on the same page about the illustration, because once its made, the illustration cannot be changed. Our clients at Stern Grove have already seen the illustration are delighted. Next steps are to find a secondary typeface and put all the festival information on it. Be on the lookout for the poster within the next month.

Lastly, I got to make penguin feet today! These might be used to make impressions into the floor at House of Air in their so fresh, so clean new cement. It’s been super exciting working on House of Air. I’ve never had the experience of seeing something that I helped create that is “alive” in the world. Sadly, the end of my internship is nearing and I probably won’t be around when House of Air opens. I will definitely bug Christopher about going to the opening though.

How, how, how, now, now, now

Hooray MINE™! We’re in HOW Magazine’s 2010 Design Annual for the identity work for C+. The photo looks backwards to you because I took it with Photobooth. Imagine it flipped.

We have been working hard all day to finish up the Stanford d.School project. I did a ton of image searching while Tim did some hardcore designing. Then Tim and I trekked up to Martha & Bros. to create some images. Christopher asked me to look generic today so that I could be the subject of the shoot.  To me that meant dressing in blue jeans, black Chuck Taylors, a grey sweater, and a black scarf. I was a waitress serving coffee while things on the street happened around me. The sun was a bit harsh, so we’re hoping that we don’t have to reshoot. The d.School project should be in the bag by next Wednesday.

I have something exciting to look forward to on Monday. I’m designing socks for House of Air!

Thursday trivia

What do penguin tracks look like?

Check out link

How tall is the railing on the second floor cross ramps at House of Air?

3.5 feet

How many things can you make out of a circle?

A lot.

Who won an Oscar for best short film this year?

H5 for Logorama

How do you make a photograph look like an engraving?

Engraving II – A Photoshop filter

Where is Tiburon, California?

37° 52′ 25″ N, 122° 27′ 24″ W

Are there any more Post-its in the office?

Christopher might have some.

When is Christopher’s birthday?


All these questions and more were answered today.

Holy Tuesday, Batman!

I know. Today is Wednesday. So much happened on Tuesday that it is deserving of another post.

The day started out pretty crazy. As soon as I arrived, Christopher and Amelie were out the door so they could bring the little ones to school. A few minutes later, Christopher walked back in the house upset. Some guy had barreled over the hill on Putnam and almost took out the side of Amelie’s car while she was standing next to it. Luckily he just crunched her door (but with her standing behind it!) and took out his own was side view mirror. It could have been much worse.

I guess barreling forward was the theme of the day. On Tuesday, we had three deadlines and made all three. The Coalition for Essential Schools launched their email blasts thus starting their Fall Forum education reform campaign, which MINE™ designs every year. Then Christopher presented a redesign of PeachPit Press’ Visual Quickstart Guide series. When you see the new ones roll out soon, you’ll see an updated logo and new cover design a la MINE™.  Lastly, we gave Wallet Project files to Grace, our client at the Stanford d.School., so that the d.School folks could do another round of user testing. In the middle of all of that, Christopher interviewed two people.

Just when we thought we caught a break, we hear the smoke alarm. Christopher and Tim ran upstairs to quell a small oven fire.

So Wednesday doesn’t feel left out, check out what we received in the mail today! We all received tickets to the World’s Smallest Poster Show! For those of you that don’t know, it’s a project that MINE™ started last year. The first exhibit was held in Christopher’s home. This year we’ve passed the torch to friends Shasta Garcia and Dave Muro.

Things that are round

Today I didn’t have any near meltdowns, so that was good. We spent most of the day working on the Stanford d.School Wallet Project, and I think it is close to being done. It’s been a challenging project because there was no tangible content from the beginning. As we’ve gone along we’ve adjusted content, which means we adjusted the design. So I’m sure there will be one or two more passes.

My big task of the day was to see how many things I could make out of one shape. Think of the exercise where you would be given a circle and then you have to make that circle into as many things as possible. For example a circle could be a pizza, doughnut, or a bike wheel. As with most things, it’s easy at first. Then you run out of ideas. For some reason I felt like I was cheating when I used the Internet for inspiration, but that’s a strange feeling to have. That would mean we’re all cheating all the time.

My advice to future MINE™ interns: If you are in doubt of what music to play in the office, Talking Heads is always a pleaser.

Blank screen of death

Today could have been the first time I cried at an internship.

While Christopher was at CCA this morning(*), I was playing with the code for our blog to see if I could figure some things out. Then I just tinkered with the wrong template. I pressed the update button and then all I saw was a big white blank screen. I looked at the blog, and nothing was there. This was followed by a few short expletives and some minor hyperventilation. Tim started to ask me questions and I could barely answer him. Thankfully, he sent me an article about how to fix the problem and told me how it’s a common WordPress glitch. I felt a little better. Then Christopher walked in. I didn’t know what to expect. I’d never seen him angry before, and I didn’t want to find out what that was like. I said, “I broke the blog.” He asked me to explain. So, I told him the problem and he walked me through the solution very calmly. There are not two better people to make a mistake around.

Then we all ate the pie I made from the Tartine cookbook. Viva Enitrat!

*Christopher’s blog for his GD2 class at CCA is part of How Magazine’s list Top Ten Websites for Designers! Woot!

Time is money.

One of the things that I have learned at MINE™ is that time is a commodity. Of course I’ve considered the time it takes to complete the actual design of a project, but I have never considered time for meetings or dealing with printers. As someone who is just beginning their career, these are good things for me to realize before I start taking on any serious freelance clients.

Yesterday I learned how to request a quote from the printer. Today I learned how to present an estimate to a client. I’ve also learned that you need to figure out a budget before you start any project. If everyone is not on the same page, then the situation might get sticky down the line. I wish there was a class in school that taught you about best business practices, but I guess these are things you learn once you get out into the world.

There is so much more to running a design business than I had imagined before. You have to think about budgets, time, whether or not you get along with your clients, balancing your social life, having the right employees, and organization. I’m sure the list goes on.

Blue: A controversial color

Who would have thought?

We had a meeting with our House of Air clients and I’m pretty sure we spent as much time talking about the right color blue as we did talking about their web site. Color is a very subjective thing. People have different associations with them and feel different emotions. The conclusion was to keep it the same…I think.

Building an identity for a company is a funny thing. For example, we had the House of Air colors planned with a primary and secondary palette. But when we actually executed designs, we noticed that we didn’t ever use one of our primary colors which canceled out our two tier system. It seems that as the project evolves, so do the branding specifications. When you actually start using the elements of the identity, you begin to see a pattern where certain elements work better  in certain situations. You end up assigning meaning to these elements and decide to limit the places you use it. We have a stripe pattern that we use in the signage and for super graphics. They can be over powering so we limited their use as super graphics in certain areas of the building. When the building opens and begins to have meaning to others, we might have to adjust the identity again. Then when the brand has been around long enough like Coke,  I guess you have the identity down to a t.

The House of Air identity is moving along though. This week Christopher and Tim have been working on the business cards and web site. The concept for the web site and the cards are super rad and will be something to be proud of in the end. Tim taught me how to write printer specs to get a quote on the cards. It’s a totally mundane task, but I was happy to learn it. Each piece of knowledge gained will help me disguise my inadequacies at my next job. “But it’s not like I have that many,” she says as she grins.


Yesterday was my birthday. So today Christopher took the office to lunch to celebrate. He also gave me a really thoughtful present. So my tummy is not only full of goodness, but also full of warm fuzzies.

We went to a new place on 24th street called Local: Mission Eatery. We had tasty sandwiches and then eclairs from Knead, the bakery in the back that shares the same space. Since I am obsessed with Tartine, Christopher gave me the Tartine cookbook so I can stop throwing my money away and figure out how to make delicious things to stuff my face with on my own. We discussed starting “Enitrat,” which is the working title for my concept bakery that will undercut Tartine’s business.

Christopher and Tim are more than mentors. They are awesome human beings. I love coming to work. We have fun, but we get things done. For all you future MINE™ interns, you are very lucky. Be awesome to them (of course you will), or know that I will fight you to the death…or just give you the stink eye.

Photo found here.

60 seconds

It’s been an interesting few days at MINE™. I myself haven’t been terribly busy, but I feel like I’ve been learning a lot nonetheless. Whether or not I am directly involved in the things that are going on around me, I’ve been soaking it in. I have found that just knowing the possibilities is the first step to actually doing something. The more knowledge you have, the more you can participate in the conversation.

For example, Christopher invited Tim and I along for his GD2 class’ film viewing at CCA yesterday evening. We watched a lot of shorts done by students who produced video for the first time. If I had been given that assignment, I would have been in their exact same shoes. I remember how daunting it can be to dive into something that you’ve never done and have to go through the pains of learning tools before you can stylize just the way you want it. Just by viewing the videos and talking about them with Christopher and Tim, I learned about uses for software programs that I hadn’t considered before. Now if I’m ever in the position of producing a video, I at least know where to start and where to look for help. The other thing that I’m not doing, but am more familiar with now is creating email newsletters. Christopher has been working on one all morning and asked me to look up some code. Again, if I ever need to create an email for myself or a client, I’ll know where to begin.

Video after the jump [more]

Monday ffffunday

Today was definitely not a manic Monday. We’re waiting to get feedback from clients or quotes from printers, so there wasn’t a ton of stuff to do. At least that statement is true for me. I spent most of the day researching about competitions and about projects that we haven’t even begun yet. When the time comes to begin, it will be good for me to have that background knowledge though. After that, I continued working on stickers for House of Air.

In between tasks, I did some visual research by taking advantage of my ffffound account which Ethan, the previous intern, gave me. MINE™ has a tradition of keeping the ffffound invite in the family. Each intern gives their invite to the next intern. Looking at work is important for us as designers to notice trends and because we get ideas by looking at visual things. I’m not saying that looking at other work is the only thing we should look at, because inspiration can come from anywhere. But it’s fun to discover new techniques and store the idea away  in your subconscious until it drifts back to the surface when it will work well with one of your own projects. Christopher keeps a kind of physical “ffffound” in the office. In the comp room, we have binders full of examples with good type and interesting formats. By having a frame of reference to work from, we are able to push the boundaries of  design and hopefully make new meaning that has yet to be revealed.

I’m a Flash genius.

Today was awesome, because I did something that I didn’t even know I was capable of doing. Since Tim was out of the office day, Christopher let me take a stab at some Flash files and I rocked it with little trouble. Every time Christopher asked me if I could do any Flash, I told him no. I guess I was wrong. I’m proud of myself, but in reality it wasn’t rocket science. It was super simple animations, but I’m pretty excited about it anyway. It’s a good end to the week. Hello, weekend!

The ball is not in our court.

We’re waiting for clients to get back to us, so things are a bit chill today. But that’s the reason why I had time to work on stickers for House of Air for a few hours. It was fun to play with composition, color, and type. But I was some where between uptight and the state of mind I needed to be in to execute them to my satisfaction. I don’t think I have gotten over the fact that people can see what I am doing all the time or the mindset that it’s ok for me to make mistakes. Maybe I just work like Michael Bierut does. He says he has to do a lot of work just so the probability  of  having something awesome is higher. So yeah, I’m going to compare myself to him (smiley emoticon), even though he hasn’t accepted my friend request on Facebook. I have faith though, Mr. Bierut.

While I was designing stickers, Christopher was meeting with Dave and Paul of House of Air. He presented the signs that we spent the week creating and they are totally stoked about them. This project has been such a great opportunity for everyone involved. Dave and Paul want their space to have a cohesive look and feel so they want to push the branding. For us that means we get to keep working with great clients on a great project.

Lastly, we received a second copy of Stanley Hainsworth‘s Idea+ology. We were definitely surprised because when MINE™ has been featured in a book in the past, no one sent a free book. So thanks, Rockport!

Photo taken by my Verizon Wireless Crackberry

We made it.

We had to take a little extra time today, but we did it. We put in a few more hours this afternoon and finally finished our sign design proposal for House of Air. Last night I worked until 8:30 and Christopher continued on until 2:00 a.m. Like I said yesterday, environmental design can be a long, tedious process.  Now we just hope everyone approves the designs and that the signs adhere to building code.

As tedious as it was, I really enjoyed doing it. You have to think really hard for a minute, then your brain gets to rest and wander while you’re recording your information and basking in the glory of your success. In my younger years, I enjoyed math. The thing that was enjoyable about it is that there is always a definite answer. But I guess that’s what is boring about it as well. Because of my very left brained background, I had to learn that there is no right answer in design. I realized that it’s all subjective. Though this is the case there are definitely better, smarter answers than others and figuring it those out is highly gratifying.

And for anyone who was afraid of losing Puppycam, I gave out some misinformation. The little ones are still there!

Add, subtract, multiply, divide.

It was an environmental design day! We had to figure out scales and specs for House of Air signage. It was quite fun. Christopher has a way of figuring out scale that I didn’t understand at first, but I caught on eventually.

Seeing a giant version of your design is really exciting, because people have to physically interact with it. However, I forgot how tedious the process can be. We’ve been looking at elevations of the building all day, and there are so many details to record. There is the height, width, and depth of the sign, and then there is the location where you want it placed. And when you do the elevation drawing for the sign, you have to specify where the type and image go to the T. After you do all of that, then you have to give each item its own “code” to differentiate it from the hundred other things on the list. I guess it is a necessary thing, if you are working with a lot of people. The designer or architect comes up with the plan, but other people might be implementing it. Thus the process leaves no room for error.

Whew. It’s only Tuesday, but it already feels so much later in the week. We are a bit slammed at the moment. And I haven’t checked myself, but I heard Puppycam is over. No more soft fuzzy things to take the edge off.

Making sweet love to code

The blog is looking good. There are still some things to work out, but the list is getting shorter. Christopher did a lot of work on it over the weekend and fixed some things I was complaining about in my last post. I made some minor changes today, but they still took some time for me to figure out. My biggest victory was getting the “more” button to not give the user an epileptic seizure.

Other than making sweet love to code (Sorry. We’re listening to Motown and R&B hits on Pandora.), my day was sprinkled with intern duties such as making packages, opening packages and filing samples. One pretty rad thing we received is Stanley Hainsworth‘s new book Idea-ology: The Designer’s Journey: Turning Ideas into Inspired Designs in which Christopher is featured! There are some pretty cool photos of Everything is OK Action Kits in use. The book is full of big ideas and talks about the implementation of them. Some of the stories are pretty inspiring because many of these big ideas came out of personal projects and were not funded by any particular client. It just goes to show that doing the thing you love, whether or not you know the outcome in the end, can lead you on a spectacular, unexpected journey and makes all of the tears, sweat, and blood totally worth it.

An Emotional Day

Who knew coding could make one feel so emotional. I’m not even doing anything really difficult, but my trials of the past few hours are weighing down on me a little bit.

As you can see our new blog is up and kicking. Christopher spent some time after hours coding things that he couldn’t stand to be left unfinished overnight. When I came in this morning, there were only some minor things left to do. Or so I thought. I changed some colors of things, but I also set us up with a Typekit account. If you aren’t aware of Typekit, check it out. I hadn’t heard of it until Tim sent me the link. Christopher said he wanted to embed a font into the blog some how and apparently this is how one might go about it. It’s magic! Well, not really. There is some coding and servers all over the world involved, but you can look it up on your own.

Earlier in the day, when I was figuring things out and making things happen I was on cloud nine. But for the past few hours, I haven’t been able to do anything exactly like I wanted to. I even went down the list of tags in the stylesheet and looked them all up. I gained a lot of knowledge about CSS, but nothing actually happened on the blog post lunch.

[MORE]: Why do you do that crazy jump thing when I click on you?!

GREY ABSCESS ON MY CATEGORY BAR: Which tag controls you?!

TITLES: How do I get you to not follow the style for all the links?!

STICKY POSTS: I will figure out how to customize you if I need to.

Happy weekend! Watch Puppycam!

I’m having technical difficulties.

So we’ve finally made the switch over to the new blog theme. Pretty rad, right? I have some things to tweak and type to finesse before everything is in ship shape. Since WordPress sites go live as I update it, you’ll get to see changes in real time. It’s like watching Puppycam, but not as cute.

I worked on House of Air for a few moments, but most of my day was spent working on the blog. There’s nothing better to kill your self esteem like trying to figure out how to code things for the first time. I spent an hour or more trying to customize our header. Christopher walked up and the task was completed in minutes. It seems as though I didn’t close my tag. After I cleared that hurdle, Christopher and I spent some time trying to figure out other pieces of code to change color and column width. I have a long list of things to change still, and it’s going slowly. Once I get more familiar with it though, I hope the process will pick up the pace.

Coding is a tedious task, but it’s a fun thing to do. It’s kind of a like solving a puzzle and is really gratifying to see something start working how you want it. I’m excited about doing this project, because working with css/html was one of the things on my list of things I wanted to learn at MINE™. Two and a half months into the internship and I’m pretty sure I’ve already done most of the things on my list.


Better than a 24 hour punk rock diner

I was just telling Christopher that working here is the only job I’ve ever had that has been more fun than my stint as a server. Oh, I guess teaching was pretty fun too. But I digress.

Have you noticed the blog? It’s new and improved! Now with more visuals! Today I spent the day adding images so it will look totally rad when we make the switch to the new format. It has been fun because with each picture, I get to choose the message I want to communicate for the day. So sometimes I had a picture that worked perfectly, and other times I had to make something up. They are just blog photos, but it was a design task. We make messages with words and images, and hopefully create new meaning and context. I can’t say that all my photos live up to that statement, but I enjoyed doing it nonetheless.

After my morning of bloggery (No, that word is not in the OED…yet.), Christopher, Tim and I brainstormed about signage and graphics for House of Air. I recorded notes on a giant notepad with a sharpie while trying to contribute to the conversation. We came up with some really cool ideas for the space in which we will pitch to our clients on Friday. So after the meeting and watching Puppycam (Thanks, Emily!) for a few minutes, we started adding our signage, color, and graphic ideas to the architectural renderings. They’re starting to look pretty sweet, or maybe it’s just the beer goggles.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, friends!

HOA rendering

Blogging and jumping

My big project of the day was to start rethinking and reformatting our current blog to prepare it for a theme change. To do this, I have been going back to older blogs and adding photographs. I wrote those blog entries only two months ago, but I sense a certain naivete in them that I don’t feel now. Reflection is an interesting feeling. As a teenager, I set fire to my old diaries so that younger person didn’t exist any more. But I can’t exactly burn the blog down, so it’s here to stay.


Where did the day go?

I know the time changed yesterday, but I feel like I lost track of an hour sometime today. We weren’t particularly busy, but I must have been busy enough to not look at the clock.


Wanna whole lotta mug

Porcelain Clink Clink

Cut Crinkle Crinkle Crinkle

Fold Bend Crease Fold Fold

Yes, my haiku is so esoteric. You’ll have to order the The World’s Greatest Mug to decode it’s meaning. As of today, they are ready to be shipped!


New Blingy Horizons

Everyday that I come to work is a surprise. I feel really lucky to be here. Not only because I am learning a lot from Christopher and Tim, but because MINE™ has amazing clients. Since I’ve been here MINE™ has worked on projects for a trampoline gym that will open this summer, an education movement called Private Schools with Public Purpose, Coalition of Essential Schools’ education conference, Levi’s and Opening Ceremony, The Stern Grove Festival, The Good Design Book, The Energy Project, C+, Verizon Wireless, Wells Fargo, The Nature Conservancy, The Haiti Poster Project, and the Stanford d.School. I am amazed by the breadth of clients and how awesome everyone is. I feel like I am going to get spoiled and think that this is the way every design office is run.


A Tape

A day full of firsts

My firsts included using Keynote, dusting, and meeting Ann from Hemlock Printers.

Christopher informed me that I was the first person to dust the cabinets. For some reason, I feel a little proud about that fact. But as you can see, I was desperately seeking something to do at the moment. Today was a little slow around here. We’re waiting for client feedback on a few projects so that we can proceed with them. It’s just the normal ebb and flow of things.

[more] blog photo

Gitting R’ Done at the d.School

Today was pretty exciting. I went to Palo Alto for the first time ever. I didn’t see much of the city besides Stanford and the d.School building, but the drive there was gorgeous. Sorry for gushing. As most of you probably know, I’m from Texas. I’m used to seeing flat lands and tumbleweeds.


cop walk

Taking Pictures in the Rain

Hello, blog readers. Sorry for not writing last Thursday and Friday. I was taking a long weekend.

I’m back in full force today. It was busy at the office, and I can’t believe the day is already coming to an end. If you happened to be walking along Cortland in Bernal Heights this morning, you may have seen me on the streets with a camera in hand. I’m sure the the neighborhood folk thought I was weird, because I would stake out a corner and snap a photo any time someone new entered the frame. I even stalked the meter cop for a while. That was kind of fun. My stalking was not in vain though. I was taking photos for a project that we are doing for the Stanford University d.School. I ended up taking about 220 photos. Ridiculous, right? After I edited them, I ended up going with one that I shot in the first 10 minutes I was outside before the first rain.

All three of us have been busy trying to get new and improved comps ready for the client. We’re hoping that they will only have minor changes after the meeting this week.


I like feeling useful.

Yesterday I left work feeling a little bummed because, I didn’t come up with a logo concept that was presentable to our client. So bummed that I couldn’t shake it until I went home and created a moodboard for it. So I came to work prepared with that, and spoke to Christopher about yesterday’s attempts and the moodboard. (He laughed because it was full of references to beer and guns, and our client works in education). From all the useless stuff yesterday and Tim and Christopher’s suggestions, we were able to come up with a new direction for me to take. I worked on it all day, and ended up with something that will be thrown into the mix of logos that will be sent to the client today. It wasn’t world changing stuff, but it feels good to be able to contribute.


garage boxes

Check out this gun show.

That’s right. I got my workout at work today.The intern job description should include, “Must be able to lift 50lbs.” I reorganized all of our overflow work samples and came up with a chronological labeling system. Doing a mindless task and listening to the Rolling Stones Pandora station was actually kind of enjoyable though.

It’s been an all around good week at MINE™. Yesterday Christopher and I presented our logo to the client, and it went well! They were pleased with their options, and the client even chose the logo we like. We have a little bit of finessing to do, but we’ll most likely turn in final art early next week. From what I hear, this was the fastest logo ever designed and approved at MINE™. I really enjoyed doing this project. First and foremost, I love story telling. Figuring out an identity is part of the story that an organization uses to present itself to the world. But also, I got to collaborate with Christopher and learned a lot from the experience.

The fun doesn’t end today. Tim, Emily (Tim’s girlfriend and former MINE™ intern), yours truly, and guests will be attending the Levi’s Cords by Opening Ceremony launch party. We’ll be in high form tonight, checkin’ checkin’ our fresh.

levis posters

Super Secret Revealed

I know all of you have been at the edge of your seats waiting for the big reveal! Well the day has come. For the past few weeks MINE™ has been working with CITIZEN:Citizen on a campaign introducing Levi’s Cords by couture brand Opening Ceremony. We feel privileged to be listed among design luminaries such as Jennifer Morla and Stefan Sagmeister who have done work for Levi’s.


Comp room

A Makeover

Makeovers are the theme of the day. The comp room got one, and Christopher talked to me about giving the blog a face lift.

The day started out slow. When Christopher noticed that I was lacking an activity, he asked me to create a list of projects to do in the office. Some he gave me, and others I came up with on my own. But until they were down on paper, I hadn’t realized that they needed to be done. Then the day was more or less non-stop and went by pretty quickly.

I organized the comp room. It’s on the small side, so things definitely need to be in order in there. I really enjoyed compartmentalizing the drawers. It was kind of like laying out a page. It’s also a satisfying feeling to know where everything is.

But the other project that I’m pretty excited about is enhancing and expanding the scope of the intern blog. I’ve never really done anything extensive in Word Press, and I’m excited to figure it all out. Maybe I’ll absorb some understanding of code in the process which seems to be a useful skill to have these days. Right now we’re in the process of finding a new theme. When we’ve decided, it will get underway.

Speaking of makeovers, Tim informed me that you could get one to look like KISS on Valentine’s Day in Dolores Park. Do that, and then go to the Pillow Fight!

Photos of the comp room were taken by Ethan Davis.

google map

Hello, Estonia!

So I am completely obsessed with Google Analytics. I am big in Japan! Well, at least one person in Tokyo has checked out the blog. I think that counts.

If any of you out in the world want to comment and say hi to me, that would be awesome. It would be like a virtual handshake. Especially you, Estonian. I feel funny being obsessed with you as a statistic and not as a person. (Other places that are totally into me: South Africa, Sweden, Portugal, United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Czech Republic, Austria, Russia, Dominican Republic, Australia, Cyprus, and Lebanon. I would love to hear from you as well.)

As per usual, we were working on the Good Design Book which included more photographing and more Photoshopping. Tim had to give me a little lesson on color correction. Not knowing how to do things in Photoshop makes me feel inadequate as a human being sometimes. But Tim was gracious and helpful, so I only felt slightly inadequate.

Other than work talk, the three of us also discussed the passing of Alexander McQueen (sad emoticon), Bollywood, and the number of ways to say “behind” in a hip hop song.

one heart

I am a photo making machine

I’m not going to say that there are no more photos to shoot until this book is actually done. Each day projects are added, subtracted, multiplied, or divided. It sounds very mathematic, because it is. Tim makes up algorithms to figure out which project should be placed where.


Booger Glue: My Archnemesis

My title sums up the last part of my day. Christopher asked me to help him prepare for his class tomorrow morning. This required taking labels and the branding off of many white objects. Sorry in advance for the student who gets the thing that is still sticky.

Other than using all the brute strength I had in my nails to scratch off labels, I submitted work into a competition and assisted Tim with the Good Design Book. Remember when I said we had one last picture? That again was a lie. We found something new to re-shoot today, and it’s a tough one. Difficult angles and weird shadows. But I’ll get it tomorrow.

Christopher had an eventful day. He got in touch with Kalle Lasn of Adbusters for GDB matters, and he got some fantastic looking samples back from a recent job. They were screen printed and had another unique production quality, but they are part of the secret project that will be revealed next week sometime.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Stuffed Whoopie Cakes

So Tim’s parents are way cuter than mine. I get a newspaper clipping and he gets Chocolate Peanut Butter Stuffed Whoopie Cakes. Tim’s an upstanding guy, so he shared. Thanks, Tim’s parents!

That was definitely the best part of the day. The rest of it included compiling URLs for the Good Design Book and calling Kinko’s, or FedEx Office if you want to be with the times.