Thursday, May 31, 2007

over and out

The packers are here.

There will be radio silence for a couple days.

More later.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


You might like the gypsy life
You judge your progress by the phases of the moon
Get your compass and your sharpest knife
People love you when they know you’re leaving soon

If you choose to settle in one place
You may be harder over on the ones you love
Like a tree without the growing space
You will be taking from below and from above

-john gorka

I started to love this song in college for a bunch of different reasons. I was falling in love with modern folk music and John Gorka’s voice is just intoxicating. Nancy Griffith as back-up isn’t half bad either. But the words always got me, too. The thought of being a gypsy intrigued me. And I had yet to get out of the South.

Now I feel like my life is somewhat imitating this song. And I don’t think I want that. I mean, I want to move. And I want to start a life where the outdoors are more accessible. But I also love, I mean really LOVE the people that are in my life here. And I don’t like the idea that “people love you when they know you’re leaving soon.”

I keep hearing the word community. And I am just starting to get it. It isn’t necessarily this super intentional thing. It isn’t huge. It can be as small as two. It is just being in the lives of those people that you love. It is making an extra effort. It is talking a lot. And just being quiet in the presence of others. It is knowing and understanding. And wanting to know and understand more. We are all just trying to figure out life on this earth. Why not do it together?

So as we leave I am realizing that I am not taking up roots. Because I am not planted in the soil of Illinois. My roots are in each and every person that I hold dear. And they will be with me no matter where I am.

claiming creative

I spoke with Tom this morning. There is a place across the street from his hotel that has the tag line "we're creative. you're creative." It is written in Sand font. Sand is one of my least favorite fonts. It in the font all of us used in our first semester of ad school because we thought it was "creative". So how perfect that it was the chosen font of this line. The font negates the saying. So I decided to do a mock up of the tag line with a gradient as a background. Because, unless it's a Grateful Dead poster from the 60s, gradients are just plain bad.

Friday, May 25, 2007

when bad fonts happen to good design

Ah! The musician who asked us to do the posters for Lucky Jackson just sent me a copy of what is going up for their latest show.

Here is a reminder of BEFORE:
And here is AFTER:
This is not only a good example of bad fonts, but also a reason to NEVER relinquish original, layered files. Oh well.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

the best alarm clock

So I used to think that our 75 lb black lab mix was the best alarm clock in the world. He was always excited to start the day. He gave us more reasons to wake up early than just going to plain old work. He got us outside, rain or shine, to appreciate nature (and clean it up).

But Z is learning to love sleep as much as we do. His snooze button is on permanently.

And the timing couldn't be more perfect, because his job as waker-upper has been usurped by a much lighter weight version ... a full 50 lbs lighter. This new, updated clock wakes up happy and excited to see us. And though more overall work, I have never laughed so much in the morning. I now truly appreciate time. How fitting.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Speaking of ...

... so bad, it's good ... I watched The Cars video "You Might Think" to remember exactly what the guys at Walter E. Smithe were trying to duplicate. And I think that the furniture store might have a better quality picture than the 1984 music video. Wow. How memory makes everything better than it was. The fly portion is around 2:04. What's with the car coming out from under the covers????

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

So bad, it's good.

We all know the local furniture store. They sell "sets". Dining sets. Bedroom sets. It allows people to not have to think about what goes with what. In Atlanta, it's Haverty's. In Chicago, it's Walter E. Smithe. In our three years here I have grown to love their awful TV ads. And their latest is by far my favorite. Check it out:

(in case you don't already know, millions of cicadas are about to emerge from the ground and fill the trees with eggs. Mmmmmm)

Monday, May 21, 2007

before and after

We love being asked to make something better.

Sometimes an employee with a little desktop publishing knowledge can be dangerous. Case in point, here is what we were sent:
And here's what we did:

Friday, May 18, 2007

Never leave Chicago in Summer ...

... because you forget why you ever wanted to leave. Man, it was a beautiful day today.

Went to M Henry for breakfast this morning. If you are ever in Chicago, it should be on your list of places to go. It is the perfect blend of earthy funk. We will be back there, no matter where our residence lies.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


This is an introduction to Cornelius. He will hopefully write on this blog one day.

Cornelius rides his bike to work. Or he runs. It is nine miles. Yup. Nine. His bike has no brakes. Hence this movie.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

what we do

We are going to start sharing some of the stuff that we have done over the past year. No one usually sees this stuff except for the people that ask for it ... so we thought we'd share maybe one project a day.
In January, a friend of ours from the agency asked if we would create some posters for his band, Lucky Jackson. This is a dream job for any designer so we did quite a few options for him, thinking he would pick one or two. He loved them all. We have not been to any venues that they have played, so have not yet seen them in action.
His direction for us was:
"i won't say much other than that we are trying to give the impression of travelers, maybe by train ... but we don't have any tickets ... ghosts and thieves and angels ..."

Gotta love musicians.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

this hurts

Just got back from Denver house hunting. Here is what we found. Pretty cute.

It was a painful trip though.

As gorgeous as Denver is, we came to the conclusion that a place is not necessarily your physical surroundings, but the people that fill that space. I know this move is good for our family. D will have a yard to play in and T will have long roads to ride and I will have mountains to climb.

We are going to miss the people in Chicago. We have built a life here. This is our fourth move in five years and for the first time EVER we both feel like we have a place that we will want to go back to. So we have decided to see this move as a sabbatical. A venture into the West. And if we don't feel the hippie love flowing in our veins we will be back in the practical Mid-West.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

common ground

There is nothing like a UHAUL rent-a-center. As I stood in line with five very large black men I realized all of us were the same. We were all moving. And all hot. And all tired.

Over my thirty minutes in the cinder block room I heard every cell phone ringtone imaginable. Gangsta rap and hispanic jingles. But the last one shocked me. Vivaldi. Coming from the phone of the largest, blackest of the them all. You can't judge a book by it's cover, or a guy by his color.