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British Typography


I own a couple of classic British cars and spent a Saturday recently at the All British Field Meet in Portland. Below are some examples of British typography from the meet. (click on the thumbnails to view larger images)

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5 ways to dump a creative slump


Creative slumps. We all get them. We get stuck on one idea, or feel void of new ideas. Often we just sit and wallow in our lack of creativity, but there are many ways to get out of a creative slump.

Here are 5 ways that work for me.

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Contacts from SugarCRM CE by email address


SurgarCRM CE (Community Edition) is an open source client relation management software. Recently I had the… I am searching for the right word… is it pleasure, no; opportunity; no that isn’t it either. I was looking for information on how to use SugarCRM CE’s REST API to get contact information based on the contact’s e-mail address. I think the word is “painful” experience. But, eventually I was successful so I thought I would share my experience.

What is REST?

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Trash to Treasure: Dr. Evermor’s Art Park

dr evermor art park sign

While visiting Madison, Wisconsin earlier this summer, the fam and I found ourselves with a rare “no plans day.” After consuming copious amounts of spicy cheese bread at the Capital Square Farmer’s Market, we headed to Dr. Evermor’s Art Park near Prairie Du Sac (pronounced saw-k if you want to sound like a local).  Continue reading

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Adventures in Swiss Design



Design is everywhere. It can be found in the mugs from which we drink our morning coffee. It’s evident in the packages we choose at the grocery store. And for me, it influences many aspects of my life. The way I organize. The jewelry I make. My illustration style.

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Why did I become a graphic designer?



So, I recently became a father.  Which has inspired me to look closely at my life, and start asking a lot of questions.  I’m finding that many of those questions have parallels that relate to work as a graphic designer – a job that requires both “careful planning” and “going with one’s gut”.

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Do I need a design system?


And btw, what is a design system?

I’ll begin to answer those questions with a question. 

Does your business or service produce marketing or communication materials?

If the answer is “yes,” then you need a design system. 

A design system is a thoughtful grouping of elements that, when used together in a prescripted, guided way, visually and verbally represent your brand. They are the ingredients that make up the pie.

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The Importance of Error Messages

Something bad happened. OK.

Error messages can easily be overlooked when a page or web-based tool is being created. Sometimes the placeholders for error messages are still there when a page or tool has been published—this can lead to confusion. Other times, the message appears at the wrong time or with the wrong information.

It’s unfortunate that error messages receive so little attention. Small details matter. They offer a chance to support overall brand and user experience. And they create an opportunity to change a moment of frustration to a bit of delight.

At the Delight Conference in Portland, Jonathan Colman of Facebook suggested  that error messages should explain simply and clearly:

  1. What just happened
  2. Where the problem happened (did the user do something, or did the tool do something)
  3. What to do next and who should do it

With this in mind, here are some examples of error messages and my feedback based on Jonathan’s guidelines: Continue reading

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Vintage Typography and Design


Aaaah…vacations. We all need them to relax and reenergize. I also need them to get inspired, often through the combination of nature AND city. So what could be better than a road trip through state and national parks with city lodging along the way…? Add my little pup Addy and it’s pure paradise.

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Web Calipers – Part 3 – Techniques and Technology


This is the third part of our three part series on Web Calipers. The 1st post was on the history and purpose of Web Calipers. The 2nd post was on how to use Web Calipers including short-cut keys and bookmarking instructions. This post will detail some of the code and methodology that went into making Web Calipers possible.

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