10 Gifts for the Graphic Designer in Your Life

Still looking for a gift for the designer in your life? Here are a few ideas from my own wish list:

Cameron Moll’s Salt Lake Temple letterpress poster
This is just stunning! Letterpress printed by Bjorn Letterpress (an amazing printer I’ve admired), the 16 in x 24 in poster is available for $75 plus shipping. It is printed on Crane’s Lettra Pearl and uses several typefaces including Bickham Script Pro, Engravers MT and Epic; all wonderful typefaces.

cameron-moll-letterpress-poster.jpg

Mimobot USB Flash Drives
I’m not a collector but these flash drives make me want to be one. My favorite is Yakusa by eetteekers.

mimobot.jpg

Ampersand Cutting Board by House Industries
The perfect gift for the designer who also loves to cook! This is a cutting board any designer would be proud to display. Made of Maple and approximately 18 inches x 18 inches.

house-industries-cutting-board.jpg

Typefaces
There are so many typefaces to own and even if you aren’t privy to your designer’s library, send them a gift certificate to purchase whichever one(s) they’ve had on their list.

Places to go:
+ myfonts.com
+ houseindustries.com

I’m not sure if the following offers certificates and it would be worth asking:
+ FontShop
+ Hoefler & Frere-Jones
+ Veer
+ Phil’s Fonts
+ TypeTrust
+ Village

Letterpress Calendars
OK, there are so many and here are a few of my favorites:
Ink + Wit
calIMAGE11.jpg

Green Chair Press
2009cal-heap.jpg

Egg Press
sh4401A.jpg

Black Pearl Press
4-6.jpg

Satsuma Press
april_2009.jpg

Delphine Press
delphine-press-letterpress-calendar-2009.jpg

You Work for Them Gift Certificate
Vector art, stock images, videos, brushes, patterns, books, t-shirts and fonts galore, there is a plethora of design goodies available 24/7.

“Save the World”
E0955_01.jpg

Clothing and Accessories from Veer
Veer sells more than just photography, illustration and typefaces. Check out their section on clothing and accessories.

I have my eye on the new KERN Arrows Zip-up sweatshirt and the Pitter Patter umbrella.

VPR0001261_P2.jpg

PoGo Instant Mobile Printer by Polaroid
Polaroid film may be harder to come by and more expensive than ever but even if the result isn’t quite the same it sure keeps things fun.

polaroid-pogo-red.jpg

Gelaskins for the iphone
Blue Willow by Colin Thompson is one of my favorites and in case your designer doesn’t have an iphone (gasp!) there are plenty of other Gelaskins for laptops, ipods and even prints.

825_ColinThompson_BlueWillow_500-white.jpg

Singgih Kartono Magno Wooden Radios
This is a beauty. Made with sustainably grown woods and MP3 compatible, it’s a work of art and functional.

12989__dp__e(700x600).jpg

Still looking for a gift for the designer in your life? Here are a few ideas from my own wish list:

Cameron Moll’s Salt Lake Temple letterpress poster
This is just stunning! Letterpress printed by Bjorn Letterpress (an amazing printer I’ve admired), the 16 in x 24 in poster is available for $75 plus shipping. It is printed on Crane’s Lettra Pearl and uses several typefaces including Bickham Script Pro, Engravers MT and Epic; all wonderful typefaces.

cameron-moll-letterpress-poster.jpg

Mimobot USB Flash Drives
I’m not a collector but these flash drives make me want to be one. My favorite is Yakusa by eetteekers.

mimobot.jpg

Ampersand Cutting Board by House Industries
The perfect gift for the designer who also loves to cook! This is a cutting board any designer would be proud to display. Made of Maple and approximately 18 inches x 18 inches.

house-industries-cutting-board.jpg

Typefaces
There are so many typefaces to own and even if you aren’t privy to your designer’s library, send them a gift certificate to purchase whichever one(s) they’ve had on their list.

Places to go:
+ myfonts.com
+ houseindustries.com

I’m not sure if the following offers certificates and it would be worth asking:
+ FontShop
+ Hoefler & Frere-Jones
+ Veer
+ Phil’s Fonts
+ TypeTrust
+ Village

Letterpress Calendars
OK, there are so many and here are a few of my favorites:
Ink + Wit
calIMAGE11.jpg

Green Chair Press
2009cal-heap.jpg

Egg Press
sh4401A.jpg

Black Pearl Press
4-6.jpg

Satsuma Press
april_2009.jpg

Delphine Press
delphine-press-letterpress-calendar-2009.jpg

You Work for Them Gift Certificate
Vector art, stock images, videos, brushes, patterns, books, t-shirts and fonts galore, there is a plethora of design goodies available 24/7.

“Save the World”
E0955_01.jpg

Clothing and Accessories from Veer
Veer sells more than just photography, illustration and typefaces. Check out their section on clothing and accessories.

I have my eye on the new KERN Arrows Zip-up sweatshirt and the Pitter Patter umbrella.

VPR0001261_P2.jpg

PoGo Instant Mobile Printer by Polaroid
Polaroid film may be harder to come by and more expensive than ever but even if the result isn’t quite the same it sure keeps things fun.

polaroid-pogo-red.jpg

Gelaskins for the iphone
Blue Willow by Colin Thompson is one of my favorites and in case your designer doesn’t have an iphone (gasp!) there are plenty of other Gelaskins for laptops, ipods and even prints.

825_ColinThompson_BlueWillow_500-white.jpg

Singgih Kartono Magno Wooden Radios
This is a beauty. Made with sustainably grown woods and MP3 compatible, it’s a work of art and functional.

12989__dp__e(700x600).jpg

Finally, The Big Yellow FontBook

After what feels like years of yearning, I had a major shopping attack and decided to buy my very own FontBook.

I’m elated.

20080331IMG_8824fontBook.jpg

With this reference, I hope finding that perfect typeface to fit the project will be much faster than browsing through pages on the web. And, for awhile, I’ve been keeping a myFaveType folder with screen shots and PDFs of typefaces. It’s a rather messy folder and I’m hopeful that using journler might help resolve the untidiness for now…

Ideally, I wish there was some way to aggregate or collect snippets from one foundry to the next so I could easily reference my favorites like news.

So many delicious typefaces… I’m going to break out the Post-it tabs, some dark chocolate and curl up with Big Yellow in front of the fireplace.

The Elements of Typographic Style Applied to the Web

Keep an eye on webtypography.net as Richard Rutter helps us to bring the lessons from Robert Bringhurst’s Elements of Typographic Style to practice using css and html.

I’m not sure how long it has been since the last update and I discovered it via 31Three‘s blog mention of Web Typography Sucks, a session from SXSW 2007 this past March in Austin, TX.

Web Typography Sucks is a great presentation (there is a PDF you can download as well as a podcast) and the web page also offers more excellent web typography resources.

My favorite so far: Compose to a Vertical Rhythm.

More Lessons About Type on the Web

I was hoping there would be a magical and contradictory answer to my realization that there are not many typefaces available when designing for the web and using CSS.

The realization, if memory serves, happened while searching for themes for this wordpress-powered blog. Not only did I notice very quickly that themes used a limited list of typefaces I also had a hard time finding a theme that I thought used typography well.

My two major pet peeves: Extreme negative tracking of type (letter-spacing) and oodles of reversed out type (white type on a dark background) seemed to be used often.

white type on black background

negative tracking of type

Our second Dreamweaver class confirmed that while it is true that I could basically use any licensed typeface for a design, there are no guarantees that everyone would see what I see or am hoping they will see. Not good for me and not good for the audience.

Drat, there are so many extraordinary typefaces out there!

But, it reminds me of a layout class where the instructor forced us to use what is only in the library for all assignments. And even on staff at a magazine, typefaces are limited for variety of positive reasons. Preference is a different thing and there are many good lessons to be learned from this kind of restriction. The challenges apply once again when using XHTML and CSS. (Flash apparently is a different story and that is later in the year for me.)

Lucky for me and any of you interested in learning more about typography or perhaps just admiring it from afar, there are some great resources on the web. One recent discovery (for me) was just last night: I Love Typography or iLT for short.

I’m not sure what keywords I plugged into Google to find John Boardley‘s blog and what I found was this great post: 15 Excellent Examples of Web Typography. It was such a hit with readers that his dedicated server crashed. Not good.

I’m hopeful this weekend I’ll have more time to explore the wealth of information on iLT. In my book, another opportunity to look at and study more typography and its use is time well spent.

In fact, here are a few more sites I visit often for inspiration, facts, news to be used, or a refresher:

And, just for fun: Bembo’s Zoo.

Books for School

In just a little over a week, classes will begin for Portland State University’s Multimedia Certificate Program.

Wow. I’m nervous and excited. Anticipation is amazing.

Here are some of the books that are included when you enroll and the others I bought out of curiosity.

design books

Beginning CSS: From Novice to Professional is the book I used to design my simple site and the others are required for classes:

Designing Type by Karen Cheung was something I discovered while browsing Amazon. I’ve never had any formal training about typography so it will be interesting to find out what this book has to offer. From a quick flip-through she seems to go fairly in-depth about the thought process behind designing every character of the alphabet, numbers, punctuation marks, and even diacriticals.

Hmmm. I think I’ve just fallen in love with the detailed drawings of letterforms. Typefaces can be so sexy.

I’m sure there will be more books to follow and in October I’ll have my hands on Adobe Flash CS3 Professional Bible.

Flash Goddess, here I come!