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The Gnomist

My wife and I have a not-so-secret obsession with gnomes. It started a few years back when we received our first garden gnome as a funny house-warming gift, and now we have dozens of all different sizes in and around our home—from pencil erasers to pillows. My office desk at work is even full of them!

So I was extremely excited when a friend of mine shared a link to a documentary film called The Gnomist. The short film is a true story about the mysterious appearance of beautifully-crafted fairy/gnome homes in a suburban forest in Kansas. Every night a mysterious stranger would integrate these really creative and interactive dwellings into the surrounding trees and landscape. The surrounding community became enthralled with them, and they even managed to change a few lives as well. The power of art!

I urge you to take 20 minutes to see it. It’s a really well done film, with an emotionally uplifting message. Who knows, maybe you’ll be inspired to create your own gnome homes in your local community.

Weeks of Work


This past year, we’ve stayed super busy at Taylor Design. Managing multiple projects, challenges, and deadlines daily can really drain your creativity. In order to help wake my brain up on Mondays (in addition to the mug of coffee), I spend just a minute or so before our weekly status meeting to quickly sketch a simple title design in my lined notebook for that week’s project list. Nothing fancy—it’s just a fast, fun way to kick-off my creative thinking for the week, and I urge you to give it a whirl. Check out this quick flip-through of one of my notebooks for an example (cartoon gnomes and all).

8 Useful Sites for Finding the Perfect Fonts


As a designer, I’m always on the lookout for good resources to help select typefaces for upcoming branding, print, and web projects. Having a quick and easy way to find the perfect fonts can save a ton of time. And while online type-testers have improved a bit, viewing type samples set in “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” isn’t very useful when it comes to design. For me, seeing how a typeface performs in a real-world print application or on an actual website is much more useful. Many type foundries, font libraries, and blogs realized this need, and have made it easier for us to stay informed and keep our Pinterest pages filled. Check after the break to see some of my favorites. read on

Feeling Unsatisfied?


Everyone experiences moments of frustration when things don’t go as planned. Parallel Studio created a short animation, called UNSATISFYING, about these annoying little things of everyday life. Things such as missing a golf putt by a hair, or dropping a spoon into your soup bowl, or having a vending machine item get stuck. I thought the video was clever, funny, and something we can all relate to.

Watch video: https://vimeo.com/189919038

Additionally they created a challenge for animators who want to show other unsatisfying moments. Watch or submit your own video here: http://unsatisfying.tv/

I hope you’re not disappointed you did!

Don’t Forget to Read the Label


Besides chocolate, not much pairs better with a glass of wine than a good book. Italian Winery Matteo Correggio and design agency Reverse Innovation creatively merged wine and books together in a series of three wines—two reds and a white—called “Librottiglia.” Each bottle’s label contains a short story that ranges from a fable about a frog called “The Frog in the Belly” to a humorous, murder mystery named “L’omicidio.” They even paired the genre of story to the characteristics of the wine. What a cool idea. The only caveat is that the books are currently only in Italian! To learn more, check out their website at: http://www.librottiglia.com. Photos by Reverse Innovation. read on

That’s Old News


Old newspaper that is. Japanese artist Chie Hitotsuyama creates astonishingly detailed sculptures of life-size animals using rolled strips of wet newspaper. Think papier-mâché art to the nth degree. The sculptures are created as life-like as possible using the textures and colors of the rolled paper. What a brilliant way to repurpose something that would just end up in the trash bin. For more information about Chie and her exhibitions check out her website: http://hitotsuyamastudio.com/ read on

Rockemon Go


If you’re a fan of Pokemon Go, but are tired of searching for invisible characters on your phone, take a trip to Grand Rapids, Michigan.

In the same spirit of Pokemon Go and scavenger hunts, Aaron Zenz and his family painted over 1,000 rocks this past year as different characters—all with vibrant colors and personalities. They will be displaying 500 of the quirky characters in a massive display at Grand Rapids Children Museum, and then placing the other 500 around the city for you to find. The rocks will be stealthily tucked into random spots outside, and if you spot one, take a photo and tag it on their Instagram feed #RockAroundGR. read on

Fabric Faces


I really can’t stand ironing, but it doesn’t seem to bother British artist, Benjamin Shine, who skillfully turns thin fabric into realistic, sculptural paintings by layering and pleating the material to create shadows and depth. He must go through a ton of starch! Check out his fabric work along with other unique projects on his website.

Photo credit: © Benjamin Shine 2016

A Few Tips for Designing Icons



Since we design and illustrate a lot of icons for interfaces and infographics, I thought I’d share some tips I picked up along the way for you to consider as you dive into your next icon project. As you probably know, good icons can add visual appeal and structure to a layout, as well as help in navigating a website or communicating a message quickly. However, I’ve also seen my fair share of poor icon design and misuse that can easily ruin a design or hinder a website’s usability. So if you do decide to use icons, make sure you do your research first! As you work on creating new icons, strive to make them easy to recognize and memorize. Remember to: read on

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