Monday, February 23, 2009

Shoes for the Better

Is it really possible that a small shoe company is doing the single most admirable thing I have ever seen? Oh yes, friend, it is. I have known of TOMS Shoes for a few years now, and I am so glad to see that they are still thriving. Their mission is ridiculously inspiring. For every single pair of shoes you buy, they provide a pair of shoes for a child in need. For every single pair of shoes purchased. And this is no limited time offer. This is what the company stands for. It's sooo simple, and so very effective.

This is what TOMS Shoes basically look like. Very comfy, very casual. They come in different colors, patterns, and fabrics. There's canvas, suede, burlap, corduoroy, etc. There are even vegan options.

I've known TOMS like this for a while, now - a more casual look, nothing too crazy, maybe a splash of color. So what really drove me to post about them today was a shocking new addition to their selection: Glitter TOMS. I think it is just hilarious that they have these options now! Pretty much amazing. My favorites have to be the red and silver. Not that I could pull them off. But I might have to try.

So let's be honest. This is something that we're probably not quite ready to spend much on. Understandable. But keep TOMS Shoes in mind, and spread the word. I really like what they're doing.

I know, another "greater good" post. What can I say, when I find things like this, I get excited. I like to share. Oh, I almost forgot! TOMS also makes a great wrap boot. One of my favorite designs of theirs. I know, perfect timing. Did the groundhog see his shadow? More winter, anyone? What am I saying.

Friday, February 20, 2009

I am Learning to Appreciate.

I am one of those designers that has been very hesitant to convert to web design. What can I say, I just really like the interaction that you get with print design. I feel like a customer will get a much more intimate experience from a well-thought-out mailer than from an e-mail. Same with a poster as opposed to an online banner, or a printed magazine rather than a blog. Talking of which, I think we should all just take a moment, on behalf of Domino.

Okay, enough of my ode to print design. I am trying to get past this. Really, I am. In fact, there are even websites that I like. I like I like I'm even liking, simply for its easy-to-use navigation. Here are a few lesser-known sites that seem to stand out from the herd., the site for an "Interactive Boutique Agency" in Jakarta, uses an interactive layout to showcase their work. You have to physically travel through the site, like in a video game, to find their information. The only potential problem is that this ends up being a lot of work for the viewer, and gets a bit confusing. But hey, they did something different - they got their viewers involved in an unexpected way. And they made it look good. was designed by a local Minneapolis studio, Seventhsin, for a local artist/illustrator, DC Ice. What I like about this one is the creativity in the representation of the artist's work. It serves her perfectly, and it's obvious that the designer and artist were able to work well together. is just pretty. The type is handled beautifully, it is well-organized and it's easy enough to navigate. The organization reminds me of magazine design, and the type is very similar to that used in the book, "Thinking with Type," by Ellen Lupton.

I think what draws me to these sites is the creativity and the incorporation of certain aspects of good print design. Or maybe it's just the adorable characters. These examples are interesting enough, but there are so many more sites out there! I'm sure you've seen better? Do tell.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


As you may have noticed, graphic designers have a ridiculous amount of power. We influence society like none other. Just look at what happens when you show someone a series of corporate logos (the Golden Arches, the Nike Swoosh, the Apple). Nine times out of ten, they can identify the company connected. Potentially, we have the ability to brainwash the entire public.

So we have to decide. Are we going to use our powers for good, or for evil? "With great power comes great responsibility," - one of my favorite quotes from Spiderman. And so true. This is why, when a competition like Good 50x70 comes along, we need to get involved.

This is going to be a step in the right direction. The due date is far from now, so there is plenty of time to think about it. So consider it. That's all I'm asking. Let's do some good! I'm going to start brainstorming.

(P.S. Massimo Vignelli is a judge! How awesome is that??!)