Movers & Cocktail Shakers at Descanso Gardens

If there’s one thing I love, it’s a good cocktail party! Descanso Gardens has been coming up with some really innovative and intimate events, and their latest, Movers & Cocktail Shakers was the kind that puts the fun back in fundraiser.

Held at the historic Boddy House, we celebrated the era of the home through cocktails of the times, headed up by bar director Sean Naughton of LACMA’s Ray’s & Stark Bar. Three handcrafted cocktails told the formative story of the martini and old fashioned through their common ancestor, the martinez, the construction of prohibition-era sours, and the original recipe of the mai thai with hand-pressed almond syrup. Sean told the story of each drink, including interesting info about the ingredients, and gave great mixing advice. After each demo, he taught one volunteer how to make the drink again, so we’d really learn them.

To give some real retro flair to this event, we designed a lockup using period typefaces and used photos of the Boddys as a nod to their home. It’s always fun when you get to depart from current branding to develop a themed look for an event, and this one just happens to be an era I love!


See more of our work for Descanso Gardens here.
+ See more recent work here.

Recent Work: The Oak Woodland Opening


Last week, Descanso Gardens hosted private openings for their newest garden, The Oak Woodland, dedicated to native flora and fauna, on a part of their grounds never before open to the public. This garden is very much in line with the top-of-mind concerns about water conservation, with a contemplative focus on the plants that have co-evolved with our southern California landscape. Following a path that encircles a lake and connects to two other gardens, this space offers closeup views of colorful salvias and coast live oaks, as well as meditative vistas of the san gabriels.

To announce this great unveiling, we created a versatile invite enclosure with a variable insert, showcasing the oaks, and all on natural-tone paper. On site, we created garden entry signs that explain the history of the land up to this point.


This garden also has a printed field guide, as well as a full-page pdf of all the plants that can be found here. Download a copy and go explore! See more photos of this project here.

+ See more of our work for Descanso Gardens here.
+ See more recent work here.

Recent Work: The Rise, Only at Descanso


It’s been really hard not to shout about this project all year long, but now that it’s complete: these gala materials have been one of our most fun projects to date! As the only west coast host to The Rise of the Jack O’Lanterns, Descanso set their fundraising gala ahead of the public event as an evening garden wonderland among the carved pumpkin sculptures. We decided to glam it up by printing metallic copper on cream paper, adding an elegant twist to fall festivities.


The calendar leading up to this exclusive event is a long one, so we got started more than 6 months out with an overall look & feel, and initial commitment materials in the form of an extended letterhead set. Next came a save-the date invite, and eventually the event invitation, finishing up with on-site collateral. We definitely had a budget to keep in mind, and managed to create really beautiful pieces by going 2-color and running together on similar stocks, and layering specialty papers together.

I’m really pleased with how these pieces work together, and Descanso Gardens reported that this gala garnered increased commitments and donations from the previous year.

+ See the complete project here.
+ See more of our work for Descanso Gardens here.

recent work: natural curiosities exhibition tri-fold


Lately, we’ve been hard at work in development for a full product catalog with Natural Curiosities. Since they exhibit regularly throughout the year, we were bound have to create a work-around for one of the shows while in production. To give them a colorful showcase piece in the interim, we worked with their ever-growing photography assets to produce this exhibition piece as a takeaway for attendees. The fun aspect of this z-fold piece is that it works as a back-to-front flyer when closed, but still works as a beautiful, long-format piece with call to action & contact info on both sides when fully-open.

See more of our work for natural curiosities.

If you have questions about exhibition collateral or different ways to make your products stand out, say hello!

damn good

damn good by jason adam & tim lapetino
damn good by jason adam & tim lapetino

my buddies over at hexanine have just released damn good: top desiners discuss their all-time favorite projects with how books. i like this book for a few reasons. for one, it’s really well organized into project type, so each project is in a category with similar work. another thing i enjoy now that i know some of these authors is to see what they would curate as a set of work worth sharing. everyone has an opinion about what’s good, and we can easily look at their own portfolios, but it’s always fun to see what they like and are inspired by.

finally, i liked the feedback feature in this book. it’s not just a selection of nice pieces, it’s a chance to hear from the designers about their favorite parts of each project, which can sometimes reveal aspects readers couldn’t have guessed on first glance.

aiga la: speakeasy poster in damn good
aiga la: speakeasy poster in damn good

i’m honored to be among the group of damned good, here in the form of the aiga la: speakeasy poster, which was a really fun project for the 2010 aiga la fellows gala and celebration. the people who work with the los angeles chapter of aiga are a fantastic group, and this project was a great reflection of that.

see the aiga la fellows gala project here.

creative inspiration

event design

haunted museum
image: FPO / studio fuse

this invitation to the natural history museum’s halloween event “haunted museum” brings together retro thriller movie design with vintage travel posters. see the entire profile at fpo.

furniture innovation

comfy cargo chair

thanks to for sharing the comfy cargo chair, which can be stuffed with anything you’d like to display while sitting in it. i only hope there’s a suggestion to add a cushion to the seat.


ideal sans
image: H&FJ

H&FJ has just announced a new typeface, ideal sans, a clean, highly-versatile sans-serif that tinkers with space and proportion while maintaining high readability.

design industry

the 2011 brand new conference is open for registration.

for those of you following trends in logo design, logo lounge’s logo trends for 2011 is out.

i recently watched this “talking funny” show on hbo as well, but michael beirut was able to grab from it 7 things graphic designers can learn from stand up comics.

if you’re a designer working with a developer when it comes to web development, maybe your relationship could use some guidance. smashing magazine offers two cats in a sack: designer-developer discord.

it’s never too early to incorporate design into a development process, so why not revisit your research process and integrate it wherever you can. parse can help you get started: design-research process.


cherry cottage cheesecake
cherry cottage cheesecake

this week in food, we’re talking all about cherries over at LAist: seasonal eats: cherry season is upon us!

event calendar: march 22-28, 2010

i’ve just got 2 events on tuesday this week, but they’re with 2 of my favorite networking groups!

here’s what i’ll be doing

tuesday, march 23, 7:30-9am the LA area chamber of commerce referral breakfast with guest speaker barbara rocha. free to all LA area chamber members.

tuesday, march 23, 5:30-7:30pm the san fernando valley networking mixer hosted by lelah baker-rabe through FREE! lelah is an excellent host and bokado has a delicious tapas and wine list. rsvp and meet up with us!

film detroit: mixer collateral

film detroit welcome sign & event program

film detroit is a non-profit that assists production companies in sourcing filming locations in the detroit area. with a tagline detroit: we’re cheap and easy i knew this would be a fun project for the stampy, splattery, grungy photoshop brush arsenal. this event involved a mixer and a panel discussion at the WGA theater, and was organized by the immaculately unequaled claudia casillas events.

contentnext: future of business media conference 2008

the 2008 future of business media conference materials got more literal this year with the critical state of the economy. for the 2nd year running, contentnext looked at the future of business deals within various markets in digital media, this time with the ability to compare current trends with the previous year’s predictions.