typography of mazatlán

restaurant mamucas
restaurant mamucas, playa norte, mazatlán.

last week, i returned from my retreat in mazatlán, sinaloa, mexico. mazatlán is a very interesting city which grew from a small fishing village to mexico’s largest commercial port. downtown and viejo mazatlán show much of this older history with beautiful old buildings painted bright colors in various states of maintenance [some are abandoned, some have been restored, some have aged gracefully with continuous use]. in the 1950-1970s, the strip along olas altas beach, zona dorada, experienced a heyday, and as development headed north, a nuevo mazatlán appeared with more of the resorts and timeshares lining the shores.

i really enjoyed the viejo mazatlán area. it has so much color, and cute little homes piled atop hillsides not unlike echo park, where i live in los angeles. i especially enjoyed the typography, sign design, and hand-painted signs that seem to proliferate everywhere in a very different style than our own. i collected some of my favorites to archive in photos.

typography of mazatlan

typography of mazatlan
how awesome is that restaurant sign? indeed, it’s dinner!

fishing boats in mazatlán
a group of fishing boats on the shore in playa norte. i loved all their colorful names. walking along the beach here, we saw a guy with about 10 octopi on a hook, asking other fishermen if they’d like to buy some.

i found this sign in the restaurant row portion of the old market downtown, i like how this union represents itself with a clear rendering of the old market building and the food they are known for selling.

bar las yardas
this is by far my favorite find. a highly stylized display face for a bar which may or may not still inhabit the building [the roll-up door was locked when we walked by]. it would be fun to recreate this as a full typeface using these sample letters as a guide.

creative retreat: friday

i’m on retreat this week and the studio is closed. however, i have lined up a selection of getaway-themed posts to enjoy while i’m gone. one is set to go up each day, so stay tuned…

for my friday articles, i figured i’d keep in the theme of the creative retreat and point out 3 articles that can help you plan and prepare for your own creative retreat. i think these kinds of activities are great for the development of any business, but especially for creative types, we need regular excursions to recharge our senses.

5 ways to have a successful retreat, from designsobriety.com

how to host a fun and productive staff retreat, by lisa simmons for chiff.com

plan a management retreat with lasting results, by christine corelli for CED magazine

if you haven’t planned a business retreat before, i highly suggest at least a year-end getaway to step outside your business, reflect on the past year and plan for the next.

creative retreat: thursday

i’m on retreat this week and the studio is closed. however, i have lined up a selection of getaway-themed posts to enjoy while i’m gone. one is set to go up each day, so stay tuned…

destination dining!

i’m taking my retreat in mazatlán, sinaloa in mexico, so my vacation version of a recipe round-up is a little spotlight on mexican food and mexican-inspired dishes. all of them are light, quick & easy [which is my way of saying i’m not overlooking the more authentic stuff, i just prefer to point people to things they can make at any experience level] from el restaurante mexicano, epicurious.com and mmm, me gusta, a little cooking show.

my friend claudia yuskoff has been building this great little cooking show mmm, me gusta which demonstrates a new recipe with every episode. i really liked this refreshing cucumber snack, pepinos con chile y limón!

here are some more fun things to make when you want a little taste of mexico!
cucumber and chayote slaw
cactus salad
papaya and black bean salsa
cactus jack quesadilla with black bean relish
southwestern gazpacho
creme of cilantro soup
smoked fish ceviche
seafood sauté with avocado mango salsa
grilled fish tacos
caramelized chipotle chicken
carne asada
mayan hot chocolate
classic flan i’m not suggesting that flan is easy, but this is the easiest version of a recipe i’ve ever found, so for those who want it, go to town!

creative retreat: wednesday

i’m on retreat this week and the studio is closed. however, i have lined up a selection of getaway-themed posts to enjoy while i’m gone. one is set to go up each day, so stay tuned…

if you take a retreat in a sunny place, you can’t avoid a sun-protection strategy. here’s a list of sun protection products i love to use.

body care

palmer's cocoa butter sunblock and aveeno sunblock
[images: etbrowne.com and aveeno.com]
palmer’s cocoa butter formula with vitamin E spf 15
i love this lotion for day-to-day use. since i’m fair-skinned, i should be using something stronger when spending the day in the sun, but for running around town on a normal day, spf 15 is enough [if they made it any stronger, i’d be right on it]. the cocoa butter formula smells like chocolate frosting, and conditions your skin long after it washes off. a very soothing treat!

aveeno positively ageless sunblock spray with spf 50
when it’s time to get serious and cover up, aveeno has some very nice spray-on sunblocks that offer complete coverage in a waterproof formula. i used this one all last summer and avoided burning successfully.

protect your face

sun protection for the face
[images: coppertone.com and aveeno.com]
coppertone water babies sunscreen stick spf 55
if i’m spending the day at the beach or by a pool, where i may be in & out of the water a few times, i like waterproof sun protection for the face that is non-irritating. there are plenty of higher-end products for this, but i go for this baby formula sunscreen stick. sure, it’s slightly greasy, but as a person who is always dealing with oily skin, i’m pleasantly surprised that i’ve had no problems with it clogging pores or causing breakouts. pretty much every drugstore makes a generic as well.

aveeno essential moisture lip conditioner with spf 15
while i like palmer’s cocoa butter lip balm for normal non-sun days, it has no spf protection, so when i’m out in the sun, i use this lip conditioner by aveeno. it is highly conditioning with spf 15.

between sun days

mario badescu
[images: mariobadescu.com]
i am a devout convert to the mario badescu line, and while i use a lot more than this selection above, these are regular go-to items in the summer season. before or after a day in the sun, i use my favorite cleanser and follow it up with the special glycolic cleansing lotion to help clear away any dead skin cells. if it’s a normal non-beach day, i’ll apply the complex moisturizer with vitamin E spf 20, which is highly conditioning and light enough to go under makeup [if it is a beach day, i’ll use the coppertone stick above]. if we’re talking après soliel, i’ll follow up with the glycolic skin renewal complex for extra conditioning and renewal, along with the hyaluronic eye cream for extra attention to the delicate skin around the eyes.

sun accessories

sun hat by liberty of london for target
[image: target.com]
there are a number of accessories you can mix and match for maximum sun protection. i picked up this sun hat by liberty of london for target, not only to protect my face from unnecessary exposure, but also because my eyes are extra-sensitive, so if i want to get some of that beach reading done, i need more shade than my transitional lenses will provide. if you’re lucky enough to have perfect vision, a pair of sunglasses in your favorite style are a fun & useful accessory to bring. i will admit, i do have a pair of prescription sunglasses that have a nice wrap design, to keep out sunlight that likes to try to creep in from different angles. if you’re not going anywhere with a built-in palapa, pick up a beach umbrella, which can cut down uv rays by an additional 15spf. i also like to bring a wrap or cover-up for when i’m just sitting and reading or walking to & from the beach or pool, not just for the sunblock they provide, but when you’re wearing the same bathing suit every day, it’s a nice way to make different outfits from the same base materials, and a nice way to feel somewhat dressed while wearing your bathing suit.

and finally, once all this malarky is done, and these products are on for each of the conditions they require and you’ve got all your accessories packed in your beach bag, you can crack open that book or magazine and relax! ha.

creative retreat: tuesday

i’m on retreat this week and the studio is closed. however, i have lined up a selection of getaway-themed posts to enjoy while i’m gone. one is set to go up each day, so stay tuned…

what’s a retreat without refreshing drinks? whether they’re smoothies that incorporate good nutrition with amazing flavors, or alcoholic elixirs to sip by the pool, liquid tonics delight your senses and are a required addition to any retreat. all recipes are from epicurious.com

non-alcoholic delights

pineapple, arugula, macadamia nut smoothie
[photo: jenifer altman]
pineapple, arugula, macadamia nut smoothies
morning sun
liquid iron
cantaloupe aqua fresca with beet swirl
spiced milk tea [masala chai]
jasmine honey lassi
basil lemonade
terragon-spiked lady grey iced tea

cocktails with a twist

cucumber saketinis
[photo: jenifer altman]
cucumber sake-tinis
sangria blanca
blackberry poblano margarita
curry-spiced bloody marys
the produce stand
punch a la noix de coco
pimm’s cup
vodka rosemary lemonade fizz

creative retreat: monday

i’m on retreat this week and the studio is closed. however, i have lined up a selection of getaway-themed posts to enjoy while i’m gone. one is set to go up each day, so stay tuned…

since i’m out, there will be no event calendar, but i do suggest you designers in LA check out the aiga los angeles event calendar for some great things happening this week.

retreat prep 1: get in shape

i only just found the get beach ready with tracy anderson series last week on daily candy or i’d have been doing them all winter [though i’m pretty well covered by gilad’s total body sculpt on fit tv]. i tried out these exercises and they’re really great, targeting muscles i need to tone that don’t always get individual attention. plus i love that she’s demonstrating these out at the park, using things you can find anywhere, rather than specific equipment you have to buy.

get beach ready with tracy anderson [click to watch each video]:
exercise 1: love handles
exercise 2: butt
exercise 3: abs
exercise 4: bat wings
aaahh! soreness! but great ways to isolate less-used muscle groups.