creative inspiration

i’m a huge fan of the continuous line style of illustration, and this moving version that tells the story of mohawk paper’s legacy is a really beautiful way to evolve a narrative.

bill holsinger robinson logo
bill holsinger robinson logo, image:

speaking of things connected, i’ve been looking at a lot of ligatures lately. or rather, i’m always looking at them, but i’m thinking about them even more, and i thought this logo for bill holisnger-robinson was pretty nice. see all the details on for print only.

Rahal Kitchen logo
Rahal Kitchen logo, image: anderson design group

taking ligatures to the next level with illustration is this lovely identity for rahal kitchen, which has iterations for all types of vintage-style farm stand packaging. truly great work from anderson design group.

creative inspiration


grand central logo redesign
grand central logo redesign, image:

looking at things new york this week, let’s start with pentagram’s redesign of the grand central logo. i think they did a lovely job paying homage to the iconic landmark by putting a quaint illustration of the timeclock front and center in their legacy logo. see more of how it’s applied at

one wtc logo
one wtc logo, image:

branding for the new building at one world trade center, by wordsearch. looks like a powerful and substantial wordmark so far, it will be interesting to see how it plays out in practice. see more at


jack's wife freda identity
jack's wife freda identity, image:

it was nice to see this identity & menu design for jack’s wife freda on art of the menu, since we were just in new york last month and ate here for breakfast. i’ll admit, aside from the good reviews, i was attracted to the cute illustration and simple style. i love how the very menu you eat on as a place-mat is placed directly on their site as well. nice work & good food!


subway sign, grand central station
subway sign, grand central station, image:

will ever update their blog again? i was really enjoying the great type specimens from around town, and thought i’d share this lovely subway sign, also from grand central station.

finally, with the may protests that started yesterday, michael beruit takes a look at the original adbusters poster calling for occupation of wall street, and asks the question: does political graphic design matter?

creative inspiration


lucy's fried chicken
lucy's fried chicken, image:

this week we’re looking at type-forward design, kicking it off with this bold branding for lucy’s fried chicken. i love how the outside of the menu shows the logo as an overprint on wood, while the inside is a nice, clean layout of fare. see the whole spread at


stoke bomber beer
stoke bomber beer, image:

i’m loving this all-type packaging for stoke bomber beer. apparently this brand has always used some form of retro imagery, but this line is their foray into ww2-era nostalgia. peruse the write-up at


highway font
highway font, image:

i’m just looking for a good excuse to use highway by dan cassaro, with all its swashes, ligatures and alternates. and at 39 bucks it’s a damn good deal.

letter cutting

letters & stone
letters & stone, image:

the modern-day convenience of fonts usually only serves to make hand-setting letterpress a timely chore, but what about good old stone letter cutting from the age when serifs were more than a decoration? check out‘s interview with fergus wessel to learn more about a modern-day letter cutter.

creative inspiration


louise fili love stamp
louise fili love stamp, image: louise fili

let’s just get this out of the way: designer, letterer & typographer extraordinaire, louise fili, has designed the latest LOVE stamp for the post office, and if you haven’t had a run-in worthy of swearing them off lately [which is unfortunately hard to come by], stock up on these, because they’re AMAZING!!!

neenah paper valentines

school-style valentines
school-style valentines

…and speaking of the love season, it’s the LAST WEEK to order my valentines benefiting , featured this week on neenah paper’s against the grain blog. it’s time to get serious about supplying yourself with old-school fun and compliment bombs away! pick up your pack before friday, february 10!

heart-related art

spencer harrison
spencer harrison, image:

when i saw this poster in a selection of playful typography on, i thought of valentines, but the post is full of fantastic digital and illustrated [and digitally-illustrated] typography. but this is easily one of my favorites anyway.

happy valentine’s day!

creative inspiration

The Alphabet from n9ve on Vimeo.


hp branding
hp branding, image:

a fascinating recap of moving brands efforts to transform hewlett packard from a global technology company into a revered brand. this is a staggering project both in concept and scope, and the write-up really tells the story of how much work, thinking and shaping goes into a branding project of this scale. the logo is sleek and elegant, and is shown to play out in the larger brand as a guiding force of human progress, the new sister-meaning of “hp.” the brand strategy has a lot of muscle, but it seems it’s up to hp to decide if / when / how to implement it, and that remains to be seen. in the meantime, read the write-up and check out the linked videos and case-studies at


media consolidation infographic
media consolidation infographic, image:

this infographic showing how all our seemingly-varied media outlets have consolidated to 6 major owners to bring us homogenized, packaged info-culture is, well, frightening. maybe that’s why i like bloggers so much, you can actually hear their individual voices. see the whole graphic in its fascinating & beautifully-designed glory at

thank you cards!

parlato design studio thank you cards for 2011
parlato design studio thank you cards for 2011

now that [hopefully] you’ve gotten your holiday mailings out the door, it might be a good time to get ready to express and share gratitude for all they do. we all love a little thoughtful, heartfelt, hand-written note to cut through the clutter and speak to each other. if you’re in need of a vehicle, i’ve got three for you, available in the parlato design studio store, printed sustainably on neenah environment 100% post-consumer waste recycled paper.

creative inspiration

Mural at The Ace Hotel from Daniel Cassaro on Vimeo.


mail chimp style guide
mail chimp style guide, image:

one of the oft-overlooked services of branding is creating a style guide to support clients through the use of their new brand & identity. this style guide by mailchimp, provided for users getting started with email marketing, is a great example of extending their own friendly, approachable brand while helping clients with their own. check out the write up at

holidays in echo park

small business saturday may be over, but there are still an amazing new selection of shops in echo park worth visiting with your shopping lists in hand. check out echo park now’s round up of local shops offering killer deals this weekend, as well as open house and refreshments. i’ve peeked in some of these places and i’m amazed at what is happening in my own hood lately! and don’t forget, we’ve got some holiday specials in the parlato design studio store!

hp+gp holiday package

creative inspiration J.S. Bach – Cello Suite No. 1 – Prelude from Alexander Chen on Vimeo.


ugmonk woodcut ampersand
ugmonk woodcut ampersand, image:

i really wish i could buy every large, sculptural ampersand i see. this premium woodcut & from ugmonk is pretty sweet.


averia font type sample
averia font type sample, image:

so, i don’t know if this would happen to you, but it happened to dan sayers when he averaged the shapes of 725 fonts on his computer. i think it’s refreshingly friendly with a little throwback to faces like cooper old style. read up on it and get a download link on


stuart thursby ampersand poster
stuart thursby ampersand poster, image:

look at that, i tricked you with all these categories since everything i’m posting today is about type. this lovely ampersand is made up of all different styles of tiny ampersands in a lovely shade of blue! check out for a closer look.


parlato design studio seasonal eats recipe guide, thanksgiving 2011

if you weren’t able to snag a free copy, the parlato design studio seasonal eats recipe guide is $5 per copy in the store!

creative inspiration


mohawk bend brand & identity

this week we’re looking at branding from the home team: the whole story behind building a brand & identity for mohawk bend!


FF tundra characteristics
FF tundra characteristics, image:

take a look into one type designer’s process on the making of a new serif face from i love typography: FF tundra

letterpress printing

iron beasts make great beauty cover
iron beasts make great beauty cover, image:

some sneak peaks on the new book from studio on fire, the cover printing of their new book iron beasts make great beauty. how cool to be able to print the cover of a book on your work!

los angeles

dosa truck sketch, shiho nakaza
the dosa truck, image: shiho nakaza

my friend, illustrator shiho nakaza, is doing a cool sketch series on LA food trucks. check out her food trucks blog tag to see the series.

thanks to echo park now for culling all the echo park listings from LA weekly’s best of LA issue. echo park rocks!

3rd annual LA printer’s fair

modern-themed card sets
modern-themed card sets

this past weekend, i headed down to the LA printer’s fair at the international print museum in carson to get my annual dose of awesome letterpress projects and enjoy the demos of the old linotype machine. i feel like i’m inching my way ever-closer to doing more printing after attending last year and then doing a workshop with the night shift [a group that meets at the museum and makes prints using the wood and metal type in the archives].

fugu fugu press booth
fugu fugu press booth

this year was another great selection of design and print, hand-bound books, and specialty printing tools. one of my favorites, fugu fugu press, was back again this year with a really cute selection of cards and prints.

make ready scraps
make-ready scraps

another printer had this really cute idea of giving away make-ready scraps in little bags. some of the shapes make great book marks, but mostly i chose some nice, deeply-impressed pieces to stave off my letterpress lust until i can make my own.

making paper
making paper

what’s this? it’s a paper pulper! what i couldn’t capture all in one frame is that this pulp mechanism was hooked up to a stationary bike [maybe we can finally call it a ‘stationery bike’] where riders could power the whole contraption by simply pedaling their feet.

paper made from fatigues
paper made from fatigues

…but this paper isn’t made from wood. this demo showed how to make paper from army fatigues! it looked pretty cool, and takes the pounding from a typewriter like a pro.

wooden books
wooden books

these books were some of the more unique hand-made crafts i saw, with beautifully sanded wood and intricate bindings. in addition to the sales tables, there were printing demos where attendees could run off their own pre-set posters, and typesetting, where guests could typeset their names, hand it to a printer who would lock it into a frame, and print you a personalized souvenir as a visitor to the museum. fantastic!

to help keep hot metal type alive, the museum has started the ludlow project, with the goal of rescuing a collection of typefaces and antique ludlow typecasting equipment to share with letterpress printers, museum visitors and use in teaching classes. watch the video below, and give what you can to this awesome project!