Colophon Type Foundry

Colophon Type Foundry

Colophon Type Foundry

Colophon Type Foundry

Colophon Type Foundry

I don’t know what rock I’ve been under, but there are some seriously cool fonts to be had at UK type foundry, Colophon. And for an extra twist all the of the typefaces are limited edition which I’ve never heard of in font-land before. Knowing just how much intense technical detail goes into each letter, and then to make the whole batch limited edition makes them all the more special. Colophon also spends a lot of love on the sample books for each face, they are works of art in their own right.

And the fonts themselves? For the most part they’re simple and timeless, but with enough flair to make them unique. Want, want them ALL. Check ’em out!

– Margot

October 28, 2011 / By

Nothing Major, A New Lifestyle Brand Out of Chicago

Nothing Major

Nothing Major

Nothing Major

Nothing Major

Launched today by Chris Kaskie & my studiomate Mike Renaud, Nothing Major is a cheeky & irreverent line of artist-commissioned, gender neutral tees & accessories made with careful attention to quality, responsible production & aesthetic integrity. So many small details to fall in love with: surprising typography elements, a random pocket, or specific illustration style. I love the logo too, those chunky round serifs fell me every damn time. The website is well worth the trip, especially the extra-thoughtful section that features interviews with each of the contributing artists. I’m eagle eyeing that smart little tote bag! So many pockets it has!


September 9, 2011 / By

Autism in Pop Culture

Wil C Kerner

Wil C. Kerner, Pals (collage) – Age 12

Donna Williams

Donna Williams, The Outsider

David Barth

David Barth, Vogels (“Birds” in Dutch) – Age 10

Emily L Williams

Emily L. Williams, Leap Years

I will never not root for the underdog, which is why I’m so moved by these images from Jill Mullin’s book, Drawing Austism. Showcasing work from over 50 autistic artists, it’s fascinating to glimpse their perspective on art and their world, especially since autism, Asperger’s, and other sensory disorders are now sharply increasing in children. It’s great to see cultural responses and channeling autistic challenges into something so beautiful and productive. It makes me so happy to see these people’s intricate minds used in a way that a keeps them from feeling marginalized in society.

You can see and read more about the book at 50 Watts.
To purchase a copy for yourself, click here.

Here’s some similar things that entranced me and sent me right into the autistic’s captivating brain.

Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon

Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, an incredible novel by Mark Haddon.

Mary & Max, a touching claymation film that manages to feel real in ways that a live-action movie just can’t pull off.

And let’s not forget Dustin Hoffman’s legendary performance in Rainman, which we could even say kicked off this trend back in the hazy 80’s in the days before Tom Cruise got weird.


July 19, 2011 / By

Matthew Cusick

Matthew Cusick collage

Matthew Cusick portrait

Mattew Cusick Map 2

Matthew Cusick waves

How boss is this collage work by Matthew Cusick? Intricately woven from castoff maps, sometimes with the addition of paint, Matthew builds them into most intense landscapes. These must be show-stopping in person, I’m already entranced just from my computer screen!

I struck google gold and found this interview with Matthew; his thoughts on collage are brilliant:
Collage is a medium perfectly suited to the complexities of our time. It speaks to a society that is over-saturated with disparate visual information. It attempts to put order to the clutter and to make something permanent from the waste of the temporary. A collage is also a time capsule; it preserves the ephemera of the past. It reconstitutes things that have been discarded. A collage must rely on a kind of alchemy; it must combine ordinary elements into something extraordinary. Extraordinary, indeed. Major hat tip, sir!

Found through But Does It Float


July 1, 2011 / By

This “Female” Designer’s Take on Gender


Let’s get this fact out of the way for good: everyone selected for your awesome project should have an awesome portfolio, without any unqualified candidates just to fill a diversity quota. Does anyone ever want this any other way? Ick, what a gross thing to consider. But it’s not the point. The point that Dylan & GOOD keep making is that you don’t have to do it in the first place. Has the internet not taught us how vast and deep the creative world is? There are ALREADY plenty of talented creative minorities out there with the work you are looking for. If you are having trouble finding any, then you need to switch tactics, build your network, and keep looking. No really, it’s that simple. Keep looking, full stop. You will have to work harder; they don’t call us minorities because we are commonplace. But that’s okay, you love work, otherwise you wouldn’t be a designer curating that awesome project you started in the first place.

Secondly, all types of minorities get slighted in some way. Discrimination is going to happen because these groups are not the running the status quo. That is the shit-kicker of life, it ain’t fair just like your momma said. I don’t like it anymore than you do and it’s not an excuse to let it lie either. The fact this gender-bias topic keeps resurfacing is proof that enough folks see an obvious rift here. I also think it’s interesting that I’ve yet to come across a lady designer who dismisses these claims either. It’s just dudes who are starting the conversation and doing the decrying simultaneously. Telling, no?

To be honest, I’ll thank you for standing up and saying something, guys. If you’re wondering why you haven’t heard much from the females on the subject, it’s because doing so makes the work about something else, when we ladies just want it to be about the work, 100%. Plus, it’s passé these days to be “out” as a feminist if you’re a woman. We are seen as men-hating, a bitch, or a spinster if one of us stands up and makes a fuss. Thanks to our bra-burning senoritas in the 60’s and Working Girl in the 80s, it’s as if this part of our history is in closed books, and we should be lucky it’s even come this far. But look no further than this incredibly smart piece by James Chartrand for evidence that we are not quite there yet.

Let’s start anew and enlist the perspective of our transgender friends. I think their voice is key in this conversation since they are the only people who have gotten to live in both gender worlds. I’m also loving the support that Tina Fey, Kristin Wiig, and Amy Poehler are getting these days for dispensing that ridiculous notion that women aren’t funny. The arts are the best way to break down cultural barriers and as designers we hold immense power to create change for all marginalized peoples. It’s clear we have to keep talking, keep pushing, keep working together. And thank goodness we get to have the internet our as most immediate tool. I don’t know what I would do without it, or without you, my network and community. Let’s just all be best friends forevs and make rad stuff together, ok?


Image by Nicole Lavelle.

June 21, 2011 / By

Pia Howell





Pia Howell Collage

Images by Pia Howell & Golden Age

Thank you, Pia Howell, for introducing me to the fascinating world of C-prints. My only experience with a darkroom was back in high school, and despite a plethora of extremely talented photogs in my life, I had entirely forgotten that one can make beautiful imagery with developing chemicals alone. Enter the exuberant work of Ms. Howell, which I took in last Friday night at Golden Age Gallery & Shop.

Love these simple abstract & familiar forms. She’s making an image instead of taking one, the color doesn’t exist until brought forth by her clever hand.


June 14, 2011 / By

Nike+ Visualizations by SVA Students

David Bellon - Nike+ Visualizations by SVA Students

Allison Shaw - Nike+ Visualizations by SVA Students

Michael Yap - Nike+ Visualizations by SVA Students

For me, running is a simple: shoes on feet, the right clothes, and hit the pavement. No treadmill, no headphones, no maps or apps needed. I don’t even keep a solid tally on my weekly mileage, just relying on my legs and Chicago’s grid to tell me how far I’ve gone. I’m just not into the numbers. But these data visualizations of Nike+ stats from NYC runners bring fitness tracking to a whole new level. By Nicholas Felton’s SVA students, each has a fresh, holistic take on the data from over 1,000 Nike runs. And, BONUS, all are incredibly sophisticated for student work.

I pretty much always nerd out over infographics especially when Felton is involved (no duh, Einstein) but these go a step further into generative art land. Right on the intersection of science + design, the crossover is obvious and totally charming. See more here. Selected graphics from David Bellona, Allison Shaw, Michael Yap and Cooper Smith respectively.

– Margot

June 10, 2011 / By

ROA Hits Up Chicago

ROA Hits Up Chicago

ROA Hits Up Chicago

ROA Hits Up Chicago

ROA Hits Up Chicago

ROA Hits Up Chicago

Among graffiti nerds, Chicago’s not especially known for having a strong can culture for several reasons. Spray can sales were verboten in city limits way back in the 80s, which in the days before online shopping, meant a 2+ hour trip (less if you can snag a car) to the suburbs to procure it. Further, the fines and penalties are still so steep that most are deterred. And the city has on several occasions swooped in and buffed out commissioned graffiti murals on private property. Not exactly a positive environment for this particular type of expression.

So it’s a promising sign that there’s an obvious uptick over the last few years in street art in general here. Brand new and brilliant work from Belgian street artist ROA went up just days ago in two locations, thanks to Pawn Works & the Hedrich Blessing Photographers. Having seen the rams first hand (Kinzie & Peoria for you locals) they are a massive sight to behold. Pushing 90 feet long, the piece fills the entire building’s wall. And all spray can too. Hot damn.

By far the best part of ROA’s animal subjects is how they are tucked in the architecture, almost caught in a moment. Seeing one feels just like that moment when you happen to spy an interesting animal in its natural habitat. They are the urban replica of the real thing. Very happy to have these marvelous beings, I hope they stick around for awhile.

More ROA amazingness on Unurth. Photos by Unurth & Brock Bake.


June 6, 2011 / By