Archive for August, 2009

Got Lucky With The Grid

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Still working on the Harmony EyeCare brochure. Inside is finished and the outside is nearly there. So today I’m waiting on photos from the client and getting the cover finished.

I can not deny that luck sometimes plays a part in design. Here is one example:
Client wanted the business card information to be placed on the cover as it is on the card. Now the grid I had made for the brochure was based solely on a 13pt baseline and 1/4in. margins left/right.

Take a look at this screen shot:

The logo and information was pasted directly from the business card and fits perfectly (and I mean perfectly) into the brochure grid. I suppose this isn’t all luck, the address and stuff has 13pt leading. But the space between “Optometrist” and “111 South…” aligns with the ascender and descender of the logo. Luck.

Talk about consistency!

- Randy

Talking Layout with JG

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

The good sir over at has enlisted Sad Bird Design to rebrand his blog site.

We have agreed on the following:
1. Simple, and boy do we mean it!
2. Typography rules over design elements
3. No background
4. One main color – Black, and shades of black
5. No header, forget everything you know about headers
6. Italic Serif post headings are bold and beautiful

So what have I come up with for him?


Times Bold Italic for headings. Verdana for post meta data.
Well, that’s the hope. Say, that was easy in Illustrator. Time to get this converted to CSS.

Site is down for reconstruction as the Sad Bird gets to work. Stay tuned…

- Randy

LIFE Goes To The Movies

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

Just got back from a lil vacation and I return with a gem of a book:
LIFE Goes To The Movies
It’s a collection of LIFE Magazine’s coverage of stars, films, and studios from 1935 to 1972.
Published: 1975


What caught my attention was, of course, the grid!


I just HAD to figure out what system they used:

Based on 9pt. Helvetica Regular with 12pt. leading. All pictures align with the ascender or baseline (red lines), but never with the descenders. Allowing ample room for captions.

Here’s a close up of what I mean:

What I like most is how versatile it was used. Text and photos are have a certain harmony with each other. I’m really liking the photos that bleed to the page edge. Gorgeous.
I’ll definitely keep this grid system for reference in future projects.

Check out the flickr set here.

- Randy

Puffin Book and Illustrations

Friday, August 14th, 2009

Came across a Puffin Books logo from 1988. I knew it had to be a part of Penguin Books just from the oval ring around the puffin. Love the consistancy within divisions of this publishing company. This was on the book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.


At first I thought this was Clarendon, which initially caught my attention. Then I tried Century, but the serifs were too thick. Thanks to WhatTheFont, this is actually Craw Modern Regular. Interesting, huh? Book was written by this guy in 1964. Love the upturned leg of the R.


The illustrations in this book are, to say the least, creepy. Is the style appropriate for this book? I don’t know, but I’ll be damned if I don’t like em. They are credited to Alfred A. Knopf, Inc 1973. Not sure who exactly drew them. Check out the set here.

This is Grandpa Joe and Grandma Josephine:


- Randy


Thursday, August 13th, 2009


I get it that the White House sends out letters for everything and getting one isn’t that big of a deal, but I still think this is cool. It’s from the 60′s! And the return address is just “THE WHITE HOUSE.” I think now they say Washington DC too, so this one is cooler.

I love how simple that is. In both the envelope and the letter there is no fluff. Its straightforward and tells it like it is. Like Roseanne.

Click here to view the full set please!


If ya like animals, and ya like wallpaper, this might be the design for you – updated.

Monday, August 10th, 2009


I’ve had this idea for wallpaper for a little while now. It’s inspired by the geometry and pattern in Victorian wallpaper, but now in an exciting and fun new pattern – safari animals! maybe for kids. I don’t know, I just liked it.

As I was saying, inspiration, ah yes, I went to the zoo and really felt the need to settle down with a fire and a warm mug of coco and read a book. And then after that start making this design. I’d like to add to it to get rid of some of the dead space and make a more intricate design… maybe add birds?… foliage?… not have anything upside-down? 

If you have any thoughts or suggestions please email me, @reply me, call me, text me, or visit me at home (please call ahead first).

update – now with birds!