MonthMay 2013

To Quote

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
― Oscar Wilde

I have a confession: I love really great quotes. I know this is cheesy and overdone, especially on Pinterest these days. Since I was a kid, I have loved them and collected them. Now, as a designer who could easily overuse them, I restrain myself. But, if you look at my things, you’ll see them sneaking about.

Early in my design career, I would fill an awkward space in a design with a famous quote. I loved sites like: and

Now, I typically only use quotes if they’re pulled from the copy I’m working with (say for a newsletter or brochure). I think having a love for quotes has given me a good eye for the key point to pull out and highlight (and maybe that journalism degree is good for something as well). As a designer, it’s important to understand the content and purpose for the piece you’re designing. One of the benefits of needing to find a quote is that it ensures I read the content and understand it. Rarely does anyone ask me to switch the pull-quote.

My designer takeaway: If held in check, obsessions can turn into a useful skill.

Privacy Window

In my mother’s office, they deal with personal information, and they were told that they needed to ensure their computer screens were not visible from doorways and windows. Well, my mother’s was visible from the window. So I created a window cover for her. No, it’s not the traditional window covering with drapes or shades; it’s paper, of course!

Since her window faces the side of another close building, the view wasn’t a big loss. Over the years, I’ve made her a couple different versions of these to help with glare on her screen (and beautify her view). This version was much more involved, and included four panels with the same detailed flower pattern cut out. (I have a callus on my pointer finger to prove it, too.) Then, I buy (still on my to-do list) some beautiful handmade thin paper from a local fiber shop. This covers the cutouts, but lets light in.

My pattern for this is actually some clip art (gasps of horror), but when I saw it, I knew it would be awesome for this. I actually printed it out over a year ago, but didn’t have the energy to do the ‘exacto’ work. This opportunity arose, and I decided I’d better go for it.

My designer takeaway: Sometimes you have to you have to commit to making a big effort to pull off a small job really well.

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