My husband and I were given this gorgeous book recently. It’s a cookbook from a restaurant in Venice, Italy. I have always loved most things Italian: graphic design, their unparalleled craftsmanship, and last, but not least, their food. This book strikes all the right chords.

I was so taken with the design: the gold foil stamped title, the beautiful octopus illustration, the mono-toned, metallic printed maps of Venice on the end paper and the gorgeous photos of the restaurant and surrounding areas in Venice. The book design is not only beautiful, but brilliant… They have stripped away the outer spine of the book leaving the logo, glue and stitching exposed. This not only creates a distinctive look, but the book actually lays flat on the kitchen counter while you cook.

Buon appetito!

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Winter citrus season is my favorite time of year. Quartered, peeled, pureed – no matter what way you slice it (get it? get it?) – they are all delicious and gorgeous. The intensely bright greens, yellows, oranges, and reds make for a beautiful fruit spread or seasonal salad. And, off the plate, they bring warmth and cheer to any design.

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We love working with calligraphy in our invitation work. It’s the ultimate way to make an invitation feel very personal and unique. So when Lauren and Doug decided to go this route, we were thrilled. We enlisted Tara Jones to do the hand lettering and together, we created printed pieces that felt sweet but supremely soft and elegant. 

Event Planner and Designer: Alicia K Designs
Florals: Alicia K Designs
Photography: Elisabeth Millay
Calligraphy: Tara Jones
Invitations: A Day in May
Venue: Chateau St. Jean

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I’m in love with everything about the furniture company “Jardan”. Family owned and run, they design and craft every piece by hand. I love that their designs feel modern but the natural materials lend such warmth. I just wish they were in San Francisco instead of Australia!

jardan.com.au

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ZAN LUDLUM
CASTING DIRECTOR / FOUNDER, ZAN CASTING
a celebration of risk taking ladies
DESCRIBE WHAT YOU DO FOR A LIVING.

We find talent for Runway Shows, TV Commercials, Print Advertising, Fashion Editorials, Independent Films, Music Videos, and Online content. Our unique approach encompasses street scouting for “real people,” working with established talent, up-and-coming talent, and cultural innovators.

GIVE US A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF YOUR CAREER PATH.

HUSTLE, HUSTLE, HUSTLE. I started as an unpaid intern for fashion stylists and magazines. Then interned for renowned fashion photographer Steven Klein resulting in my first job. After working for Steven Klein and learning the ropes of the fashion industry I knew I wanted to work for a female entrepreneur. The opportunity to work for innovative Casting Director, Jennifer Venditti (JV8INC) came up and my career took off. I worked for JV8INC for over four years and developed the interest in casting, confidence in my own vision and valuable business principles. Before starting ZAN CASTING I took time off to travel and redefine my values… that time away from the grind was invaluable in setting up my NYC based company with a core commitment to “keepin’ it real.”

Lanvin Fall 2012 Campaign, Photographer: Steven Meisel
WHEN YOU WERE YOUNG, WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP?

I wanted to be creative and run my own business. I didn’t have a name for what I wanted to be… but I definitely found it.

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE DOING IN 10 YEARS?

I love my job and I love creating an agency that has career opportunities for other creative professionals. What we do keeps us on the cusp of what is current and cool… Here’s hoping I can still be around in 10 years!

NAME THREE PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS THAT HELPED YOU GET TO WHERE YOU ARE TODAY.

Driven, Organized, Curious.

Google Chrome: Jess Time, Director: Nanette Burstein
HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?

Being content.

HOW DO YOU DEFINE FAILURE?

I don’t think failure exists. There is always an opportunity to get back up and work hard to fix whatever mistake was made.

HAVE YOU EVER MADE A MISTAKE IN YOUR CAREER?

YES. I’ve learned a lot and am constantly growing.

WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?

Projects where we have found undiscovered amazing talent with true stories that bring to life the human spirit (i.e. Lanvin Advertising, Google Chrome Commercials.)

Elle “Hothouse Flower”, Photographer: Txema Yeste, Stylist: Lori Goldstein
Loeffler Randall Fall 2013 Lookbook, Photographer: Tom Hines, Stylist: Kat Typaldos
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR 21 YEAR-OLD SELF?

An amazing mentor gave me this advise and it worked: Find the person/company that you admire and offer to work for free. An apprenticeship is the best way to learn the ropes and get your name out there. The experience is invaluable. I waited tables at night, interned during the day, and never looked back.

WHAT TRICKS HAVE YOU LEARNED TO BALANCE LIFE AND WORK?

It’s important to work hard and be available for your clients, staff, work relationships, etc. At the same time, it is important to know when to step away and enjoy life away from work. For me, my work is about people and culture so I could always be working… but that’s okay. If you enjoy what you do and let go of feeling boxed in by it, then accepting your career as an invaluable part of your identity can only help you flourish.

GANT Spring/Summer 2014 Campaign, Photographer: Mikael Jansson, Stylist: Joe McKenna
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CHILDREN’S BOOK AND WHY?

Currently, Forever Young by Bob Dylan (Illustrated by Paul Rogers). Because my baby girl loves when I sing it to her… and the words are so so true.

DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT VACATION.

Our amazing Southwest, USA road trip. Hiking, rock climbing, getting lost in the wilderness.

New York Fashion Week, Behind the Scenes at the JCrew Spring 2015 Runway Shows


1) Colorado
I lived in Boulder for 4 years during college. Blue sky, fresh air and healthy living… this is my happy place.

2) Utah
Climbing the red rocks, skiing the fresh powder, hiking through the narrow canyons.

3) Uruguay
I spent a few days on the beach here with one of my best girlfriends. La Barra / José Ignacio… beach bliss.

4) Italy
Amazing food, friendly people… I’ve skied, climbed, beached, hiked, prayed, drank, you name it… Love Italia.

5) New Zealand
I spent a month in New Zealand hiking by myself. The ferry from the North Island to the South was unforgettable. This is a magical land.

 


Perfect Endings, a premier wedding and special occasion cake designer based in Northern California, was looking to freshen up their logo. They wanted something accessible and refined, but with a twist – so, we got to work. Whenever we start working on a new logo design we like to explore allllll the possibilities. Below is a glimpse of the different styles and approaches we came up with. We love the final design – seen at the bottom.

Visit their website to see the new logo in action and to drool over their delectable creations: perfectendings.com

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One of my favorite blogs to visit is The Design Blog. Their website provides me with never-ending inspiration in the areas of graphic design, industrial design, fashion, animation, etc. They provide daily posts and my absolute fave is Monday, Designer of the Week. The graphic designers that they choose are always off the charts. Here’s to hoping one day we will find A Day in May on there…

thedsgnblog.com

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It’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow which means we’ve all been inundated this week with heart-shaped cards and candies. The classic heart comes in all different sizes, colors and mediums, but one of our favorite expressions is from American artist Jim Dine. Dine has made thousands of hearts in his lifetime – from sculptures to paintings to sketches – and they are all very beautiful and very different. 

Dine says “I use it as a template for all my emotions. It’s a landscape for everything.”  What a sweet and inspiring thought as we share our hearts with our loved ones tomorrow.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

JimDine

source: artsy.net/artist/jim-dine


We’ve often sent out Valentine cards instead of the traditional December holiday mailing. Here’s a favorite from a few years ago. With the help of Barbara Callow calligraphy (barbaracallow.com) we designed pop-out hearts that could be sent to your Valentine – sealed with a kiss, of course. 

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I was so inspired by this article I just read. Gaylord Schanilic combines all my loves – design, books and letterpress – and creates the most exquisite pieces of art. From the paper and type to the illustrations and bindery, every detail is done by hand. In an age where most people do their reading electronically and producing a book often takes only a few keystrokes, this was a wonderful reminder that some books that are meant to be held.

New York Times Article
Gaylord Schanilic Website

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We just adore this whimsical children’s book called Wave. Using no words at all, and just two shades of watercolor, artist Suzy Lee’s beautiful and simple illustrations tell a joyful story of little girl’s day at the beach. I found myself smiling and laughing the whole way through. 

suzyleebooks.com

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Kristin and John were getting married at a gorgeous historical estate in Long Island called Oheka Castle – not unlike Gatsby’s home – so they knew they wanted to channel the roaring 20’s and go with an art deco aesthetic for their big day. We combined some chic ornamental patterns and a streamlined font with a glamorous palette of black, white and gold. The combination made for an exuberant and luxurious invitation suite. I have a feeling this was a roaring party!

Kouvasphotos by Carol Vaziri


Ok, guilty pleasure admission, I love HGTV’s show Fixer Upper. Watching Joanna and Chip take a house from ho-hum to wow in a single episode is really inspiring. As we continue with our own home renovations, I just love watching them work. Take a look at some of these great spaces they have created. I love the neutral palettes, textured design details and natural elements:

hgtv.com

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We are loving the resurgence of marble these days. The gorgeous, swirly pattern is not just appearing on kitchen and bathroom countertops anymore, but has expanded into textiles, graphic design, and in unexpected places throughout the house, too.

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photo credit: pinterest


Kimmie and Tyler wanted a timeless, elegant wedding invitation for their special day – something that was soft and simple. We created a monogram “logo” encircled within a delicate floral wreath. A neutral gray and white palette kept it from being overly feminine and translated perfectly to the classic décor of their wedding day.

Event Planner: Laurie Arons
Photography: Meg Smith Photography
Catering: Paula LeDuc Fine Catering
Flowers and Furniture: Kathleen Deery Design
Invitations: A Day in May

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