Monday, January 31, 2011

Streets of Sadness

You probably recognize the work of Carlos Segura to be that of Jack Daniels, Harley-Davidson, or Nissan, but it's his new project that's stirred up a different way of thinking and unique way of using his talents.

The Streets of Sadness project was meant to bring awareness to the homelessness of the world. It is a fantastic thing that we have so many organizations going overseas to help the less fortunate, but those who are begging in our own back yards tend to get overlooked. Stories of heartbreak and tragedy clutter the streets of all countries, including America, and Segura is using his expertise and gifts to try and give those sad stories a happy ending. Motivated by his own personal experience with poverty, Segura reaches out to make a difference.

The idea: buy the cardboard signs created and designed by homeless people begging for money, and construct a traveling exhibit of those signs. Not only will this exhibit create awareness of the homelessness, but the project's leading sponsor, Chicago Apartment Finders, will pick a winner among the signs and give them and their family a one-year free rental apartment in Chicago.

Along with the inspirational typography and design work of Carlos Segura, I do hope his innovative ideas of change inspire even more. It is the age of change, but no one can sit back and expect things to happen. Designers have an obligation to be proactive in the events of today. We must act and react. Let's act to make this world a better place.

Below are some of the signs purchased by homeless Americans for The Streets of Sadness project. You can view more, read more about the project, and vote on your favorite sign at

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Smart Design

As a designer I know that creatives like myself often forget the power we possess when it comes to all influential elements of this world. 'Going Green' may be a current trend, but 'Smart Design' will never die. Creatives are problem solvers. Depending on what problem you choose to solve will determine what mask you wear when creating. Some of us become teachers, lawyers, athletes, or prostitutes. We learn to think like that of our audience and dive into what it is that makes them tick. We thrive on the challenge of making that group of people lick their lips at the sight of our creation and submit their perceptions to allow what ever it is you're telling them to become 'Truth'. That's what successful designers do. Successful meaning they sell things whether it be a product, idea, or emotion.

It's overwhelming and exciting and probably the biggest responsibility anyone can have. Like any job, designers will perform to what every moral standard they possess as a person or company.

Well, there are many creatives developing beautiful pieces that have good intentions in mind. Here are a few of my favorites.

Patagonia Men's Wanaka Down Jacket // Made with recycled polyester

Altanus Patch Watches // Biodegradable Paper Watch

The Peepoo Bag // Sophisticated & Sustainable Water and Sanitation Solution

Organic Bikes Biodegradable Water Bottle

Omlet Eglu // Designed to raise your own food

Windstream Bike Power Generator // Generate your own electricity

Elephant Poo Paper // Paper made from a renewable resource

Related Links:

Monday, January 17, 2011

Anthropologie : Harvard Square

Thought I'd continue with the 'Great shop' theme and make this post about one of my favorite shops.

Like I said in my post about Black Ink, we had a chance to venture over to Cambridge on my visit to Boston a few weeks back and I had the opportunity to stop by Anthropologie in the Harvard Square. This location recently opened this past August on Brattle St. in the Design Research Building (shown below) which was designed by Ben Thompson in 1969. The building is seamless and flows so naturally that you can't help but recognize it as a piece of pure art. Like any piece of amazing art, it's difficult to add or subtract or rearrange without hindering the original beauty.

I think Anthropologie has done a great job being creative with their window displays and selection of colors and textures in presenting their personal aesthetic and obviously I adore their products, but it's evident that they struggle with the integration of their style and the design of this beautiful building. The open space seems to be difficult to incorporate when trying to create a window display. Like the building's previous inhabitants, Crate & Barrel, Anthropologie has constructed temporary background walls for the displays which, in comparison to the solid structure of the building, looks unstable and sometimes tacky.

I will say though, from the outside looking in, you can't help but stop and stare at some of the displays in awe. They were fantastic and I did snag some photos to use as inspiration to decorate my apartment. When the store finally gets comfortable with the space and really uses the building to it's advantage, I can only imagine how beautiful this location will be.

Below are some of my favorite looks and pieces from Anthropologie along with some of the store's displays.

Femme Trench Jacket // $188

Keep Close Booties // $118.00

Gull Wing Dress // $168.00

Radiance Flatware // $48.00

Friday, January 14, 2011

Neve Insipired

Yesterday I saw a tweet from a twitter friend of mine about a new website gone live. Naturally I had to check it out. I had no idea I would be discovering an adorable and very well designed online boutique as well as a lovely array of unique children's clothes. Neve Inspired is delightful and all of the items for sale are handmade by husband and wife design duo Bob and Kris Galmarini in their own home studio.

These innovative designs are so fantastic in fact, they even give a person like myself who flinches at the word 'baby' actual desire to have children. How can you look at the picture above and to the left and not be like…"Awe, I want that someday." All I know is I should probably order some now because if that someday comes, I'm positive that these great clothes will be completely sold out (and being that my husband is from WV, he would be so sad we never got a 'Mountain Mamma' or 'Mountain Man' shirt for our little one). They're hip, creative, simple, and just flat out make you want to smile. They sell boys and girls screen-printed tees as well as custom made dresses and skirts constructed of mainly recycled materials. 

So, if you have children, surf on over to Neve Inspired and get your kids some wonderful clothes made by a wonderful family. If you're like myself and still hold a child under their armpits two feet away from you like its a puppy that just made a mess, then buy a nice box, order tons of pieces from Neve Inspired, and stow them away until you finally grow out of your early twenties and discover that babies are not the plague.

Below are some of their items for sale. Also, be sure to visit the site to see how wonderfully it was designed!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Black Ink

Black Ink was one of those stumble upon treasures I found on my first venture to Boston the summer I drove across the country. Sitting between all of the lovely shops and local taverns in the quaint neighborhood of Beacon Hill I couldn't help but notice the eclectic items dancing in the large window displays. It was like walking into a toys-r-us for creatives. Journals with quirky titles. Wrapping paper so beautiful you would want to frame. Rubber stamps, jewelry, pet toys, mugs, and office supplies so unique you wonder how anyone would have come up with them. I was in heaven.

Naturally, my recent Boston trip itinerary had Black Ink at the top of the list of places to visit. The Cambridge shop in Harvard Square is a lot larger and closer to the wonderful Museum of Useful Things, but they are both equally amazing. Leaving the shop, my husband surprised me with buying the Pantone Mug (below) when I was busy being completely infatuated with the rest of the fantastic objects. If ever in the area, I highly recommend stopping by. If not, check out their great online store!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Favorite Etsy Ampersands

So, I jumped on the typography bandwagon long ago because, well, type really is beautiful and being design obsessed it was only natural for me to embrace the trend. Ampersands have always been a favorite of mine. Here are some of my picks from the wonderful world of etsy that I hope to be the owner of in the near future.

Ampersand in Night // OhHiShop //$35.00

White Wood Ampersand // Hindsvik //$125.00

Moss Covered 18 inch Ampersand // Choosing You // $54.00

 Ampersand Cushion // Aunty Cookie // $50.00

Initial Ampersand-Brass Vintage Letterpress Necklace // Gwen Delicious Jewelry // $35.00

Handmade Silver Ampersand Charm // Augurie // $38.00
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