‘fess up, Livejournal friends – everyone here ends up being some kind of amateur graphic designer even if you don’t want to be. Even the process of picking a layout and scouting out userpics requires an eye for the visual. It doesn’t take long before you want to start making your own rudimentary userpics and from there it’s the slippery slide through paint into photoshop and before you know it you are doing the rounds, watching and participating in icontests and graphic communities. It’s so easy, and it’s such a great place to learn how to be an amateur!
My amateur design has stayed largely in the land of Liverjournal, with the odd foray out into the real world to design an advertisement or two suring my time in the USYD evangelical union. This year, however, I got a chance to pull together a “zine” for our church. I use the word “zine” in inverted commas, because I feel like the way we do it at church is a little too structured and organised to really be called a zine. It’s pretty much just the regular order of service – with all the songs, prayer book excerpts and announcements – spruced up with pretty design and extra things like quotes, book reviews, poetry, etc that might relate to the content of the service. We create them for special services so that people who attend can have something to take home and keep thinking about the topic. They also provide another creative space for bringing different resources – in words and images into the service.
The service I was allocated to design for was on the relevance of Christianity. It was a pretty abstract topic! I ended up going with a kind of scrapbook theme and filled it with watercolours, texta scribbles and pictures of people and places, most of which were supplied by my lovely friend Lauren. The thought was what we think of as relevant is a very personal thing and is different for everyone. I wanted the booklet to feel personal, just like a scrapbook is full of all the personal memories that give shape to your life and show you what is important. I also chose to use more personal quotes from testimonies and interviews rather than abstract philosophical quotes about relevance. It was heaps of fun to make, and while the end result was a little bit messy and possibly bordering on too busy, I was really pleased with it.
If you would like to see it, I have hidden it under the cut
This shop is the bomb.
Yours is the Earth is an Atlanta based store which is pretty much my favourite online store I have ever come across on the internet. The things they make are amazing – beatiful foodie and food inspired products like market bags, tea towels, recipe cards, labels, stationery and prints of their artwork. But even more than making beautiful things, they have an amazing story and vision behind their work. Everything they make is about minimising consumption through reusable packaging, buying local produce and making things at home. And ultimately it’s a beautiful expression of what it means to live in the world that God has made. His is the earth, and everything in it.
I’m fighting the urge to buy something from them. I think think that shipping things about buying local produce from the other side of the world is a little bit ironic. But I can still rave about them from afar! Maybe if you are in North America you should check them out for me.
You can read their story and find their website here.
Their etsy store is here.
It’s Tour time and Jeremy’s blog is alive again with posts and stories from the world’s greatest cycling event. All the cool kids are staying up late and even I am starting to think it’s time to finally replace my stolen bike seat and start riding again.
But it’s not actually the Tour that’s got me excited about bikes again. And it’s not just Jeremy’s blog that’s come back to life. I’m terribly excited: My favourite blog on living in small spaces is also back on the scene: Tiny-Ass Apartment!! Whoo! Mind the language – apparently it’s not as much of a swear word in the Western Hemisphere. Anyway, they came back with the most incredible bicycle-related-thing I have ever seen.
Do you, like me, live in a one bedroom apartment with no balcony and a body corporate that sends you hate mail if you leave your bike in the stairwell?
The solution is finally here:
The Bike Shelf!
Find out more about this marvelous bicycle rack at the designer’s blog: Knife and Saw.
How incredible is this map? It is designed by Nancy McCabe in Chicago and has just featured on Flowing Data. The landforms have more or less been created by geocoded place names. I think I would love to try making something like this when I get around to finding some open source gis software – although obviously it would never be so beautiful seeing as I don’t have access to any letterpressing equipment!
Nancy’s maps are technically for sale at her etsy shop but she has currently run out.
I have been doing a lot of cross referencing to other blogs at the moment. Bear with me – here is another one, but it’s completely worth checking out!
Matt stumbled across Jim LePage’s Word Project a couple of days ago, and since then we have been hooked. The Word project is Jim’s attempt to deisgn covers for each book of the bible (Sometimes multiple covers) as a way of combining something he loves to do (design) with something he wants to do (reading the bible, even the boring bits).
Here are some of my favourites:
Almost as good as the designs themselves are the hilariously sarcastic-yet-insightful explanations that come with each design he puts out.
Do you like design or reading the bible? Or even both?! Oh my goodness, go and explore Word right now!