Type My Heart

Our Typography final was a 4 week project to create a book. I chose to print mine on one sided canvas paper (meaning I had to sew the pages back-to-back) and to bind it with leather (for durability.) I also sprayed each page with a Krylon protective spray.

This book should be able to endure many, many years of loving hands flipping through it.


  1. Read the book “10 Commandments of Type”.
  2. Retype the 10 commandments (rules).
  3. Illustrate the rule with typography.
  4. Illustrate how to break the rule.
  5. Put all of this into a book format.

In other words, we were to have 20 typographic illustrations, 2 of which were required content.

Simple enough, but I was not interested in re-typing a book that did not impress me (I never did read it all.) So I came up with a whole different take on the same concept and turned it into a gift for my mother. Since 20 pages were required and I have 18 nieces and nephews, the subject matter was pretty much a no-brainer. The rules were turned into “Boundaries” and “No Boundaries”, which seemed an appropriate word for kids.

The pages were laid out in a spread format, so each spread (the boundary on the left and the broken boundary on the right) actually went together. Something that is not noticed when each page is read separately in the slideshow below.

The photos are all my own and taken in 2010. The writing is also my own and strives to capture something specific about each child.

During this process, I fell in love with these kids all over again. This has to be my absolute favorite project I have ever done at the Art Institute. How in the world will I ever top it?!

I ended up making two of these. One I turned in to my instructor and the other I gave to Mom as an early Mother’s Day gift. Keeping something like this secret just isn’t in my skill set.

For the entire book and photos of the process:

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Painting Final

For our 3rd and last painting we were permitted to choose items with color from home. I chose my 1000 year old ancient pottery that I have wanted to paint for years. These are a couple of items I have been restoring and never finished. I sort of like them that way.

1st step was to draw large charcoal drawings from different angles and identifying the values. I chose to go with this setup, which was at my home studio where I had good lighting.

Next, block it out on the canvas with the water soluble oils we were using for class. I could have stopped here. I really liked the colors. The black was made by mixing phthalo blue and burnt sienna, giving it a really funky blue/brown look when creating the grays.

My palette.

We let that layer dry and then the fun part. Putting color onto the canvas. I love painting!

In the classroom lab I chose to arrange them on a table at the back of the room so I had some space around me and could be comfortable. It also meant I did not have any lighting to speak of, but that was fine. This was a truly pleasurable experience.

This final photo was taken on my cell phone because the teacher asked to keep this one and hang it on the wall at school. I am not finished with it yet, but the teacher felt it was done and told me to stop. The details that I want to cleanup and finish will drive me nutty for the next 3 months as I see it hanging there, but overall I like it.

One thing I learned was that I can paint faster than I thought! This process was done over 4 weeks in the classroom, but it took me a couple of weeks just to get used to the setup as well as letting layers dry. The total hours in this project was, at most, 7.

Painting – Anachromatic

2nd painting was learning the “fat” over “lean” technique using gray scale. I found it very difficult to manage in the claustrophobic classroom space using the black and white items on a table. I am so used to painting with great lighting, in my own comfortable space, and with whatever time is needed that I simply couldn’t concentrate.

We blocked in the values, let it dry a week, then painted a thicker layer over that (fat over lean). The final touch was to paint in the details.

I just couldn’t get into it and finally brought it (and the shells) home to finish. By then I was “over it”, so I don’t feel this is a finished piece. I met the requirements and received an A, but don’t expect to see much of this piece in the future. The canvas will be better served by my painting over the top of it, if I may say so myself. (And yes, I am disappointed. I was hoping this would be more fun than it was.)


Helvetica is a typeface that is used everywhere; however, have you ever thought about the history behind why signage looks so clean and crisp? Or where it originated? No? Well why not? A good way to learn about it is to watch the movie. Yes, there is a whole movie devoted to Helvetica. We watched it in our Adv. Typography class, wrote a paper on it, then created DVD cases using only the Helvetica font and our body copy.

The project did not enamor me at all, sorry to say. However, I loved (!!!) the movie and it gave me a lot to think about in my new career direction. If you watch the documentary then you might recognize that one case is Swiss style design (very crisp, clean, and no frills). The second (colorful, more expressive) one is “Swiss with a twist”.

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The “dull” work of a Graphic Artist

A graphic designer sometimes dips into the same work I have done for years as a technical writer in the corporate setting. Organizing complex information for ease of understanding and use is one of those skills demanded by both careers paths. The following form was an exercise given to us by our teacher. We each had to organize 3 pages of information into a form that would be easy to use utilizing the InDesign software.

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Highlights of my life in an infographic

Instructions were to create an infographic poster of our life. That was overwhelming, so I opted to simplify the info and physically paint the background, pushing for an Art Nouveau style.

I featured both the events and the people most influential in my life and inscribed it at the bottom:

His hand guides the brush that makes up the many colors on my journey to the woman He sees me to be. His heart shares the precious souls who make that journey worthwhile.

Project was docked a letter grade because of one misspelling. Sigh. I have since figured out how to turn on auto-spell check in InDesign. Adobe is not quite as intuitive as the Microsoft Suite with simple (obvious) things like that, so you have to do the thinking for it. If you don’t, it will trip you up.

Final Cat Project Touchpoints

Having settled on a logo, I began to develop the brand for the the Rescue Me cat rescue center (a fictitious “zoo” homework project for Media Design that I have used to brainstorm ideas for a local cat rescue group that is in need of a logo and new website.)¬† It was a lot of fun!

Itsy Bitsy and Mitsy... my 3 iconic cats

As a part of the project we had to take the logo and develop the brand across 7 touchpoints.

A touchpoint is anything that is seen by others and is meant to represent the brand.  A couple of examples would be the front of the building or a map that is handed out at a zoo etc.

Click on the presentation link below to see all the touchpoints, which includes a van, a membership card, a website with 4 pages, and an event poster, as well as the two examples above:


Library Assignment

Library assignments always involve research and references and we get one in every class. Once in a while we get to do something creative with our writing. This example is for Media Design. We researched 3 different creative jobs, wrote about them, and then put the information into a 2 page magazine layout. This was then mounted and turned in.