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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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.

Ice Storm!!!

The first week of Feb. I think we had an ice storm that beat all within living memory. It also closed down school for a few days, which gave me my first break this quarter. It was a hugely welcome break, but I ended up working harder busting up ice on the driveway. We had 6 – 8 inches of sleet/ice on every level surface. This stuff was hard as rock. My brother was even able to drive a tractor on top of it!

The most harrowing part was using a mallet to bust 4 inches plus of ice off of Lainey’s new Lexus. It makes me shudder even now and has made me determined to tear down my studio in the garage so she can bring the car inside next winter. All three of us worked hard on the drive just to clear a path. Then it snowed. The sky just kept on giving.

That ice stayed around and was a hassle for 2 weeks before unseasonably warm days (50 – 65F) worked their magic on it. If it hadn’t, the piles would have stayed until Spring!

Create Your Own Type

I don’t know what I was thinking… it has been an exciting idea in the back of my mind to create my own handwritten type for several quarters now, but for some reason I got it in my head to go a different way and do something totally different. The first several weeks of this quarter were so overwhelming in the amount of work assigned, that I think I was concerned that I could not give it the attention I wanted to give it, so I chose to challenge my Photoshop skills. However, one day I will design my own handwritten type because I really want to.

So… I chose to use “found items” and have rediscovered a love of miniature marshmallows, which are now on my snack list.

The process turned out to be laborious so creating my own font would have been much easier and the lighting on a few of the letters could not be corrected. Since they all had the same light source, I am not sure exactly what happened with those.


  1. Photograph each individual letter on a black background using specific rules that I set up for width/height etc.
  2. Get into a mini marshmallow war with the roomies to reduce the tediousness of arranging little spongy things in a straight line
  3. Pull image into Photoshop, remove background, adjust lighting, as well as smooth out the edges of each marshmallow!
  4. Eat a few marshmallows to reduce stress
  5. Place them in a grid in alpha order in Illustrator
  6. Toss a few marshmallows to the dogs to reduce stress
  7. Create a background that looks like hot chocolate
  8. Voila – print, mount, done! (Eat a few more marshmallows to celebrate.)