book review: breakthrough!


Ever stared at your computer screen for 20 minutes and then caught yourself drooling just a little? When you work in a creative field it’s sometimes difficult to buckle down and get your work done. After all,
your work needs to be fresh, beautiful and intriguing! Breakthrough! is a delightful little book that reminds designers, writers and artists that creative block happens to the best of us. Its a collection of vignettes from all sorts of successful creatives describing how they battle block and come out the other side. Suggestions range from the practical (e.g. identifying the problem, approaching the assignment from a different angle) to the ridiculous (e.g. hitchhike to Mexico, watch Law & Order: SVU marathons), but each installment is amusing and inspiring. Cooking and getting outdoors seem to be common remedies, but the next time I get creative block I think I’ll just sit down and read this book.



Final verdict (Buy It, Borrow It, Skip It)? Borrow it. When you’re suffering from creative block, a few minutes with this book might just give you the boost you need.

—Ellie & Melissa

Thanks to Princeton Architectural Press for the review copy.

embrace the failure

Oh, what a treat you’re in for! The above video is about 7 and a half minutes long, but it’s full of things you’ll want to write down and mull over for a long time. Milton Glaser is the graphic designer most well known for his “I Heart New York” campaign, and in the above video he talks about the fear of failure.

An excerpt:

“The thing that we most fear in regard to failure is our own self acknowledgement that we really don’t exactly know what we’re doing. There’s only one solution… you must embrace failure. You must admit what is. You must find out what you’re capable of doing and what you’re not capable of doing. That is the only way to deal with the issue of success and failure, because otherwise you will simply never subject yourself to the possibility that you’re not as good as you want to be, hope to be, or as others think you are. But that is of course delusional. So my advice finally about fear of failure, which is a kind of romantic idea… there’s only one way out. embrace the failure.”

And the thing I, myself, keep mulling over? “The model for personal development is antithetical to the model for professional success.” Watch it.

via The Wall Breakers by way of Elijah Leed


GIVEAWAY: chronicle journals

We have a really fun giveaway this week — three journals from three talented designers! Stay Golden by The Great Lakes Goods is packed with positivity and eye catching art with metallic ink printed throughout. Carpe Diem by Mary Kate McDevitt is a hard-cover journal that is perfect for typography fans. Little Mountain Home is by Mike Lowery, with rustic art hearkening back to vintage book covers.

To enter, leave a comment telling us which journal you’d like to win. There are three ways to enter:
1. Leave a comment.
2. Tweet about the giveaway and leave a second comment with a link to your tweet.
3. Share the giveaway on Facebook and leave a third comment with a link to your facebook post.

The giveaway will end on Monday, March 19th and randomly-chosen winners (3 of them!) will be announced next week. Good luck!

the print handbook

The 2nd edition of The Print Handbook is out, and is a must-have for print designers! This little book has printed examples of line weights, font sizes, paper sizes (in mm, in, and picas), folds, bindings, and a paper weight conversion chart. And then they cover overprinting, creep, and trapping… let’s just say that at about $8, they’re a steal. You can get your copy at The Print Handbook store.

howdy do it: tips for new business owners

Last week I wrote a guest post for Just Lovely Things on 6 tips I know now that I wish I new then (tips for new business owners). Hop over to check it out, and if you have tips to add, I’d love to hear them!

see past Howdy Do It posts here & here
image: pope saint victor