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Graphite — come matt or shine.

Graphite — come matt or shine.

A complaint I often hear about graphite is that you can't get really dark darks without also getting shine. So I was eager to try the new Faber Castell matt graphite pencils. I ordered the set of 12 (though I see now all Amazon has is a set of 6) which had from HB...

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Marian Bantjes — contemporary designer/artist/letterer

Marian Bantjes — contemporary designer/artist/letterer

Marian Bantjes is known for her obsessive patterning and ornament, whether hand-drawn or created digitally. This design was one of three holiday cards she did for Amorial Paris. It reminds me of how much fun I had with my Spirograph when I was a kid. But I never could...

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Alexander Girard — then and now

Alexander Girard — then and now

Architect and designer Alexander Girard was extremely prolific during the 1960s and 1970s. I bet you'd recognize his work -- take a look at this excellent video from a recent episode of CBS Sunday Morning (under 5 minutes long). This Christmas card an example of his...

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Dali & Hallmark?

Dali & Hallmark?

For Christmas 1960, Hallmark commissioned Salvador Dalí to design some holiday greeting cards. It was an initiative led by Hallmark founder Joyce Clyde Hall to show the work of great artists to people who might not otherwise see it. Dali asked for $15,000 in cash in...

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More holiday inspiration from great designers

More holiday inspiration from great designers

Continuing with the theme of classic holiday cards I found while looking for inspiration for my own clients' projects this year, here's one from Paul Rand designed in the 1960s. I wish I would have thought of this for an assignment when I was teaching commercial art:...

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Holiday card inspiration from the greats

Holiday card inspiration from the greats

While designing Christmas cards for clients, I've been looking at past examples from some of my favorite designers/illustrators. Here's a 1960s card from Milton Glaser (my all-time favorite), created for a typography company called Advertising Composition. He...

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All roads lead to Rome

All roads lead to Rome

I can’t resist posting this drawing of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome from my sketchbook, because tomorrow is one of the last classes for my Smithsonian World Art History certificate and the subject is Italian architecture. I drew this during a previous Smithsonian...

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Unique holiday greetings make an impression!

Unique holiday greetings make an impression!

Make this season even more special by sending custom holiday cards to your clients and customers. It's a thoughtful way to let people know you value their business. I'm currently finishing up several customized greetings cards and letters for clients, but I think...

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A poppy for Veteran’s Day

A poppy for Veteran’s Day

Tomorrow is Veteran's Day, and we'll probably see a lot of poppies as a symbol of remembrance. Here's a little illustration of a poppy I did in my sketchbook a while back, and some info about how that tradition got started. From The Poppy Story on the American...

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