inspiration, MoMA, graphic design

Had a flash ⚡ of inspiration lately?

Inspiration comes in many places

Graphics meet grit (and grime)

One of my greatest inspirations is one of the things I miss most lately: my weekly trips into the city. The typography is EVERYWHERE, good, bad, and meh. Of late I’m enamored with words where one of the letters is filled in, stacked sans serif-justified lettering, and skinny sans serif letters. I snap photos of signs wherever I am. When in Cuba, my husband actually took a photo of me taking a photo of a sign and sent it to our daughters —this is what your mom does on vacation!

Indulgence for days

For days that need a little extra something, I would walk to MoMA to indulge in the new and permanent exhibits. Color and shape inspiration in Monet and Picasso, form in Picasso and this unexpected exhibit, Handles, by Haegue Yang.

Yang’s installation commissioned for MoMA features six sculptures — dazzling geometries, and the play of light and sound. The colors seem to move as you walk around them, and the light flys base on your angle. Handles are points of attachment and material catalysts for movement and change. Steel grab bars are mounted on the walls amid an iridescent pattern and put to functional use in these sculptures. The shapes look like they can easily be turned into typography.

I was designing a logo for Fly Female Founders and it quickly came to mind. I shot it on my phone and then sketched this visual and typography business branding logo (right) on the train. The final logo sits far right.

Natures’ palette

I also love being inspired by nature, especially when I’m working on a branding project. For a recent logo for the Town of Westport, I made it my business to go to the beach and the golf course, telling myself that was required to “get the colors just right.” Then I open the photos in Photoshop, use the eyedropper tool (note the dots on the photos as my color references and choose colors that are “native” to the client.

Inspiration is the mother of reinvention. I’ve been busier than ever the past few months reinventing marketing materials for a variety of clients, refreshing brand applications (new typography for some),  revamping newsletters,  reskinning websites, and creating more than my share of emails and PowerPoint presentations. My clients are rediscovering that all of these methods of communication are still their most powerful, flexible, and cost-effective tools and continue to serve as the key communication pieces that drive their marketing message and strategy. Many clients are using this time to pivot their strategies post-quarantine — and, not everything has to be done from scratch. Sometimes a fresh dose of inspiration is all you need. Let me know if I can help you in any way. 

LINK LOVE

— I’m a notebook person. I have tons of note-keeping options that range from the Shit to Do which my friend Felicia gave me for Xmas and is my personal favorite, to the Notes app that syncs on my iPhone and computer (and I just wish it was a bit better). I’m going to give Google Keep a try — have you used it?.

— I especially love the NYC FaceMask Initiative started by a Creatives Roundtable and Fly Female Founders member Nancy Rhodes who is helping make masks for front line workers. To date, her team has made over 15K masks. This was a quick pivot from a just-launched business for on-demand clothing alterations and repairs. 

— For your new “desk” — hidden peel and stick drawers.

— I believe in the Pomodoro method but sometimes the timing is too long. I recently discovered Llama which enables you do make different length timers – it is a game-changer for me.

— Our house is surrounded by trees. That plus everyone working at home has made us search for a wifi extender — here are some recommended ones.

— Kids love temporary tats and what I love about these is that great design and art can let kids and adults have a little fun.

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