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national lowercase day

14 Oct

the ultimate holiday site says it is national lowercase day, “an entire day to turn your back on everything you’ve learned about proper nouns.” a day dedicated to poor grammar. the awesomeness of this holiday is debatable. writing this blog post without capital letters is making microsoft word angry and hurting my brain.

love it or hate it – we are acknowledging national lowercase day on the bb creative. enjoy this fun project with lower case (and upper case) letters by tien-min liao.

h a n d m a d e  t y p e –  a typography experiment 

happy topographic holiday!

The Story Behind the Iconic Keep Calm and Carry On Poster

11 Mar

Keep Calm and Carry On print by sfgirlbybay.

My dear friend Christi recently shared the sweet story of the iconic Keep Calm and Carry On poster with me. I later discovered that my CBC boyfriend George Stroumboulopoulos posted this charming little video on as well.

Keep Calm and Carry On was originally designed as a British propaganda poster for the Second World War and was rediscovered in 2000 in a charming England bookshop. Check out this video for the full story.

Art Prints by Tom Davie

22 Jan

I love eye candy. My favourite blogs regularly showcase beautiful photography, artwork, and posters. I love being inspired by people that are much more creative and clever than I am.

This morning I discovered these smart typographic posters by Tom Davie, of the Cincinnati-based studiotwentysix2, on Designworklife. I love me a well-designed, smart, beautiful, graphic poster. Here are some of my favourites.

Blackletter: I have a soft spot for any artwork with the letter ‘b’.

Heavy Metal: I’m from a farming family and think this is simple and beautiful.

Sensual Scrap: This also could be called ‘recycling is sexy’.

American Typewriter: I love nostalgic typewriter posters.

Check out more of Tom Davie’s typographic posters from 2011 and 2010. Davie’s prints are available for purchase at Society6.

Design is a Mix: Design is a mix of craft, science, storytelling, propaganda and philosophy.

CMYK Magazine 15/50 Collector’s Edition

25 Sep

When I was in university my InDesign instructor encouraged us to read CMYK, the holy grail of design magazines. As a poor student I never picked up this magazine but recently decided to splurge on the 15/50 Collector’s Edition – 15th Anniversary Issue / Issue #50. So much talent and creativity crammed into 87 pages!

Here are some of my favourite tidbits from this issue.

The Person You Love Is 72.8% Water
Teagan White, illustrator
Jan Jancourt, instructor
Minneapolis College of Art & Design (Minneapolis, MN)
“Experimental typography. Quote by Alan Fletcher.”


Teagan White, illustrator
Jennifer Danos, instructor
Minneapolis College of Art & Design (Minneapolis, MN)
“The piece was the result of an open research project on the topic of Native American culture.”

American Apparel
Jake Burk, art director
Mark Rokfalusi, instructor
Kristi Brenenborg, photographer
Savannah College of Art & Design (Atlanta, GA)
“State your own mission.”

Nordstrom Annual Report

Anna Niess, designer/photographer/art director
Annie Strole, makeup artist/stylist
Sara Zapata, model
Karen Dorff, instructor
University of North Texas (Denton, TX)
“2009 Annual Report that demonstrates Nordstrom’s timeless style and aim for absolute perfection in customer service and class.”

I also enjoyed:


Live the Language: LA, Syndney, Vancouver

18 Sep

In March I posted four short films by Education First from their Live the Language series that will make you want to pack your bags and travel to Barcelona, Paris, London, and Beijing. These videos are very charming. I love the typography, music, and simple storyline.

The same creative team from the four original films, including graphic designer Albin Holmqvist, recently released three new videos. Check out these delightful videos on Los Angeles, Sydney, and Vancouver. Beautiful cities. Amazing landscapes. Great cinematography.

I have to admit I have a soft spot for the Vancouver film. It is very clever how the music is muted for the “equalise” scene. Though I found the Caesar salad reference a bit strange, where is the sushi!?

Live the language – Los Angeles from EF Intl. Language Centers on Vimeo.

Live the language – Sydney from EF Intl. Language Centers on Vimeo.

Live the language – Vancouver from EF Intl. Language Centers on Vimeo.

Favourite Free Fonts

15 Aug

This poster is awesome. I discovered it on Pinterest and think it is originally from Typographie. I will always love this type of poster. Hehe!

In university I took a design class and now love nerdy typography posters and find that I spend hours upon hours online searching for the perfect (free) font. Here are some of my favourite fonts this summer, listed in alphabetical order.

1. Aubrey by Criselda Caecilia Titus
2. Bree by Marman
3. Cabin by Pablo Impallari
4. Honey Script by Dieter Steffmann
5. Jenna Sue by jennasuedesignco
6. Morado by Peter Wiegel
7. Natural Log by Divide by Zero
8. Riesling by Bright Ideas
9. Romance Fatal Serif by Juan Casco
10. Vintage by Flavia Bocco

Trying to find the perfect font can be extremely time consuming. How do you coordinate your typographic searches?

Creative Process for: Can’t Stop

6 Aug

This post is dedicated to my good friend, Deanne, who just Can’t Stop!

Every Wednesday night I go over to Deanne’s for W(h)ine Wednesdays. Deanne cooks and I bring over a bottle of wine and we have amazing conversations about the woes of being a millennial and how we are constantly surprised that life gets much more complicated after you finish university. Who knew? Certainly not us. After being out of university for a couple of years you think we would get over this fact by now, but it still seems to be a popular topic.

During these lovely evenings we come up with great mantras like Can’t Stop. Deanne and I (more particularly Deanne) just Can’t Stop – once we start a project or have a brilliant idea we are dedicated. We can’t stop. And in a town like Vancouver, you really can’t stop. You always have to hustle to get where you want to be.

I’ve wanted to make a poster for our fabulous mantra for months. And I’ve finally started the creative process. This is a work in progress, so be kind and check in later for the final poster.


Playing with fonts. Thinking about kerning, leading, and white space. Punctuation or no punctuation? Fonts from left to right: Jenna Sue, Mabella, Marker Felt, and Natural Log. I think I like Jenna Sue and Natural Log best.


Lino cutting my first Can’t Stop stamp. I love the look of lino cuts. And I love the process. Check out my tutorial on how to make your who lino cut prints.


I scanned my print and edited it a bit in photoshop. The background canvas texture is from Fuzzimo. Fuzzimo has lots of great free resources for artists, their website is definitely worth a visit!


To Deanne, who is going to be wildly successful, because she Can’t Stop!

Other mantra’s Deanne and I have recently embraced: Chill the Fuck Out and Embrace the Chaos. Do you see a theme here?

The Medium is the Message

23 Jul

I studied Communication and Fine and Performing Arts at Simon Fraser University. I really enjoyed my studies and wouldn’t change much about my university experience. It was a fabulous time. As a Communication student much of that time was spent studying the wonderful work of Marshall McLuhan, Canada’s media guru.

McLuhan would have celebrated his 100th birthday on July 21, 2011. Almost every Communication class I took had at least one lecture that focused on McLuhan and his theories (hot and cool media, the tetrad, metamedia, figure and ground media, the global village). McLuhan play a very large role in my undergraduate career and I think it’s only fitting to dedicate this week’s blog post to the Canadian visionary that has shaped the way we look at technology and globalization.

For one of my Fine and Performing Arts classes our final project was to create an installation that interacts with a specific space on campus. Being the communication nerd that I was (and admittedly, still am) I chose the School of Communication lobby, as it is where I spent most of my time. I love this space; its new, clean, has lots of natural light, and is full of amazing people.

My installation was made up of 21 freestanding cardboard letters that spelt out “The Medium is the Message”. Each letter was about 1’x2’ and required 5 coats of paint. Bringing this installation to life was a surprising amount of work, but I’m still so happy with how it turned out. Everyone enjoyed it and thought it was very playful and McLuhan-esque. In the evenings students had fun rearranging the letters to spell dirty words. Oh to be a carefree student again!

If I remember correctly I got an “A” on my tribute to Marshall McLuhan and to the best of my knowledge the School of Communication still has my installation in storage and brings it out every year for SFU’s Open House, which is very flattering.

Happy belated birthday, Marshall McLuhan. My undergrad career would have looked very different without your influential theories.

I leave you with some of Marshall McLuhan’s famous one-liners to ponder. Feel free to add your favourites the list:

  • The medium is the message.
  • The global village.
  • The future of the future is the present.
  • The effects come first; the causes, later.
  • If it works it’s obsolete.
  • Age of Anxiety.
  • Canada is the only country in the world that knows how to live without an identity.
  • Art is anything you can get away with.
  • We shape our tools and afterwards our tools shape us.
  • Ads are the cave art of the Twentieth Century.

For a fascinating video compendium presenting Marshall McLuhan live and in his own words (along with those of U.S. novelist Tom Wolfe), visit:

Wedding Stationary & Design

9 Jul

Vanessa’s vintage inspired, farmyard wedding has been a big focus of The BB Creative since January when the lovely bride-to-be asked me to be her maid of honour. Now the wedding is over and I’m full of bittersweet feelings. I had the time of my life back at home helping Vanessa and her family decorate and prepare for the wedding. Wedding preparations and celebrations felt like a non-stop, five day party. I had the time of my life, but was also exhausted (and unfortunately sick) after it was all over. Helping Vanessa with wedding preparations and celebrations has definitely been the highlight of 2011 so far.  I truly feel honoured to have played such a big role in this momentous occasion.

After five days of running on pure adrenalin it is hard to fall back into my weekly routine of work and exercise. Although I am enjoying my projects at work and thoroughly enjoy my swim and dance classes they are not as exciting as celebrating true love (btw – congratulations Vanessa and Jason!). I am searching for a new project or adventure to start focusing my energies on. Any suggestions?

Since Vanessa’s wedding was a huge highlight for me, I would like to share some of the projects I worked on to make this event extra special.

I offered my design expertise to help Vanessa with her invitations, ceremony programs, reception programs, chair decorations, favour labels, and posters. I took an InDesign class in university and have been itching for a big design project to work on ever since. I am thrilled with how all my design projects turned out and hope Vanessa (and her mom) are as happy with the design as I am!

I kept the programs simple. I found a fantastic font called Romance Fatal Serif. I love this font and it influenced a lot of the design choices I made. I love ligatures and this font has a lot of great ligatures that were fun to play with. My secondary font is called Effloresce and it was perfect for all the copy in the body of the programs.

I have done several posts on the linocut stamps I made for the invitations, I love they way they turned out and couldn’t resist posting one last photo!

These honey jar favours inspired the theme of the wedding “Love is Sweet”. Inspiration for the honey jars came from Martha Stewart. I found the circle label design on Ruffled (yay for Freebie Fridays).

I loved Vanessa’s idea for the chair decorations, which doubled as seating cards. The chair decorations were very simple, effective, and had a nice impact on the room.

Thanks for letting me play such a big role in your wedding Vanessa! Love you! <3

Stay tuned for another post on the decorations for the wedding ceremony and reception!

Previous Wedding Design Posts:


Making Tree of Codes

10 Apr

I saw this video on The Experts Agree (one of my favourite blogs). The video is so beautiful – you must all watch it.

The Experts summed up this video perfectly: “Tree of Codes is awesome, die-cutting is awesome, printing is awesome and this video does a great job of showing just how awesome they all are.”




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