Wednesday, July 09, 2014

You know you're a graphic designer when...

Saw this today and thought it was far too true not to post. If you are a designer read, relate and enjoy. If you're not, but have spent any amount of time with me in which I was stressed about a project [that's always] then I think you will get a good laugh [at me]  

:: You’ve almost rear-ended the car in front of you because you were analyzing a font on a billboard. 

:: You get pissed when a free Photoshop brush you download is less than 1000px in size.

:: You’d rather study the paisley pattern on your boyfriend/girlfriend’s shirt than listen to what he/she has to say.

:: You can use keyboard shortcuts at light speed, blindfolded, but you can’t type a paragraph of text without staring at the keyboard.

:: You’ve had “Software Nightmares,” when you’ve been working way too much. (this is so true)

:: You know that rivers are more than just water.

:: When you know the difference between fuchsia, magenta, and maroon.

:: Activating your entire font collection makes your computer crash

:: You consider meals interruptions.

:: You’ve learned your lesson and stopped using the word “final” in any file name when saving.

:: You clean your keyboard more often than you wash your car.

:: You’ve intentionally given up trying to explain your projects to non-designers.

:: You understand that you speak a different language than your non-designer friends. It's called Adobe and they will never understand. 

:: You see CMYK and RGB like Neo sees the Matrix.

:: You’d rather organize your desktop than your sock drawer.

:: When you heard that Adobe was acuiring Macromedia, you had a Design Orgasm.

:: When you look at Album art all you see are grunge Photoshop Brushes. (Then you see the album art a couple minutes later)

:: You’ve Photoshopped out a watermark for a comp or mock-up.

:: You’ve actually paid for a font.

:: You’ve totally slaughtered a great design concept because the client thinks he/she knows best. (everyone thinks they are a designer)

:: The amount of words you’ve written with a sharpie labeling burned discs total more than the amount of words you’ve read in novels.

:: You’ve had to explain to a client that a layered file wasn’t part of the deal.

:: You’ve kept a ragged concert ticket just so you could scan it.

:: You’ve nicknamed the OSX spinning wheel. (and not affectionately)

:: You bookmark a resource more often than you have a fun night out on the town.

:: You’ve intentionally overbid a project because you can sniff out a bad client from a mile away.

:: You can’t go to a restaurant without secretly critiquing the menu design.

:: You have an amazingly huge font collection, and an amazingly short temper.

:: If you had a penny for every mouse click, you would have been a trillionaire 3 years ago.

:: You have bags under your eyes so big you’d have to check them in at Heathrow Airport

:: You watch the superbowl just for the commercials

:: You can spot bad typography from 100 yds away

:: You are pro-facebook because 95% of the myspace accounts burn your retinas

:: You can name more than 200 fonts in under five minutes

:: You are completely immune to subliminal advertising

:: You look upon a well-designed project with either: sympathy OR extreme jealousy

:: Your hand is permanently stuck in the shape of a mouse

:: You tell stories of exacto-knife inflicted wounds with grizzled sort of pride

:: You practically take caffeine intravenously

:: You have an appreciation for everything unique

:: You’ve been spending three days non-stop on a project and it still looks like shit. You find yourself overcome by Deathlust.

:: You find your pulse increase at the sight of a lovely ligature, glasses steam up when an unusually elegant arm, leg, or tail comes in view, and a well-kerned paragraph is apt to make you break into a sweat with excitement.

:: You buy a CD or DVD for the artwork, even if you have no idea what the actual music or film is like”.
(even worse, you don’t actually watch or listen to it, just stare at it for hours and hug it in adoration)

:: You look at the clock and see it’s about midnight and think ‘I’ll go to bed now’… and you actually go to bed about 2-3am".

:: You need someone else to point out that you’re sitting in a room in front of the computer with all the lights off, and haven’t noticed”

:: When you know what “kerning” is and you really, really like it.

:: When you wear two [ke] [rn] pins on your bag, and only you know what the mean. To others its probably a band of sorts..

:: Forget the boy-wonder and the man of steel; your heroes have names like ‘Tibor Kalman’, ‘Stefan Sagmeister’, ‘Paul Rand’, and ‘Paula Scher’.

:: You don’t wear black to look cool, you wear it to hide the gauche.

:: You have a thing for chairs. You don’t know why.

:: You giggle whenever you use the colors F0CCED, EFF0FF and 44DDDD

:: You’re in the sun and you look around for a Drop Shadow to sit under.

:: You give your relatives a lecture about color spaces and profiles when you email them your vacation photos.

:: Seeing someone use Lens Flare or Comic Sans adversely affects your blood-pressure

:: You maintain a grid system for your refrigerator magnets.

:: You organize your CD collection according to the Pantone chart.

:: You sit at work for eight hours straight just looking at your monitor, waiting for a spark of inspiration that doesn’t come.

:: You’re up ‘til 5am because you came up with the best idea ever while brushing your teeth.

:: The hottest dream you ever had was “Trace contour… Find Edges… Pinch… Extrude… Smudge Stick… Motion Blur…. Sprayed Strokes…”

:: You know Lorem Ipsum by heart.

:: Your kid knows Lorem Ipsum by heart.

:: The preschool teacher complains your child won’t color inside or outside the lines – only indicate colors on a separate sheet.

:: You deliberately butcher your perfectly cross browser compatible site in IE by placing a “Too Cool for IE” banner on it.

:: You prefer a Layer Style of 50% Opacity (or less) on your wife’s Satin.

:: You spend $200 on a font for your personal website because “it’s the only one where the lower-case g is just right…”

:: Looking at a menu make you go “hmmm, ITC Baskerville italic” rather than “mmmm, lunch!”

:: And when you finally order, you go for Layer Based Slices with Grain Texture…

:: You use words about fonts you dislike that other normal people reserve for fascist dictators and serial killers.

:: Apple+Z is the first thing that goes through your mind if you drop and break something.

:: You refer to colleagues as Strict, Transitional, Loose and the Future Unemployed.

:: You refer to your privates as “the Magic Wand”.

:: Your best friends are all employees at the local print shop

:: The only people who seem to know what you do for a living are other Graphic Designers (ex: Graphic Design? What’s that? You’ll never be able to make a living being an artist!)

:: Kerning and leading on your shopping list actually matters to you, and you don’t see a problem with that.

:: Several South American economies suffer noticeably any time you try to give up coffee, or even cut your consumption of it by half.

:: You know that “bleeding” doesn’t hurt.

:: When your significant other/ friends have threatened to never speak to you again if you point out one more font to them.

:: If you could go back in time you wouldn’t go back to see the rise and fall of civilizations, you’d go back in time to destroy comic sans and papyrus.

:: You Know You’re a Graphic Designer When deciding on the right crop doesn’t involve a choice between corn or wheat.

:: You’ve considered naming your children things like ‘Kern’, ‘Pica’, ‘B├ęzier’, and ‘Serif’.:: When you think watching “Helvetica” is the best thing to hit DVD, and even worse, when you know that the name Helvetica was derived from the Latin word for Switzerland and that it was originally called Neue Haas Grotesk. (Very very true!!!)

:: When you can’t remember the word “fog” and instead refer to it as the “Gaussian Blur.”

:: When you write essays, papers, and letters with InDesign.

:: When the best use for papyrus you’ve seen was on toilet paper.

:: You look forward to seeing PMS

:: Printing your wedding invitations cost more than the dress, engagement ring and honeymoon combined

:: Your favourite scene in American Psycho is where they discuss business cards

:: You test the stock and weight of EVERY piece of paper you come across

:: You always travel with your X-Acto kit

:: Your idea of a hot night is joining the serifs of two Baskerville L’s

:: When your mousemat is also your placemat :)

:: You’ve named your fish Gill Sans

:: You physically can’t get a Tattoo containing wording, for fear of the kerning being incorrect, or the characters being just that little bit different.

:: You can understand everything on this list.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

you look fine

:: As I was scrolling through pinterest, this image grabbed me. Not because it was a motivational quote about being beautiful the way you are or an image of a half-dressed girl posted as workout inspiration. It grabbed me because of it's simple yet compelling message. You look fine. Be who you are. Don't worry about what the mirror says because the reflection will always be changing. You are a process.

:: There will always be other things telling us who to be and what to look like but who cares? I'd rather live a life with messy hair and no makeup knowing that I'm living life authentically and learning as I go than being all done up and miserable because I'm trying to figure it all out by myself and not really letting anybody else in.

:: Let yourself go. Be confident in your imperfections. Because let's just take a minute and ask ourselves, who really enjoys being around "perfect" people anyway? 

Friday, June 13, 2014


Each year I ask God to give me a word that encompasses something He wants to teach me. This year that word is "immerse." Wherever I am and whatever I do, I want to be all there. Immerse myself in the places I go and the relationships around me. 

For a strong feeler like me, that seems like a pretty easy concept but it has been more difficult than expected. I say that as if I'm surprised, but of course it is harder than I thought! God always has something new to show us even in the most simple concepts. Sometimes, it seems that as soon as we begin to understand something He goes and changes the rules of the game. 

I'm moving back to America this fall. It's an adventure I'm ready for but there’s still a little apprehension that creeps up every now and again. I think part of that is God challenging me with my time left in Herrnhut…to not be mentally and emotionally absent because I won’t be here come September. But the question remains, how do I begin to separate myself from something while I am still fully immersed in it? 

Monday, May 26, 2014

I will climb this mountain...with my hands wide open

:: Last week when I was in Greece I decided to hike a keds (best bad decision of my life) Hiking a mountain is fun but it is no easy task. When we got to the “top” there were still maybe 500 meters to the highest peak. Naturally, a few of us decided to go up to watch the sunset. The way up was rough and it seemed that we were going away from the sunset and really not towards the direction we needed to go at all. Edmond, our Greek guide, ensured us that we just needed to trust him and follow. So we did. With a look of unbelief on my face, I took on the task, one boulder at a time, rocks poking my feet the whole way up from lack of proper shoes. When we finally reached the top, we couldn’t see a dang thing. It was cloudy and the mist made it impossible to see further than 20 meters into the distance. 

:: So there I was, I had just spent the better part of my day climbing to the highest point of this island to sit in a cloud. I laughed and thought about the irony of the moment. This past year has felt like a continual uphill climb (good. but hard). The past months I have been on the plateau near the top and and recently, you could say I have “reached the top”…the decisions have been made and there’s nowhere else to go for now. But even at the top, the view can be misty. The uphill journey may be done (for now) but what remains is not always a beautiful panorama. Sometimes, we have to wait for the clouds to clear and we have to wait for the night to become morning before we get to see the beauty of the sunrise and take in the breadth of the big picture.

:: Despite the lack of vision, one thing that can be enjoyed from the top is the accomplishment of the climb. While up on the top of Ypsario, I was able to sneak away with a handful of local olives and spend some sweet time talking to Jesus. His peace is overwhelming and in that moment I was reminded that He is good and his timing is effect and his faithfulness never fails us. 

:: This song has been my anthem lately and having this revelation has made it come to life so much more. I love how God does that…gives us something that He makes sense out of later. 

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

freedom, choice & sacrifice

“It's not hard to decide what you want your life to be about. What's hard, is figuring out what you're willing to give up in order to do the things you really care about.”

:: freedom. choice. sacrifice. I’ve been thinking a lot about these words lately. In a way they do not seem like words that go together. We are called to sacrifice yet, we are meant to live in freedom and we have freedom to choose what our lives look like. I love that God trusts us enough to give us freedom to choose and at the same time I am often overwhelmed with what that means. Apparently humans make about 612 decisions a day but lately, I feel like I'm hiding from making any...but I've reached a point where I can't really hide any longer. 

:: Lately, I've had to look at my life and make some game changing calls. I've said no to some big and small things and it’s been hard. I’ve lost sleep and cried buckets of tears and continually asked God about a million questions and begged for more clarity. Even still, I feel that I may be making the wrong decisions but I know God is faithful and His peace is a constant reminder that I am not alone for He will never leave us nor forsake us. 

:: So here I am, sitting myself down to look back over the last 2 years of life, learning and making sense of the moments along the way and allowing those lessons to be a part of the process. 
:: Life is crazy and if I’m being honest, I’d say that right now I just don’t feel the love and the passion the way I think you’re meant to. I am all too aware that life is always not about loving what you do and that no matter what, there is tremendous sacrifice. But that is the beauty of choice, as I weigh my options, I am wondering about the sacrifice and what it costs to follow God deeper...deeper into love and deeper into a life of missions. There are so many opportunities that lie ahead and I feel that these words can easily be twisted into sounding selfish and narrow minded. I know that no matter how much we sacrifice, we will be met with blessing. I know the right answers but I also know how freeing it is to arrive at a place where you can be confident in what you love and what you don’t because when we keep doing something because we should love it, we set ourselves up for a lot of pain.
:: I like how Shauna Niequist puts it when speaking of a similar season, “I’ve struggled under work that wasn’t right for me but I kept going because it was the plan. Feel free to change the plan. I’ve stayed with things that I didn’t love because it seemed like I should have loved them. Pay attention to what you love, not to what you should love.”

:: There’ will always be pressure and opinion about what others think your life should look like. Many of them come from people whose words hold weight and whose opinions matter and it’s worth taking the time to listen to them. It’s worth taking time to listen to the lessons of your life and to listen to your calling. It’s worth taking time to listen to your family and community. But at the end of the day, you must make your own choice, unapologetically. I don’t want to shut the door on something good but I don’t want to ignore the other side of the equation either. I want to make choices that lead me deeper into the heart of my Savior, not choices that will take me further and further from the life I want to embrace.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

“The unwounded life bears no resemblance to the Rabbi.”

“For those who feel their lives are a grave disappointment to God, it requires enormous trust and reckless, raging confidence to accept that the love of Jesus Christ knows no shadow of alteration or change.”

We are broken people. Sometimes our failures feel small and unimportant, like a child with a scratch...when band-aid can magically heal a made-up flaw. But other times, the cut is much deeper and it seems that no amount of surgery could ever mend it. It feels as though our world is literally crashing down around us and sooner or later we are confronted with the painful truth of our inadequacy and insufficiency. But it’s in these moments that I am reminded of the grace that God shows to each of his children. Yes, we may miss the mark but these moments are the very parts of our story that make his love and his grace so great and so tangible that we can’t help but give every part of our being to Him. 

One of my favorite authors writes from a place deep experience of God’s grace. Brennan Manning was a recovering alcoholic but also a voice calling out in the wilderness, reminding us that we are great sinners but God is a greater Savior. Several years ago, I had the opportunity of sitting down for coffee and an interview with him.  It was a moment I will never forget. His writings have literally brought the message of God's grace to life for me and getting to listen to him speak, as he sat across from me in patchwork pants was hands down, one of the highlights of my life. One of his many nuggets of truth is knowing that, “When we wallow in guilt, remorse, and shame over real or imagined sins of the past, we are disdaining God's gift of grace.” 

So instead of disdaining it, let’s live in it…walk in it…swim in it…let’s experience true grace from our Father. Choose to live in freedom today, knowing that nothing [and I mean nothing] can separate you from the love of our Father. 
“The church today accepts grace in theory but denies it in practice. We say we believe that the fundamental structure of reality is grace, not works–but our lives refute our faith. By and large, the gospel of grace is neither proclaimed, understood, nor lived. Too many Christians are living in a house of fear and not in the house of love.” 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

chase the lion

Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. Keep asking questions. Keep making mistakes. Keep seeking God. Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution. Stop repeating the past and start creating the future. Stop playing it safe and start taking risks. Expand your horizons. Accumulate experiences. Enjoy the journey. Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can. Live like today is the first day and last day of your life. Don’t let what’s wrong with you keep you from worshiping what’s right with God. Burn sinful bridges. Blaze new trails. Criticize by creating. Worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks. Don’t try to be who you’re not. Be yourself. Laugh at yourself. Don’t let fear dictate your decisions. Take a flying leap of faith. Chase the lion!