Saturday, February 27, 2016

Weekly Lettering Project #1: Always be KIND

This lettering piece may not look much different to you than some of the other pieces I've posted here, but the difference is that I was able to take my time and not rush to get it all finished in one day as I have in the past! I am now creating one lettering piece per week rather than one per day. My goals are to have a little more time to myself in the evenings, to create lettering using some different techniques which I'll now have time to begin to learn, to create pieces with more visual interest and dimension and also, when I can figure this one out, with a more organic feel... more soul.

Another thing I may do at times is revisit a piece that I created for my daily HGT phrase project and edit/add/revise it to make it better than it was.

Admittedly, it was easier to have a daily goal and stick to it than to have a more lax goal of one per week and stick to that! I already took more than a week to get this first one posted.

I also want to write a blog post each day, or nearly each day, about some other wonderful piece of work by someone else. I've already done so with the last few blog posts, but I've yet to stick to a daily post. Wish me luck! And, I hope you enjoy today's lettering piece. :) I think the message is really really really really really important, by the way.


Sunday, February 21, 2016

Ahhh.... Jessica Hische!

Yes, Jessica Hische is still my idol, my hero, one of my greatest inspirations when it comes to lettering, illustration, and design.

If you want to see some spectacular work, visit And by the way, her bio on her about page starts with the sentence, "Here’s a brief history of who I am, what I do, and why we should be friends." I love that warmth and welcoming opening statement. :)

One of the earliest projects of hers of which I'm aware is her "12 Days of Christmas" card set that she created in 2006. By the way, she had included these in her portfolio which led to her to working for the famous designer and letterer, Louise Fili when she (Jessica) was very young and just starting her career. She immediately relocated to NYC upon being offered this prestigious job. This was such a huge accomplishment for a young designer, and she proved herself to be so remarkably amazing in her work, she now has an extremely successful career of her own, working for such clients as Penguin Books, The New York Times, Tiffany & Co., OXFAM America, McSweeney’s, American Express, Target, Victoria’s Secret, Chronicle Books, Nike, and Samsung, to name a few!

Her description of the project, "12 Days of Christmas," from her website:

"This was a personal project that I sent out as a promo in the winter of 2006. It was a set of twelve postcards, each illustrating one of the twelve days of Christmas. They were all held together with a belly band stating "Happy Holidays" in hand-lettering."

I LOVE this project. Her illustration skills as well as her cleverness and sense of humor shine through so brightly. It's just lovely! So fun and beautiful! I love the way she illustrates animals, and I'm really drawn to the "cut-out-paper" look of this style. Everything is so well thought-out and crafted from the big picture down to the smallest details.

I'll be writing a lot more about Jessica and sharing her work. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Erik Marinovich... Consider me wowed!

I'm looking for the holy grail of lettering.
Well, maybe there isn't just one!

Check out Erik Marinovich, an absolutely amazing letterer. And prolific! And extremely successful! I'm thoroughly impressed.

This is his client list:

Criterion Collection
Ford Motor Company
New York Times
Mohawk Fine Papers
Wired Magazine
Chronicle Books
New York Magazine
Bloomberg Businessweek
Almanac Beer Co.
Lincoln Motor Company
Woman's Day Magazine
Maxim Magazine
Toronto Life
Seattle Met
Malibu Rum
Absolut Vodka
Metropolis Magazine
Graniph Tshirt Store
Dockers Air Canada
Holy cow!

And his bio paragraph:

Erik Marinovich is a San Francisco based lettering artist and designer, and is a co-founder of Friends of Type. Since 2009 he has drawn letters, logos and type for nice folks like: Nike, Target, Google, Hilton, Facebook, Sonos, Sharpie, The Criterion Collection, Air Canada, Gap, Ford Motor Company. In 2012 he co-founded Title Case, a creative work space that conducts workshops and lectures. Between client work, teaching and side-projects, you’ll find him on the road promoting Keep Fresh Stay Rad and Let’s Go Letter Hunting, two new releases from Friends of Type published by Princeton Architectural Press.

This guy is so f***ing good!

Here is just one of his pieces that I love. It is one in a series of his custom handlettered pieces for the following:

"Every month at Friends of Type we invite a guest designer or illustrator to take over the site and create work for an entire week, we call it ‘Guest Post’r’. To kick off their week of work, we introduce them with a custom headline and interview. This is a sampling of the headlines that I’ve created over the past year. All of the typography in this series is custom handlettered."

Everything about this is so interesting and aesthetically pleasing to me. The whole thing is created out of arrows of different types. "Jeff Rogers" is a little hard to make out at first, but this is really a fine piece of art. The design is so nicely balanced; I love the colors; the texture and shading are wonderful. I want to know how he created this. 

If you like this, check out the rest of the series: Erik Marinovich's Friends of Type Guest Contributor Series.

For me, delving into the work of other letterers—which I'm ashamed to admit that I've done very little of this last year—is like stepping into a wardrobe and coming out the other side in Narnia (without the dangerous stuff)! I think I'm going to be absolutely amazed at what is out there, especially since lettering is the new black.

(Bio, client list, image, and description of the series all come from Erik's website:

Monday, February 15, 2016

Lauren Hom is the "Bombay of the Day"

So I'm newly enchanted with designer/letterer Lauren Hom.

I'm also really excited to find that she has some online tutorials on techniques she uses, such as this one that shows how she adds dimension to her letters: TUTORIAL

I'm including one simple sample of her work from her blog (and book). She seems to be prolific, and I'll be posting much more of her work in the future! What I really enjoy about this is the texture, depth, shadowing, and simplicity. It's elegant. It has soul.

Having stopped creating my daily hand generated type phrases is giving me time to look at the work of others for inspiration! That's time well spent.

Check out her blog:
And her website:

From her website: "Daily Dishonesty is a book and award-winning hand-lettering blog. It combines my love of typography, humor, copywriting, and illustration. The blog documents the lies I tell myself on a regular basis. Hopefully, you're guilty too and can have a good laugh!"

Also, check out her awards: 
     2015 Communication Arts Typography Annual 5 Winner
     2014 Communication Arts Typography Annual 4 Winner
     2014 Webby Nominee, Best Personal Website
     2013 Webby Award, Best Personal Website

Sunday, February 14, 2016


Here it is. My last daily HGT phrase. It's not my best design or lettering, but the message is important. Oh, and Happy Valentine's Day! It's all about love. Valentine's Day and every day can be filled with limitless love, regardless of whether you have a significant other. It's the love inside you and how you choose to spread it to others! Love for yourself is what has to happen first, however. We have to learn how to see ourselves as worthy of our own love and compassion. It has to be practiced. You are deserving of your own deep love and compassion! When you practice that, then it's effortless to extend that love and compassion far and wide, to all beings everywhere.

Back to my fifth Daily Hand Generated Type Phrase on May 15, 2015, "LOVE IS ALL."

So please continue to read my blog. I plan to write a daily post, focusing more on the great design and lettering and other art and beauty that's out there. And, once a week I'll post a phrase (or maybe it will occasionally be a single word), and hopefully you'll see some newness in my work.

May all beings be free of suffering and the root of suffering.
May all beings enjoy happiness and the root of happiness.
May all beings know and experience peace and deep love that comes from within.
May all beings' lives be of benefit to the world.
May all beings learn how to surrender to and be deeply in the present moment, where life occurs.
May all beings be at ease, no matter what the outer circumstances are.
May all beings be cradled in the arms of lovingkindness and compassion and forgiveness and be able to tap into that feeling of being held at any time.
May all beings love and be loved in this life.


And, this being Valentine's Day, here are a few from my archives that have something to do with love, hearts, compassion... stuff like that. A little finale, of sorts. :)

Saturday, February 13, 2016


Today I made an important decision. After talking with friends, family, and fellow designers and other creatives, I decided that tomorrow will be the last of my Daily Hand Generated Type Phrases. Even though my goal was to do one a day for a year, at this point I think I've gotten what I needed to out of creating these designs with such regular frequency. I have gotten really fast at working in Illustrator; I have proven to myself that I can come up with an idea and create a lettering design from start to finish in a matter of hours; I have learned a lot about many aspects of creating hand generated type on the computer; my letter forms as well as the occasional flourish have gotten pretty good—sometimes really good, I think. The kinds of things I want to do and learn about now are going to take more than a few hours, and so it only makes sense to revise my goal of one design per day to one per week. That way, I'll be able to work longer and really try some new things with each design. I want to work through Jessica Hische's book, In Progress, and try to create phrases using her techniques. I want to have more time to research and do tutorials. I want to combine work I create with pencil and paper with Photoshop and Illustrator work. I want time to experiment. This is the solution! While I really wanted to keep the promise I made to myself—one a day for one year—I had to let go of that with the realization that it's okay to do so in order to grow and move forward.

The good news is that I'll hopefully be able to spend enough time per piece that I'm really happy with each one; it's not just an exercise in production anymore.

The other piece of good news is that I will be able to find great design, photography, illustration, and other art to post and discuss in this blog format. I find that to be really fun and interesting, and I hope you do as well. That will begin Monday, Feb. 15.

So, here is the second to the last of "Gloria's Daily Hand Generated Type Phrases."

A side note: I really like the song by the band Over the Rhine called "Goodbye (This is Not Goodbye)," so even though I didn't think of it because of the song, thinking of the phrase reminded me of the song, so I listened to it and remembered how much I like it.

I'm posting it here. Give it a listen! Goodbye (This is Not Goodbye)

Friday, February 12, 2016


I'm continuing to try to add depth and visual interest to my designs. Didn't have time to add shadows, but maybe I'll come back to it later and revise. At least I feel like I'm getting out of the rut in which I was finding myself.

Today's phrase is a lyric line from Fleetwood Mac's song entitled, "Little Lies," and the line makes a nice little phrase with which to work! I've never liked the song all that much—it's okay... but I do like the lyrics, especially that specific line ("Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies").

That is all.

Thursday, February 11, 2016


I'm so excited to have been introduced to the work of Lauren Hom, New York based designer/letterer. More about her later...I'm already a day behind in my daily type phrases, so forgive my short blog entry.

Today's phrase took some doing. It is strongly based on Lauren Hom's phrase, "I AM NOT A Workaholic." Check it out: LAUREN HOM. (Thanks, Matt Farrell, for sharing her work with me.)

The depth and shadowing have been things that I've been missing in my designs, and I'm happy to be trying something different!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


I heard someone say something very much like this yesterday or the day before. I can't remember who said it, but it rings so true for me. In fact, for so many painful emotions, the root emotion underneath it all (at least for me) is usually some kind of fear. We usually don't want to experience the fear, so we go to anger, sadness, frustration, or something else in order not to touch our fear. And then there's the fear of fear, which is really crippling. If we can let go of the story line and touch/experience the raw emotions that are there, including the fear, we can begin to accept it and remember that it's only a feeling and that it will pass. The thoughts can come and they can go... we can touch them, say what they are (mentally say, "Thinking, thinking..."), and let them go like touching a bubble with a feather. Come back to what is happening right now, whatever feelings are there... let them be there. Welcome them. Bow to them. Embrace them. Embrace and don't push away fear. We all have fear. It just is the way we are. But we can learn to accept it and not cover it over with other feelings that we may thing are easier. Anger is something we all have as well. It's human. But if we really get in touch with it, I think we usually find fear lurking under there asking for our attention.

I think there's a lot of wisdom in these four little words.


Tuesday, February 9, 2016


Thank you, my wonderful partner Paul Sabuco, for introducing me to this amazingly cool band...and all the other great bands of whom I'm a fan because of you.

I love this song, "Calling Sarah," by Jellyfish from their record "Bellybutton."

Give it a listen: YOUTUBE LINK

Lyrics are posted below.


I know it sounds unfair
She's like a painting standing there
I thank the Heavens up above
For the one that I'm thinking of

Calling Sarah
Crawling back to Sarah
'Cause you're the one

Sometimes it's awful hard to take
The way she takes me all the way
She's delicious beyond compare
I'd love to tell her but instead I stare

Calling Sarah
Crawling back to Sarah
'Cause you're the one

Calling Sarah
Crawling back to Sarah
'Cause you're the one

And when you ask me if I really love you
I can't wait to tell you
And if you ever feel you don't believe me
And don't you trust your feeling

'Cause it'd be so hard to take when you're away
I wouldn't last one day

That's why I'm calling Sarah
Crawling back to Sarah, Sarah

Calling Sarah
(That's why I'm calling)
Crawling next to Sarah

Calling Sarah
(And when you ask me if I really missed you)
(I can't wait to tell you)
Crawling back to
Cause you're the one

Monday, February 8, 2016


Ugh. I'm feeling overwhelmed. Tense. Anxious. Too many things to do. Too much on my mind. No energy. Upper shoulders are screaming. My plate is too full at the moment. Worrying. Ruminating.

I know all of the things I can do to help myself at this moment.

But right now, I just want to scream, "Serenity NOW!" the way Frank Costanza (and George Costanza) did in one Seinfeld episode. Sometimes humor is the best medicine. :)

This too shall pass.

Sunday, February 7, 2016


I went to a fantastic event last night called PechaKucha Night in Champaign Urbana. In a PechaKucha event, people give presentations for which they show 20 slides and speak 20 seconds per slide, totaling 6 minutes and 40 seconds per presenter. Last night was the first of these I'd ever been to, and I was not disappointed! There were, I believe, 12 presenters in all, a great emcee, and presentations that ran the gamut from why we should do away with copyright laws to the benefits of living without a car. Some were persuasive, some were humorous, some were educational, some were art/design related, some were inspiring, and some were extremely personal.

The most moving presentation, to me, was by Kelly White, an amazing well-known local artist, teacher, and business owner/operator. Her topic was about her struggle with how others respond to her being overweight. She discussed how she feels judged, and how she judges herself, every day, every time she walks into a room where there are people, when she wakes up in the morning, and so on... how people say things to her that are very hurtful all time time, and that anything you could say to her about her size, she's already said to herself over and over. She brilliantly expressed her emotional pain in this short presentation, and she communicated so clearly that her being overweight is her own business and nobody else's. She took examples of words people tend to use to describe "fat" people, such as lazy, and explained that none of these stereotypes were at all accurate about her; in fact she is the opposite of these harmful stereotypes. Her message at the end was to ask people to simply be kind. Be kind to others, regardless of their outer appearance. It was extremely moving, and it was so brave of Kelly to get up in front of 500+ people and talk about something so deeply personal and painful.

This phrase is for you, Kelly. You're awesome! I've known that since we met a few years ago, and after your PKN presentation, I think you are even more amazing. Thank you. It was the best presentation of the night, and your message is so very important. I feel that my written description of your presentation doesn't do it justice... I'm leaving out an awful lot. But I loved it, and it moved me greatly.

Wanna know more about PechaKucha? Visit Pecha Kucha FAQs.

Wanna know how to pronounce it? Visit Youtube PechaKucha pronounciation

A few examples of PechaKucha presentations on Youtube
(none of these are as good as the ones I saw last night!)
     1. Joe Ginese, "20 Seconds of Courage"
     2. Colin Jenkinson, "Click Art"
     3. Val Jones, "A Tale of Two e-Patients"
     4. Mark Rickmeier, "Pain. Fear. Humor"
     5. Max Spang, "What the Hell is Beer?"

Saturday, February 6, 2016


It takes a great deal of practice to learn to accept imperfection, in ourselves in particular. Tara Brach talks a lot about this in her book Radical Acceptance. Acceptance of everything... saying "yes" to everything that is... this is how we can reduce our own suffering.

Friday, February 5, 2016


When you aren't calm, you tend to hold your breath. Or sometimes you might be breathing shallowly and quickly. The fastest way to calm yourself is to focus on your breath and breathe deeply and deliberately, slowly if possible. Count your breaths. Notice how breathing feels in the body. In the stomach, the chest, the throat, the neck, the nostrils. Even with children, you can teach them to calm themselves when they're upset by just stopping whatever they are doing, breathing slowly, and counting ten breaths. So simple, yet so effective!

Thursday, February 4, 2016


I have been learning from Pema Chödrön and other spiritual teachers that no matter what the present moment brings, no matter what is going on inside me or around me, no matter what is happening emotionally or physically, if I can accept this very moment exactly as it is without trying to change it and use whatever is going on in that moment as a way to go even more deeply and honestly into the present, the more open my heart becomes to compassion, forgiveness, peace, and love. It takes a great deal of dedication and practice, and I'm far from being able to be present as much as I'd like... but I just keep coming back to this moment whenever I realize that I'm somewhere else.


Wednesday, February 3, 2016


I have come upon what is now my favorite dessert. And the best part is that it's a vegetable! My friend Kelli actually showed me how to bake butternut squash; I have just tweaked the recipe a bit.

My favorite way to prepare it is the following:

Cut it in half longways. Clean out seeds and pulp. Put a teeny bit of brown sugar with some cinnamon in the hollowed out part of each half, facing up. Pour about a teaspoon of olive oil in each and stir it up. Spread the mixture over the entire top. For added delight, slice an apple (or even just half an apple) and distribute the slices over the top. If you do the apples, make sure to cover them with the mixture as well.

Cover a small cookie sheet or flat baking pan with foil (no dishes to wash), put both pieces on the foil, and bake at 375 for 25-40 minutes (it depends on the size of the squash and how soft you like it). Check it with a fork for desired tenderness. Eat while hot, and you'll feel like you're eating some kind of wonderful pie without the crust. Sometimes I put a little coconut spread on afterwards for extra moisture and decadence.

I just had one (half) for my dessert, and my sweet craving is satisfied (for now!).

By the way, if your grocery store doesn't have whole butternut squashes, you can get it frozen and cubed... you can do almost the same thing, only you just mix everything up in a bowl first and then spread out on the cookie sheet. Cook for less time. Adding cubes of apples and/or pears adds enough sweetness that you don't need the sugar. Actually, you don't need the sugar at all; I just like it a little sweeter than it is naturally when eating it as dessert. :)


Tuesday, February 2, 2016


When I started the graphic design program at Parkland College in August, 2013, I was extremely fortunate to have Maya Bruck as my instructor for Typography I. She absolutely inspired and excited us about typography. She had us join Pinterest and create a typography board as a kind of blog for the course. It was there that I came across Jessica Hische's Daily Drop Cap project. I was and continue to be amazed by her work. I have a Pinterest board dedicated to and filled with Jessica's work. I recently bought her book, In Progress, and am excited to really delve into it when I have time to do so, hopefully soon!

Jessica became very successful early in her adult life. At this point I believe she is only 32 years old. She's quite remarkable.

Here is a link to her website.
Here is a link to a presentation (video). AIGA Houston Presents: Jessica Hische Full Lecture.

If you're interested in design, lettering, beauty... please check out her stuff! Any of the above links will take you somewhere cool.

(In designing and executing my lettering design, I'm obviously trying to emulate Jessica's style. I sent it to her on Twitter... I'll let you know if she replies!)