One of my favorite things in the whole wide world is typography. I love the rules. I find it fascinating that typography makes reading easier and we’re not often conscious of it. Learning typography 30 years ago was challenging but now it’s a part of my everyday repertoire as a graphic designer. My thanks to Robin Williams who made the learning accessible and fun. One of the best acronyms ever: CRAP (contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity). I am grateful!
I was saddened to learn that David Palladini passed away last week. From his illustrations for Jane Yolen’s early picture books to his renowned Aquarian Tarot deck, he was an artist I admired. I am grateful for the images he created for the world to keep.
In 2005, Winding Oak had been working for 17 years to provide print and website design to country clubs, asphalt testers, industrial researchers, small businesses, and a smattering of authors. At a weekend party, the woman below asked Steve and me if we would help her out on an upcoming project, the movie version of Because of Winn Dixie. She gave us until Monday to think it over. In that time, Steve and I talked about whether we should focus on children’s literature in our business … and the rest of that story is our history and future. I am grateful to Kate DiCamillo for opening our eyes to a path that has brought us so many good friendships and such enjoyable work. We love our Winding Oak family. If you haven’t yet read Kate’s books, you probably should. I recommend Leroy Ninker Saddles Up, my favorite of all her many heartwarming books.
When we first started our graphic design firm, purchasing a license to use a photo in our print designs was a challenge. Photo licensing companies sent out thick, bound catalogs. We’d page through to find an appropriate photo, call the company, and negotiate a price. That price depended on how many copies we’d print and which eyes would be seeing them and how long the piece would be in circulation. It wasn’t uncommon to be charged $500 or more for one-time use of a particular image.
The advent of online stock photo companies changed that process. Some high-end photos are still licensed that way but for many there is a small licensing fee ($3 to $50). We haven’t seen a printed photo catalog in 15 years. There are some days that I spend hours on a photo search. A project I just completed needed 11 photos. Instead of a $5,000 bill, the fee was $35. So the internet is a blessing in this regard.
I am grateful for this improvement in our work process, especially for our clients’ budgets, and for the plethora of possibilities for visual impact. And then there’s the added bonus of doing a search for “bunny” and finding a photo that touches my heart. A bright spot in my day.
I made this commitment to write daily about something for which I’m grateful because I felt A NEED FOR OPTIMISM. Realizing that I have more than four things things to write about is … gratifying. After searching the term “need for optimism” the results are intriguing. Many good articles to read.
One of the most surprising was an announcement of the Pantone Color of the Year, something I follow as a graphic designer. This year it’s “Living Coral.”Pantone reports that the color was chosen because of our “innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits.” Laurie Pressman of the Pantone Color Institute explained, “We see the environment taking on an even greater role in the world we live in today for two primary reasons, one being how connected we are to technology. Because we are so connected to something that’s not real, we really need to find that balance closely and intimately with something that is real and you don’t get more real than nature.” For me, this is a three-fer: optimism, color, and honoring our environment.