Various examples of typography & signage from our visit to Barcelona in November 2018.

Sunrise XIV


Late 2018 + early 2019 (Sunrise #14) : Leaving the gym, around 6:30am, looking east on Market Street. (L to R: 12/11/18; 12/12/18; 12/13/18; 12/14/18; 12/17/18; 12/18/18; 12/19/18; 12/20/18; 12/21/18; 1/7/19; 1/8/19; 1/9/19)

18 for 2018


In early 2018, I made a list of 18 personal goals I’d like to try to accomplish during 2018. Here are some that had accompanying photos 🤩

Sunrise XIII


Back in the swing of things (Sunrise #13) : Leaving the gym, around 6:45am, looking east on Market Street. (L to R: 11/5/18; 11/6/18; 11/9/18; 11/26/18; 11/27/18; 11/28/18; 11/30/18; 12/3/18; 12/4/18; 12/5/18; 12/7/18; 12/10/18)


Out + About

These examples of typography were gathered from our wanderings around Paris. I loved how expressive, refined, and interesting they were. The mix of classic styles with newer trends (that mono-weight interlocking first pic!) fascinated me.

Inside Palais Garnier

One of our favorite stops in Paris was Palais Garnier, an absolutely stunning Opera house from the mid-19th Century. The architecture, ornate details (probably to be featured in another post), and many examples of typography throughout the building was something truly special.

Best of 2018

Album Covers

It’s not unusual to see a performer’s face or image on the cover of their album – but seeing the exquisitely stylized and icon-like image of Janelle Monae’s Dirty Computer has resonated with me throughout the year. I am drawn to the visual texture in the image, the funky and strange typography, and the blend of warm, cool, and metallic hues.

Young Thug’s album/mixtape Slime Language showcases an interesting idea - rethinking representations of letters through sign language. The ASL paired with the harsh splatter of paint creates an interesting and somewhat arresting juxtaposition.

Book Covers

What draws me to all four of these book covers is their attention to detail and their overarching concept. The execution here is spot on - from the integration of numbers reading as text in Bitwise; or the riff on seeing a holy image in your toast in Heretics Anonymous; the little cues that tell you everything you need to know about The Library Book; or the brash and funny photograph at the center of Pretend I’m Dead. (Reviewing some of the book covers released each year is one of my favorite parts of the year!)

Film Posters

I really like the direct, in-your-face, awkwardness of the Eighth Grade poster. The main character’s image takes up about half of the poster, but is obstructed by her hand/cell phone and large type, which creates visual layers, ultimately hiding her. It is reminiscent of the film itself - endearing, honest, and sometimes a bit awkward.

The Chappaquiddick poster is incredibly successful in it’s simplicity and it’s ability to layer concept, execution, and composition. The over-the-top nod to the American flag paired with the image of sinking car in blue water is a perfect map. The no-frills typography feels nostalgic for the time period, too.

Sunrise XII


(S)POOPY (Sunrise #12) : Leaving the gym, around 6:45am, looking east on Market Street. (L to R: 10/10/18; 10/12/18; 10/15/18; 10/16/18; 10/17/18; 10/22/18; 10/23/18; 10/26/18; 10/29/18l 10/30/18; 10/31/18; 11/1/18)



I was in a meeting at work (about a ‘marketing blitz’ - hoping to get residents in a specific neighborhood in Philadelphia to sign up for a program) and doodled the word ‘blitz’ in my notebook.


I don’t do a ton of hand-rendered type in Illustrator, but this felt like a nice challenge.

My vector-ized attempt is below:


Sunrise XI


😑 not feelin’ it lately & not feelin’ these colors (Sunrise #11) : Leaving the gym, around 6:45am, looking east on Market Street. (L to R: 9/20/18; 9/21/18; 9/24/18; 9/25/18; 9/26/18; 9/28/18; 10/1/18; 10/2/18; 10/3/18; 10/5/18; 10/8/18; 10/9/18)

Sunrise X


Late summer (Sunrise #10) : Leaving the gym, around 6:45am, looking east on Market Street. (L to R: 9/4/18; 9/5/18; 9/6/18; 9/7/18; 9/10/18; 9/11/18; 9/12/18; 9/13/18; 9/14/18; 9/17/18; 9/18/18; 9/19/18)

Sunrise IX


August mornings (Sunrise #9) : Leaving the gym, around 6:45am, looking east on Market Street. (L to R: 8/18/18; 8/9/18; 8/10/18; 8/14/18; 8/15/18; 8/16/18; 8/17/18; 8/27/18; 8/28/18; 8/29/18; 8/30/18; 8/31/18)

Blue Stoop (Logo Process)

Blue Stoop: Or, how Philly's new literary hub (inspired by a poem, inspired by a photo of a stoop) came to be.

When my close friend, Joshua Demaree, mentioned he had a project he wanted to talk to me about, it was an offhand comment. Quickly, on his way out of my apartment, he breezily noted "Oh, I have a possible design thing I want to chat with you about soon..."

Cut to, a few weeks later, and I meeting with Joshua and Emma Eisenberg (Blue Stoop co-creator, fellow Philly-based writer & all around cool person) hearing about their vision for Blue Stoop, Philadelphia's new literary hub.

They wanted a logo – something that represented a sense of community, meeting space, inspiration, and that would feel at home amongst other literary hubs in the nation (The Porch; The Loft; Grubstreet, etc.)

I started with getting my thoughts out on paper: frantically jotting down words, phrases, and notes from my conversation with Joshua & Emma. As I wrote out words, I also was thinking through some visual ideas - some of the obvious, first-thought things that immediately bubble to the surface and need to escape. 

Here are some of those first sketches:

When i turned to the computer and started my next process of translating sketches to digital sketches and working through initial thoughts on screen, I was finding I had plenty of ideas, but how many were viable options that I could present to Joshua & Emma for review?


I took a few days away from the project and came back with a clearer vision for the mark. I was happy with two concepts, but struggled to find a third – until I tried something unrelated to the stoop entirely and found my third concept in about 30 seconds (far right, below.)


Something i've learned is how important context is. How does a design translate to the real world? Even if the logos I was pitching worked nicely on screen, they would likely eventually need to be turned into a shirt, or notebook, or tote bag as a gift to donors.


To be honest, my favorite part of the whole project (and development process) was mocking the potential logos up on canvas totes. I found a great mockup, from GraphicBurger, and put it to good use. 

Joshua & Emma responded positively to my three marks, and immediately liked components of all three concepts. They shared some helpful feedback and guidance, which led me to some more retooling, sketching, and development.


Again, Joshua & Emma were happy with all three proposals, but were immediately drawn to the third mark. Before I knew it (and had even shared final files) the logo was popping up on Blue Stoop's various web accounts and it was live.


Since we first met in late June 2018, Joshua & Emma have received a ton of press and buzz (Philadelphia Weekly; The Inquirer; UC Review, etc.) and are launching their first series of coursework this fall.

It's all very exciting :)

www.bluestoop.org / @bluestoopphl (Twitter) / @bluestoopphl (Instagram)

Sunrise VIII


Keeping it 💯 with my 100th visit to the gym in 2018 (Sunrise #8) : Leaving the gym, around 6:45am, looking east on Market Street. (L to R: 7/19/18; 7/20/18; 7/23/18; 7/24/18; 7/25/18; 7/26/18; 7/30/18; 8/1/18; 8/2/18; 8/3/18; 8/6/18; 8/17/18)

PWD Friday Studio (Counter-less typography)

Every few Fridays, the incredible team of talented folks I get to work with like to get away from our desks and screens and focus on some hand-done mini-projects. 

A recent "Friday studio" pulled inspiration from Sketching Type: A Guided Sketchbook for Creative Hand Lettering by Lee Suttey and an exercise on 'counterless type' or creating letters without the counter ('inner or enclosed space' of a letter, like the enclosed space in an 'o' or 'B').

These are some of the counterless letters I sketched out:


PWD Friday Studio (Collage)

Every few Fridays, the incredible team of talented folks I get to work with like to get away from our desks and screens and focus on some hand-done mini-projects. 

A recent "Friday studio" focused on collaging old, soon-to-be recycled paper products (out-of-date drinking water quality reports, old advertisements, various outdated outreach material, and some beautiful Communication Arts magazines from the 1960s.)

I immediately covered most of my 7" x 7" square with a swash of PWD blue (the back of a report from 2015.) From there, I was drawn to the old and beautiful relics of past design (that illustration style! the typography! the halftones!)

I ended up really liking the asymmetry of the collage, and leaned into the misogynistic/sexist undertones found in some of the source material (lookin' at you, 1960s Communication Arts...) 


Sunrise VII

Some fine summer sunrises 😎 (Sunrise #7) : Leaving the gym, around 6:45am, looking east on Market Street. (L to R: 6/29/18; 7/2/18; 7/3/18; 7/6/18; 7/9/18; 7/10/18; 7/11/18; 7/12/18; 7/13/18; 7/16/18; 7/17/18; 7/18/18)

Snail Mail "Pristine"

I heard "Pristine", the lead single from Snail Mail's debut album, Lush, on an episode of NPR's All Songs Considered and was instantly struck by the lyrics. The honesty and ripe emotion in Lindsay Jordan/s (who is... 19!?) writing is stunning.

It feels appropriate for being 19, or 14, or 22, or 27. 

Don't you like me for me?
Is there any better feeling than coming clean?
And I know myself and I'll never love anyone else
I won't love anyone else
I'll never love anyone else
If it's not supposed to be
Then I'll just let it be
And out of everyone
Be honest with me
Who do you change for?
Who's top of your world?
And out of everyone
Who's your type of girl?

It's obvious that I'm finding inspiration in the clouds and how the sky changes during the day, month, and year (see Sunrise posts.) The background photo was taken in late June at 2nd & Washington in South Philadelphia (flipped vertically.) The photo/texture from the text is a mistake that was captured via iPhone camera (you know when you accidentally take a picture out of focus, in motion, or of nothing? Yes, that.)

So, find inspiration anywhere and everywhere. Cherish what speaks to you.




See ya, June 👋🏼 (Sunrise #6) : Leaving the gym, around 6:45am, looking east on Market Street. (L to R: 6/11/18; 6/12/18; 6/13/18; 6/14/18; 6/15/18; 6/18/18; 6/19/18; 6/20/18; 6/25/18; 6/26/18; 6/27/18; 6/28/18)

Sunrise IV + Sunrise V


Sunrise IV

Leaving the gym, around 6:45am, looking east on Market Street. (L to R: 4/25/18; 4/26/18; 4/27/18; 4/30/18; 5/10/18; 5/11/18; 5/14/18; 5/15/18; 5/22/18)

Sunrise V

Leaving the gym, around 6:45am, looking east on Market Street. (L to R: 5/23/18; 5/24/18; 5/25/18; 5/29/18; 5/30/18; 5/31/18; 6/1/18; 6/4/18; 6/5/18; 6/6/18; 6/7/18; 6/8/18)