Chicago | August 2015

I visited Chicago for a long weekend in late August 2015 and absolutely fell in love with it’s architecture, people, food, and overall accessibility. 

Here are some of my favorite shots from the trip! It’s an odd mix of everything I admired about Chicago: the eclectic mix of architecture, art & design styles; the inventive food; the welcoming people; and the beauty of the city at large.


I was waiting in line at Starbucks last week and these stunning information cards caught my eye. Super funky patterns and foil stamping 👀👀👀.

They are information cards about a limited-run of Starbucks Reserve coffee, featuring coffee from around the world. There are six in total, each one completely different, unique, and reflective of the location. 

My favorite (of these three) is the Brazil one. i enjoy the geometric elements and the overall simplicity of the card. 


Best of 2014 (Movie posters / Album covers / Book covers)

Movie posters

  • Gone Girl: One of my most anticipated movies of 2014 was David Fincher’s adaption of Gillian Flynn’s thriller “Gone Girl”. As posters and production stills started being released, posters like this one not only spoke to Fincher’s signature style, but also a visual adaption of Flynn’s mysterious and haunting book. The cheeky/clever use of the text and it’s meaning work incredibly well as a teaser for the film. 
  • Inherent Vice: As of this post, I have not seen Inherent Vice, but the poster immediately grabbed my attention. The poster feels both referential of earlier decades and completely new and fresh. The design is playful, and the typography is elegant and purposeful. The composition is somewhat expected, but all of the pieces come together to create a memorable poster. 
  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1: The Hunger Games movie franchise has always had some incredible creative direction and marketing rollout. While this isn’t the full movie poster, this teaser photograph/poster conveys so much interest and mystery in one image. The all-white photograph is haunting and makes the subjects look both statuesque and futuristic. 

Album covers

  • St. Vincent, St. VincentI’ve written about this album cover before here, but it’s still one of my favorites from the year (and one of my favorite albums.) St. Vincent’s bright, rich, and enigmatic sound is replicated with a simple, stirring, and (fake) minimalistic-inspired cover. The typography is weird and geometric, her pose is regal and elegant, and the severe contrast of colors work to make the cover visually stunning.
  • FKA twigs, LP1There’s something so unique, moving, and subtle about FKA twigs’ music, and this cover helps to communicate all of those things. Photographed and manipulated by artist Jesse Kanda, the bright, stirring, surreal cover is one that I think will be continually regarded as an important and “classic” album cover.
  • Tycho, Awake:  This minimalistic and restrained album cover is elegant in it’s simplicity. The range of colors and geometry convey the ambient and calming music that Tycho releases. 

Book covers

  • Wolf In White Van by John Darnielle: While almost headache-inducing, this weird, challenging, and maze of a book cover is really eye-catching. The two-color cover evokes a sense of mystery, curiosity, and confusion - all while being visually appealing and well-designed.
  • Your Face in Mine by Jess Row: I love this book cover for it’s simplicity, character, and elegance in it’s geometry. The abstracted geometric shapes come together to form an interesting shape (I see a geometric interpretation of an ampersand.) I particularly enjoy the change in typeface for the word “in” - it’s simple and almost goes by without notice, but everything comes together to form a simple, geometric, and pleasing cover.
  • The Silent History by Eli Horowitz, Kevin Moffett, Matthew Derby: This cover utilizes a clever typographic solution - a combination of geometric letters and blank spaces, with hand-written text set inside. The book is about a new generation of children who are born unable to understand language. It’s a dense topic, but the cover is deceptively simple and features some mystery in the combination of the set/written text. 

New Yorker’s Magazine Covers Shift From Polite to Provocative

At The New Yorker’s Midtown offices, a wall of covers arranged in chronological order shows a distinct change in tone. Today, the magazine’s covers, which have been drawn or painted by artists each week since its founding in 1925, frequently reflect, or subvert, the news.

The turning point is around Sept. 11, 2001, Mr. Remnick said, when The New Yorker ran a black cover with a black silhouette of the twin towers, by the Pulitzer Prize-winning artist Art Spiegelman, who has long collaborated with his wife and the magazine’s art editor, Françoise Mouly.

A great article about magazine cover design, illustration, and process. 


Album Art / CD Cover Designs

In choosing these 10 album covers, I tried to select 10 that would ultimately catch my eye if I saw them in a store or advertised online or in person. Many of the covers feature photography and typography working simultaneously to create one final composition.  In these covers, I wanted examples of the typography adding to the cover, and not looking like an afterthought.

With the more experimental and illustrative covers, I tried to select different styles - all which feel very appropriate to the tone/genre of the music. With the Grizzly Bear and the Shins albums in particular, the illustration styles are geometric and experimental.  These two album covers also utilize the famous rule-of-thirds. 

Björk always manages to produce absolutely vivid, striking, and bizarre covers that often come off looking as if they belong in a high-fashion editorial magazine. For some other examples of her artwork, click here and here.