Font love: Bodoni

May 18, 2014

I Love Bodoni | Victionary

A couple of weeks ago I ordered this beautiful book, I Love Bodoni, by Victionary. I found it on Amazon and was compelled by the imagery. Plus, it’s always good to find design inspiration in paper form, rather than just relying on the internet. When the book came I was blown away. It was so pretty, I didn’t want a single scuff mark or bent page.

Even though I’ve taken a class in Typography, I really don’t feel like I know that much about the history of type. I definitely have a gut reaction of “I LOVE this font” or “I HATE that font”, but my curiosity drove me to dig a bit deeper. Why do I hate that font? (Because it reminds me of Art Deco, usually!)

Anyway. Bodoni was always one of those ones that I just LOVED. So it was a natural fit to add this to my cart and learn about it.

I Love Bodoni | by Victionary | photo by girlgonegraphic

Some things I’ve learned: This type was created by Giambattista Bodoni (surprise!), who was Italian, in 1798. It’s been recreated in digital format by modern type foundries, since the original form was letterpress. Some of the most popular versions include Bauer Bodoni and ITC Bodoni. They are all beautiful to me. This book had a ton of awesome imagery and examples of Bodoni in the wild:

I Love Bodoni | by Victionary | photo by girlgonegraphic

Fun fact: Bodoni was Salvador Dali’s favorite typeface. Since he was like, a creative genius, I guess that means I have good taste?! The typeface has been used largely in the fashion and entertainment industries, but one not-so-obvious company is IBM. They used it for their visual identity in 1984. Cool!

I Love Bodoni | by Victionary | photo by girlgonegraphic

I would describe Bodoni as elegant, confident, strong, established, and even romantic. There’s a natural flow that happens between the thick and thin stems of the letters, which is harmonious especially when used in a display or headline. Bottom line, I’m head over heels for this baby. It’s going to be my “go to” when I need something with sophistication and beauty.

To wrap it all up, I made a little summary square to keep in my back pocket. I think the “personality” section says it all – and will be useful when creating new campaigns.

Bodoni Type Info | girlgonegraphic




I’ve come across it a few times now. I’ll need to make a zig-zag pattern for one reason or another. Sometimes I need a small, cute way to divide up text. Other times I’ll want to accentuate a pattern on a dress. And while this may be a better suited project for Illustrator, sometimes you just want to work in Photoshop!

I’ve always done a different method on the fly – making triangle shapes and repeating them, then cutting out the insides. But I figured there had to be a better way – and there is. After some googling I came across this tutorial, which I think is by far the simplest method. So I wanted to share.  Follow the steps below for some hot zig-zag action!


zig-zag-post_04With the rectangle layer selected, go to Filter > Distort > Wave.
(It will ask you if you want to rasterize the shape, click ok.)
In the “Type” box, select Triangle.


If you want a symmetrical-looking wave, keep the min/max wavelength and amplitude numbers as close together as possible. Try playing around, or use the above input as a start. Click “OK”.


You may end up with a funky-looking wave, in which case it’s best to clean up the edges. Select the rectangle marquee tool, line it up to a wave peak, and then use the eraser tool to trim up the edges.


Repeat on other side and, viola!



Add some texture and have fun!





Twin PeaksI first started watching Twin Peaks several months ago because Netflix recommended it. During the title scene, which lasted forever, I got bored and turned it off. I figured it was too “dated” for me – all the colors were muddy in that VHS sort of way, and the music sounded like an overproduction of synthesizer chords. But for some reason, a few days later, I gave it another go. Maybe I was just curious about Laura Palmer. At first it was painstakingly slow for me. But the second Agent Cooper arrived, talking to Diane in his tape recorder, in search of pie, I knew I was hooked.

I was so hooked, in fact, that I became one of those fans. Like everyone else, I grew to love the characters. I loved the quarks, and I even started loving the long, dramatic scenes, because it was so different than what I’m used to today. And then, just when you think it can’t get better, there will be random inserts of brilliant philosophy on life and spirituality, and somehow it completely fit in the small town vibe.

Let’s just say I grew to LOVE Twin Peaks. And I mean LOVE. I feel like it will be part of me forever. I feel better for watching it, and there’s a warm spot in my heart when I think of it. Even though it was only 2 seasons long, it was done so well and has already gathered a cult following. Also, it makes me want to pack up and move to a small town for the summer, and go find a little diner to call home.

Twin Peaks 2So anyway, I knew I had to do something to commemorate this fun time. Shows like this only come around once in a while, ones that you really fall in love with. So I put together some imagery that makes me feel like part of the scene. The show may be over, but I had to somehow capture that feeling. The entire time I was making this I was listened to thunder and rain sounds (found here), which also helped the mood. I was thinking it would be fun to throw a Twin Peaks brunch party, with donuts and coffee, and decorations you’d find at the Great Northern Hotel. Or maybe there’s a future Halloween costume in all of this? We’ll see. Love my Twin Peaks. ❤ ❤




Green things

Feb 9, 2014

green thingsWas in need of a design fix tonight so I hit the internets to do a little virtual shopping. It’s snowy and depressing here so a color pick-me-up was in order. I would really love to own that green scarf. It’s calling to me, and I can just picture it with the prefect red lip and some funky sunglasses. Dreaming big.

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Feb 3, 2014

Brandy Eve Allen

I love this print. It reminds me of freedom. I may just have to own it.




Logo Design – NMG

Jan 26, 2014

NMG_6_LogosI recently had the pleasure of working with Northeast Mountain Guiding to create a logo for their outdoor adventure company. When I originally met with the owner we discussed making something that was rugged, masculine, and captured the feeling of being outdoors. I was really excited for this because I love camping, and grew up going to the Northwoods in Minnesota ever year. Naturally, I listened to campfire tunes the whole time I was designing this and it felt special.

After researching climbing, hiking, and mountain gear to get inspired, I came up with the below moodboard as a design guideline:


From there it was time to design. I wanted to come up with 6 different types of logo styles so that the client would have a variation to choose from (see above). In the end, the client loved the bottom left, and we ended up working off that for a final revision. The color scheme below was inspired by vintage camping tents, which gave it a warm and nostalgic feel.

NMG Logo

This was such a fun project, and I want to start sharing more process posts like this. I’m excited to create more! :)



Style Shift

Dec 22, 2013

style shift

Hi friends. My brain has been exploding with design thoughts lately. It’s funny how as a designer, you can fall in love with something as you’re making it, and a few weeks later, absolutely hate it. That’s why they tell us to stay away from trends, but sometimes it’s hard. I’ve always tried to view this blog as snapshots in time, capturing my style at the moment, but it’s hard to want to blog when you feel like you are still finding your style, or that it’s changing rapidly.

Over the past few months I’ve been spending time working with a fashion company here in New York. It’s been a nice change of pace – they have me working onsite a few days a week and it feels good to be surrounded by highly-motivated people. I create graphics for their email, website, and promotional marketing materials. It’s been a good production exercise for me, because I am forced to create a large number of different style graphics daily. For the first few weeks it was easy to come up with new ideas. But then, after a while, it felt like I really had to dig deep and ask myself what my style was. Why do I prefer this alignment over that? What would make this art better? A thinner font? Different proportions?

As I’ve been doing more work for this company it’s been helping me to further define my own style. Since I have to work within the bounds of a style guide for them, when I get to design for myself I just want to break all the rules. I’ve been drawn towards more minimalistic themes and keeping the focus on the most important part of the content, either the image or text, but not overcrowding it.

Also, I’ve been exposed to a ton of new fashion terms! I suppose that’s what New York is good for, right? As I’ve been upping my vocab here, I’ve wanted to start posting more about fashion and the behind-the-scenes stuff I’m learning. So I’m just going to let this content run its course.

Other than that, life is good. Been doing a lot of writing. Holidays snuck up on me. I got a Vitamix. Read Divergent. Still feeling lucky in life. That’s about it for now. :)




Hi guys! I hope you can guess my mood from today’s post. I woke up wanting to create something light and bright. I’ve been on a peanut butter and jelly kick lately, so I made some toast and then cranked this guy out. I’ve been feeling productive again, finally. I go in cycles, and sometimes I’m buckling down and going through the motions and other times I’m genuinely seeking and using every last minute of the day. It feels good to be on the foothill of another productive cycle!

I am almost on my two-week mark of no caffeine. I decided to cut out all caffeine and chocolate for two weeks since I was having trouble sleeping. The first week was AWFUL. I was cranky, napping, and pretty much hated life. I found myself substituting all kinds of sugar to try and feel better for the caffeine lack. I think I’m finally starting to regulate though. My energy is much more even throughout the day. I woke up on my own at 6:00am this morning (yay!). As for the chocolate, I’m going to start allowing that again after tomorrow.  The caffeine, however, I will avoid for a bit longer. It feels like it was so hard to get to this point and I feel nice and clean and addiction-free, so I don’t want to go back to the old habit right away!

I also spent some time this weekend creating a real portfolio. Previously I had a scrolling PDF with all my projects on it, but it was time to put my stuff on a grown-up site and let it be more interactive. You can check that out, here:

In addition to my graphic projects I’ve been doing more writing lately. I wake up almost every morning with a new idea for a fiction novel. In a way I feel like I’m tapping into a creative well, and then just letting the ideas go. I write all of them down, but I don’t develop them. I’ve got about 5,000 words into a murder mystery I’m working on, and another 7,000 into a self-help book. I finished a book earlier this year but kept it to myself because I felt like my own thoughts and opinions were changing so rapidly. I’d like to finish these books I’m working on, and write a bunch more, and get to the point where I feel comfortable pushing the ‘publish’ button. I don’t doubt my creativity or ideas, but I do wonder if my writing style would actually be interesting to read. Either way, I will keep writing. :)

Off to get some work done. Have a good day!




Ohmygod. I have SO much respect for you designers who can handwrite in pretty pretty lettering. SO much respect. I hope I don’t regret posting this someday, as I’m sure I will look back and think how amateur it looks. But, in the spirit of honest reporting, this is where I’m at right now. Handwriting is HARD. I think I might need some fancy pens to do more calligraphic stuff.

Anyway, it’s not all bad, because one of my goals was to start incorporating REAL watercolor into my designs. Not just a “watercolor brush”, which only takes you so far, but the real deal. So, although I’m in the learning stages, I am proud to say that these watercolor swatches are 100% my own! It feels good. With time, I know the hand-lettering will get there. But everyone has to start somewhere. So here I am!

The name – Josephine – it’s just always been a name I thought was beautiful. So I decided to use it for my little sample logos. Although they didn’t come out quite like I pictured in my head, I’m still glad I went through the experience, and next time it will be easier. sigh. :)



Drawing in the Park

Sep 2, 2013

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Happy Labor Day weekend! Is everyone doing something fun with the extra day off? It’s the time of year that represents the end of summer and coming of fall, which I couldn’t be more excited for!

I did a lot of relaxing this weekend. I checked out a new coffee shop in the neighborhood that sells French Escargot (the cinnamon pastry, not the snail!). I broke out my new watercolor set and started getting used to that. It was fun focusing so intently on something, and I kept hearing Bob Ross’ voice in my head saying “There are no mistakes, just happy accidents…” That definitely helped me get the paint out onto the paper!

Finally, I had a little Artist Date in the park. If you’ve read The Artist’s Way you’ll know what I’m talking about. Julia Cameron, the author, talks about sending yourself on an Artist Date once a week to keep filling up your creative well. Whether it’s stopping in a used bookstore, going for a nature walk, or drawing in the park like I did, it’s something that gets you away from the computer and out and about to be inspired.

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Have a beautiful beautiful weekend, and don’t forget to take some time for fun!


(photos by Silver City Photography)