We're trying to waste less. We've been faithful about recycling, using canvas shopping bags, drinking water from the tap. I find myself using up every scrap of fresh food in my house. It's a sign of the bad times we’re in - we're a nation tied up in a seemingly never-ending conflict with a struggling economy. Or is it more than that? I was pondering what produced this intensified thrift last night, especially with regard to food, and I realized that there are two main things at work here.
First, we have attempted growing a lot of our own food this
summer, with overall positive outcomes. Luscious heirloom tomatoes, squash,
peppers, and carrots have all been harvested from our own little victory
garden. We've even been able to
grow enough to give some away, mostly to these two.
First, we have attempted growing a lot of our own food this summer, with overall positive outcomes. Luscious heirloom tomatoes, squash, peppers, and carrots have all been harvested from our own little victory garden. We've even been able to grow enough to give some away, mostly to these two.
The second, and
probably the biggest influence on my waste-not attitude, is the amount of time
that I have been spending at the farmers' market this summer. Every Saturday morning, we purchase most of
the food we need for the week at the Haymaker Farmers' Market.
The second, and probably the biggest influence on my waste-not attitude, is the amount of time that I have been spending at the farmers' market this summer. Every Saturday morning, we purchase most of the food we need for the week at the Haymaker Farmers' Market.
All of the vendors have lovely things to offer, but we tend to return to the same folks every week. We always procure delicious bread from Rafael, who has just opened his own bakery in a restored church. We never miss the fresh cheese from the Ornery Goat Farm, or kale, eggplants, and perfect hot peppers from Houa's farm in Randolph. We've been buying organic (and affordable) potatoes and lettuce from Elizabeth Telling Farm and onions from Bella Terra. The list goes on and on. We shop, we sample, we pet dogs, and we chat with friends.
I notice the seasonal changes in produce (blueberries in June, blackberries in August, apples in September); I buy what is local and available. When I prepare and eat the food that I buy there, I am mindful of where it came from, the people who grew it, the hard work and devotion that is necessary to nurture a seed into a plant. I don't dare waste. I say one thousand silent thank yous to the ladies behind Humming Tree Products each time I enjoy one of their homemade PB&J muffins with a glass of cold milk (a meal all on its own and totally deserving of it’s emerging cult status).
What, in effect, has happened here is that through growing our own and faithfully patronizing our famers' market, we have centralized our food supply. Our food suddenly has a soul - we know who grew it, when, where, and how. Alice Waters, all-around food hero and the heart behind The Chez Panisse Foundation, would agree that when our food supply is decentralized, which it is for most of the people living in the U.S., the outcome can be devastating to our health, to our community, and to the planet. Walking down the aisle of a big box store, everything seems in season, everything is at our fingertips. It doesn't matter who grew it or how; they might be half a world away. If it goes to waste, no one will take it personally. But when we're emotionally, physically, geographically connected to the food we are buying and eating, it's a different story. We waste less and we taste more. We reduce our carbon footprint and we increase our connection to our community. Everyone wins.
See the rest of the Farmers' Market here.
Some years ago, when my grandmother was still with us, I told her I had an interest in design. Her eyes lit up as she talked about how her husband, my grandfather - who had passed away when I was a youngster - had his hand in design as well. Later that year, at Christmas, she presented me with a piece he had worked on decades earlier. It was the yearbook for the Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, Little League, which was celebrating its tenth anniversary that particular year, 1960. He was a coach in the league, but he also designed the program, which is full of great, great stuff. Why not start at the beginning?
Not knowing much about then-Commissioner Harold Sloop, I can say this: He looks like he ran a tight ship, that's for sure. I also bet, when he was looking for a complete menu of fine foods at moderate prices, he ate here:
Where to start? The line drawings? The sign? The classic presentation of phone number? All good. Not quite sure what's going on in the upper right, but I'm sure the steam coming off of that plate means it was good. Near Marcel's, too, is our next stop:
There were plenty of banks to choose from back then, however. Like these two:
Looking for other stuff to do in the Falls back then? Try the Falls' Fabulous Triangle:
My father, coincidentally, attended the school depicted above, and I remember shopping at the area stores as a kid. I don't remember feeling an urgency back then to "dress-up", or feeling worried about finding a parking space. The Cathedral of Tomorrow is still there, though the shopping areas were on life support for years, as the sprawl of yesterday gave way to the bigger, more suburban sprawl of today. Enough about that, though. How about some Futura?
Bold, simple, perfect.
The "Instant House" by Nimrod. Yes! I love the slogan, too, from the middle ad, as well as the simplicity and shape of the third. I suppose when you call yourself Talent, Inc., you better bring the heat. Here are some more eye-catchers:
My grandfather was the vice president at Excelsior Tape. I don't remember too much about him, sadly, apart from the stories my family tells, but I do recall his attention to detail, the hospital-like cleanliness of his shop (where he framed art and printed ribbons, among other projects), and his quick wit. He used to call me "Mr. Badwrench". My dad says that, when he would tell my grandfather he was going to a concert, my grandfather would usually reply, "Who's ripping you off tonight?" Nice.
One time, the story goes, some captain of industry in Akron wanted his copy of the Declaration of Independence framed. When he got it, unbeknownst to him, it not only bore the signature of those original founders, but also my grandfather, who snuck his John Hancock next to, well, John Hancock's. The year of this program, he also took the time to manage the White Sox:
That's him at the top, on the right. Digging those old unis, too. That's my Uncle Terry, second from left in the front row. The program, throughout, had some cool, little drawings, too. Here's a sampling:
So what are we waiting for?
Our friends in the local funk collective Costley Ct. are scheduled to melt area faces on a Saturday this upcoming September. Consider it your obligation to be there.
There must be something in the air, or water, but wedding fever has hit the Northcoast Zeitgeist design headquarters. Save-the-dates, invitations, RSVP cards, directions, and now monograms, whatever you need - including photography - we can do it*. Simply contact us via the link on the sidebar and we here at NCZ will be in touch, clad in tux and dress, in order to help you ring in that special day.
*I'm pretty sure that, if the certificate I downloaded from the Internet is still valid, I can also officiate your wedding.
From time to time, I like to look back at work I've done in the past and bring some fresh thought to a piece. The logo you see above on the left is for Blueletter Photography, the name Casey gave to her photo empire. I've always liked it and its ability to look cool in so many colors, depending on the application. Having designed the mark several years ago, however, I felt like taking another shot at it. In the middle, you see a rough initial sketch of "the sequel", which features a more literal reading on the Blueletter name itself. And finally, on the right, you see the finished product, which I think works thanks both to its simplicity and the balance of folded paper to envelope to typography. To see the new look, only larger, click here.
I'm dog sitting this week, so that means, along with lots of tennis ball chucking, lots of dog photos.
1. I miss my dog. Not only was Hank the undisputed heavyweight champion of the dog world, I liked him more than most of the people I knew.
2. Usually, my house would have to be on FIRE for me to get out of bed at five in the morning. With a dog waiting, it's not that big of a deal. There is more to do when you have a dog, but the living is easy. A little smellier, but easy.
3. Your dog would take a bullet for you. Cats, on the other hand, would shoot you if they could figure out how to procure, load, and fire a tiny gun. My cats, while entertaining and cute, basically loathe me. They hide it just well enough to keep themselves fed and watered.
See the rest of the photos here.
That Macworld video got me to thinking, again, about process, and two wonderful process-related links I've seen of late. In the first, a designer at Viget Labs uses geometry - specifically, the golden rectangle - to develop a very, very nice logo. In the second, we see a designer for the Royal Academy magazine developing a layout:
Seeing this photo in the amazing Library of Congress collection Casey referenced reminded me that tomorrow brings, yet again, one of the true pleasures of summer in Kent, the Haymaker Farmers' Market:
The forecast looks good. The food should look good, too. The town will be out in full force. Maybe we'll even see these two.
The Library of Congress has a flickr photostream (read: you have access to a national photograph archive without leaving your desk/couch/wherever you use your computer). It's hard to even describe how awesome this is (read: thousands of COLOR photos form the 1940s!), so I am just going to let the photos speak for themselves.
One of my fondest memories of the last presidential campaign, apart from the countless hours of work Casey and I put into getting Barack Obama elected, was how the Obama campaign used graphic design to further its goals. Sure, there was the amazing logo. But there was also the spectacular work of artists like Shepard Fairey and Scott Hansen. And, since the election, of Aaron Draplin and Chris Glass, who teamed up on these babies, which you may be seeing at a jobsite near you.
Looking back though, as election day approached, I had the pleasure (apart the other, more functional, designing I was doing for the local campaign) of working on the poster for a large-scale, non-partisan get-out-the-vote rally that was to be held on the campus of Kent State University. Working with Mikey Burton, who generously donated his time, talent, and supplies, to truly commemorate the event - dubbed UN1TE '08 - was an honor.
The video below, put together by friend and colleague Josh Gerken, captures the late night we spent cranking out Burton's awesome two-color letterpress design. My framed copy, hanging in my office, is a prized possession.