May 23-29, 2010

May 29, 2010 § Leave a comment

008 – I’m having a bit of cabin fever… want to pack my bag and hit the road.

But, since that’s not possible this very second, the best I can muster up is a post that focus’ on design via travel and geography.

Pack your bag too… join me… (looking over my shoulder with a big swooping “come on!” arm gesture)…


Like a little color in your room? Well, then THE PANTONE HOTEL is most probably the spot of your dreams.

“From a design perspective, The PANTONE HOTEL, Brussels, is built on an exceptional use of contrast; a white canvas provides clean space for saturated colors to pop. Guest rooms feature unique photography by esteemed Belgian photographer Victor Levy. Welcome to the center of the color universe.”

Located in the city of Brussels, Belgium, each of the hotel’s seven floors is designed with color palettes of different emotions in mind. Tranquil blues to fiery reds. Vibrant oranges to earthy browns. It’s all there and it’s all good.

Fav Color: Pantone 200C

But, if The Pantone Hotel is a bit too far (or, I suppose, too colorful) for you, perhaps one of the 171 HOTEL AND TRAVEL WEB DESIGNS will set you in the right direction.

(via @psdcollector)


CREATIVE ROOTS has some wonderful posts added just this week. You’re able to travel across the globe and experience design through several cultures.

Pack your bags and start with the COLOURS OF INDIA where you’ll find skilled quilling, which is an art form that involves the use of paper strips that are rolled and shaped together to create decorative designs. Each of these paper rolls master the beauty of Indian art.

Then, head on over to PARADISE SWITZERLAND where you’ll come across a gorgeous selection of Swiss posters.

Then catch a flight to the KOREAN PAVILION AT SHANGHAI WORLD EXPO 2010, which is a type-lovers dream.

And, in this crazy month of travel, don’t forget your layover through AFRICAN INSPIRED ILLUSTRATION. It’s filled with awe-taking illustrations of African fine art.

Mind you, that mini-world tour is just this week and I didn’t even point out all of the posts. In short, the Creative Roots blog offers world-wide cultural inspiration that can trigger many an inspiration for designers – regardless of your own everyday culture.

(via @creativeroots)


THE GOOGLE EARTH ALPHABET is so fun to look through and must have taken hours and hours to find just the right ones to add to the gallery.

I personally found it easier to go through their Flickr stream – where I became even more envious that I didn’t think of it. Ah well… always nice to be inspired through geography!

The entire set includes capitals, lower case and numbers and punctuation – and is using only locations in The Netherlands.

(via @scene360)


The basic concept seems like a lovely way to finish this week’s post. It’s perhaps the perfect combination of tradition and technology.

In today’s time of high-tech, I estimate that at least 90% of what I receive in my mailbox has been reserved for bills or junk mail – that is, of course, with exception of what invoices I’ve opted to receive via email and, of course, what’s received in my spam folder (and not opted for) – but I digress.

Well, designers Rahul Mahtani & Yofred Moik from the Industrial Design program at Syracuse University came up with a concept where the design on the envelope literally maps the course the letter has taken.

ENTER TRADITION: You’re actually receiving a physical, personal letter in the mailbox. A letter someone wrote just for you. Cared enough to lick and seal. Cared enough to pop on that stamp. Just for you. Awwwwwww!

ENTER TECHNOLOGY: That personalized letter is first built in G-Mail and enables you to send your message through snail mail instead. The coolest part of the technology portion is that, by using Google Maps, the route of the envelopes journey is mapped out – from door to door. Very cool indeed.

The concept is still in beta testing right now but, if they prove themselves right, both Mahtani and Moik could help keep receiving personal mail alive. Correction: bring it back from the dead.

I look forward to this happening and hope mailboxes, worldwide overflow sans the invoices.


Have a great week…
~ Jennifer

“FUN is a tricky word. People think that if you’re having ‘fun’, you’re ignoring content, or you’re ignoring the importance of the piece. But that’s not true.”
~ Carin Goldberg

TAGS: travel, hotels, pantone, India, Switzerland, Japan, Korean, Africa, Netherlands, Google, Google Earth, Maps, geography, mail, envelopes, Google Envelopes


May 16-22, 2010

May 22, 2010 § Leave a comment

007 – This week, I decided to try the click-by-click approach…. starting with one item that inspired and see where it lead me.

It just so happens, that each click also lead to another inspiration and then another and then….


ALEX GIRÓN has been playing (very successfully, I may add) with CSS3 and all it’s wonders. He recreated THE SOLAR SYSTEM USING JUST CSS3 FEATURES and HTML. It really is fascinating to not only watch spin but to also read the how-to’s – because Girón’s broken down the specifics for us.

“This time, I set out to experiment with border-radius, and what I thought was going to be a boring little project turned out to be quite interesting.”

Then, I started digging deeper into Girón’s site and found many, many grand things to ponder over. He got me so revved up that I’m now in the midst of creating a similar-purposed bookmarking site to his VISUAL BITS, playing with SWEET FLAVOR and am learning from his tutorials too.

Thanks for the inspiration, Alex.

(via @alexgiron)

Giron’s kudos to Rob Morris and company led me to DIGITALMASH and I got sucked into Morris’ PHOTOS for way too long. The colors and facial expressions are so meaningful – both in a happy and sad way.

(via @digitalmash)

Then, through Morris’ suggestion and GET CREATIVE (I can’t believe he called me a hack!), I decided to ’embrace randomness’. I headed on over to FLICKR’S 7 DAYS OF INTERESTING PHOTOS.

“Think of a number between 1 and 10. Go to flickr’s 7 days of interesting photos and click the reload button that many times with your eyes closed. Open your eyes and focus on the first image that captures your sad little imagination. This is your new muse. Take this and use everything that makes it interesting in your own designs.”

Doing as I’m told, I closed my eyes and hit reload twice.

Caiti is a freelance designer and her Flickr Journal for her online class, “TELL YOUR STORY” shows wonderful mind mapping, wireframing and sketching skills. Each page portrays strong typography in combination of a solid base of design aspects.

The CAITIDID DESIGNS BLOG also showcases a creative life in the lines of design, crafts, cooking and art.

And, because she likes mission statements, she hereby declares that the purpose for her blog is to:

“Celebrate living a creative life, including the arts and crafting, photography, cooking and design * Embrace the present moment, rather than getting caught up in regretting the past or fearing the future * See the humor in as many situations as possible * Document my journeys and share my stories– as a possible indie business owner / in simplifying my lifestyle / as a wife / as a creative person * Connect with other like-minded creative, passionate people”

I like that mission and look forward to following her journey.

(via @CaitididDesigns)

Caiti is in love with Elsie and Rachel’s six-week online course: ‘Tell Your Story’ Art Journal Class – so it only seems fitting to follow through and take a gander at their journals too.

Rachel’s blog makes you want to SMILE AND WAVE and Elsie’s blog is just A BEAUTIFUL MESS.

And, well, I suppose RACHEL and ELSIE‘s Flickr Photostreams also do exactly the same thing.

On May 22, both these gals announced the upcoming six-week course: RED VELVET SUMMER CAMP

“This course is filled with projects to keep your summer inspired and fun-filled. We will share 30 Do-It-Yourself projects and have three live chats with students!”

(via @RachelDenbow and @elsiecake)

I got all of this from looking at the solar system. Me Likey.

And, with this all in mind, I came across the quote of the week by Carin Goldberg:

“FUN is a tricky word. People think that if you’re having ‘fun’, you’re ignoring content, or you’re ignoring the importance of the piece. But that’s not true.”

Because, I do believe that each of these inspirations were found or created through ‘fun’. And lots of it.

Have a great week…
~ Jennifer

TAGS: solar system, truth, fun, flickr, seven-day, 7day, typography, mindmapping, wireframes, journals

May 9-15, 2010

May 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

006 – This week brings the thoughts of designing for a cause and some colorful palettes to save and/or create.


We, the designers, love color, typography, palettes, photographs, code, clay, adobe… well, you get the idea. But, the point is, what if we can use and do these things for a good cause too?

Here are a few sites you can wander off to design for the better good of the world – ranging from simply sending a photo to designing something from scratch.

I’ll start with the easiest-for-you project you can contribute to.

All you have to do is browse/attach a photo of yourself and a small square from your pic will be manually pulled and become a part of the ONE WORLD FACE image. It’s free, easy and pretty cool.

After all, your participation helps generate publicity and awareness – with proceeds donated to the UN World Food Program to help fight poverty. Pretty cooler.

I’m part of the eye on the right.

(via @oneworldface)

DESIGNGIVE offers apparel by designers for designers and a portion of the proceeds from each item sold will go to a charity of the buyer’s choosing: American Diabetes Association, the American Cancer Society, the American Red Cross, Children with AIDS Charity, the Make-a-Wish Foundation, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and UNICEF.

“A cause for design, plain and simple. As artists, we were given a talent to create, it’s up to you to use those talents to try and make a difference in the world.”

Designgive also welcomes new designs. If you’re interested in participating, check out the site to see all the details of how you too can become a contributing artist.

THE CANARY PROJECT and its partners firmly believe that the climate crisis is solvable and, to back that up, they have launched GREEN PATRIOT POSTERS: “Posters for Energy Independence and the fight against Climate Change”.

“With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it, nothing can succeed. Consequently, he who molds public sentiment goes deeper than he who enacts statutes or pronounces decisions.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

You can take action by either voting for your fav (all posters are online to view and rate) or by creating a poster yourself. Along with inspiration for your new design, the brief, specs, and how-to-upload info is all there too, of course.

When all done and said, The Canary Project will select some for distribution in high-visibility venues such as bus ads, billboards, T-shirts, a Global Professional Publishing book, traveling museum show and, of course posters.


This is so pretty… the MOVIE STILL PALETTE INSPIRATION over at COLOURlovers has color schemes ranging from movies like “Wizard of Oz” to “The Goonies” to “Walk the Line”.

If this inspires you, check out COLOURlovers and create your own palette to show off and share.

(via @COLOURlovers / @pitchdesign)

DESIGN SEEDS also has some sweet color palette break-downs to take a gander at.

Very sweet indeed.

(via @design_seeds)

ADOBE KULER is a web-hosted application for generating color themes that can inspire any project.

“No matter what you’re creating, with Kuler you can experiment quickly with color variations and browse thousands of themes from the Kuler community.”

The Kuler community is chock full of color schemes that you can save for yourself, rate it, and add to… all available online at no charge, so whatcha waitin’ for? Go ahead and start exploring, creating, searching, saving and sharing color themes.

(via @adobe)


With over 25,000 sketches approved, the SKETCH SWAP concept is fun and simple – draw one to get one.

Sketch up a lovely illustration and hit submit. You’ll immediately receive someone elses drawing and, if approved you’re masterpiece enters the database for someone else to receive down the road.

“Draw cartoons, art, brainstorms, anything. If you add text, please use English so we can approve it. A graphic tablet helps sketching.”

Approval is made manually by the Sketch Swap team – so keep it clean and in English.

Coincidently, after finding Sketch Swap, I stumbled upon A WOMAN FROM INSIDE OUT. She is filled with simple yet brilliant sketches, starting with the skeleton and moving onto to a fully dressed lady.

(via @StumbleUpon)

Have a great week…
~ Jennifer

TAGS: design for a cause, charity, color schemes, color palettes, sketches, drawing

May 2-8, 2010

May 8, 2010 § Leave a comment

005 – This week was a biggie for celebrations: Cinco de Mayo and Mother’s Day. Talk about a design differences!… and each beautiful in their own right.


While this post for Cinco de Mayo is showing up late for the holiday, you can still take a gander and bookmark for next year or, heck, just take some of these design ideas (from table décor to edible art to just plain pretty) and use as inspiration for another occasion.

AMY ATLAS is a party event planner in NYC, and on HER BLOG she posted some great ideas for a festive Cinco de Mayo party design. The palette of greens is a wonderful combination of soft to vibrant. And, like Amy, I’m lovin’ the Margarita cupcakes too!

(via @amyatlas)

If you ask me (and you know you did), it’s always a good time for tasty and UNIQUE MARGARITAS FOR CINCO DE MAYO. The colors of these drinks alone make these beautiful designs. I suppose that makes them edible art, right?! Beautiful and delicious.

(via @HostessTori)

Feliz Cinco de Mayo to one and all!


With Mother’s Day, thoughts of pink and purple florals come to mind. Thoughts of pastel hugs and trying to think of the sweetest gift that will melt her heart. And, of course, thoughts of the perfect greeting card…

“Thank you for teaching me to not eat crayons”

But, I tell ya, if that Hallmark commercial makes me cry one more time…

Love to my Mama.


DESIGNLENTA is a Moscow design agency that offers Daily Inspiration and this week is titled Бразильское агентство AlmapBBDO. I haven’t a clue what that means (and my simple Google Translator didn’t help) but I do know that Designlenta is guiding us to some gorgeous 2D art.

My personal fav is the ALKA SELTZER ad. Besides the wonderful warning of the Tabasco and bacon combo, the art is spot-on… so grand that it looks like a photograph. My tummy feels better already.

(via @Designlenta)


With the first Earth Day (1970) on the calendar, CONTAINER CORPORATION OF AMERICA decided to create a logo that would (hopefully) inspire the upcoming recycling movement. The new logo creation was opened as a contest for inspiring young artists (advertised across high schools and universities) and Gary Anderson (a University of Southern California student) was the winner – of not only the scholarship top prize but also the honor of having created one of the most recognized emblems in the world.

With a few versions out there today, the version you are looking at tells a very specific bit of information: “if the arrows are inside a solid black circle, it means the product is made from previously recycled material (the number in the center of the logo tells us what percentage. An absence of a number indicates 100%). If the arrows are not inside a circle, that indicates the product is recyclable.”

Reuse, Reduce, Recycle

2EXPERTSDESIGN compiled and showcased the 200 BEST DESIGNS OF TEE-SHIRTS SELECTED AROUND THE WORLD. This is no small feat considering how many options are out there in Web-Land. They’ve been so kind as to do all the nitty-gritty research for us… many thanks, to the two experts.

“A good opportunity for web designers to get a design collection and get inspiration. To explain it shortly, find hereby, the best of the best, the must of the must : All what is able to find in the T-shirt design world.”

Personally, I’m A BETTER TOMORROW, MONSIEUR POULET and THREADLESS fan (hint hint).

With 2expertsdesign’s post is broken into 47 online shops and there isn’t a doubt that you’ll come across either inspiration or one you simply need to have in your closet.

(via @2experts @Mr_Poulet @abettertomorrow @Threadless)

DAINIS GRAVERIS has some great links he’s sharing. I was impressed with not one of his bits of insight but each and every one I clicked on.

“1stwebdesigner is a design blog dedicated to bloggers, freelancers, web-developers and designers. Topics focus on web design, graphic design, tutorials and inspirational articles.”

Here’s a few of his recommendations from this week alone – and now they are my recommendations also. Good beans :
7 Awesome Rules for Designing a Perfect Logo
30+ Best Texture Tutorials for Photoshop
5 Unusual Yet Great Ways To Make Money With Your Blog
65 Free Premium Like Mini Pixel Fonts

(via @1stwebdesigner)

Have a great week…
~ Jennifer

TAGS: Cinco de Mayo, Margaritas, Mother’s Day, Mom, Mum, greeting cards, Earth Day, recycle, logos, 2D art, tshirts, t-shirts

April 25 – May 1, 2010

May 1, 2010 § Leave a comment

004 – Another week of great design inspiration…


Ben Heine creates Pencil Vs. Camera: some incredibly unique and creative art that is, simply put, fun. This is similar to another series, Real-Time Travel: 15 Fantastic Photographs of Futures Past, I’ve come across where an old photograph is held up over the current location. For example, a photo of a building in early 1930s positioned in front of the same building/street today.

With this same base philosophy, Heine’s creations are in combination of photos and illustrations – with some of those sketchings being realistic and others not-so. Unless you’s seen a donkey or two sporting sunglasses-party-style. And, if you have, let me know where.

“Ben Heine is a Belgian artist/photographer hybrid who puts himself front and center in his ongoing experimental series Pencil Vs. Camera. Heine combines a mixture of camerawork and illustration, held by his own hand, in his pan-European adventures spanning France, Belgium, and Portugal at current tally.”

You’re able to checkout the entire series through Heine’s Flickr Stream

(via @BenHeine)

0to2550to255 ::
“0 to 255 is a simple tool that helps web designers find variations of any color. Perfect for hovers, borders, gradients and more”

In other words, Shaun Chapman created 0to255 as a quick access, easy-to-use tool for you to grab the HEX codes for your designs – and it offers other variations from a color scheme too. Is that purple too pale? Is that green too army? Check out the options quickly and compare. It’s a huge time-saver and I love anything that is colorful and saves time.

(via @shaunchapman)

KloutKLOUT ::
Through @RyanBickett‘s tweet, here’s an interesting site that I discovered this week. Klout measures influence on topics across the social web to find the people the world listens to the most. It states where you lie in the Twitter-World and does not show me in the best of light. Yet.

“JenniferWilke is a casual…
You don’t take this Twitter stuff too seriously. People towards the lower left corner are probably very new to social media. Most people in this quadrant tend to engage with a small group of friends that they know in real life. If you’re in the upper right corner, you have succeeded in building a strong audience, but need to engage and be more active to jump to the next level.”

And, with this, I now want to throw myself on the mercy of the Klout jury. In my defense…

  • I started actively using Twitter only 4 months ago. Perhaps a bit late to the game but considering how long Twitter will probably be around, I still consider it the second inning. I always prefer to show to a game a smidge later anyway – the hotdog lines are shorter (meaning I wouldn’t jump off the Golden Gate Bridge just because everyone else was doing it — and, I do prefer that all the bugs have been worked out).
  • I suppose it’s honest to say, that I wrote off Twitter in its first three years (which opened for the public to use in April 2007) to be purely a virtual water cooler; sans the water; and talk being perhaps fun but superficial. I was wrong.
  • Because, what I know now is that the design behind Twitter is the community of knowledge; the sharing of insight; the ability to stay up on the trends (no matter what your topic-trend-of-focus is) without having to break your bat, so to speak (trying to keep the baseball analogy open is a little tough).
  • It looks like I’m closer to the upper right than the lower left – so I’m getting there – and I do take it “seriously”.
  • So, now, with all these things in mind, maybe, CASUAL can have a new meaning for @JenniferWilke. Like the cool kids in school – looking all laid back and nonchalant; looking like they don’t care; but studying extra hard in the ball pit.

To find out where you play, register and enter your Twitter name over at Klout – and get in the game: Connector; Persona; Climber; Casual

(On a side note, baseball season started… Go Cubbies!)
(via @klout)


iconshockIconShock is going crazy in their giveaways. First, I came across Picasso: A Free Social Media Icon Set which is lovely little pack of unique social media icons in (hence the name) Picasso-style.

For the readers of Vandelay Design Blog, Free Travel Icons from IconShock is a free set IconShock created that includes 10 icons in PNG and .ai format.

Besides being the largest icon design company out there today, IconShock has tons of freebies that are ready for the download, design tutorials to expand the knowledge, and a worthwhile blog with UI and design articles.

But, I digress. Let’s get back to the freebies!

The biggest one yet actually… here’s IconShock’s sweetest offer…

Massive Giveaway of Iconshock Icons available at Webdesigner Depot

“10 full subscription licenses to ALL their icons. Yes, you read that right, ALL their icons. The value of all these prizes is an astonishing $4,990!”

To participate, read all the juicy details – and do it quick because the contest ends May 5th.

(via @iconshock @sixrevisions @vandelaydesign @DesignerDepot)

THIS DAY IN HISTORY :: April 26, 2010 ::

We Are Happy To Serve You

We Are Happy To Serve You… The designer of the most famous coffee cup passed on April 26, 2010. His legacy is to not only coffee and New York City but one to design also. You see, Leslie Buck designed the The Anthora Coffee Cup – an icon to NYC diners, street food carts, and urban tourist memorabilia alike.

Buck, born Laszlo Büch on September. 20, 1922, was a Nazi concentration camp survivor, found his way to the Big Apple, joined Sherri Cup (later absorbed by the Solo Cup Company) and, without any formal art training, created the Greek-styled design. And, while the design may not be the most beautiful and inspiring creation that has ever graced the streets, it is one of warmth, familiarity, and tradition. Something every designer (in any style – with or without training) hopes to achieve someday.

The simple graphic became as potent a New York icon as Milton Glaser’s “I Love New York” or the “Law & Order sound.”

In short, Buck’s contribution is one that few will notice closely but is a mainstay in cultural urban design and history. And, one that will keep hands warm, too boot.

Have a great week…
~ Jennifer

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