CC: Spork?

A portmanteau is a word whose form and meaning are derived from blending two or more distinct words (ie. spork = spoon + fork). Our language has been overcome by these strange combinations recently but I’m sure there are tons more that we have yet to think up. So here’s your chance to make it into Webster’s! Come up with a portmanteau to describe one of the topics below and post it in the comments section for everyone to add into their vocabulary:
·         Art
·         Nature
·         Food
·         News
·         Religion

Design Curator: Design Blog Pick

On my quest to curate top design sites and blogs I stumbled across a gem. In the jungle of social networks, namely Pinterest, I dug up the Design Work Life blog by Seamless Creative.

Seamless Creative is a New York City-based design studio, where creatives Brian and Courtney offer a variety of services from branding to marketing and beyond. Design Work Life is where Brian and Courtney catalog their daily inspirations.

Boy, did I hit the jackpot. Brian and Courtney’s blog shouts creativity. Each post dishes up scrumptious goodies for the eyes and mind. If you need a place to look for inspiration, come here!

Abstract Colors by Alessandro Pautasso (aka Nosurprises) is an illustration project with a portrait series of classic movie stars. There is the post about Edge & Barrett’s branding project for a high-end East London Boutique, 11 Boundary. Then there is my favorite: the hand-embroidered Penguin book cover illustrations by Rachell Sumpter. Search the blog for your favorite and find your gem of inspiration.


Elizabeth Wann {Jewelry Designer & Writer}

CC: It’ll rot your brain

Everyone knows that TV rots your brain. By now, we should’ve all been turned into walking zombies though, no? Here’s your chance to stop the next person from getting hooked, or at least give them a little laugh before they do. Write a disclaimer to your favorite TV show (or the one you think needs the most advanced warning) in the comments section below.

Design Curator: The Mother of Ikea

You might have heard of it. That dominating blue and yellow hulking building across the sky. Ikea. The Disney World of design and mass production.

I bet as you’ve walked through the showrooms, laid on the beds, sat on the sofas and chairs you never thought much about the story behind the interior designs. Ikea might even be cliche to you; overused and overdone. Yet, there is a design concept peeking through each piece, which stems from the mother of Ikea known as Scandinavian design.

Scandinavian design includes the countries of Sweden, Denmark, and Norway; it encompasses the idea of  “beautiful things that make your life better.” A design is truly Scandinavian when beauty and functionality are one.

Functionality is how practical an object is, how accessible, and how enjoyable for the general public.  The idea of designing products in such a way that they are accessible and affordable to the masses comes from Scandinavian local institutions, such as the Swedish Society of Industrial Design.

Fortunately beauty (the beauty of an object being a quality pleasing to the eye drawing us towards that object) was not sacrificed to the highly functional and accessible Scandinavian designs.

Smashing Magazine talks about the origination of the term Scandinavian design:

“The term “Scandinavian design” originates from a design show that traveled the US and Canada under that name from 1954 to 1957. Promoting the “Scandinavian way of living,” it exhibited various works by Nordic designers and established the meaning of the term that continues to today: beautiful, simple, clean designs, inspired by nature and the northern climate, accessible and available to all, with an emphasis on enjoying the domestic environment.”

Left: Poster from the Stockholm Exhibition, 1930. Right: Catalogue from the Helsingborg Exhibition, 1955.

Though  it seems everyone shops at Ikea (making it cliche), and most artists cringe at the words mass production, there is a design concept inherent in each display. We can learn from Ikea.

So far the design elements I’ve covered are simplicity, timelessness, and uniqueness. Now I have added functionality with beauty. With your designs think about how you can make it aesthetically pleasing, but also functional for your audience. You can try the “form follows function” approach and decide on your style aesthetic based on the practical need first or flip it; have a design aesthetic , but add elements of functionality to it.

Next time you walk through that blue and yellow superstore of design think about the design concept that mothered Ikea.

Elizabeth Wann~ Jewelry Designer and Writer

CC: Mantra, Mantra on the wall

We all have them. You might not even realize it until you catch yourself repeating it over and over, just to get you through the tough spots. So, what it is? Post a comment below with your mantra or your most used phrase that gets you through.

CC: Take a look around

Here’s another exercise to get you more in tune with your surroundings. Take 5 minutes and write down five things you didn’t notice about your immediate surroundings until now. Be quick and type up the first things that you notice!

Design Curator: Design Website Pick

Many of my posts have covered elements of design: timelessness, uniqueness, and simplicity. Last month I featured Sultana Maria Jewelry, whose designs exemplify the element of uniqueness. A new addition to my posts will feature design blogs and websites. I will curate the most fun, educational, and inspiring sites for your reading and viewing pleasure.

My first pick is Design Sponge. This website has so many tasty slices of design pie, which makes the whole pie a gourmet delight. So much good stuff is packed into this site that it’s easy to let the time slip by as you browse. Design Sponge is best known for its DIY projects and videos, as well as its before and after design makeovers. Want to know how to do faux French windows? Pattern fan blades?  What about turning a birdcage into a chandelier?

For a variety of design columns, from recipes, DIY projects, mixing drinks, entertaining, and much more, Design Sponge has it all. Biz Ladies is a section on the site with business advice for women. If you are an artist and want to learn how to market your work, sell, and grow your business, then you need to be checking out this section everyday.

If you need some creative inspiration when you are entertaining, Design Sponge is where it’s at. Whether you want to decorate a room, plan a party or mix a drink you can come to Design Sponge and soak up its creativity for all your design projects.

{If you have recommendations for a design blog or website feature please let me know below in the comments section.}

Elizabeth Wann ~ Writer & Designer

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