Friday, July 25, 2008

Eye Candy for your Walls

These beautiful decoupage plates by John Derian are my new favorite eye candy. He is an avid collector of antique fruit, flower and animal prints. He hand-paints borders over centuries-old ledgers and letters and combines all these elements into charmingly eccentric collages, which are reprinted and pieced together in layers under glass accessories. His ever- expanding collection includes plates, platters, paperweights, coasters, lamps, bowls, bell jars, urns and vases. John Derian’s designs are handmade in his studio in New York, where he employs a small staff of artists to assist with production. You can purchase his plate here.

I think you should surround yourself with things that make you smile, whatever they may be. If something in your house doesn't make you happy every time you look at it, get rid of it. Design is more than just making something pretty, it should evoke emotion and make a statement about yourself.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A few questions to ask yourself...

I was reading the book "The Big Moo" edited by Seth Godin and came across a passage with interesting questions to ask yourself about your business and its products. I have listed some of the questions below. It's interesting food for thought, so go ahead and try answering some of them!

What if paper was free?

What if packaging cost ten times what it costs now?

What if we had to pay to dispose of anything our customers threw away?

What if the instructions couldn't include illustrations?

Is it generous?

If the CEO (or boss) loved this, how fast could we get it done?

Couldn't we do it just a little faster than that?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A different approach to air purification

I came across these vertical wall gardens by Patrick Blanc and was amazed by their form and beauty. Blanc engineered a lightweight wall that can grow plants without soil. The product can be mounted indoors or out for a natural plant mural that also purifies the air. What an amazing idea, I love it!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

My name is Yvette, and I'm an Idea Addict.

I recently came across an article by Scott Belsky of the Behance Team that helped me realize and admit that I am an idea addict. I love to get lost in my thoughts, constantly churning up new creative ideas and endeavors. Doesn't sound too bad on the surface, but in practice it gets in the way of progress and productivity. Belsky states:
"Idea generation is an addiction…an engaging, brain-spinning indulgence that must be practiced in moderation."

Moderation in all things. I think I've heard that mantra before. Their team spends only 1% of their time generating new ideas and the remaining 99% bringing their idea to life. Although he says you should enjoy your creative sessions, you must:
"Recognize that such occasions have the tendency to be intoxicating. New ideas have the potential to transform your life in wonderful ways, but they are also the most notorious source of distraction. Frustrated entrepreneurs and struggling creatives often trace back their problems to a moment when they decided to pursue too many things at once.

The steps for making ideas happen are interrupted by impaired judgment.
And, as we all know, our judgment is impaired when we get intoxicated. When rampant, new ideas will get you off track strive to make ideas happen, rather than just generate more ideas."

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Designer Yves Béhar

I just read a very interesting interview with Yves Béhar on the DWR site (Design Within Reach). He is an industrial designer who started his own design company, fuseproject, and teaches at California College of Arts (CCA). He was talking about how exciting it is to be studying and practicing design in this digital age and the wonderful challenges it presents by allowing designers to be more multifaceted and become "problem solvers" and not just "stylists." I completely agree that it is an exciting time to be a designer, and I think I have one of the best jobs in the world. I love the challenges it presents, the opportunities I have to learn about different industries, and the ability to make a difference through my work. Below is his ending statement:
"I consider myself a futurist. I consider myself a humanist. And I consider myself an environmentalist. For me, technology is an incredible enabler, but it means nothing if it doesn't consider the human being, the human touch. In the end, all of what we create has to have the world and the environment in mind as it gets produced."

Monday, February 4, 2008

Yeah! Webpick of the Day

I am very excited that the website I designed for Choose Renewables was chosen as "Web Pick of the Day" today on the Communication Arts newly redesigned site! Choose Renewables is a great company who is leading the way as both an excellent information source and online retailer for renewable energy. I am very honored and they are certainly a deserving company. Please check out the feature today by visiting You can visit my design studio, Studio Y Design, at

Friday, February 1, 2008

Recycled Plastic Bag

I have recently started to learn how to knit, so I was checking out some of the products on Etsy (a handmade marketplace) and came across these fun bags. The artist collects bags from recycle bins, friends and families and turns them into these colorful reusable bags. What a great way to recycle old bags! I usually try to find at least one more use for my plastic bags before I throw them out, but this way you can use those bags again and again (and take it to the grocery store so you don't collect more).

I don't know if I'll ever attempt knitting with plastic–yarn is challenge enough for me right now. But you can check out the whole line of bags here.

I also just found directions on how to make your own bags on the DIY Network. View the instructions.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Heels that don't Hurt

Finally a high heel that's not just eye candy, but is comfortable to wear. I caught Oprah while I was working out yesterday and they were featuring a new line of shoes that were both stylish and comfortable. Cole Haan teamed up with Nike Air to create a whole line of heels, boots, flats, and casual shoes. You can see all the styles and read more about them here.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Feel Good Design: Chie Mihara Shoes

Okay, so not all design can change the world. However I think if something makes your life better, even just by making you happier to look at it, it's worth noting. I love design that has a little vintage mixed in modern sensibilities. These shoes by Chie Mihara are divine and if I had a few extra hundred dollars lying around, I would definitely be tempted. You can find the shoes at Gravity Pope, Saks and other fine retailers.She also has a line of handbags. I especially like her design philosophy:
"She likes to create things that have something to communicate, a feeling or a state of mind. She greatly admires the work of artisans who create to give life. That’s what she wants to do… give a little happiness with her creations."

Take The Pledge

I just came across a great resource for educating graphic designers on sustainable practices and encouraging our design community to come together to make a positive change in our world. The website is called Design Can Change and includes an area where you can make a pledge and join their member directory, where people looking for designers who are committed to the environment can find you. I took the pledge and encourage other designers to read through the information on their site and take the pledge as well.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Creative Recycling

What a great way to turn trash into a treasure! Dominic Wilcox has created a series of "War Bowls" made from melted down toy soldiers. They still retain some of their shape, which makes for a great conversation piece, but the bowl is functional as well as sculptural.

You can purchase the war bowls here.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Portable Pillboxes

I love the concept of these elegantly designed pillboxes by Elana Dweck, which can be found her website Meqet. Meqet began as a MFA thesis project at the School of Visual Arts. The name "Meqet" is derived from the Ancient Egyptian term "meket," meaning "protector," and possibly from the Arabic "hamilet," or something worn.

These boxes beautifully mask the pills inside and can be left out on your desk, coffee table or counter or worn as a necklace or ring.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Yearly Reflections

It wouldn't be a new year if we didn't take the time to reflect on the past and set new goals for our future. Not long ago I made a list of what I wanted out of my design career to make it as fulfilling as possible. I noticed the items fell into four different themes and I rewrote the list as follows:
  1. I want to create, innovate and experiment
  2. I want to inspire, teach and give back
  3. I want to challenge myself, continually learn new things and rise to the next level
  4. I want to increase my self-confidence, work with good clients and receive recognition for my work

What I like about this is it is not only a list of goals to work toward in 2008, but a mantra that will ring true for the rest of my career. Happy new year and good luck to all of you in accomplishing your own goals.