Designer’s Eye is a series of articles in which I offer a graphic designer’s view of the world.

Return to Sender:
USPS Mailer Fails to Deliver Good Design

USPS Mailer

This holiday mailer from the U.S. Postal Service arrived in my mailbox in December. The illustrations and interior design are holiday-inspired and attractive. The mailer folds out to five panels and contains information on mailing and shipping during the holiday season.

When Paper Works Better than Pixels

ReadingThe printed newsletter has some advantages over electronic newsletters. Our neighborhood Civic Club still prints a newsletter six times a year. The homes in our neighborhood were built in the 1960s and there are still many original owners living here. Many of those folks prefer to receive their neighborhood information

Face Value

PantoneI think most women have had the experience of buying the wrong shade of makeup and that can result in a less-than-perfect look and wasted money. The shade that looks so good in the bottle at the store can have a frightening effect under the bright lights of the bathroom!

Colorful Clothing Map

ClothingI enjoy a catalog every now and then and this issue of Lands' End caught my attention, so I thought I'd share. When I took a closer look at the catalog, I noticed a link to the video of how they created this image--fun to watch! It's a nice touch that they add Wisconsin, their home state, at the end. Upon closer inspection, I noted some interesting things. Texas is, of course, wearing a

Cutting Edge Design

While thumbing though the November issue of Food & Wine, I came across this ad. It caught my eye for several reasons. The magazine is full of attractive photos of fabulous meals and recipe after recipe, but these knives really grabbed my attention.

Lost in Translation

FlagSince I was born in Baltimore I have a strong love of the Maryland flag. As an elementary school student, I wrote a report on the state flag (with an elaborate full color drawing, of course). The Maryland flag is striking and memorable. The design is derived from the shield

Giving Birth to Design

Baby fingerpaintingIt's back-to-school time and I am reflecting on this seasonal change in my life. It got me thinking about the parallels between raising children and the creative work that I do. Before your child is even born, you have dreams and aspirations for them. You even have an idea of how they might look and what type of personality they might have. You begin making plans for

The Three Little Pigs—A Graphic Tail

Bricks and trowelOnce upon a time, there were three little pigs.… The first little pig decided to design his brochure using Microsoft Word, since he already knew how to use it. He would save money by doing it himself. Maybe it didn’t matter that when you folded it, the margins were a little off. And everyone loves Comic Sans.

Top 5 Reasons Your Small Business Needs a Graphic Designer

Top 5 Reasons Your Small Business Needs a Graphic Designer 1. You would like to get a business card/brochure/postcard printed. Yes, you have a lovely desktop printer. Yes, Kinko’s is right across the street. But you might consider stepping up your game with quality printing. A graphic designer can take your piece from concept to design to printing. You might just need help

USDA's New
Food Plate

Food Plate

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has replace the nutritional chart that many of us grew up with—the food pyramid—with a simpler food plate. The food plate graphically illustrates the recommended portions for each food group. The most important message they would like to

UH Wins SEGD Award

UH Sign

A collaborative project from the University of Houston Studio Collaboration (School of Art, Graphic Communications Program, Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture) has won a 2011 Merit Award from the Society for Environmental Graphic Design.

Art Rocks (and Rolls!)

Art Car

The annual 2011 Houston Art Car Parade took place on Sunday, May 22. I am most intrigued by the cars that use unusual materials to decorate the car. But I also appreciate the sculptural nature of some of the creations.



Once a month, I volunteer to sell Chick-fil-a at my son's high school. The kids are crazy about the food! And, the PTO makes a small profit from the sale of sandwiches, wraps, and salads. Chick-fil-a does a great job in giving back to the community by sponsoring fundraisers of this kind. I've always been impressed by the service

Fantastic Fonts

There are several online font resources that I have found to be helpful. Although I have a few font reference books, I find it is very time-consuming to hunt for an appropriate font using the books. Identifont helps you to identify a font using whatever characters you might have available. Adobe Font Finder is great if you want to "try out" a font for a particular design project.

The Ampersand

The ampersand originated as a combination of the letters "e" and "t" to represent the Latin word "et" which means "and." It's amazing to see how many variations of the symbol can be found in print and in the signage around us.
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