A little bit of cuteness to start your Friday. Have a great weekend!

-CR (and Cheddar)

Alphabet 100 update

Here are the first 16 installments of the Alphabet 100 project. Be sure to check out all the sketches and follow the progress here!

Public Funding for Public Broadcasters

This is an infographic I recently created for Toronto Star's microsite The Network on the CBC and public broadcasting. Check out the site and full-size graphic here.

Camp Ooch

On May 13th, I will be participating in the Sporting Life 10K Run in Toronto which raises money for Camp Oochigeas, a camp for children with cancer. Camp Oochigeas does amazing work, allowing almost 700 children affected by cancer to attend camp each year at no cost to their families. Every kid deserves to have fun!

If you can spare a few dollars, and don't mind entering your credit card information online, please donate what you can on this fundraising page.

Your help and support is greatly appreciated.

Have a great weekend! And thanks!


Colour me happy

Random colourful things gathered from the internets
(many of which from CSA Flat File)

Christopher, part 2

When I was young, I was enamoured by my grandmother's impeccable printing and handwriting. Crossword puzzles, recipe cards, dates on the bottom of Polaroid photos  there were beautiful typographic specimens all around her house. In my tiny 5 year old brain, I always aspired to have handwriting as graceful as hers. I found great joy in cursive writing, especially writing my name and the alphabet over and over again. This was probably the beginning of my love for typography and lettering.

As I transitioned to full-time freelance design this January, I decided it was time to rebrand myself. The old adage is true  you are your hardest client. 

I took a critical look at my existing logo and weighed the pros and cons.

-interesting monogram of C + R
-clean, geometric, balanced  sturdy
-dynamic interplay between positive and negative space

-as a logo, it doesn't say anything about my personality, the services I offer, or my work
(plus, it always kind of reminded me of the Colgate Palmolive logo on my toothpaste tube...)

As I brainstormed new solutions, it didn't take long before deciding that I wanted to have handwritten wordmark. Partly an ode to my grandmother's handwriting, but also the typographic constant in my life: my signature. So I started writing. And writing. And writing.

From the 6 pages of drafts, I cut, paste, and narrowed it down to my top 13 choices. Each one had interesting characteristics that I wanted to bring forward in the final version.

Eventually, I settled on signature in the bottom right corner. I have a pretty long name (11 letters), and this upright version seemed to have the best proportions without being too wide or too compressed. Using Illustrator, I traced and recreated the lines and curves with the pen tool.

Once I had a vector version to work with, I decide to establish a bit of order. I know that signature-based logos are often loose and spontaneous, but I wanted to create something a bit more formal. I created some guidelines to help line things up (x heights, cap heights, angles, etc.)

An earlier version had a very fanciful swash that connected the r with the crossbar on the t. In the end, I thought it seemed too top-heavy (and a bit too lasso-like? Am I going to a rodeo?) I did retain an exaggerated crossbar on the 't'; not only does it dot the 'i', but the curve and angle is reminiscent of a smile. :)

After some more tiny adjustments to spacing, I ultimately decided to place the wordmark on a slant. It was never part of the original plan, but after rotating the wordmark on a whim, the solution presented itself, and it stuck. The vertical elements revealed the magic angle: 11.5 degrees counterclockwise. It also created a nice little nest of space for additional text (as you'll see below).

Add a outer white stroke and a faint grey drop shadow, and voila! The new wordmark. Above are 2 other applications, with the additional of an apostrophe 's'.

Overall, I am very satisfied with the new wordmark. Unlike my previous logo, I think it speaks to my work and style in a much stronger, visual way:
-it is clean and simple, like a well-tailored suit
-it feels sophisticated, but also casual and approachable
-it is dynamic, energetic, and has a feeling of optimism and forward-thinking
-it shows an appreciation of  and nostalgia for  a time when hand-lettered logotypes were the norm. Custom lettering evokes a feeling of personalized service, of hand-crafted quality.

I am looking forward to interacting with it in the coming months, and finding new, exciting ways to share it with the world.

This one's for you, Grandma. 


Happy Monday! After months of preparation, I am pleased to reveal my personal rebrand, as well the redesign of my personal website,

Below, you will find:
-some shots of the new business cards, handmade on Arches Bright White 140lb paper with rubber stamps and blank ink (much thanks to Tanya for letting me use her heavy duty industrial paper cutter!)
-a peek at some new branded stationery
-my new super fun circular stickers (which are perfect for sticking mailing tubes - and everything!)


As well, I got it in my head that I would create a 3-dimensional sign for my office. Using only cardboard, hot glue, and a utility knife, here is how it unfolded:

And here is the final result! I was pleasantly surprised at how the corrugated edge added a uniform stroke around the whole piece.

Here is everything all laid out together, with a few other treasures I always have around me, including an old letterpress drawer label (ABC), a piece of woodtype (C), a stone from the Mediterranean (I love rocks), a ruler I had in elementary school, and my "I  Grandma" keychain.

Of course, Cheddar the office cat had to come investigate (outtakes available upon request).

And voila! Office complete.

I must thank everyone who helped make this come to life. Special thanks go to my friend and web developer, Chris Roberts, who made my new website look and function better than I could have imagined, and for taking me on an HTML/CSS/jQuery journey (hopefully the first of many!) Please be sure to check out his craftsmanship on the site - and don't forget to check out the mobile version!

More on the development of the new wordmark and brand system coming tomorrow.


Happy Friday! I am just putting the finishing touches on my new personal website (!) which will be ready to share on Monday. Please stay tuned...

Have a great weekend!



Delightful hand-lettering samples from a stitch book by Elsie Svennas, circa 1966
(via Present & Correct)

Update 13 Apr 2012: G-N posted here!