Category Archives: Caught Our Eye

Baker Street Serif Font Trend 2016

Inspirations: Typography Trends for 2016

What’s hot in typography for 2016?

The widely circulated Creative Bloq predictions by Monotype’s Ryan Arruda explore “three select dimensions of typography from 2015 to reflect upon, facets that may inform design trends in the year to come,” including:

Will 2016 be the year of the serif comeback?
Arruda makes an excellent point that, as our digital devices and displays continue to improve, they can “increasingly handle the often more delicate, refined nuances of serif typefaces and smaller sizes…nuances that give serif designs their distinct personalities.” Many font-o-philes may have longed for a hearkening back to this print-worthy classic, while trudging through recent years of sans-serif domination and popularity.

Bookmania Serif Font Trends 2016

Bevista Serif Font Trend 2016

Garibaldi Font Trend 2016

Bajka Serif Font Trend 2016

Carrig Serif Font Trend 2016

Haboro Serif Font Trend 2016


Continued thirst for custom type
Is increased social awareness of well-executed type, including typographic stories in mainstream news, prominent brands unveiling custom typefaces, and the presence of type in daily life—on digital devices from watches to coffee makers—making type awareness part of today’s wider zeitgeist? Will design clients understand, demand, and appreciate more about the typefaces we use? Before you answer, consider these pop-culture worthy BuzzFeed typographic quizzes Arruda cites for your entertainment (“from the mildly academic to absurd”).

San Francisco Font Trend 2016


First-time typographers proliferate
With the caveat that “software does not a type designer make…Prototypo, Adobe’s Project Faces, and FontArk now put the promise of custom type more readily in the hand of designers.” While most designers have a huge amount of respect for the art of professional typography, ease of making those little tweaks a client may demand for just a touch more personalization on a project might be nice. If we’re willing to add yet another program or two to our toolbox, that is. Let’s be honest, though: who hasn’t always dreamed of trying to create at least one really beautiful, successful font completely from scratch?



On the other hand
Design Shack profiles three typography trends already hovering on the border of overuse. The type trio in question shows no signs of slowing in the 2016 year ahead—do you agree that these are omnipresent styles designers already hate to love (but can’t help themselves from loving just the same)?  Consider this from the devil’s advocate: would you reject Helvetica on the basis of popularity?

Retro grunge
These one-off custom fonts usually require a purchase, and play into the vintage-hipster-handmade, elaborate-but-uncomplicated moment going on. It’s purported that the key is moderation (doesn’t that sound like just the perfect New Year’s resolution in any case?) and realizing the hand-lettered chalkboard feel is already everywhere, and you’re going to be a part of it.

Ed's Market Font Trend 2016

Burford Serif Font Trend 2016

Sacro 2016 Font Trend

Gin Font Trend 2016

Sant Elia Font Trend 2016


Speaking of everywhere…this softer trend has been embraced hand-in-hand with the larger handcrafted craze. Clients want their projects to feel special, and watercolor typography that looks hand-painted is just the ticket in, ironically, lots of cases. Gender-neutral thick strokes or reverse use of a watercolor background paired with a solid typeface are a predicted twist on this trend for the year to come.

Freeland Font Trend 2016 Lid Font Trend 2016

Bambusa Font Trend 2016

Mila Font Trend 2016

Stackyard Font Trend 2016 Salt & Spices Font Trend


If used sparingly, can all-caps typography in fact be enticing? Design Shack calls out navigation elements and display typography as two worthy examples, and also brings attention to the versatility of lettering styles that can be used successfully in this format (wide, thin, and condensed, to name a few). And, for impact, “all caps can pair particularly well—as is the trend—with hero-sized imagery to create an engaging dominant visual.”

Brandon Grotesque Uppercase Font Trend 2016

Campton Uppercase Font Trend 2016 Pines Uppercase Font Trend 2016 Nanami Uppercase Font Trend 2016

Azo Uppercase Font Trend 2016

Frutiger 2016 Uppercase Font Trend

What to you hope and fear will happen with typography, and how it will influence your own design practice, over the next year?

A certain Santa Fe designer—and beloved typographic curmudgeon—we’ve had the joy of collaborating with has been known to say, “If you have more than 10 fonts in your library, it’s a sign…I don’t know of what, but it’s a sign of something.” It’s quite apparent he means it’s a sign of something bad. “How many do you need? How many do you use?” A valid point. So, we need to tack another New Year’s resolution onto our list and trim down (our personal current tally may or may not hold a couple of trailing zeroes on that number). Who else is guilty? Conveniently, Typewolf offers awesome lists of favorites…presented in groups of (you guessed it!) 10.

(For visuals: Examples in this post gathered from two of our personal favorite font shops, MyFonts and Hype for Type.)


This post was originally published on The Design Corps of Santa Fe blog.

Letterpress Studio New Orleans Southern Press

Inspirations: Studio Visits in New Orleans

Escaping my desk is a great way to hit the refresh button on motivation and inspiration.  Visiting studios and seeing how others are doing what they do best never fails to impress—in particular, seeing designers who still work by hand, while so much of our own day-to-day work has become digital, is always a treat.  At the AIGA annual conference this fall in New Orleans, we were lucky enough to visit and enjoy three local woman-owned shops working in traditional mediums: sign painting, letterpress, and bookbinding.

The unique character of New Orleans and a stroll down its vibrant streets is influenced in large part by the beautiful artisan signage hanging on nearly every building.  There is an appreciation among the business, local, and tourist populations alike for this oft-forgotten artform—something we are lucky to see support for in Santa Fe’s historic downtown as well.
Hand Painted Signage New Orleans Mystic Blue Signs Hand Painted Signage New Orleans Mystic Blue Signs Hand Painted Signage New Orleans Mystic Blue Signs Hand Painted Signage New Orleans Mystic Blue Signs Hand Painted Signage New Orleans Mystic Blue Signs Hand Painted Signage New Orleans Mystic Blue Signs

Hand Painted Signage New Orleans Mystic Blue Signs

Hand lettering is still a prized artform at Mystic Blue Signs.

Mystic Blue Signs works exclusively in hand lettered signage with no digital components.  Customers are offered a limited selection of the most successful handprinted typefaces by way of a large painted board of samples on the wall, as well as a host of colorful iconography and artwork styles to complement their choice of lettering with a handpainted logo. Upon entering the shop, dozens of bold signs greet the eye from walls and ceiling, and a case of implements and tools of the trade give a glimpse behind the scenes.  Artists are trained at the shop to master lettering, and the open studio format lets customers watch as they paint.  Clients’ templates are created in pencil on trace paper to ensure text is aligned, perforated with a handheld tool outlining the sketch, and pounced (a centuries-old technique for image transferring, in this case pushing chalk dust through little holes in the trace paper onto the prepared sign board).  Signs are shaped and cut in-house as well, including elaborate cutouts such as filagrees, water, and steam.  Mystic Blue does work with graphic designers’ projects, too; mockups acquire an authentic handmade look and the finished products are truly one-of-a-kind.
Letterpress Studio New Orleans Scriptura Letterpress Studio New Orleans Scriptura Letterpress Studio New Orleans Scriptura Letterpress Studio New Orleans Scriptura Letterpress Studio New Orleans Scriptura Letterpress Studio New Orleans Scriptura

Letterpress Studio New Orleans Scriptura

Scriptura’s design tips for letterpress: rules have never looked so good.

As a former student of intaglio and woodblock, I love any work focused on printmaking. Those of us who obsess over high-quality paper and tactile presence have likely been thrilled to see the resurgence of letterpress printing in recent years. Behind a storefront of stationery offerings, Scriptura on bustling Magazine Street has a fully operational shop accepting custom work.  With four antique presses in action, the shop is pleasantly busy, including a foil press for applying metallic detail in gold, copper, and silver. Listening to the rhythmic zip of the wheel and plunk of the plate, we watched a job come off the press on gorgeous thick paper with lots of fine detail.  There is a labor of love involved in maintaining these huge machines, mostly done in-house by the artists as the heavy presses are so difficult to move and chance at tipping off the dolly.  The community is relatively tight knit and there to reach out to for chastisement and eventually advice when a part breaks or a problem happens, a lot like the digital forums we reference for programming snags or Photoshop questions…but somehow more secret and more exciting.  There is something about a well-thought one color design on amazing paper that is simple, beautiful, and bewitching.  There is also something about a printing studio with wooden floors, a wooden staircase, wide windows, and a couple of dogs waiting at your feet in the Big Easy that feels truly magical.
Letterpress Studio New Orleans Southern Press
Letterpress Studio New Orleans Southern Press
Letterpress Studio New Orleans Southern Press
Letterpress Studio New Orleans Southern Press
Letterpress Studio New Orleans Southern Press
Letterpress Studio New Orleans Southern Press

The Southern Press offers beautiful co-work space for designers.

Across town in the Bywater, a co-op space at The Southern Press runs handcrafted woodblock printing, small exhibitions, letterpress, and bookbinding. Binding techniques are fascinating, and this small cheery space with three artists at work was a treat to visit. We got to try our hand at arranging wood type elements in the tray and rolling paper through the press; looked at how a rainbow of ink can be applied to the plate for a pleasantly unpredictable result; checked out the flat files of thousands of letters and punctuation marks waiting to be placed on the presses; and merely watched a bit in awe as tiny artbooks were being hand-threaded and bound in several traditional Japanese styles.  We were even able to try the child size hobby press to print our own cards with sage inspiration advice: To summon lost creativity, pour water from the Mississippi River into the palm of your hand.

Letterpress Studio New Orleans Southern Press

Howdy from Kristin and Jackie in the Big Easy!

This post was originally published on The Design Corps of Santa Fe blog.

Art Class

“Teaching may even be the greatest of the arts, since the medium is the human mind and spirit.” – John Steinbeck

Spearheaded by Anne Rojan, Apple Valley Elementary has recruited artists to volunteer as art instructors once a month. The program has been a tremendous success, and so far I’ve had the rewarding experience of teaching two classes.

IMG_2423 Last year I guided kinders in a lesson on symmetry while we made butterflies with oil pastels and watercolors. We traced popsicle sticks for the body of the butterfly and worked hard to make the same shape wing on either side, then filling it all in with bright paint. “Clean your brush!” My husband was the guinea pig and his artwork is now hanging on the fridge at my in-laws as testament to the success of the lesson!

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This year, with my glossy art history books in tow (knew they would come in handy someday), I attempted to teach the third graders about Van Gogh’s The Starry Night. It might have been a tad ambitious, but the students’ artwork was stellar and one even declared that the class was “better than learning about wolves!”

I feel so honored to share the time with the teachers, volunteers, and most of all, the kiddos. After each class I leave with more and more respect for teachers- it’s the most important and challenging job of all time, I’m sure of it!

Some of my favorite conversations of the day: “Did you go to school with Vincent Van Gogh?” “Did he know my grandma?” “How do you make the color turquoise?” “MORE PAINT”

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I had the most supportive and talented art instructor in high school (thank you Mr. Richards!), and everyday feel grateful for my exposure to art while growing up. In my daily work as a designer I still use the rudimentary skills I learned in all my art classes. In my first watercolor class when I was 8, I learned patience (loads of it) and that fan brushes are cheating. In my first acrylic painting class I learned first hand how to mix colors (and clean my brush, often). And in my first sculpture class I learned that any piece of junk can be made into art. When I remember to think like I was taught in those classes, I remember how to see like a kid again. Fresh eyes, big ideas, loads of “what ifs.”

These kids nailed it, and in turn have inspired me to crack open my art books more often and start painting regularly again. Nothing like the energy of a room full of kids to excite you, exhaust you, and set you back into motion.

– Jackie

And a very big thank you to Anne Rojan and her volunteers for the wonderful afternoons, and for capturing the lesson and artworks!

Succulent Symmetry: Caught My Eye

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Oh beautiful succulents. You don’t seem to like winter in Washington, and at this point, I’m not too sure about it either. Gray, gray, and more gray. So I’m living in a Texas fantasy today and hoping your green will seep through my screen and into my body chemistry because no matter how many mushrooms I eat (someone said they are a good vitamin D supplement, and no not the medicinal kind), I still have the winter blues.


Atelier Stella London


Atelier Stella London

I’ve been really into filling the office with lots and lots of plants, perhaps it has something to do with everything outside being dead and gray (did I mention gray?). But I’m always on the lookout for sweet planters and pots to house new greenery, and what gets more charming than a little face and a baby succulent? Love these guys from the sweet Etsy shop Atelier Stella London (plus, anything called Atelier makes me feel fancy).

Reminiscing about a warm day spent visiting a succulent farm in west Austin last summer with my dear friend Christine. Lots of symmetry, lots of Texas cacti, appropriately. It was kind of magical. Hoping a little magic finds its way to you during these winter days.

– Jackie

Scissors and Paper: Collage

Confession: I was totally that girl who collected magazines and holed herself in her room making collages during high school. I have books and books filled with good things I cut and tore up then glued onto unassuming pages. Doesn’t everyone?
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I just recovered these photos from a collage workshop I was privileged to attend last year at the beautifully curated shop just behind our old LA home in Highland Park, Platform. It was hosted by the talented artist Caris Reid, (her work is so refreshing, I particularly like “Bride” from her website). The night was a wonderful excuse to drink wine and cut some things up with a group of ladies. Throwback to my early years – minus the whole wine and group thing.

Jackie Jones // Collage

Voila! My final product.

Here’s to all those collage-ers out there!

– Jackie