Category: Identity & Packaging

Prune Restaurant – Website!

July 6th, 2014 — 8:59pm

Today, I am overjoyed to make a long awaited announcement…..
PRUNE Restaurant’s new website is LIVE!!

Sometime ago I was contacted by Tyla Fowler, assistant to Gabrielle Hamilton, and asked whether I’d be interested in redesigning Prune’s website. Of course, my response was “Absolutely!”. I remember when I first heard Gabrielle Hamilton on the radio, speaking about her book Blood, Bones & Butter, I was immediately so taken by her…. and after reading her book, even more enamored. So, now, here I am being contacted to design her restaurant’s new website?!  I wondered if maybe my connections to the restaurant world (Chez Panisse, Camino, Pizzaiolo, etc.) had somehow lead her to me, but it turns out, Tyla came across my work in an interview I did with Design Sponge! Thank you Design Sponge!

I knew that this was a substantial project, one that I didn’t want to take on alone, so I asked my dear friend and talented colleague, Tracy Lenihan, to work with me. Tracy and I had worked together before, but nothing of this scale. It was wonderful to tackle such an exciting and challenging project with a trusted collaborator. I’d also like to give great thanks to Andrew Venell for all of his amazing hard work programming the site.

I was fortunate enough to dine at PRUNE twice during this project. It was wonderful to meet Gabrielle face-to-face, experience the delicious food, the generous hospitality, and really get a sense of the place – first hand.  The restaurant is charmingly small, I truly felt as if I was in Europe. I love how the French doors open onto the street (as shown in the above photograph, courtesy of Eric Wolfinger, thank you Eric!). The tables are nestled so close to one another that it feels more like a dinner party at a friend’s house. It has a lovely intimate feel, the quintessential neighborhood restaurant. It was this warm, welcoming, and inviting experience that we wanted to capture in the design of the website.

When Gabrielle told me that, for a long time, she used to write each daily menu by hand, I knew she was my hero! A true fellow Luddite! (the above menu is an old sample in Gabrielle’s distinctive hand). This year is PRUNE’s 15th anniversary and it was only a few years ago that they stopped using handwritten tickets. We wanted to retain this lo-fi and handcrafted feel throughout the new site.

Working closely with Gabrielle has been an incredible experience. She is an amazing person; wicked smart, insanely hardworking, dedicated, full of grace and great humor.
I am thrilled to see this project come to fruition, and to use a phrase from Gabrielle,
I am “struttingly proud” of the results!

2 comments » | Identity & Packaging, Process, website Design


March 14th, 2012 — 10:57am

I am about to become an Auntie in a few weeks, so babies have been on my mind!
And while I’m on the subject, I’d like to share a lovely “logo refresh” project that I did for Odile, a luxury children’s boutique in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood.
Camille Cozzini, the owner, already had her wordmark designed but felt it needed an illustrated element to reflect the kind of items she sold and to add some whimsy. We explored several different ideas from bunnies to caterpillars… to mushrooms! I’m thrilled that Camille decided on the mushrooms. There is something so playful and friendly about poke-a-dotted mushrooms! I feel it appeals to little boys and girls…. and adults alike : ) The existing typography of “Odile” seemed to come alive with the new addition, they seem to complement each other very well.

Here is a lovely view of the interior of the store, it looks so warm, light and airy with a very European flair. I hope to visit in person someday!
And here is a photograph of the newly refreshed logo embroidered on a darling pillow!
I think I know what I need to get my little “soon-to-be” nephew!
Along with custom designed birth announcements of course!!!

Comment » | Identity & Packaging, Illustration, Portfolio Archives, Uncategorized

A Delicious Gift

July 6th, 2011 — 12:04pm

Lately I seem to have Pizzaiolo, and their delicious food, on my mind…
I think I need to go and visit!
Above is one of the best gifts I can think of, a gift certificate that feeds you! I designed and hand-lettered this gift certificate several years ago and I still love it’s simplicity and old world charm. I found the wood oven engraving in a book of mine and I think the image is just perfect. I letterpress print them in black and warm red. The image seems to glow very much like the restaurant itself… and the man at the oven even looks like Charlie!

Comment » | Hand-lettering & Typography, Identity & Packaging, Uncategorized

Happy anniversary Pizzaiolo!

June 16th, 2011 — 10:59pm

Pizzaiolo Restaurant just had it’s sixth year anniversary! I have worked with Charlie, the owner, quite a bit on various projects. My favorite projects being the commemorative Anniversary Posters!
Sadly, I did not create this year’s poster due to my crazy schedule and timing. But I thought it was timely to share the poster I designed  for last year’s 5th anniversary. Please forgive the slightly warped image, this is a photograph of the poster on a stainless steel refrigerator in my kitchen. The Italian title translates to “Make Pizza, Not War!” and the tagline roughly translates to “Solving problems, one pie at a time” with subtle references to “manual labor” and “unloading ovens” as well. I love the bold simplicity of the image and how the pizza cutter cuts a diagonal line across the page to create a peace sign… and a pizza! Charlie wanted the “Pizzaiolo” to bleed off the top of the page, which I thought was a great suggestion. The posters were silkscreen printed by an incredible local artist, Natt Swope of Bloom Press. The gorgeous quality of silkscreen ink and vibrancy of the warm red really made the poster very special. Natt is a dream to work and I was so excited to get the opportunity.
Here is an alternate menu header that I designed, using beautiful hand-set type. I love the dimension of the 2-color “Pizzaiolo”.
I sure hope I get to collaborate on Year 7!

Comment » | Hand-lettering & Typography, Identity & Packaging, Portfolio Archives, Uncategorized

Punch Drunk Love

February 3rd, 2011 — 5:42pm

I always have fun working with Marsha McBride, the owner and chef at Cafe Rouge Restaurant (& Meat Market). She has a fantastic sense of humor so each project is guaranteed to make me smile. Here are two of the pig characters that I created for Cafe Rouge’s house wine label some years ago. Over time we’ve been able to adapt these funny illustrations for all sorts of things; ad posters, signs, even holiday cards… and now Valentine’s Day!
Here is the Valentine poster I created, hung on the front door of the restaurant.
I never tire of these funny little pig characters!
Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, don’t forget to make a reservation!

Comment » | Identity & Packaging, Illustration, Uncategorized, Weddings & Events

Happy Roasting!

November 24th, 2010 — 12:04pm

I just finished creating this project for Cafe Rouge Meat Market (and Restaurant). It couldn’t have been a more perfect project for this time of year… a Meat Roast-Timer! Marsha McBride the chef/owner of Cafe Rouge had found an old promotional piece (circa 1950′s) from Little City Meats, a traditional butcher shop in San Francisco, and wanted me to create something similar. I had so much fun creating the vintage inspired illustrations, lettering, and color palette… and the shocking/hilarious quote at the bottom of the Roast-Timer “Two Pounds of Meat a Day Will Help Prevent Disease and Insure Perfect Health from Infancy to Old Age” was truly printed on the Little City Meats promotional piece! So unbelievable that we had to include it, just for fun! Below is the front side of the Roast-Timer. It’s a great size to hang on your kitchen wall… hence the butcher twine. I learned a lot about eyelets and applying just enough pressure when setting them so that the wheel can still turn freely. Having all of the information line up correctly was a challenge as well, but so rewarding to have it all work out in the end.

And here is the backside… I loved creating the juggling cow, various meat cuts, and a fun 50′s style logo for myself… so playful.

These little babies just hit the shelves at Cafe Rouge Meat Market and are being sold, along with a meat thermometer if desired. Truly the perfect little gift for yourself, your kitchen, or a creative stocking stuffer for all the Meat Lovers in your life! :-)

Okay, please forgive my enthusiastic sales pitch!
Wishing you a delicious and joyful Thanksgiving holiday! Happy Roasting!

1 comment » | Hand-lettering & Typography, Identity & Packaging, Illustration, Process, Uncategorized

2 Foot Yard – Album Artwork

August 1st, 2010 — 10:52pm

One of my most enjoyable projects that involved a lot of hand-lettering was for 2 Foot Yard’s album, Borrowed Arms. The music is hauntingly beautiful and I feel very privileged to have worked with such talented musicians / artists. I drew inspiration from Natalia Goncharova, a Russian avant-garde artist that I admire very much.

Here are 7 of the 13 track names. It never ceases to amaze me how expressive typography can be.

Comment » | Hand-lettering & Typography, Identity & Packaging

Camino Restaurant – Business card

August 1st, 2010 — 6:37pm

I had the wonderful opportunity to work with Russell Moore & Allison Hopelain, of Camino Restaurant, on creating their identity along with all their printed collateral (business card, menu, letterhead, etc.). The above image is the front of their business card. “Camino” translates to “fireplace” in Italian which is the perfect word to describe this restaurant which centers around it’s magnificent wood-burning fireplace in which many delicious, rustic dishes are cooked. My inspiration for this logo came from the lettering on an old Michelin Poster, the “A” in particular was unusual and reminded me of a fire/flame. The warm yellow outline has such a pleasing and luminous feel.

… and here is the back. I created a general purpose business card as well as personalized ones. I hand-lettered all the information for the business card, letterhead, etc. I looked to my incredible European Deco books for inspiration. The lettering of that era was amazing… the posters, the packaging, the advertising, everything.

Here is the logo painted on the beautiful brick building that is home to Camino Restaurant (photograph by Aya Brackett). I cannot explain how exciting it is to see my design painted on the front of a gorgeous old building! And while I’m on the subject, I must mention my heroes at New Bohemia Signs in San Francisco. They hand-painted the logo and did an amazing job. They are true artists and typographers and I’m so thankful they exist.

Comment » | Hand-lettering & Typography, Identity & Packaging

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