Designer Appreciation Post

We have the utmost respect for the visual crafters, letter-makers, and inspiration shakers. In the first of an ongoing series, we wanted to give due props to the artists we’re stalking. Thanks for making stuff beautiful.

Hische got curves like whoa Hische got curves like whoa


Jessica Hische

Our tippy top favorite word nerd, Hische travels the world speaking on typography and letter-making while raking up the awesome-ist clients. From Dave Eggers to Wes Anderson, The Criterion Collection to Penguin Books; she has a resume of stunning work. Creating typefaces that are not only easy-on-the-eye but also remain compelling as a story on it’s own, Hische make letters say more than we thought possible.


Amen, Mr. King Amen, Mr. King

 Damian King

We’ve been a fan of DSF clothing company in San Francisco for some time now, and find ourselves drawn to the screen-printed T-shirts of Damian King most often. Fusing typography and illustration, he makes “Getting Shit Done” look beautiful enough to wear proudly on our chests.


Sobierajski gets handsy Sobierajski gets handsy

Leta Sobierajski

An accidental stumble down the Internet rabbit hole led us to Sobierajski’s work and we immediately connected to her art. We assume she has some kind of wizardry power over color and texture, because she employs every skill to make her subjects pulsate off the page (or screen).


Indeed, a Young Jerk Indeed, a Young Jerk

Dan Cassaro

 Another one of our hyped-type-pros, Cassaro’s style has a classic feel with a modern simplicity. Whether it’s a coupon for fine dinging or GIFs for MTV, he has a distinct sense of play to his work that we admire and lust after in our everyday. Hell, if we had our druthers, every crappy logo out there would get a Cassaro facelift.


Nieminen has a lotta skill (get it?) Nieminen has a lotta skill (get it?)

Lotta Nieminen 

After catching Nieminen at an Airbnb Design Talk, we couldn’t help but fall in love with her stunning illustrations and charming presence. Evoking whimsy and detail, her art has a life of it’s own. Collaborating with chic clients like Hermes and Volkswagen, the self-proclaimed “accidental illustrator” makes perfectly contained worlds that seem to embrace the viewer in their simplicity and also keeps them on the outside looking in.

Entertainment with a Purpose: To Be Takei Trailer

Reigning king of Facebook, Star Trek alumni, gay rights activist, all around funny guy and Oliver + Sons favorite national personality, George Takei is the subject of a new documentary, To Be Takei. Taking on his role in changing opinions about Asian-Americans in popular culture, his absolutely endearing relationship with partner Brad, and everything in between, we can’t even begin to express our unadulterated excitement for this film.

Check out the trailer below: 

In addition to everything that he’s accomplished from a personal and industry perspective, we really admire George Takei for his absolute mastery of content and social media marketing. Want to know how to engage users and build your social media followers in an organic fashion? Find a few moments, grab a beer, review George Takei’s Facebok page, take a few notes, and follow his lead — because there’s no one better at it than that guy.

Drumroll, Please: Desiiiiign Tiiiime!

We tend to get our hands dirty and our feet wet with all kinds of marketing projects that involve design in some capacity. Whether it’s feedback on a new logo, picking out creative for Facebook ads, wire-framing the ‘ish out of a homepage — we’re always digging into the inter-webs (wait, does anyone even say that anymore?) for new and interesting services to help us make the next great design decision.

Here’s a list of some recent tools we’ve come across and love playing with:

  • DOLLAR PHOTO CLUB. Searching for good stockphotos makes us want to gargle vinegar. There’s just too many stupidly-priced women laughing alone while eating salad. This new and affordable site offers membership for $10 a month to download (up to 10 high-res) images for $1 each. Gargle that.

What the $%# is happening to that tomato? What the $%# is happening to that tomato?

  • MEDIALOOT: Man, this is the site that sucks us down the rabbit hole. Then we come back to the surface with all kinds of treats. Great for textural backgrounds, vector icons, and overall inspiration — this is the kind of referential linking we love to do when art directing. And it’s made us better for it.


  • COMPFIGHT: Another image service! But this one filters keyword searches from Flickr that are rights free or Creative Commons. So rather than dilly dally with stockphoto boringness, you can actually pay for or credit someone who spent a year in Madrid photographing windowpanes. Sigh, now we wanna go to Madrid. ** Hint hint **

Complete wanderlust by clicking through... Complete wanderlust by clicking through…

  • CODECANYON: So many times we’ve come across projects and clients who need a set of tools or an application that, to put it simply, we just don’t got. But tabbing over to this code resource allows us to find the plug-in, javascript, CSS, or whatever other code-monkey-business we might need. Whew.

Welp, we do now! Also - we totally love HBO's Silicon Valley. It is on point.  Welp, we do now! Also – we totally love HBO’s Silicon Valley. It is on point.

Let us know if there’s any other design gems we’re missing out on. We will repay you in high fives and witty emoticon replies. And reference you in our next DESIIIIIGN TIIIIIME.

Until then, Happy Memorial Day weekend! Beers and BBQ on us! (Not really, but in our hearts)

{Book}worm Hole

Here’s a quick gut-check on the latest slices of literature that are giving us life. Professionally and otherwise.

The Circle // Dave Eggers

Focused on a fictitious tech behemoth (crafted with a hint of Google and Apple cultures), the story touches upon issues related to privacy, the distinction between work and play, and the overall over-share that’s rampant online. We’re just going to admit this: we worship at the altar of Dave Eggers. Which is interesting because he seems to defy pedestals. From his 826 Valencia efforts to his publishing company, McSweeney’s, Eggers delivers another piece of entertaining culture-gaze, and should be taken as entertainment rather than a scathing critique of Silicon Valley and it’s products.


The Customer Support Handbook // Sarah Hatter

Along with a long list of experienced co-authors, Hatter delivers a definitive guide to keeping customers happy and loyal. From community building to help documents, every interaction is important. This is a must-read for the CS-minded and the team leaders of any consumer facing business. At Oliver + Sons we subscribe to the very same philosophies. We too have our fair share of customers and clients who need a little extra engagement. Flipping through these pages is a great cool-down when your support efforts get hot (whether it’s passionate customers or tickets boiling over), like word-iced-tea. Or something.


An American Life: Benjamin Franklin // Walter Isaacson

This biography is worth the time, energy and effort for a number of reasons — and, at a hefty 586 pages, we emphasize effort — but, rather than give you a full synopsis, we’ll leave you with a few of our favorite Ben Franklin quotes:

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”

“It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.”

“Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy.”*

* Oliver + Sons personal favorite.