Chats over coffee that last all morning, the dishes napping by the sink.
My mom and sister in our family kitchen.
Me, sketching at the table.



My feelings on narrowing down my senior design thesis ideas. 



My mother scolded us kids when we played on her typewriter. Sometimes the letters would glob up at the top, a big mess of spindly metal, type, and ink and I'd reach up there and one by one pull down the s, k, p, m, and so on to their respective spots. It was fun to watch the arm swing up to the paper with a press of a button, then to twirl the knob on the side, moving the paper along. Not much has changed since then, besides that little thing called technology, but there's still a marveling amusement at putting one's own words on paper. For me, success in design is as much imagery as it is type and writing. Writing is quite powerful, and when paired with the right typeface - it's a beautiful thing.


Papers and Press

A bright, crisp Wednesday morning in October had us meandering through the Pearl District. Our destination was Oblation - papers and press boutique shop. Here we saw large wet dripping sheets of paper being pulled from murky tubs of - get this - shredded underwear. Well...not quite, but the mix to make paper involves finely shredded cotton. Ron Rich, owner of the store/wearer of funky spectacles graciously gave us a tour of the paper making and letterpress process. Great tour and lovely shop - from humble beginnings of making paper in their kitchen blender to this wonderful, exquisite, and charming place they have today.

"...we bought a little book made in 1919...learned the hard way."
-Ron Rich [Oblation owner]


makelike a botanist and leaf

A reception at the delicious makelike studio had Graphic Designers dressed all proper, talking shop, and shopping jobs. I had the pleasure of meeting a few of the characters that work here:  Mary, Topher, and Rob. Their writing on their site alone is awesome. Then there's the work - clever, clean, and crisp. Top it all off with their killer interior space and you have that which is makelike. Now I must makelike a box and be square by pointing out that I was, indeed, there. (note picture, bottom right.) If only I could've makelike'd a tie and hung around some more....




Rubylith doesn't die

In Portland there is an interesting studio, tucked away somewhere in a peculiarly empty building. Oriental rugs cover the floor, tools of the trade scattered on every surface, posters adorning the walls - a space so full that sound has no bounce, it falls gently on the eclectic interior's belongings. Gary Houston is the curator of this curious space. An artist whose twinkling eyes match the silver hoops in his ears. He is an original. A signature edgy line lends itself to each hand pulled screen-printed piece. In the age of computers, his work emanates a personality that is unhindered by technology. Imagery aside, I'm in love with how he handles type. Thanks for the studio tour and inspiration.

"Enjoy Being." - Gary Houston



A home in the city.

My personal interactions/observations of these three homeless (?) men.


Good Stores.

An eight year old girl's (almost nine!) take on marketing. Toys are key.


Lexicographical Lovelies.

And an "ah" in cristnah - thanks for the delightfully simple word connections. 


Bobbin Bicycles

A delightful British bike shop of self-proclaimed beauty has delightful illustrations to further debunk any doubt.

Cheeky bunch, the whole lot of them.


What's in the box?

Like a litter of puppies, client's choices always leave a few odd runts. Cute, nonetheless.


Soda Pop Dog

I'm taking 22 credits and have 2 jobs. So here's some dog pop-art to remedy my insanity? Not really.


Birthday Card

Happy Birthday to my wonderful Mother - 55 years today.
I made this card using cut out bits from magazines and copies from a vintage ad book. 

Growing up my sister and I were nicknamed kittens.
Saturday morning's were spent snuggled in Mom's bed
with coffee, the cat, and us girls. 


Four eyes and two wheels

Glasses will do something to a child. Besides the whole corrected vision thing they become this accessory which you can't do a darn thing about. I sported mini coaster sized wire frames throughout the all-too important status seeking 1st - 5th grades. Although after breaking them playing football for the umpteenth time I finally became the owner of a contact. (yes, just one....don't ask.)

Yet my glasses experience left me wanting to redeem my own nerdy spectacle status. Harboring a secret obsession to own a pair of the non-functioning, trendy glasses for quite a while I have almost given in to buying these at Urban Outfitters. Vintage/Mod/Retro paraphernalia has really been turning my crank lately. Design Sponge recently featured a color palette that brought me inspiration. Color+Glasses+Vectors = My first pattern. A funky throw pillow maybe?
Since we're on the subject of vector illustrations and all (you didn't know that did you? Surprise!) I can't resist to post these bike delights starting with Eleanor Grosch of pushmepullyou design and of other artists featured on Poster Cabaret. Bikes are so cool. I finished the Bike Snob book by the way. The reading was delightful, I've decided I'm a cross between Roadie/Urban Cyclist/Godzilla Girl (who rides bikes in dresses and breezes through stop signs....yes, I'm guilty.)



It's that certain time of year when sunsets sound like popcorn popping and the stars are exploding into multi-colored flares. In strolls the month of July, head high and guns a'blazing. If July were a person, I'd want to hang out with her. Besides, it's also my birthday month, so that's exciting...for me.

This free downloadable desktop calendar/awesomeness from Mike Perry featured on design*sponge embodies this months personality. Colorful and at times crazy...but time passes on on all the same. Because that's life right? 

On a more random note, from thesaraus.com one of the synonyms for acceptable is "cooking with gas." Frankly, I don't get it. Any ideas?


Bike Snob

Vargo's Jazz City & Books in downtown Bozeman, Montana has books.
New and Used. They are wonderful.
I judge books by their covers.
My philosophy is that I'm supporting good design - bad covers don't get my money, no matter the book. That being said, I bought the book on the right. Based on it's cover. But much to my delight the inside is just as cool as the cover; filled with wonderful type, illustrations, and get this, sweet bike snob stickers! 


Sophie the dog

My graphic design professor brought her dog into class one day. A quick sketch in the margins and this is what I found months later going through my sketchbook. As we all sat around listening to our guest speaker, Michael Newhouse, Sophie sat listening just as intently as we were. A graphic design dog at heart.

I really was listening to the speaker I might add. My margins are always filled to the brim with doodles and whatnot. It's always inspiring to see people who do what you want to do and see how they've made it work. 

I guess the take-away message from that day in class would be the quote I also jotted down by Franz Kafka. Very true, very inspiring, and I like it.

"Don't bend, don't water it down, don't try to make it logical, don't edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsession mercilessly."
- Franz Kafka


A Good Morning

Vintage signage is a quaint and cheery thing. The cheesy slogans paired with quirky names and excessive use of exclamation marks combines to create a delightful and happy-go-lucky aura emanating to it’s viewers. In the 1940‘s and 50’s a typographic style became popular that utilized hand-lettering in printed advertisements and signage. Typeface’s such as the Reklame Script used here created by Hannes von Döhren in 2010 are exemplary of that style.
Funny how a typeface can conjure up such random and entertaining inspiration. It’s also funny how when you wake up at 4:30am quite accidentally on a Sunday morning what you find yourself thinking about. For me, obviously coffee. 
Either that or squawking birds. I was on a deliciously long run and I swear, two croaking crows followed me creepily for 4 blocks or so, making slow swooping dives at my head. Thankfully, I survived my run unscathed.
Coffee and crows aside, it’s been a good morning.
Sun’s up, I’m up.



“ Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana! 
-Groucho Marx

Each year Spring is always the trickster...teasing us with the thought of summer, driving us all nearly mad with it's incessant rain, mud, and random bits of sun. This is true indeed. However, let's all try to stay rather sane by partaking in other amusing distractions. Such as these delightful oxymoronic and sarcastic phrases from Groucho Marx. Brought to you ever so graciously by the Sarcasm Society. They would love to hear what you think. 

"A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five."

"From the moment I picked up your book until I laid it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Someday I intend reading it."

"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn't it."

"I never forget a face, but in your case I’ll be glad to make an exception."

"Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who wants to live in an institution?"

"Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read."



My sister, Hanna, gave a chair a makeover. As did I, only digitally. I also created a portrait of her, in the style of her husband featured in the previous post as to not leave anyone out. They are a creative duo, making old things new and updating older styles to a modern cool. Hanna has a blog called "hannamades." You should check it out. (I designed the header.)
The finished, remodeled chair:



Moustache May

Copyright 2010 Mary Meccage

Yes indeed. The above portrait is the man my lovely sister is married to.

More portraits soon to come, but the moustache portrait is probably just going to be an annual thing. You know, during May. I started out with an urge to do a graphic sketch of someone, initially searching for a picture of my parent's 3-legged dog to make a design out of. Then Nick's picture caught my eye, and I knew. This is what I must do. 

The cheeky fellows who celebrate Moustache May deserve a bronzed medal of some sort, or at the very least, a rhubarb pie. Why, you may ask? When attempting a feat such as this, that person will undergo much ridicule and scrutiny, especially in the "Mexi-stache" phase of growth. Now, I'm no expert on moustaches, nor do I ever hope to be, but I do believe what you're seeing here is the "Painter's Brush" style. Either that or a chevron, I can't decide. For a diagrammed look at the different styles visit the American Mustache Institute. 



Essential Sunshine

Another chapter in my life is finished, another year of school complete. The last project for Illustration was to write our life story and create a handmade book. I chose to show my trip to Australia. This trip was a turning point if you will, a junction in the road where I chose between following the norm or following what my heart wanted to do. 

Shown below is the cover, a quote from the 1st page, the first spread showing a map of Australia, another spread from the same hostel where the man told me about his love of Glacier Park, and the last spread is a short "about me" section featuring the ever-classy, all-time favorite, classic red 1972 Schwinn that I cruise around town on.
(Books have always, always held some sort of magic for me. They're addicting and enthralling and at this point in my career, a definite direction I could see myself going with graphic design.)

 “Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.”

A man once told me that Glacier Park in Montana was his favorite place in the entire world. This was as I lay sick and drooling with strep throat in the top bunk of a dimly lit hostel room in Australia. Being in the state I was in, I smiled weakly and nodded. That moment has never struck me as profound until now. 

Think about it. Choosing a place to mark as your favorite in the entire WORLD. There I was, on my dream vacation, and a man was basically telling me that I needed to go no further than my backdoor to experience something beautiful and stunning. But it's in the act of leaving that you return and appreciate home for all new reasons and love it even more. When that urge to go, to see, to travel surges through your veins - listen to it. You can always come back home.

I hiked to the top left serif of the "M" today and sat contemplating the city of Bozeman. The view that I've seen so many times before didn't have the same draw. I saw my town, cradled safely in the mountains and realized I needed to get out. Soon...one more year of school left here and then I'm off, to places yet to explore.