Author Archives: julie

fave finds: book cover design

Last week I went into the book store to buy a gift but I stayed to browse around looking at books. This time I wasn’t looking for a specific genre or author, just book cover design. When I go to the book store I’m like a kid in a candy store tasting everything. As a graphic designer, I can’t help being drawn in. I used to take my kids to reading hour and pass the time looking at the children’s book covers.  If a book I see turns out to be something that I would like to read then score! I love reading and I have bookmarked many an online blog that I try to keep up with. But there is something about a book that you can hold in your hand put in your pocket and take home. Newspapers seem unwieldy and magazines feel too temporary. I like when a book cover catches my eye and piques my interest. That is a huge accomplishment when you consider the competition. Standing out amongst an immense crowd is no small feat (unless you are Lady Gaga at the Vatican on speech day).

These sites showcase some of the best book cover designs. I know that looking at book covers online does not replace going to the book store, but it is inspiring and addicting.


Book By It’s Cover

The Book Cover Archive

Some that caught my eye:


cover design: Matt Dorfman


cover designs: C.S. Neal


cover design: Chris Haughton

cover design: Paul Rand

cover design: Oliver Munday

cover design: Kelly Blair

cover design: Gray318

cover design: Gray318

cover design: Kelly Blair

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designer kids: summer camp inspiration

It’s been a few years since we were shocked into the “what do we do with our school-age kids in the summer” dilemma. What will they do? I have to admit, summer as a kid is the best thing ever. Camps, swimming lessons, all day playdates, sleepovers, etc. I purposely left my kids schedule very mellow this time so that they can actually experience summer without having to be somewhere at a specific time every day. As working parents this was a tough one because we knew that they would need to be “somewhere” during the work hours. Despite our busy schedules (and because I need some sort of tortuous challenge in my life at all times) I decided to leave a few weeks schedule-free for the kids to be kids. Freedom to go into their own back yard, breathe the fresh air, get dirty, collect rocks and bugs, pitch a tent, stay up a bit late, and sleep in as long as they want. Besides being cheaper, this is a great way to inspire kids creativity and good moods. After a bit of schedule juggling we have managed to create some semblance of this.

For the “somewhere” weeks, we picked day camps carefully. Summer camp can be the life-saving device when you start to experience the “too much quality time” feeling with your kids. But we wanted them to enjoy themselves too. Be choosy when deciding on a camp because depending on where you go they can be pricey. Luckily there are camps for just about anything. Take what your kid is focused on and find some classes to compliment their interests. Is your kid a clothes-hound-fashionista with a constant need to draw like my eight year old? Try a fashion camp where they can learn to draw fashion figures in correct proportions and design the latest must-have dress. Here is a picture of what my kid did on the first day of fashion camp. (Please excuse the grainy photo taken by my phone)

inspirations: color is from a friends wedding & hairstyle is based on her own

Sometimes choosing the right camp to suit the current interests of your kids can be a challenge. I am still trying to find the “run around until your pants fall off and laugh” camp for my four year old son.

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trend watch: maxi dress

I get obsessed with an item and then go on a mission until I find the perfect one. I have done this with shoes, purses, mascara….you name it. My current fixation is finding the perfect summer maxi dress. I love this trend for many reasons but the most important is that it is the most comfortable way to dress in the summer. I have big plans of wearing this dress on a mexican food night (my fave) because I can eat as much as I want.

Don’t worry, I am paying close attention to the rules of wearing the maxi dress. Although it will camouflage big butts and stomachs, being swamped by a maxi dress will give the impression of being larger. The maxi dress is not a mumu or a food storage overwrap. The dress should skim curves rather than cling, and it should not be too tight.

Look for me this weekend chillin in my new dress sipping on a frozen margarita (with the good tequilla). With that thought in mind, I am off to go shopping…


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surf’s up! beachy kids rooms

Yay for nice weather! It’s the countdown to the summer soltice, which is the longest day of the year on June 21st. Time for beach trips and late bbqs on hot nights. I have mentioned before that the change of seasons always makes me want to redecorate. There is no way I can afford to purchase and/or store different furniture for every season but accessories do the trick! I always ponder about my kids rooms first. Probably because they are the most fun for me to re-do. I love how you can change up a room with a few themed seasonal items and details to make a room totally different. I only have so long before my kids say “no thanks (eww) mom” to my new ideas. I try to keep them involved in the decorating process as much as possible but I am totally feeling the beach vibe right now. My daughter mentioned mermaids and I was more than happy to start researching the possibilities of adding mermaids to her room. I love the beachy room accessories and room decor that is out there right now. If it is not too much to ask can I just have a beach house please?

BEACHY GIRLS Room Accessories:

Pottery Barn Kids Mermaid Decals, PoshTots Mermaid Growth Chart, Pottery Barn Kids Girls’ Surf Plaques, PB Teen Beach Cruiser Decal & Basket, PB Teen Capiz Driftwood Mobile


BEACHY BOYS Room Accessories:

PB Teen Beach Access art (image at top), PB Teen Shark Corkboard, Pottery Bark Kids Boys Surf Plaques, PB Teen Navy Surfboard Shelf

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