Category Archives: typography

Ideal project


I’ve been doing some fun logos lately, most of which involve hand lettering. Will be posting more projects as I wrap them up.

This is for my friend Lauren. She’s always up to something! I’ll share the bigger scope when it’s ready.

I’d like to do more work like this, so if you know anyone who’s got a hankering for some watercolor/lettering/etc., please connect us!

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proof-in-imaginationCurrently reading De Bono’s Thinking Course.

In his chapter on alternatives, De Bono writes, “Often, we are convinced of a hypothesis or explanation simply because we can’t imagine an alternative explanation.”

I’m also really enjoying the chapter on decision-making. More to come, folks. There’s some good stuff in here.

*Where did I find it? Saw it on Stefen Sagmeister’s reading list. No questions asked.

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Can’t stop won’t stop


Amen. Image via here.

Start here! Make a decision!

1. I’m quite inspired by these (and many many more) typographic explorations by the talented Holly Wales. Definitely a portfolio worth checking out.

2. I’m really loving the drawing gig lately. I’m on number 85 for I’d Rather be Short. I think I started the book work at the beginning of August  and it’s amazing how much and little I’ve grown after hauling ass the last couple months. If I wasn’t forced to do so many so fast, how long would it have taken me to do this much practice on my own? It’s a humbling reminder of what it takes to improve at anything. I have such a long way to go, but I’m grateful for where I started and how far I’ve come.

3. Watch this TED talk Saayeh sent me last week. Watch the whole thing. Watch it today. Don’t put it off. It’s a well spent 20 minutes. Scouts honor.


fail better

Great work from Maricor Maricar. You can get the print here.

P.S. I watched Forks Over Knives, Food Inc. and Clueless last night. More on that later.


If you’re wearing white, you should be ashamed

Happy post Labor Day day. This means you get to omit Monday or Tuesday from the week, because you only get four days. Remember while you’re deciding, you still can’t wear white.

Why was this a great weekend?

1. Both Iowa State and Baylor won.
2. Exceptional tailgating despite the 100 weather.
3. Really mostly like the drawings I did for the book this week. I post stuff on Instagram sometimes. (@beckz_ or @IdRatherBeShort)
4. Homestead had a 75% off lots o’ ceramics sale yesterday. Bought some fancy plates and bowls.
*official announcement & justification for future meal photos on Instagram. In my defense, the plates are actual supermodels.
5. Really really inspired by Woody Allen and a little inspired by 90’s gangster rap this weekend. Also entertained by the very funny British sketch comedy, That Mitchell and Webb Look. Watched the whole season in no time. Check them out on Netflix. I’ll probably start referencing Numberwang, Sir Digby Chicken Caesar, and the BMX Bandit, so jump on the elitist foreign comedy train while it’s still hot [no rush; it will always be hot].
6. Speaking of foreign trains, I get to see my London pal Kinsey tonight. Thank God I live near Dallas. Haven’t hugged that firecracker in two years.

This week is fresh but it keeps getting better and better. I hope yours is already filled with joy.

*Nice work from Erik Marinovich for Friends of Type


Cool it

Love this. Thank you, Nathaniel Russell.

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keywords: aristotle, woodburn, type, des moines, caitlin

I did this type for a potential woodburn for my friend Lindsey. We ended up  going with a different look, but I still had to submit it to the world wide web through my person website, Chipper Things. It’s a little different than what I’ve been doing, but I think it’s time I got more experimental.

I hope your week is off to a jolly start! Caitlin and Mark are in town from Des Moines. DES MOINES. It’s practically the number one spot for U.S. Insurance companies in America! (see wikipedia). Caitlin is my first repeat Iowa visitor, so I’ll have to find a badge or Lone Star or a cactus to show her the appreciation on behalf of this entire state.

woodburn / trophy / chess / plaque

Okay okay I’ll stop with the chess stuff…for now. If I am going to go to the effort to make these sorts of trophies, then you have to count on me blogging about it.

Sunday chess tournament

Alas! The much anticipated Waco Fork and Chipper Things 1st Annual Chess Tournament is almost here! My friend Chad and I decided to set up a casual tourney for those who love to talk trash to the queen. 

Starts at 6:30. This Sunday (24th). Dancing Bear. Waco, TX, USA, North America, Milky Way. $5 to enter. Sign in a bit early because that is a kind thing to do. Each game starts on the hour. Games are 50 minutes long. If there is no victor, points will be determined according to pieces. Maybe a coin toss will have to happen. Who knows. We have no idea what we’re doing, so hope for a fair democracy. If you think you’re going to win a trophy by stalling your opponent like in catch phrase, think again. Each player will be issued a very very very very very technically advanced hourglass timer. There will be both expert and novice categories. Don’t know which one you are? Chad has this to say about rankings:

It’s important to consider your Personal Player Ranking. This is my invention. It’s a scale from 1 to 100. 1 means you’re pretty sure you know how all the pieces move, while 100 is a player who can play a chess game without looking at a board. We will use this to divide into expert and casual divisions and seed the brackets. Think about it. Also, sandbaggers will be chastised. 

Want to play? We would love to have you. Email Chad: or me: if you’re interested in signing up or learning more.

Oh yeah! There will be woodburn trophy plaques for the winners. HINT: it will look exactly like the above flier minus the boring information plus a giant “champion” in all caps. I didn’t want to type it that way because I wanted to leave something to the imagination.

+ more from the archives

Found these poster / notes / drawings / reminders recently. I forget what I was going to do with them. I like that they are unedited. It helps me remember how I was feeling upon the time of their creation. Regular humility checks should be required of me. At least as often as I have to use my pin number, God needs to install a neon sign that says, “IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU.”

OR maybe He does and I’m not looking.

a community of goodness

Mondays mean fresh podcasts and lady TV night.

Inspiration + exposition is contagious. Last night I had some fruitful chats with some very talented folks.  I’m feeling so inspired that I’m going to White Fang myself off of this blog and head back to work.

p.s. please forgive some of the jacked up alignments. I was messing with the CSS this weekend and didn’t have time to finish. Will fix later!

via a beautiful mess

A brief defense for long-winded voicemails

You call your friend to ask a couple of questions on your way home from work. She doesn’t answer. Do you just hang up? Do you just tell her to call you back? NO. Leave friend a 1-4 minute long voicemail. Here’s why:

1. What if that was the last opportunity you had to communicate with said friend? Wouldn’t friend appreciate it, like, a lot?

2. Ever heard of writing letters? Ever heard of audiobooks? Okay, cool. Just making sure it’s still 2012. Felicity and Sally communicated via recorded cassette tapes. J.J. Abrams couldn’t stand to let Felicity be conventional enough to even write letters like most people probably did in the drabby 90’s. If Keri Russell got to do it, then you sure can in the progressive 21st century.

3. Maybe voicemails are a safe place to practice story telling. Maybe they’re a safe place to spill big news. Voicemails are an opportunity to not put friend on the spot.

4. It’s an email with the inflection. With a voicemail letter, you don’t have to use ten exclamation marks!!!!!!!!!! Or wonder if your smiley faces are creepy ;) You control the tone.

What are your thoughts? Do you disagree? I’m easily provoked, you know.


A brief defense for using this picture:

1. When else will I get to use this felicity drawing from months ago?

2. No short post today. Come on, people! I’m just supposed to have 30 before April is over. Please check back soon.

mini “proud in a year” woodburn now available

A brilliant Etsy shopper asked me if I could make this burn smaller so it could fit in a specific space for her. What a grand idea! A mini version of the most popular burn is now available for $40. Come get it here.

Photos by Jenny

Aren’t these nice?

There isn’t much information about these placement coasters by Atentadado Digital other than that they are called, “placement coasters”. They sure are pretty though.

Victory in Quitting

I love making lists, but recently found that my lists have become a burden. Something I would like to do becomes something I have to do. Then the list grows and I feel dissatisfied with my progress. This week I snapped. It is time for a paradigm shift and I am excited to start saying no.


Murals are nice. Like senior pictures and hot air balloons.

Ever painted a mural? Any tips or ideas? I dare you to share.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Mantra turned doodle turned back into mantra

I did this little sketch in the airport on my way to Asheville over Thanksgiving. The kid sitting next to me (I think his name was Elijah) said that he could “never draw like that.” He told me he was 12. I asked him if his five-year-old self would have believed he could draw like he is now, seven years later. He said, “Probably not.” I suggested that since I am twice his age — a lifetime ahead of him — I just may have more practice. He said he is going to start drawing again.

I wonder how many times I too have assumed checkmate. All for no reason!

Let us take baby steps, receive grace and expect victory.

Anna Wolf + Mike Perry…sigh

This post is dedicated to you, Katie Pinson. I said I would send you a link, and blogging about it is straight up multitasking.

Photographer Anna Wolf and designer Mike Perry have always made a good team. Her photos + his type and art direction are a match made in Adobe Heaven. They are much like cottage cheese and wheat thins — wonderful on their own but dynamic when together. Both sites are funhouses and make me drool 40 out of 10 times.

New woodburn? Thoughts?

I’m thinking of tapping into the wedding market, thanks to my friends Katie and Stancy (Half Orange Photography). I have some more in the arsenal, but I think this will be the next baby up. Thoughts? …potential Valentine’s Day gift…eh? eh?

I ♥ Ira Glass

Yeah yeah Christmas is over. That was SO 2011. The good news is that the “see ya next year” jokes are over. The bad news is that the Mayans must be pretty disappointed. The other good news is that Ira Glass (This American Life) is the man. He made the above comment in the 1997 Christmas episode…I’m a bit of a fan. So profound. You’re welcome (says Ira).

same heaven as the saints

Just to clear something up, I sometimes feel like total shit. I know that is not very tactful or ladylike, but “total shit” is the exact crass and unrefined sentiment that I am referring to. To quote Anne Lamott, “My mind is a neighborhood I try not to go into alone.” All I am saying is that if I do get to go to THE Heaven, it isn’t fair to everyone else who actually earned it. (i.e. the saints.) As I type this, I know how I am starting to sound. I sound like the questioning-unbeliever who is practically rehearsed and role-played at Sunday School. “But I’m not good enough. My works will never get me in. Womp womp blah blah.” YES, I know I am saved by grace! I know! You keep saying that, but I am still a human who takes that grace for granted and just wants to hug it out at the end of the day.

Get your shop on! Check out Becky Murphy / Chipper Things on Etsy!

ada hayden, ames

there is a reason they call her “rachel soe fine”…my beautiful roomie served as my muse for this little shoot a couple days ago. after we went on a walk at ada hayden i knew the next time i returned i would have a camera in hand and there would be a sun in the sky. thanks for helping me out, rachel. click here to check out the blog i used to age the photos.

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