Reinventing My Design Obsession + HP Spectre

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When it comes to technology I’m most definitely drawn to a certain aesthetic, one that overflows into every other realm of my life. Clean lines, modern look, and limited color palette. I always looks forward to what’s next from HP, our longstanding partner, like their recently released PC with incredible craftsmanship and style – the HP Spectre. The resulting technology is a form of reinvented obsession, and delivers a luxurious computing experience that should resonate with all design-minded folks. HP reimagined every element during the design process to ensure the best user experience as well as maximum performance. The end result is a PC that doesn’t compromise on style, function, or performance.


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The idea of reinventing obsession is nothing new to me, I do it on a daily basis both here on Design Crush and as a graphic designer. Each day and every project requires me to reevaluate, refocus, and bring my best creative self to the table. It’s not always easy but Spectre is a source of inspiration, in particular its modern color palette. I’ve found myself inexplicably drawn to shades similar to its high contrast matte aluminum body and glossy copper trim over the past few weeks in everything from design projects to my own home.


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You may have also noticed that HP has debuted a sleek new logo, a modern take on the two letters consisting of little more than four slashes. When working on my bread and butter, logo and branding work, I tend to think minimally when starting work on a new brand. This redesign reminds me that in design simple is usually best. A rule of thumb that I live by is to take away, then take away some more until nothing is left but the necessities.


HP also collaborated with two world-renowned designers to create exclusive limited edition Spectres that highlight the intersection of art and technology. Dutch-born, London-based designer Tord Boontje created the HP Spectre by Tord Boontje that exhibits delicate, intricate, dreamlike patterns across the laptop. Los Angeles-based jewelry designer Jess Hannah created the HP Spectre by J. Hannah with opulent 18K gold. Both will be auctioned off for charity.

This post sponsored by HP Spectre as they #ReinventObsession. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush creating fresh content!



#365quotes2016-1-Design Crush


If you follow @designcrush on Instagram you’ve probably noticed the resurrection of #365quotes in the form of #365quotes2016. When the end of last year rolled around and people were still lamenting the original project’s demise I figured I’d give it another go! This year the design is a bit different, I’ve abandoned the daily handwritten style in favor of something more type driven and time saving. But rest assured that no less time is spent choosing just the right words.


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Enter Redesignyl + Win

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Last week I dusted off my artist smock (aka opened Illustrator) and teamed up with Alamy, one of the world’s largest online photo libraries, to launch a super fun design contest – Redesignyl. Designers are being asked to reimagine 1 of 16 iconic album covers using Alamy images as the basis for their design, you get to choose up to three Alamy images to use for free. Once submitted your design will be displayed on Redesignyl‘s page where you can go right now to get started. Get your masterpiece submitted by December 18th so that I, along with the other three judges, can choose yours as the best. There will be eight prizes, including an incredible new turntable for the winner!

PS: Can you tell which album cover I reimagined?


Design Crush x fashionABLE (+ a Giveaway)

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I’ve hinted a little here and there about a collaboration that’s been under wraps since this past spring, and today I finally get to spill the beans! Take a peek at the just released table linens collection that I proudly partnered on with fashionABLE.


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I’ve been a huge fan of fashionABLE and their commitment to investing in and empowering women for awhile now. They work with women, both locally and globally, who have overcome challenges ranging from prostitution to addiction to a lack of opportunity. So with your help, fashionABLE works to give opportunity to women where there is often little, and then they effect change.


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We worked together to design three different styles of kitchen linens, each named after the woman who created them, Almaz Napkins, the Dechasa Table Runner, and the Legesse Tea Towel. Both the napkins (that come in a set of four) and table runners come in three colors – marsala, indigo, and charcoal. The tea towels come in six variations – white with marsala stripes, white with indigo stripes, white with charcoal stripes, marsala colorblock, indigo colorblock, and charcoal colorblock.


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We created the entire table linens collection with two things in mind: the holidays and the ability to mix and match. The marsala, indigo, and charcoal tones all feel cozy and related, but break them apart and they’re equally beautiful. Perfect for the holidays and far beyond.


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If you’ll be doing any entertaining this season you can even pick up one of four different levels of Party Boxes. They run the gamut in cost and contain at least two pieces of the linens collection as well as conversation cards, menu cards, and recipe cards. It’s basically a dinner party in a box!


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I plan on using everything when I host Thanksgiving later this month, and I truly can’t wait to tell my guests just what the pieces they’re using mean and the part I was able to play in that.

Be sure and check out the rest of fashionABLE‘s offerings –leather, jewelry, and scarves.


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Oh, and one more thing – we’re giving away a set to a lucky one of you! Choose your favorite colorway and win, a Dechasa Table Runner, 4 Almaz Napkins, and 2 Legesse Tea Towels. Break up your winnings as gifts or throw an amazing dinner party of your own. Enter for lots of chances to win below!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Chatbooks + #365quotes

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I first learned of Chatbooks back in January, and they kept passing through my head as I tried to come up with a solution for creating a printed version of last year’s #365quotes Instagram project. (If you’ve been following along, you likely noticed that I failed fantastically at this year’s attempt – #365lyrics – about six weeks in.)


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A few months later they happened to release just what I was looking for, a 365 page book made just for putting this sort of project on paper. I downloaded the free Chatbooks app, searched my Instagram feed by the hashtag #365quotes and selected all the tagged photos. After swapping out the cover to the one I preferred and clicking Order I was done.


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A few days later the printed result showed up on my doorstep. To say it was gratifying to flip through the pages would be a huge understatement, the paper was the perfect weight and texture. And I love that I can order additional copies for anyone who requests their own book.


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Chatbooks has some other great book options as well. The Instagram series prints a new book automatically  in 60-page (a photo a page) volumes. You can edit which photos get included and even change captions. The Chatbooks series is a daily scrapbook come to life. The best part is that multiple people can add photos, almost like a group text. You can then delete photos you don’t want and edit captions once again in this 60-page option. Last is the custom book, where you can upload between 30 and 365 photos celebrating an event or focusing on a theme. Invite others to add their perspective as well, photos will automatically arrange themselves chronologically.


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I’m really looking forward to cataloging more life events with Chatbooks and embracing the printed photograph once again.

I received product in exchange for this post. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Design Crush!


2015 Survey Results

About a month ago I asked you all to take a few minutes to take the 2015 Reader Survey, and today I wanted to share the results. Thanks to each of you who did! I read every last entry and comment and really put thought into how I can give you all more of what you want – to see more of my own design work, a few more personal posts, some fashion, how my move back to Pittsburgh has gone and about the city itself. As we roll out a redesign in the next few months I’ll be addressing these things further. Until then, thanks so much for reading!

(If you’re not to type to enjoy a little statistical nerding out feel free to skip the rest, I promise not to be offended.)











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Before I introduce you to this year’s 365-day project, I just want to take a moment and thank you all for embracing last year’s #365quotes project and making it so rewarding. I never could have anticipated the response I received and I’m crossing my fingers that you’ll all roll with the punches and embrace #365lyrics just as much. That’s right, this year’s days are going to be filled with meaningful lyrics that resonate – whether that’s a punch in the gut, an eye-opening string of words, or a huge belly laugh. You can join in by following @designcrush on Instagram if you’re not already, and feel free to leave your favorite lyrics in the comments here or there.


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Bloggers Love Cats + Bloggers Love Dogs: A Calendar Fundraising Project

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I couldn’t be more excited to finally reveal a little something I’ve been working on for the past month – Bloggers Love Cats and Bloggers Love Dogs: A Calendar Fundraising Project!

This was one of those ideas that came to me in the minutes before falling asleep one night, that I somehow magically managed to remember the next morning without having written down. That idea was to reach out to the incredible network of bloggers I’m a part of to create two calendars that would feature our much loved pets, with all proceeds going directly to The Humane Society of the United States. I decided to make both calendars downloads instead of printed in order to give every last dollar to the animals. You can choose from Bloggers Love Cats or Bloggers Love Dogs for $7 each or pick up both for $12!


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Bloggers Love Cats features 13-months of felines from Sugar and Cloth, Joy the Baker, Design Crush, And Kathleen (also our cover model), Cupcakes and Cashmere, Paper & Stitch, Justina Blakeney, Fieldguided, Oh So Beautiful Paper, For Me, For You, TeenAngster, Lisa Congdon, and Jojotastic.


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If canines are more your thing check out 13-months of Bloggers Love Dogs! Included are the pooches of Smith & Ratliff, sfgirlbybay (our cover girl!), Design Milk, House of Brinson, Cookie and Kate, Style & Pepper, The Broke-Ass Bride, Design Crush, Honey Kennedy, Dog Milk, Lisa Congdon, bigBANG studio, and Jojotastic.


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Download: A Valentine

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A few years ago I made this same valentine as a paper craft card for friends and family, and it showed up in some mailboxes sans eyeballs (they’d fallen off!). The other day I decided to recreate it as an eyeball-safe card to share with you and your valentines! The PDF download below includes two folding cards to print on 8.5 x 11″ paper (letter size). It’s for personal use only, but you smart cookies already knew that!




Top 40 Posts Of 2012

A few weeks ago I was taking a look through the past year in posts and decided to put together a Top 40 collection for 2012. I had hoped to spread it out over a few days and organize everything a bit, but a family death and extended stay in Pennsylvania over the holidays set me back and I had to lump it all together. Thank you so much for continuing to help make this site such an amazing part of my daily life – here’s to 2013!



15 Chances to Find Your Ultimate Mac + Cheese // Day to Dinner to Party // New Addition //
Berry Lemonade Vodka + Homemade Blackberry Vodka



B-B-B-Buffalo // Best Word Ever // Campfire Cologne // Celebrated



Coriumi // Popsicles + Poptails – Take 2 // Little Corners // Courtney Martin



Electrolux Design Lab // Mojito Madness // Top Knot // Fluffy Raspberry Mousse



You Can Do It: Create a Gallery Wall // What I Learned: Alt 2012 // HP Designer Matchup //
Luxe Liquors



You Can Do It: Golden Glass Bottles // I Like Notebooks And I Cannot Lie //
Mixtape 17: Where All Your Girls Are Pretty // Mobile Foodie Survival Kit



Mosantimetre Turkish Coffee Pots // Peanut Butter Pumpkin Dog Treats // Pete //
Paper Sculptures



Pumpkin Marshmallow Pie // Magnetic Wallpaper // Sigils of the Houses of Westeros //
Wall Tape



Song Map // Dream Thanksgiving // Paper Flowers // Tiffin Lunch Kit



Tobias Tovera // Urban Geodes // Mighty Summit 2012 // Camp Brand