Friday, January 30, 2009

Card 31 | (Ruby) Ellen Lupton

Ellen Lupton, author of Thinking With Type, and other typography reference books, enlightened us with a wonderful keynote speech at the DSVC Conference in 2006. I spoke with her after her book signing, and she was very interested in this project. She commissioned her daughter, Ruby, to write my name for this book.

Card 30 | John Bielenberg

After meeting John Bielenberg a couple times at AIGA events and conferences, he exclaimed to me, “Every time I come to Texas, I see YOU.” As the creator of Project M, John spends parts of his summers in different parts of the world holding design workshops for students and young creatives.

Some of these cards from the summer were forwarded to Houston when I was teaching color guard on a national summer tour with a drum corps from San Antonio. (That is why there are remains from a forwarding sticker.)

Card 29 | Ron Bowdoin

Also from the mighty Shoehorn Design of Austin, TX, (at the time in 2005) Ron will always be permanently associated with basil. This is due to the fact that when I was interning there, he ate, grew, and spoke about it constantly. Ron also sent me this card with some of the best words I have heard in a long time, and I would expect him to do so, because he’s always been good with phrases and wit.

Card 28 | Nick Glenn

As a colleague, friend, and fellow AIGA Student Group officer, Nick went above and beyond when designing a card for my book. He had to hand it to me in person, and I’ve been taking good care of it on my messy computer desk. I was lucky to have photographer Dennis Fagan of Austin, TX, shoot a very nice image of Nick’s 3D art.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Card 27 | Nigel Holmes

Always dressed in blue, from head to toe, Nigel Holmes was easy to spot when I picked him up from the airport in 2005. As his personal ‘speaker buddy’ , I made sure he got from here to there during the Creative Summit weekend. Originally from England, Nigel makes the east coast his home and does phenomenal informational graphics. He also has a huge obsession with cheese, and even informed us during his presentation that while digesting, cheese somehow releases a chemical or substance that makes us happy. He also thanked me for being a wonderful ‘student driver’, but it sounded like I was practicing for my driving test. At least he sent me a free signed copy of his book, Wordless Diagrams, which is now available at

Check out Nigel and his amazing graphics here.

Card 26 | Christian Helms

What more is there to say about Christian Helms? I’ve actually met him at many conferences and AIGA events around Texas, and he was kind enough to take the time to look at my portfolio when I was fresh out of school and give me some great pointers. For those who don’t know, this ‘teenage witch’ character (Melissa Joan Hart) is actually sitting on a Chevy Vega. My dad pointed this out to me one day because apparently he used to drive one.

See more of Christian and The Decoder Ring here.

Card 25 | Casey McGarr

Another great letter pressed card comes from Casey McGarr of Dallas, TX. Like most people I met from Dallas, I talked briefly with Casey about this project while at the DSVC Conference in 2006. This card is interesting because you can actually feel the indention that the letterpress machine actually makes on the paper.

Card 24 | Marc Burckhardt

Marc is not just a published illustrator from Austin, Texas, but also an instructor of illustration at Texas State University-San Marcos. His work has been featured in Communication Arts and numerous other journals and publications. This is one of the most beautiful hand painted cards that I got in the mail, and includes his very own stamp.

I think the little birdie on top of the elephant is the perfect little touch. It speaks for itself.

See more of Marc here.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Collections Three

At fundraisers for one of my band organizations, my friend Christine and I are always drawing all over napkins. One night we were talking about this book and she made some doodles on a Taco Cabana napkin that I later kept to add in here. Below is yet another doodle done during class, and in the opposite corner is part of the envelope from Phil Hollenbeck that sent the remainder of his card. The original Sabrina film starring the stunning Audrey Hepburn has a classic serif font that compliments the classic look that the actors are posing for on the cover of this DVD.

Card 23 | Kat Jones

While browsing through the websites of accomplished design and advertising firms in Austin, I came across the fun website of Milkshake Media and decided to ask them to participate in my book project. You’ ll notice that the golden ‘a’ sculpture is one of the ADDY awards. The ADDYs are comparable to the Emmys or Oscars of advertising.

Card 22 | Jim Sherraden

I first met Jim Sherraden at the Creative Summit in 2005, and met up with him again when he spoke at the DSVC conference in 2006. His work at Hatch Show Prints in Nashville has a very sought after style that attracts many of the live music events in the area.

Card 21 | Michael Cronan

Michael Cronan also graced us with his presence at the 2006 Creative Summit. His design, painting and other creative talents have merited him for many invitations to conferences and conventions nationwide with companies and groups such as Apple and AIGA.


Thanks, Michael!

Card 20 | Jay Ryan

I stumbled upon Jay Ryan’s illustrations when browsing through Christian Helms' and the Decoder Ring’s website. Jay’s work can be found at I enjoy how he wrote “ halloo”.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Card 19 | Jack Unruh

While Jack Unruh, illustrator, didn’t exactly follow my prompt, he still sent back a fly fishing
character who exclaims, “nice fly.” I guess even a postage stamp can be inspirational.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Card 18 | Kim Roberson

Kim came to a Creative Summit once in 2004 with Gary Baseman and has been a regular ever since. Her cartoon work has been linked with Disney and Nickelodeon and is just spectacular. She is currently working with Cartoon Network. Extra bonus: she’s also really friendly.

Funny enough, I’ve been to Las Vegas twice, but as a minor. What a waste.

Cards from Friends

As one of my favorite creative pen pals, Abbey made the card with the clouds and sequins for me. Another good friend and new creative pen pal, Jennifer (J-Fo to most) played my card game too. The double script with imprinted signature belongs to fellow colleague and book supporter, Cade. The latter two friends were officers in our student chapter of AIGA, and continue to be design inspiration and great pen pals in San Fransisco.

Note: the San Marcos address is outdated; I no longer live there. Email me for my new address, if you want to send something in, or send me yours, and I'll mail you a card to send back.

Card 17 | Alissa Walker

Yes, this is a real magnet, fresh from sunny California. Very neat. Check out the classic car stamp added to the postage.

Card 16 | Lanny Sommese

I was able to listen to Lanny and his wife, Kristin, speak at the DSVC Conference in 2005. They both teach design at Penn State, and work together for Sommese Design. Most famous for his posters, Sommese uses concept and communication to express ideas and continues to value these fundamentals of design in his teachings.

Card 15 | Terry Vine

This card could possibly be my absolute favorite because of its wit. I never specifically asked people to design or write my name, but just to “write Sabrina creatively”, and so he did. I got the suggestion to write to Terry Vine in Houston from my internship director, Kim Bond (page 42) and I am glad that he was able to respond so creatively. (see below for transcription)

Hi Sabrina,
It's too bad you had to miss the trip to Paris, it was wonderful and we all missed you. Great art, great food, and terrific walks through the gardens. Got lots of great new images, too. Toasted you on your special day with my favorite wine. Anyhow, congrats! Until next time...

Card 14 | Michael Doret

As mentioned earlier, Michael and his wife Laura Smith visited Texas for the Creative Summit in 2006. Even though his card got ripped in the mail, I think it gives the card a piece of personality. Plus, he used my favorite colors: red and black.

Card 13 | Jeremy Wheat

I love the crazy little critters and characters in this card. I also met Jeremy Wheat in Dallas because of his involvement with the DSVC Conference, and he sent me incredible photographs of Chip Kidd and myself dancing at one of the conference’s social events.

Card 12 | Phil Hollenbeck

These cards come with both a story and an explanation. Phil sent me the original postcard back with a weird message and a blank square labeled, “first pass”. A couple of days later, I got a pink envelope with this little square (above) inside. I first met Phil when he set up his DSVC publication, Rough, at the Summits, and later at the DSVC Conferences. AIGA Austin’s Design Ranch ‘05 was a time that we hung out more, and he even befriended a group of us in Dallas at the 2006 DSVC Conference and took us out to a really neat bar with his lady friend.

Collections Two

Here lies my name in Arabic, imported from a study abroad trip to Spain in 2005. On the left is the envelope to an old birthday card, and the right bears a certificate for the Council of Scholars. I love Calligraphy and its art forms.

Card 11 | Jeff Barfoot

Jeff Barfoot of Dallas, TX was the “ host” and head honcho behind the past two DSVC National Student Show and Conventions. Fluent in letter press and design, he has his own design firm, BarfootWorldwide and is a very busy man with that, DSVC, and other numerous projects. His card shows my name backwards, which also doubles as my hard drive’s nickname. After I showed this card, someone noticed a bunch of other hidden words relating to the world of graphic design. Can you find more than 5?

Card 10 | Laura Smith

Laura Smith and her husband Michael Doret (page 21/card 14) came to speak at the Creative Summit in 2006. Both even came to hang out with us volunteers at the unofficial after party. She has done illustrations for Disney, including a great collection of the villains. She also has the smallest and cutest feet (and shoes) I have ever seen.