A Fine Design, Blog News, The Business of Making

Free Graphic Design Services from DesignEgg

DesignEgg scamp trailer

{ Design Egg: Good Design for Great Ideas }

I’m excited to announce the launch of an innovative new initiative, for which I am extremely honored to play a small part. Crowdfunded through one of Kickstarter’s most popular design campaigns, DesignEgg is a one-year, traveling program offering free graphic design services to worthy artists, small businesses, and not-for-profit organizations in need across the US. Over the next year, $25,000 worth of DesignEgg credits will be awarded! Yeah, $25,000 worth of free graphic design!

the DesignEgg team: Pickle, Andy Wickstrom, and Jess Mott Wickstrom

 { Andy, Jess, and Pickle in their new home for the next 11 months }

This amazing project is the brainchild of Andy Wickstrom and Jess Mott Wickstrom (with help from Pickle, I’m sure). This dream team’s many talents include studio art & photography, curating, arts management, rock-climbing, being all-around amazing individuals, and, of course, expert graphic design skills. Since 2003, Jess and Andy have been working with artists, arts organizations, small businesses, and record labels, including The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, DePaul University, and The Ravi Shankar Foundation/East Meets West Music, to name but a few, and developing a notable portfolio through their graphic design business, Wickstrom Design.

inside the DesignEgg scamp trailer

{ inside the freshly renovated DesignEgg trailer }

I was thrilled when Jess and Andy asked me to be part of the DesignEgg selection committee and quickly humbled when I saw the intimidatingly impressive group of arts, education, and business professionals I would be joining. Luckily, I managed to overcome a brief bout of impostor syndrome and told them that OF COURSE I would join their committee. Who wouldn’t?

interior redesign of the DesignEgg scamp trailer

{ Pickle approves of the scamp re-design }

So my friends, family, and kind readers, if, after learning about DesignEgg, you thought to yourself, “Hey, I could really use some free graphic design services,” then don’t hesitate. Apply now! The application process is pretty simple (just answer a few questions and explain your graphic design needs), and the DEADLINE IS NOVEMBER 1.

mountain view from the DesignEgg travels

{ DesignEgg travels through Colorado }

You just can’t help but be inspired by these fine folks! Follow the scamp as Andy, Jess, and Pickle traverse the US in their beautifully renovated trailer — climbing mountains, meeting talented individuals, exploring admirable organizations, and taking breathtaking photos of this great country! Join the DesignEgg newsletter to stay up to date (e.g. application reminders), follow the duo on Instagram/Twitter/their Blog, and help spread the word!

DesignEgg visits Anderson Ranch with Pickle, their pit-bull mix mascot

{ a visit to Anderson Ranch }

beautiful adventures by DesignEgg

{ DesignEgg journeys to Utah }

DesignEgg adventures

{ DesignEgg, 100% cage-free since 2014 }

A Fine Design

KONE Coffee Filter and Brewing System

We’re very excited about a project from KONE that we just backed on Kickstarter. If you like coffee, you might want to check it out. Even if you don’t like coffee, you might want to take a look anyway, because it’s pretty cool. Not only have they perfected a reusable pour-over coffee filter, but they’ve designed an awesome brewing system to go along with it, just in case you’re getting tired of brewing with your Chemex, or whatever.

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A Fine Design

A Fine Design: To The Future


{ Torrance Float — 1956 Tournament of Roses Parade by O.W. Sjogren (via Jordan Smith) }

As Sarah mentioned, we’ve changed a few things around here. We figured now would be a good time to explain what’s going on and what’s coming around the corner. First, let’s be clear, this site, like all web sites, is very much a work in progress. This week is just a first step. Our overall goals were to give the site a better technological base to build from, refresh the look, and make it a better experience on phones and other devices.

We are still ironing out a lot of details and will be changing some things and adding new features, so it’s only going to get better from here. Of course your patience is greatly appreciated while we work out some of these details and really starting moving into the future. This is really an exciting time for us and we’re so glad you are along for the rid.

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A Fine Design

A Fine Design: Manual Inspiration

Sarah and I have been thinking a lot about the future of Westervin lately, and one aspect of that is thinking about how this blog should look. Recently we searched around Flickr for some vintage manuals to find inspiration from their color palettes and overall look and feel. Here’s what we’ve found so far…


{ Westinghouse }


{ Radio Constructors }


{ Your Rugs }


{ A Place for Everything }


{ Introducing . . . }


{ American Red Cross }


{ Operating Manual }


{ Food Freezer }

A Fine Design, WESTERVIN Wear

Everyday Wear

Every Day Carry
{Submitted by camp nowhere}
Today I’d like to bring your attention to Everyday Carry, a website with photos of all the stuff that people carry with them everyday. Now, similar websites exist for computer desktops, iphone homescreens, office setups, etc. and I always find it interesting to see how people are going about their lives—what they are using, how they are organizing—essentially what’s important enough to make it onto their desktop (virtual or otherwise), iphone, or, in the case of Everyday Carry, their pocket or bag. Now in theory this is great, but I find EDC a bit unnerving and now I can’t help but look around me on the train or bus and wonder if all of these people have 5 pocket knives and a hand gun. I mean one pocket knife is great, but do you really need 5 on you every any day. These people must really hate it when they have to fly.

If you can get past all the weird stuff that people seem to carry with them, you might just find something useful. I, for one, was in the market for a wallet and found one photo featuring a really barebones wallet that fit the bill perfectly (plus it was on sale for $9). So, if you are on the lookout for a better notebook, wallet, keychain, flashlight, or a pocket knife, you might check it out.

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A Fine Design

A Fine Design: The Working Proof

The Working Proof

If you’ve heard of The Working Proof already, it’s for good reason.  The online print shop has received some well deserved praise and press from some of my favorite design blogs.  So I was deeply intrigued (and flattered!) when I found a sweet and unassuming email in my inbox from Anna, one of the co-founders, letting me know about one of their freshly released prints that she thought I might be interested in.  Needless to say, I was interested.  You had me at hello, Anna.  You had me at hello.

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A Fine Design, A Westervin Wedding

A Fine Design: Grace and Ben Got Married

indie wedding of grace steinel and ben jones

{ Photography by Heather Mount Photography }

Last week our friends got married. It was pretty darn exciting, and Sarah and I are kind of jealous. The wedding was really pretty and in Texas, which meant that it wasn’t snowing like it is hear in Chicago.

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A Fine Design

A Fine Design: Books? What Are Those?

You know how you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover? Well, sometimes you have to. Here at Westervin, we’re hard at work on a new design for the very blog that you are reading right now. I’ve found that one of the best ways to find inspiration for website design is to look at design in other fields: enter The Book Cover Archive.

book covers from the book cover archive

As the name implies, the site is a collection of book cover designs. But it’s not just a collection of any old books. It’s a curated collection of visually interesting books, mostly new, but some old. To explore the selection, you can search by book title, designer, art director, font, or many other elements that might interest you. I realize not all of you are embarking on website redesigns, but perhaps you can find inspiration from book covers for all sorts of creative projects.

A Fine Design

A Fine Design: Readability

I happen to read a lot of articles online, and one of the most annoying things I find is how unreadable some sites are. Whether there are too many ads, or poor typography, sometimes it would just be nice to see the content by itself. Luckily Arc90 Labs has an answer: Readability. Readability is a little bookmarklet (it goes in your bookmarks toolbar) that you can click on to rid yourself of unnecessary ads and to generally prettify an article. Of course this concept isn’t new; it’s part of what the popular Instapaper does. However, Readability doesn’t save things for later — it changes the display of what you are reading right now. Check out the informational video for more information:

Readability – Installation Video for Firefox, Safari & Chrome from Arc90 on Vimeo.

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