I love the simplicity of black. A tiny bit of black goes a long way. It just makes the perfect statement. Dark hues like navy blue or chocolate brown are trendy, but black will always be with us.

As a designer I spend a lot of time looking at black text on white pages. Well organized magazines or books are like heaven to me. My first graphic design job was as a paste-up artist at a local newspaper. What that means is that the editors would send their articles to the laser printer, I would cut them out and then I would run each headline, article, photograph and advertisement through a wax machine and stick it in the proper place on a newspaper sized sheet of blueline paper. (Click here for a more in depth explanation of this thrilling profession.) Everything had to be straight and precise. Of course, that didn't always happen. Sometimes the photo caption would get cockeyed, or the byline would be on the wrong article.

I love to read old newspapers or cookbooks and find tiny mistakes like this. There's something romantic about realizing someone's hands made this page instead of a sleek computer pagination system.

Old Ann Landers article

I know you can't stop staring at Ann Landers' awesome hairdo but please, let's get back on task. See how the right hand column is wandering off. I think these little discoveries are charming.

I also love, as you saw in my orange post, vintage cookbooks. I have a collection from my grandmother. A lot of them are produced by local women's groups my mom belonged to. I can flip through these books and find recipes, even though there's no pretty pictures, because they're organized. Not overdone with big type and lots of colors on glossy paper.

This one from 1969 was churned out on a typewriter, but it's clear and concise. And why didn't my mom ever make those beets for me?

Vintage cookbook page

Even going forward a few years, they moved on to a trendy font but kept the organization clean. Ooh, and look, let men submit recipes in 1975. Of course my dad chose an alcoholic party punch with a floating ice ring.

Vintage cookbook page

Apparently at the end of the night when the punch was all gone my dad mistakingly fed the dog the alcohol saturated ice ring. The dog staggered around howling all night long.

My dogs have never been drunk. They may act like drunk college kids running all over the place and barking unnecessarily (or was it high school that we barked at people?) But I digress!

Henry and Lola are beautiful dogs and look stunning in black and white. I think black and white photographs almost style themselves.


With the right composition and lots of contrast, you can present the subject as they are. Lola is beautiful and poised, Henry is playful, soulful and insane.

Henry on the deck