#92 1 2 3&4


1 2 3&4


#92 1 2 3&4
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Remem­ber Lawrence Welk? He would use a lot more than just one amper­sand in his musi­cal count…

“A one & a two & a…”

I’m keep­ing the count sim­ple: two quar­ters, two eighths and another quarter.

This Amper­Art con­cept, “1 2 3&4,”  was inspired by a book cover I designed recently for one of my favorite clients, Jen­nifer Eklund. She has a fab­u­lous piano instruc­tion series called “Piano Pronto.” Her lat­est book, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with piano instruc­tor Kris Skalet­ski of Kid­dyKeys, is called “Road­trip! Your Musi­cal Jour­ney” and is per­fect to keep the kids enter­tained and edu­cated whether in the car or tak­ing a “pre­tend trip” in your home. This fun music learn­ing book will be avail­able in time for Christ­mas. Sub­scribe to Jennifer’s won­der­ful newslet­ter at pianopronto​.com. You’ll be noti­fied when “Road­trip!” is available.

PianoPronto​.com fea­tures piano instruc­tion for “all ages and all stages.”

Kid​dyKeys​.com fea­tures music explo­ration and piano prepa­ra­tion for preschool-​​age children.

chaz sez ...

The count 1 2 3&4 is what I hear every time I take cha cha lessons. I’m still a begin­ner, although I’ve taken the same begin­ner class sev­eral times already. (I get my 1’s & 2’s & 3’s & 4’s mixed up.)

Pro­duc­tion notes for #92 1 2 3&4:
Orig­i­nal size: 20x30 inches
Pro­gram: Adobe Illus­tra­tor
Font: Bodoni Poster
Amper­sand: Bodoni Poster Italic
Cred­its for #92 1 2 3&4:
Staff & notes repur­posed from client’s Piano Pronto book cover design. Visit pianopronto​.com for a superb piano les­son course—pronto!

For pro­fes­sional graphic design, please visit Des­i­mone Design.

Desimone? Damn good!


#83 Straight & Narrow

83 Straight & Narrow


#83 Straight & Nar­row
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Work­ing on Amper­Art #83, Straight & Nar­row, I thought of my dad, my mother, my broth­ers & sis­ter, some of my rel­a­tives & most of my friends, for they all define the phrase “Straight & Narrow”:

The way of proper con­duct & moral integrity.

Sev­eral peo­ple who have fol­lowed the Straight & Nar­row path are:

Mother Teresa
George Wash­ing­ton
Abra­ham Lin­coln
Richard Nixon oops — scratch that
Mar­tin Luther King
Leo Buscaglia
War­ren Buf­fett
Stephen R. Covey
Denis Wait­ley
John Wayne
Roy Rogers

If you can add to this list, please com­ment below.

crooked pathchaz sez ...

I wish I could say my path had less detours & bumps in it, but just ain’t so. In fact, this Amper­Art piece, Straight & Nar­row, was cre­ated & issued only 10 min­utes before the mid­night dead­line on May 31, 2015, to meet my quota of at least one new Amper­Art edi­tion per month. The time zone is PDT (Pacific Day­light Sav­ings), which allowed me to cheat, as it was already June 1 else­where. Is that what they mean by “artis­tic license”? A lit­tle crooked, I suppose.

I selected a no-​​nonsense font, Times Roman, for the words “straight” & “nar­row,” but a fun & fancy amper­sand, which straight­ened out to fol­low the Straight & Nar­row path when it was time to be seri­ous & responsible.

Pro­duc­tion notes for #83 Straight & Nar­row:
Orig­i­nal size: 20x30 inches
Pro­gram: Adobe InDe­sign
Fonts: Times Roman, Colonna (mod­i­fied)
Amper­sand: Colonna (mod­i­fied)
Cred­its for #83 Straight & Nar­row:
Photo: Danette Popowich, Canada (123rf​.com)

For pro­fes­sional graphic design, please visit Des­i­mone Design.

Desimone? Damn good!


#73 Brother & Sister — National Siblings Day is April 10

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#73 Brother & Sis­ter
Click to view full-​​size or down­load hi-​​rez image for gallery-​​quality print­ing and fram­ing.
This is a high-​​resolution pdf & may take a few min­utes to down­load.
Find print­ing tips & fram­ing ideas here.

April 10 is National Sib­lings Day.

Clau­dia Evart, after los­ing both of her sib­lings early in life, felt inspired to cre­ate National Sib­lings Day, to be cel­e­brated annu­ally on April 10, the birth­day of her late sis­ter, Lisette.  Here’s her video.

I like what Clau­dia says about our brother & sis­ter rela­tion­ships. I couldn’t say it bet­ter myself, so here are excerpts from her web­site, www​.sib​lings​day​foun​da​tion​.org:

♥ The sib­lings bonds are life-​​long rela­tion­ships usu­ally last­ing from cra­dle to grave.  It is  usu­ally the longest rela­tion­ship of a person’s life and typ­i­cally much longer than a mother’s and father’s relationship.

♥ Because of the blood rela­tion­ship, we look alike and enjoy feel­ings of close­ness which may never be sur­passed in any other rela­tion­ship.  It is usu­ally the longest rela­tion­ship of a person’s life (typ­i­cally much longer than a mother’s and father’s rela­tion­ship).   We must always remem­ber that the strength of fam­i­lies is vital to the strength of our com­mu­ni­ties, state and nation.

♥ Sib­lings Day can be cel­e­brated by send­ing a card or gift or mak­ing a din­ner invi­ta­tion* to your sib­lings on April 10th as done on Mother’s and Father’s Day.  This day does not nec­es­sar­ily have to be attached to a mon­e­tary gift.  Indi­vid­u­als can do some­thing spe­cial like a good deed or favor, errand or chore for their brother or sister.

*as my sis­ter did for her broth­ers right before Valentine’s Day this year — read chaz sez below.

Claudia’s web­site also states these facts:

  • The Sib­lings Day Foun­da­tion is a New York and Mass­a­chu­setts based orga­ni­za­tion with the prin­ci­pal office located in Man­hat­tan.  It was incor­po­rated in Mass­a­chu­setts 1997 and became a not-​​for-​​profit orga­ni­za­tion in Jan­u­ary, 1999.
  • In 1996, Con­gress stripped itself of the author­ity to cre­ate com­mem­o­ra­tives leav­ing sole power to do so in the hands of the pres­i­dent.  Dur­ing their pres­i­dency, George Bush in 2008 and Bill Clin­ton in 2000 signed a Pres­i­den­tial Mes­sage rec­og­niz­ing April 10 as Sib­lings Day.  A Pres­i­den­tial Procla­ma­tion is needed to offi­cially estab­lish April 10th as National Sib­lings Day.
  • Since 1998, 85 gov­er­nors have signed guber­na­to­r­ial procla­ma­tions in 49 states includ­ing for­mer gov­er­nors and White House cab­i­net mem­bers – Tom Ridge of PA, Bill Richard­son of NM, Janet Napoli­tano of AZ, Gary Locke of WA, Chris­tine Todd Whit­man of NJ and Tommy Thomp­son of WI.
  • Mother’s Day (founded by Anna Jarvis of Philadel­phia, PA, 1907) and Father’s Day (founded by Mrs. John Dodd of Spokane, WA, 1910) were estab­lished almost 110 years ago.
  • Sib­lings Day fol­lows the spirit of Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Grandparent’s Day – a great Amer­i­can tra­di­tion and cel­e­bra­tion of family-​​unit val­ues.  It is an uplift­ing cel­e­bra­tion hon­or­ing peo­ple who have shaped our val­ues, beliefs and ideals.  It is a rela­tion­ship as equally impor­tant as a parent’s rela­tion­ship. Sib­lings are the rea­son we cel­e­brate Mother’s and Father’s Day.
  • Almost one hun­dred ten years have gone by with­out hon­or­ing sib­lings!  By estab­lish­ing this spe­cial day each mem­ber of the fam­ily unit will be finally rec­og­nized on a National Recog­ni­tion Day (Father’s Day, Mother’s Day and Sib­lings Day).
  • Oprah Win­frey fea­tured and cel­e­brated Sib­lings Day on her national and inter­na­tional daily tele­vi­sion show for three con­sec­u­tive years. SD was broad­casted world­wide on Voice of Amer­ica six years and cov­ered on many news outlets.
  • Sib­lings Day – a cel­e­bra­tion for all ages. It has been rec­og­nized as an annual event for thou­sands of years in North­ern India, Guyana in South Amer­ica and sev­eral South Asian countries.
  • Sib­lings Day Sup­port­ers: Six for­mer gov­er­nors who became White House Cab­i­net Mem­bers: Gary F. Locke (WA – ‘04); Janet A. Napoli­tano (AZ– ‘07); Tom J. Ridge of (PA– ’99); Bill B. Richard­son of (NM– ’07); Chris­tine Todd Whit­man of (NJ– ’98); and Tommy G. Thomp­son of (WI– ‘98).
  •  Con­gres­sional Records issued by Con­gress­woman Car­olyn B. Mal­oney (D-​​NY) 1997, 2001, 2005, 2008 and 2013. Late Sen­a­tor Edward M. Kennedy (1997 –2010) along with Con­gress­woman Mal­oney (1997 to the present) wrote let­ters to Pres­i­dent Clin­ton and Pres­i­dent Bush which resulted in two Pres­i­den­tial Mes­sages sup­port­ing April 10th as Sib­lings Day.
  •  Guber­na­to­r­ial mes­sages issued by Gov­er­nor Steve Bul­lock (MT) 2013; Gov­er­nor Jack Markell (DE) 2012; Gov­er­nor Brian Schweitzer (MT) 2007 to 2009; Gov­er­nor Jeb Bush (FL) April 2001; Gov­er­nor Tom Ridge (PA) March 1998; and Gov­er­nor George E. Pataki (NY) 1997.
  •  May­oral mes­sages issued by NYC Mayor Guil­iani in 2001 and Mayor Bloomberg in 2002 to 2012.
  •  Office of Man­hat­tan Bor­ough Pres­i­dent, Scott M. Stringer (D-​​NY) issued Procla­ma­tions from 2009 to 2013. Mem­bers of NY State Leg­isla­tive, Assem­bly­man Richard N. Got­tfried (1997) and Sen­a­tor Cather­ine M. Abate (1997) wrote let­ters of support.

I whole­heart­edly agree with Clau­dia, as she reminds us…

“If you are for­tu­nate enough to have a sib­ling, you know the rela­tion­ship has a tremen­dous impact on our lives.  It is impor­tant that we under­stand how vital it is to cher­ish, love and respect our broth­ers and sis­ters in the tra­di­tion that was handed down by our par­ents and grand­par­ents. Sib­lings Day strength­ens the fam­ily unit by remind­ing us that a bond with our sib­lings is for­ever a spe­cial gift.”

If you have a brother & sis­ter, or either, please visit www​.sib​lings​day​foun​da​tion​.org

Along with Brother & Sis­ter, here’s Amper­Art #75 Fam­ily & Friends, the other most spe­cial peo­ple in our lives.

 Spaghetti & meat­balls & broth­ers & sister…

 listen up!I’ve been work­ing on an elab­o­rate Amper­Art piece titled “Spaghetti & Meat­balls” to honor a very spe­cial event my sis­ter Roslyn hosted for her three broth­ers, includ­ing me. Just us sib­lings, nobody else, at Roslyn’s din­ing room table on Feb­ru­ary 7, 2014, as she cooked all day and served us Mom’s spaghetti & meat­balls. Roz pulled out all the stops — a huge spread of Ital­ian appe­tiz­ers, includ­ing my favorite pick­led gar­den veg­eta­bles from my child­hood; Ital­ian bread­sticks, olives (espe­cially my favorite, the wrinkly lit­tle dried ones), proscuitto, salame, and pro­volone. The salad was deli­cious, but noth­ing com­pared to the incred­i­ble meat­balls, hot & mild sausages, spaghetti & “succo” as we called the sauce grow­ing up. (Our mother was Ger­man, but our father, born in Sicily in 1899, must have had his mama teach our mom every­thing about Ital­ian cook­ing, because she sure was a great Ital­ian cook. Her Ger­man dishes were excel­lent, too.) Well, Mom must have taught our sis­ter, because that din­ner brought back mem­o­ries of our won­der­ful fam­ily feasts on Sun­days on the “fancy dishes” which Roz served our din­ner on, the china Daddy had bought Mom after they got mar­ried. Deep red fil­i­gree with a red rose in the mid­dle of every plate and a gold rim, some of which is worn off now. Thanks, Roslyn, for this most cher­ished evening where we ate, rem­i­nisced, laughed, and enjoyed our deep love as sib­lings. We even played a fun game that tested our mem­o­ries as senior cit­i­zens: list all the streets to the right and left of our house. We’re not senile yet — among the four of us we remem­bered them all. We also shared some fun child­hood anec­dotes and divulged some sur­pris­ing child­hood secrets (ha — blackmail!).

And for dessert: Can­no­lis!

My sis­ter Roz, in true Ital­ian fash­ion, sent me home with plates of food, olives and the pick­les that I love so much, that lasted me for weeks. (That was the next day; I spent the night and enjoyed her com­pany all day Sun­day as well.)

Even­tu­ally I will fin­ish Amper­Art “Spaghetti & Meat­balls” (ever try twist­ing strands of pasta into an amper­sand? In Pho­to­shop?). For­tu­nately, just yes­ter­day, I dis­cov­ered National Sib­lings Day, thanks to Marlo Anderson’s National Day Cal­en­dar web­site: nation​al​day​cal​en​dar​.com so was able to give a shout out to my own sib­lings with Amper­art #73 “Brother & Sis­ter” on this 2015 National Sib­lings Day. (Maybe I’ll release “Spaghetti & Meat­balls” right before National Pasta Day, Octo­ber 17.)

To my sis­ter Roslyn & my brother Andrew & my brother Robert:
I love you!

Pro­duc­tion notes for #73 Brother & Sis­ter:
Orig­i­nal size: 20x30 inches
Pro­gram: Adobe Illus­tra­tor
Fonts: Eccen­tric*, Har­ring­ton
Amper­sand: Hand-​​drawn
Cred­its for #73 Brother & Sis­ter:
Sil­hou­ettes: stock
*appro­pri­ately named font for this brother, I’m sure my fam­ily would say

For pro­fes­sional graphic design, please visit Des­i­mone Design.

Desimone? Damn good!


#63 Upper & Lowercase (do you know which “case” this refers to?)

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#63 Upper & Low­er­case
Click to view full-​​size or down­load hi-​​rez image for gallery-​​quality print­ing and fram­ing.
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UPPER & low­er­case, as in cap­i­tal and “small” let­ters, are called upper & low­er­case for a rea­son. It’s not because they are taller & shorter.

Upper & Lowercase job cases.The terms “upper” &low­er­case” orig­i­nated in the early days of hand-​​​​set type where each char­ac­ter was cast on a sep­a­rate piece of metal and stored in shal­low draw­ers known as job cases. Fre­quently there were two cases (draw­ers) for each font, one placed on top of the other while com­posit­ing type. The upper case con­tained the majus­cules. The lower case con­tained the minus­cules (these are the proper terms, though not heard much anymore).

This illus­tra­tion has the cases reversed — low­er­case is on top — to clearly show the var­i­ous sizes of indi­vid­ual com­part­ments needed to accom­mo­date the quan­tity of each low­er­case let­ter used for the aver­age com­po­si­tion. (The upper­case com­part­ments are all the same size.) There are more e’s used in the Eng­lish lan­guage than any other let­ter, hence e is stored in the largest section.

Our friend the amper­sand is stored in the upper case (bot­tom in this illus­tra­tion), near the lower right cor­ner: bot­tom row & sec­ond box in — see it?

Proof­read­ers’ marks

The red lines and dots in Amper­Art #63 Upper & Low­er­case are proof­read­ers’ marks. Although today’s man­u­scripts are proof­read and edited with high­lights, tags and “sticky tag” call­outs — or just edited directly in the word pro­cess­ing or page lay­out pro­gram — there’s noth­ing quite like proof­ing a hard copy printed page — you know, paper, not pix­els. That’s usu­ally where the last elu­sive typo will be dis­cov­ered. Proof­ing hard copy is done best with a red pen and a set of good old-​​fashioned proof­read­ers’ marks. Here’s a rather com­plete list:

Upper & Lowercase & many more proofreaders' symbols.


Upper & LowercaseCan you fig­ure out what the red marks in #63 Upper & Low­er­case mean?
Note: the design shows the final result after the revi­sions were car­ried out.
1. Close up (pull let­ters tighter together).
2. Make this a cap­i­tal (upper case) let­ter.
3. “Stet” — let stand, ignore changes, revert to orig­i­nal.
4. Change to lowercase.

Online ref­er­ence from Edit Fast, a ser­vice for writ­ers: online proof­read­ers’ marks chart.

Triva: See where it says “insert lead” and ”take out lead”? Most writ­ers and design­ers today know that “lead­ing” is the term for space between lines of type. But why is it called “lead­ing”? When type was set by hand (or even by machine, but still cast line-​​by-​​line) space was increased between the lines by insert­ing a flat strip of lead which var­ied from 14 point in thick­ness up to 12 points or more. Beyond stack­ing sev­eral strips of lead for a very large blank space, blocks of wood were fre­quently used. These strips really were made of lead, which is why many com­pos­i­tors ended up with cancer.

Upper & Lowercase & all sorts of other edits!

Uh-​​oh. The red pen.

This is how messy a page can get if an ama­teur writer is being red­lined by a pro­fes­sional edi­tor. This photo shows a gal­ley proof, so some of the proofreader’s marks might also indi­cate typesetter’s errors (typos) and artis­tic adjustments.

This image was “bor­rowed” from a won­der­fully enter­tain­ing story on how copy edit­ing used to be. Read it here. Writ­ten by a Lon­don edi­tor, the term you’ll be read­ing is “sub-​​editing” or “sub­bing,” not copy edit­ing as we call it in the States. Fiona Cullinan’s mem­oirs of the days of when copy & paste meant razor blades and rub­ber cement are pure joy. Brings me back to the days of real gal­ley proofs & the “repro­duc­tion com­puter.” Thanks, Fiona.

Image © Peri­od­i­cal Train­ing Coun­cil train­ing material.


Commas, dashes, upper & lowercase, syntax, spelling, &c.

The Fru­gal Editor

If you’re a writer on a bud­get — or if you’re just a com­pul­sive DIYer — you can proof and edit, your­self, with a fan­tas­tic, thor­ough guide on self-​​editing, The Fru­gal Edi­tor, by Car­olyn Howard John­son. I highly rec­om­mend this valu­able & fru­gal invest­ment; see a few pages on ama​zon​.com.

The Fru­gal Book Promoter

Once you edit your book, you might want to sell it — right? Carolyn’s flag­ship book in the Fru­gal series is The Fru­gal Book Pro­moter. See it here. This book is the most com­pre­hen­sive guide on self-​​promoting (or with inex­pen­sive help of oth­ers) I’ve ever read. Just the one state­ment “start pro­mot­ing your book now, even if it’s not pub­lished yet, even if it’s not writ­ten yet!” is worth the price.

Yes, I designed the cov­ers (you’ll see that if you visit the ama­zon links) but I was pas­sion­ate about the project because both books are incred­i­bly thor­ough & help­ful, writ­ten by a bril­liant & delight­ful author & publisher.


 listen up!Print shop was my favorite class in junior & senior high. I printed my own busi­ness cards, greet­ing cards, & fly­ers (which I kept pre­ciously safe in a stor­age facil­ity for over 50 years, intend­ing to share my child­hood cre­ations with you in an arti­cle like this…until they were all auc­tioned off Feb. 8, 2014 and are now in a trash heap some­where along with thou­sands of other bits & pieces of my life, career, art­work — & my soul). My desk is a mess right now — pens, mark­ers, papers & books are every­where* & I guess I’ve had the same bad habit of not putting things away since my early years. You see, the type that I set my fly­ers & such with in print shop should have been called not upper case & low­er­case, but “floor case.” Because I pied (print­ers’ term for spilled) more type than I set, and never went back to pick it up off the floor. I just pulled more type out of the cases. My poor print shop instructor!

*But all my Cray­olas are in the box where they belong.

Pro­duc­tion notes for #63 Upper & Low­er­case:
Orig­i­nal size: 20x30 inches
Pro­gram: InDe­sign
Fonts: Gara­mond, Franklin
Amper­sand: Franklin
Cred­its for #63 Upper & Low­er­case:
Job cases: Unknown
Proof­read­ers’ marks: Pear­son Higher Edu­ca­tion (pear​son​high​ered​.com)
Mark-​​up page: Fiona Cul­li­nan, design​ersin​sights​.com © Peri­od­i­cal Train­ing Coun­cil train­ing mate­r­ial.
Cover of The Fru­gal Edi­tor: I designed it — see the book here.

For pro­fes­sional graphic design, please visit Des­i­mone Design.

Desimone? Damn good!


#82 Full & Empty


82 Full & Empty

#82 Full & Empty
Click to view full-​​size or down­load hi-​​rez image for gallery-​​quality print­ing and fram­ing.
This is a high-​​resolution pdf & may take a few min­utes to down­load.
Find print­ing tips & fram­ing ideas here.

I’ll write the full story when my urgent list is empty. If you’re a sub­scriber you’ll get the update.

 chaz sez ...

Noth­ing. Talk later. (Still catch­ing up.)

Pro­duc­tion notes for #82 Full & Empty:
Orig­i­nal size: 20x30 inches
Pro­gram: Pho­to­shop
Fonts: Hel­vetica ultra com­pressed, Targa (mod­i­fied)
Amper­sand: Targa (mod­i­fied)
Cred­its for #82 Full & Empty:
Slosh­ing liq­uid (orig­i­nal image is cof­fee): dream​stime​.com/​o​k​e​a​_​i​nfo
Sparkling gunky liq­uid: psd​graph​ics​.com

For pro­fes­sional graphic design, please visit Des­i­mone Design.

Desimone Design