#130 Cool & Breezy

#130 Cool & Breezy
 #130 Cool & Breezy
Click image to view full size or download poster for gallery-​quality printing & framing.
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Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

National Scarf Day is September 27

Last week I came across the announce­ment that the first annu­al Nation­al Scarf Day is Sep­tem­ber 27, 2018, & one thing fell in place after anoth­er. I had been think­ing about wrap­ping a scarf into an amper­sand for some time, then that announce­ment was the clinch­er — for sev­er­al reasons.

First, Nation­al Scarf Day was “offi­cial­ized” by the same orga­ni­za­tion — Nation​al​Day​Cal​en​dar​.com — that I reg­is­tered Nation­al Amper­sand Day with. (That’s Sep­tem­ber 8, & here’s why I chose that date.) Since I did­n’t yet have a theme for Sep­tem­ber’s Amper­Art piece (push­ing it till the last minute again), this was def­i­nite­ly a pos­si­bil­i­ty. I was curi­ous who came up with Nation­al Scarf Day, so I read the arti­cle at Nation­al Day Calendar. 

Echo logo and Dot the spotted zebra

Lo & behold, Nation­al Scarf Day was found­ed by none oth­er than Echo Design, a high­ly respect­ed mak­er of lux­u­ri­ous, styl­ish scarfs (their orig­i­nal prod­uct, but now they offer gloves, home décor, swim­suits & more). They’ve been in busi­ness 95 years, & here’s the best part: Sep­tem­ber 27 is the anniver­sary of their first day in busi­ness. I love it when there is pro­found mean­ing for some­thing, & the name Echo was­n’t arbi­trary: it’s the acronym of Edgar C. Hyman’s name (just add cO.) To make the day they start­ed their scarf busi­ness even more spe­cial—now this is real­ly pro­found—Sep­tem­ber 27, 1923 is also day they got mar­ried! Read the fas­ci­nat­ing Echo sto­ry here.

Upon vis­it­ing echode​sign​.com, I was cap­ti­vat­ed with all the styl­ish designs & vibrant col­ors in their prod­ucts, as well as the fun & sophis­ti­ca­tion of their web­site. This imme­di­ate­ly inspired my Amper­Art design!

What per­fect tim­ing — the begin­ning of fall, when it will soon be Cool & Breezy; the date of Echo’s anniver­sary; & just about the time I was start­ing to won­der what this mon­th’s theme should be.

Before I con­tin­ue, treat your sens­es to these incred­i­ble designs by Echo. I nev­er knew scarfs could be so flam­boy­ant & artis­tic. I was on their web­site for at least an hour, like a kid in a can­dy store!

Echo Design


Hun­dreds more at echode​sign​.com/​s​h​o​p​/​s​c​a​rfs

Scarfs or scarves?

I was intrigued that Echo spells the plur­al “scarfs” rather than the com­mon “scarves.” I did a lit­tle research & dis­cov­ered “scarfs” is an old­er spelling, where­as “scarves” became more pop­u­lar around 1930. My orig­i­nal idea for nam­ing this Amper­Art piece was “Scarfs & Scarves” but then “Cool & Breezy” is much bet­ter, don’t you think?

Here’s a chart from writing​ex​plained​.org show­ing the usage of the two words in the last two cen­turies. “Scarfs” was just bare­ly still the pop­u­lar ver­sion when Echo Scarfs was found­ed in 1923. 
Blue: “scarfs”  Red: “scarves”

Scarfs” sounds classier to me — each scarf is indi­vid­ual, where­as “scarves” sounds like a big pile of close­outs on the dis­count table. I’m glad Echo still spells it “scarfs.” (By the way, do you know which is more pop­u­lar: “gray” or “grey”? You’ll find the answer if you keep reading.)

Scarf Queen to the rescue!

Upon dis­cov­er­ing Nation­al Scarf Day, I could­n’t wait to tell my friend Mor­gan Won­der­ly, who is an image expert. She says, “I have had a scarf obses­sion for many years now. I find that they are the per­fect com­ple­ment to any out­fit to add addi­tion­al col­or & style. As an image expert, when I work with my female clients, I always help them acces­sorize with at least a cou­ple of beau­ti­ful scarves in their sig­na­ture col­ors.” She told me her favorite red scarf is an Echo! Mor­gan was indeed excit­ed, & wrote about Nation­al Scarf Day on her blog. 

Simply Feminine, Morgan WonderlyBesides image expert & fab­u­lous makeovers, Mor­gan Won­der­ly is the author of Sim­ply Fem­i­nine — Sur­pris­ing Insights from Men. Ten years’ worth of inter­views with hun­dreds of men pro­vides a fas­ci­nat­ing (and sur­pris­ing) in-​depth study of women’s fem­i­nin­i­ty from a man’s perspective.

How did the Scarf Queen res­cue me?

After com­plet­ing, pol­ish­ing, for­mat­ting, & upload­ing my Amper­Art piece for this issue, Mor­gan admon­ished me for draw­ing “a piece of string” to rep­re­sent a scarf! (See the orig­i­nal ver­sion below.) So I fired up Pho­to­shop again & added some more threads to the scarf. It does look warmer & cozi­er. Prob­a­bly still not as wide as Mor­gan (or Echo) would like to see, but I had to keep the amper­sand rec­og­niz­able. (Look close­ly — the scarf is made up of “knit­ted” amper­sands as well. I don’t see why this could­n’t be made into a real scarf.) As for the gray vs grey answer, both spellings are more pop­u­lar: gray in Amer­i­ca & grey in the UK. You’re still reading!

original skinny design

That skin­ny thing is not a scarf!” says the Scarf Queen

How do you celebrate National Scarf Day?

Wear your favorite scarf, of course! Bet­ter yet, splurge on an irre­sistible new one. Vis­it your local store, or shop right here at Echo and enjoy their enter­tain­ing web­site. Sign up for the Echo newslet­ter & you’ll save 10%. (As my sub­scribers know, I do not get any com­mis­sions nor par­take in affil­i­ate mar­ket­ing. If I like some­thing, I just want to tell the world.)

I’ll leave you with this stun­ning image. It’s the lim­it­ed edi­tion Echo 95th Anniver­sary Scarf, 50 inch­es by 50 inch­es of 100% silk & fin­ished with a machine-​rolled hem. Pur­chase here.

This is good: A per­cent­age of pro­ceeds from the sale of this item go to the Car­ing Kind Ini­tia­tive, help­ing peo­ple with Alzheimer’s Dis­ease get the care & sup­port they need.


Enjoy National Scarf Day &
Happy Anniversary, Echo Design Group!


Production notes for #130 Cool & Breezy:
Original size: 20x30 inches

Program: Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop
Fonts: Clicker Script (modified), Helvetica (modified)

Ampersand: Helvetica (modified to the point of unrecognizability — that’s what happens when you knit an ampersand)
All scarves shown are from the echode​sign​.com website.
Chart: writing​ex​plained​.org
Book: sim​plyfem​i​nine​book​.com (book cover by Desimone Design)
You may repost the image & article. Please credit Amper​Art​.com.
To download a full-​size high-​resolution 11x17-​inch poster, click on the image.

For pro­fes­sion­al graph­ic design, please vis­it Des­i­mone Design.

Desimone? Damn good!

#117 See & Be Seen

#117 See & Be Seen
#117 See & Be Seen
Click image to view full size or download poster for gallery-​quality printing & framing.
This is a high-​resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

There are some people you see & just can’t forget.

These peo­ple make an impres­sion on you with their out­ra­geous fash­ion style.
Or they are extreme­ly like­able because of their gen­uine, dynam­ic personality.
Per­haps they blow you away with out­stand­ing cus­tomer service.
Or maybe they are just the most intel­li­gent per­son in the world.*

But what if you meet someone who is all of the above? 

Well, I did meet that per­son. His name is Saul Colt. & this is what he wears:

To match these:

As worn by Saul (he’s on the left):

Why is this guy so memorable?

I got to know Saul near­ly ten years ago, as some­one who real­ly cared about find­ing a solu­tion to a quirky prob­lem I was hav­ing with my timekeeping/​billing account, which is Fresh​Books​.com (whom I’ve hap­pi­ly been with over ten years). At the time Saul was on the Fresh­Books staff, as their mar­ket­ing genius & all-​around keep-​the-​customer-​happy guy.

A year or two lat­er, I received an invi­ta­tion to attend a din­ner with fel­low Fresh­Books users in a trendy Hol­ly­wood restau­rant (named Ketchup — red, of course). Din­ner was excel­lent & meet­ing oth­ers who loved Fresh­Books as much as I did was fan­tas­tic. The Fresh­Books crew was there, too, includ­ing Saul Colt. Unbe­liev­ably, he remem­bered me from our short online chat a cou­ple years ear­li­er. But what real­ly blew me away (and made Saul unfor­get­table — besides his glass­es & ten­nis shoes, of course) was his heart­felt response when I divulged that I prob­a­bly should­n’t be a guest at their expen­sive din­ner, as I was still at the free lev­el of ser­vice. He said, “We’re just real­ly glad you’re using Fresh­Books & thrilled to have you join us.” I will nev­er for­get that & I’ll nev­er for­get Saul.

(Short­ly there­after I was using Fresh­books to prac­ti­cal­ly run my busi­ness, & I was get­ting paid on time like nev­er before. I even­tu­al­ly signed up for the paid account, & for $14 per month it’s been my best invest­ment. If you want to know more about them, drop me a line or vis­it Fresh​Books​.com & try it free. This is not a paid advert; I just love Fresh­books!)

Even­tu­al­ly Saul branched off & found­ed The Idea Inte­gra­tion Co., sky­rock­et­ing clients’ busi­ness­es with his unique gift of pro­mot­ing their brands & retain­ing their clients. He has been named as one of the iME­DIA 25: Inter­net Mar­ket­ing Lead­ers & Inno­va­tors & cit­ed as one of Canada’s best com­mu­ni­ty builders/​experiential mar­keters. Chris Bro­gan once referred to Saul as “exact­ly who you want rep­re­sent­ing your company.” 

Years later, not forgotten

From time to time Saul still helps out Fresh­Books with their honest-​to-​goodness (& high­ly appre­ci­at­ed) efforts of keep­ing their cus­tomers hap­py & suc­cess­ful. A few months ago I received anoth­er email from Saul. This time it was an invi­ta­tion to not one, but two din­ners on his dime. One was for the Fresh­Books “fam­i­ly” & the oth­er was for his friends in Los Ange­les. He stat­ed adamant­ly that I should attend both because I belong to both! Is that gen­er­ous & from the heart, or what?

Dresden Room, HollywoodI could only attend the Fresh­Books group, but am I glad I did! It was at a his­toric Hol­ly­wood restau­rant, the Dres­den Room, & you could feel the pres­ence of Bog­a­rt, Ben­ny & Berle. I’ve been to a lot of clas­sic restau­rants but this was a first. What an ele­gant, mag­nif­i­cent evening, again with old & new Fresh­Books friends. I even stayed after din­ner to check out the retro-​style enter­tain­ment in the lounge. (The Blood & Sand is their sig­na­ture cocktail.) 

Thanks again, Saul. As a trib­ute to this mem­o­rable guy, I cre­at­ed Amper­Art #117, See & Be Seen, & saved it for Valen­tine’s Day. After all…

Hearts are passé
For Valen­tine’s Day
Here’s some­thing else red
For you instead

Hey, it must be Saul!

*Saul pro­fess­es he’s the most intel­li­gent per­son in the world. I tend to agree. Or at least, he’s the world’s most memorable.


chaz sez ...

My blog, chaz sez, will soon be a month­ly fea­ture at
Des​i​moneDesign​.com (my pro­fes­sion­al graph­ic design web­site). It’s most­ly about design, typog­ra­phy, print­ing, pub­lish­ing & mar­ket­ing — and what it means to do those things prop­er­ly & pro­fes­sion­al­ly — but on occa­sion I’ll divert to a side­ways top­ic that just can’t escape my rant­i­ng & raving…like the Uike logo.



Production notes for #117 See & Be Seen:
Original size: 20x30 inches

Program: Adobe Illustrator
Fonts: Antique Olive
Ampersand: Antique Olive
Shoe: Nike Air Force 1
Glasses: ask Saul
You may repost the image & article. Please credit Amper​Art​.com.
To download a full-​size high-​resolution 11x17-​inch poster, click on the image.

For pro­fes­sion­al graph­ic design, please vis­it Des­i­mone Design.

Desimone? Damn good!

#118 Magical & Mystical

118 Magical & Mystical
#118 Magical & Mystical
Click image to view full size or download poster for gallery-​quality printing & framing.
This is a high-​resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

Pantone Ultra Violet is Color of the Year for 2018

Through­out my design career I’ve gone through T‑squares, pro­por­tion wheels, repro cam­eras, ink­ing pens, light tables & couri­er ser­vices — all of which have been replaced by com­put­ers, pro­grams & the inter­net. But one thing that has been con­stant, & still in the same swatch­book form as fifty years ago, is the invalu­able Pan­tone col­or match­ing sys­tem. Back then it was the only way to guar­an­tee col­or con­sis­ten­cy from draw­ing board to press. Today it serves the same exact pur­pose, in the same exact way, with the addi­tion of exten­sive tools & sys­tems for elec­tron­ic com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Just like the con­sis­ten­cy of col­or from one medi­um to the next, even Pan­tone’s logo & brand iden­ti­ty has remained con­sis­tent & contemporary.

The new mil­len­ni­um, 2000, intro­duced the Pan­tone Col­or of the Year. Since then it has become a high­ly antic­i­pat­ed announce­ment. See past Pan­tone Col­ors of the Year here. Shop Pan­tone books, swatch­es, & gift items here.

A seem­ing­ly nat­ur­al pro­gres­sion from Pan­tone Col­or of the Year 2017, Green­ery 15 – 0343, is Pan­tone Col­or of the Year 2018: Ultra Vio­let 18 – 3838. Green­ery was earthy, where­as Ultra Vio­let is ethereal.

Accord­ing to the spec­tac­u­lar webi­nar pre­sent­ed by Lau­rie Press­man, vice pres­i­dent of Pan­tone Col­or Insti­tute, announc­ing the Pan­tone Col­or of the Year 2018:

Complex & contemplative, Ultra Violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, & the discoveries beyond where we are now…

Provocative & thoughtful, Ultra Violet communicates the originality, ingenuity, & visionary thinking that creates a meaningful direction to our future…

From exploring new technologies & the greater galaxy, to artistic expression & spiritual reflection, intuitive Ultra Violet lights the way for what is yet to come.”

Accord­ing to Ms. Press­man, the Pan­tone Col­or of the Year is cho­sen not on a whim or by any­one’s “favorite col­or.” It is based on pop­u­lar trends among sev­er­al indus­tries — fash­ion, décor, auto­mo­tive, pack­ag­ing, adver­tis­ing & art — and deter­mined through inten­sive ana­lyza­tion & foresight.

Cosmos to Cauliflower

purple fruits & vegetables

While Pan­tone Ultra Vio­let con­jures spir­its, intrigue & the mys­ter­ies of the uni­verse, it also rep­re­sents health & well­ness. Accord­ing to experts such as Lak­sh­mi Van­dra­pu,  pro­tect your brain’s health with a diverse range of pro­duce from this col­or family:
Black cur­rants
Pur­ple sweet potatoes

I have seen oth­er fruits & veg­eta­bles in shades of pur­ple, such as cau­li­flower, aspara­gus & cab­bage. Cook­ies, ice cream & vod­ka too, but they’re not quite as healthy.

Purple Peanut Butter

I’ve nev­er cared much for grape jel­ly nor peanut but­ter & jel­ly sand­wich­es. But what real­ly grossed me out was when they mixed the two togeth­er in a sin­gle jar. One brand at least made it look some­what appeal­ing — lay­ers of pur­ple & brown, like a par­fait. But one cheapo gener­ic brand mixed it all togeth­er & the result was the most dis­gust­ing col­or for human con­sump­tion I’ve ever seen.

Would you eat this?

Maybe that’s why pur­ple has nev­er been my favorite col­or (same goes for brown). But that does­n’t mean I don’t design with it. When com­bined with oth­er col­ors — as a back­drop, the main sub­ject, or as an accent — it has brought to life con­cep­tu­al ren­der­ings, fol­lowed by final pro­duc­tion, that no oth­er col­or could have achieved. Pur­ples & vio­lets, which are made up of blue & red (or cyan & magen­ta) can be warm, cool, or neu­tral. Pan­tone Ultra Vio­let appears neutral.

Purple Trivia

Here are a few facts about pur­ple. Dis­cov­er lots more at sen​sa​tion​al​col​or​.com

  • Pur­ple was the col­or of the first dye made by man
  • Pur­ple is the col­or of the high­est denom­i­na­tion pok­er chip, $5,000
  • Pur­ple is the favorite col­or of ado­les­cent girls

Pantone Ultra Violet 18 – 3838

Inter­est­ing­ly, ultra vio­let light (not the col­or name) can­not be seen by the human eye. Also known as “black light,” it excites the phos­pho­rs in flu­o­res­cent paints & mate­ri­als, caus­ing them to glow in total dark­ness. Many fish & flow­ers have this prop­er­ty. But the light source itself is invisible.

Vis­i­ble or not, Ultra Vio­let is a super cool name for the Pan­tone Col­or of the Year 2018.

You’ll see many fas­ci­nat­ing appli­ca­tions, as well as inspir­ing col­or palettes, for Pan­tone Ultra Vio­let 18 – 3838 at the Pan­tone web­site.



118 Magical & MysticalPan­toneUl­tra Vio­let is pre­sent­ed as the amper­sand & text in Amper­Art #118 Mag­i­cal & Mys­ti­cal. Here are the specs for the Pan­tone 2017 Col­or of the Year:

Pan­tone Ultra Vio­let 18 – 3838
Graph­ics (clos­est match): Pan­tone 2096 C /​ RGB 101 78 163 /​ CMYK 76 75 0 0 /​ HEX 654EA3

The Fash­ion, Home & Inte­ri­ors Cot­ton & Plas­tic for­mu­las are slight­ly dif­fer­ent. See here.

Vis­it Pan​tone​.com for mag­i­cal & mys­ti­cal col­or insights.


chaz sez ...

Check out the new “chaz sez” blog at Des​i​moneDesign​.com, my com­mer­cial graph­ic design web­site. It’s most­ly about design, typog­ra­phy, print­ing, pub­lish­ing & mar­ket­ing, but on occa­sion I’ll divert to a side­ways top­ic that just can’t escape my rant­i­ng & raving.

Production notes for #118 Magical & Mystical:
Original size: 20x30 inches

Program: Adobe Photoshop
Fonts: Baker Signet, Benguait Charisma
Ampersand: Benguait Charisma
Produce: Lakschmi Vandrapu
Spec chart: Pantone   
Purple facts: Kate Smith, Sensational Color
You may repost the image. Please credit Amper​Art​.com.
To download a full-​size high-​resolution 11x17-​inch poster, click on the image.

For pro­fes­sion­al graph­ic design, please vis­it Des­i­mone Design.

Desimone? Damn good!