#182 Ugly & Tacky

#182 Ugly & Tacky
#182 Ugly & Tacky
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.

Not just ugly sweaters…

If you’re going to go all out with tack­i­ness this Christ­mas, besides the ugly sweater you can wear match­ing paja­mas & out­ra­geous slip­pers, too.

Not just for humans, either

T Rex wearing Ugly Christmas Sweater

Every­one wants to get into the act. Dogs, cats, even dinosaurs. This ani­ma­tron­ic T‑Rex got into the Christ­mas spir­it at the Nat­ur­al His­to­ry Muse­um in Lon­don. See full size pho­to & read the arti­cle by Maria Cramer in the New York Times. Image: Trustees of the Nat­ur­al His­to­ry Muse­um, London

Who started this tradition, anyway?

The fol­low­ing facts are excerpt­ed from these inter­est­ing arti­cles:
Christ­mas sweaters have been around a long time, but they haven’t always been ugly
The first “offi­cial” Ugly Sweater Day was in 2002 to raise mon­ey for a friend’s can­cer treatment

Ugly sweaters have been around for as fash­ion itself. They weren’t always made pur­pose­ful­ly — maybe some­one made a mis­take in their knit­ting or something. 

Mass mar­ket ugly sweaters made their pur­pose­ful debut in the 80s. Bill Huxtable (Bill Cos­by) made them pop­u­lar on The Cos­by Show, then Clark Gris­wold (Chevy Chase) added his own twist in 1989 with Nation­al Lampoon’s Christ­mas Vaca­tion.

Ugly sweaters went out in the 1990s until two men from Van­cou­ver threw the first offi­cial tacky hol­i­day sweater par­ty to raise mon­ey for their friend’s can­cer treat­ment. The rest is his­to­ry, spread­ing far & wide like an ugly (but fun) fash­ion statement. 

There’s a National Ugly Sweater Day (of course)

Every third Fri­day of Decem­ber (Decem­ber 17), peo­ple dress ugly & tacky on Nation­al Ugly Sweater Day. Read the his­to­ry of this day at nation​al​to​day​.com as well as details about these statistics:

23% of peo­ple will buy an ugly sweater

9% of peo­ple have celebrated

Ugly​christ​mass​weaters​.com made $5 million

& even an Ugly Christmas Sweater store

Grand­ma won’t make an ugly sweater for you? Take a cyber sleigh ride to


for your own per­son­al­ized, cus­tom, or off the ugly rack sweater. Be the most unfash­ion­able guest at your next Ugly Sweater Christ­mas Party.

Sweaters may be ugly & tacky, but may your holidays be classy & happy

Production notes for #182 Ugly & Tacky:
Original size: 20x30 inches
Program: Adobe Illustrator
Text: Chaz just took up knitting
Ampersand: Berlin Sans (shape model for artwork)
Illustrations: deposit​pho​tos​.com (modified)
T. Rex photo: Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London
Other credits as noted
Note: &” replaces “and” in most or all text, including quotations, headlines & titles.
You may repost the image & article. Please credit Amper​Art​.com.
To download a full-​size high-​resolution 11x17-​inch poster suitable for printing & framing, click on the image.

Chaz DeS­i­mone is the cre­ator of Amper­Art and own­er of Des­i­mone Design. He was adding ser­ifs to let­ters when he was just a lit­tle brat scrib­bling on walls. Now he’s a big brat and his entire career is design, so long as each project requires the most sophis­ti­cat­ed, log­i­cal, cap­ti­vat­ing results. Con­tact him at chaz@​desimonedesign.​com to dis­cuss your project, pick his brain, or just talk shop.

Chaz sez...

Who banned the ampersand?

Whoever thought up the syntax for Universal Resource Locators (URLs) was 100% coder & 0% copywriter. No foresight whatsoever. We can’t even use common punctuation in a URL except for the hyphen & underscore. It sure makes all the AmperArt URLs ugly & hard to understand—no ampersands allowed!
This is just one of the rants on my blog, chaz sez.
Rants & raves mostly about design, sometimes about the universe.
An occasional bit of useful advice.
Read the blog:

Desimone Design
Desimone Design

#85 Hymns & Carols

Click image to view full size or download poster.
85 Hymns & Carols
 #85 Hymns & Carols
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.




Production notes for #85 Hymns & Carols:
Original size: 20x30 inches

Program: Adobe Photoshop
Font: Old English
Ampersand: Montage by Chaz DeSimone
Credit: Candle image Graph​ic​Stock​.com
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!

#70 Candy Canes & Silver Lanes

70 Candy Canes & Silver Lanes

#70 Candy Canes & Silver Lanes
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.

Do you recognize these lyrics?

I bor­rowed a few words for Amper­Art #70 Can­dy Canes & Sil­ver Lanes from this song that was pop­u­lar when I was grow­ing up:

It’s Begin­ning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
by Mered­ith Willson

It’s begin­ning to look a lot like Christmas
Ev’ry­where you go;
Take a look in the five & ten glis­ten­ing once again
With can­dy canes & sil­ver lanes aglow.

It’s begin­ning to look a lot like Christmas
Toys in ev’ry store
But the pret­ti­est sight to see is the hol­ly that will be
On your own front door.

A pair of hopa­long boots & a pis­tol that shoots
Is the wish of Bar­ney & Ben;
Dolls that will talk & will go for a walk
Is the hope of Jan­ice & Jen;
& Mom & Dad can hard­ly wait for school to start again.

It’s begin­ning to look a lot like Christmas
Ev’ry­where you go;
There’s a tree in the Grand Hotel, one in the park as well,
The stur­dy kind that does­n’t mind the snow.

It’s begin­ning to look a lot like Christmas;
Soon the bells will start,
& the thing that will make them ring is the car­ol that you sing
Right with­in your heart.

Song from 1951

It’s Begin­ning to Look a Lot Like Christ­mas”  was writ­ten in 1951 (the year this Amper­Artist was born) by Mered­ith Will­son. The song was orig­i­nal­ly titled “It’s Begin­ning to Look Like Christ­mas”. It has been record­ed by many artists, but was a hit for Per­ry Como & The Fontane Sis­ters with Mitchell Ayres & His Orches­tra on Sep­tem­ber 10, 1951, & released on RCA Vic­tor as a 45 & a 78 (kids, you know what that means? —no, it’s not pix­els per inch). Bing Cros­by record­ed a ver­sion on Octo­ber 1, 1951, which was also wide­ly played. —from Wikipedia

Although I’m glad I found a song with the lyrics Can­dy Canes & Sil­ver Lanes in the first stan­za, I like the mid­dle part best where the melody changes, play­ful­ly & humor­ous­ly describ­ing how the hol­i­day affects the kids & parents.

Origin of the Candy Cane

Accord­ing to folk­lore, in 1670, in Cologne, Ger­many, the choir­mas­ter at Cologne Cathe­dral, wish­ing to rem­e­dy the noise caused by chil­dren in his church on Christ­mas Eve, asked a local can­dy mak­er for some sweet sticks for them. He asked the can­dy mak­er to add a crook to the top of each stick, which would help chil­dren remem­ber the shep­herds who paid vis­it to infant Jesus. —adapt­ed from Wikipedia; full sto­ry here


It’s Begin­ning to Look a Lot Like Christ­mas” vivid­ly describes the Christ­mases I remem­ber as a kid: the can­dy canes & sil­ver lanes (I think that’s describ­ing the sil­ver gar­land dec­o­rat­ing store aisles), the five-&-ten (we called it a dime store & they actu­al­ly had lots of stuff for a dime, a nick­el, even pen­ny can­dy. Dun­can’s was very con­ve­nient­ly locat­ed on our path to and from school.)

Christ­mas to me used to shim­mer with lots of sil­ver: the tin­sel which my moth­er so care­ful­ly placed onxmas cookie silver balls the tree; the shiny lit­tle round non­pareils on the Christ­mas cook­ies that she baked (a dec­o­ra­tion that was always spe­cial to me, but they’ve been dis­con­tin­ued due to the ingre­di­ents — fun­ny, no one’s dead that I know of from eat­ing them); and of course, the alu­minum Christ­mas trees pop­u­lar in the 1960s, with their mag­i­cal col­or wheels. Yes, we had one, as well as white flocked, pink sprayed, & then plain ol’ arti­fi­cial green through­out the years. The year we went back to a real tree some­how felt more like Christ­mas again.

Mer­ry Christ­mas to you, my Amper­Art Subscriber.

Read More