February 15, 2017

2017 Oscar bingo game: free printable for your Oscar party

2017 Oscar Bingo free party game

2017 Oscar bingo is ready for downloading! This is my 9th annual free printable Oscar party game.

Download the file:
2017 Oscar bingo game PDF

How the game works:
There are 20 different game cards in the printable PDF file. I take care to arrange each carefully by hand—the bingo cards aren’t randomly generated. I’m aiming to make a bingo not too easy but not too hard.

– Save the PDF to your computer
– Open it in Adobe Reader
– Print the number of pages you need at 100% size

The first person to mark off five squares in a line wins. It could be a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal line. There’s no freebie in the middle, so you’ve got your work cut out for you.

2017 Oscar bingo printable cards

Printing tip:
The 2017 Oscar bingo file is black and white so it’s easy to print on any printer. Use colored paper to make it more festive. I’ve used this metallic gold paper before. It works with laser printers and ballpoints or Sharpies.

Play Oscar bingo with friends:
At an actual Oscar party with in-person friends, give gift cards, movie candy, or mini champagne bottles as prizes. Or play with long-distance friends by text or tweet. (I’m @howaboutorange on Instagram and Twitter, #haobingo).

Fallibility disclaimer:
Like every year, my disclaimer applies: Someone might get a bingo ten minutes into the telecast, or maybe your group won’t have a winner at all because my psychic powers have failed this year. Don’t hate me if it goes awry.

Matching DIY decorations for your Oscar party:
I’ve put printables that match the 2017 bingo game in my Etsy shop. Posters, wine bottle labels, tent cards, cupcake and appetizer toppers, and more. Plus a matching Oscars ballot with point system. Get everything here. Have fun!


 To receive next year’s free bingo game by email, sign up here.


FILED UNDER: Amusements, Downloads

February 2, 2017

Oscar party decorations—plus free 2017 Oscar bingo coming soon!

Oscar party decorations: 2017 Oscars printables

If you’re planning an Oscars party this year, you might like some quick and easy printable decorations to make your Academy Awards shindig more festive. I’ve stocked my Etsy shop with printable PDF templates for Oscar party posters, place cards, beer and wine bottle labels, wine glass stem flags (so your drinks don’t get mixed up), napkin rings, and cupcake toppers. The set features this year’s nominated movies, actors, and actresses.

There’s also a printable 2017 Oscars ballot that matches this year’s free Oscar bingo game design. I’ve added points for categories to prevent ties and to reward you for guessing the hard categories correctly. Sound editing is underrated, so let’s give those folks some love.

2017 Oscar ballot printable PDF

As always, my 2017 Oscar bingo game will be free. It will be ready a week or two before the show on February 26 after more details about the ceremony and presenters are released. I’ll post it here, or if you’re not one of the thousands already on the mailing list, you can sign up to receive the PDF by email. There will be 20 different bingo cards like always.

Update: Ta da! Download 2017 Oscar bingo here.

Oscar bingo game by Jessica Jones

FILED UNDER: Amusements, Recent work

December 6, 2016

New holiday ribbon designs

Red black and blue Christmas ribbon

My latest designs for my client Renaissance Ribbons are now in stores. They requested holiday motifs, so I made poinsettias, deer in a forest, retro argyle, and some funny Santas with tiny feet. These are available by the yard or the spool for trimming holiday projects.

If you’re into embroidery, how about making a little yeti felt ornament stuffed with a bit of batting? He sports a ribbon scarf and would look cute on somebody’s Christmas tree. Download the free DIY pattern here.

felt yeti ornament pattern template

Pretty poinsettia jacquard ribbon

Retro Santa ribbon

Cute deer holiday ribbon design

FILED UNDER: Downloads, Recent work

October 18, 2016

2016 Presidential debate bingo game

Presidential third debate bingo

In honor of the third and final presidential debate on Wednesday, October 19, I’ve designed a printable bingo game. My annual Oscar bingo set is an ongoing tradition, but this special election year deserves a special edition. Do your civic duty and download the Presidential Debate Bingo PDF.

Print out the number of pages you need and play with friends in the comfort of your living room. Debate Bingo pairs nicely with The Federalist Cabernet. Suggested attire is a red sweater.

2016 presidential third debate bingo

FILED UNDER: Amusements, Downloads

September 26, 2016

Business hippos can be big fun

Hippo logo

Biz Hippo approached me for a logo for their outsourcing accounting firm: they serve entrepreneurs and small business owners, and they have a sense of humor.

So I created a range of options, from witty to more traditional. While shirt-and-tie hippo was a contender, calculator hippo was the final choice. The calculator buttons make a fun dot pattern for backgrounds and accents, and the green brand color suggests money and growth.

Hippo branding tote bag

FILED UNDER: Recent work

August 19, 2016

Flag design: a unique challenge

Refugee Nation Flag

You may have seen a new flag at the 2016 Summer Olympics: the flag of The Refugee Nation, a team of 10 athletes who fled their countries to avoid persecution, war, or violence. They represent the 60 million refugees currently scattered across the world. How do you design one flag to represent people from an array of countries and cultures? I’m in awe of this solution, created by Syrian artist and refugee Yara Said.

Besides the project’s need for universality, good flag design should obey five standard principles outlined by the North American Vexillological (flag design) Association.

  1. Keep it simple. The flag should be so simple that a child can draw it from memory.
  2. Use meaningful symbolism. The flag’s images, colors, or patterns should relate to what it symbolizes.
  3. Use two or three basic colors. Limit the number of colors on the flag to three which contrast well and come from the standard color set.
  4. No lettering or seals. Never use writing on any kind or an organization’s seal.
  5. Be distinctive or be related. Avoid duplicating other flags, but use similarities to show connections.

The brilliant solution by Yara Said: a flag based on a life jacket, worn by “those who crossed the sea in search of a new country.” While not every refugee crossed an ocean, it’s an image seared into the minds of those following the current refugee crisis and has an emotional impact that resonates around the world. And it checks off every flag design box. Fantastic.

Olympic Refugee Flag

Just for fun, I’ll post the flags of a few other nations. How well do they measure up to the requirements?

Good bad flag design examples

FILED UNDER: Design news

August 11, 2016

Manicures for a cause

Nail art inspiration

I’ve designed patterns for fabric, wallpaper, dishes, and ribbon, but fingernails are a first!

Recently I teamed up with Margaux Hufnagel, a consultant for Jamberry, to create a collection of nail wrap designs she could sell as a fundraiser. In 2014, at one year old, Margaux’s son James was diagnosed with a rare disease called Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood (AHC). Since then the family has worked hard to raise awareness of the disease and help fund medical research. Margaux’s latest idea: offer a limited-edition set of nail designs and donate proceeds to

 Typography manicure

If, like me, you hadn’t heard of Jamberry nail wraps before, here’s the info. Designs come on a sheet like a set of stickers. Each sheet will yield 2 or 3 manicures. You can put them on fingers or toes. To apply them, you choose a sticker that matches your nail size, cut it in half, heat it with a hairdryer or other heat source to make it more flexible (I used a candle; I like to live dangerously) and stick it on. Here’s a video showing the application. For other questions like removal and durability, see these FAQs.

Margaux’s “Jams for James” wraps are $19-$25 per set and can be ordered online using this form.

I like to think of it as making a donation to charity and getting free manicures as a bonus. A win for everyone!

Order here

Geometric nail art

Retro manicure

Geometric modern manicure

Jamberry NAS array

Follow Margaux (@Tentenjams) on Facebook or Instagram to see more wraps in action.

FILED UNDER: Recent work

July 6, 2016

Panther update: from feeble to fierce

Joseph Sears School logo

A project I completed recently was an update to The Joseph Sears School’s visual identity. Joseph Sears, located in Kenilworth, IL, has a long heritage of excellence but lacked a school logo for everyday use. The school seal, adopted in the 1920s, had been utilized for all school communications despite its formality and fine detail that made it difficult to reproduce and discern at small sizes. Electronic versions of the seal had become distorted and grainy.

We created a new school logo for common use that employs a traditional crest, Joseph Sears blue, and Kenilworth’s signature elm leaves. It conveys the prestige for which the school is known, yet it’s quicker to recognize at a glance and more distinctive than a seal—most round seals look pretty similar.

School seal before after

We cleaned up the antique seal and updated the typography to match the logo for a tighter identity. One-color and full-color versions are now available to the school for use exclusively on formal documents.

Mascot design before after

The school’s panther mascot was updated from a delicate line drawing to a more robust sports logo.

Panther mascot shirt

The new panther’s fierce, glowering stare inspires more confidence than the older thin sketch and completes a cohesive identity.

Check out more components of this branding project.

FILED UNDER: Before and after, Recent work

June 16, 2016

Spot gloss on a business card

Spot gloss business card

I had fun with the finish on business cards for Oak Fabrics, a delightful new fabric store coming soon to Chicago. We kept the typographic logo simple and added a subtle gloss varnish to Oak’s signature tree image in the background.

Update: Oak Fabrics is now open!

FILED UNDER: Recent work

February 16, 2016

2016 Oscar bingo and party printables

2016 Oscar bingo game

 To receive next year’s free bingo game by email, sign up here.

It’s that time again! My eighth annual FREE Oscar® bingo game is ready. Lounge on your couch and play it with friends to make the Academy Awards more fun. Bring on the tears, flubs, and stumbles! The Oscars ceremony is Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016.

Download the FREE file:
2016 Oscar bingo game PDF

How the game works:
There are 20 different game cards in the downloadable PDF file. I take care to arrange each card carefully; the bingo cards are not randomly generated. I’m aiming to make a bingo not too easy but not too hard.

– Save the PDF to your computer
– Open it in Adobe Reader
– Print the number of pages you need at 100% size

(Here’s the metallic gold paper I used. It works with laser printers and ballpoints or Sharpies.)

The first person to mark off five squares in a line wins. It could be a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal line. There’s no freebie in the middle, so you’ve got your work cut out for you.

Play with friends:
Give movie candy or gift card prizes to winners at your party, or play long distance with friends by text or tweet. (I’m @howaboutorange on Twitter and Instagram, #haobingo).

Fallibility disclaimer:
Like every year, my big disclaimer applies: Someone might get a bingo ten minutes into the telecast, or maybe your group won’t have a winner at all because my psychic powers have failed this year. Fingers crossed.

Printable Oscar party signs and posters

More printable goodies in my shop:
To make your viewing party extra glamorous, I’ve also designed a matching ballot and a pack of decorations, including posters, wine and beer labels, napkin rings, stemware flags, cupcake toppers, and more. Find all the goodies in my Etsy shop.


2016 Oscar ballot printable PDF
“OSCAR®” and “ACADEMY AWARDS®” are registered trademarks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

FILED UNDER: Amusements, Downloads

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