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.

FILED UNDER: Recent work

February 16, 2016

2016 Oscar bingo and party printables

2016 Oscar bingo game

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

January 8, 2016

Typography fabric names

Typography fabric by Jessica Jones

Several people have asked about the weird-looking words used in one of my latest fabric prints. Other conversations have revealed that not everyone has heard of the famous quick brown fox. So let me demystify the names of the fabrics in my new Typography collection for Cloud9 Fabrics.

In the land of typography, “specimens” are examples of typefaces in use. Specimens show text set in paragraphs and headlines to give a feel for the overall texture of a typeface and what the various characters look like. Here are lovely pages from some specimen books. I thought it would be funny to take “specimen” more literally and show hands daintily holding up individual characters as if to inspect them.

The classic Swiss typeface designed in 1957. This fabric is made with Helvetica, cut into pieces. Bet you can’t guess what phrase I chopped up.

Script typefaces are based on the connected lines in handwriting. This print says, “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” If you weren’t forced to type that sentence in typing class, you might not know it’s the classic pangram that uses every letter of the alphabet. It’s been around for a long time. My Helvetica print is also made from this phrase, though you’d never know it.

Lorem Ipsum
It’s the placeholder text that designers use in ads and brochures before we get actual copy from the client. Lorem Ipsum has been in use since the 16th century. It looks like Latin, but it’s nonsense. You can generate paragraphs of it in design software programs or on this website. This is inside-joke fabric. Designers snicker every time something appears in public that still has dummy text in it. Whoops, somebody forgot to switch out the copy.

I hope you know that those squiggly characters are called ampersands. If you didn’t, now you do.

Any single character—an individual letter, number, punctuation mark, or dingbat. For example, an “A” and an asterisk are both glyphs. In this fabric, “123” is not a glyph. It’s three glyphs, but that’s okay. Mostly I just like the word “glyph” and it reminds me of a movie scene that made me laugh really hard.

Wood Type
Once upon a time, before modern printing methods, letters were carved out of wood, arranged to form words, inked, and sheets of paper were pressed onto them. Prints often looked a little irregular or distressed. The characters in my fabric print are not distressed in the least, so Wood Type is sort of a misleading name. However, fabric designers have to name their prints something, and this print reminded me of that era when it was popular to use a crazy mix of different typefaces all at once. A time to which we’ve returned!

FILED UNDER: Recent work

January 5, 2016

Free bookmarks: download and print


My latest fabric collection for Cloud9 Fabrics, Typography, is now in stores. It’s covered with words and letters. Know what else is full of words and letters? Books. Maybe you need some printable bookmarks designed to match these prints. Just download the PDF, print on card stock, and trim out the bookmarks. If you’re an overachiever, you could laminate them, punch a hole, and make a tassel from embroidery floss. Download the file here.

FILED UNDER: Downloads

July 16, 2015

From the drawer of unused concepts

Logo design branding ideas

I was digging through old files and came across these logo concepts for a jewelry company. Every branding project generates several versions that aren’t selected, like these. Sometimes I can repurpose a good idea in a different job, but that doesn’t happen often since every project is so customized for a client’s unique needs. Most of the time the designs never see the light of day. So here’s your day in the sun, little logos. Enjoy it before you go back into storage.

FILED UNDER: Recent work

July 1, 2015

Work featured in 200 Best roundup

Luerzer's Archive packaging book

My packaging for Maverick Chocolate Co. is included among the work featured in the new Luerzer’s Archive 200 Best: Packaging Design Worldwide book. It’s 270 pages of gloriousness! Hat tip to the other designers; their stuff is amazing. I’m honored to be included.

FILED UNDER: Design news

June 22, 2015

Time Warp fabric in action

Jessica Jones Time Warp bark cloth fabric

It’s been lots of fun seeing what people are making with my bark cloth fabric collection designed for Cloud9 Fabrics, a manufacturer of textiles for the home sewing market. This line is called Time Warp, and the retro, midcentury-themed prints are inspiring some very cool dresses, bags, and upholstery. Find it online or at a store near you.

Follow the links to see more pics of these projects: Dress by A Million Dresses; Chair by J Caroline, Tote by Anna Graham (she links to a free tutorial), Dress and bag by Grandma G, Dress by Emily G Clothing.

FILED UNDER: Recent work

April 24, 2015

A short interview

Terry’s Fabrics, a UK home furnishings retailer, has posted a quick little interview with me. To see thoughts from others, check out their entire Designer Insights series.


Courtesy of: Terrys Fabrics

FILED UNDER: Philosophy

February 20, 2015

Big typographic wall art tutorial

DIY typography wall art

I’ve been waiting to find something wonderful to hang on the empty chimney wall in our office. I finally got tired of searching and painted a DIY placeholder. It will do the job until I either win the lottery or find an affordable, huge… something. After posting a photo on Facebook, I had requests for a tutorial, so here’s how to make your own “wonderful” typographic wall art.

You will need:
A 30″ x 40″ canvas or other surface to paint on
Graphite transfer paper
Ballpoint pen
This downloadable template:

Tiled version (Sixteen 8.5″ x 11″ pages with 0.75″ overlap) OR
– Single page version (30″ x 40″ if you can print this big!)

(Do not use file for commercial purposes or financial gain; personal wall beautifying only.)

What to do:

1) Print out the template PDF at 100% size.

2) Tape the sheets together to form one large template.


Graphic tracing paper

3) Trace letters onto a canvas using graphite tracing paper placed under your template. Drawing the lines with a pen and ruler will help you keep track of where you’ve traced and keep your lines straight. Taping the papers to the canvas will help keep the design from shifting.

Trace the outlines

4) After tracing, go back and beef up any hard-to-see areas. It’s no fun painting when you can’t see your lines!

5) Paint the design in your favorite colors. I’ve used both artist acrylics and latex house paint with good results on canvas. Depending on the quality of your paint, you may need two coats to get perfect, even coverage.

How to make typographic wall art

6) Hang your wonderful masterpiece.

Typographic wall art tutorial

Typographic wall art tutorial

FILED UNDER: Downloads, Tips

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