Stuff that makes daddy look good. Or stuff he designed.
I’d said I was taking a break from theme weeks, but after I did Martian Manhunter last Monday, I caved and decided to do ALIEN WEEK! In brainstorming, I found that while DC is teeming with beings from other planets, there are significantly fewer in the Marvel universe. At least ones that my son would know. In the DCU, on the other hand, its brightest and best—Superman—is an alien among aliens. Add in all his cousins, pets and villains, the Hawks, Starfire from the Titans, all of Apokolips and the New Gods, the Green Lantern Corps, plus the entire Legion of Superheroes, and you’ve got yourself a full-scale invasion. Enjoy this collection of alien doodles, I hope you will!
WEEK 29: Feb 24 – Feb 28, 2014
My only regret about these early weeks of SuperLunchNotes was the bad lighting and soft focus filter I put on them. What is this, Prince of Tides?
WEEK 3: Aug 26 – Aug 30, 2013
Spring is starting to slowly creep its way into the world again. And while I’m greeting the end of winter with open arms, I dread the invasion of insects that follows close behind… Welcome to BUG WEEK!
WEEK 28: Feb 17 – Feb 21, 2014
I know I said I’d post a week’s worth of SuperLunchNotes the Monday after, but it’s Valentine’s Day and Papa has been out of town for a few days and won’t get back until late tonight and we’ve had a couple of snow days and I’m going nuts and need to spread some cheer.
WEEK 27: Feb 10 – Feb 14, 2014
I was thinking I’d probably save Monster Week for Halloween, but that’s a long way away, and JJ had rediscovered the cheesy late-70s Godzilla cartoons on Hulu. I say “rediscovered” because he’d devoured them all about a year earlier when they were on Netflix. If you’ve never seen it, at the very least you need to check out the epic theme song. At that age it must be fun for everything to be brand new about every six months!
There were a bevvy of monsters to choose from, so I’m sure I’ll be able to do a sequel down the road with Mssrs. Cookie, Grouch and Sully, among others. However, I draw the line at Godzooky. What a tool.
WEEK 26: Feb 3 – Feb 7, 2014
Thus starteth my attempt to bring my SuperLunchNotes to the bloggety-blog on the regular. My plan is to post twice a week — an older batch and the most recent week — until I’m caught up. And then probably just post the previous week every Monday. Or not — I’m open to suggestions!
And if none of this is remotely interesting to you (it barely is to me), then just please come visit Designer Daddy often to look at the pretty superhero doodles. Cool?
WEEK 1: Aug 12 – Aug 16, 2013
Of all the fellow designer dads I’ve interviewed,* Khoi Vinh is the one I’ve known the longest. We were together in the DC design trenches early in our careers, building up our portfolios and burning lots of midnight oil. While I can’t think of a designer whose style (and personality) is more different than mine, I’ve always respected and admired him and his work. As we’re both now dads of preschoolers, we finally have something more in common. Except that he also has twins, so I obviously have some catching up to do. I settled for catching up through this Q&A.
Q&A with designer dad Khoi Vinh
Tell me briefly about your design career: how long in the industry, what kinds of clients you have and/or work you specialize in.
I graduated from art school in 1993 with an illustration degree but have done some kind of design ever since. Jeebus. Twenty years. I started out in print media and switched to digital media in 1998.
DD note: Khoi’s being coy (sorry, had to do it) and leaving out lots of details. He was the design director for NYTimes.com from 2006-2010, created a photo collage app, is a published author, and has been blogging for over a decade at Subtraction.com. In 2011, Fast Company named him one of “The 50 Most Influential Designers in America.” Coy, indeed.
For one reason or another, this post kept getting pushed back further and further down my “to do” list. JJ transitioned from Room v1.0 (crib) to 2.0 (big boy bed) well over a year ago, but as with most things these days, once a milestone is reached, it fades quickly into the distance as he races onto the next.
But lately it feels like he’s trying to outrun his cuddliness phase even faster than usual. I look around his room (and the rest of the house) and see signs of his little body and little mind bursting at the seams — puzzles scattered over every spare inch of floor, several pairs of shoes and stacks of shirts ready for the basement as they no longer fit, a dusty booster seat we only use for “motivation” when he can’t sit still for a meal.
So before he starts redecorating his room on his own (either with robot stickers or a framed high school diploma) I thought I’d document JJ’s Room v2.0.
Pre-transition: I snapped this photo of his last night in the crib. Clearly he’d outgrown it — and this doesn’t even show the oft-seen image of one of JJ’s feet shoved calf-deep through the bars.
Still, I was going to miss this little cage of cuteness as it represented not just a great way to contain protect him, but also a big step away from babydom.
2013 was a pretty monumental year, both personally and blogally(?). So for all of the awesome, new readers I’ve met recently — as well as longtime loyalists — here’s a recap of my favorite posts from the last 12 months!
I want to preface by saying that I find articles titled “An open letter to…” a bit pompous and self-important. So with that, please enjoy this pompous, self-important open letter to the makers of holiday photo cards — in particular the four companies (un)fortunate enough to have me on their mailing lists.
One of my favorite and longest-running holiday traditions is designing our family’s holiday card. I first created a card for Papa and myself in 2001, and haven’t skipped a year since. With the onset of daddyhood, a requisite family photo has been incorporated into now dominates the design
. However, a couple of years ago, I was forced to use <gasp!> an online photo card company. I was not a happy Designer Daddy. It’s like if Santa had to send all the presents FedEx. This was due to restrictions set by the photographer we used, yet it ended up being a relatively pleasant experience, even if I couldn’t claim it as an original DD creation.
As this year has had an above-normal level of stress, it crossed my mind to save some time and sanity and browse the photo card catalogs we’d received. Whenever I came across a layout I liked, I tried to picture our goofy mugs in place of the picture perfect families smiling back at me. But as I turned page after page after page, I found myself growing disheartened, searching in vain for a photo of a two dad or two mom family. I guess it shouldn’t be surprising, considering very few companies of any kind feature same-sex couples or LGBT parents in their marketing or advertising. Even the ones that are historically inclusive rarely show gays or lesbians outside of LGBT publications or broadcasts.
So I did a little experiment. I went back and scoured each of the catalogs I’d gotten, tallying up the families, couples and kids featured in all their glowing, photogenic glory, in order to get some concrete(ish) information. While I was at it, I also took a look at how people of color were represented.