Escape from NY | Santa Fe, NM

Santa Fe courtyard


Some random pics from a recent trip to Santa Fe. The city is an artist’s and hiker’s mecca for viewing and for doing. We managed to do a little bit of both.



Canyon Road is only a half mile long. But I can see how it could take hours if not repeat visits to check out the hundred plus galleries that pack this artists colony.



Abiquiu and Ghost Ranch.



Frijoles Canyon in Bandelier National Monument. We all climbed into the cave rooms to see where the Ancestral Pueblo peeps used to hang out. Small and vertigo-inducing. That’s the look of fear on my face knowing that I’d have to come back down that ladder. Yikes almighty.



Home on the range.




Johnny the hot air balloon pilot slash cowboy taking us out on a ride on our last day. I was anticipating a weeeeeeee. But it turned out to be more of an aaaaaaaaaah. Nice.

Mary Maru

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Art | Maritime: 9.18.13





When Anthony and I were in Mystic earlier this month, we were planning on seeing old ships, eating some seafood and grabbing a slice of pizza. What we didn’t expect to find, especially at the seaport, was anything much in the way of fine arts or design. What a wonderful surprise to have found both in artist Laura Vila’s leaded glass works (from top to bottom): Chasing the Whale; Reading the Solar Azimuth; The Sounding Line; and Celestial Translations. Her leaded glass designs and the work of about a dozen other artists were on display as part of “Restoring a Past, Charting a Future: An Artistic Discovery of America’s Whaling Legacy by Dalvero Academy,” a collaboration between Mystic Seaport and artists from the New York-based academy. Awesome find.

Mary Maru

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Escape from NY | Mystic Seaport: 9.4.13


Never one to pass on a possible learning experience, I decided to take some of my ho-hum photos from this weekend’s getaway to Mystic Seaport and jazz them up in Photoshop—an exercise I rarely have the pleasure of enjoying since most of my Photoshop work involves simple cropping, adjusting light balance and the occasional application of gaussian blur. So after reframing these images and checking light balance, I got to work on the fun part.

In this first shot of the Emma C. Berry I adjusted the image from RGB to black and white and then added a berry colored elipse layer with 12 percent opacity on top.


For this image of three rowboats I applied the brushstrokes filter called crosshatch after making some adjustments to lightness and contrast with a visit to the levels panel and then using the curves tool.


I played with different gradient maps on the Nellie before settling on this warm orange, magenta and navy tritone. Wow, like so surreal, man.


And I’m sorry to say, for the life of me, I can not remember what I did to create this somewhat painterly effect on the lone rowboat. A bummer because of all the effects I used, this one’s hands down my favorite. No choice! I’ll have to spend some more time playing to figure out what I did.

All images were optimized for web as JPGs using the Save for Web & Devices feature in Photoshop at a setting of medium, high or very high depending on resulting quality and file size. And then dropped into ImageOptim for a final wringing out of any loose and unnecessary pixels.

Remember to do something fun this week!

Mary Maru

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Type Swipe | Font Sales: 8.29.13


If you love typography as much as I do and you love a good sale, I highly recommend you sign up for newsletters from Linotype, and FontShop.


Delivered straight to your inbox, you’ll receive notices of hot sale items that, I have to warn you right now, sell out within what seems like minutes sometimes. Okay, I’m sure it doesn’t happen quite that fast. But when you receive one of these sale announcements and it says you have 24 hours to be one of the first 500 people to buy, don’t believe for a minute that you actually have that much time. I’ve been shut out of a few sweet offers advertised in the wee hours New York time and my fellow designers have snatched up every last copy before I’ve even rolled out of bed. I mean, really guys. Is that playing nice?


See you at the type shop, my friends, and may the quickest typophile win!

Mary Maru

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Design Resource | HOW magazine: 8.22.13

HOW magazine September 2013 cover

Probably my favorite all-purpose design resource is HOW magazine. It’s nearly impossible to resist dropping everything I’m doing so I can devour an issue as soon as it arrives in my mailbox. The September 2013 issue is no exception.

Chock full of fantastic articles:

Work, Interrupted: How to Manage Time-Sucks—written for in-house designers but I picked up a few good tips here, too

9 Ways to Increase Profits—am still deep in the 1:1 service for time model but am looking for ideas that leverage new income streams and this feature was helpful

A 4-Step Guide to Content Marketing—looking forward to reading this later

Plus, the issue features winners of the Self-Promotion Design Annual—always a treat to see what other creatives are working on and what kind of ideas it might spark.

I also can’t tell you how much I love the cover design on this issue. Major kudos to Might & Main for the design and Adam Ladd for art direction. The studio is also a featured winner for Promotion & Marketing Design. You can see their amazing branding campaign and read all about their creative process in HOW’s September issue. Who says you can’t judge a book by its cover?

Mary Maru

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