April 27, 2013

firing on all cylinders

If you haven't been to Disneyland in a while, one of the biggest new features is Cars Land, which opened last June at the Disney California Adventure Park. (I've heard that California Adventure attendance is now outpacing Disneyland Park thanks to the revamp.) The original concept for the area (as "Car Land") was to include cars from many Disney movies, but it eventually morphed into being more tightly themed around only the "Cars" movies, making it the first section in any Disney Park to be themed around a single movie franchise. Second to the Radiator Springs Racers attraction, one of the most impressive features of the area is Flo's V8 Cafe. Its exterior is a faithful recreation of the cafe in the movies, which in turn pulls from car culture and Googie architecture typical of Route 66. I haven't been inside, but apparently I'm missing out. The interior develops Flo's backstory further through several differently themed rooms. And though not similar in appearance, the menu and spirit for Flo's is said to have been inspired by the Midpoint Cafe in Midpoint, Texas, especially the pies. Still, the exterior alone is enough to love, especially the attention to detail. From the Tulsa Tea gas pumps to the neon that fires like spark plugs, its one of my favorite parts of California Adventure. For some great detail about the process and backstory of how Cars Land developed, check out this post:
  • Disneyland Gazette: Radiator Springs Reality
  • April 25, 2013

    happy accidents

    Just sharing a couple random slivers of recent and completely unrelated projects that haven't been made public yet - but both are examples of some really nice "accidents" that came from experimentation with shape and color layered and masked in multiple ways, creating some unexpected and beautiful results that I really love.

    April 16, 2013

    by the way...

    for anyone that hasn't noticed and may be getting these updates via subscription service or reader, the blog has a new home. And if you're reading this, you're not on it. I'm still posting updates here along with those on the new page as a transition period to make sure people catch the move - and will probably continue to do so until the end of the month. But be sure to change your bookmark or info or whatever you have if you'd like to keep following posts and join me on the blogs new home here:
  • the new home of the jonberrydesign blog
  • April 15, 2013

    revisiting: boston

    I wasn't expecting to do a "revisiting" again so soon, but it seemed fitting. Maybe I just wanted to see something other than those tv shots over and over. I've only been to Boston a couple times (as an adult), but thinking of Boston always makes me smile. I look forward to visiting again. Great city. Great people. Love that dirty water.

    April 14, 2013

    revisiting: paris

    I was flipping through my photo archives today and realized how many extra pics I have from past travels, events, and other things that never have been posted, so thought maybe I'd start an occasional series of "revisiting" posts. We'll start here with some extra pics from where I ended my last overseas travel and easily one of my favorite places: Paris.

    April 12, 2013

    net goal

    So you may have noticed I have a new website. Welcome. Its been quite a journey to make it finally happen. I built it using the Squarespace platform, but as a non-web designer, it was still quite a bit of work, and I learned more about all kinds of technical things I never knew about than I probably care to. You know, stuff like optimizing freshness lifetimes for cacheable resources in their metadata hosted by multiple sources. Yeah, fun. And then, once I finally had it ready and teased it being about to launch, it wouldn't. It took three weeks of arguing with Yahoo Small Business to get the site pointed to the right spot. We'll just call that the beta phase. Those were a lot of fun support calls to far off distant lands where they told you what was happening couldn't be. Finally after a public twitter war, it got fixed. Sorry to any of you who endured that phase. But at last, its alive. When you come to the site, it takes you straight to the work and what most viewers are probably looking for. And no more popups to view movies. The biggest change is that after 7 years, the blog is finally part of the same site and not just attached. There are also functional bonuses like all the content being searchable (both work and blog), as well as the blog archive and projects index. And little bonuses like social links and personal trivia. Hopefully quick and easy to get you what you want, but a little depth if you're really that curious or interested. So take a look around, kick the tires. If you run into any errors, let me know. (By the way, the 404 error page is one of my favorite details.) The blog still has a bit of work to go. I have to rebuild every post by hand - that's more than 1600 posts. All the info and pics are there, just formatted a little wonky on the older posts. Bear with me on that front. Thanks to everyone that helped along the way, especially to Trent Farr for the copywriting, Kelly Sims for figuring out a web code problem that no one else could, and all the random strangers on all sorts of web discussion boards who helped out with advice on all sorts of other issues.

    April 7, 2013


    I ran across the work of Dutch photographer Hans van der Meer a few weeks ago on twitter. His website features many collections of his work, a couple of them being his series "Dutch Fields" and "European Fields" that feature football (soccer) at play, but are much more about the space surrounding the play. A favorite collection of mine is called "Keepers" which seems to have evolved as a sidebar of the "Fields" projects. He writes about finding locations for his Fields project: "After finding a proper pitch I followed a game from my stepladder or some other slightly elevated position. In that fixed situation I waited with my Fuji 6x9 camera for the right moment in front of me, but half of the time the game would take place on the other side. The goalkeeper and me were left behind and I always found that image of a solitary goalkeeper very touching. I never could resist taking one. In German language they have this beautiful word for goalkeeper: Torwachter. He is keeping an eye on the gate, that open hole, that can look so vulnerable during the game when the goalkeeper has left it. All his mates have gone out playing, he has to stay there." I love how this series captures both that vulnerability and isolation of the goalkeeper, but also the sense of space and surroundings that his "Fields" series capture so beautifully. Check out the full collection here:
  • Hans van der Meer: Keepers
  • April 6, 2013

    in a jam

    My Dad is a big fan of Old Time music - a genre you may have never even heard of. Its a type of music common in Appalachia with roots in the British Isles that sounds a lot like bluegrass to the average person (like me) who doesn't know better. He and Mom go to lots of festivals and workshops, and one of Dad's favorite things to do is go to "jams" - which are just informal groups of people getting together to play music. He even occasionally hosts what have become known as "jimjams" at their cabin at the lake when the weather is warm. Dad's birthday was a couple weeks ago, so my sisters and Mom put together a surprise jam for him. They were going to a concert in Romney, WV Saturday evening, so they spread word to come meet at the community hall of a church nearby to jam for a few hours beforehand. When Dad got there, my sister Jayne texted so that everyone could start singing Happy Birthday. As Dad was walking in, he heard it, so he waited at the entrance because he didn't want to interrupt someones party! We were all sure Dad had clued into something going on by that point, but apparently he really had no idea. He said no one had ever had a party for him before. Since I couldn't make it there, I was really glad that one of their friends, Michael Hobert, sent these pics from the party. He was nice enough to let me share them here. When I talked to Dad on his birthday (a couple days after the party) it sounded like he had a really good time. Definitely looks like it. Happy Birthday, Dad!

    March 15, 2013

    signed, sealed

    A few random images from around town the last couple weeks. A couple of them were taken while my friends Norbert and Frank were here from Berlin; including the awesome neon sign at an Italian restaurant in Playa Del Rey. A couple others are from a brief visit with an old friend, Mike, and his wife, Cat, who happened to be in town from Virginia. We only had about an hour window where both of our schedules were open, so I met them in Redondo for a little walk by the seawall where the seals are (or maybe they were sea lions?). As long as I've lived here and as many times as I've biked right near it, I never knew Redondo had a sea wall. Or seals. Now I know.

    March 8, 2013


    I'll be the first to admit that I was late to the party when it came to creating a business page on Facebook for jonberrydesign. I'm a pretty big user of social media, so it wasn't a matter of not understanding its value. While Twitter reigns as a medium for sharing ideas and information and engaging with others, I saw Facebook as more effective for sharing occasional personal things with friends and family. Plus in the creative industry, your clients often are also friends, so for me, it seemed like my own personal page already covered the bases, and I didn't want to add a second page that only duplicated my regular page. But in building the new website (which is finally nearly ready to go live), some functionality aspects made it necessary have a separate business page for jonberrydesign. I started one quietly at the beginning of January. A few friends noticed and followed immediately, but I kept it fairly quiet to get a feel of how it should develop rather than announcing and then going silent, which you see so often. I started posting and testing. People came on board gradually, especially with a couple spikes when I called attention to the page (but let's be honest, it's always awkward to ask someone to "like" you.) Nevertheless, I quickly realized the network and viral value of posts from the biz page as compared to those on my personal page, especially the effect of people liking posts. Instead of just sharing among people you already know as a personal page is set up to be, a biz page reaches outward much more than I realized it would. I'm sure the page will evolve over time content-wise. I make an effort to be sure it isn't just "look at our latest work", because that isn't the point of social media. So expect other occasional design stuff by others worthy of notice, creatively or topically interesting stuff, or just random fun stuff thrown in every now and then. I often mention how Facebook and Twitter made blog updates harder, because things that would be content for posts here on the blog 5 years ago are now much more efficiently shared there with a quick post and link. Having the page will give that type of content an easier way to co-exist with the blog. So if you haven't already, check out the page, give it a 'like' and help play a role in how it develops. (and thanks!)
  • the jonberrydesign facebook page
  • March 7, 2013

    winter waves

    I've been feeling out of sorts lately for reasons I can't put a finger on, so I took a break to clear my head and decided to go check out the waves - one of those things I always say I really should do more often. It was cold for the beach and rain was threatening off in the distance, making an ominous purple sky at the horizon; but overhead, the clouds had a warm glow from the sun that occasionally peeked out. As often happens when a storm is near, the waves were especially big. And with the cold temperatures, there was hardly anyone at the beach except the surfers. They must love it when its their own private beach like that.