February 24, 2012


A couple weeks ago, a client working on a new show called and asked if I could put together a reel of some of my work that might be appropriate for the project. The show revolves around style-based topics, but the network the show is for still relies on the overly shiny/beveled style of on-air graphics, so I tried to focus on work that has a little more 'shine' or gloss than I would often use. I doubt I'll get that job, but I appreciated that instead of being asked for spec work, which I won't do, I was able to give them something that I could also use for my own self-promotion. I'm calling it my "gloss" update - it isn't a new official reel, but more of an update or addendum to the existing reel (which hasn't been updated since 2008 - still on the to do list). I gave a sneak preview via Twitter a couple days ago, which also was helpful in that it led me to go back to it a few more times and make some slight changes before posting it officially to the site. Its now officially posted, check it out on my recent work page:
  • jonberrydesign: recent work
  • February 23, 2012


    Last fall I made the plunge and got an annual passport to Disneyland. My friends Alan and Steve go pretty often, and a couple weeks ago I had a chance to play hookey and join them. Alan worked there many years ago, so he makes a good guide. I've learned the best unexpected bonus of being a passholder is that it takes away the pressure to try to fit everything in on that day's visit, so it makes for visits that are a lot more relaxed. Here are a few slivers here from along the way a couple weeks ago.

    February 15, 2012

    revisiting: saarinen

    As often happens, I'm at a loss for something new to post. Occasionally I've jumped back into the archives to revisit old posts when that happens. Since the blog seems to have a much higher readership now then a few years ago, and in an effort to keep updates regular, I'm going to start diving into the archives more often.

    Construction began on the Gateway Arch in St. Louis 45 years ago this week. Five years ago today, that, combined with the fact that I had been in St Louis for the World Series a few months before, led me to write a post about one of my favorite architects, Eero Saarinen. Along with the arch, Saarinen also designed Dulles Airport in Virginia, and one of my favorites: the TWA terminal at JFK airport. He also has two stunning works on the MIT Campus in Boston that I featured in the post below from 2010. You can read the full original posts here:
  • observed 2.15.07: terminal
  • observed 8.9.10: great spaces

  • update: for the record, I never forgot that the St Louis Arch was designed by Eero Saarinen (a RT on Twitter linking to this blog post was innocently but incorrectly attributed to me)

    February 14, 2012


    As long as we're back on the topic of Vegas, here are some more detail slivers from my week there in January. You can't go far without finding patterns of light or color. Maybe that's really more my favorite thing there instead of the fountains...hmmm. Luckily, I don't have to choose.

    February 13, 2012


    My favorite thing to see in Las Vegas is free. Now I'm no expert on Vegas, so any recommendation I make should be treated with the knowledge that there are probably a million things I've never seen or done there. That said, easily my favorite thing there is the Fountains at Bellagio. As many times as I've been, I've never gotten tired of them; I could sit and watch them all night. I could post videos, but that wouldn't do it justice, because the experience can't be captured in a camera. Bellagio's fountains are a massive water show choreographed to light and music. I'm surprised how few people know that there isn't just one show (wikipedia lists 32 songs, though I don't know how complete their list is.) I was really glad when I took my pal Curt to see them for the first time and the show happened to be the one set to "Con Te Partirò," easily my favorite of the ones that I have seen. Find a spot close to the speakers embedded in the lightposts and railings, especially if during a crowded time. The fountains run on the half hour starting at 3pm on weekdays and starting at Noon on weekends and holidays. From 7pm to Midnight, the shows are on the quarter hour. (The last show is actually at 11:55pm. Fountains are also scheduled to run every 15 minutes from 11a-2:30p on Sundays during the Bellagio's "Fountains Brunch".) If you haven't seen them, make a point to when in Vegas, and stick around for a few shows - some are far better than others. You don't be disappointed.

    February 10, 2012


    A friend of mine messaged me last night to let me know that he had seen a piece of my opening titles for Toddlers & Tiaras on ABC's Nightline the night before. The show has become so pervasive that it has become fun to see it pop up in unexpected places like there or Oprah or Jimmy Kimmel or who knows where else. Honestly, even after doing this for 20 years, there's always a little bit of joy in seeing your work on screen, and even more so when in an unexpected place or time. Aside from my work on NBC Olympics broadcasts, I would guess that the Toddlers & Tiaras open is probably one of my most seen pieces. I certainly never expected that. In fact, after the original project was completed, the show pilot sat on the shelf for almost a year without ever airing. I generally make a practice not to post work for clients until it has already first aired or published somewhere, but in this instance the producers gave me permission to go ahead and post it, since so much time had passed and the show ever airing was in question. Eventually it obviously did, but given that start, I don't think anyone expected it to take off the way it did. We've updated the open since its standard-definition original, and there's also another update on the way with the next season, but it's sorta fun now to see the original blog post back from when we thought it would never air:
  • jonberrydesign blog post from May 17, 2008: toddlers & tiaras
  • February 8, 2012


    Sorry about the blog silence. As Rick Perry would say: "oops." I guess the week in Vegas overwhelmed me, I think some conflict between spending so much of it working and then beating myself up for being in Vegas but not leaving the hotel room. That often happens when I travel, so you'd think I'd be used to it. Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy. Or maybe just a week in Vegas is really too long to be there. Anyway, I still felt pretty overwhelmed last week once back in LA, but at least on one of the first days back, I thought to do something I do surprisingly rarely: walk down to just sit by the beach. I hadn't even meant to, but happened to be there just during sunset. It was nice to sit with my own thoughts for a bit and watch the surfers. Some guy was fighting the wind to fly a kite. A stuffed rabbit lay abandoned on the nearby rocks where some kid must have lost him. It was a cold day, but a perfect sanity break that I needed. It was nice. I really should do that more often.