Baby Goodness

It’s been a while since I’ve posted… I apologize. And it’s been even longer since I’ve put any new projects on my site. Not that I don’t have some fun stuff to share but I’ve been too busy with my clients to do a portfolio shoot and update my site. That… and I just took a week to escape to New York to visit my sister and her new twins! And, while I’m definitely not a professional photographer by any stretch of the imagination, I have been lucky enough to work with a few amazing ones that have definitely taught me a thing or two. So I present a few snaps that I am quite proud of… how can you not just fall in love with these folks?

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Another Addy for the Trophy Shelf!

Last night was the second year I’ve ever entered the Toledo Ad Club Addy Awards competition and I’m so thrilled to report that I walked home with another shiny decoration for the office.

Urban Farmer‘s branded environments was awarded a Silver Addy trophy. I’m so proud and even more motivated to make Urban Farmer Philadelphia amazing (and I’m neck-deep in their signage efforts now for a Fall 2015 debut).

Thanks, Ad Club Toledo! Thank you Dash Design for designing such a beautiful space for these graphics to live. And thanks to Urban Farmer and Sage Restaurant Group for being the type of client that makes it easy to do great work for!




























Teacher Appreciation Day

Over 20 years ago, a teacher walked into my high school study hall and literally changed the path of my life. Mr. Bentley chose myself and a handful of other students to help out with his Graphic Arts Studio. He told me that I would merely be helping out with a few printing and layout projects for the school and, in the process, get an easy A … this honor student was sold.

But what I got was so much more than a boost in my GPA. I fell crazy in love with the graphic arts and the Adobe (and Quark!) software suites. And that was just the tip of the iceberg.

Mr. Gerald “Jerry” Bentley was the kindest, most supportive and fatherly teacher you could imagine. Once when I asked him to write a letter of recommendation for my application to design school, he didn’t simply write of my design skills or work ethic. He closed the letter with a phrase I will never forget: “Melissa is the kind of young woman I would want my daughter to grow up to be like.” As a typical invincible and completely unsentimental high school kid, that phrase rocked my world that a teacher could and did write that about me. Sure, I had taken his class for a solid three years in a row at that point so he probably knew me pretty well, but he saw me in a light that I hadn’t even thought to imagine myself in yet. That single phrase that he typed out made me strive to be a better person every day — for him, for his daughter, and, of course, for myself so that I was worthy of that statement. And now that I have my own daughter, the power of his words have only magnified and I’m even more motivated to make him proud of my life and career.

So, thank you, Mr. Bentley, on Teacher Appreciation Day and every day for the rest of my life. I miss you, dearly.


Gerald A. Bentley
August 16, 1945  – December 16, 2013











Hello Betty Fish House — NOW OPEN!

So its finally come to be! Several different names and logo iterations and a year and a half from when I initially began design work and Hello Betty Fish House is finally open in Oceanside, California!!! Its such a pleasure to have such a long leadtime to really get in from the ground level with the Sage Restaurant Group team and the interior designer (Andrew Alford) and really create a dynamic restaurant. There are a few miscellaneous teeny details to wrap up in the next week or two but they’re open for business! I can’t wait to find myself in Oceanside someday soon so I can celebrate over a margarita and some fish tacos. Here’s a few quick sneaky snapshots of the pieces but the final (much nicer) photography with all of the rest of the deliverables will be posted on my website soon!






2014 Toledo Addy Awards

I’m so thrilled today to announce that I entered my first Toledo Ad Club Addy Awards competition this year AND I WON! The Toledo Opera and I are so proud of the work we created together and humbled by our awards! Both a Gold Addy and a coveted Judge’s Choice Award. Now its on to the Districts but I will never forget this amazing moment where I finally feel like I’m a part of the Toledo design community! THANK YOU SO MUCH TOLEDO ADVERTISING CLUB!

















All in the Details

Seriously — my designs knows no limits. Hand sewing bunting on 40 baby shower invitations today. Luckily this good friend is SO worth every stitch.



















The Viral Nursery

So my husband and I put a lot of effort, love and DIY time into our nursery for our little girl last summer. And now I keep seeing it pop up on Pinterest and other blogs. Its so exciting to know that all that hardwork paid off to a beautiful room and to have it truly appreciated.

It doesn’t, however, help friends’ and family members’ misconception that I’m an interior designer rather than a graphic designer… when folks hear designer, for some reason they just think I decorate houses oddly.

So far, Sylvia’s nursery has been displayed on:
Apartment Therapy
Target Baby’s pinterest page
and even Babyletto’s Top Ten Nurseries of 2013 (they credit the crib as being a Babyletto crib when it is absolutely not actually!)

























































































[BranD] magazine and the SLS South Beach

Issue 007 of the [BranD] magazine (primarily circulated through some parts of Europe and Asia) recently had an amazing and inspiring edition printed that focused on relaxation in terms of spas and hotels. Just flipping through the pages made me both relaxed yet invigorated to design and create! Luckily, one of the many spreads was actually focused specifically on my work for the SLS Hotel South Beach! What an honor to be included among so many of my design inspirations…




New Work: Blanc SF Teaser Website

In collaboration and creative direction from the talented Remy Allis of Allis Branding and Communications Consultancy in San Francisco, I’ve recently been working on designs for a fantastic new condominium construction in the heart of San Francisco (and consequently, only three blocks from where I used to live in 2000). I was lucky enough that she brought with her to the project an amazingly beautiful logo design that is just as inspiring as the neighborhood photography and, of course, the building itself.

As the final full website is in production with the programmer now, check out the sneak preview teaser website we’ve launched: Click to enlarge the photos, as that link will obviously be replaced by a different full website soon!