Entries Tagged as 'design'

Our 2014 Calendar Revealed: Dogs, Cats and Beautiful Type

Posted on: Saturday, November 30, 2013

: from the Design Lab :

Our 2014 Lessons from the Water Bowl calendar is a project we poured our heart and soul into, from photographing amazing dogs and cats, curating the perfect images, pairing them with a heartfelt message penned by us, laying out that message with gorgeous typography from our very own type nerd Nat and finally designing the layout and look of the calendar before handing it off to a wonderful printer.

It is our hope that these works bring you joy day to day and remind you each month to live life fully and well, the way our companion animals do.

Our calendar is currently being printed and ready for pre-order in limited quantities and will be ready to ship after December 6th. To get your calendar, and other great goods such as prints form 2013 Lessons from the Waterbowl in time for the holidays, please shop HERE.

And now, it is my great pleasure, to unveil a closer look at our 2014 Lessons from the Water Bowl :)
**All photography and text ©Photo Lab Pet Photography. All Rights Reserved. Pin and Share if you like, but please be kind and give credit. Thank you!**

The calendar measures 11x17 inches, carefully printed on great quality FSC Certified paper.

The calendar measures 11×17 inches, carefully printed on great quality FSC Certified paper. Please note: Individual images below, with exception of the cover, are watermarked for their protection with our Lessons from the Water Bowl stamp, but the printed calendar itself will only have the lesson on it, as shown above.

Read More >

Lessons from the Water Bowl 2014 : Shop Small on Black LAB Friday

Posted on: Thursday, November 28, 2013

: from the Labs :


Well, you wrote us, you called us and you made it happen. We created a new Lessons from the Water Bowl calendar for 2014, and it is all because of you! This year however, we decided to design it and print it from scratch, something we weren’t able to do last year; and I must say, it has been an incredible labor of love and I cannot wait to share it with you.

We gathered 13 of our favorite photographs from different photo sessions we have had this year, we had a lot more than 13, and it was hard to let go of some, but we feel confident the final 13 will bring a little joy and light to each month.
This year, we wanted to include cats too, since they have just as much to teach us as dogs do. I had great fun brainstorming, writing and designing the typographical layout of each lesson paired with each image. A lot of heart and hard work went into this project and there was only one printer we felt we could trust with bringing our “baby” to life; the amazing folks at Mingo Press.

Here’s a little sneak peek:

Read More >

Arts & Eats: The Mission, Good Food and Art for a Great Cause

Posted on: Tuesday, October 22, 2013

from the Design Lab

Some design projects take a while to bake, and that is ok. It is more important to get it right than to get it out. That is what I tell our clients, and more often than not, they believe me and the end result is well worth the wait.
Yesterday, a project we have been working on for Creative Rescue and Creativity Explored came out of the oven and we got our first taste of its printed goodness. It is a project we deeply cared about and could not be happier to see it out in the world.

Susan Kay and Teri Hauswirth of animal rescue organization Creative Rescue approached us back in June about designing a cookbook for them. The cookbook would be a non-profit project benefiting both Creative Rescue and Creativity Explored, an organization that provides people with developmental disabilities the opportunity to pursue livelihoods as visual artists. Located in San Francisco’s Mission district, Creativity Explored has been doing this valuable work for the past 30 years.

The cookbook itself was a very fun challenge. We had to blend an easy-to follow recipe book with an art book and design it to stand on its own, much like an easel desk calendar. On one side, beautiful, bright and at times quirky art from the Creativity Explored archive or artists would be featured; the other side would feature a recipe and a little blurb about one of the 25 favorite Mission district restaurants, who generously donated their contribution.

Arts & Eats, as the book would be named, is now available for purchase through Omnivore Books, Creativity Explored or Creative Rescue. Get your copy today, have a go at some of the best recipes from the treasured Mission district and support two great non-profits.

Food, art and good will… what a great way to welcome the season of Gratitude.

More about the book:

from Creative Rescue

from SF Weekly

from SFist

Arts & Eats book cover

Read More >

Celebrate your Soul Mate with Design Lab and blanket ID

Posted on: Wednesday, April 17, 2013

from the Design Lab

We are so excited to be able to share with you something we have been incredibly excited about. We have joined blanket ID‘s Donation by Design program!

Read More >

Promise to My Dog is now a beautiful T-Shirt!

Posted on: Friday, April 5, 2013

from the Design Lab

If you follow our blog and Photo Lab Facebook page or Instagram feed (@the_labs), you are surely familiar with our little pack of dogs and cats; in which case you’d be familiar with our special girl Willow, our recently adopted Shepherd/Kelpie mutt. On Willow’s adoption day and while really thinking about having her go from “foster” to “forever” dog, I was inspired to write her a little promise and wrote  blog post about it; you can read that HERE.
I guess it must have struck a chord with my fellow dog lovers, because the post and the image of Willow with her written promise that accompanied it, went viral.

I am truly delighted to see how many people share our feelings for Willow, for their own dogs; and honestly humbled that something I wrote could touch so many. Our blog post somehow came across Dog is Good and shortly after, they contacted us about possibly making it a t-shirt. We were delighted to lend our work, and a piece that is so personal and meaningful to us, to such a great company and group of people. The best part? This t-shirt will hopefully do good for other dogs just like Willow, in shelters and rescues waiting for a family of their own. Dog is Good is working out details so that a portion of the proceeds of this shirt will benefit the shelter and rescue world.

That just fills me with glee, for there is nothing we find more rewarding in our line of work than to be able to give back.

Read More >

April Desktop: Calligraphy

Posted on: Monday, April 1, 2013

from  the Design Lab

It’s month number four in 2013’s calendar series! This past Christmas, my amazing husband and business partner Bill gave me a gift certificate to one of Maybelle Imasa’s Calligraphy workshops. We actually had the pleasure of meeting Maybelle at a holiday pop-up shop at Olive-Route Press. It was a true candy land of hand-made, gorgeous goods. Needless to say, I was thrilled with my gift, and I took my workshop a couple of weeks ago. I instantly fell in love with the sound of the fountain pen and the smell of ink, and found it easier than I thought it would be! Maybelle encourages to make your letters your own, and to embrace and own their little quirks and imperfections. She is a wonderful teacher, and I highly encourage you to sign up today! Please visit her site HERE.

To practice my new-found calligraphy love, I am writing you a simple little message. I know I have needed this word a lot lately. I hope it gives you a little reminder to take a few seconds to yourself, and renew.

I hope you enjoy this series and that you share our Design Lab Facebook page (where the download link will be available each month) with others.

To download your free desktop, click HERE :)

March Desktop: Springtime Music

Posted on: Monday, March 4, 2013

from  the Design Lab

It’s month number three in 2013’s calendar series! Springtime is a special time of year for me; true, it is my brithday month, but as life begins to wake up from the slumber of winter and everything looks and feels so fresh again I start to crave sunlight after a rainy day and that incredible scent of dew, grass and damp earth. This month’s desktop comes with a soundtrack, one of my favorite Led Zeppelin songs, an obscure one at that but I have always loved the lyrics, which inspired this spread from my sketchbook.

I hope you enjoy this series and that you share our Design Lab Facebook page (where the download link will be available each month) with others.

To download your free desktop, click HERE :)

Ask First! A Retrotastic Campaign Poster for Dogs in Need of Space

Posted on: Monday, February 4, 2013

from the Design Lab

Many of us have been there, whether we have friendly dogs who love everyone or we have dogs that are not so sure about new people or other dogs, chances are, we have all had a moment or two during a walk or a hike when an encounter leaves our hearts beating a little faster.
I happen to have both: a dog who loves everyone and a dog who loves dogs, but is afraid of people. Regardless, as their person, it is my responsibility to protect them from anything that might harm them or another person or dog.

I was thrilled when the lovely mastermind behind the popular DINOS: Dogs in Need of Space movement, Jessica Dolce contacted us to collaborate on a new project (we had previously worked together on creating a logo, brand and product line for DINOS). Ask First! is a public service announcement campaign to illustrate and bring attention to the importance of being responsible, respectful and safe when out enjoying the outdoors with our four-legged friends.

To read about the campaign, and why it is important to give people and dogs space, please visit her blog HERE. You can also go to her shop from there and download the poster for free or purchase stickers and lots of other goodies.


When Jess and I first sat down to draw some concepts for the poster, two things were at the top of our list: the need for the message to be clear and a love of all things vintage and retro.

So we got to work. Jess wrote all the copy she wanted in the poster and gave me a scenario to start from: two people with dogs cross paths, one dog is very friendly and eager to meet the other, pulling on his leash and directly approaching th other dog. The other dog in question is a DINOS, a dog in need of space, he may be afraid of other dogs or people, he may be in training, he may be in recovery etc. The DINOS dog depends on his person for protection, and so the person pleads with the other to keep a distance from them, with a raised arm and a universal “stop” hand sign.

We drew inspiration mainly from vintage style travel posters like the ones beautifully produced by Anderson Design Group. One of our favorites, being this one for Glacier National Park.

With simple shapes, playing with depth, light and shadow, we were able to create a similar style. Drawing people is no easy feat, especially in a case like this, where a message is being delivered, with a need to appeal to a wide audience, to educate without preaching and to avoid offending anyone.
Why are the people faceless? We thought it appropriate to match the style of the poster, but also, so that we could all put ourselves in that scenario. I’ve been the girl with the friendly dog (more on that below) but I have also been the guy with the DINOS dog.


Inside Look: To get just the right angle of bodies and movement, we took photographs of a girl and a dog very eager to get somewhere and a guy raising his hand in “stop” with his dog by his side, looking up at him. Here’s the kicker, the girl and the brown dog is yours truly (if you know me, my bangs are a dead giveaway) and the brown dog is none other than the Design Lab himself, Corbin, with a different coat color. The guy happens to be Bill (the other half of our team) and the little Beagle by his side, was originally modeled by our own DINOS dog Willow, a Shepherd-Kelpie mix that underwent a serious transformation.

We are thrilled to be a small part of this movement, and hope ti will bring awareness and improve safety and relations for dog lovers everywhere. Thanks to Jess and DINOS for always making collaborations so much fun!

February’s Desktop: Hand-Made with Love

Posted on: Friday, February 1, 2013

from  the Design Lab

It’s month number two in 2013’s calendar series, and I’ve been drawing a lot of letters in my sketchbook lately for a branding project I am working on. I drew 4 more letters to share with you, after all, this fur-letter word is what February is all about right? I hope you enjoy this series and that you share our Design Lab Facebook page (where the download link will be available each month) with others.

To download your free desktop calendar, click HERE.

Thank you!! :)

Three LOVEly New Products from Design Lab

Posted on: Thursday, January 17, 2013

from the Design Lab

If you are anything like me, you are probably feeling January flying by! Before we know it, Valentine’s Day is around the corner and we have yet to figure out what “little something” to get for our loved ones.

Fear not, your loyal Design Lab is here to help with not one, not two, but THREE awesome little designs for you to spread the love with this Valentine’s Day.

Each of these designs is available as a folded greeting card in 2 sizes as well as a postcard format for those of us wanting to save an envelope. Our good friends at RedBubble not only have the most gorgeous, high quality printing stock but also make shopping super easy.

Lessons from the Water Bowl: Never Be Afraid to Show Love
One of the favorites from the series (and featured in our calendar) is sure to bring a smile to anyone who receives it.


All You Need is PUPPY Love
Jack, a French Bulldog from one of our first illustrations for our Critter~a~Month series makes for a very sweet Valentine’s Day greeting.


A Great Love Deserves a Great Love Song
This piece was created last year as part of our DeskType Wallpaper series. It was so popular as a desktop wallpaper calendar we thought we’d offer it as a lovely new greeting card.

Get your Valentine’s card shopping done early from the comfort of your own home. Click HERE to visit the Design Lab RedBubble shop today!


Theme by Blogmilk   Coded by Brandi Bernoskie