Posts in Typography

High Tide Fashion Show

Awesome Okanagan recently paired with CREAM Salons to board the high seas* (otherwise known as Habitat) together with some of the freshest talent the A-OK has to offer. We set sail in nautical clothes for “High Tide,” the 2013 Summer Fashion Show & Fundraiser benefiting the Elizabeth Fry Society.

Clothes by Man + Woman
Live music by Windmills
Choreography by Zebra Eyes Contemporary Dance / Cosmic-co-motion
Donations by Kelowna Actors Studio / CREAM Hair and Makeup Lounge / DunnEnzies Pizza / Mosaic Books

Music by DyE, their song “Fantasy.”

Happy 3 Year Anniversary A-OK!

Happy 3 Year Anniversary

Today marks three years of Awesome Okanagan being online. Thank you for all the great times, parties and reading! We’ve got an exciting event announcement for July coming this Monday and *SPOILER ALERT* it’s not for the Hot and Dry Canadian Summer but another great party we can’t wait to tell you about!

These People Are A-OK: Topher Edwards

I recently tracked down graphic artist Topher Edwards, a talented pixel-pusher I’ve known of (thanks to mutual friends at Mosaic Books) for a couple years. As is often the case with the internets, I soon realized I knew his work before I knew him personally (Topher, I even have one of your PMA Podcast images in my inspiration folder, so there). His is the kind of work I would expect to see on Grain Edit or some equally incredible blog. It’s tight. So tight that I’m practically foaming-at-the-mouth-excited to be able to pick his brain and share this interview with you.


When did you first catch the design bug?
Around grade 6, back when the internet took 24 hours to download a single song, I was learning HTML and building websites to host my growing collection of skateboarding videos. It must have started around then. (I was much better at HTML in grade 6 then than I am now, unfortunately.) When I went in to high school I stopped coding and got into music, so I was learning Pro Tools instead but ended up going to school for coding in a roundabout way. It was there I learned about Shepard Fairey and Obey who ultimately inspired me to do graphic design. I saw the fun in it; making art with propose and message became an important tool to spread my own views, ideas and creativity whether it’s on the street, on paper or on the web.


How long have you been doing it for now?
I started school in 2007 with no real skills other than bad Photoshop filters. Graduated in 2009 and have been working as a full time designer since then.

What’s your relationship to the Okanagan?
I moved to the Okanagan immediately after graduating and landed my first paid design gig in the Okanagan.

What types of local business have you worked with?
A month after moving to Kelowna, I was offered a full time design position at Vital Waters after meeting the owner at a print shop I was working at. After a few months I was offered a job at Think Marketing where I worked with all kinds of local businesses like, Lake City Casinos, PlayGolf Kelowna, BOSS Manufacturing, K963 and many others.



What inspires your work?
I am a vintage and retro enthusiast. I love neon lights, hand-painted signs and the simplicity of a time I wasn’t even alive in. I see the world as a busy, complicated place with too much visual information overloading us in our day-to-day. I like to take a step back and keep things simple. Classic is classic for a reason; it’s simple, it’s strong, it has staying power. I want to design with staying power that generally means cutting back on the hokey shit like drop shadows, glows, and make it ‘pop’ mentality. I see good design as the strong, silent type that becomes a pleasant addition to our environment rather than and intrusive, attention grabber. When I see it working – it inspires me to work harder to be better at just that.

linseed2_905 2

You recently moved to Vancouver but are still working on projects in the Okanagan. What are some of these and what are you doing for them?
Though I am juggling a few big design jobs right now, Okanagan Home Magazine took me on as Creative Director last year allowing me to work with all the advertisers in the magazine. In a way, I am working with 50+ Okanagan businesses at any given time now on ads for the magazine as well as the editorial layouts.


Do you have any favourite Okanagan musicians/designers?
I’m a huge fan of Jon-Rae Fletcher and loved his music long before I even moved to the Okanagan. As far as designers, I really respect the work of Tara Simpson, a freelancer and friend in Kelowna. We worked together at Think and find her professional style truly inspiring. I also worked alongside Sean Shepard who pushed my abilities outside of the walls I usually put up. He puts a lot of personality and brilliance into his work – also great at spinning vinyl while we’re talking about musicians.

Life Is Worth Living

Believe That Life Is Worth Living

Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.

William James (1842—1910)

Photo by oldchildmedia from the I Love the Okanagan flickr group.

Life is About Creating Yourself

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” -George Bernard Shaw

Dana Tanamachi: Chalk Letterer

I came across the work of Brooklyn designer Dana Tanamchi for a post on my personal blog for Faked Potatoes, and was surprised to learn she designed this incredible wine label for Nagging Doubt Wines‘ The Pull with Art Direction by Bernie Hadley-Beauregard & Laurie Millotte of Brandever. I love the use of typography here, classic and hand-crafted.

Fruit for The Pull was selected from several vineyards throughout the Okanagan Valley, including choice locations on the Black Sage Bench, Anarchist Mountain and the Osoyoos east bench. The wine is a Merlot-based blend, with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec.

The grapes received an extended cold soak, followed by a 20 day vinification to extract colour and tannin. The wine was hand punched daily for gentle handling and extraction of flavours, with 12 months in new and used French and American oak.

Only 100 cases produced in 2010. 2011 Vintage – 200 cases expected, available early Winter, 2013

The QR code on the label even leads you to this very excellent time-lapse video of the label creation.

Spotted! For Everyone

The Following

Was Spotted


“Coffee is brewed for friends, sipped for pleasure, and enjoyed by all.” Snapped this at Cannery Coffee this week before a nice long hike up Knox Mountain. Maybe coffee isn’t quite for everyone, and this is a bit less homemade than some of our other Snapped! features, but it’s still nice and it makes me smile!

Happy New Year

There’s something wonderful about champagne, few drinks leave me with a similar emotional response. Perhaps this is because we save it for special occasions like New Years Eve, weddings and/or Sunday mornings. Perhaps there’s something in the bubbles. We may never know.

What we do know is that today is New Years Eve and a good chunk of us will (hopefully) be drinking a glass or three of champers tonight. If you’re not sure where to start I’ve got a couple tips I’ve picked up over the years. I wouldn’t (publicy) claim to be a professional champagne drinker, but there are a few things I do know about a fine bottle. My drill for New Years has seen everything form a small sip of champagne to last years debacle in my living room. Let’s just say it included a box of Summerhill Brut — my absolute favourite sparkling wine with these lovely small bubbles reminiscent of Dom Pérignon — a smoke machine, and that everyone involved is thankful we took spectacularly amateur photos with which we may “remember” the night.

I prefer a chilled bottle that, if not kept in the fridge, is chilled in a bucket with 70% ice and 30% water. If you’re in a hurry I’ve heard that throwing some salt on the ice helps a lot. It’s apparently faster than a freezer and a lot less dangerous if you’re forgetful.

The foil and cage are fairly straightforward but trivia buffs will be impressed when you tell them that it always takes seven turns of the neck wire to free the cage.

Now for one of the greatest lessons I have ever learned. Grab the cork with one hand and the bottom of the bottle with the other. Place the bottle at a 45˚ angle to maximize champagn-to-bottle surface area exposure. Turn the bottom of the bottle but not the cork. Keep a firm grip in the cork pushing against it. You don’t want an explosion but rather, something like a nun farting in a front pew.

Pour into glasses… slowly. Replace bottle in bucket.

Cheers, and a safe and happy New Years from A-OK!