Toronto Tid Bits




When I first arrived in Toronto about six years ago, I never expected myself to actually settle into the city…but it quickly grew on me. Today, I call ‘Toronto the Great’ my home.

I’ve made some observations about living in the Big Smoke since I moved here. A few months ago, I started to write these observations down so I could pass them along to visiting friends and those who have decided to settle into the downtown core — you could call them tid bits about Toronto that someone new to the city might find helpful or interesting. I have since sketched out some of these tid bits and thought I would share them here because…why not? Maybe you can relate or add your own.












Google Doodles: A Lesson in Type

Assignment 2 for my typography class: Create a Google Doodle.

In order to explore and experiment with type, I’ve created a few Google Doodles for class that I thought I’d share here, just for fun. There’s a whole archive of Google Doodles here for inspiration, but my goal was to come up with my own Doodle that would commemorate or recognize someone or something of meaning to me.

Lots of ideas came to mind (many of which cannot be pursued because of time constraints):

I thought back to my childhood: Jem, Care Bears (old school), Polka Dot Door, the City of Calgary, Where’s Waldo?, Mr. Roger’s Neighbourhood, Picture Pages …Can you tell I’m an 80’s kid!?

I thought about things close to me in the present: Lady Gaga, Degrassi, Learning American Sign Language (ASL), Design Thinking

My Toronto life: TTC (the subway), Rob Ford

And some artful inspiration: Banksy, Group of Seven, Salvador Dali, David Hockney

The winners were Banksy, Where’s Waldo? and ASL as you can see here, above and below. I had fun with the types here, particularly maintaining the spray paint aesthetic for Banksy’s doodle and drawing the hands for the ASL doodle – simple but works. And giving credit where credit is due: Here is Banksy’s piece (original here). I traced an image of Waldo for the Waldo Doodle.

Crit is tomorrow…wish me luck!

And, Enjoy!

The Unintentional Bedtime Story



I have problems falling asleep.

Usually my mind is racing at bedtime. I think about the day that passed…what’s to come…ideas that are percolating in my head.

And what doesn’t help is that I don’t do a very good job of maintaining a strict sleep schedule. As you might be able to tell through the timing of my blog posts, I tend to stay awake at funny hours.

While out and about and traveling from conference to conference over the past while (AIGA, DMI and Design Thinkers…yes, I will be posting about my experiences at these events very soon!), a good friend of mine has tried to help remedy my inability to fall asleep at a reasonable hour. From this, the unintentional bedtime story was born.

The unintentional bedtime story can be anything from a “terms of agreement” policy to a dry journal article to a train schedule. These aren’t your typical bedtime stories: They tend not to convey highly engaging content because they tend to serve a very particular (often practical) purpose, for a particular audience, at a particular time. When pulled out of context, they can make for stellar sleep material.

Take for instance the example I use of an Apple Terms of Agreement document: I’m sure people actually read these documents through at some point in their lives (I have once but now just opt for the “Agree” button) but really, I’m not sure how much the average Apple user gets really excited about reading this legalese. Same goes for the example of the excerpt from a journal article: The example I include is completely fictional (and content-wise doesn’t offer much) but it does make me think about the language and audience that most research publications are targeted to and how this may not always be overly exciting to read, particularly by non-academics/researchers.

Anyways, I thought I might throw together some short bedtime stories that may also help you fall asleep. These are shortened versions, but I think it’d be fun to imagine what an illustrated policy/article may look like if turned into a full, beautiful storybook.

And if you’re the kind person who is reading these stories to someone else, hopefully the visuals help you avoid falling asleep at the same time.


Note: The “Source” links in the JPEG files were lost upon export. The content for the Apple story is here and the M1 Service Schedule is here.

InDesign note: I am starting to use a Wacom graphics tablet for some of the illustrations on the blog. Still trying to learn how to optimize this for InDesign, but in the meantime, expect more hand drawn content to come.