Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Trumpet Shall Sound

Our office recently began work on a new website and identity for L.A. Philharmonic Principal Trumpet Thomas Hooten. We met Tom after a concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall, where earlier that evening (just as the orchestra began "Daphnis and Chloe"), the hall was rocked by an earthquake. The band played on. Fortunately, the shaking stopped after a few seconds, much to the relief of everyone in attendance!

At the after-party, while talking to Tom and other members of the brass section, Emilie mentioned our design work for clients in a range of professions (including classical music). Her interest in music goes back to childhood — she has attended concerts and operas and has a terrific collection of recordings, especially early music. 

Tom was interested in re-vamping his website so the next step was to outline the project in detail and devise a schedule for this extremely busy artist. We also talked via e-mail and conference calls before the first photo shoot.

Location Photography at Disney Hall 
Tom and the orchestra are lucky to work in an iconic downtown building with a renowned conductor, Music Director Gustavo Dudamel. During the last 10 years, dozens of production companies have used the hall's exterior as a cool, modern backdrop for car commercials — it's now as famous as the Hollywood sign and California beaches.

Emilie took some architectural shots while Tom was in rehearsal, then directed portraits in various locations in and around the hall that afternoon. Luckily, we had a slightly overcast day and then wispy clouds and blue sky — a welcome contrast to the iconic silver building.

The custom website will debut early in 2015 — for now, we've posted "Coming Soon" page (above).

We'll keep you updated when full site goes live!

For help with your company or organization's website, identity or marketing collateral, contact Emilie at (818) 242-9055 or Visit our website at

Good design is good business.

The ubiquitous Disney Hall wedding party!
Do they know who he is?

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Last of Mrs. Burling

A short story by Barbara Pallos

Today's post was written by my mom in 2007. She was a fantastic copywriter — witty, observant, and detail-loving. I inherited her droll sense of humor! Thanks, Mom.

Enjoy. :)

The Last of Mrs. Burling
by Barbara Pallos

Our neighbor Mildred Burling, 91, took a fall a few weeks ago. She was on her way to the hair salon, just a block from her Glendale home. She went there every Wednesday.

When she fell, we’re told, two kindly men picked her up, brought her home and called paramedics, who arrived swiftly.

They spent a few minutes inside her house, located across the street from ours, and then to our relief she walked out the front door and climbed unassisted onto their gurney.

Next came a ride in the red Fire Department ambulance — just for precaution, we thought. We didn’t hear sirens. Mrs. Burling’s friend followed in her new Saturn.

She didn’t return home for several days. A couple of other neighbors checked with the hospital and discovered she was undergoing tests and would be confined a few days.

We weren’t too concerned. After all, Mrs. Burling was spry, even at 91. She had a keen sense of humor along with a distinctive Boston accent and had no health problems that neighbors knew of.

True, she had given up her old yellow Chevy a few months before, concerned that her driving had slipped a bit. She didn’t like the speeders along Glenoaks Boulevard, either.

Then we began noticing her walking to the grocery store, getting her hair done, being picked up by a friend every Thursday morning for bowling.

She was exceptionally active for a woman her age. 

On Saturday night, just three days after her departure by ambulance, we noticed a big pickup truck pulling up to Mrs. Burling’s house. Two men hopped out and began bringing boxes inside.

“What’s going on?” we wondered. And then: “Uh-oh, Mrs. Burling’s not coming back.”

Sure enough, the following morning, in light rain, the same men returned and began loading furniture into the truck. The Saturn was back, parked in the driveway.

Two weeks later, the last of her belongings (we thought), including clothes, were tossed into a large curbside bin delivered by a city Public Works Department truck. We felt sad, almost as if her life were being thoughtlessly discarded.

The next time we saw the Saturn parked across the street we made it a point to walk across the street, introduce ourselves, and express our concern for our elderly neighbor.

We then learned we were talking with Mrs. Burling’s daughter-in-law.

She told us Mrs. Burling now resides in an assisted living facility, a nice one  and a new one, in nearby Burbank.

She is being well taken care of, we were assured. Then the daughter-in-law dismissed us to speak with a real estate agent who had just arrived.

We sure hoped Mrs. Burling already has her TV and radio in the new one-bedroom apartment. On summer nights we could always hear the Angel or Dodger games blaring away. (She is a little deaf.)

And we couldn’t help wondering if she has her Hammond organ, too. She used to play “Lara’s Theme” from “Dr. Zhivago” all the time.

And does she have any other relatives? We just don’t know. She seems to have outlived almost everyone.

Her house was soon sold to our next-door neighbor. It needs lots of work as the Burlings had lived there since at least the 1950s, maybe even longer. Mr. Burling has been dead for 15 or 20 years; we’re  not sure.

The last of Mrs. Burling — the last  of her furnishings, anyway — subsequently appeared twice at her curbside. Chairs, couches, mattresses, desk, bookcases, paintings, rugs, rusty patio furniture.

Some items disappeared during the night, spotted and trucked away by roaming scavengers. The remaining goods were collected, courtesy of the city’s “large-item bulky pickup” service.

This time we probably have really seen the last of Mrs. Burling. We won’t forget her, though.

We’ll remember “Lara’s Theme” and Vin Scully drifting across the street and into our house, and we’ll smile, “Mrs. Burling’s home.” 

(Barbara Pallos is a freelance writer in Glendale.)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Exciting 2014 Business Expo!

T H A N K   Y O U  to the many clients and friends who visited my booth at this year's Glendale Chamber of Commerce Business Expo in October, 2014. This year's event was well-attended and great fun.

As one of the few "arts" booths, visitors are always keenly interested in my studio's projects. I create a new booth design every year to showcase my latest work. This year's "large letters" were a big hit with visitors. I used the typeface Johnston Underground, the same one used for station signage in London's "Tube." Fun and stylish, yet readable. Modern, yet approachable. Just like our studio, and perfect for communicating across a large, crowded banquet room!

I'm always keen to discuss how professional design and well-planned marketing strategies benefit businesses and organizations of all sizes and industries. 

To talk about your creative project, please contact Emilie at or call (818) 242-9055. Initial consolations are free.

Good design is good business.

Talking to a visitor in the printing business at this year's Expo
Good friends — Fremont Tennis Center's Head Professional Ron Zambrano and wife Patty stopped by to say "hi."
Our studio designed Fremont's new website and corporate identity in 2014.

Friday, October 31, 2014

A Thousand Words

"Double Indemnity"? — At the historic Glendale Train Depot built in 1923

In addition to art direction and graphic design, one of the other creative services we offer at Emilie Pallos Graphic Design is location photography. We are lucky to work with Vic Pallos, who also happens to be Emilie's dad.

Vic is a veteran professional writer/editor who served for more than 30 years as the Director of Public Relations for the Glendale Unified School District and is now a marketing advisor for Glendale Adventist Medical Center in the Los Angeles area.

He shoots quality portraits, effective marketing campaign and product shots, and charming photos of animals.

Contact Emilie today at or call (818) 242-9055 to talk about your creative projects. Design, photography, copywriting, illustration — in print or online.

To see our work for clients, please visit our website at

Good design is good business.

Here is a selection of photos for client projects. And a few just for fun!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Lunch with Christopher Hogwood

Today's post honors a legendary artist — I was fortunate to hear Chris Hogwood perform many times, both as a harpsichordist and a conductor, and own many of his recordings. My logo design for his orchestra (shown above) was a student project from the early 1990s. Chris was gracious enough to sign it and even asked for a print for his office in Cambridge, England. 

The Academy of Ancient Music (AAM) is one of the finest period-instrument orchestras in the world, and founder Christopher Hogwood (1941 - 2014), was a well-known conductor, scholar and harpsichordist. I was saddened to learn of his passing yesterday at age 73.

Although I'm not a musician — just an avid listener — I was fortunate to meet Chris after a performance with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra in 1994. We had lunch at the St. Paul Grill and talked about art and music for two hours. Unfortunately, I don't have a photo — that was way before cell phones AND selfies! But I remember his graciousness, droll English wit, and his wide interest in the arts, both visual and performing.

When he found out I was a graphic designer, Chris mentioned his mother's collaboration with type designer/author Eric Gill on "An Essay on Typography." The original, calligraphic "AAM" logo was designed by Cambridge friend Will Carter of Rampant Lions Press in 1973.

Art Deco-Era Type
Although the Academy of Ancient Music is part of the "early music" or historically informed performance practice movement, I chose the American Art Deco-era typeface Huxley Vertical for my logo project because it echoed the archways in the classic black and white engraving so perfectly.

Huxley was designed in 1935 by Walter Huxley and is available in digital form from Linotype. It remains one of my favorite display faces.

Type Is Art
In our firm, fine typography is as important as great imagery and quality text. We select typefaces carefully from our vast library because type sets a distinct mood, and our goal is to make the perfect choice for every project.

Design services
We help clients in a range of professions advertise their businesses and organizations. Contact Emilie at to set up a complimentary meeting.

Good design is good business.

Further reading and listening…

Performances and lectures by Christopher Hogwood at Gresham College, London

1. Engaging 1 hour performance (April, 2013). Musical introductions and performance by students in the Royal Academy of Music. "Music under the shadow of Handel" — works by Boyce, Arne and Geminiani.

2. And for something slightly newer (and Viennese!) — A great performance of Schubert's Fantasy in F minor, D. 940 (Nov. 2012):

If videos aren't visible, please click these YouTube links to view performances described above:

Other comprehensive info on Hogwood, Eric Gill and the Carters:

• Christopher Hogwood
• Designer / Typographer Eric Gill

• Designers Will Carter and Sebastian Carter

Christopher's address in his own handwriting. How artistic!

A charming little book about lettering.

My grandmother was named Esther, so this is a particular favorite.
The AAM Handel oratorios are sublime.

From my collection.

We came across upon this amusing letter which ran in The Spectator in October, 2014:
Dining with Vivaldi
Sir: The late Christopher Hogwood (Music, 4 October) was not only an early musician but also an early activist against piped music. Dining one day at Midsummer House, Cambridge, Hogwood asked if the inevitable Vivaldi might at least be turned down. As the waiter went off to attend to the request, a fellow diner at the next table leant over and murmured sympathetically, ‘We’re not musical either.’
Richard Abram
Wanstead Park, Essex