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

Monday, September 22, 2014

Personal stories add warmth to new Ascencia Report

Ascencia client Blanca Zavala and two of her children, J'Len and Kevin.
Photo by Vic Pallos

is a homeless services agency in the greater Glendale, California area. For our readers outside Los Angeles, Glendale is a suburb of 200,000 residents located 15 minutes north of downtown.

Ascencia's Executive Director Natalie Profant Komuro asked our firm to design the new two-year Community Report. She wanted a clean, stylish, modern feel, similar to our work for other clients. The book will be integral in attracting donors and for spreading the word about Ascencia's vital services. 

Our creative team spent many hours at Ascencia for photo shoots, story research and interviews. We became acquainted with dozens of wonderful people — staff, volunteer guest chefs, and current and former residents. 

Everyone has a story
In addition to creative direction and design, our firm also provided copywriting, editing and photography services for this project.

We interviewed two former Ascencia shelter residents for stories which appear in the book — Lanny Allen, an Air Force veteran who lost his home during the economic downturn, and Blanca Zavala, mom of three, who endured years of domestic violence.

Both Lanny and Blanca now have comfortable, stable home situations, provided with the help of Ascencia. The report also features stories about initiatives and services for families, children, seniors and veterans, as well as Board and donor pages, guest chef and volunteer stories, and financial statements.

It was our privilege to design this important project for Ascencia.


"Emilie, thank you so much for your help throughout the entire process….you were gracious and patient through it all. I know Natalie is super grateful for you and Vic so please let me add my sincere gratitude to hers."

Sarah Joung
Development Director

For a copy of Ascencia's 2011-13 Community Report, please contact Emilie at We help companies and organizations with successful design, marketing and advertising campaigns, in print and online. Ask Emilie for a free project consultation.

Ascencia's Report cover and several page spreads are shown below. Take a look!

Good design is good business.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

What's the takeaway? A good brochure

At presentations or events, we always appreciate a smartly designed, well-written printed program or brochure which contains reliable information about the subject. This is especially important in investment seminars — if trust isn't established, investors will go elsewhere.

The California-Pacific United Methodist Foundation has 75 years' experience advising churches and parishioners in investments and planned giving, but lacked a targeted brochure about its services and stewardship opportunities.

Enhancing the Marketing Mix
This new brochure folds to 4 x 9 inches, and fits easily in a #10 envelope, pocket or briefcase. And it's cost-effective to produce — less than $1.50 per piece for design and offset printing.

The brochure's color scheme, typography and content also coordinate with our website design for the Foundation: The botanical theme is eye-catching and fresh, in print and online. 

Foundation CEO Greg Batson makes dozens of investment presentations to church groups throughout the year. Many of the Foundation's investors are seniors. Rev. Batson now has a high-quality printed piece to support his presentations and for churches to display in literature racks.

"The brochures have arrived and they look great. Thank you for your fine design work."

Rev. Greg Batson, CEO
California-Pacific United Methodist Foundation

Contact Emilie today for help with marketing and advertising, in print and online:

Good design is good business.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Love-Love: New Identity

T E N N I S ,  A N Y O N E  ?

After creating a successful marketing package / spiral-bound book for our friend Ron Zambrano at Fremont Tennis Center, we are now rebranding the center. 

A classic sans serif
Because typography is so important in identity, we take great care in selecting exactly the right type family for each project. Emilie chose Frutiger — modern, readable in large and small sizes, and available in a range of weights. 

Frutiger was designed for the wayfinding program in the Charles De Gaulle Airport in 1968 by Swiss designer Adrian Frutiger. It was issued for small-scale (print) use in 1977, and has been a favorite of designers worldwide for publications and corporate communications. Frutiger has beauty and grace, just like a good tennis match.

Engaging article about "Neue Frutiger," the updated version of Frutiger:

The story of Frutiger and type samples:

Related design projects
Additional projects for Fremont Tennis Center are in the works — new website, social media artwork, advertising banners and printed marketing materials. All will feature the new corporate identity and recognizable look. 

Why Emilie Pallos Graphic Design? 
• Timeless, professional work for clients in a range of industries
• Beautiful, effective website design
• Award-winning print design (corporate communications, identity, annual reports)

Contact Emilie today for a complimentary consultation:

Good design is good business

Business card

Millie, Fremont Tennis Center's mascot
(She will be making an appearance in the marketing campaign!)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Deborah's Design Legacy

Deborah Sussman at her WUHO Gallery show, late 2013. Photo by Laure Joliet.

D  E  B  O  R  A  H     S  U  S  S  M  A  N    

(  1  9  3  1   –    2  0  1  4  )

I was saddened to hear of the Aug. 19, 2014, passing of legendary environmental graphic designer Deborah Sussman, an AIGA-medal winning "rock star" of our profession.

During a studio tour of Sussman/Prejza and Co. in the early 1990s, I glimpsed the great designer in action. She was making a presentation to a large group of clients, and I've always remembered that larger-than-life presence (despite her petite size!).

While on jury duty in downtown L.A. this summer, I spent my lunch break in Grand Park adjacent to the courthouse. The vast public space was one of the last creative projects she worked on. Cool plants and colorful wayfinding (oversized plant "markers" in bright colors) and bright magenta outdoor furniture really pop. Frank Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall is a 10-minute walk away.


In the 1960s she collaborated with Gehry on the interior design of a high-end Joseph Magnin department store in San Jose. "We invented a model for retail, we thought," Gehry said. It involved filmed runway shows projected on a wall and graphics that could be changed as new products came into the store. "We would stay up late, talking and agonizing about where things should go. She was an artist, and it was a hell of a collaboration. I'll never forget it."

From the L.A. Times obituary published 8/21/14. Full story here: Los Angeles Times


Read another tribute with fantastic photos here: Curbed LA

In early 2014, Deborah's retrospective at the WUHO Gallery in Hollywood was amazing and beautifully presented. Here's my blog entry: A Bird's Eye View of the Design World


LACMA has now re-issued the colorful 1966 "Sussman" paper bags.

Grand Park in downtown L.A. (June, 2014). Photo by Emilie Pallos

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Going for the Win with a Smashing Presentation

Custom-designed finished presentation books

Fast-track project
Our friend, tennis pro Ron Zambrano, asked us on Aug. 19, 2014, to help with a creative project on a tight deadline. The proposal (eight copies of 58-page bound books) was due Aug. 29, 2014. The book needed to be written and designed, feature pages in black and white and in color, and conform to the rigorous City of Glendale Request for Proposal format. 

A new five-year City contract was going out to bid and Ron wanted to make the best presentation possible to retain management of the Center. Other prominent tennis management firms and pros were also bidding on the contract. 

Our experienced creative team of art director/designer and copywriter/editor/photographer began work right away. It took many hours to compile the "ingredients" — letters of recommendation, references, background information, qualifications, financial materials and analysis, and 15+ pages of exhibits/visuals. A new marketing and advertising plan needed to be planned and written for two locations covering 12 courts. And the design needed to be "smashing!"

Ron has been head tennis professional and manager at Fremont for the past 14 years. We've created flyers and posters for special events and Emilie plays tennis there every week, so we know the game and subject really well!

Professional Design & Presentation
After the pages were designed, edited, proofread, and then proofread and edited again, we were ready to go to print. We partnered with Monique Poon and her team at Minuteman Press in Glendale to produce the spiral-bound books. Minuteman did an amazing job completing work in record time to meet our deadline. Thank you, Monique!

Our Expertise
EPGD has designed successful projects for clients for more than 16 years — for those in the arts, healthcare, and businesses large and small. Contact Emilie at to talk about your creative project, rush or not-so-rush.

Good design is good business.

Cover and interior page spread
Books in production
USPTA professional Ron Zambrano
instructing a student at Fremont Tennis Center
Photo by Vic Pallos
Tennis under the lights — Photo by Vic Pallos