new idea happening here

November 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

IMG_2392I started blogging in 2008, and have loved conjuring up new ideas and creating new ways to present them.  They arrive, they thrive, sometimes they sit in the corner and wait for a little attention, and eventually they turn into something else. They usually start when I have something specific to learn, and blogging has been a fantastic medium for me. I’ve learned to accept the fluid process and just keep moving. So I am…moving, that is.

I’m going to close this blog for the time being (though I’m not giving up the URL, so I could be back with the next cup of coffee). I’m still  writing on our studio website at Tackett-Barbaria. I am keeping the coffee/design/art story going on my Tumblr, also Caffeinated by Design (updated daily, come visit, it’s lovely).  And of course, I still have my personal blog, Tour of No Regrets. Plus Facebook, and the studio Facebook, and Twitter, Linked In, Flickr…I think that’s plenty and more than a well-rounded and socially healthy person should admit to.


But it’s time to move to something new, and I do have a new idea brewing. I have a name, a plan, a URL, and a set of skills to learn. But nothing else to show for it just yet.

Check back in a few weeks, and I will announce it here, and every place else I hang out on the internet. See you on the flip side!


real art

November 11, 2013 § Leave a comment

Steve’s show, Sediment and Sentiment | A Re:mapping Project, opened on Saturday at the ArtHouse Gallery in Sacramento. The event was a culmination of five years of work, most intensely over the past nine months. Our daughter, Kate, flew out from Chicago to help him hang the show (putting to use her Museum Curation/Art History degree from University of British Columbia) and our youngest, Alex, flew in from Oregon to join us. We were surprised by family and friends who traveled to share the time with us, and were bowled over by their outpouring of love and support. The gallery was packed with friends from all corners of our lives, and designers we’ve known for over 30 years, plus college friends, clients, cousins, neighbors, colleagues, partners, past employees…pretty much everyone we’ve ever known.

Leading up to the show, I had been making noises that it was weird to see the art that had been hanging out in the nooks and crannies of our home, taking up the spare rooms and hiding out under beds and in closets, on the gallery walls, just like real art. But it was abundantly clear that our friends and family were the real art, and that the reward was having a thriving design and art community, with both a history and a future together.

Here are a few photos of the week and the show.

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work still in progress

October 3, 2013 § 1 Comment

Steve’s side project. It’s been in progress for two years (maybe more). Soon to be finished. Real soon. Come by and visit. November 9, ArtHOUSE Gallery in Sacramento.


work in progress

July 24, 2013 § Leave a comment

Steve is preparing for a show at the Art House in Sacramento, opening on November 9. To some of us, that seems like a lifetime away. I suspect to Steve it feels like ten minutes away. The show is an extension of his re:mapping collection. Designer by day, painter by night, golfer and gardener in the moments between. I have to say, the guy gets a lot out of his 24 hours. A sneak peak at the work in progress.

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the designer says

July 11, 2013 § Leave a comment


I do love my Kindle, but I don’t love it more than a hard cover, cloth bound book with smart words and thoughtful typography. Add rounded corners and a ribbon bookmark and I am a goner. The Designer Says| Quotes, Quips, and Words of Wisdom, edited by Sara Bader is making me very happy these days. Some of my favorites:

Every typeface wants to know: “Do I look fat in this paragraph?” -Ellen Lupton


If your words aren’t truthful, the finest optically letter-spaced typography won’t help. -Edward Tufte


The story of how I decided to become an artist is this: When I was a very little boy, a cousin of mine came to my house with a paper bag. He asked me if I wanted to see a bird. I thought he had a bird in the bag. He stuck his hand in the bag, and I realized that he had drawn a bird inside the bag with a pencil. I was astonished! I perceived this as being miraculous. At that moment, I decided that was what I wanted to do with my life. Create miracles. -Milton Glaser


Read. Travel. Read. Ask. Read. Learn. Read. Connect. Read. -Erik Speikermann


The nature of process, to one degree or another, involves failure. You have at it. It doesn’t work. You keep pushing. It gets better. But it’s not good. It gets worse. You go at it again. Then you desperately stab at it, believing “this isn’t going to work.” And it does!-Saul Bass


The brain is the most democratic tool that all artists and designers share. -Daniel Eatock


There are ten, maybe fifteen very good typefaces, which I can agree with at least. There are 30,000 on the market, of which 29,990 can be sunk into the Pacific Ocean without causing any cultural damage. -Kurt Wiedemann


Design is a way of looking at the world. You produce an artifact or create a system with a set of conditions, an infrastructure or an apparatus where you’ve done half the equation and you leave the rest for whoever wants to participate. -Lucille Tenazas


Take things away until you cry.-Frank Chimero


Everything hangs on something else.-Ray Eames


peace, love and summer reading | 2013

June 21, 2013 § Leave a comment

We’ve been designing studio summer reading lists since 1997, give or take a few years. Not only do they remind us that there is something else to do with our time than watch baseball, they serve as a studio archeological dig of who, when, what and where. The why requires a beer, or at least a nap in the hammock. What are you reading this summer?


scenes from a weekend

June 18, 2013 § Leave a comment

Above Inverness. Family. Food. Fog.

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