Is that a Robot in your Pocket or are you just happy to see me?

These great Kokeshi Illustrations are from my friend Sherri over at Riri Willow. She has been working on a project on her blog where she does a creative thing everyday and posts it up. Not only that but I have been featured on there a few times with some of my post it note sketches that I doodle at work.

The top photo is me on the left, our friend Laura, and then Sherri's Boyfriend Greg. Plus, with the bonus me as a Pirate (how awesome is that!), and then Sherri herself with what I like to refer to as vintage Sherri (her old style of hair that was really cool).

Great illustrations and be sure to go check out the rest of her daily creativity at her blog.

Futurama in the Palm of Your Hand

I spotted this Futurama Vinyl mini Series on Notcot two days ago and I can't stop thinking about them. They are made the the king of vinyl figures, Kidrobot.

I am not a stranger to the Kidrobot figures, but I have managed to hold off temptation almost until now. The only exception being my dunny Ribeye who lives on my desk (and I mean how could I avoid buying him with my carnivore diet). I have been tempted many times since then, dunnys, munnys, labbits (OH MY!), but never like this.

I have a special place in my brain where Futurama lives. It is one of my all time favorite cartoons. Yes, Simpsons is great, Family Guy was a passing fad for me, and Futurama will live on forever. This is partially I think because it ended on a high note. Their movies since then have been good, and it is coming back on the air, but I have heard not with the original cast, and that will make the first episodes last as classics. The characters are so deep, the story lines are fantastic, and dare I say it...yes... the show has made me cry (a manly cry though).

But back to the subject at hand. These awesome vinyls. People got their first look at them at the SDCC and some people actual have some since they gave a few out at the Comic Con. They come out next month. I will have to splurge and get a few. They are blind boxed, which means its a grab bag. You could get the amazing Bender, Mom, or Slurms McKenzie, you won't know! I know which ones I want, however that would be the entire set, and cost me way too much cash (if I got the entire set in one shot, I would hop on a plane to Vegas, then and there).

Ribeye will get a few friends though, for sure.

Photos are from NotCot

CB2 or 5

Today as I was cruising the internet for a new chair, something else caught my eye as I looked around on CB2's website. I often don't often look through their book section, but it is almost as if they called out my name with this giant, red and white, number 5.

It is no secret I have an affinity for large numbers. Make it fill a space, and boldly colored, and you've got me. Not even listening to what you tell me anymore, just staring at the 5.

The book "five" is actually about planning out the next five years of your life. It is getting great reviews on the CB2 site right now, and at $14.95, it is not priced bad at all. I would buy it (and maybe I will!) just to have that giant 5, and who knows, might end up seeing where the next five years of my life may take me as well.

Not just for kids

I have came across House Industries from time to time mostly looking at their typefaces. However, every once in awhile, something else of theirs catches my eye, and it seems like they always know what I like. Sometimes it is a large iron ampersand (how did they know I liked them?), and today it is building blocks. I have a couple sets of blocks around here, yet I don't have any kids, or any family members that age, but I don't care. It helps (and I use it as my excuse) that I did my senior thesis on using blocks to initiate early reading in children.

House's blocks are way beyond mine though, and I would not mind getting my hands on a set, another thing in the wish list. Here is what they say about them:

Neutraface Slab Blocks: $35

Children need to understand the important nuances that define fine alphabets long before they learn how to spell cat, dog, mom, dad or 529 college savings plan. To that end, we have developed this compact set of 12 Neutraface Slab alphabet blocks that will transmit subliminal stylistic messages to both young impressionable minds or the odd dolt whose narrow view of typography is defined by a partial screening of the Helvetica movie.

  • 12 Wood Alphabet Blocks
  • Blocks 1 3/4" (4.5 cm) square
  • Kit 8" x 6.5" (20 cm x 16.5 cm)
  • Debossed Neutraface Slab Pattern
  • Made in the USA!
  • Replenishable Michigan-grown, kiln-dried basswood.
  • Printed with non-toxic, lead-free child-safe inks.

Vinyl has a nice looking home

Great looking work from Marc Bessant. Vinyl sleeve and poster for the Portishead album "Third."

Pretty much everything is working for me in this. The dark bluish green, the heavy, blocky, condensed font, and the overlay of the P and 3. Great layering effect and has a great wood block printing feel to me.

Back Home

Posts were a bit non existent for the extended weekend since I went out of town to attend and photograph a friends wedding. It took place in Mackinaw City, and although the weather looked a bit bleak, it actually turned out really good. 

My wife and I made our way to the island when we were up there and rode around on that awesome yellow tandem. However, for anyone's future reference, a 1 speed tandem is NOT the ideal bike for an 8 mile ride. We made it around the island fine but it was not the easiest ride (plus bring water, we left ours in the car, on the mainland, far away from us on the tandem).

I also took a couple night shots while I was there, it was so dark out at our campground, and I couldn't resist. I only got a couple shots off (with a 30 second exposure, at f/4 and at iso1600 it wasn't light enough, and I got impatient and sleepy, I had been in the car for 10 hours right before this) and it was my first time shooting the stars, so they didn't turn out that good.

However, I still couldn't resist posting a bit of this blog's inspiration.

Decorating with Tetris

I'm going to keep going with the video game theme tonight. One, because these Tetris planters are seriously awesome, and two, because I just feel like it.

I found these planters on Behance made by Stephanie Choplin, they were created in 2007 at the Estonian Academy of Arts in Tallinn. Everything about these really just makes me smile. The fact that they are Tetris themed, the bright colors, and just a different take on pottery. Well done.

So, the video game posts and these really started me thinking. Enough that a day or two ago I got out my NES, and hooked it up to the LCD tv (nice mix of old and new) and started playing. Such good times. The other thing with these is they make me want to get back into pottery. There is a studio downtown here and I really want to take one of their workshops and go to open studio when I have free time. I can say that if I do, something similar to these might be happening...seriously. But, we shall see when I get around to that, gotta add it to my list of things to do. Also on the list: take my glass blowing workshop that was a gift from my wife (awesome present!) and get back into block printing (learning how to) and screen-printing.


Above is some really solid identity work from Emmi. The first one is for the Finnish Institue in London. From the top is their annual report, business card, and then a folder. Good usage of pattern on the back of the cards, and I like their use of a diagonal slot that not only holds the card but also displays it on each side. Not just showing some corners peeking out on the other side.

The business card itself is really calling to me. It could be the use of teal (hmmm... do I like teal right now, let me look around...), the dividing lines bleeding off the top edge (but not the entire top of the card), the logo, or just the general layout. All great.

The second piece is another identity system. Not as glamorous, but not everything can be. From the look of that business card they had to fit in a lot of information, and that isn't easy. I know that one from experience since I work for lawyers. The pink on the flip side is a nice addition to keep it interesting and fun.

Go and check out the rest of their work, it's really top notch. I also love how when you scroll on their website, the menu bar stays still and the info scrolls up behind it and past it. Usually I hate that effect, but they just did it right, and it works really good. Go look at the rest of their work now!

The Good Ol Days

If only this wasn't too good to be true.

Great concept that mousevomit created in school. Based upon the class NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) controller, this mouse brings a little something old and something new to the party. 

If this was a real product, I would be picking one up. The only 2 flaws I can see is the D-Pad is placed a little father back for good thumb control (obviously right now so it has a little room on the mouse before it tapers...), and it would be great to discreetly add in a scroll ball (gotta have my 4 way scrolling). But neither of those additions would stick with the classic aesthetics and design cues of the original controller.

None the less, like I said, I would love to have one. I still use my NES, even though I tried to sell it once on e-bay, and the seller refused to pay, worked out better for me in the end, because I didn't lose it. Now I just slowly buy back some of my childhood games on ebay. Those controllers are the same ones I used in the 80's, and they still work, can't say that for technology nowadays. If they ever made this mouse, hopefully they stand up the test of time (and abuse) as well.

Yes We Kern!

I found these posters by Stefano Joker Lionetti on Behance (although I don't remember exactly how I found them...). There isn't a lot of other information on them, but they just really stand out to me.

They are typographic posters, and from what I can tell (from the last one at least) they outline and show different typographic rules and principles. There are 5 different posters in all.

The different extreme weights of the typefaces from the ultra thin to the ultra heavy in combination of the large area os white space really make these posters stand out. Add in the color palette, the strong diagonal composition,  and the copy on a strict grid and you've got a great poster. Doesn't hurt that they also have great sayings on them. YES WE KERN!

Time for a Bike Ride

One of the things that says "summer" is riding your bike around. As a kid I rode my bike all over, which wasn't such an easy task since my parents lived out in the country and on a dirt road. Not as much fun if you lived in a subdivision, however, it was still a good time.

I'm a bit older now, but I still love a good bike ride. I have a mountain bike in the attic (in pieces, since I don't have room in the apartment for it) and I have my wife's and my bike hanging in our office. We got them for each other for our birthdays last year to get back into riding more. My wife's previous bike was the one that she had as a kid, and mine is that mountain bike, not easy to ride around town on 2.5" wide knobby tires. We both got new schwinns, mine is a hybrid, and hers is a comfort, and it's great to take them out and ride around town.

The bikes above aren't ours, but I wouldn't mind them taking their places. They are the Simple City 8 by Gary Fischer. I imagine having these and living in a beach town on the western side of Michigan and just riding around town. 

Great color on the woman's bike, the teal and white go together so good. I don't know how I feel about the yellow on the men's bike. I would have to see it in person, maybe it would grow on me. The front basket has a unique design and is more stylish then most bike baskets (except maybe the Carrie basket my wife has, a post on that another day). They are made to ride to the store etc, and carry your shopping home. However it seems like they would offer an equally stylish back basket system as well. Something with 2 hanging baskets in the back. Since a front basket makes your bike a bit unstable and harder to ride, a back basket is ideal especially for these bikes purpose.

None the less, a very sleek and stylish bike.

Hitachino Nest Beer

I said we'd get back to some beer posts, so here we are. Above is White Ale from Hitachino Nest from the Kiuchi Brewery In Japan.

It is a somewhat popular beer, made popular because of it's great labels and awesome owl character (who also is on the caps, best bottle cap design). I can't wait to try the other beers they make. However they are a bit pricey, so it may take awhile to collect them all. They have a lot of different kinds. 

The white ale was a really nice wheat beer. I had it after a long day at work yesterday yelling at some machines who weren't operating as they should... Great wheat flavor, golden color, was really smooth but had a lot of complex flavors for it as well. Some wheat beers are a one at a time kind of thing and often don't want more then one in a row. However, I wouldn't have minded another one after the first one at all.

The other photo is of the rest of the beers I have obtained lately. Some of them are from my in-laws that they got at a german store for me, and the others I picked up at Oliver T's in Michigan. They have over 700 kinds of beer, so these the the select few that made it home with me this time. Next on the list will be the Samurai Rice Ale (also love their packaging and their bottle caps are great as well), or the Orange Cream ale.

Kiss My Snask

This is an identity system create by/for Snask. The part of it that caught my eye was the custom embosser and the gold seals. I was just talking with my coworkers the other day about how to create low cost business cards and the idea of a custom embosser came up. A great idea but are only offered in round or 1"x2". I never thought to actually use the gold seals they offer for them as well and use it as part of a system. Combined with the pink and yellow it really catches your eye.

Now if anyone knows where to get a large rectangle custom embosser, let me know, I'd love to do some cool business cards with one.

Tanagram Jam

These are some Jam jars and packing done for Andreas Caminada by Remo Caminada

The packages have a nice simplistic image on them that is kind of a cross between pixelation and a group of tanagram shapes. My favorite is the top one with the fire. 

I like them a lot, but I think for me at least it would be stronger as a true pixelation. On some of the other packages shown on the link above, the addition of the diagonal shapes, etc doesn't do it for me as much.

I also like the black caps with the black label coming down to seal the jar. They definitely have a unique look and would stand out on the shelf.

Yeti's Best

I totally went to Whole Foods this weekend in search of 2 things: Japanese Hitachino Nest beer (which they did not carry, anyone in Indiana know where to find some?) and these boxes that were featured on NotCot. I am pretty mad at myself that I forgot to look. However, in my defense, I was tired and hungry. My wife and I just got done with a bike ride and we hadn't had dinner yet.

I would love to know who the illustrator(s) were for this, and would like to obtain some of them. Being a guy who used to work in the produce section of a grocery store, I know they just throw the boxes out, so next time I will have to ask for a couple before they go in the crusher. It would be a lot easier if our whole foods wasn't an hour away...

I may be that weird guy but I would hang these up on the wall, especially the Yeti, fantastic.

Everything (and anything) can be type!

Lately it seems that there is a flood of objects of various sorts being made into type. I always find it quite interesting to take a possibly mundane object and convert it into a typographical form. Although the eyelashes make me cringe a bit, they have a wonderful textural feeling to them. 

Makes me think about some of the others I have seen over the years, with the two that stand out in my memory the most, possibly because I am a diehard carnivore, packaged meat typography (i'll find the link around here someday), and in school someone had made a typeface from scanning strips of steak.

Nice Catalog

The June catalog from Anthropologie caught my eye recently. The store always has great window displays (I remember one of a mannequin trailing behind a herd of leashed, pink, balloon animal poodles when I was in New York) and it seems that their catalogs  are something to admire as well. 

It has a great layered block print / letterpress technique applied to the front of it (mostly from teaming up with Hatch Show Print, one of American's oldest working poster print shops) and the aged look just adds a bit more to it. I'll have to file this away in my "ideas vault" for a future project. My copy of the catalog is already on it's way.

Two Great Things in Life

What do you get when you cross a love of zombies AND robots? Well, you accidentally stumble across the work of Travis Pitts and

To be more truthful I didn't stumble across him at that exact address, I actually came across the print above on Image Kind and wanted to see more of his work. Next thing I know I am looking at the illustrator who has made a good amount of great threadless designs, and countless other great illustrations.

Love his illustration style and the ties into vintage comics and advertisements, posters, and screenprinting. I really want to get the above poster (anyone want to send me one? I'll get you the address...) and his work is one I will be keeping any eye on. 

The Gigantic Robot

This is the next book I am going to buy (or pre-order...)

The Gigantic Robot is a new book by Tom Gauld. It is a 32 page board book about a gigantic robot. It has a silver cover and features 2 color printing throughout the book. You can find some more photos of it on Tom's Flickr page.

A lot of people have sad that robots were a passing fad, but I really could care less. I loved robots before they were a "fad" and still love them to this day. It probably stems from almost any boy's childhood dream to either own a robot, be a robot, or just dance like a robot. All of this is just further reinforced with Futurama from a few years ago, which is still one of my favorite animated comedies (OK, i'll say it, cartoons, I am a man, and I love cartoons, but everyone around me already knows that). Nothing like having a best friend that is a robot. The drawings in this sort of remind me a bit from the one episode with the "What If" Machine, and Bender asked "What if I was 500 feet tall?" and the beginning sequence was a little like this with a huge structure holding him up. 

I am also feeling a bit of The Incredibles here with the different robots Syndrome created to destroy the Supers. All great things to be reminded of when this book arrives.

Overseas customers can by it from the first link, and those of us in the US can buy it from Buenaventura Press for $17 plus shipping. I'll be adding it to my collection soon.

Beards Beards Beards!

I saw these posters in the most recent issue of Communication Arts and wanted to know more about them. However, that was easier said then done.

They were created by Jason Nitti and Neel Williams from Young and Rubicam. That's about all I know about them though. Looking on the YR site, I couldn't find the posters, looking on the CA site couldn't find them, and that was it. 

If I was in the current issue of CA, I think I would put them up on the front page of the site... Just my two sense, but not a fan of their site as well. I don't really understand the point of the dividing bar in the middle you can drag back and forth, seems unnecessary. 


Another one of my great joys in life would be video games. I'm not into the Xbox 360 and things like that (although I manage to stay alive for a bit with Halo3 when I play with my brother in law), but I prefer the old school video games. I still have my original NES from when I was a kid, and most of the games. I even replaced part of the system to make it work a bit better and avoid blowing into the cartridge slot every 5 minutes (some of you will know what I mean)

Above is a great mini version of the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) created out of LEGOs by Arkov. For being so small it is extremely accurate. Would love one of these on my desk.

Now, this is just a side thought, but isn't it amazing how you can still play the old systems and they still work great? I don't see anyone pulling their PS1 or original xbox out for some playtime. Plus, how much newer game stuff do you break? I'm still using the two original controllers that came with my NES and I know as a kid we probably treated them like crap...

*Cuddly cat used for scale and to add a bit of awesome to the photos.

A Little Bit About The Large Bear


Hello there! My name is Josh and I am a graphic designer in the Midwest. I have been out of school for a couple years now and I love being a designer. The only downside is not every project lets you explore the creative part of your mind, so this is a way to keep the creative ideas flowing. It is a bit of a visual journal for me, so when I say "oh man what was that poster with the cool robot on it" in a few months, I will know where to find it and draw some more inspiration from it.

I hope to post some of my own work here and there, work from new students emerging out into the design world, and anything else that piques my interest (and there is a lot that falls under that category).


The Large Bear is named after the constellation Ursa Major (which is also known as The Big Dipper). It is a pretty easy constellation to find and is visible to us in the Northern Hemisphere most of the year.

Why did I name my blog after it? There are a lot of different reasons. Mainly because I find stars and space fascinating and always have. That could be because I grew up out in the country where you can actually see the stars and because, now, every night when I take my dog out for a walk at night I just stand out there and stare up at the sky. Plus, just to ice the cake a bit I have a star tattooed on my left hand and hope to finish it into a constellation one day.


If you have anything you want to see posted, it could be your own work or just something else you think the world needs to see, send me a message at:

thelargebear (at) gmail . com

Or if you just want to say hey or start up a conversation on design, that's good too.

Josefs Brewery

So lately I have beer on the brain, so there will be a few beer related posts over the next couple weeks. It could be partially because I love beer and could be considered a beer aficionado. It could also be that when I was up visiting my family for the 4th of July I went to Oliver T's in Michigan and they have over 700 beer in stock. I was like a kid in a candy store.

I find beer labels really interesting because they are all over the range of design. From horrible to amazing, standard to unique, simple to elaborate. The design of their labels really has a large power over me buying them as well. I know you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover or a beer by it's label, however when you have over 700 to choose from, it helps you decide (along with price... can't afford a $20 bottle right now...) With new micro brews popping up all the time it is a huge market, and has great possibilities. 

I wouldn't mind taking a crack at designing a few, and I actually will a bit since I brew my own as well, but it would be cool to do a real one.

Now on to this particular beer. These images of Josefs have been around the block a few times but I couldn't resist putting them up as well. The redesign was done by Humberto Gregorio and although I haven't seen photos of the "Before" I love the "After." It has a great simple design that would be very distinguishable on the shelf among the other beers and clearly states what you're getting in the bottle (not always true on other brands, if I'm looking for a Pilsner, I don't want to have to look though all the Stouts as well...) Add in the use of swing top bottles, and the top label, and you've got a great bottle design.

The only downside is the web address on the label does not work and I would love to find out more on this beer, and when I might be able to find it. Anyone know? I would like to try just one of them, but wouldn't hurt to try them all...