Branding and Web Design 101 for Food Bloggers: A BlogHer Food Session

by Irvin on April 18, 2011 · 14 comments

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I'm Speaking!

Hello there! For those of you who follow me on Twitter or are a fan of my Facebook page you might have already heard my announcement. But for those who have not, here is it: I will not only be going to BlogHer Food down in Atlanta on May 20-21st, but I’ll be leading a session with my fantastic friend Sabrina over at The Tomato Tart, at the conference! Yep, you read that correct, I’m going to be up there, in front, actually talking about something I know a little bit about. Branding and Design! Our panel discussion is part of the visuals track and is entitled Branding and Web Design 101 for Food Bloggers and we can’t wait to share with you our collective knowledge!


For those of you who don’t know, I’m actually a trained graphic designer, not a trained pastry chef (the only cooking class I’ve ever taken was in fifth grade summer school where I learned to make snickerdoodles). I’ve been designing for about fifteen years, and I’ve done everything from web design, book design to advertising, branding and print. My background and what I love to do the most is branding and print though. So when the BlogHer did a call for entries about panel discussions, I teamed up with Sabrina, who is an amazing web designer, to develop what we hope will be a stimulating, entertaining, and (this is what we really are aiming for) extremely useful breakout session.

Sabrina’s been designing websites for 15 years (Whoa! Think about that. Since 1995. The web was totally in it’s infancy) and has worked with major Fortune 500 companies like Southwest Airlines and Pepsi as well as innovative green companies and nonprofits like Amnesty International, UNICEF and Defenders of Wildlife. She’s super awesome and I’m excited to be presenting with her.

My concentration is more in branding and traditional print design. I’ve worked with some of the major food brands like Wendy’s, Ben & Jerry’s, IHOP and Quiznos as well as small local food companies here in San Francisco, such as Spot Bagel. I’ve also done a ton of work in the arena of nonprofit advertising, with campaigns for STD/HIV awareness, tobacco/drug cessation and foster care. You can see some examples of my design work below.

IHOP CAFE Packaging

Packaging for a new concept shop by IHOP called IHOP CAFE.

Ben & Jerry's Menu Board

Ben & Jerry's Menu Board system, designed with soy inks & reclaimed wood, with no heavy metals

Quiznos Flagship Store

Quiznos Flagship Store - yeah that MMMM...Toasty glows at night!

Foster Kids Are Our Kids

PSA for Foster Kids Awareness

Resist Meth wheatpasted

Resist Meth viral campaign

Though we haven’t built our presentation yet, we plan on going over some design basics like choosing an appealing color palette, how to make sure your blog logo looks great on the web and in print, how to know when it’s time to redesign your blog, examples of major design mistakes and how to fix them. We also hope to help answer any questions you might have about design in general. So if there is a specific design questions or topic you want covered in the session, feel free to leave a comment or email me. Hope to see you at BlogHer Food in Atlanta!

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Connect with Irvin via Social Media

You can connect with Irvin on a more direct level via his twitter page, his facebook fan page or his page. Just be forewarned that he tweets a heck of a lot.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Jim T April 18, 2011 at 10:48 am

Very nice design work, Irvin. I’m so happy that you and Samantha will be hosting this panel at BlogHer Food. I will be there! I’m just hoping to have my blog published before then.

My current branding issue: finding a name. Or worse, coming up with a great name and not being able to get the domain, gmail or twitter.


Irvin May 3, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Finding a good name is important, but don’t let it hold you back. There’s always an excuse to not starting a blog. Sometimes you just have to dive right in!


Tara @ Smells Like Home April 18, 2011 at 11:52 am

I just came across your blog through twitter and I’m excited to see you’ll be speaking at BHF11 – looking forward to your session!


Irvin May 3, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Thanks Tara. Can’t wait to meet you!


Shawn April 18, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Congrats! That’s huge 🙂


Irvin May 3, 2011 at 2:32 pm

I know! I’m very excited. It’ll be a fun session and my partner in crime Sabrina over at The Tomato Tart is awesome.


spcookiequeen April 22, 2011 at 10:02 am

Congrats, your blog looks great. Wishing I could go and hear all the advice. Found you through Sabrina. Looking forward to reading and learning more.


Irvin May 3, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Thanks so much! Hopefully there will be some sort streaming video of the presentation. I’m also hoping to do a recap of some sort on here, so keep an eye out for that.


Emmie April 23, 2011 at 1:45 am

Sweet! I really dig the last 3. How unfair that you are so talented at so many things. Spare some skills for the rest of us.


Irvin May 3, 2011 at 2:36 pm

This coming from the dancer, singer, actor, illustrator, business woman? Talk about unfair.


Jennifer @ Licious Food April 23, 2011 at 10:58 am

Congrats on the honor! I love the examples of your work and of course your blog. I wish I was attending the BlogHer food conference to see the presentation since this is something I am very interested in at the moment.


Irvin May 3, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Well I hope that BlogHer will be streaming it live like last year. And I hope to do some sort of recap on the blog as well, so hopefully that will be help. THanks for stopping by!


jyoti May 3, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Wow! This sounds amazing! Is there any way to “dial-in” if we can’t make the conference? Or will you have a summary after you speak?


Irvin May 3, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Last year BlogHer did a streaming video, but I believe there were technical issues. Hopefully they have fixed those issues this year. But we shall see. Either way, I hope to do a recap of it here on my blog!


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