All Posts By

Jeff White

Q2 Playlist: Music To get Dirty To

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4 Big Monoclers. 10 songs each. 40 ways to get dirty in the Spring — whether that’s gardening, painting, or makin’ love 😘 


I’m in quarantine with my 10-year-old Virgo/Aries/Capricorn order-muppet son. In general he seeks precision and accuracy and routine and safety. I resist precision, measure recklessly, and hate doing the same thing every day. I’m basically a Gemini/Sagittarius/Libra chaos-muppet of a mother. I get to teach his home-school home-ec class and we have a fun, and interesting, push and pull, with him turning down my music and insisting we stick to the recipe. While he has a fair point most of the time (the brownies were better with the prescribed amount of cocoa powder), I want him to know that every framework that came before is just one person’s suggestion. It’s a great starting point, but let’s not forget to follow our hearts when we think the brownies could be fudgier or the salsa a little bit roastier. The creative process is risky. It’s dirty. There’s no guarantee we will improve on the recipe. But what if we do?

My apartment is in a constant state of flux. I’m often changing things around on a whim, like switching the brutalist newsprint poster I got from a New York City design studio for letterpress test prints somebody discarded (and I rescued), moving the plants around to follow the sunlight, or trying to find the perfect spot for the 80 lb (SO SMALL BUT SO HEAVY) dusty blue antique mirror I got from a friend. I’m not sure why I love constantly making changes and never letting my decor be permanent, but it gives all of the things I treasure a space to temporarily live in my apartment, almost like a museum with it’s many changing galleries. Curating ever-evolving living space and a good playlist to accompany it is pretty much a combination as good as brie and fresh strawberries on a saltine.

As I live in a condo with no yard, the dirtiest I get is usually while baking. Whether it be cheesecake, homemade nutter butters or simple and delish, gooey brownies, I’m sure to have worn some sort of black attire and soon look like a black bear stuck in a snowstorm with various ingredients smeared on my face. And let’s not even talk about the end state of my small, galley-style kitchen. And as it is in the war of baking, perfect measurements and timing are crucial in creating a mouth-watering genoise or perfectly-balanced lemon bars, while dodging the baking god’s cruel hammer of failure. You gotta be focused, sharp, and not afraid of a little mess! Enter my baking playlist. This collection spans from positive, upbeat jams such as BJ the Chicago Kid’s “Reach,” keeping my spirits up while obtaining stiff peaks of meringue, to slow-and-steady songs like Michael Kiwanuka’s “Cold Little Heart,” keeping my head in the game while eyeing through the oven window for the perfect doneness of that tarte tatin. Bon appetit!

Margaret Atwood said that “in the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” I couldn’t agree more. So with the scent of soil in mind, I contribute these ten songs to the spring edition of the Big Monocle Quarterly Spotify Playlist. May they be an invocation for weather so good it’s a crime to ignore (from inside the house), picnics on newly green grass (six feet away from other diners), and hands fresh with dirt, nature’s original blank page. Whether you plant a trimming in a jar, herbs in a pot, or a garden in your yard, it’s Spring — dig in with both hands.

Boogie the Cold Away

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Introducing the Big Monocle Quarterly Playlists. Each quarter, each Big Monocle employee shares 10 songs for our quarterly playlist. Here are the picks for Q1, a Seasonal Depression Dance Party playlist to shake off the winter blues.


I used to live in Idaho. It’s a beautiful place, but it’s also a place with snow on the ground 8 months of year. (One year, the last day of snowfall was in June!) My friends and I found that the best antidote for sub-zero temperatures was dancing, so here are ten of the warmest, most booty-shaking tunes from our Idaho dance parties, each guaranteed to melt the frost away. If you too find yourself stuck in winter gloom, try basking in the sunny synth of electropop. It’s easy. Just turn down the lights. Turn up the volume. And dance yourself clean of winter’s icy grip. 

It turns out, through scouring through my personal playlists, that I’m honestly not that big a fan of pump-up, dancey music. But after searching far and wide, my 10 songs gathered consist of a few heavy-beat, dance club-y jams as well as one Heart song (cuz it makes me feel old school badass, ya know?). Added to that, throw in one electro-pop French artist and 3 AlunaGeorge collabs and you’ve got what I turn on on a February drive home, dreaming of that sweet, sweet spring air to hit me like a ton of bricks. Or one can hope it will sometime soon.

I chose a couple of good mood songs that make me pick up my dog and dance around my apartment. I also probably chose my dog’s least favorite songs. In particular, Hunnybee by the Unkown Mortal Orchestra is one you can’t help but dance to, and Attack of Panic by my favorite middle school pop duo Aly & AJ.

I get stuck on songs for days at a time, so my SDDP playlist would probably only have two songs on it: Purple Hat by Sofi Tukker and Dance Monkey by Tones and I. I dare you to explore the simple pleasures of one song on repeat for an hour — do it on a roadtrip, power through a design session, clean the kitchen, the louder the better.

A Very Big Monocle Holiday Playlist

By | Audio, BIGM 201.2, Ear Candy | No Comments

Ah, the holidays. A time of family, friends, and food—and the 2019 Big Monocle Holiday Playlist.

We put together a playlist of our team’s favorite holiday tunes. In it you’ll find family-friendly gems like DMX’s “Rudolph” and John Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War is Over),” as well as classics enjoyed generation after generation, like “Dreidels of Fire,” and “That Was the Worst Christmas Ever!” So jam out while you frost those sugar cookies, photograph your cat in a Santa hat, and make with the holiday merriment — from the Big Monocle family, to yours.


Our Favorite Halloween Movies

By | Design, Food for thought, Multi Purpose, Programming | No Comments

Flicks that make Big Monocle say boo — but in a good way.

OK, full disclosure, to say these are our favorite Halloween movies may be overstating it. A better title might be “Halloween movies we’ve watched recently,” or that traumatized us in our childhoods. Oh, and one isn’t a movie, it’s a TV show. Deal with it.

In the Tall Grass

Dillon: I don’t watch too many spooky movies, but one I watched recently is In The Tall Grass, on Netflix. Based on the Stephen King book. I wouldn’t say I liked it very much but it was a thriller for sure.


Jeff: We usually watch this every year at my house. It’s based on the Roald Dahl book, and is pretty much what a Wes Anderson Halloween movie would be, if he made one. Made for kids, deeply disturbing, and maximally entertaining.

Nightmare Before Christmas

Carly: I always watch Nightmare Before Christmas! And then I watch it again… at Christmas. I haven’t decided which holiday it fits in with more. I also started watching What We Do in the Shadows, the show. Watched the first episode and it was hysterical!! Then I got 3 episodes in and kind of lost interest in the storyline, but it’s based on a movie which I haven’t seen and I’m guessing it’s fabulous. Maybe I’ll watch that tonight!

Ghost Adventures

Mayra: I’ve just been watching Ghost Adventures bc reality tv spooks me. There was one we just watched where the ghost of a pregnant nun haunted a Utah mountain retreat and it was 10/10 😂

Watcher in the Woods, Lady in White

Amy: I don’t like scary movies, but for some reason a few creepy movies were always picked for slumber parties when I was in elementary school. They are legit creepy and deal with molestation, murder, incest, and abuse. To this day I don’t like to watch these and I don’t know why on earth they became a go-to for 5th and 6th graders. See also:

The Lady In White

Flowers in the Attic

Halloween Costumes for Designers

By | Design, Food for thought, Multi Purpose, Programming | No Comments

From Sexy Serif to Couples Kerning we’ve got you covered with these radical — and totally DIY-able — design-inspired costumes.

October is back. And if you’re like us — lovers of pumpkins, falling leaves, and sweater-weather — you couldn’t be happier. But if (also like us) you’ve put off your Halloween costume to the last minute, don’t fret. We’ve got you. These design-inspired costumes are not only amazing, they’re quite simple to execute. So put down those tired vampire fangs. Drop that overplayed zombie makeup. This is the year to become a Sexy Serif you were always meant to be. 


In typography, kerning is when you adjust the space between letters; in costume, it’s perfect for the couple that needs some extra space.
Here’s how it’s done:

  • Dress in matching outfits, the more illustrious the better.
  • Next, draw large letters on cardboard (serif, sans, monospace… anything goes!)
  • While at a party, waltz around the room with joviality holding up the letters, expanding and contracting the space between yourselves.”

Sexy Serif

In design, a serif is a small stroke added to the ends of letterforms. In costume, it’s an excuse to stand around duck-footed at a Halloween party in sexy clothes with black cardboard attached to your forehead and feet.


In design, a serif is a small stroke added to the ends of letterforms. In costume, it’s an excuse to stand around duck-footed at a Halloween party in sexy clothes with black cardboard attached to your forehead and feet.


In printing, CMYK is a color model standing for cyan, magenta, yellow and black, referring to each individual plate in the printing process; in costume it makes for a quick and colorful group costume! It’s simple:

  1. With a group of 4, put together outfits that each align to one of the four colors.
  2. Stand together at your Halloween party and let people revel in your four color combination!

Big Monocle Takes Home a Telly

By | Viral Videos | No Comments

Big Monocle took home a Silver Telly for our People Team video series with eBay, featuring the Studio C actors Mallory Everton and Stacey Harkey. The Telly Awards are a celebration of excellence in video and television across screens big and small, and this year marked their 40th anniversary.

“Eye-catching, off-kilter work is a kind of our signature at Big Monocle,” said project lead Jeff White. “Being recognized this year by the Telly’s validates our team’s efforts and focus on quality. Personally,

I’m getting a tattoo to mark the occasion” 

Other Big Monoclers encouraged Jeff to get the tattoo. 

“I told him face tattoos are “in” this year, while Carly suggested he get ‘T-E-L-L-Y’ across his knuckles,” said Big Monocle designer Dillon Blue. “We’re hoping he at least splits the difference and shows up with a neck tattoo on Monday.”  

Receiving over 12,000 entries from all 50 states and 5 continents, Telly Award winners represent work from some of the most respected advertising agencies, television stations, production companies and publishers from around the world. 

“You might ask, didn’t we always count ourselves among those high ranks?” said Big Monocle CEO and Founder Amy Stellhorn. “You’re goddamn right we did. But now it’s official. I mean, Jeff got a tattoo. That’s permanent.”  

Office Playlist: August

By | Audio, BIGM 201.2, Ear Candy | No Comments

Now Playing on
BIGM 102.1

Here, at Big Monocle we find the right song can really kick our creativity into high gear. Ever wished you could tune into the Big Monocle wavelength? Well now you can! Today on BIGM 102.1 we playin’ the hits. Dim the lights, click into our Spotify playlist, and prepare for maximum productivity.



Start your week right

with this drool-worthy technicolor basketball court

By | Design, Food for thought | No Comments

What do you get when you combine a creative agency, a brand, and one basketball loving fashionista? An incredible, one-of-a-kind, technicolor basketball court. According to an interview in Dwell, agency Ill-Studio chose the 90s-inspired hues to evoke the sun-drenched settings of the golden era of basketball:

“Basketball fan and founder of the French fashion brand Pigalle, Stéphane Ashpool collaborated with Parisian creative agency Ill-Studio and Nike to make over the site. The basketball court’s walls and floor encircle players in saturated and smooth shades, where shots can be made off of a bright pink backboard. The overall effect is set with a vibrant gradient aesthetic featuring a color palette of high-contrast grape, deep yellows, and bold blues.”