A simple blog dedicated to that which we loved at first sight • est. 2009
Hello there! My name is Sarah and I design things. I live and work in New York City. I'm an Art Director at Ralph Lauren, overseeing and designing content for our men's and women's brands as they live online. Since April 2009, I've written and designed this little blog. Together, we've come a very, very long way...
A "simple blog dedicated to that which we loved at first sight," Note to Self has been with me through my first post-grad jobs, moves from Virginia to Georgia and back to New York again, three hard years of grad school, internships, freelance projects, and even my very first NYC job interview (love at first sight.) To say it’s personal would be an understatement.
I believe in: comfortable shoes for walking home the long way, a good gin cocktail, taking the time to reflect on a hard day's work, occasionally getting lost on purpose, keeping kindred spirits close, and trying something new (like opening a print shop!) whenever possible.
I'm endlessly thankful for the thoughtful readers and wonderful friends I've made through this space. They continue to make this a site that celebrates personal and professional growth in action (as well as the frivolous things that keep life interesting.) Thanks for stopping by!
New York City
gin & tonic
Polo cashmere, lightweight scarf,
jeans, ballet flats
"Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it." —Mary Oliver
Press & Features
Martha Stewart Living
Martha Stewart Weddings
Clients & Design Work
Ralph Lauren (full-time)
Sarah Lederman Design Studio
"Who designs NOTE TO SELF posts and who designed the site?"
All blog content is designed by me (Sarah) as is the blog itself. Should you subscribe (and I hope you do!) you'll likely notice I'll tweak the layouts from time to time for fun.
"Are you currently taking on freelance clients/projects?"
(I wish this weren't the case!!) Because I work full-time for Ralph Lauren and keep the same (permanent) freelance clients, I'm not currently able to take on additional projects. However! I will suggest that you browse around the Directory. I've listed some fabulously talented friends under "designers" who may be just the people you are looking for.
"Can I use your images/graphics on my blog?"
Yes – If you're talking about said image and giving full credit, (i.e. not claiming it as your own) of course you can use it! If you do decide to share an image or graphic, I simply ask that you provide an explicit link back to the original post. To get the link for an original post, simply click the post title (at the upper left-hand corner of any post) and copy the URL from your browser bar.
It might look something like this: "graphic by Sarah Tolzmann for Note to Self." Wasn't that easy? (And ethical, I might add.)
"What fonts do you use?"
The typefaces currently used are Minion Pro (serif) and Brandon Grotesque (sans serif). Brandon Grotesque has been in my type library since the day of its release on Fonts.com. It's kind of become a personal signature, so it's everywhere on Note to Self and personal business content. Alas, things change. You never know what I'll use next...
"What image editing software do you use?"
I love me some Photoshop! It really is the most efficient way to design web graphics (blog posts included!) Sometimes I'll pop into Illustrator to nail down a vector (logo or something.) If you are interested in learning how to use these programs, Lynda.com is one of the best tutorial websites out there.
"Can I submit content to this blog?"
(Though your ambition is most admirable and reaching out is always a good idea) with the exception of rare, invited guest bloggers, for the time being I am the sole author of Note to Self content. The challenge of creating a daily post is a huge (H-U-G-E) part of how I continue to grow as a designer. Unless that suddenly changes, this decision will stand. Sorry!
"Can I pay for a blog post about my product/business?"
Maybe if you want to give me a million dollars. Because that would be funny. But otherwise, nope!
"Can I send you a free sample?"
Well, gifts are nice—it's like Christmas every day! But when it comes to clothes, full disclosure: I'm 6ft tall and wear large sizes, so odds are I will definitely not fit in your products. As for the rest, well - you are kind to offer. If a free sample is accepted, please understand that products may or may not be subsequently blogged about or shared on social media. This must be left to my discretion, because, well... See above.
"Can such-and-such post image be emailed to me so I can use it?"
Sorry, no. I would likely be horrified that you'd ask. (Kidding but not really kidding.) Unless otherwise specified, absolutely no content can or will be emailed for printing and physical distribution. Most blog posts include cited images that are the hard work of photographers, artists and designers. If you wish to use what they have created, you must work with them directly. The same goes for content that I have designed. Invest in creative people. We can do cool things for you.