Yearly Archives: 2015

2015 in Review — Amazon Purchases


Jan 30 — Google Nexus 6 Synthetic Leather Smartphone Sleeve.

This case was listed at 1¢ in order to get reviews, but it wasn’t worth it. Too much hassle to pull out of the sleeve. My phone is massive and easy to drop. I’ve busted the screen 2x and it costs $350 to replace.


Jan 30 — ExOfficio Men’s Give-N-Go Brief

Terrible, tight. Supposed to be travel underwear that dry quickly, but they don’t “breathe” and cause more odor than they prevent. Hate wearing these, but have kept them for those days that I’ve been too lazy to get my laundry done. Maybe I’ll travel somewhere and need to wash my underwear in the sink next year too! I’m definitely on the lookout for a great fitting underwear. When I find them I’ll buy 18 pairs.


Jan 30 — Martha Stewart Crafts Fringe Scissors

Thought these would be handy to have around the house to cut up sensitive documents like a miniature paper shredder, but I hardly ever use them. We used them to cut herbs a couple times.


Feb 23 —  Sparco Long Reach Stapler

Needed a stapler and figured I’d get a long reach one in case I ever wanted to make a booklet or something. I had one years ago, but I think Kelly has it, or I left it at Todd Oldham’s office. I’ve not made any booklets, but I did staple at least 10 things.


Feb 23 — Georgia-Pacific Standard 92 Multipurpose Paper

~700 / 1500 sheets remaining.


Feb 23 — Madi K’s Whole Natural Almonds, 1-Ounce Bags (Pack of 48)

I’m always on the lookout for good office snacks. Got these single serve nuts because I would eat a whole can of nuts the same day I got it. Now I get raw cashews because they don’t taste that good and I won’t binge on them too much.


Mar 1 — Dissident Gardens

Set in the neighborhood I live in. Started reading it 3x but haven’t made it past 20 pages. I am not very good at reading books anymore and I’m trying to decide if that’s a problem or not.


Apr 13 — Kashi Chewy Granola Bars, Chocolate Almond and Sea Salt with Chia

Studio snacks. I got a bunch of granola bars and kinda gained some weight. I think it’s because I’d eat like 3 at a time. No more granola bars.


Apr 13 — Pentel Sign Pen, Fiber-Tipped, Black Ink

My favorite pens! They make big fat lines that look way more important and artsy.


Apr 13 — Swingline Staples

That long stapler did not come with staples :/


Apr 13 — AA AAA Battery Charger with and 4 Pack AA Rechargeable Batteries 

Things that need batteries: bluetooth keyboard and trackpad, swiffer, tv remote.


Apr 21 — The 4 Hour Body

Thought maybe this would have some secrets to being healthy and buff that didn’t require working out or dieting. Takeaways that I’ve sort of incorporated: Kettlebells, eating a protein only breakfast w/in 30min of waking up (sometimes). Maybe someday I’ll pick it up again and add some more gems to my regimens.


Apr 25 — The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing

Skimmed. Can’t recall any of the laws.


May 5 — Applebee’s Gift Card

Birthday gift for Mom.


Aug 2 — Paisley Pattern Sock

An option for my wedding day. Didn’t end up wearing this pair. Kinda too small.


Aug 2 — Contour Memory Foam Pillow

My neck had been bothering me. How often do you throw away pillows?


Aug 2 — Woven White Paisley Pocket Square

For wedding day.

sock2Aug 2 — Paisley Dress Socks

Wore this pair on wedding day.


Aug 2 — Men’s Running Short

This color was a bit cheaper and I found out why — it’s flesh color and it looks like your pants-less. Esha gets real made when I wear them.


Aug 2 — 8 Pack No Show Liner Fake Socks

You can never have enough no show socks! These are decent ones. I think they’re Korean and they run pretty small, which is an asset when you’re not showing your socks off.


Aug 2 — Nexus 6 Armband

Don’t really use this. My phone is too big to run with.


Aug 2 — Personalized Custom Logo Embosser Seal

Got the doodl club logo turned into an embosser. Very pleased w/ this.



Sep 25 — Scanner

I guess I needed to scan something? Wish it was wifi compatible.



Sep 25 — Men’s Running Short

The logic is that if I keep buying running stuff, I’ll guilt myself into running. Not sure that I’ve worn these yet.



Sep 25 — Titanium Straight Scissors

Was attracted to the copper-y color. These are scissors for my office.


Sep 25 — Fold-Up Hex Keys

Needed to remove the arms from my office chair. I thought I’d lost my other set, but it was in my ratchet and socket case. I can’t believe I own as many tools as I do considering I have very limited use for them.


Oct 23 — Probiotics

I was asked to buy and review this for my day job.


Oct 23 — Self-Seal Stay Flat Mailers

Used for sending samples of dood club. Feel like I should be mailing eveyone’s with these heavier mailers, but they’re expensive, and cost another dollar to mail. I’m already losing money on each one I send out as is! I’ve only had one complaint about them arriving bent up, so hopefully they ship w/o too much damage.


Oct 23 — OXO Good Grips Dustpan and Brush Set

So hard to find a dustpan that is flat to the ground. I think maybe I will try to sharpen the edge somehow.


Oct 23 — Crayola 36ct Colored Pencils

Colored sounds racist to me :/


Oct 23 — Toner

For my printer! I print off a list of what I need to do at the end of the day, so I’ll have it ready for me the next morning. It’s like my own personal assistant telling me what I need to do.



Oct 23 — 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive

Nice to have around.


Nov 18 — The Field, Games People Play, The Trusted Advisor, Blue Ocean Strategy, How to Be Funny, Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes

My favorite amazon non-fiction ‘hack’ is that most books are on there used for 1¢ + 3.99 s&h. I add books to my wishlist whenever I see some dumb “smartest book” or reccomendations list. Then I either find a lecture on youtube by the author or longform podcast. If I can’t find one of those, I’ll buy the book. BUT … like I said earlier, I think maybe I can’t read anymore.


Nov 30 — USB Microphone, Wind Screen

I’ve been thinking of starting up my podcast again. I was pretty excited to get this, but it’s too good and picks up tons of white noise in my office. I gotta spend some time to figure out how to make it clean.

Designing the Cabin Porn Book

Cabin Porn Book More photos: / Buy on Amazon

Aug 2013 — Cabin Porn posted a book review hinting at creating a book. I emailed straight away and was stoked to hear they were gearing up to prepare a sample for publishers. We had a skype call about a month later to get started.

Oct 2013 — Met with Zach, and discovered we had similar references in mind for the size, shape, and spirit of the book. A few days later, I made a trip to the mini-village / commune / handmade utopia Beaver Brook. A crew of people were diligently working on the sauna. I helped by repairing the mailbox that I’d run over when I arrived 😐

Initial Notes

  • An object — a “brick”
  • Size / tactile references: field guides, how-to books
  • Photos are the star of the book. Sacred, lush, presented as big as possible … it is pornography after all
  • Not contemporary or ‘now’ feeling … no trends or of-the-moment typography (side note: a lot of architecture books are designed by architects, and it shows!)
  • Typographic cues from manuals, how-to, back-to-the land books of the 60s & 70s, however nothing ‘retro’ or obvious

Nov & Dec 2013 — We worked on a proposal. I started gathering typographic samples and inspiration:

Cabin Porn Typographic Inspiration… many of the references used chunky serifs created during the Arts & Crafts movement. I liked them, but didn’t want to mimic them exactly, only nod to their tone.

I put together sample palettes of headlines, subheads, body copy, page numbers, etc:cabin porn typographyAn Intro to Typography rule is to stick with one or two type families. I break that rule and mix a lot of similar looking type to create texture, flavor, and mystery. I get bummed out when I can recognize the principle typefaces in someone’s work. It’s boring. This book has over ten different type families and remains cohesive. Keep ’em guessing!

Throughout 2014 the rest of the team traveled all over the country capturing the feature stories. Often projects have a tight schedule and there is little time to explore variations. I was excited to spend time and create a lot of different layouts. With each version, I’d tweak the size, margins, typography, and grid:cabin-porn-layouts-matt-cassity … I’d print these out to see how they conform to the many factors that make a pleasing layout — is there room for your thumbs, is the body copy readable, are the columns a comfortable length, are the headlines in proportion, do the photos lay in with minimal cropping?

Meanwhile, there’s a bit of planning needed to figure out the page count and how the pace of the book will flow. For that we created a flatplan:Cabin Porn Flatplan

Oct 2014 — All the assets were complete and we put together the first draft of the book. I try to put off the cover as long as possible. If you get something circulating as a For Placement Only cover, it often ends up as the Real cover.

From the very beginning  I had a specific cover idea in mind, but for the sake of exhausting options I put it aside and made about 100 layouts:Cabin Porn Cover …we tried all kinds of title orientations, stickers, and dust covers, and as you can guess; we ended up with the original idea for the cover —  wordless, lush, full bleed image on the hardcover with a discreet ‘wrapper’ bellyband covering up the sexy cabin. Simple and straightforward just like the website, without any wacky PORN! antics.

Jan 2015 — we had our only IRL All Hands weekend (hooray for distributed teams!) to go through the draft and finalize images. After that there was the usual housekeeping and tying up of loose ends. I’ve left out all the workflow and mechanical bits out of this post-mortem to spare you the tedium!

As a designer, it is often hard to look at a big book once it is printed because you spent so much time poring over every page, and you don’t want to find a mistake, and you may still cringe at some small compromise. In this case, I’m quite pleased with the final product!

Many thanks to the Cabin Porn Book team:

doodl club

I’m excited to launch a new side project —

doodl club zine

I love zines. They’re satisfyingly simple to create, not too precious, and plain fun. As a young adult they were a window into other worlds, and an influencing factor to my ending up a designer. I’ve been making them for my entire adult life — as glorified newsletters, self-promotional mailers, art, and to collaborate.

Matt Cassity Zines
Some zines I’ve made.

A few months ago, I sent a zine to all my pals w/ kids. I thought “kids love getting stuff in the mail, and they might enjoy these fun little drawings.” When I saw an instagram Kristen posted, I was like “oh — these could be coloring books!”

So it’s pretty simple! Cool little coloring zines for cool little people. Subscribe and you’ll get a new coloring book every month.

Two Goals:

  • Find 1000 subscribers interested in: zines, obsessive drawing, exposing kids to art, off-line activities, and finding something delightful in the mailbox
  • Make the process easy and beneficial to the artists — everyone will be compensated for their work, and the process is hassle-free with creative control in their hands

I was lucky to get the terrific illustrator Jim Stoten to do the first issue. We met a year or so ago, and he’s super nice. His work is so confident and it’s easy to get lost in all the detail he creates:

doodl club Jim Stoten

Please help me out and subscribe, gift, or tell yr friends about — Issue One is ready to ship.


Some faves from my zine collection:

Andy Rementer ZinesAndy was the best section in The Artist’s Guide, and I’ve been following his career ever since. His zines are always really funny.

hit BookHit Book was a zine-making party organized by Kelly Rakowski and myself. A bunch of friends would get together and we’d spend an afternoon creating a zine on a single topic using stacks of old clip art books and making drawings. I love looking at the evidence of how much fun it was.

Wayne White ZinesAfter designing his book, Wayne White surprised us with a package of his early homemade comic booklets. They’re each a little treasure.

Cheetahs Never WinI met Steve Reeder at a graphic design conference in 2002 and we’ve somehow kept in touch ever since (thanks internet). His comics are excellent!



Friday and Saturday, August 14 & 15 — Esha and I had our wedding ceremony. It was a ton of work and Esha did 99% of it. We had a great time, and I think our guests did as well. I knew it’d be fun, but my expectations were thoroughly exceded, and it’s hard not to keep thinking about it or talk about it


  • Long, hot day setting up
  • We had it at a co-working space, so we tiptoed around while these people were on their laptops, meanwhile there were two goats being roasted in the backyard.
  • We had 30m to set up … lots of dudes came and we really scrambled to get the decor on the walls. Put that here, move these chairs, etc.
  • The holud part of the ceremony was sweet, Esha’s family was really into it. I did end up getting annoyed, bc everything was going too slow and I wanted talk to people and not pose for more pictures!
  • The big event was all the performances. I figured there’d be a couple scrappy goofy things, but there was like an hour of full on choreographed  entertainment. It was really overwhelming that everyone put in the effort.
  • Super tired at the end of the night. The unfortunate uber drive we’d roped into carting our stuff home opened his tailgate and about 10 bottle of wine smashed on the street at 2am.



  • Setup was way more chill
  • The venue was amazing and looked great
  • Esha had a little hideaway in the back, and lots of people tending to her to get ready … she was the star and looked gorgeous
  • I was about to get dressed and realized I’d forgotten my bowtie and cufflinks! Took a cab home real quick to get it. Luckily the venue wasn’t too far
  • I was kind of alone in my own room, some of my pals got there early and watched me sweat while i tried to tie the bowtie for 45m
  • I wasn’t nervous, but def seemed like forever waiting to get the ceremony started!
  • We hadn’t really rehearsed much, but it went pretty smooth. August was excellent as the MC
  • People went bonkers over the vows. Esha’s were super good and I was so happy to hear them, and that she didn’t cry, because I would have lost if if she had
  • I kind of botched the kiss, I was waiting for the photog get in place and she never really did, and then it was weird, so I don’t think we really got one off properly. Confused a lot of people
  • There was this cool band we’d hired, we were off taking pictures most of the time they were playing
  • Dinner, cake, dancing, talking to people, good jams, Dave dancing like a maniac, people singing along pretty hard to 4 non Blondes, and James’ Laid, getting extorted for $ by Esha’s cousins … dancing, dancing, dancing
  • We went out after, but were so pooped we gave up
  • Sunday I was probably the most worn out I’ve ever been and slept all day!

1000+ pictures on

Money Machine

Below is an illustrated example of our automated finances (numbers changed, gender-neutral names added). After a few months of testing and tweaking, everything is pretty much on auto-pilot. The basic idea is for every month:

  • Bills (on autopay) & recurring fixed costs throughout the month on credit card
  • “Pay yourself first” by putting money in retirement and savings accts (this can be set up to be automatic)
  • Pay any other bills (rent, loan, anything you can’t pay w/ CC)
  • Spend what you have left (Guilt Free Spending)
  • Any money beyond that goes into our 2nd savings acct (kinda like rollover minutes)

This works for us as it’s not really a “budget” — we pay into our savings goals, and spend the rest. You can get more in-depth info on how & why in the book I Will Teach You to Be Rich.


[full size]

Here’s a google spreadsheet version as well:


[full size]

I’ve made a sample google spreadsheet — if you want to save it to your google drive, open the link and go to: “File > Make a copy…”

We use Capital One 360 for our savings accounts. It’s easy to set up multiple accounts for your different savings goals. Sign up via our affiliate link.