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February 13, 2012

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A design a day ›   Birthday ›   Kids ›  


A Design a Day - Days 7 and 8

So, I felt bad for slacking on my design on Friday, so to make up for it I have two designs today! The first design is a birth announcement with a bunting design.

The picture would not be letterpress printed, but I thought it would be cute to have a little space to attach a picture to the announcement, and I thought the texture from the diagonal lines would be a great background for the photo. The pictures could be printed on photo paper, cut out with a 2-inch circular paper punch and then tape or glue the picture in place. The second design is a birthday party invitation (for an adult) featuring some Chinese lanterns. This design could also be used for a wedding invitation suite, but I thought that I wanted to mix it up a bit since wedding invitations seem to be my default design.

I must be very inspired today because while writing this post I have come up with two additional designs I would like to work on, so I'm going to get to work before this creative bubble bursts. Cheers for now!

February 09, 2012

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A design a day ›   Art Print ›  


A Design a Day - Day 6

I've mentioned before how I *LOVE* musicals, and today's print is inspired by a musical that nobody but me probably remembers. When I was in elementary school my mom was the guidance counselor at the school I attended. Because of that I got some special privileges (of course), and one of those was being loaned a record with the words and music of a school production that the music teacher was considering for one of our school plays. I have no idea what the play was called, but it was about the life of P.T. Barnum and how he grew the Barnum and Bailey Circus (I just did a google search and found a wikipedia article about a musical, called Barnum, from the 80s, that played on Broadway and in the West End... this was definitely not that show). I loved listening to that music and one song has particularly stuck with me. The lyrics are probably not original, but the message really resonates with me to this day: "Life is like a flying trapeze (a flying trapeze) / Sometimes it's up, then it's down. / Life is like a flying trapeze (a flying trapeze) \ But you'll only fly when you get off the ground." I thought it would be a great inspirational poster, so that's what I set out to make today. I started with pen and paper but just couldn't get a layout that I was happy with, because I was trying to fit the whole quote with the repeated line. I switched to the computer since it's much easier to make changes to designs, and worked a few different layouts. This is the one that I ended up with.

Eventually I would like to rework it (at least the part that's in the script font) with hand lettering, but today I just needed to get the general layout down, which I am quite happy with.
February 08, 2012

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A design a day ›   Birthday ›  


A Design a day - Day 5

After ending my last post with a hope that my enjoyment of the design challenge continues, I miss a day. Do'h! Well, I can't really beat myself up about it too much, I just have to jump back on the horse, which I'll do with today's simple birthday card design. I think the little cupcakes would look really cute letterpress printed, and I love the font!
February 06, 2012

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A design a day ›   Wedding Invitations ›  


A design a day - Day 4

Today was a pretty busy day, so I haven't had a lot of time to work on today's design. I stayed firmly in the comfort zone again and designed another wedding invitation, this one with flowers and a butterfly motif, perfect for a casual garden wedding. I picked a rose and matt gold colour palate that is really soft and romantic. Since I was on a roll with the design, I went ahead and made a corresponding RSVP to go along with the invitation. So far I am really enjoying this exercise. Let's hope that continues!
February 05, 2012

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Life ›  


Snow Day!

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All of the tracks from the pup remind me of a Family Circus cartoon :)

February 03, 2012

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A design a day ›   Art Print ›  


A Design a Day - Day 3

I finally got out my coloured pencils today to try a bit of hand-drawn lettering. I took a line from one of my very favourite musicals, Mary Poppins, and sketched a small poster. Here is the result: Hmm, what to say about this work of art? (Ha!) I need a lot more practice at this, obviously. I also think I need a different pen because it was too hard to get the thin/thick lines I was after with the coloured pencil. On a positive note, I think the word "Fly" looks pretty good, and I really like the concept. Hopefully as the month goes on I'll get a bit better and I'll be able to do this idea justice when I rework it later on, which I think I'll do because I really do think it could be a great wall hanging for a kids room (letterpress printed in a bright colour).  
February 02, 2012

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A design a day ›   Kids ›  


A design a day - Day 2

Today's design is for a child's party invitation. I've been thinking about making some fill-in invitations as a cheaper alternative to completely custom invitations, and this is my first prototype. I love the elephant! The printing for these could be quite difficult with some tight registration on the elephant and extremely thin text, so I'm not sure how practical they would be to produce, but it's a good starting point. Enjoy!
February 01, 2012

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A design a day ›   Wedding Invitations ›  


A design a day - Introduction

I have a huge number of blogs that I follow on Google Reader. Sometimes I find it a bit overwhelming and do a lot of "mark all as read"-ing. I'm glad yesterday wasn't one of those days! As I was catching up on a few blogs, two posts caught my eye. The first post, New Printable Wedding Invitations from e.m. papers on Invitation Crush was about a challenge Eleanor from e.m. papers made for herself in March 2011. She set out to design 31 different invitations over a month and when she finished she took four of the most popular concepts and worked them into full invitation designs to sell. The second post, The Benefits of Personal Projects: A Guest Post By Anna Hardy posted in the Green Room section of the wedding blog Rock N' Roll Bride talks about how having a personal project (something creative that you do that isn't directly for the benefit of your business) can help spark your creativity and ultimately help you define your personal style. I was incredibly inspired by these two posts and have decided to set myself a challenge similar to the one that Eleanor set for herself. Every weekday in February I will design something (an invitation, greeting card or poster). I'm not looking to have any fully developed designs from this, but hope that getting into the habit of doing some designing every day will get me out of my creative rut. Most of the designing that I do is on the computer, but to incorporate a bit of the personal project philosophy (for myself, not necessarily for the benefit of the business) I'm challenging myself to get off the computer and do some of the designs by hand. I would classify myself as a creative person, but I'm not exactly artistic, so this part of the challenge is quite scary for me. I've tried drawing some designs before and always end up frustrated by not being able to put to paper what is in my head. That said, I won't be able to gain skills in that area unless I make myself work at it, so that is what I intend to do. I hope that at the end of the month I have some designs that I can use for the business, but won't be too disappointed if I don't. So, all that said, here is my first design. Since I just envisaged this whole project this morning I stayed firmly in the comfort zone and whipped this wedding invitation up on the computer. I'll be back tomorrow for day 2. Wish me luck!
January 17, 2012

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Business Cards ›  


Birth of my business card

As I was finishing up my last post about some custom letterpress business cards I realized that I never showed you my own business cards. These were printed almost a year ago in preparation for the open studios event that I participated in, but I started working on the design months before I actually got around to printing them. Here are a few proofs that I worked on before finally settling on the design:

Proof 1:

This card is a two-sided, 3-colour card. What I like: The flywheel logo; the vertical orientation. What I don't: The back is too busy and doesn't relate to the front.

Proof 2:

This version is a two-sided, 3-colour card (The third "colour" is the large grey flywheel on the front of the card, which I would have printed blind, with no ink). What I like: The flywheel logo; the pattern on the back of the card. What I don't: Some of the spacing on the front needs to be played with.

Proof 3:

This card is a one-sided, 2-colour card. What I like: The vertical orientation. What I don't: The pattern on the front doesn't relate to letterpress at all. For this version I wanted to try to simplify the design to make it easier/less time consuming to print, but in the end, I didn't feel it projected the brand in the way I wanted it to.

Proof 4:

Finally, this card is the design I went with, a one-sided, 3-colour card (again, the third "colour" is the large flywheel which would be printed with no ink). What I like: The flywheel logo. What I don't: I would have liked to print a card with a design on the back, but because I was printing these on a deadline, I went with a single-sided card.

The reveal:

The verdict:

Overall, I'm happy with the finished product but there are some things that I would change. First, the cards are printed on ivory paper, which were some off-cuts of a custom project that I had done for a friend. I would have preferred a bright white but the cost of the ivory paper (free!) won out. Second, the plates that I used for these cards were much too soft for letterpress and didn't allow for the crisp impression that I was after, espcially on the large flywheel. I have since found a different plate supplier and am getting much better results. For the time being, these cards are great and I will continue to use them, but I'm already looking forward to planning out my second generation business cards. I expect that it will end up as a combination of the front of proof 1 and the back of proof 2, but only time will tell.
January 16, 2012

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Business Cards ›  


Letterpress Business Cards

Shortly before Christmas my friend Ariel approached me and asked if I would print some business cards for her, as a Christmas present for her husband. I, of course, jumped at the chance. Her requirements were pretty simple, she just wanted the cards to have compass (they both love travel) and their names. I set to work on a design, and after a few changes, we ended up with this 2-colour design. The first colour is printed with transparent ink, also called blind impression, so you see the impression into the paper but there is no colour. For the second colour, I hand mixed a navy blue ink. There is tons of room on the card for additional information, but Ariel chose to keep it simple because her husband is just starting his business and she didn't want to add information that would be obsolete if they decided to change web address or e-mail or phone number. A few days ago I received an e-mail saying that Pete loved the cards, and I'm so pleased. I love working on custom projects and having happy recipients! If you have a design that you would like printed, or if you would like to work with me on some custom business or calling cards of your own, please contact me.