My Favorite Place to Crash

Event Crashers Letterpress had been rapidly increasing their capabilities and wanted to provide a resource to help designers understand all of their printing options. The “My Favorite Place to Crash” resource provides designers with a fun and handy reference tool.

I’ve always been really inspired by the name “Event Crashers.” It’s playful and evokes a lot of great imagery. This piece highlights a number of fun places to crash, and uses different substrates and printing methods to bring that location alive.

This piece has recently been featured on a couple different design blogs. Check out their reviews here:

Paper Specs

UnderConsideration/FPO

Thanks for the Lessons

Making the transition from design student to professional isn’t as jarring as students might expect. The concept of learning and sharpening skills is the same, but the classroom becomes the world and professors become its inhabitants. Everyone you meet can make an impact on you if you make a decision to be open and receptive. Over the past couple of years, the designers I’ve worked with outside of the classroom have taught me valuable lessons. Being that it is Thanksgiving, I’m going to take a moment to recognize them and share the lessons they taught.

Brian Robertson is the first designer I have had the pleasure of working beside. My biggest takeaway from working with Brian was that you need to understand the medium you are working with and the environment in which your design will be placed. In our case, we were typically working with yard signs or vehicle wraps, which are read by individuals speeding down the road with a million things on their minds. Less is more with such signage. Remember to make the signs attention-grabbing and as legible as possible.

Brooke McGee is my current Creative Manager and I continue to learn things from her. What stands out to me the most, however, is her ability to make every element on a spread attractive and effective. Sometimes I am caught up in making the most prominent thing as attractive as possible. Always remember to give every element on a page the attention it deserves— whether it’s the headline of an article or the back of a brochure. It’s easy to get lazy when you’ve spent several hours working on one part of a design. If you need to, take a night off from the project, come back refreshed and persevere until everything is masterfully crafted.

Nikki Pulfer worked alongside Brooke during my internship at Baldwin & Lyons. She is now a successful full-time freelancer specializing in invitations. She taught me a variety of things about invitations and design, but I cannot emphasize enough her drive to try new things. She’s like a conquistador of paper and printing, always exploring new things. Nikki taught me that if you can dream it up, you can find a way to do it. Don’t rest until you find a solution. Always try out new ways to fold things, materials to include, paper combinations… if you’re afraid of failure you’ll never do anything unique.

Greg Beall was my Creative Director for a while. I was finishing up my senior year when I started working with him, and I had the standard student view of teamwork (an unfair share of work). Greg showed me how awesome teamwork can be. When the group can recognize each person’s strengths, they can build something much better than one member could create alone. I really enjoyed the environment of enthusiasm and positivity during our brainstorming and collaboration. His attitude is definitely infectious!

Julia Spangler is a fellow UIndy alum and my current co-worker. She’s a pretty impressive gal. If you spend any time around her, you’ll notice that she’s always asking intelligent questions. Before beginning a requested project, she will ask why the medium was decided on, who the target audience is, what the goal is, etc. In-house designers tend to work with the same audiences, so it is easy to forget to ask the important questions and evaluate if the communication methods are effective. Julia reminds me that it’s okay to ask questions. Your designs will make a greater impact when you have all the information.

Honestly, these designers are awesome folks and it’s really hard to narrow it down to one lesson per individual. These lessons stand out to me the most, though, and I find myself thinking about these things regularly. I hope others making the student to professional transition will keep these lessons in mind as they create.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Setting the Tone

Brides, what did you think of your groom-to-be the first time you met? Did he impress you right away with his good humor and stunning smile, or did it take some coaxing before you agreed to a first date? Similar to your future hubby’s first interaction, invitations will create the first impression of your wedding. No pressure… but you need to make a positive first impression as Mr. and Mrs.!

With all the cute and trendy wedding invitations available at stores today, you may wonder why some brides choose custom designed invitations from graphic designers. Custom invitations can save you time, headache, and yes, even money (sometimes!). Here are a few benefits custom invitations can provide:

  • Stand out with a unique design.You’re not cookie-cutter and you’re invitations shouldn’t be either! Custom invitations allow you to be memorable and creative. A graphic designer can incorporate pieces of your personality and relationship into the design. Don’t settle for an invitation that isn’t quite what you were looking for.
  • Time is of the essence when planning a wedding. Printing, assembling and mailing invitations is time-consuming. Your time is worth something—alleviate some of your stress by passing this task off to an expert.
  • Pull everything together with coordinating RSVP cards, table numbers, escort cards, signage, thank you notes and more. Consistency will help your wedding look polished and professional.
  • Stick to your budget. Graphic designers can help you with creative solutions that are within almost any budget.
  • Rely on the expertise of someone who’s designed for numerous events. When should you mail the save the date? The invitation? What’s the best way to gather RSVPs? How do you address the invitation to your aunt who kept her last name? An experienced designer will keep you safe from embarrassing faux pas and endless questions.
  • This if the first of many events in your life. Find a designer who understands what you’re all about. Feel at ease knowing you’ve built a relationship with someone who can design your baby shower invitations, Christmas cards, personal stationary and more.

Curious to learn more? Send me an email. I’d love to hear about your wedding invitation needs.

Will it take off?

It’s 5:15am at the airport. The line for security is a bit longer than usual given the hundreds of thousands of college students heading to tropical destinations. I throw my belongings and electronics into plastic bins as quickly as possible to make room for the eager individual behind me. When everything is approved for flight, I scurry to place my things in their proper places as quickly as possible. I try to double-check that I haven’t left anything behind, but it’s a little harder than usual. Why?

Advertisements in security bins, photo from eCommerceOptimization

Advertisements now line the bottom of each security bin to promote a variety of products. Is this an example of creativity at its best or a flooding of advertisements? I’d have to say a little of both. I’m impressed with some of the interactive designs, but this slowed down my process of getting through security a bit. Perhaps it only took me an extra three seconds to make sure I didn’t neglect my ID or cell phone, but 3 seconds x 190,000 people quickly turns into several hours of lag time.

Now, I’m sure advertisers would say those 3 seconds can evolve into a great ROI. I can’t argue with that— it is a fairly creative and effective advertising solution. I’ll be curious to see if this medium continues as people come to expect these ads.

My favorite resources

Graphic Design

Inspiration

Business Side of Things

Great Blogs

Design Communities

Typography

Building Websites

Continued Learning

Just one of my latest adventures. Logo design for the Epic Carnival hosted by Indianapolis Student Government. I’ll try to do a bit more tweaking, but there’s an awful lot on my plate right now! Not complaining… I LOVE design. :) Bring it on.

Just one of my latest adventures. Logo design for the Epic Carnival hosted by Indianapolis Student Government. I’ll try to do a bit more tweaking, but there’s an awful lot on my plate right now! Not complaining… I LOVE design. :) Bring it on.

See? You can’t escape the slab serifs. Not even when you’re sitting down for a scrumptious dinner.

Rockwell & Ribbons

I spy with my little eye two design trends. One is blocky. The other is a new look to a conservative design elements. Any guesses yet?

This is what I like to call the era of Rockwell & ribbons. To be more specific, it’s slab serifs that resemble Rockwell (mainly Archer, a typeface someone should really buy me for my Birthday… :)) and the ribbons are really banners. Point is, these items are everywhere! And they seem to be used in the same way! Don’t believe me? Take a look for yourself:

Ribbons

Rockwell

Whew! That was a lot of examples. Anyone else notice the picket-fence look (as sported on cakesweetcake)? I understand some things gain popularity, but let’s shoot for a design that makes sense with our specific subjects, folks! Helvetica is the only typeface that should rule the design world this much. This said coming from a girl who, again, really wants Archer!

Thanks to Sappi papers for all of the wonderful free materials! I feel like a little kid at Christmas!