Bam!

 

 

 

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Got my personal branding done up the right way. My favorite detail? The little CMYK E-stars on the edge of the envelope.

Thoughts?

 

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Playing with Photoshop Smart Objects

Ever have one of those revolutionary moments that you’re sort of shocked your brain can handle the aftermath of? Enter smart objects in Photoshop that make stationary and branding mock-ups super easy and crazy fun. I just recently threw these together. Love it!

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Working On: Business Cards

I’ve been working hard on business cards for what feels like forever, and I’m aiming for three different business card designs:
1. Double-sided design to give to people in person for impressions
(this might end up being a one-sided design with an open space on the back for comments about our meeting, like ‘Thanks for the coffee! Call me!’)
2. One-sided awesome design to leave places and give to people that are awesome/close friends/know me already
(something bold and exciting that doesn’t have to match all the other boring ‘branded stuff’)
3. One more simple design for super professional settings and to go in the folder of my press kit
(that matches my resume well, and just looks polished)

Why do I want to do so many different cards? Because I like to have options, and I think it’s important to be prepared. Having a variety of cards lends itself well to different situations and different meetings with people of various backgrounds (small firms, more out-there firms, large corporations, you get the picture).

Here are my three different card ideas so far (please pardon my tardiness because I’ve come down with an awful cold this week):

1.) a two-sided card

Note that these are all still works in progress, because I haven’t really experimented with typefaces too much yet (at least not much on the card pictured above).

2.) the one-sided card

I like the design of this card a lot, but it doesn’t really match anything else. I think that’s okay. Maybe? I think it would be fun to print it with a reversed copy on the back, so it sort of shows you that it’s one-sided, instead of just being blank on the back. There’s still some fine-tuning that needs to be done with the information text so that it’s a little more readable, but I really do like this design. (This design is like my baby, I really like it ever so much, but I think that more traditional designers would say that if I like it so much, I should let it go.)

3.) simple

This is the one that would be tucked into a press-kit folder, and therefore doesn’t have a back to show people. It’s a little shy, I suppose. It also might need some extra information about me, but then it feels too cluttered. We’ll see.

In class the other day we were discussing that business cards might become obsolete with the use of smart phones and QR codes (those pixelated squares that you can scan and information pops up). I don’t believe that we’ll truly become separated from our analog, physical objects for a long time, if ever. I just don’t think enough people will own and use smart phones to make QR codes the standard, and to forget business cards altogether. What do you think?

♥eth

Ps. The top photo is from Brand New, a website that showcases re-branding of major companies, and shows the re-branding and new logo of Time Warner Cable. I enjoy browsing through their posts to see how companies try to keep themselves ‘modern'; always interesting to read the comments, too (which usually come from fellow designers).

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Business Cards

Let’s talk about business cards. They’re important. Other than the fact that they’re important, there are no other rules. It seems like most companies and designers are always attempting to outshine each other with their ability to take a 3.5″ x 2″ rectangle and create something incredibly creative and outside of that rectangle (har har). We’ve been working on logos and business cards in one of my classes lately, which coincides well with my desire to create a better graphic identity for myself for 2011. I’m planning/hoping to get a wonderful summer internship, and especially need to start looking for jobs for after I graduate, and a well executed graphic identity is so important (at least to me).

I’m in the midst of working on a variety of business cards for different situations. A ‘traditional’ two-sided card for clients and other designers, an exciting, one-sided business card to leave at art stores and coffee shops, etc. and finally a much more simple, professional, and straight-forward card for a press kit or interview. [I have been using this helpful article as a guide for getting my own press kit/graphic stuff together.]

Recently, I’ve been working on a logo that’s also more of a ‘watermark’ using a sans-serif E and lot’s of colored layers. (Maybe you remember my obsession with spinning things in circles and setting them to multiply to make beautiful patterns? Well, they end up looking like quilted applique stars, and I’m not really a quilting sort of person.) I think I like the ‘logo’ I’ve developed, but I haven’t really finalized the three separate business cards yet. I’m still grappling with the typography choices because I don’t really feel like any font ‘represents me’.

And so, enough words. Let’s look at pretty pictures of interesting ideas!

You can look at more interesting and fantastic business card ideas here.

Typography

We briefly talked about typography (you know, words as visuals) in a class the other day, and it gave me a desire to round up some of the excellent online resources I’ve recently found concerning typefaces and typography for design (websites and portfolios specifically).

First, you might want to read this “What Font Should I Use?” article on Smashing Magazine to start off on the right foot. If you’re still stuck, you can always try Pentagram’s ‘what type are you?’ interactive quiz. Next, Smashing Magazine has an excellent article about Best Practices of Combining Typefaces. Hoefler & Frere-Jones also has a quick little explanation of four ways to combine typefaces, but it’s also clearly an opportunity for them to advertise their own fonts (which are beautiful and too expensive for me!). It’s important to think about what common fonts there are on Windows and Mac computers if you’re designing a website and aren’t planning to use a service like TypeKit or Google Fonts (I’ve found that I like to stick with basic fonts that I can display on the internet AND use in my portfolio, so it’s a little more consistent). You can easily use TypeKit on your WordPress blog if you’re using one of the compatible themes!

But wait, there’s so much more!
Typography for Lawyers, is indeed intended for lawyers, but has helpful other tips like – don’t underline things unless they are a hyperlink – and it also explains a lot of the basics of typography like – what is kerning, anyway?

How To: Make Your Web Typography Better has eight simple pointers to think about

Type-a-file makes CSS typography easier; creates well-designed style sheets to add to your websites (err, I’m still a little confused about this because I like the idea of what they’re talking about, but I’m really still very much an amateur when it comes to coding and websites, so as helpful as this might be for everyone else, I’m still sort of lost….I don’t even know if I can upload files to my server since I’m not doing any hosting with my domain? Oh well. I’ll figure it out sooner or later!)

And finally, I recently found this list of ONE HUNDRED educational resources about web typography on Smashing Magazine and I haven’t even begun to look through it all yet!

♥ eth

PS. The top photo is a sample from David Carson’s website – he’s a really interesting graphic designer and he was featured in the movie Helvetica, a documentary by Gary Hustwit about typography, graphic design and ‘visual culture’ – looking at how type can infiltrate our daily lives. I would reccomend both Helvetica and Objectified, another movie by Gary Hustwit, to EVERYONE – not just designers – because they do inspect how design affects our daily lives regardless of occupation and interests. Did you know that most road signs, nutritional labels, and maps are created with Helvetica? Amazingly interesting.

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End of Another Semester

This semester wasn’t very awesome, but at least it’s done now. I accomplished a lot, and yet there are other things I didn’t manage to accomplish at the same time. I’m not in the mood to dwell right this moment because I have to get ready to go home for Christmas and be really cold in the North soon. I am, however, really excited about next year and new endeavors so I’ll be back in the swing of things soon. Just have to keep moving forward :)

Planetary: Rockin’

Carly Waito does these amazing small-ish oil paintings of mineral specimens. They’re all about 5″ x 7″, done with oil on masonite. From her website,

“Her meticulously detailed renderings of mineral specimens draw the viewer in, encouraging close inspection of the material qualities of the subjects. They explore the common impulse to possess pieces of the natural world which we find beautiful or curious and to assign complex layers of value to these objects based on a range of factors, such as rarity, historical context, personal memories, scientific significance, and subjective notions of beauty. They are an extension of her interest in natural history, collecting, curiosity, wonder, and the appeal of small things.”

 

Her paintings are so beautiful! If you want me to, I could use my mineral-and-rock-identification knowledge and tell you about their luster, etc.
So for the credit – I originally came across these images while browsing through the blog a desert fete (new favorite blog to browse; really enjoying desert day-dreams right now). Carly’s paintings also appeared on the artsy ‘but does it float?’

♥eth

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Work, work, work

Just wanted to do another little round-up of what I’ve been working on lately! I’ve been playing around and learning a lot in Illustrator. These different beard variations use different settings and graphic styles to create very different end-results. I’m still sort of leaning towards the original design, but it is fun to try new things.

Emma Thea Hoop - so square!

I’m almost always trying different ways of representing myself. I made this ‘original’ typeface with rectangles and repetition. I really like how square and organized the margins are between all the main letters, while the E, T and H are all different in the front. I’m not 100% pleased with this, though; more of an experiment.

VIM logo variations

Vim logo variations for different applications – black and white, reversed black and white, a gray-scale and, last but not least, the full-color. The simple black and white (and reverse version) are okay, but not super dynamic. I need to up the contrast and adjust the lines around a little more to get across the same detail as the color and gray-scale versions. I still have SO. MUCH. WORK. left to do before I’m satisfied with this particular branding package. There’s so much important detailing that goes into making a website LOOK like a real website, even when it’s just a mock-up!!

Well, that’s just a small, quick update from here! I decorated my home over the weekend for Halloween, and it looks lovely! There’s SO MUCH you can do with just a simple pack of colored paper. I’ll try to remember to post some pictures for proof :)

Hope your week is going well; I’m exhausted and going to bed!

♥eth

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