Category Archives: Inspiration

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.

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?’


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Halloween is Near!

Halloween is roughly a week away, so I thought I’d round up all of my favorite Halloween decorating ideas from the Internetz and present them here for you! I am one of those people that likes rather macabre, creepy-cool things all year round (like anatomy charts and taxidermied anything) so IF I’m going to buy or make something for Halloween, I probably want it to be something I wouldn’t mind having around my house forever. I also think that if your Halloween decorations can do some double duty for your fall/Thanksgiving decor – then they’re even better!

Branches – are (usually) free! You can find some wonderful, knobbly branches in your own neighborhood or backyard. But how to style them? Let me count the ways!
You can spray paint, glitter-ize, or even add some little fall-colored pom poms for some home-made pussy willow branches (or even some ‘bittersweet’ branches).

1. pussy willow branches 2. branch centerpiece 3. bittersweet

1. Betz White pussy willow branches 2. EAD branch centerpiece 3. Bittersweet

Paper Crafts – there’s so many easy things you can do with some simple black or orange construction paper! How about decorating all the art in your home, and giving them Halloween masks? What about some adorable bat or spider bunting for your doorways? Or maybe some flying bats to greet you at your front door? Country Living has an amazing gallery of some cheap-o paper crafts!

paper craft ideas from Country Living

Lanterns – beautiful and practical in the fall when it gets dark earlier at night. Lanterns can be made out of things you have around the house, like milk jugs or paper bags.

1. spirit jugs 2. paper bag lanterns 3. skull light

1. FamilyFun ‘spirit jugs’ 2. Design* Sponge paper bag lanterns 3. Martha Stewart papier-mache skull light

Terrariums – are a really big knick-knack trend this year, and you can easily adapt this to make spooky miniature scenes or even pretend specimen jars of creepy-crawlies and animals. Glass cloches and apothecary jars are easy to find at craft stores and decor stores like Micheal’s and TJ Maxx.

1. jar terrariums 2. cloche 2. apothecary jars

1. Country Living jar terrariums 2.Pottery Barn cloche 2. Martha Stewart ‘potion display’

And finally, last but not least, RAVENS! Feathered ravens are available at almost any store you can think of – from the Dollar Store to CB2 and Pottery Barn. They come in different sizes, and some have positionable wings. I think that they’re perfectly creepy-cute and I’m excited to get some for my house!

caw caw!

1. no source 2. Pottery Barn crow 3. Halloween house tour from Apartment Therapy

I’ll let you know if I end up doing any of these crafts! Enjoy your weekend!


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Creating Color: Orange and Gray

[from top to bottom hex code #s: #DB6F27, #D6D5C9, #A4B1C0, #7A7C79, #EEEA8B]

Grey is a really beautiful neutral because it can have so many different colored undertones. I’ve featured a lot of greys so far that have blue undertones, resulting in a sort of undefined lavendar-grey situation. I’m not surprised – my favorite color is blue, so it seems logical I would be drawn to bluey-greys. The grey in my living room is actually more of a strange purple color than a ‘grey’.

The purpley-bluey-greys compliment the BRIGHT pop of orange in this picture beautifully. ALSO, not surprising since blue and orange are complimentary colors – meaning they’re opposite each other on the color wheel.

I can see this color palette as being really useful for website development or print layouts because of the variety of bright, stand-out colors and the subtle changes in neutrals. Also, I want to paint my door.

Happy coloring!


(picture from Apartment Therapy)

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Graphic Design: Gap Redesign Contest!

This is the new Gap re-design. Many designery people abhor it.  Want to do something about it? ISO50 blog is doing a Gap Redesign Contest! Hooray!!

To enter: “Email alex [@ symbol] with the subject line “New Gap Logo” and attach your redesigned Gap logo. Please make sure your file is in JPEG or PNG format and clearly displays your logo. Size 450w x 250h pixels please. Center the logo, make it look nice. Limit two entries per person.”

Due by Wednesday the 13th. More details and prizes, etc. here.


Apologies, Apologies

A quick life update (I’m still alive!):
I apologize for my lack of posting. It truly has been way too long! To be honest, I feel like the Apartment Therapy book sort of bogged me down a lot. I think that the first few weeks took it WAY too easy, and then all of a sudden assignments went from one item per category to five or more – not exactly a smooth transition for me. I’ve been doing my best to take ideas from the book and apply them to my home anyway, and so far I think everyone here is pretty pleased with the results. ((I’ll get some pictures up some time soon – I took some really, horrible and gross “before” pictures without tidying to really show what the before is like! Ick!))
As for the rest of life, I’m heading into the uber busy part of classes right before finals with one test tomorrow, one Friday, papers and all sorts of things due next week and then finals the Monday and Tuesday following! Whoa!
I’m thankful for the house DIY decor projects to keep me busy and half-way “designery”. I’m working on a small project for my closet window – making a faux ‘stained glass’ panel from some vellum scraps and some left-over poster board. I know it’s going to look positively wonderful when it’s done 🙂 I’ll post some pictures of it once I truly get down to it; so far I’ve only done some prelim testing of materials on vellum (acrylic paint, Sharpie markers, watercolors, colored pencil).


I am excited that I have discovered ‘copywriting’ – i.e. the writing that goes into headlines and body text of advertisements and annual reports and all of that. I’ve always know about it, but didn’t realize that it was something that you could specifically learn more about (always assumed it was people that were good at writing…that just got to keep writing at a design firm somehow? Like, “Hey, John, you’re good with words – write up this thing, OK? No one else wants to do it.”). I’ve been browsing through the Portfolio Center and Creative Circus websites, and they both look really great. I love all of the class descriptions for Portfolio Center – typography, emotive writing, “creative sparks”, lyrical writing, etc. I’ve always thought that I was great at thinking and brainstorming! And writing! It feels so refreshing to find something that seems like such a perfect fit, that lights a fire in my chest, and gets my brain gears grinding again. I truly enjoy writing, and sometimes people say that I’m good at it, so I feel like this is so right. If I wasn’t going to make it as an industrial designer (read: have anyone accept me into a design program with my only prior experience being one measly painting class in high school and the ability to make clothes for stuffed animals out of a box of Kleenex, crayons, and clear tape), I was going to major in English (got accepted on a decent scholarship to Butler! Woo!). Now it isn’t just “graduate with Tech and…..” (I hate the “…” part!); it’s “Hey, graduate, apply for jobs, see what happens, maybe someone will employ me but don’t forget that I could LEARN TO BE A COOL-CAT COPYWRITER!”
I’m going to start practicing 🙂

If I was a mood board…

what would I be? This is a very cool idea, and I look forward to working on it later for fun 🙂

Haus Therapy: The Vision

What is my overall goal for working on my house? I mean, why am I doing this anyway? I realized that I haven’t defined this all the way yet, and that writing it out will provide more motivation and inspiration – the two things that I want to find daily in my home, anyway!

In my personal life, I am trying to maintain motivation to work through projects, classes, and things that I am not interested in (read: unrelated to my major) to reach the most important end-goal: graduation from Georgia Tech. I also have to balance school with a healthy relationship with my significant other, friends, and my lovely, absolutely adorable guinea pigs 🙂

My house is a duplex; a ranch house split into two very long, narrow apartments – with each room connected to the next in a very straight path. This set up is beneficial in the sense that there are very clear divisions in rooms and ‘areas’ – the office has a clear area, the living room, and so on. However, this long, narrow set-up is different from my last plan that was more square – with each room connecting to each other in a box. I like the ability to truly divide things into each region, but I wish that the living space overall felt more open and airy. I want the house to be creative, inspirational, organized, open, and colorful. I want the space to reflect my artistic nature and taste in design, without being too crowded or overbearing or cluttered. I want the bedroom, bathroom, and living room to be appropriately relaxing and serene. Texture is something I would like to add more of to my living area; more layers, more textures, more fabrics and feelings and depth.

Here are some pictures of living spaces that really inspire me:

Inspired: Collage Art

I’ve seen a lot of interesting ‘collage art’, or mixed media pieces that are really cool floating around the internet. I also think that they would be easy and entertaining to try myself.

1. Pop Art Dog 2. Louis Reith Print 1, Untitled 3. Phyllis Diller

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