Happy weekend everyone! I am so glad it is F R I D A Y!! Designer friend Jaymee made this awesome video of our weekend together at Designer Vaca. I got a little teary eyed watching it. Give me a break I'm 9 months pregnant! I cry over everything. It reminded me of being young and going to summer camp and making tons of new friends that were interested in all of the same things I was! I especially love this retreat because even the girls that I think are going to be "too cool" are not. Everyone is inclusive and the drama you usually brace yourself for when interacting with 50 hot, talented, strong, women is nonexistent. I am so grateful to have been part of a group that was so encouraging and fun! That's what life is all about! Love mixing business with pleasure in such a beautiful way!
Entries in Graphic Design (45)
I just got back from my trip to Palm Springs last night and honestly I am completely exhausted! Mentally and physically. I attended the annual Designer Vaca retreat with 50 other creative women and it blew my mind! I learned so much and was so inspired by others. I spent the weekend getting to know new people, speaking on a couple of panels, reconnecting with old designer friends and reflecting on how far I have come in a year. It was amazing and just what I needed at this time.
Last year as I drove home I remember writing pages worth of ideas and notes... for days! I re-designed my site and updated my portfolio. I challenged myself to work more more more and more. I revamped my work process to make it smarter and not harder. I took on new challenging projects that I never thought I would. This year as I left I just wanted to toss my laptop in the dumpster on my way out. For the past 9 months I have been looking forward to October - to my due date. Trips were scheduled for all over the country and projects were booked right up to the last second. Literally. I think everyone is still scratching their heads at how I was even allowed on that last flight! I have not slowed down for one second since last year. I have been pushing myself even harder in the last few months knowing that a baby would really slow me down. But now, I don't want to think about work. I don't want to figure out how to push myself harder and be more successful or competitive. I don't want to think about anything but my babies.
I just want to be a mom.
I loved at the retreat when my friend Kathleen (who is also expecting) said that one of the biggest risks she is going to take in the next year is slowing down, and that it is scary. Damn right it is! I am afraid to slow down too! But I am soooo ready to. AND I am so excited for that fresh heaven smell that is going to be coming to me in a couple of weeks! I can almost feel the soft peachy fuzz on my lips. It is all I think about as I drift off to sleep at night. I also want to cherish these last days of just having 1 child. Henry and I have been best friends for the past 2 years and have done pretty much everything together. I know he is going to be the best big brother ever but my heart is aching to just hold him like a baby a little longer.
It's definitly quitting time for me. At least for right now. It's time to wrap my babies in blankets and read them stories and kiss them like crazy. I'm sure when it's time to charge full speed ahead again it will seem like I barely had time to blink. So here's to slowing down. Here's to letting go for a season and enjoying the magic that life can bring.
P.S. I know this post may make it sound like I am really quitting and walking away, but I assure you I am not. My brain is still going a mile a minute thinking up new projects and things that I want to do. I am just giving in to this part of my life and really slowing down for a few months while my baby is small and needs me the most.
Verily Magazine is looking for a design intern for the fall school semester! We are looking for someone who can start September 5th and work with us until December 31st. Click here to learn more.
I recently had the opportunity to work on a fun project with Casey Leigh! She is incredibly sweet and was so much fun to work with! And talk about southern charm! Her slight southern accent is as beautiful as she is! Casey put together a Pinterest board (go here to find links to the images above) and I created this mood board as a jumping off point for her new branding and blog design. Once we got all of the branding elements and original art in place for her blog we brought Ana Degenaar on board to help us implement the design. I am convinced that Ana is the best BLOGGER designer in the entire world! (She is also just a great designer in general too!) If you are on blogger and you are looking for a new design go to her website right now! She sells beautifully thought out templates and does custom work as well! She is the best!
Jump on over to Casey's blog to see her new blog design! It is definitely minimalistic and clean which is what we were going for! I am so excited about how it turned out and can't wait to work with these lovely ladies again in the future!
Things have been a little quiet here on the blog lately because I recently accepted a full time position working with Verily Magazine as their new art director! Needless to say this was a big decision! For the past few years I have had so much freedom being a freelancer - that is one thing I am going to miss, being able to walk away for a month if I want to. But, opportunities like this don't come along everyday. It is the perfect fit for our family and an answer to some of our prayers. I am so excited to jump in to this new team of women who I already love and admire. And to be able to do what I love? from home? while being a mom?! It almost seems too good to be true.
ALSO! I need to find a couple of people to work with! Verily is allowing me to hire a visual team to work with! Crazy right?! I am looking for a graphic designer to help create layouts for each issue as well as design graphics and images for the magazine. I am also looking for a web design intern to help us keep the visual content on the website cohesive and well designed. The web design intern will be responsible for creating round-ups, and other relevant design layouts for online content. If you are interested in either position please apply! I can't wait to get to know you and work with you on the Verily visual team!
*I have already had a lot of these questions so I am going to answer them right here:
You can work remotely but I will need you to be available to tune in to morning meetings over the phone often and be outrageously organized in order to meet quick deadlines that always seem to accompany editorial layout design. The graphic design position is paid (please see listing for details). The web intern position is for a student seeking college credit or recent graduate looking for real world work experience.
I recently had the chance to work with photorapher Chelsea Scanlan. I met Chelsea while still living in Hawaii and really loved her style and photography. I've watched her grow over the years and her stuff is just getting better and better and BETTER! Together we came up with the mood board above to really map out her style. Then we dove in to designing logos, banners, social media buttons, business cards and her blog. It was such an honor to work with her and I have loved every project we have done together.
Chelsea has a very minimalistic style and approuch that is refreshing and inspiring all at the same time. We kept her business cards pretty simple with just black typography and then her name blind embossed in the middle. (Cards printed by Type A Press). Her photography is beautiful, joyful and just amazing! And we wanted her branding and blog design to just let the photography do all of the talking.
(all photos by Chelsea Scanlan)
Her approuch to blogging is also very simple and minimalistic. She wanted to have a space that was really clean and organized and allowed her to show her most recent work. I am so happy with how her site and branding turned out and I love visiting her blog and seeing the beautiful images she is creating! I seriously wish I still lived in Hawaii, for a lot of reasons, but one of them is defenitly because I wish I could have our family pictures taken by this talented lady!
Quite a few months ago I received an email from Promise Tangeman and Alyssa Yuhas inviting me to a design retreat at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs. There were a lot of names on the list that I recognized as fellow designers... designers that I admired and looked up to. I was flattered that they invited me and I nearly jumped out of my chair with enthusiasm to go. Then, I second guessed myself and considered not going... I have emailed several of these girls about projects and about blogging but I had never met any of them in person. Meeting 20 new girls all at once seemed very intimidating, especially these girls - so on top of their game and as talented as they come. But I had so many questions I wanted to ask, and so many projects I want to collaborate on, and so many things I wanted to say... I just had to go. Plus I was dying to just let my hair down and have a good time. So I swallowed all of that stupid fear and I went.
I am still nursing. Henry can't get over the boob. He loves it. So I had to take him with me. And I couldn't just leave him alone in the room all day long while I nerded out with my new design friends so I had to take Conor with me too. I felt a little awkward showing up with my husband and my baby. It was kinda like when I moved to a new school in 4th grade and made my mom come with me and sit by the playground while I met new kids and played. You know, so if anything weird happened my mom was right there to back me up. I promise I'm not that scared of meeting new people... but it was sorta nice to have my boys there, waiting for me to come home after late night dinners and pool side chats. It was really nice actually. I love those boys.
The entire weekend was nice. I think it was so nice because it was all just for fun. No one paid an entrance fee. No one needed a ticket to get in. No one was "leading" the group. There were no exclusive events, sessions, seminars, lectures. No one was there to make money or sell their product. Everyone was simply there to enjoy each other, learn from each other and talk about the ups and the downs of being a freelance designer. I felt like everyone had something to bring to the table. Even the girls I considered "more experienced" designers were asking as many questions as they were answering. We hung out by the pool, we totally geeked out over Star's (my new favorite person) web developing skills, we told funny stories about our personal lives and gave each other friendly advice about our professional lives. We ate out and we took a lot of pictures. We complimented each other. We inspired each other.
On the ride home I wrote 10 pages worth of new ideas. Over the last few days I have been working harder, not to compete with these girls but because I am inspired by them. I guess my point is that if life hands you an oppertunity to surround yourself with inspiring, talented people jump on it. Even if it seems scary. Take a risk. Go outside of your comfort zone. Take your husband and your baby and your mom with you if you have to, but show up! Be nice, and share what you know. It will all come back to you. I am so glad I showed up because I definetely made some really cool friends and I loved every minute of it.
Thank you girls for being so awesome! I can't wait for the next oppertunity I get to be around each and every one of you again! Until next time - babies totally exhist, get your mom to QA that f#$%er, cut everything your doing in half, and say no when you're spreading yourself too thin! Love you all to the moon and back!
So it is sort of my job to study branding and what makes it successful. What about the look and feel of a brand makes us want to buy everything that brand has to offer? What makes us want to be a part of it and live like they live? Some brands just get it totally right. They make every last detail special and visually appealing - they even go so far as to make a lifestyle out of it. When a brand presents an entire culture based around their image or product and they make it look totally appealing, fun, inclusive, fascinating.. whatever it may be.. we totally want to be a part of it! How do they do it? I am always trying to put my finger on exactly what it is. But sometimes it is just easier to explain with pictures. So I want to introduce a new series called "The Brand Life". I will be presenting a brand and their products and then showing you the lifestyle/image they have portrayed to back it up through social media and online. When Imogene + Willie introduced their new Fall Line for women my heart skipped a beat. This is a brand that totally got it right.
Dear Imogene + Willie, You really hit the nail on the head! Love, Jane Reaction P.S. I really wouldn't mind owning a pair of these high waisted denim. I think they would change my life!
I am so excited to share with you a recent project that I worked on! Remember this mood board here? Well,here is a link the the finished product. Lobster and Roo is a lifestyle blog that I was so honored to work on with the lovely Jen Tan, after you check out her blog check out her amazing Pinterest feed, trust me, you'll thank me later!Jen was an absolute joy to work with because she has great taste, knows what she wants and is just one of the nicest people I have met through the internet to date! Thanks for letting me be a part of Lobster and Roo Jen! It was such a pleasure.
Extra! Extra! So, I just thought I would share a little tip with other creatives out there about presenting clients with work. I typically create two different mood boards, style guides and often even render two completely different finished projects (if the project is small scale) and present them both to the client. I let them decide which concept is better and which elements they want to keep, combine, get rid of or change. I have learned over time that showing too many ideas to a client just makes their job deciding which direction to go in much harder. They hired a designer because they wanted creative direction. If I have several ideas at the beginning I usually try to weed out the best two and only show those to the client.
I have an exciting project to share! I recently finished working on a project for a new Etsy Shop and Blog called The Farmers Shop. Cyndey contacted me a few months ago - she used to work as a buyer for Urban Outfitters but because her and her husband moved to Ohio she decided to open an Etsy shop selling vintage and antique home wares. This project was really fun to work on and I am excited to share that the The Farmers Shop is now open for business!
Many of you have asked what my process is and how I get from start to finish so I thought for today's 2 Cent Tuesday this would be a fun project to share with you and let you see inside my head a little bit. When I start working with people I ask them to create a pin board on Pinterest to collect their favorite images, color schemes, typography and inspiration (Cydney's featured above). I think it is important to point out to clients (because usually they are not designers themselves) that they should look for similarities amongst their pins and try to pinpoint a single direction. I also ask them to weed out any distracting images that they might really love but can see doesn't really help their overall vision. This little pointer has helped a lot of clients narrow down their focus and direct me in a more specific path (which you know is REALLY helpful in the beginning!)
For this project I mocked up a couple different design concepts into two different PDF documents. They both had logos, fonts, color schemes and accent patterns. The first one included this pig (above) as the primary icon for the logo. Cydney loved the pig but after seeing it was compelled to tell me a little back story about her shop.
The Farmers Shop is actually named after her God Mother who's last name was Farmer. It had less to do with literal farmers than I had initially assumed and more to do with a beautiful woman who inspired Cydney and loved Hippos! We went back and forth about changing the icon from a pig to a hippo a few times but ultimately decided the deeper meaning behind the hippo won. Every time. So we went with that.
I do most of my design work in Illustrator. I'm not sure why but I prefer it over Photoshop in every situation. I am faster and more proficient at it. That's not to say Photoshop isn't important I'm just a whole lot better in Illustrator. I mocked up a basic blog design that I wanted for Cydney's wordpress blog in illustrator and then got to work customizing. You can check out her blog here and her Etsy shop here.
When working with people I like to show them what their brand could/should look like in more than one situation. If someone hires me for a blog I try to show them what some of there print collateral could look. If they hire me for print collateral I try to show them what some of their social media buttons or blog header could look like. In this case Cydney fell in love with the rubber stamp idea that I presented and went ahead and contacted the girls at Our Paper Shop and had that made. It usually takes you 10 extra minutes to slap a logo on a business card or envelope to give your client an idea of what things can look like. I try to take that extra step when I can.