Weekends are quite often my favorite time to do design work. Weekdays can often get filled up quickly with email correspondence and phone meetings but on the weekends my work mailbox seems to be much quieter. I have 4 (or is it 5 now) projects that are at various stages. Two that are nearly ready to launch save for the last minute bug squashing or code wrangling. Two that are in the branding phase. And 2 side print projects, 1 for my sister’s home-based winery and the other for my friend Lanny’s holiday open house. I spent half the day at a local coffee shop and am currently working from the dining room table and posting while uploading wine bottle labels to Dropbox. Once that’s done I’ll be packing up the laptop and taking it to our local Buffalo Wild Wings to have dinner with Mr. Handsome. And after dinner I will work some more while he watches the next baseball game in the World Series. It’s my idea of a GREAT Saturday. Complete with some Tazo tea in my favorite polka-dotted tea cup and a juicy caramel apple made by my favorite 9 year old.
While doing a little maintenance on my own site the other day I noticed some incoming traffic from one of my favorite blogs. Things have been busy around here and I haven’t kept up on my blog reading. Truth be told I’m upwards of 1,500 posts behind on my feedly reading. Do you use feedly?? Definitely a topic for another blog post. Soon. Feedly, Bloglovin’…both great tools for keeping up on your blog reading (unless you’re me).
Anywho, Heather from JustLove.ly somehow stumbled on my blog and featured it in her May 5th Weekend Links post. (I know, it’s July and I’m just now discovering this!) I’m totally flattered. I LOVE her weekend link lists. Have discovered so many great bloggers through it…many added to that growing feedly list. :) She’s incredibly inspiring. Her own blog design is perfection. I first stumbled on her through instagram. From there I stumbled on her blog and fell in love. She recently updated the whole look but the old one was equally amazing.
Thanks Heather for the shout out. Truly beyond flattered. :)
This site is a perfect example of how great photos can truly make all the difference in the world. Denise, Jami and photographer Jenni Vordeman did such an amazing job capturing images of the children of Kipsongo. There were so many photos to choose from. Many that I’m sure will be added to photo galleries and blog posts in the months ahead.
Please check out their website and, if so inclined, donate to their wonderful cause.
Have you EVER been thrown a LIFE-LINE when swimming? I haven’t… I do know, however, what it feels like for our foundation to be thrown a life-line… Thanks Denise and David and thanks Denise Walsh, Jami, and Shawn for breathing such life into our cause. It is so much easier to champion with you all. ~ Mark Cooper – Chicks for Children
I’ve been so in love with all the chalkboard art you see lately. Around town, on the web. It’s everywhere and I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it. I love that it’s inspiring new font styles and design graphics for use in recreating the look digitally. Still nothing compares with the artistry of people like Dana Tanamachi who create these beautiful chalk drawings the old-fashioned way. So glad there are people out there bringing back this lost art. The following are some examples of her work. The first at Evernote (one of my favorite companies which deserves a post all it’s own).
images via Dana Tanamachi
Shari is a great friend of mine from Tennesse. We met almost 10 years ago when I first got into the world of digital scrapbooking (a topic for another post). We worked on a few design teams together and have remained close friends ever since. She wanted a fresh update for her family blog so this is what we came up with, using designs by the very talented Sahlin Studio. If you’re interested in digital scrapbooking she’s got a great site with tutorials and her designs are some of the very best out there. Perfect for the look we were going for on Shari’s blog.
It seems SO much harder to design for your own branding than for clients. Why is that?! The following image is the top 4 designs that I ended up choosing between. I’m still torn but I think the one I chose fit my objectives for the new branding more than the others. I’m hoping to bring a little more sophistication and professional flair to my design business and while I love the flowy scripty fonts personally I couldn’t see it appealing as much to maybe a doctor’s office or similar local business that I might love to work with. At the same time I felt that anything too stuffy wouldn’t really be a true representation of my style (and hopefully of what makes me unique in the design world). I also got feedback from people I trusted who knew me and know the direction I wanted to take my designs which is super important. That helps give you a sense of what your audience might think of your branding and next to it feeling like a great representation of ‘you’ it’s also super important that it speaks to the people you’re hoping to work with. Tough balance sometimes but I’m super excited to start handing out business cards with my new logo so to me that’s a win. : )
I have been incredibly blessed to be a part of this project. The graphics themselves were created entirely by the very talented artist and world-changer, Jen Lemen. I also worked very closely with Ria Unson and Henry Lohmeyer, who provided the vision for the design and how it would all work together. Their attention to detail speaks to my pixel perfection tendencies. Revision requests came in the form of “can you move this picture 2 pixels to the left?” or “nudge that menu 1 pixel lower?”. A refreshing change sometimes to the more ambiguous terms most clients use, like “a little bit” for example, or “a tad“. : )
Their vision for the new site included some pretty complex navigation features that required a crash course in PHP scripting and manipulating html to do things that I’m not sure it had ever been used to do quite this way before. At least not based on the hours of pouring through forums and design sites for guidance along the way. It was a lot of late nights (and even all-nighters) but it has been the most rewarding project I’ve worked on thus far.
Hopeful Notes – the blog
You can visit the site at hopefulworld.org. Do me a favor and refresh your screen a few times on that landing page to see how we used some of their incredible images as backdrops to the menu. Then click through to the site and take a look around. Maybe even sign up for an online class. : )