Monday, July 27, 2009

Shop Newport | Map + Blog

Newport, Washington is a quaint little town of 2,015 on the border between Washington and Idaho that boasts more than just natural beauty. There are seven very special shops in downtown Newport that have joined together to create a superb shopping experience. These ladies are rocking the shopping world in Northeast Washington. To help promote easy and fun shopping, we recently developed this small map + store guide as a in-store handout.

Cute, right!? If you're in the area you can pick one of these little maps up at any one of the seven shops participating in the Shop Newport movement. If you're not lucky enough to be in the area, well, you're still in luck because we've started a Shop Newport blog, too. There you can find detailed information about each shop, the map guide and photos from the shops. Follow, enjoy and find your something special in Newport, Wa.
If you want to read more about Shop Newport's fabulous Who Let The Girls Out!? 2009 event earlier this year, visit the Shanty Boutique blog or my previous post.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bakery D'Amour | Wall Art

This is what you will see on the walls of Bakery D'Amour in Salem, OR. (If you missed what you won't see, click here.)

Contrary to the proportions you see here, the bike image will become a 2x2-foot stretched, gallery-wrapped work of art on canvas. The below work will be featured on a 6x3-foot gallery-quality canvas. Huge. If you've been to French Press, you've seen the 7x3-foot piece we created earlier this year. That's really huge. Bold and beautiful is the only way to go for this culinary endeavor; it's backed by some very brilliant and very brave people. You know, they say "La chance sourit aux audacieux" or "Fortune favors the brave" (literally translated: "Luck smiles at the bold"). Bakery D'Amour, you are going to be showered in smiles. I just know it.

One of the client's family members got to join in the fun, too! Christine Zollner did the sketch of the picturesque bakery woman in the piece above.

Here's the bakery's address if you'll be in the area: 2755 S. Commercial, Salem, OR 97302

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Style Guide 101 | What a style guide is and why you (might) need one.

Firstly, no. I'm not branching out into fashion. Yet.
This is about design + marketing.

A style guide is, "a set of standards for design and writing of documents, either for general use or for a specific publication or organization" according to Wikipedia. That doesn't really tell you much now, does it? Besides what you've surely already gathered from the name: 'style guide'. It's a guide for style. Duh. But what is it really? And why does anyone need one?

Successful marketing requires consistency. That is the purpose of a style guide: to help you (and me for that matter!) be consistent. A style guide serves as a reference for each piece of visual communication – ads, letterhead, envelopes, business cards, website, invoices, fax cover sheets, mailing labels...the list goes on and on. It includes specific information regarding approved colors, logo usage, typefaces and any number of other elements. This way, what you're saying to your audience doesn't change with the flickering trends. As a result, your life is easier. And who doesn't want that!? When you have an established style guide, there's always something to bounce new layouts off of and get inspiration from. You're not questioning the logo placement, color scheme and type selection for every print communication piece. Ahh.

Although it may seem regimented to some, a style guide is absolutely essential if you have more than one person working on your account or you see your company expanding in the future. I ran across some really great arguments for why it is so essential on the University of Alabama at Birmingham website such as, "Using the same style and design helps us project a strong unified, organized, and professional appearance to our audiences." Universities are known for having super detailed style guides due to the aggregative nature of their institutions. But really, don't you want to look unified, organized and professional, too? I also love the way they handle the definitions of graphic identity + style. Read away.

You can see some examples of style guides I've developed here and here.

And finally, Wikipedia has something to conclude the matter. This time I think they're on to something: "Such guides allow a large design team to produce visually consistent work for the organization." Exactly. And that's why it's important. It facilitates successful marketing. Period.

Windlab Systems | Style Guide

Just a peek into a corporate style guide I've been working on. It's final form is a digital booklet. They actually requested it, believe it or not. Consistency is king. They understand that. (If you want to know what a style guide is, read about it here. Then you can decide if you need one. Wink, wink.)

Verge | Style Guide

This is a style guide I developed for a client in February of 2007. It's a good example of a one-sheet layout approach. All the goodies at a glance. Read more about style guides here.

Friday, July 17, 2009

What you won't see on the Bakery D'Amour walls.

We've been busy preparing all of the necessary pieces for Bakery D'Amour as their grand opening in Salem, Oregon is swiftly approaching. One of those pieces is wall art. Below are some early comps I presented for a large wall art piece. The final print will be 6x3', printed on canvas with 1.5' stretcher bars. (Keep in mind these are comps; please excuse the watermarks and low-resolution of some of the elements. Purchases have to wait for approval.) Even though none of these comps were approved as-is, there's a lot of good stuff here I wanted to share. And there's even better stuff on the way!

Stock images and illustration from , Jim Ward Morris and

They say that the kitchen is the heart of a home. I'm pretty sure this bakery will become the heart of the capital city in no time. Good work, team.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Penchant for Pattern

I've got a penchant for pattern. The precision and repetition is mesmerizing. I relish in the detail and creation of a swatch that morphs into a perfect, progressive motif. I've been on a quest to become a pattern aficionado. Here's my premier collection. You'll see some of these patterns peeking out of my work in the upcoming days...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Vital Life Foundation Website | LAUNCHED!

It's a good day. The Vital Life Foundation website is officially live!

The Vital Life Foundation was established by Marquis and Consonus, sister companies in the rehab, pharmacy, staffing, consulting and long-term care industries. They formed it to streamline all of the generous donations of money and time they were receiving from employees, residents and the community. The Foundation is ultimately about doing good. They funnel their resources to sponsor all sorts of other charitable organizations and positive programs that benefit many deserving people. Needless to say, I'm so honored to have been able to be a part of building the online component to promote some seriously selfless work. You can jump online to find out more about their charitable partners and how to get involved. (And admire all the pretty new graphics.)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Everybody loves a potluck.

It's true. And what better way to celebrate a pair of newlyweds than with a post-wedding-party-slash-potluck-slash-bar-b-que!? Seriously. Sheila & Jason want a small, low-key ceremony, so they'll be getting married the day before at the courthouse. (You can read more on their blog.) But the couple wants a big-group shin-dig, too - just not with all the frills. So that's that! And that's what I kept in mind when designing their postcard invitation. A little cheeky, a little laid-back, a little non-traditional, really fun and pretty darn cute. Wait a minute - am I describing Sheila or her wedding invite? Both, I think. (Love you, Sheila.)

Now, if you're planning on crashing the party because I didn't blur out all of the details, go for it. But you better bring a dish.

Congrats, Sheila and Jason! You are wonderful, wonderful people and will only be better together. I can't wait for the potluck. Food + drink + general merriment: coming right up!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Inspiration | Vintage Books

Thanks to my dad, who just went back to his hometown of Emery, South Dakota for the town's 125th Anniversary celebration, I just inherited several old books from my grandparents. If you really want to see me swoon, put an old book in my hands. I've said it before. Especially if it has any features like these...
Now that's stuff worth stacking in your carry-on and hauling home! Beautiful design. Gorgeous typography. Olden hand-written notes. Scrupulous illustrations. Thanks, Grandma Jo & Grandpa Bob. (And Dad!)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Fyre Fly Glass | Marlene Slothouber

Marlene is like my second mom. She also happens to be my best friend's real mom. She is full of vitality. She is super creative. She's smart. She's really good with the details. She gives great hugs. I love her and I've always been a fan of her handiwork. Growing up, I would go over to visit the Slothouber family and sneak downstairs into Marlene's studio to see what she was up to. Whether it was sculpture, a plethora of custom ceramic mugs or lampworked beads, I was always blown away. I made my first ceramic sculpture in 5th grade in that studio. It was a dragon. Looking at it now I laugh because that feeble dragon form was foreshadowing (however pathetic) for what I would go on to study in higher-level education and eventually pursue occupationally.

All that to say, Marlene has helped shape me into who I am. And now, I get to use the creative skills she stirred up in me to help her. It's so cool when it goes full circle like that.

Marlene has most recently started promoting her glass work. When she was younger, fire flies were always so enchanting to her - with the flickers of light and the small wings and bodies. Now, her bead work holds that same sort of enchantment. So she's called the company Fyre Fly Glass. How perfect is that? With every business comes the need for a business card....and now she has hers! (Along with a logo with an abstract fire-fly-slash-bead-like motif.) All I have to say is that she's lucky I didn't sneak a dragon into it somewhere. Or did I.....

P.S. Her blog is under construction - but become a follower now so you can be in the loop later!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

And the winner is......

Ta-da! The Bakery D'Amour team chose a logo! We went through several rounds after reviewing what I originally presented, but we didn't stray far. I'm very happy with the solution and see many head-over-heels delicious dreams coming true in the future. So stay tuned, all you bread-lovers; there's a lot more that just hasn't come out of the oven.
This is where it all began. My sketchbook, the 'oven'.
The creative process is delightful.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Back to the drawing board. Literally.

It's so refreshing to sit down and do art. And yes, all of this playing I do on my computer is art, but using real ink and real paper and real hand motions is oh so satisfying after hours upon hours of clicking and scrolling. On Friday at the 'Work-From-Home-Together' party that I hosted, we ended up moseying out to the back patio for the afternoon. At that point it was more party than work. Let's be honest. But -- I am working on a few personal projects and took the opportunity of a gorgeous Northwest day to do some painting outside. My dear friend Heaven receives all credit for the photography. She runs Green Chair Studio out of Portland, OR.

Pssst. Do you see this amazing and mysterious desk/drawers piece I'm working on? It was a killer craigslist find - I'll share more soon. Once all of the 10 rattle cans are empty....

The little piece at the top of the post is one of the things that came out of my Friday afternoon. It's a digitally-rendered silhouette with a watercolor wash placed inside it. I'm definitely enjoying the freedom and texture in the watercolor contrasted by the sharp edges (that would be nearly impossible to achieve freehand - at least for me). So maybe I can't stay away from the computer completely but it's good to try every once in a while!