When the bulging September issue of Elle showed up in my mailbox a few days ago, I couldn’t stop staring at the cover. All that angled type felt so fresh and so now.
Angled type has always been an Elle trademark but they really took it to the next level here. And throughout the issue, the type and layouts have all been amplified — I’ve been a faithful subscriber for years and there’s just something really special about their attention to detail that other fashion magazines often miss. I have huge respect for Creative Director Joe Zee, Design Director Paul Ritter and the rest of the design staff. Putting together a kick-ass 600+ page issue is no easy task!
I am so excited to announce a brand new workshop that’s launching today, The Blogcademy! I will be joining forces this Fall with Gala and Kat to share everything we know about our favorite topic, blogging, with YOU! The Blogcademy is very special to me — for the last five years, I’ve wanted to share my branding and marketing insights on a much bigger platform and this is the opportunity for me to do just that!
At The Blogcademy, we are teaching a two day masterclass for bloggers in New York City! Covering everything you could possibly want to know about blogging, branding and running your own business, this will be a weekend to remember. As Kat so accurately puts it, “We promise truckloads of learning, laughing, photo ops, sugary treats and homework assignments you’ll actually want to complete.” Sounds like fun to me!
As an extra special bonus, we’re bringing U.K. wedding photographer of the year Lisa Devlin along to shoot your new headshots! Amazingly talented and with a career spanning 20 years, she’ll also be sharing basic shooting, editing and Photoshop skills.
It’s one thing to have a cohesive look across all your online properties, but it’s another thing entirely to know if they accurately represent you or your business. My primary role at The Blogcademy (beyond all the branding and visuals!) will be to offer a unique perspective on building a brand from scratch, complete with real life examples. I want to take the guesswork out of brand building and show you the steps to take yours to the next level as well as adding that extra level of professional polish to your marketing materials. I’m not afraid to share what you should include in a media kit and I’m an open book on advice including how to forge creative relationships with big-name brands. Additionally, if you’re a creative company that’s not focused on ad revenues, find out how a blog can still help propel your business to the next level.
Date, Location and Registration
The Blogcademy will be held at Silk Studio in Manhattan over Saturday, October 20th and Sunday, October 21st, 2012. If you’d like to register (seats are limited to 30!), please do so here.
When you’re getting started as a blogger, sometimes you need a break! We’ve decided to offer one scholarship spot to one of you! For your chance to win, just make a video telling us why you think YOU should be part of the first graduating class of The Blogcademy (hint: Be creative!) Upload it somewhere (Youtube/Vimeo) and send us the link by Sunday 16th September. We’ll pick our favorite entry and you’ll be invited to hang with us all weekend!
I am so excited to be a part of The Blogcademy and to have a chance to share my branding and marketing insights with you in a fun, inviting format! The best part about joining forces with these two ladies is that we all cover completely different niches and therefore, have unique perspectives that will truly provide you with an all-encompassing view of how to take your blog and business to the next level.
If you’d like to learn more, please visit The Blogcademy. We hope to see you in New York this Fall!
I loved this week. My mom has been in town visiting and I’ve also been working on a personal project over the last few months with some friends that launches next week — this pattern is from the project’s identity guide (my main task has been to get all the design elements together) and there’s so much other good stuff to share!
Please excuse the terribly chipped nail polish but until this week I didn’t know that jumbo Oreo ice cream sandwiches existed! I’m now convinced that they’re one of the best inventions ever.
Over the weekend, I attended a relative’s wedding with my mom and two aunts. When I heard that it was retro-themed, I knew just what dress to wear — this double-layered polka dot number that was a gift from my friend Mary Bee while I was in LA earlier this summer.
Needless to say, the wedding was gorgeous. But there were a few entertaining moments like when my aunt walked in late to sit next to us in the crowd and TRIPPED OVER A CAT! There was also another couple in head-to-toe polkadots I matched a little too well (to the point that my mom was like “I think those are your real parents.” Haha.) I was enamored with the couple’s idea of picking berries together for jam and labeling the jars with Sweet Love for the guests. All those individual, hand-done touches are what make weddings really special.
I love hanging out with my mom and aunts because I end up in a ton of places I normally never frequent…like farmer’s markets and crystal shops! It’s good to expand your horizons, right?
A little still-life: my post dinner dishes in my office.
Last night I met my friend for some chit-chat at the Doug Fir and ran into more friends and a fellow blog reader all the way from New York. Have a great weekend — I’ll be out on the town with my mom and wrapping up that personal project. I want this summer to last forever.
So I’m a little late to the game when it comes to the Computer Arts Collection, which is an annual series of six in-depth guides (a new edition is released every two months) full of inspiration from each of the following disciplines: graphic design, typography, illustration, branding, photography and advertising. But nevertheless, I am so glad I found this awesome set of ultra thick magazines that are so jam-packed full of content that they’re more in line with softcover books.
I was in Barnes and Noble last month and spotted the retro-futuristic cover for the Illustration Issue (number 3 in the series) and had to know more. This isn’t just your run-of-the-mill creative magazine. Each issue features industry leaders who share their processes and insights. And even better, there’s a talent directory in the back of each issue listing contact info for the best of the best!
Beyond that, at 200+ pages, I was blown away at just how well the content is designed. Multiple weights of paper, many saturated with colorful patterns and tons of unique graphic lockups make this a must-have if you’re in most creative fields. I could have easily scanned another 50+ pages because the content is THAT good…and I’m not even an illustrator. I’m now backtracking since I discovered these so late, trying to pick up the first two issues I missed (graphic design and typography).
Enough of my over-the-top excitement. All I can say is that this series is amazing and will send your creative juices into overdrive. All issues are available here.
When ScotchBlue Tape invited me to take part in their D.I.Y. creative challenge, I was both honored and flattered but I’ll be honest here: my mind when blank when it came to dreaming up a project. I’m used to spending my days designing behind the computer but feel like a fish out of water when it comes to handcrafting most things — luckily, this is Joey’s strong suit! He started his own line of skateboards last year and we’d often talked about collaborating on a design but it was one of those projects we never seemed to get around to. We quickly realized that this was our chance to finally make it a reality!
To get started, I built out some inspiration boards to give Joey and idea of the direction I wanted my design to take. Pinterest is great but I thought it would be WAY more fun to curate my ideas on cork boards. I knew I wanted the design to be geometric, have at least one pop of color and include my old standbys, type and stripes.
These are the supplies that are needed:
• Blank Skate Deck. Joey carved mine himself (see above) out of reclaimed wood from a furniture shop that was 9 ply but you can pick up a blank deck at most skate shops.
• Print-outs of Design. We printed out my design in three 11×17 inch sheets (black and white is fine on normal paper) that were then taped together as a stencil.
• ScotchBlue Tape. The thinner width was especially awesome for knocking out our stripes.
• Spray Adhesive: You’ll need this to affix the paper stencil to the tape. We used a 3M version.
• Spraypaint. We used Krylon brand with a gloss finish in black, white and yellow (see above) and finished with a clear coat to seal it.
• X-acto Knife. You’ll need to cut out the pattern so you can spray paint the design.
• Prep: Joey cut this deck out with a jigsaw himself, measured and drilled the holes for trucks and sanded it to a smooth finish. If you purchase one from a skate shop, the holes will already be drilled.
1. Start with a base coat of spraypaint (we used white) and let it dry for a full day to make sure it isn’t tacky.
2. Cover the entire bottom surface of the skate deck in ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape.
3. This is the surface that the stencil will be cut out of.
4. Cover the entire taped surface of the skate deck in spray adhesive.
5. Next, affix the stencil to the tacky surface and cut off the excess.
6. Cut out the black portions of the stencil using an X-acto knife. Remember to cut through both the stencil AND the painter’s tape. The stencil and tape are affixed together so peel both off to reveal the painted surface.
7. All black portions of the stencil should be removed EXCEPT for the A.
8. The first coat of black spraypaint is applied. The A was masked over with ScotchBlue Tape because we were going to apply a different color to it later in the process.
9. Remove the rest of the stencil.
10. This is the result.
11. Peel off the A section of the stencil and SAVE IT!
12. Create a fresh, inverted circle stencil.
13. Use paper and ScotchBlue Tape to mask the entire skate deck with exception of the circle and a single stripe (these are the areas we want to make yellow).
14. Spraypaint the yellow sections. Let this dry for a few hours to ensure nice, crisp edges.
15. Remove all paper and tape to reveal the yellow. Then, replace with the A that was set aside earlier. Mask off everything that should NOT be black. Apply one final coat of black paint and let this dry for a few hours.
16. Once surface is dry, remove all masking to reveal your final design!
Joey wasn’t quite finished yet, though. Before I took my deck out for a spin, he applied grip tape to the surface and sliced out my trademark cross symbol. The perfect finishing touch! Get creative here — you can cut out anything in the grip tape you can dream up!
I loved my finished design so much I put it on display in my office. Nothing beats a piece of functional art! If you have any questions at all about the process, please let me know in the comments and we’ll do our best to respond! And if you make your own skate deck design, let us know — we’d love to see it!
This post is a collaboration with ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape. Visit Scotch Blue Tape on Facebook to learn how to win rad stuff and check out the other participants’ projects in the gallery. All concepts and designs within this post were created in partnership with Joey Maas.
Wowza, what a week! Thanks so much for all your thoughtful and congratulatory comments on my five year anniversary post! I wasn’t exactly sure how things would go down with the relaunch because during this whole redesign process, I didn’t tell a single soul except for two people: my close friend (and developer) Star and Joey.
I’d been wanting to redesign my blog for two full years but I just never seemed to have a chunk of time to put my vision into Photoshop and sit with it to see how it felt outside of my head. Over that time, I did make notes of what I liked, gathered research and screen shots and when it was time, I did the full layout in a few hours during one sitting. I just really wanted it done. It was time to stop making excuses to myself and get it out there.
I had two reasons for not announcing the revamp before it went live: I didn’t want to let anyone down if it took forever (which it did). And also, I didn’t want to be swayed by outside feedback. It can be hard to keep a big personal project to yourself but I’ve learned that first and foremost, you have to be happy with the design and not get too wrapped up in what other people think.
Someone recently asked me what my favorite part of the design process is. I really enjoy the beginning of a new project when the possibilities still seem endless and feeling the wave of inspiration that comes with gathering visual research. Over the weekend I pulled away from the internet to flip through one of my favorite design books, Letterhead and Logo Design 11 (which I’ve mentioned a lot on here before because it’s full of super good branding examples, many of which I’ve never spotted online).
There are many days when I revert to the simplicity of black jeans and a t-shirt but to dress things up, I throw on a colorful scarf. I found this version by Cooperative on the sale rack at Urban Outfitters for less than $10.00 but I can’t seem to find it on their site. It’s a super lightweight weave, perfect for the summer.
We took Rocky on a long walk through the rose gardens and neighborhoods near the zoo over the weekend and I loved the way this regal statue was displayed in the window. It’s like he’s saying, “Hello, world!”
New notebooks are the best. These ones from Urban Outfitters are pretty roomy and ruled and there are a bunch of great colors. I’m nearly a third of the way through the first one already! List making and note taking is good for the soul. And with that, I’m off. My mom is in town visiting and I’m very much looking forward to some family time. Have a rad weekend!
Hello! I'm Shauna, the Creative Director of Branch, a boutique design studio. I am also a co-founder of The Blogcademy. This is my lifestyle blog, which has been going strong since 2007. I'm obsessed with shoes and llamas. Read more…
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