Category Archives: Graphic Design

Creative Chronicles: Five Places to Buy Fonts

Nubby Twiglet | Creative Chronicles #12: Five Places to Buy Fonts

Let’s get down to one of the basics you probably use every single day as a designer: fonts.

To stand out from the crowd, good fonts matter big time. Yes, there are dozens of free font sites out there but they’re not always created equally. The kerning in free fonts may be off and some important characters are most likely missing from the glyphs.

These days, Branch often works on upwards of five unique branding projects at any given time so I buy a ton of fonts. After all, even if you have a defined style, you want each project to stand apart on its own as much as possible.

These are the five places I love buying fonts from, each with different strengths and varied selections:

1. You Work For Them

I’ve been shopping at YWFT for so long that I remember when they specialized in design books! Their font selection is solid and while they do have over 40,000 fonts, they are neatly organized with simple thumbnail previews so you can scroll through quickly. The basics are thoroughly covered but there are a lot of fun gems as well, like the retro section.

2. Hoefler & Co.

If you have a bigger font budget, buying a few complete families is a great investment and Hoefler & Co. has some of the strongest options around. They’ve been around for over 25 years and take great care in everything they produce. My personal favorites (that I use on a near-daily basis!) are Archer, Gotham, Knockout and Chronicle.

3. House Industries

If your style veers more towards midcentury modern and funky, House is your place. I love them so much that I have their beautiful screen printed posters on each side of my bed! Also, do yourself a favor and sign up for their free catalog. I use a lot of House fonts in projects but my all-time favorite is Eames Century Modern. I also love that this foundry uses its best-selling fonts on home goods, too. I’ve long dreamed of having the Neutraface address tiles on a future house.

4. The Designer’s Foundry

This site works with dozens of international designers to produce beautiful custom fonts. They are always on the cutting edge of trends but manage to keep their selection super tight with a big focus on affordability. I have a huge crush on Kitune, Marle and Selador. If you’re working with younger, edgier brands, start here for font research.

5. Creative Market

I’ll be the first to admit that Creative Market is more ideal for buying assets like textures, mockups and imagery but I do use them a lot for unique handwritten fonts because they have many talented letterers selling their goods on the site. Creative Market has some amazing font options I’ve never seen anywhere else but be careful to read the licensing fine print because it’s not as clear-cut for commercial use. Font-wise, I’m a big fan of Madina Script and Faith & Glory.

I hope these font site recommendations inspire you to invest in your personal library. And if you have recommendations of other places you swear by, please share them in the comments!


Check out even more Creative Chronicles posts here.

Creative Chronicles: Streamline Processes, Teach Clients How To Treat You and Charge More with Project Prescription

Nubby Twiglet | Creative Chronicles: Streamlining Processes and Teaching Clients How To Treat You with The Project Prescription

When I started freelancing ten years ago:

1. I assumed that my creativity alone would be enough to stand on.

2. I thought that my great ideas and follow-through would be enough to earn a full-time living.

3. I assumed that by saying nothing, my clients would automatically know how to treat me.

And….then I learned the hard way that none of the above were true.

Does earning a living as a freelance designer feel like an uphill battle but you’re not sure how to transform your career into something more lucrative? I feel you — because I spent years in the same boat, trying to figure out what I was doing wrong.

Nubby Twiglet | Creative Chronicles: Streamlining Processes and Teaching Clients How To Treat You with The Project Prescription

The Process Problem

From the beginning of my career, I had a strong sense of style but no matter how creative my ideas were, at times I struggled to get work approved and even worse, to charge what it was worth.

Designers can be a sensitive bunch and when things didn’t go my way, I often took the rejection personally.

My issues had nothing to do with creativity or talent and everything to do with teaching my clients what to expect. My creative work wasn’t falling flat….but my processes were.

As you navigate the tricky world of running a freelance business, one thing becomes very clear: producing creative work is only half of the equation. The other half is less obvious but it’s just as important.

Processes are everything. Without them, you’re missing the opportunity to increase your output, get treated fairly and earn what you deserve.

Having a process wasn’t always clear to me and for good reason: nobody likes to openly discuss their internal processes.

And, can you blame them?

It’s their so-called “secret sauce” and if they give it away, they’ve essentially handed over what makes them unique. While design style is important, how you present it and convey your value to clients is what makes you a living.

Nubby Twiglet | Creative Chronicles: Streamlining Processes and Teaching Clients How To Treat You with The Project Prescription

The Shift

What finally changed for me?

I worked at a lot of studios, attended plenty of workshops and retreats, asked a ton of questions and swapped ideas with fellow freelancers. I kept digging until I’d cobbled together a process. Then, I launched Branch and tested it out a few dozen times, making tweaks along the way.

Once I was happy with my process, I started thinking: if I struggled for so long with this, there has to be others who feel the same way.

And, let’s be honest here: processes can take a lot of time to develop. When you have projects to get done, the last thing you want to do is dump a bunch of time into something you’re not sure will even work.

Nubby Twiglet | Creative Chronicles: Streamlining Processes and Teaching Clients How To Treat You with The Project Prescription

The Simple Solution

I had an idea to share ready-made process documents but knew it could be better so I reached out to Paul Jarvis. He’s worked with the likes of Marie Forleo, Danielle LaPorte and dozens of others over the last 17 years and, as you can guess, his process is SOLID.

With our partnership, Project Prescription was born: a set of 15 fully customizable documents so you can quickly add your branding, colors and fonts to a pre-set formula and get back what you love — the creative side of things.

Nubby Twiglet | Creative Chronicles: Streamlining Processes and Teaching Clients How To Treat You with The Project Prescription

Interested?

Sign up for our mailing list for an exclusive download of two free documents plus a specially priced offer when Project Prescription launches.

Developing a process for your creative business doesn’t have to be intimidating and full of unknowns. Project Prescription launches February 7th and I genuinely hope it helps you level the playing field and grow your business.

Thanks for reading and I’ll be back next week with more specifics about the documents and how to put them to work for your creative business! -Shauna


Fine print: To customize Project Prescription documents, a basic knowledge of InDesign is recommended. Documents are built on the Adobe CC Suite. A trial version of InDesign can be downloaded here.

Questions? Email us at us@theprojectprescription.com.

Project Spotlight: Rock n Roll Bride Magazine Issue 6

Nubby Twiglet | Rock n Roll Bride Magazine Issue 6

Taking on a gigantic magazine project last summer, it definitely took awhile for me to feel comfortable and hit my stride. I’d worked on Rock n Roll Bride Magazine years before but it definitely wasn’t the same beast, being self-published and having less than half the content.

When the opportunity landed in my inbox, I knew it was the right decision for Branch to pick up design duties but I’ll be the first to admit that I was scared. This was going to be on the other side of the ocean on newsstands and in stores, next to the biggest magazine titles in the world and my studio had less than 2 months to redesign the entire thing from scratch, on top of the work we’d already pre-booked with clients.

I’ve never been so nervous about a re-launch in my life.

Thankfully, that issue nearly sold out in the first week, with thousands quickly making their way around the world.

Now that we’ve wrapped the third issue and it’s available for sale, I feel like I can breathe again. The design feels more cohesive, the content flows and each issue is more creative than the last thanks to Kat sourcing the most unique weddings and funding custom shoots.

Whether you’re planning your own alternative wedding or just looking for ideas to throw a kick-ass party, I hope you enjoy it. And if you want a few more peeks inside, head on over here.

Thanks for reading!

Project Spotlight: Radical Self Love Coven Almanac

Branch | Gala Darling: Radical Self Love Coven Almanac

Before I take a little break from going into the office for a few days (hot apple cider, terrible movies and present opening, here I come!), I have one final project to share with you for 2015.

Branch | Gala Darling: Radical Self Love Coven Almanac

Branch | Gala Darling: Radical Self Love Coven Almanac

If you’re looking for ways to make 2016 the most magical, special year ever, the Radical Self Love Coven Almanac (what a mouthful!) may be just what you need. The brainchild of Gala Darling, it features over 100 pages of exclusive content contributed by an eclectic group of women and reading through it as I was putting this project together left me with so many ideas on tweaks I could make to my own routine.

Branch | Gala Darling: Radical Self Love Coven Almanac

Branch | Gala Darling: Radical Self Love Coven Almanac

Branch | Gala Darling: Radical Self Love Coven Almanac

And, let’s get real for a second — as a designer, a lot of the projects I take on are very structured. There are very specific guidelines, wants and needs so when a client comes to me and hands me a few folders with complete free reign of the design, I use it as an excuse to get weird. Projects like this reignite that creative spark that can sometimes feel dormant. Working on this over the last few weeks reminded me why I became a designer in the first place all over again. Really, it was a perfect way to end this year on the project front.

Branch | Gala Darling: Radical Self Love Coven Almanac

GALA_DARLING_RSL_COVEN_ALMANAC_14

Some of the contents included in this digital book / magazine hybrid include:

• A 12 month calendar, complete with magical + fun dates to celebrate.

• Morning routines submitted by the savviest women around — just WAIT till you read Danielle LaPorte’s! Seriously, so epic.

• Horoscopes hand-penned by the Astrotwins (I met them last year and boy, do they know their stuff.)

• Personal essays that will motivate you to kick your life into high gear big time. Feeling that support when you need to make big changes is AWESOME.

• Illustrations by two of our super talented friends, Emily Faulstich and Louise Androlia.

• A collection of 12 worksheets full of prompts for every month next year to keep you on track.

There’s much, much more but I want to leave a few surprises. 😉

Gala and I wove 109 pages of exclusive content together into one beautifully designed, downloadable document which means that you can have instant gratification. YES! No waiting for the mailman (or Santa!) necessary — save down this content-packed PDF, click through the hyperlinks included inside (just wait till you see Gala’s epic list of book recommendations!) and then, print this beauty out to give your 2016 a kick in the ass.

Branch | Gala Darling: Radical Self Love Coven Almanac

Branch | Gala Darling: Radical Self Love Coven Almanac

I’m so proud of this project because it’s essentially the makings of a magazine. I’ve known Gala for well over a decade now and her dream was always to have a magazine but all those years back, due to cost, she started a blog instead. Well, it’s finally happening! If this incarnation does well, we’re already talking about creating a print version for the following year and THAT has me really excited.

Branch | Gala Darling: Radical Self Love Coven Almanac

Here’s to supporting your friends and making cool shit happen.

You can order a copy here. Let me know how you like it!

Have an amazing 2016, friends!


Featured: Radical Self Love Coven Almanac by We Are Branch. All content copyright Gala Darling.

The Week In Pictures: 12.6.15

Branch | Olivine Atelier Beauty, Heart & Soul Oracle Cards

I hope you had an awesome week! I’ll be honest — with a bunch of pre-holiday deadlines looming, I barely left my office this week. And, it’s been POURING, along with getting dark by 4 pm which is not ideal for taking photos. Ah, Winter! So, I’m going to do things a little differently around here today.

A project I spent most of the Summer on finally went to print this week and is available for pre-sale! I wanted to share more about that, along with a more personal story.

Branch | Olivine Atelier Beauty, Heart & Soul Oracle Cards

Just yesterday, my design assistant and I were working on the cover of the new Rock n Roll Bride Magazine, which goes to print next week. About an hour into the process, she said, “This is so hard!” I responded with, “I know. It’s supposed to be.”

I know Instagram often feels like a highlight reel where every creative has a pair of gold scissors on their desk, a black and white inspirational poster washi-taped to their wall, a freshly brewed cup of artisanal coffee and a marble surface they conduct their work on but this is rarely the reality.

Branch | Olivine Atelier Beauty, Heart & Soul Oracle Cards

I get to work by 9 am and leave at 9 pm nearly every day. And in between those inspirational moments, the work is hard. Sometimes branding projects are late because the inspiration just doesn’t flow and I refuse to half-ass a project. This is real life. The work you see online that looked beautiful, effortless and perhaps even easy? It’s usually anything but.

The project featured in this post, a deck of oracle cards called Beauty Heart & Soul started out as an idea Julie had back in July when I met with her in Seattle.

Branch | Olivine Atelier Beauty, Heart & Soul Oracle Cards

In a way, it seemed kind of glamorous — I’d spend the Summer making cute little inspirational messages and scanning flowers. And then, the reality set in. 34 completely different designs coupled with sourcing enough of my own images felt paralyzing. I’d get into the creative zone and then before I knew it, stopping to pack my bags for another trip. After starting work on this project, I traveled to London, Marrakech, Rome, Florence, San Francisco, Orlando, New York and Palm Springs in quick succession. Getting back on track with such a big project felt daunting and the creative block set in big time.

But then one weekend, I sat at my desk and started working. A few more cards were done. Then, a few more. Baby steps. The momentum built. We reworked and refined a few designs and finally, added in a few more cards. Soon, it was done. All 34 cards. At the printer. Hallelujah!

Branch | Olivine Atelier Beauty, Heart & Soul Oracle Cards

I know how hard it is to start those big projects. I know how easy it is to lose momentum when you realize just how big of an undertaking your idea is. I wish I had all the answers on how to follow through, but I don’t. All I can say is that the feeling of completing a project is one of the best feelings in the world and it is so much better than looking back a year from now, wishing you just would have gotten started in the first place.

Get started. Yes, it’s going to be hard.

Don’t let the internet convince you otherwise.

Just do the work. It’s always worth it.

“There is no substitute for hard work.” —Thomas Edison


Featured: Beauty Heart & Soul cards by We Are Branch. All designs copyright 2015 Olivine Atelier.

Project Spotlight: EDGE iD

Nubby Twiglet | EDGE iD

As a designer, you learn to adapt and work in a variety of styles. And truthfully, much of the time the outcome doesn’t necessarily match your personal aesthetic. On those rare occasions it does, it’s pretty awesome. One of those recent occurrences was the branding, collateral and website Branch created for Utah-based interior design firm EDGE iD.

It was a breath of fresh air to take such a modern, minimal approach. Check out the rest of the project right here. Thanks for reading!

Project Spotlight: Rock n Roll Bride Magazine Issue #5

Branch | Rock n Roll Bride Magazine Issue #5

This week, the new issue of Rock n Roll Bride Magazine is hitting newsstands and I wanted to let you know now because this baby sells out fast!

Branch | Rock n Roll Bride Magazine Issue #5

This project was a huge labor of love at Branch over the late Summer / early Fall and this issue is packed full of awesome content. You can see more sneak peeks here.

Branch | Rock n Roll Bride Magazine Issue #5

Oh, and you can bet I dedicated a full page to a squirrel cake — gotta make Chubs proud! Seriously. Sooooo epic.

I hope you enjoy the issue and thanks for your continued support!