The Blogcademy: Business Cards and Stickers

The Blogcademy Collateral

Over at The Blogcademy, we’ve been hard at work designing all our business collateral. First came the rubber stamps and next, business cards and stickers. And in an ongoing effort to help you outfit your own business in style, we’re sharing our sources!

The Blogcademy Collateral

I wanted the cards to be premium in both look and feel but also budget-friendly and that’s where Moo came in. I hadn’t ever paid the site much attention but last month, one of my clients requested that I set her business cards up with their specs and after digging around, I really liked what I saw. A lot has changed over at Moo; it’s not just mini cards these days!

The Blogcademy Collateral

Have you seen the latest addition to their offerings, the Luxe Business Cards? Featuring Mohawk Superfine paper merged with a rich seam of color (we chose black for these), the quality is really awesome. The matte finish has a noticeably tactile texture and the saturation of the inks is top notch.

The Blogcademy Collateral

We couldn’t decide on a back for our cards so I made two. The more the merrier! What I appreciate about Moo is that they realize not everyone is a designer and came up with 70 pre-made design templates for the Luxe that are geared towards a number of industries.

The Blogcademy Collateral

Of course, when it comes to branding our business, we couldn’t stop at just business cards. Moo also offers stickers in a number of formats and my favorite part is that you can upload multiple designs to be printed in the same pack! How cool is that? We have plans to use these to seal official correspondence.

We have more Blogcademy projects in the works I’ll be sharing in upcoming posts. Thanks for following along with us on this exciting new journey!

P.S. I wanted to mention that I wasn’t contacted or compensated by Moo in any way. I’m just really happy with the outcome of the products I ordered.

What I Wore: The Rose Garden

Nubby Twiglet What I Wore Rose Garden

I don’t have a chance to dress up very often these days but when I do, I’ve been trying some new things. My style goal this year was to push myself out of my usual comfort zone and this dress, with a mixture of colors (and even flowers!) does just that. I love it though. For daytime, I usually wear a black cardigan over the top but had to show off the standout element on this occasion – a super strappy back made of elastic bands. When we were walking through the rose gardens near the Washington Park Zoo and spotted this oasis brimming with tropical foliage, it was a little too perfect.

Nubby Twiglet What I Wore Rose Garden

I Wore: 1. ASOS Strappy Dress, 2. Acne Alice Heels 3. H&M Gold Headband.

Nubby Twiglet What I Wore Rose Garden

To my American readers, I hope you’re having a great holiday weekend. This morning, I got a surprise call from one of my best friends and then took Rocky out on a walk through the Reed College campus. Pretty good start to the day!

Inspiration: Veer Ideas

Veer Ideas

All Images: Veer Ideas.

I’m always on the lookout for fresh visual inspiration — and with the permeation of Pinterest and Tumblr it gets harder to find exciting, provoking imagery that hasn’t been reposted everywhere. Veer, long one of my favorite sources for purchasing fonts, has launched Veer Ideas, a Tumblr full of stunning photos and type. The mix of compositions and colors really gave me a creative jolt — this collection doesn’t disappoint.

The Week In Pictures: 9.1.12

week in pictures

See Haystack Rock? You probably remember Cannon Beach best from the 80s classic Goonies.

Every year, I have to visit the Oregon Coast at least once during the summer or else it doesn’t feel complete. Last year was known as the Bummer Summer™ because Joey broke his leg and we couldn’t travel — as time slipped away, I felt more and more disappointed. I knew we had to make it happen this year. Neither Joey or Rocky had been to the Oregon Coast before and I wanted to share my favorite place there with them, Cannon Beach. We booked a room at Land’s End (a beachfront hotel that is more importantly dog friendly) and hit the road.

week in pictures

Ahhhh, warm sand! The thing is, Cannon Beach is only about an hour and a half from Portland. I need make it a priority to go MUCH more often.

week in pictures

These chairs were just sitting there, completely vacant…and looking very inviting. The weather was perfect, which if you’ve been to the Oregon Coast, you’ll know is usually pretty hit-or-miss.

week in pictures

There seemed to be a high ratio of amazing classic cars in this relatively tiny town. I wasn’t complaining!

week in pictures

To me, this is the quintissential beach scene. I love the mix colors, the inviting feel of all the little shops and the laid-back beachy attitude overall.

week in pictures

We ran into these horses Sunday morning. Rocky taunted them like crazy. Which, if you can imagine the scale of them versus him, was even more entertaining.

week in pictures

Rocky loved this classic Mercedes. He doesn’t whip his tongue out like that for just anything!

week in pictures

Right when we got to the beach, we didn’t even go to the hotel and change first. I just kicked off my spiked sneakers and hit the sand. It was Rocky’s first time in the Ocean and he hated it! He, like me, has a full head of hair and can’t stand getting it wet! Haha.

week in pictures

These felt mobiles were pretty cool. What I love about Cannon Beach is that a lot of the boutiques are tucked away and clustered together in little enclaves that invite you to walk through and explore. We went out for coffee early and spent the morning peeking into all the little shop windows. So relaxing and fun.

week in pictures

On our last morning, I found this beach house. It’s pretty much perfect in a creepy magical storybook sort of way, don’t you think? I am so glad I had a chance to visit Cannon Beach this summer. It’s one of those places I never, ever tire of. Kind of like Leavenworth. I’ve been visiting Cannon Beach and Leavenworth since I was a baby and they both still have that sense of magic.

Over this holiday weekend, I’m looking forward to staying home and working on some Blogcademy projects. What are your plans?

Link Love: 8.30.12

link love

link love

8 by Leonardo Sonnoli. Reminds me of my 5!

• From 1899 through 1910, French artists were asked to illustrate what they thought France would look like in the year 2000. The results were pretty entertaining.

• Want to learn some CSS in a fun, accessible way? Pugly Pixel is offering an online workshop!

• If you’re interested in making a creative pitch to a company, here’s some great advice about how to make it happen.

• The 10 commandments of successful client-creative relationships.

• Leo Babauta on how to remove the clutter and get a badass lifestyle.

• Are we all bragging too much? “Clearly, the Internet has given us a global audience for our bombast, and social media sites encourage it. We’re all expected to be perfect all the time. The result is more people carefully stage-managing their online image.”

• Get some colorblocking action going on in your home!

• Calgel manicures seem to be the hot new thing when it comes to getting your nails done — Anna of D16 gave them a solid review.

• After 25 years, Microsoft has a new logo.

• Jessica Hische and her husband-to-be were interviewed over on The Great Discontent here and here.

• How to organize your stuff without spending any money!

The Making of Rock n Roll Bride Magazine: Tips & Insights

Rock n Roll Bride Magazine

A mock-up of Rock n Roll Bride Magazine

Today I have some tips and tricks to share that I gathered while designing my biggest personal job to date, Rock n Roll Bride Magazine. These are meant to give you some insight into managing a project of this scale and will hopefully make things easier for you both from a design and management standpoint.

Tips & Insights

• Get your print specs as early on in the process as possible. Nobody wants to go through and reformat 80+ pages at the end of a project! Since Kat is located in the U.K., her magazine was set up with a different standard of sizing — I knew this from the beginning and was able to build her magazine on the proper template from day one.

Draw a rough outline before diving into the design process. I knew that Kat’s magazine would be a maximum of 80 pages and feature 4 core sections plus a handful of additional supporting pages. I also knew that featured weddings would take up the largest chunk of pages. I sat down with a pen and paper and quickly sketched out the page counts so I had some guidelines.

For example: 2 lifestyle articles x 5 pages each = 10. 5 featured weddings x 6 pages each = 30. 2 D.I.Y. features x 5 pages each = 10. 1 fashion spread x 8 pages = 8. Misc. layouts + last minute additions = 22 pages (this has some wiggle room in case an article stretches on a bit).

Rock n Roll Bride Magazine

• If you get stuck on page layouts, step away from the computer. Sketch out some thumbnails to get your creative juices flowing. One of my all-time favorite design book authors, Jan V. White has a few titles that can help you quickly visualize fresh layouts. I love his books because most were written before design became computer-based and the solutions are solid. The two titles I reach for most often are the Graphic Idea Notebook and Designing for Magazines.

• Use a few basic grids throughout your publication for consistency. InDesign makes this super easy. Simply go to Layout > Margins and Columns > Columns and set the number of columns needed. Then adjust the gutter so that your content has some breathing room.

• Stick with black and white printing for your first proof. Not only is it about 1/10th the cost of color but it will allow you to focus more closely on the strength of your layouts and the overall legibility of your type before tackling the images.

• Always mock up your design before sending it to the printer! Once issue 2 was finalized, I did one final print, trimmed all the pages and then affixed them with double-stick tape (see above). I wanted to make sure that when I flipped through it, the magazine as a whole had a solid flow.

Things look WAY different printed versus on your computer screen. The scale of type and the brightness of images may be way off from what you think. Even if you’re completely confident in your layout, print it! Then, print it again. And again!

• Keep your content organized in a way that makes sense to you. Since Kat’s magazine had four distinct categories that the content was divided into (Lifestyle, Fashion, D.I.Y. and Weddings), I used these as my main content folders so I could drill down and find images and text quickly. We kept a text document of copy for each segment nestled in there along with the photos – breaking the magazine content into those four sections made the project feel a lot less overwhelming. We focused on filling these areas out first and then I went back to the supporting pages at the end and filled in the blanks.

• Save the front and back cover design for last. Chances are, your imagery will change as you move along and it’s hard to know what the headlines will be until you’re getting close to wrapping up the project. Think of this final design challenge as a way to wrap up your masterpiece and give it a face and a name!

Rock n Roll Bride Magazine

• Always save your proofs. I hold onto mine in my flat files. You can learn a lot from looking back at your process.

• Set up some basic layouts you can reuse. InDesign master pages allow you to apply the same templates again and again. Consistency in a print publication is a good thing — developing a consistent rhythm with formatting will help establish a visual style throughout.

• Let your content breathe! I remember the first time I did an editorial layout in college — we were all new to InDesign and a lot of us felt the need to jam as much content onto each page as possible. But think instead of each page as a piece of art. Allow images on certain ones to take the stage — maybe all that’s needed is a big, beautiful quote. Others may tell the heart of the story. Let the copy rule on those. Overall, let either the copy or image take the lead because that lack of balance is what creates visual interest. If both of these elements are too equal on a page, it loses impact.

• Do your research. Buy a few magazines from the genre you’re designing for. I knew very little about the wedding industry as a whole so I bought a few Martha Stewart Weddings magazines, flipped through a few more wedding titles and researched what worked. I knew that I wanted to have a fashion and lifestyle angle in the mix so I defaulted to my no-fail favorites for inspiration: W, Interview and O Magazine. The big time publishers have the big design budgets and know what’s up when it comes to great page layouts. Observe the best and pay close attention to what makes their layouts stand out.

• Commitment-phobic? Print on demand first. If you’re wanting to give your layouts a spin and see how they look in a magazine format before taking the plunge, order a single issue through MagCloud first. See your work on perfect-bound glossy pages before committing to a full run!

Rock n Roll Bride Magazine

• Finally, practice makes perfect. The first time you tackle any big design project, it feels overwhelming (at least to me). But just like anything, the more times you do it, the more it becomes second nature. Five years ago, this project would have given me a panic attack. Now I say, bring it on!

If you have any questions about the specifics of my process, let me know in the comments!

The Typofiles #115: Rika Magazine

Typofiles Rika Magazine

I am new to Rika Magazine and just had to share — based out of the Netherlands, this bi-annual magazine is a visual masterpiece. The combination of super sleek, edgy fonts paired with bright splashes of watercolors and handwriting lend a perfect balance of beauty and grit.

Typofiles Rika Magazine

Rika Magazine is the editorial masterpiece of Ulrika Lundgren, founder of the fashion label Rika, and Jacob Wildschiødtz, design director of LOVE magazine. About the magazine, they claim that “Rika looks at women as muses, creators, fighters and lovers in the fields. Each issue picks a theme, which is freely reinterpreted by an array of established and up-and-coming contributors.” Some of those contributors have included Helena Christiansen, Anton Corbijn, Yoko Ono and Milla Jovovich. No big deal!

Typofiles Rika Magazine

Rika Magazine is more than just another fashion magazine — it’s like that perfect combination of the girl you meet who’s not only gorgeous but also whip-smart. Lundgren and Wildschiødtzit assert that “a magazine should be a meeting point for a creative community, and a source of inspiration to each and everyone’s daily life.” And Rika does just that. If you’re on the hunt for your own copy, I found mine at Barnes and Noble.

You can view all of The Typofiles right here.