Rock n Roll Bride Issue 9 On Sale Now!

Nubby Twiglet | Rock n Roll Bride Magazine

Issue 9 of Rock n Roll Bride Magazine just went on sale and though I haven’t had a chance to do a full design recap, I wanted to give a shout-out to Kat because I think this issue is the best one yet.

Though I’ve always been an admirer of magazines and editorial design, it’s not until my studio started working on one that I realized just how much work goes into sourcing original content and putting together each issue.

Nubby Twiglet | Rock n Roll Bride Magazine

I admire people who come up with an idea, especially when it’s a passion project that doesn’t necessarily pay the bills right away and run with it, nurture it and grow it into something amazing. I’ve watched Kat take this magazine concept from a 40 page freebie she handed out at wedding fairs 5 years ago to a full-blown glossy on newsstands.

Stories like this remind me to keep going with my own projects, even when things get hard or burnout hits. We’ve all been there…but it’s when we push through those moments that something great can transpire.

The covers of magazines are always the hardest part to get right and I absolutely love this couple photographed by Dale Weeks. They had an entirely vegan wedding, her beautiful sequin dress was custom-made after the first dress didn’t work (it’s never too late to change things up!)….and they met on Myspace 10 years ago! So good!

Nubby Twiglet | Rock n Roll Bride Magazine

Anyway, you can pick up an issue in person at grocery stores and newsstands across the UK or order it from anywhere in the world here.

Thanks for your support!

Creative Chronicles: 5 Tips to Update Your Design Portfolio

Nubby Twiglet | Creative Chronicles: 5 Tips to Update Your Design Portfolio

Every year around this time, Designer Vaca opens up for registration and since this is usually the only design-related event I attend all year, I want my portfolio to be updated and looking as polished as possible. I registered last week and it’s always a good kick in the ass to get things in shape!

Portfolios are a popular search term and I can see why — as creative business owners, we need them to get more work! I made some updates to the Branch portfolio over the weekend and hope these quick and easy tips get you inspired as you’re working on yours.

Nubby Twiglet | Creative Chronicles: 5 Tips to Update Your Design Portfolio

1. Larger Images

Three years ago when I launched my portfolio, the sizing of images was a lot smaller. My early projects were sized at 1000 pixels wide but with retina displays becoming more common, I noticed my images weren’t as crisp as they could be. I just resized every project in my portfolio up to 1800 pixels wide in the hopes that even though they may take a touch longer to upload, I won’t have to redo any projects for the foreseeable future. Save yourself time by going bigger now!

Nubby Twiglet | Creative Chronicles: 5 Tips to Update Your Design Portfolio

2. Introduction Graphics

One thing my portfolio was lacking was a sense of cohesion from project to project since the work spanned over such a long period of time. I just made an additional graphic for the beginning of each project with an intro that briefly sums up the brand. Whether you’re doing a digital or print portfolio, an introduction is a simple way to add whitespace and let the design work breathe.

Nubby Twiglet | Creative Chronicles: 5 Tips to Update Your Design Portfolio

3. New Color Swatches

In the past, I used various charts to show a brand’s colors within a project but once again, these were all over the place style-wise. After doing some research, I really liked the way Brand Minute showed colors with Pantone-inspired swatches so I’ve switched over to this style. Whichever way works for you, make it a consistent, signature element from project to project.

Nubby Twiglet | Creative Chronicles: 5 Tips to Update Your Design Portfolio

4. Better Mockups

Over the last year, mockups have gotten much better. The detail these days is incredibly realistic, whether you’re showing a new line of t-shirts, beauty products or stationery. I use mockups to showcase finished projects because they help me stay consistent, repeating certain visual elements, colors and lighting styles throughout the graphics. I am a fan of Pixeden but also buy a lot of pieces off Creative Market, like this set I used to create visuals for Kate’s new essential oils.

Nubby Twiglet | Creative Chronicles: 5 Tips to Update Your Design Portfolio

5. More Flat Lays

Showing a logo only gives the viewer so much information about a project — seeing the pieces in use and how the varying elements work together really helps them understand the breadth of your work. These can be time consuming but well worth it to break up the simpler images and increase visual interest. I like pulling elements in from various mockup sets and arranging them in new configurations so nothing feels too canned. The key is to make these scenes your own.


As creatives, it’s our jobs to show and explain to potential clients what we can do — and our portfolios are a look into not just what we’ve done but what we want more of in the future.

Sometimes, I feel that putting together a portfolio is the hardest project I’ve ever done. Do you, as well? Doing work for yourself always somehow feels more monumental and stressful, doesn’t it?

Making the time is hard — it means stepping away from something you enjoy and investing it towards your business, with no guarantee of a return. But, as more of the right clients begin to roll in, it is always worth it when you’re able to take on more of the work you enjoy.

Your turn: Do you have any portfolio questions? Let me know in the comments!
Featured project: Kate Eckman by We Are Branch.

The Week + Links: 7.1.16

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

THE WEEK

How’s your Friday / first day of July going? I had waaaay too much fun this week, staying out late and discovering a bunch of new places across Portland, namely a bakery and bar (who knew such a thing existed?!) so I have a lot to make up for work-wise. 😉

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

These long Summer days have me itching to get out and explore more. I finally got around to visiting Case Study Coffee and Loyal Legion, both of which I highly recommend.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

Do you have any plans for the 4th? I’m thinking of taking it easy, checking out some vintage shops, barbecuing with Joey and finishing up some updates to my design portfolio. Super chill.

I hope you have a great weekend and enjoy the links below! xo

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THE LINKS

• This is such an intense, beautifully written article. If you only have time to read one thing this week, make it We Live On the Internet. We Die Alone.

• Female creatives, mark your calendars! Designer Vaca tickets go on sale Tuesday, July 5th. Hope to meet you this year in Palm Springs! If you need a refresher of what to expect, check out this article.

• A Beautiful Mess shares 5 easy to care for houseplants. Amen!

• Fresh Exchange shares 5 great ways to develop inspired blog content.

• So long, Bill Cunningham, you are missed so much. I love this article about what it was like to work with him.

• I just discovered LA graphic designer Kati Forner’s work and am in love with everything she does. So talented!

• Online business burnout is real and can creep up on you, even if you have the best intentions.

Freelance Collection is a collection agency for freelancers and independent contractors. Good to know something like this exists!

• While I love my iPhone, I still carry a camera with me on a daily basis. Loving this Garance Doré art print!

• Nicole shares the 22 steps she took to create a successful business.

• I love random collections like this set of flour bags from the 40s and 50s.

The Typofiles: Kinfolk

Nubby Twiglet | The Typofiles: Kinfolk

It seems weird to only now be mentioning Kinfolk in a Typofiles column because 1. it’s beautifully designed and 2. it has a base in my hometown. I’m so intrigued by its enormous growth in the publishing industry (during a time that every mainstream magazine seems to be shrinking by the day) and its focus on premium pricing in an effort to keep advertising to a minimum.

Nubby Twiglet | The Typofiles: Kinfolk

I’ve passed by the magazine what feels like 1,000 times over the years in bookstores, hip clothing boutiques and everywhere in-between but something always held me back — as drawn as I was to the simple cover imagery, the content inside never really spoke to my lifestyle.

I’m not big on entertaining or living a slower lifestyle and I’m also not much of a foodie (I could literally eat the same exact thing every day and be happy) so I always felt like I was glimpsing into someone else’s thoughtfully curated life. It was beautiful….but it wasn’t me.

Nubby Twiglet | The Typofiles: Kinfolk

Nubby Twiglet | The Typofiles: Kinfolk

But, something with this issue feels different. It feels less local, less home-y and much more worldly…which makes sense since the primary topic in this release revolves around travel.

Travel is just the start of it, though. The interviews are refreshingly unique and focus on underground creatives. The fashion editorial all about hats focuses more on the design details than gorgeous models with unattainable physiques.

Nubby Twiglet | The Typofiles: Kinfolk

I’m late to the game with getting into Kinfolk and I’ve been trying to pinpoint what makes it feel so different than a lot of the big, mainstream magazines out there.

I think it all comes down to thoughtfulness.

The design is thoughtful. There aren’t advertorials selling a bunch of random products spliced in every few pages. There’s crisp article intros with tasteful type and a surprising amount of white space. Interview subjects are often photographed in their own surroundings instead of brightly lit studios. There’s photos of people doing what they excel at, feeling natural and unposed, whether it’s playing piano or dancing.

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Even with its continued growth, the magazine retains an authencity that’s refreshing. Every page feels like it has a purpose.

In line with Kinfolk’s ethos of living a slower, more meaningful lifestyle, it focuses on quality over quantity with just 4 issues published per year — and I’m looking forward to picking up many more.

Nubby Twiglet | The Typofiles: Kinfolk


All images photographed / scanned / modified from Kinfolk issue 20.
Subscribe to the magazine here.

Creative Chronicles: 3 Sources for Choosing a Color Palette

Nubby Twiget | 3 Sources for Choosing a Color Palette

I saw the images by photographer Dominik Tarabanski featured in this post months ago and have been thinking about the color palettes ever since.

There’s something about the bold hues that draw me in — they’re soft and slightly unexpected yet thoroughly modern.

When I see a color combinations as unique as these, I often wonder how the creator behind it pulled it together.

What was their inspiration?

How did they know it would even work?

I’ve always struggled with color palettes — they just don’t come naturally to me. If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you can see that outside of the client work I produce, my personal style veers towards a very minimalist palette of black and white.

When it comes to choosing unique palettes for branding projects (I often have 5 going in the studio at any given time), there are 3 tools I use to source the right mix of colors.

Nubby Twiget | 3 Sources for Choosing a Color Palette

1. Color Lovers

I’ve been using Colour Lovers to gather unique combinations for years because I love the ease of searching by keywords. Depending on what my client is drawn to, I’ll type in a variety of search terms just to see what comes up and screenshot my top picks to sample from. This process has a bit of market research thrown in, too since you can see which palettes have the highest number of “loves” and votes from the community.

Nubby Twiget | 3 Sources for Choosing a Color Palette

2. Adobe Kuler

Kuler isn’t just another site full of cool color palettes — its secret weapon is the camera icon in the top right. When you click on it, you can upload a photo that’s full of colors you love and it will pinpoint the key swatches for you. Creating your own original palettes has never been easier.

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3. Pinterest

When I’m doing image research for a client project, I usually start with Pinterest which is also super convenient for color palettes. Tons of folks keep inspiration boards dedicated to the subject and you can check out my color study board here. I’m always adding combos for future reference.

Between these three sources, I never feel stumped when it comes to building out a fresh color palette and I hope they help you do the same!

Your turn: Do you have any special techniques for pulling together color combinations?


Photos: Dominik Tarabanski for Thisispaper.

The Week + Links: 6.24.16

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

Happy Friday, friends!

After a very long week of getting over the last bit of a cold, I’m taking it easy and working from home today. It’s nice to have a change of scenery from the office and to get some quality time in with my cute little creatures, Rocky and Chubs.

Today is also the day the new issue of Rock n Roll Bride Magazine goes off to print and I’m so happy with how this one came together. We’ve got a nice little routine down now and after a bunch of experimentation, the content and design feel really in synch.

It’s been a year since Branch took over the design of the magazine and though I’d designed a few smaller issues years before, managing the role of designing a real life glossy magazine that was going to be on newsstands next to the biggest titles out there scared me to death. And then some. Where do you even start?

One thing I’ve learned over time is that those things that scare you the most are the things you should do. There are chance meetings, emails and phone calls that will bring out full-on fear but also, some of the best opportunities in your life. The truth is, you’ll never be fully prepared.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

I think that’s the hardest part. When an opportunity arises, you don’t often have the chance to say, “Give me a month and I’ll get back to you. I need to prepare for this.” Haha, I wish!

You just have to go for it. And, sometimes you’ll fail. I’ve had a million things go wrong in life, with projects, during travels, you name it. But as long as you’re learning, you’re growing. And…that is what matters most.

“I feel myself becoming the fearless person I have dreamt of being. Have I arrived? No. But I’m constantly evolving and challenging myself to be unafraid to make mistakes.” —Janelle Monae

Have a great weekend! xo

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THE LINKS

• I love, love, love this post from Alex about unsolicited criticism and how she handled it in an unexpected way that had a positive ending! If you’ve ever been burnt by someone’s hurtful words, this worth a read.

• This guy’s resume was so impressive that he landed his dream internship without an interview!

• Judith Hill was on the fateful flight with Prince the week before he died and tells her story of what it was like knowing him.

• I read this post about love and not taking it for granted and was nearly in tears by the end. It’s a great reality check — hug the ones you love a little tighter tonight and remind yourself of how lucky you are.

• Don’t ask for permission to do something. Show up with intent.

• An interesting study finds that you don’t need more free time. It’s more complicated than that.

• I’m laughing so hard at this collection of misleading thumbnails!

• Envy is a complicated emotion and I love how this article breaks it all down and makes us realize that it’s not all bad.

• I love learning more about how people spend their days because even if it seems routine from their perspective, we can learn something new. Breanna shares hers.

• Even if you’ve dreaded exercising your entire life, it’s never too late to start.

Creative Chronicles: 5 Tips For Getting Comfortable With Saying No

Nubby Twiglet: Creative Chronicles: 5 Tips For Getting Comfortable With Saying No

Saying no when it comes to your business seems easy enough, right?

“No” is only two letters…but it can evoke so many loaded responses.

I’ve never had a problem saying no to anything outside of work. If I don’t have the time, if something makes me uncomfortable or if I just need some space, “no” comes very easily. But for some reason, it’s always felt harder when running my own business. There’s a reputation to uphold. It never feels good disappointing people. It’s nice to be helpful. So even when I should say no, I sometimes say yes.

The thing is, your business will have a hard time growing into what you envision if you’re afraid to say no. I know that sounds counter-intuitive so let me explain: If your calendar is full of calls, meetings, projects and events you’re not excited about but agreed to do anyway, you’re going to be completely drained of energy before you even scratch the surface of all the things you feel passionate about.

Saying no is uncomfortable but it’s the only way to keep your sanity intact and more times than not, you can actually turn it into a positive for yourself and the person on the other side.


If you’re tripping up about saying no, remind yourself of these 5 points:

1. It’s not personal. Business is business. If you don’t feel you can truly deliver what someone is asking of you, saying no is going to help both of you in the long run. Hurt feelings are better than missed deadlines and broken contracts.

2. You have to protect your time. If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of anyone else. You have an infinite amount of energy, so use it wisely. It’s as simple as that.

3. You know what’s best for you. If something doesn’t feel like the perfect fit, recommend someone who you feel can do an amazing job — saying no can help others around you grow their businesses.

4. Your values are everything. When you say yes when you should say no, you’re compromising what your business stands for. Always choose quality over quantity so you have the space to produce the best possible outcome for your clients.

5. High pressure equals sub-par work. And honestly? Nobody wants that. If timelines and deliverables feel out of your reach, it’s important to be honest. Your clients will respect you for being a professional and setting guidelines.

Saying No Isn’t The End of The Road

Saying no doesn’t have to be abrupt or rude – it should always be done with care and consideration.

When you say no, always offer helpful solutions, referrals or recommendations. Being genuinely helpful will make you memorable for all the right reasons.


Your turn: Are you good at saying no when it comes to your business? Have you been in any tough situations? Do you have any tips to make it easier?