New Projects and Graphic Design Web Bits

branding, design, design inspiration, fine arts, freelance, guerilla art, outdoor art, weddings

Things are heating up in New Orleans, and the graphic design projects keep coming – each project fabulous and each client amazing. I seriously cannot ask for better clients. Recently, I had the opportunity to work with ISeeChange on some branding items (logo not included) for an event they took part in. I love what they are doing to try to get every one of us involved in climate change from a local, grassroots level. It’s social, it’s fun and it’s important! Check out Julia and her fantastic team and see what they have going on at ISeeChange.org.

I also got to see the finished product for the shaving soap labels I worked with Sweet Olive Soap Works on. I love, love, love her products and was super excited to design these labels! Check out her fantastic array of natural skin care products.

new orleans shaving soap

I shipped off the last of a wedding package I designed for a fantastic couple in Virginia. They had the most unique and inspiring ideas to use for the designs. I am extremely pleased with the way everything turned out. Look for a post dedicated just to their items soon!

new orleans wedding graphic design

If you have some time to do some perusing online, I came across a few design-y articles I thought y’all might enjoy!

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Feeling the Design Inspiration

branding, design, design inspiration, inspirational people, letterpress, music, typography, vintage design, websites

Do you ever have days where you just feel like little bites of inspiration are coming at you rapid fire? In a good way! I feel like this week has been full of fun graphic design pieces and I wanted to take the time to share a few of my favorites from the last few days.

While reading an article on one of our local New Orleans websites about Bob Dylan horrifying the crowds at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, I got to thinking that I wasn’t sure which Newport the festival is named for. So, I looked it up (Rhode Island, but I think I’m the only person out there who didn’t know this!) and was pleasantly greeted by a lovely website! I’m totally down with the current vintage and hand made/hand cut trend. You already know I love letterpress, so any chance to take it to the electronic side and warm up your space on the internet is welcome in my book.

music festival website

website design music festival

So of course, I clicked around to find out who made this beauty, and it was none other than Christopher Capotosto, the mastermind behind bunches of other great folk music related design. Check around his website for some lovely examples of his work!

The other bit that hit me yesterday was a paper sample look book from Utopia Papers. It came packed in the lightning bolt slip cover so just a little sliver of “Spark” showed itself in the hole. The inside is full of samples of brochures and catalogs and other pieces that used Utopia’s stock for the final product. View the featured pieces here.

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My Utopia online search pointed me to Pratt’s Center for Sustainable Design Strategies and it’s definitely worth your time to poke around the student and thesis project pages – especially for Communication Design and Architecture. Oh how I wish there were a program like this in Louisiana!

That being said: What are your thoughts on grad school? Did you go? Are you planning to? How important is an MFA vs. a more business focused art program?

Goodbye Carnival, Hello Wedding Season!

branding, design, freelance, invitations, letterpress, poster, printing, weddings

Hello and hope you all made it through Mardi Gras with lots of throws to show for it! I had an amazing first Mardi Gras and I even claimed my Zulu coconut and one for my man too, since he had to work on Mardi Gras Day. I can’t wait until next year! I will be far more prepared with costumes next time around!

photo[3]

photo photo[1]

I also bumped into this little street art piece somewhere along the parade route:

photo[2]

This person’s work keeps popping up around town and I’m intrigued. I’d like to know a little more and will keep you posted if I find anything out!

But the real story today is that Carnival Season is officially over and February 15 marked the unofficial, official start to wedding season! I love weddings because I get to help brides and grooms design a little piece of their history and something that their closest friends and family have been waiting to receive in the mail since the couple’s big announcement! Invitations are the first teaser for your big day that will set the tone for the whole party. I love the challenge to create a piece that speaks for and about the happy couple on their happiest of days.

Over the last several years, I have spent a lot of time looking at amazing wedding sites and blogs, and I’m going to give you all a list of my favorites, which are especially nice for the DIY-type of couple in this budget-conscious age. But these are also great for finding resources local to you for your big day. If wedding shows in a big convention center hall aren’t your thing, these are great for finding local vendors from the comfort of your own home. So, without further adieu, here are a few of my favorite blogs:

Stylemepretty.com
Greenweddingshoes.com
100layercake.com/blog
Beau-coup.com/blog
Kissthegroom.com
Oncewed.com
Snippetandink.com
Thebridescafe.com
Weddingchicks.com
Thesweetestoccasion.com

And here’s the best bit of wedding collateral advice I can give you: Do not sign up for The Knot and their “free” wedding website option. They will spam you for the rest of your life and then their sister publication The Nest will do the same. I had a fantastic time using MyWedding.com for my personal wedding website. I highly recommend it and they do not spam your inbox for years and they have a really classy assortment of templates.

Most of the above blogs and sites can be found on Pinterest as well, for easy stocking and storing of wedding goodies. And of course, I would love to chat with you about custom wedding invitations – I can work with all budgets and styles of printing (high end cotton papers with letter press, offset printing on pearls and metallics, digital printing with recycled papers, print-at-home, you name it!) for invitations, wedding posters, table cards, and anything else printed that you can dream up! Check out templates at the Fried Green Etsy site, or email me directly at emily(at)friedgreendesign(dot)com to talk about custom pieces!

Happy wedding season!

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Still in the Fried Green Dark

branding

We are still in the dark as far as the Internet goes over here. We have high hopes Cox will come in the next couple of days. I don’t know what the problem is, they just have this to deal with:

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So yeah. If any of you works for Cox in the New Orleans area, I’ll bake you some cookies if you can make this happen.
I have been doing a lot more eating than art-ing, to be honest 🙂 but I promise to get back on track. I hit up the Oak Street Po Boy Fest last weekend.

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And to make up for it, the pup and I have been taking lots of afternoon levee walks.

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I caught this odd game on a commercial the other day:

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I’m intrigued! I’m going to look into the Logo Game for sure!

Designer Dilemma: Pinterest Ethics Grey Area

advertising, branding, business, design, websites

In the wake of buying ourselves a sweet fixer upper, my interest in Pinterest has been revived. This home needs help! I want to collect every idea for budget home decor that I can possibly find and funnel them all into one easy-to-access place. I will log into Pinterest and pin my face off! Oh, you’re getting married/having a baby/throwing a shower/eating a dinner/painting your toenails? I’ll send you my boards on those subjects! Do you Pinterest? Are we using that as a verb yet? I’ll go with it.

The point of this story is twofold. Warning: Prepare for a lot of questions and opinions! I cannot tell you how to behave on the internet, these are merely some thoughts.

Above logo from Pinterest website.

1. Is Pinterest being abused? Is it okay to love it? Is it okay to hate it? Is it okay to feel both ways? (I certainly do!)

There are a lot of issues surrounding copyright for designers and artists whose work is being pinned and re-pinned on the site with each degree getting farther from the original source. The farther from the source a web bit gets, the farther from appropriate credit being given to original artwork and design. Are we going to see a lot of copycats? Are we seeing a lot of folks’ work being credited incorrectly or not at all? I’ve read Pinterest’s user etiquette and terms of use pages, but I’m assuming most users probably haven’t. Read it and then read up on some recent copyright issues and blog posts  (be sure to read the follow ups at the bottom of the DDK blog). Pinterest seems to be taking a genuine interest in protecting both their pinners and their artists while still having fun. We’ll just have to wait and see how this matter turns out.

I am not a lawyer, but I’m of the camp that if a site has a “pin it” button, it’s probably safe to use. (This is based on my personal thought, not fact, so please don’t quote me on that, and definitely use your own discretion or consult your own lawyer!) To me, a “pin it” means that the external site you’re pinning from is comfortable sharing their copyrighted or trademarked material. In the case of a blog that posts the work of others and has a “pin it” button, I’d have to assume that they have gotten permission. But admittedly, I contact very few of the outside site and blog owners I cite material from. I meticulously link everything I use back to their original sites, including images. I also do not reprint entire articles in my posts, but link you over to their original posts or articles. I feel like the information is on the internet, so people must want it publicized and read/seen, but credit is always due where credit is due. That being said, after reading all of these articles, I’ve deleted my “pin it” button from this blog because I don’t want you to think those folks I cite say it’s okay to pin their work. If you have pinned from my cite anything that is not noted as my own work, I would love it if you “un-pinned.” If you’re thinking of pinning, go to the linked sites and see if they have a “pin it” or written permission, and then do as you see fit. And be sure to give credit and links! Always! I will do the same. When I post my own designs, I will be happy to leave a “pin it” for y’all. I don’t know about you, but I’m not interested in a law suit somewhere down the road.

When you’re on Pinterest repinning from other people’s boards, please remember that not all pins actually have a link back to the original artist/website. It would be polite to find the original artist/designer and link back to them. Photographers, I would recommend you make sure you have a watermark that shows your website, or at least your full legal company name if you have a “pin it” button on your site. Or even if you don’t. I imagine a lot of small business owners cannot afford to sue someone over pinning un-watermarked that that same owner willingly put on the internet. Do yourself a solid and put a mark on your pieces. Then, if your image gets separated from its link, at least the info is right there on your image. I’m going to do the same with designs and pieces I create from now on – create a jpeg or photograph the work and add a watermark. I’m also adding a disclaimer to the site that people are not to crop out the watermark. That’s not cool and not okay! And don’t even think of finding one of those sites that will edit out a watermark for you to illegally print. That’s just horrible. Artists deserve to be paid too.

These are just tips from one designer to another artist/designer/photographer. Please use your own best judgement or consult a lawyer if you’re confused.

2. What’s the deal with Pinterest if you’re just using it for fun and non-commercial stuff? Like, I want to pin a bunch of paint samples and cute room ideas from Apartment Therapy and Dwell. Did they get permission to use those images? Can I feel okay repinning?

I’m so on the fence here. A lot of folks I know are just deleting anything that might be questionable, thinking that if they were in the other designer’s shoes, would they want their stuff being pinned all over without knowledge? I love love love the ease of use with Pinterest – you can save all the things you admire, take your smart phone to the store and not spend one million dollars on magazine subscriptions or have to look up bookmarks to a hundred websites. This saves time, forgetfulness, money and phone G’s. I love all of these things. And when I’m innocently pinning, I’m not advertising these products to anyone commercially, but I am in fact advertising them online at Pinterest for other people to use any deviant way they might. Do I want to perpetuate that, even if unintentionally? Am I just being paranoid? I have no idea what to do about this dilemma. There’s basically no protecting yourself from what happens after you repin something. As it stands now, the Pinterest code of ethics says you own what you pin and you are responsible for it. Again, please see the etiquette page on Pinterest and refer to the well-written DDK dialogue about the info found there.

Basically, my feeling is that I’m going to skip the “pin it” plug in for my computer so I’m forced to use sites that place their own “pin it” but I’m going to err on the side of caution and be careful what I pin. Blog-based Apartment Therapy, for example, has a “pin it” button everywhere and they are heavily involved in Pinterest. Dwell, a for-profit magazine with legitimate, paying, real-life print/iPad subscribers, is not on Pinterest, as far as I can tell. It also has no “pin it’s” on the articles and home tours portion of its site, but does have “pin it’s” on the shopping area of the site. When in doubt, I’m going to contact the owner or not pin at all. It’s going to be hard to break the habit, but I think it’s good for me until this matter gets sorted out and some hard facts are out there. Ultimately, it’s important to remember that Pinterest’s terms of use are in place to protect them, not us.

Thank you all for listening! I can’t wait to have a little more hard evidence as to what’s right and wrong!

Vintage Finds and Falling in Love With a Brand

advertising, branding, photography, vintage design

My brain is all over the place today! I’m in the middle of a proposal at the day job, finished up some exhibit panels for a freelance client this week, working on finishing an album cover for a dear friend this weekend and yet all I can think about is home furnishings. I have fancy home furnishings on the mind, for whatever reason, and the lovely travel-inspired posts from Modern Commissary just keep pouring in. That, and Heath Ceramics just sent me something about free shipping this coming weekend/week… ugh.

If I had it my way (and had a million dollars), I would be busy making my house even more lovely than it already is, instead of working all the time. It has a lot of classic 1940s Cape Cod charm and original floors and bathroom tile. Every house in my neighborhood looks the same  on the outside, but has a little surprise on the inside – did you get the black and white bathroom tile or the pink and maroon? I’m just thrilled we didn’t end up with this:

Yikes. We have very classy black and white.

I love a lot of what I’m seeing people do with vintage fixtures and reclaimed wood these days. Yesterday, I toured New Kent Winery after a meeting with the ladies from SMPS Virginia. The owner has used many many reclaimed and repurposed pieces in the structure that houses the winery. Evidently many of the doors came from the Jefferson Hotel when they revamped back in the 1980s. The inside of the brewing room had old train trestles from the old Mayo Bridge (Route 360 in Richmond, VA) in place of rafters. The winery is owned by Taylor Moore and he has another business (E.T. Moore) collecting and reselling reusable pieces from old homes and businesses.

I also cannot get enough of old, run down buildings right now. It’s become a photographic obsession.

I’m completely in love with and inspired by all the textures in the faces of these old buildings. I’m planning on incorporating this feeling into a few upcoming pieces of design work. I can’t wait to see where this takes me.

On a completely unrelated note, I have recently had the opportunity to rent cars through both Enterprise and Avis, and I have to say that Avis truly does “try harder.” I would just like to remind you all about the famous (and amusing) 1962 Avis rebranding and mention that they have definitely stuck to it. Good for them and good for me. I’m a loyal customer now – and as much as I love branding, I’m not usually one to just pick a brand and settle down. Avis really does try harder. Read more about the brand here. I also think it’s pretty incredible that the tagline still lives after 50 years. Happy Brandiversary Avis!

Design News from the Internetz

advertising, architecture, branding, design, guerilla art, outdoor art, typography

I saw an article yesterday about a fun project that someone is trying to get started in Richmond – PARK(ing) Day! You may recall my previous post about my love of the parklet. Well, PARK(ing) Day is a wide spread event, held September 21 this year, where people put money into a parking meter for whatever time it will allow and then they roll out a mini park in the space instead of putting a car there. More details on the PARK(ing) Day website and some history about the event. I think this sounds amazingly fun and it’s not something we’ve seen yet in Richmond (or many other cities I frequent).

Image of the original parklet from PARK(ing) Day website.

In other news from the internetz, what is up with the Chinese ghost towns? This is so creepy and confusing to me. Working in infrastructure in the US makes me ask all kinds of questions about who thought that building new “cities” 2 hours from existing cities and not connecting them with any kind of mass transportation was a good idea? China doesn’t have as many cars as the US. And who is the target consumer for these spaces? China, though economically miles ahead of many many other developed countries still has an extremely large poor population. Hearing that they have a surplus of these high-end apartments and retails spaces is truly disturbing.

On a lighter note, here are some wonderfully minimalistic print ads for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

Image from Bored Panda.

Lastly, I just want to say that I’m thrilled not to have to see that hideous London Olympics logo anymore. I’m looking forward to the breath of fresh air and good taste that is the Rio logo.

It  makes sense without being too literal, the colors are lovely and there’s something really unique about it.
Seriously, what happened London? Was that the only design bid you received?

Image from the Guardian.

London’s 2012 logo was designed by the firm Wolff Olins, and I suppose it was supposed to be avant garde and edgy or something. It’s looking a little dated already, to me.

Rio has enlisted the firm Tatil Design from Brazil to design the logo for the 2016 games. I don’t speak or read Portuguese, but what I can pick out from their site has something to do with using the human figure as inspiration for a logo that would recreate well in 3D. Way to keep it classy, Brazil.