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!

More Tips for Your Big Day!

design, freelance, weddings

If you’ve been following for any length of time, you know I love a good wedding. I love the details, the sparkles, the happiness, the fancy shoes. Though wedding season in New Orleans never really takes a break (some of the best weddings in our city are winter weddings!), wedding season is ramping up in the frostier parts of the country and I’m working with some amazing brides and grooms this spring who are throwing truly unique parties to celebrate their love! I can’t wait to see how they all turn out.

I wanted to share with you an updated list of things to think about to make your big day even more special and memorable for you and your guests. Last summer, I shared with you a few Tips for the Modern Wedding that I think are still super relevant. I wanted to expand on that list, so keep reading for my next few Tips for the Modern Wedding!

Minimize the number of vendors you pick out of thin air.

  • By this I mean, did you pick a vendor out of an internet search list? There’s nothing wrong with that, but once you find a vendor you love (say, a photographer) you might want to see if they can recommend a related vendor, like a videographer.
  • Your stationer might know an embroiderer and screen printer, your caterer may know a great florist, etc.
  • Vendors love giving their amazing vendor friends and colleagues referrals,which can drastically cut down the time you spend searching blindly on the internet and hoping for the best.
  • Your vendors are getting to know your taste and wedding style, so they will be able to help steer you toward appropriate and related services.

Boozing on a budget? Crowdsource your choices!

  • When my husband and I got married, we decided to leave liquor off the table, mainly for the sake of our booze budget. We had our wedding in the heart of Virginia wine country and had a hard time choosing wines for our 100+ guests to enjoy for an entire evening. Our solution was to hold a tasting at our home a few months before the wedding.
  • We bought a wide variety of single bottles from our favorite vineyards around the state and did a blind tasting and light snacks with some friends who had varying tastes in wine. We ended up with two reds and two whites that were overwhelming favorites, but not necessarily what we would have picked on our own.
  • These wines, along with a keg of local brew, were plenty to keep our guests dancing and happy all night! (And we had yummy leftovers for several months!)
  • Another option we considered was limiting to wine and beer and one signature cocktail. This is another way to skirt the big budget booze and still have all the options. Find a cocktail that represents something special to you as a couple, or splurge on both “his” and “hers” themed options.
  • Remember, pre-mixed cocktails in a carafe or pitcher is best if you are skipping the bartender altogether. Ask your caterer if they will do the mixing for a small fee!

Put those maids to work. Nicely, of course!

  • Host a wine and cheese party and have your bridesmaids help you with DIY decorations, pre-cutting ribbons for chairs, handmade signage, painted mason jars, and all kinds of other tasks. Remember not to overdo and scare your lovely maids off, but one or two Pinterest parties would be really fun!
  • This is also an easy way to include junior maids if you’ve gone that route. It can be challenging to find a way to make them feel included, without taming your bachelorette party or skimping on the fancy lingerie gifts.

Don’t be afraid to have your guests DIY.

  • Pour your own beer and wine is no longer tacky in this day and age! Add some ice buckets to your centerpiece and then no one has to get up during dinner.
  • Buffets are amazing for both budget and ease of use – and the bonus is that you can easily appeal to picky eaters and food allergies.
  • Photo booths are amazing for capturing your guests all night without having to pay a photographer and assistant for the whole event – the prints also make a great take-home gift.
  • I’ve loved the idea of having many small vases/jars of flowers as the guest seating cards. When all your guests grab them and sit, they form one big arrangement on the table! This would work well with potted plants too – which could double as a take-home!

My favorite part about modern weddings is the lack of rules. Everyone can ditch tradition, guilt-free, and have a totally unique wedding! Remember to enjoy the planning, it should be fun!

Design is Everywhere

design, design inspiration, freelance, guerilla art, invitations, outdoor art, weddings

My whirlwind summer has come to a close and I’m settling into some really fun graphic design projects. I just wanted to take a little time to share a few snapshots from my last several months of absence from the blog! Design is everywhere, so as you make your way around every day, seize the opportunity to find the beautiful in the mundane. If you keep your eyes open and your head up from your smart-thing-of-choice, you never know what you might see!

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I cannot confirm this as a Banksy – because it seems to lack the telltale environmentally integrative storytelling – but this prisoner of Warner Brothers and Paramount (as indicated on the black balls) was spotted in the Marigny just off Frenchmen Street one evening while I walked on a street I’d not taken before. Either way, it was unexpected, clever and has been deemed important enough by someone to cover it with plexi. I love how ruthless New Orleanians are getting in the fight for decent renegade street art. There was a great live discussion recently at Nola.com with local muralist Brandan Odums and nola.com’s Doug MacCash. You can read my own loud mouth opinions over there too. I was particularly struck by the term “low brow” being tossed around last year at the G40 Art Summit in Richmond, Va and have been contemplating the idea ever since. Why would one type of art be more low brow than another? Is it style, environment, artist, concept, simply personal taste? Where is the line?

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This beauty was spotted in the Lower 9th Ward recently, and I had to get a quick, slightly blurry, snap of it. I’ve seen similar work around town and am always fascinated by the amount of detail and symmetry.

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Now, is this clarinet “high brow” since it’s on a hotel in the middle of a tourist district? And because it’s there to mark a space of historical importance? I digress… It was well crafted and I love the scale, either way.

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I’ll close my graffiti rant post with this one that is probably not terribly new to Richmond anymore, but was new to me last weekend. Greg Mike mural at 821 Cafe. I’d love to have some time to go visit all the new pieces that have been installed in Richmond since I moved!

Changing subjects, now that these items have been mailed out, I can share with you a set of wedding invitations I designed for an amazing couple out west:

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And a new set of wedding invitations I’m working on for a fantastic pair of transplanted Virginians:

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So much more to come! The fall is shaping up to be really exciting!

If you’re in the New Orleans area, there is a great speaking engagement tonight at Design WIthin Reach on Magazine by the lovely folks who run Good Fucking Design. I’m hoping to be able to check it out!

Entrepreneurs Take New Orleans!

business, design, freelance, non-profit

I’ve been so excited for this week for awhile now – and it’s finally here! I’m attending several sessions of New Orleans Entrepreneurs Week (NOEW) organized by The Idea Village (@IdeaVillage and #NOEW13 or #NOEW on twitter). I was delightfully overwhelmed with the turnout and quality of the speaker I saw today at my first session. I can’t wait to go back tomorrow! Confession time: I love a good conference! I love this conference even more than the ones I have attended in the past because it directly affects my business which I am so passionate about. Today was more like an idea session full of big thinkers than a traditional sit-and-listen conference. Today’s social media session was incredibly interactive and the speaker (@heyitsmegan if you want to look her up) was engaging and real. She laid out of lot social media ideas I’ve known for awhile since I’ve been in marketing for 7+ years, but she did offer up some new tricks and gentle reminders for those of us who have been doing it the same way for awhile. Sometimes it’s good to get back to basics!

photo(8) the idea village

So, here’s a little free advice I’m going to pass on! Make sure you have a clear goal in mind for your business social media. A simple calendar to keep track of your ideas and make sure you aren’t doubling up on topics can make your online social life much simpler. Pick some topics or ways of sharing and find a system that works for engaging your followers. Remember that your conversation twitter is different than your conversation on facebook. Social media should be fun, but it’s also a large component of your brand personality and you should spend enough, but not too much, time engaging your clientele (and potential clientele). I’m going to work on my calendar tonight! I’m feeling like a few more specifics would do me some good!

Having The Idea Village and NOEW here 1.) makes me realize I’m in the right place at the right time, and 2.) makes me think about how much growth there is in our beautiful city. New Orleans is known for it’s history, classic beauty and ability to hang on to traditions when other cities are paving over theirs. But there is something special about New Orleans that has been attracting and creating growth and new ideas for generations. It’s easy to feel like you have time and space to think in this city. Seeing history in action makes you think about creating something that lasts. I can’t wait to update you on many new things coming down the pike for me and Fried Green Design. It’s an exciting time to be in New Orleans and exciting time for a new business!

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:

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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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Good Design Karma

design, freelance, typography, websites

Today I want to briefly discuss free fonts. Very few fonts are actually free. I’m not sure how we got to this odd “free” download system we’ve found ourselves in, but there is a fine print 9 times out of 10 and it’s important to be good citizens and respect your designer.

1. Very few of the fonts on the free download sites are officially free for all uses.

2. Free fonts on the free font download sites are often labeled free for “personal use.” I would say I see this about half the time. Awesome! Download and stick it on everything in your house! Put it on your kid’s birthday invitations and make wall graphics for every wall in your home (you know what I mean, Pinners). But if you find yourself turning that home-organization habit into a business and throw a logo together with that font, beware you have crossed the line between business and personal!

3. Free fonts that are not officially “free” and are those not labeled “free for personal use” but are instead labeled either “purchase for commercial use” or “not to be used commercially” at all. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why the designer would allow people to download any part of it for free if that’s not the intention! I guess in hopes we’re all good citizens and will pay our designers – which every designer will tell you is not the case.

4. So here’s what you do – if there isn’t a clear “donate now” button by the font on the website, you need to read the “read me” file in the download file. They are not long – usually less than a page, if not less than a paragraph. You can do it. It might say you don’t have to do anything! Surprise, it really is free! But it will probably give you the name of the designer and their email and maybe a link to their site. Contact the designer and they will send you directions for how to pay and probably a suggestion of how much (I haven’t seen one for more than $25). If they don’t suggest an amount, then use your best discretion. It’s a one-time fee guys! That’s a good deal. The other good news is that when the designer is being paid out in this way, they probably don’t have a major surcharge taken out like they might through bigger, expensive font sellers.

There’s my two cents on making sure you’re an upstanding citizen and user of all the design love out there on the internet. Be nice, so that we can continue to have inexpensive options for things like fonts. And while you’re at it, quit stealing photos off of flickr! God/goddess/buddha/karma knows that you didn’t take that picture!

End rant.

Thanks for listening! Here’s a funny for you! Graphic representations of terrible client suggestions, courtesy of Sharpsuits.

Super Big News from the Fried Green Blog

business, design, exhibitions, fine arts, freelance, galleries

Hello! I have a big big announcement – the Fried Green Blog will be relocating to my favorite place on the planet: New Orleans! At the end of the month, the Fried Green Husband and I will be making the 1,011 mile drive to the Crescent City and setting up shop on the West Bank. We are stoked! Completely stoked.

We will be super sad to say goodbye to our friends, family and colleagues here in Virginia, but I imagine we’ll have no shortage of visitors! It will be super exciting for me to move down south and make new friends, coworkers and clients. Things are looking very promising for me and the hubs, so wish us luck!

Here’s a condensed list of reasons I’m excited to be moving to New Orleans:

1. The NOMA and the Lifelike exhibit coming in November, among many others.

2. Seeing some Rodrigue’s that aren’t Blue Dog:

Image from George Rodrigue website.

3. Ferries. Ferries are neat:

4. Food. And local beer. I can’t even begin to link to just one of each…

5. Mardi gras of course, but also Jazz Fest and a million other festivals I have yet to discover.

6. Climate. New Orleans vs. Richmond (brrr… I will not miss Virginia winter!)

7. Music. Tons of music.

8. Trying something new. Priceless.

Here we go!

 

 

 

 

Friday Fun Art Post

exhibitions, fine arts, freelance, galleries, guerilla art, non-profit

I just discovered this great art project out of Chicago today called Art on Track, seen on Inhabitat. A group of artists out of the Chicago Institute have created a mobile CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) art installation series. Wouldn’t that be an amazing surprise to find on your commute home after a long day?

Just a quickie little post of something fun this afternoon. Enjoy! As much as the cluttered up website grates on me, I really love some of the articles/posts on Inhabitat, so check them out. And support the Art on Track Kickstarter if you feel so inclined!

Photo from Inhabitat website