Fresh Off of Winter Break!

design, design inspiration, galleries, invitations, Uncategorized, weddings

I don’t know about you all, but my winter was consumed by being a hermit. I cannot express how excited I am to see the light at the end of the super cold tunnel! Wedding season is getting into full swing and I’m working on some amazingly fun projects this spring! I can’t wait to see what else 2014 holds for me. How are y’all doing? I would love to hear what exciting things you have going on this new year!

I can’t believe it’s been since before Thanksgiving that I’ve written, but it was a much needed break, and I’m getting into a serious routine over here. I’ve begun graduate school at University of New Orleans in the Arts Administration program – a goal I’ve had for years, but have only just acted on. So far, it’s fun, if busy, but I’m enjoying every minute and soaking up every bit of information I can. If there’s one piece of advice I can give you in life, it’s when an opportunity presents itself, you need to take it!

Other than school, I’ve been working on a few new projects that aren’t quite to the point of sharing, but they are very exciting. I’ve also been making an effort to get out and see more art, and finally made it down to the Contemporary Arts Center. I also stopped by the Before I Die wall outside the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, which is the next museum on my list of places to stop in.

Before I Die Wall

I took a couple recent trips around the Royal Street galleries, and these dioramas caught my attention in the windows of the Antieau Gallery:

antieau gallery

antieau gallery royal street

We took a Thanksgiving trip to Birmingham, Alabama and came across an incredible book store downtown full of vintage maps and advertisements and more paperbacks than you could imagine. The whole downtown has such a specific vibe. It was a really great trip.

birmingham bookstore

birmingham poster

And of course, I’ve been busy adding to the Fried Green Etsy shop and creating custom pieces. Please don’t hesitate to ask about custom work. I am thrilled to work with new clients and help solve your design problems! Also, I’m now on Instagram! Let’s be friends! @FriedGreenEmily

fried green design robot invitation

fried green design cards

fried green design wedding invitation

 

Stay tuned for wedding tips later in the week! I have some brand new ideas and tricks I’ve picked up to help you prep for your big day!

 

 

 

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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!

Tips for the Modern Wedding

design, invitations, weddings

I’m really getting into the wedding spirit over here! I shipped out my latest creations to an amazing couple in South Dakota this morning. I’ll post photos after I know they’ve had a chance to mail them out – I don’t like to be a spoiler! The invitations incorporate the wedding colors and the couple’s love of outdoors. I’m also finishing up a poster for a “thumbprint guestbook” for the same wedding. It’s going to be beautiful!

I thought I’d take this opportunity to give some tips for the modern couple. There are a lot of amazing trends out there right now, and I wanted to highlight a few of my favorites for y’all! These are great ways to support local and small businesses, keep up with modern trends and also make wedding planning easy for you (and future couples!).

Get connected! For couples who are connected and have very connected friends and family, I recommend adding a suggested hashtag (like #MonroeWedding 0r #ScottEmilyBigDay) to your wedding website or program. If you have friends and family far and wide, the folks who can’t make it to your ceremony can keep up with your smartphone-equipped guests all day on Vine, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Make the most of local vendors. When my husband and I were planning our wedding, we knew we were going to be moving to New Orleans at some point, so we wanted to incorporate elements of the city into our down home Virginia farm wedding. We have a friend here in New Orleans who makes handmade soaps out of natural ingredients and we felt like her craft fit with our natural, recycled, vintage feel and would make the perfect guest favor. Think about your surroundings and geographic region. What are the local treats, specialties and artisans in the area? How about a crab boil kit with Old Bay seasoning and a custom wooden mallet for weddings in the Baltimore area? Or beeswax candles for an Ohio wedding? I’m a big fan of useful favors – something that won’t just sit on a shelf.

(Images from Laser Beam Creations and Honeyrun Farm)

Indulge in the vintage trends. My favorite thing we did for our wedding was skip the tableware rentals. Years ago, I was a cater-waitress and bartender and saw just how much rentals can cost. I decided that I was happy to pay for table cloth rentals – those can add up if you purchase on your own and rental tables are huge. We found bamboo picnic plates (again, we got married in outside and had the reception in barn!) in two sizes and purchased silverware in mismatched sets at thrift stores. If bamboo isn’t your thing, think about purchasing mismatched china at thrift stores as well. If you are patient, you can even find Fiesta Ware second-hand in various colors (cheaper than online!) that will look like a matched set! What do you do with the vintage goods after the wedding? Donate it back to Goodwill or the Salvation Army. For a fraction of the cost of renting, you’ve basically made a charitable donation with your wedding money and had a unique set of dishes for your big day.

Be kind to the environment. In addition to recycling stations at weddings, I’m seeing a lot of “living centerpieces” which I love! For our wedding, we chose to support a local “pick your own” flower farm in my hometown just outside the DC area, where we felt the environmental impact was low, it was good for the bees, good for the local economy and the flowers were not being shipped in from Central and South America, like many popular tropicals. Consider cut flowers from your region when selecting arrangements. But the green alternative is to have a living arrangement – like potted miniature roses, cyclamen or hydrangeas. These come in a variety of colors and can be grown in green houses so you can find them blooming year round. If you’re on a tight budget, stick with greens – ivy, succulents, ferns, clover, shamrock plants  – or things that you could grow at home from seeds or bulbs like paperwhites, herbs, ornamental kale, chard and lettuce, or do a long trough of wildflowers from seed. Just be sure to read the package and make sure the germination time works with your schedule. You could always solicit help from a local nursery or florist. Living arrangements also make great guest favors!

Last but not least, help future couples out! And help your beloved vendors out too! Review anything and everything you use (venues, florists, suppliers, stationers, etc.) and always credit your photographer/designer/dressmaker/other artisan when you post pictures on social sites. It’s a nice thing to do and it helps future couples pick out great vendors too! You can find review spots on individual websites/blogs, Yelp, Foursquare, Facebook, Google, Bing and lots of other wedding-specific blogs and magazine websites. Spread the love!

Designing for Babies!

design, invitations, printing

Wow! Sorry for the delay in posts! This month has been amazing and totally busy! I attended my first “tradeshow,” if it can even be called that. I exhibited at a fantastic mommy blogger event – a “new mom’s bootcamp” – here in New Orleans and met some fantastic people! I sold a few New Orleans ABCs posters:

Nola Abc Poster

And I met some truly wonderful mommies (and a few dads!)! What a great time, and thank you to New Orleans Moms Blog and Helper Events and affiliates for having me!

I just sent off a round of new custom baby shower invites too – to one of my favorite moms-to-be out in Colorado!

baby shower invitation

I think my favorite current trend is the lack of gender-specific colors and details. I’m seeing a lot of co-ed baby get-togethers – from showers to gender reveal parties to first birthdays, a lot more dads are involved and a lot of kid parties now include both the boys and the girls from school. This is a new and fun challenge in setting a mood with your stationery. With Alice and Dave’s baby shower example here, I picked out a few things that define the couple – they love nature, their state of Colorado, barbeques and lawn games. I wanted to give a vibe that spoke about both parents instead of just the mama and avoid scaring off their male friends. Co-ed showers can be an amazing time for expectant parents to bond with loved ones and other couples who have children, so I love that they are such a hot trend right now!

You know I love branding your big events and creating a sophisticated and fun feel for the day, but it can add up. There are a few easy ways to keep costs down and still cover all your design bases:

Only print the big stuff professionally. Invitations should be printed professionally, especially if there are large blocks of color. Same with signs or posters. You don’t want to send them out with odd stripes of lighter areas – even FedEx Office fancy printers behind the register wouldn’t be my first choice. Find a nice local printer. I’ve been very happy with LaFleur in Baton Rouge, Laredo in New Orleans and Wythken in Richmond, Virginia. It’s nice to use local printers – they work with you on paper styles and weights, making sure your stuff will fit in envelopes correctly, matching colors and answering the really dumb questions. A lot of local printers will work under tighter deadlines than online printers.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. As far as printing, that is! I think it’s great to print some stuff at home. You spent the money to buy that fancy printer, so you might as well use it! Print bag tags, tent cards, place cards and snack labels – all the smaller stuff. You can adjust your color settings in your computer if you feel like they aren’t quite matching the colors of your invitations.

Don’t get hung up on envelopes. They’re going to get thrown away! If your printer at home won’t feed envelopes, I would purchase plain white and stick with plain white address labels that you can print at home. This would be the least expensive option. If you used a designer to do your artwork for everything, you can ask them what font they used so you can match it. The next least expensive option is to have just the return address professionally printed on your envelopes. Printing in one color on one side is always your cheapest option. You would either hand write or adhere a label with the “to” address later.

Labels are your friend. Sticky labels from FedEx Office or Target that are supposed to be for shipping/addresses can be printed on at home and used as intended, as favor labels or for creating custom stickers. It’s fun to get kids to help with their own parties, so you could print a solid color (or ombre! or rainbow!) across a whole sheet of labels. Next, take a trip to your local craft or scrapbooking store and pick up some different shaped hole punches that fit your theme. These hole punches are pretty child-friendly and safe – the blades are usually encased in a plastic box that acts as a big button, but you should stick close and supervise. You’ve now made little stickers you can use to decorate for the party!

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Follow me on Pinterest and see the latest baby party trends! Party on, y’all!

New Stationery and Designs for Spring!

design, invitations, maps

Is it just me or is creativity in the air? I’m feeling renewed and getting really excited for some upcoming adventures for the business. I have been a busy bee populating the Etsy shop and working on new logos for small businesses and community organizations both here in New Orleans and in Virginia. It seems like growth is on everyone’s mind and it’s so nice to see these organizations on the move!

Here is just a peek at what I’ve been up to. As always, the full gamut of items can be seem on the Etsy site and I am more than happy to consult on any custom projects as well! Email me any time! emily(at)friedgreendesign(dotcom)

WeveMoved

Above is a custom postcard that I’m really excited about! These are for sending people your new address when you move or buy a home! You send me the address and I create a custom map that you can print onto a postcard at home and mail to your friends and family. Love it!

InviteBoyPlus      BabyRibbon     InviteBoyPlus

I’m creating a line of print-at-home baby shower/gender reveal party invitations! Right now, I’m running a special bonus – you get custom cupcake/favor flags like the ones below (which will come with the “ethan” invitation above) with every order of invitations!

BabyDotsFlags

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!

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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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Holiday Cheer in the Workplace

business, design, invitations, printing

It’s that time of year, when all the day-jobs start hosting their holiday get-togethers, hopefully celebrating the prosperous year they had and, for sure, thanking all the employees for their hard work. We will be hosting our annual dinner and dancing event in a couple weeks and it’s a tradition that our employees look forward to all year. This is my one time of year to design something a bit out of the corporate mold, while still keeping it classy. Below are a couple of my Holiday Party invitations from past years. This year I let my fabulous Marketing Specialist take the reigns and she came up with a clever magnet invitation/reminder that was a pretty big hit. There’s no reason to send boring holiday cards and invitations just because your firm might be on a budget this year!

(2007, outside)

(2007, inside – invitation printed in-house and mailed in standard A-2’s)

(2006 – a simple one side that fits into standard business envelopes, printed in-house and perfect for the company on a budget)