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?

New Beginnings in New Orleans!

design, design inspiration

This past month has been a crazy new transition! I’ve taken a new day job with the University of New Orleans, as the Production Coordinator in the Office of Communications, Public Relations and Marketing. I’m so stoked about this new position, as a way to further my knowledge of the graphic design and printing business, try new things, meet new coworkers and just generally experience new things in New Orleans. So far, I love it here! My first project was a big one and I got to see it fully complete last Thursday! 

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The UNO Athletics Department rolled out a brand-spanking-new logo last week, to the delight of students, athletes and faculty, and I helped design the signage to reflect some building changes around campus.

Having been freelancing for so long now, I had completely forgotten how great it can be to collaborate and work on a team. Working with another designer for the first time in awhile was really fun, and I look forward to many other projects in the future!

The office I’ve inherited at UNO is chock full of incredible paper samples. I just wanted to take a minute to share some of the beautiful pieces I found stashed on my bookshelf.

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“Folding for the Fabulous” Sappi folding technique guide. I can see where this is going to come in handy. 

 

 

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Royal Linen Royal Laid samples. I am loving the illustrations on this one. If these papers are ever retired, I’m turning this book into some artwork for my office walls.

 

 

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Beautiful, modern emboss on another sample from Royal Linen.

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By far my favorite find was the French Paper Company’s sample books, specifically the patterned paper. I have to remember this for some personal projects – I love the idea of this paper for some babies and brides! 

Thanks for sticking by me in this transition period. I promise to get back on the blog train regularly now!

Question: Do you work in an office outside the home? If so, have you decorated? I don’t know what to do with my big, empty white walls!

Friday Favorites

design, design inspiration, websites

We all made it to the weekend! Hooray! Time to celebrate!

fried green design new orleans

fried green design new orleans

Just kidding! Work has been pretty busy, in a great way, so the sazeracs and picnic wine will have to wait until I finish some of the incredible projects I have in the works!

For today’s totally fluffy post, here are a few of my favorite things this week! Enjoy!

First, shout out to one of my favorite bloggers, the fabulous Victoria of San Francisco Girl by the Bay – she’s always on top of what is bohemian hot and finding fun vintage trends in the world of home decor, clothes and life inspiration. Thanks to this lovely lady, I was gifted a beautiful set of notebooks and notecards from Mr. Boddington’s Studio! Thank you so much SF Girl!

fried green design new orleans

Next, this video made me super happy:

And there’s a nice post about the Lights of Hope over at My Modern Met.

I got a totally mindless color match game for my iPad/iPhone called Blendoku. I highly recommend it if you have a few minutes (hours…) of your life to kill. Addictive!

Blendoku

One last favorite is that I will be volunteering at the Creole Tomato Festival on Sunday! Come on down to eat tomatoes and hear some music at the French Market!

fried green design new orleans

 

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!

Feeling the Art in New Orleans

design, exhibitions, fine arts, galleries, kids, painting

This past week has been a whirlwind of things going on! We just had French Quarter Fest in New Orleans, which I was excited to get to since I’ve never been before! A word to the wise: avoid Saturday (and probably Friday) and just hit Thursday and Sunday. The crowds were way less annoying and a more manageable size on Sunday and I was able to enjoy music instead of making a super slow trek from stage to stage. I was most excited that I got to hear the Dixie Cups live – Iko Iko is one of my favorite songs from childhood, long before I even knew New Orleans existed. Props to my parents for introducing me to unusual music as a youth in Northern Virginia!

I’ve been looking for opportunities to get involved in the community, and an opportunity has arisen that seems right up my alley. I had a chance to visit A Studio in the Woods yesterday and learn about the amazing programs they have on this beautiful piece of land out past my house. As a satellite program of Tulane University, they host resident artists during the year and have programs for youth that focus on art and environmental stewardship. Think about donating to this amazing program, or volunteering. They have their annual FORESTival event coming up next month, and I’m planning on volunteering. So, bonus: We’d get to hang out!

Here are just a couple of pictures I snapped at the studio. They are in renovation and clean-up mode, so I didn’t want to go too crazy. Next time…

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photo[1]

During French Quarter Fest, I took a little time to (finally) visit the Angela King Gallery to check out the Peter Max paintings. Totally worth a trip to the Quarter, y’all. The paintings are the most beautiful, vibrant colors – they almost move. There was a fountain in Central Park scene one I had my eye on…

Peter Max

Central Park painting by Peter Max, image from Angela King Gallery site.

One day when I make my millions…swoon. The gallery also had some beautiful large-scale paintings by Florida-native Richard Currier. Incredibly intense lighting in his work. Check him out.

I’m happy to say my New Orleans baby “congrats” cards are now for sale at ZukaBaby! Stop in and pick up a gift and a card for the pregnant/new mama in your life!

IMG_4900 GreenFleurBalloons

Something Beautiful Showed Up Today

design, poster, Uncategorized

Today, I got something beautiful in the mail! It is my very own work, but I think it’s lovely! The ABCs of New Orleans poster has arrived and I couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out!

new orleans abcs poster

nola abcs poster

This 18×24 inch horizontal poster is available on my Etsy site, unframed on heavy, glossy poster-weight paper with a background in either blue, pink or light grey. This is a must-have for every New Orleans nursery – and for many adults too!

Unrelated, but still important: I’m planning a trip across the canal to Tulane University’s A Studio in the Woods, which I have just found out is painfully close to my home. The studio is an environmental preservation and art haven along the Mississippi, with emphasis on nature and fully enveloping oneself in creativity. I can’t wait to see what the studio looks like and all they have going on. I will report back with my findings!

New T-Shirt Design for Storyville Contest!

design

Hi everyone! I’ve submitted another design for a Storyville Apparel contest that I hope is a winner! I would truly appreciate your votes! If you have time (and like it!), click through here or click the picture below and then hit the facebook “like” button on the Storyville website next to my design.

second line rain or shine

Here’s a little information about the umbrellas and what they have to do with music: they are traditionally carried at jazz funerals and second line parades in New Orleans – historically for sun shade, but also as incredibly decorative festival symbols. Second line parades are impromptu musical processions (though many are now planned on Sundays around town) where marching brass bands meet in the streets and neighborhood folks follow them, dancing. It’s a sight to be seen and super fun. I recommend YouTube-ing “second line New Orleans”and checking it out. This blog is also very informative. If you’re in New Orleans, keep your eyes peeled for a brass band coming down the street and don’t be afraid to follow!

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