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!





Seeking Design Inspiration

architecture, design inspiration, outdoor art, photography

I’ve been in need of some graphic design and artistic inspiration these last few weeks. I’m trying to clear out the headspace, turn off Netflix and get out into the world a little more. Getting trapped in the Every Day can put a lid on creativity really quickly. On a philosophical level, I’m trying to make sense of all my time spent on social media, and in doing so, I’m seeking out deeper meaning from hours logged on blogs and Twitter. I’ve picked up a few gems this week that I wanted to share with you. These are just a few beauties in a sea of constant chatter.

One of my recent clients, a couple getting married on Bayou St. John, were so inspired by where they live, they dedicated their wedding programs and venue to the area. It has gotten me thinking about the space I occupy in New Orleans and the space it occupies in me.

new orleans wedding invitation

In my down time (of which I am trying to create more) I’m focusing on the minutia of daily activities. Commuting across town can be a real drain on one’s existence, but during my commute there is an opportunity to be on one of the highest points in the City and see incredible weather systems from a 360 view. I have never seen sunsets like the sunsets in New Orleans.

new orleans sunset

During the day, I work in an area of town that is pretty stark, situated alongside Lake Pontchartrain. I require much urban time, so I head back into the thick of it for lunch many days. I am always amazed at how dedicated people are to their space on the urban landscape. Every square inch is an opportunity to make a statement. I feel like I’m squandering my personal opportunity of a yard. (Note to self: Must work on that.)

bywater new orleans garden

The other morning, the Fried Green Husband and I went on an adventure to buy plants and came across our second sunrise of the morning. Sunrise over Brown’s Dairy, to be exact.

new orleans sun

My last bit of New Orleans inspiration comes from the deterioration and history of our town. There is something constantly surprising about the level of erosion on the surfaces and infrastructure here. It’s beautiful and a little heartbreaking, but mostly I’m drawn to the “what it could be” and “what it once was” of the situation. It’s amazing. Like a blank canvas in a lot of ways. It’s like staring at a blank canvas, but being overrun with ideas. It’s amazing.

new orleans house

fountain armstrong park new orleans

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!


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 with local muralist Brandan Odums and’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?


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.


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.


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:


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


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!

Restaurant Graphic Design, New Orleans Style

branding, business, design, design inspiration

Hey y’all! Back from New Orleans, mostly caught up on work and feeling revived and inspired. I love New Orleans, it is one of my favorite places in the world. And I really love New Orleans food. We had so much good food, but the prize for best graphic design and theme for a restaurant that we visited goes to Butcher, brought to you by the James Beard Award winning gentlemen of Cochon. Not only did I consume the best sandwich (Buckboard bacon sammie. Do it.) ever, but I also fell in love with the charming rustic/industrial mesh of a theme that they carried out through their whole enterprise. I also really want to reproduce the coffee table they have in their waiting area, but that’s another blog for another day.

Butcher label

This is probably not the best representation of their identity system. They had adorable t-shirts, which, when folded and stacked on the shelves, revealed the whole picture of what was on the shirt. They have great, simple labels on sauces for sale, chalkboard menu, the whole rustically modern and simple deal. It’s memorable, homey but leaves the focus on the food. Extra bonus points for keeping the colors and font family similar, but not identical to, the Cochon theme.

Visit the Butcher website for more of a peek here. I think this might be the new look of Southern food on paper (and walls, shirts and the web), but maybe I’ve been blinded by the sandwich. I just love the subtle nod to farms with a hint of industrial modernism. The new South?

Side note, who has a restaurant that needs design work? I have a new goal, which is to win a James Beard Award for restaurant graphic design!

Graphic Design Present Time!

design, poster

One of my long time favorite friends, who has seen my graphic design nerdiness blossom since youth, sent me a wonderful and unexpected Christmas present this week!

Super cool “Modern Classics Alphabet” poster from Blue Ant Studio via Love it! Thanks Melissa!

In Defense of Graphic Design as Art

design, design inspiration, design theory, fine arts, guerilla art

So what’s the difference between graphic design and art anyway? The short answer: I don’t know. I think, these days, it’s a bit more of a grey area than it has been in the past. I think we have all been taught that design communicates a message and art communicates a feeling. But doesn’t that line blur in some cases? Many cases? Perhaps all cases? What if your design client is Barack Obama circa 2007 and you’re a graffiti artist trying to deliver a message of “hope” to a nation of skeptics? As far as I can tell, “hope” is a feeling, but Obama is a product, and Shepard Fairey and the Obey Giant crew skirt a style line somewhere between fine art and design.

Snootyartfaces in front of Shepard Fairey installation, Cambridge, MA, 2009

So the first point of this post is, who really knows the difference between art and design anymore? Is there a difference? Is it all being blurred? Can’t a designer put as much heart and soul into a poster as a painter puts into a painting?

I have a controversial opinion that a painter, painting study after study of a bowl of fruit is not in fact “delivering a feeling” or leaving anything open to interpretation. I think that painter is trying to improve his or her craft. Some of our favorite and most revered works of art are just studies on a theme. Are commissioned fine artists all that different from a modern graphic designer? I think we like to idealize the works of many painters, needing to believe that there was more to a work than commission. Are we forgetting that the Sistine Chapel was a commissioned piece?*

My second and final point of this post is that though the line between art and design seems to have blurred a bit, no great work playing for either team would be a great work if there weren’t a passionate human behind it. The Sistine Chapel would not exist in the extraordinary fashion it does, commission or not, if Michelangelo hadn’t been a truly passionate painter with a gift for figure and movement and dedication to his art. I believe the same is true for designers, in all senses of the word. Like a fine artist, a great designer is someone who has a passion for figure and form, color and space. I think that if a designer is working on something he or she is truly passionate about, then they cannot help but deliver a genuine feeling through their work.

*disclaimer: I love the traditional fine arts. I paint on the side, and I think knowing how to be both a designer and a painter makes for a more well-rounded “artist” of any type.

Design For All Wedding Budgets

design, weddings

outsides of potential invitation template

potential invitation template opens to reveal “mini poster”

One of the things that has always bugged me about both lovely and current design AND weddings is the shear cost of it all. Currently, I’m working on several templates for potential wedding/shower/other invitations that won’t break the budget. My thought is that a portion of the design will stay the same from client to client, but a portion will be client-specific. In this case, the humans depicted will be variable – brides and/or grooms can send me a photo from which to create a silhouette specifically for their invitations and other collateral. Colors will be selected either from pre-set color schemes, or based on “wedding colors” if the couple has them. The front quote can change if there’s something special the bride and groom prefer. I want these customizable templates to cut down the excessive cost of wedding invitations, by cutting down the amount of time it takes to make a beautiful piece from scratch. There is no reason the budget-minded couple has to skimp on lovely design! Look for these and others at the Fried Green Design Etsy shop!