Archives for category: DESIGN

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Hi all! Go like The Financial Diet on Facebook if you can! It’s a passion project that my friend Chelsea and I started and it would mean a lot =)

Everyone have a fantastic weekend!

-Lauren

Hope everyone is having a lovely first week of November!

The temperatures are dipping slightly and every morning the trees look a little bit different as the colors change ever so slightly. Below is a quote I designed, that was featured on The Fiancial Diet. I love turning meaningful quotes into beautiful visuals through the use of mixed typefaces that compliment one another + simple color palettes.TFD_Truism_V3

The hardest part about designing typographic quotes is finding that perfect balance within the layout and making sure that the whole quote has a sense of lightness to it. After quickly sketching out the general idea of how I want the page to look, I decide which words should have greater emphasis. Then I go on an EPIC TYPEFACE HUNT to try and find beautiful typefaces that make sense for each of the words or phrases. I like to mix thin sans serifs with heavier stylized scripts, that pair nicely together. The background is a photograph that my friend Chelsea took, which I adjusted in Photoshop to be black and white, so that it would provide a rick dark colored background for the knock-out white type to sit on.

My friend Chelsea who writes the blog The Financial Diet, created a list of 7 daily affirmations to live by. This quote is the first one in the series that I’ll turn into a typographic visual. Stay tuned for the rest!!! Have a great weekend

-Lauren

Hello all!

I can FINALLY share a project with you all that has been in the works for a few months now. I recently collaborated on a website redesign with Chelsea Fagan an enormously talented writer, blogger, style guru and all-around awesome person. I present the new & improved, The Financial Diet!

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A screenshot of The Financial Diet homepage.

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Monogram lock up for The Financial Diet.


TFD is a space where we all can talk honestly about finances and the art of saving $$$ where we can, in a humorous yet informative manner. Chelsea describes it in a nutshell by saying, “when you become smarter about money, everything gets better.”

The design of the site had to be clean, minimalist and stately while still feeling warm and inclusive. We chose a gender neutral palette that incorporated a crisp dark blue, light grey and white. For the logo up top, we paired a fancy script typeface with a very thin sans serif, which mixes nicely and balances out the header. Finally, we added decorative page borders to ground it all in a pretty embellished package. The site is a really neat platform to discuss everything from cooking at home on a budget, to fashion staples and DIY nails tips.

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Workin’ all day getting the blog ready to launch

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Workin’ all night. (with champagne & macaroons to toast our triumphs, of course)


Hope you enjoy the site! We have a Facebook page and a Pinterest page! Go check it out!

Thanks for reading,

-Lauren

It was a groggy Wednesday morning at the office and I was just finishing up the last dregs of my XL coffee before I could even think about tackling my inbox or opening up Illustrator, when suddenly I STUMBLED UPON THE MOST INCREDIBLE PORTFOLIO OF A CUT PAPER ARTIST. And just like that, I was wide awake. You see, I had the privilege of looking at the portfolio of Elsa Mora (here & here) and at her vast library of mixed-media work, which is breathtaking. Take a gander.

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6a00e3981de7fa88330167678a2d2e970b-800wia cut paper RING.

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6a00e3981de7fa883301630696971d970d-800widrawings too!

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I’ve always had an affinity for cut paper work. I once completed an 8 page cut paper book in a college design class, that had to center around key scenes from a movie we liked (ahem, Breakfast at Tiffany’s for me). After pulling all nighters in the week leading up to the due date and cutting paper details so tiny I thought I would A.) go blind or B.) slice my finger off as a result of my compromised state, I have a HUGE appreciation for the level of skill, dedication and fastidiousness it takes to complete a work like Elsa’s.

Her work is very singular and her cut paper illustrations have a hint of the macabre, animals and fairy tales. As you let your eyes wander across each piece, you’ll discover more detail within the layers, which is what I love most about her work. Scenes within scenes. Animal parts morphing into human bodies. Girls coiled up within the shapes of rabbits. It’s not only perfectly executed but interesting to view. She really uses the negative space within the illustrations – not only to show the cut paper technique with her silhouettes, but as an additional canvas for the scene she builds, where she adds even more detail.

I hope that looking at Elsa’s work brings you as much wonder and joy as it did for me this morning as I sat in a tiny cube, in a tiny corner of this state, completely bursting with inspiration to go home and create something beautiful.

-Lauren

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Sometimes , you just need to hit the reset button. This past weekend spent up in Vermont, was just the thing I needed after a couple of very wintry & stressful weeks in NJ. During our travels throughout Vermont, we hit up the towns of Waterbury, Burlington, Essex, Stowe & Greensboro. Yes, I know. A ton of driving. We logged about 18 hrs of it in total. Although, looking out the window at the surrounding farmland, old stone barns, the ice topped beauty of Lake Champlain & rolling green and blue mountains – it’s hard to complain. It was 3 days spent trying out the fare at local restaurants, like lunch at The Prohibition Pig, brunch at the Gables Inn, dinner at Farmhouse Tap and Grill, drinks at the Hourglass bar at Stowe Mountain Lodge and brunch at Sneakers Bistro (i’m still dreaming about the divine Veggie Hash & Eggs I ordered!) We sampled local cheese at the Cabot Creamery and beer at the Hill Farmstead Brewery (tastiest beer in the world!) We popped into general stores to sneak away with bags of sweets weighed in antique iron scales and marveled at toys with old fashioned retro packaging. We slept on our friend’s couch in Burlington, in true college-days fashion & loved every minute spent trekking around this gorgeous state. Oh yeah, AND our car got stuck in the snow going uphill. But fear not! Friendly passers-by equipped with man power & bags of sand, helped us break free. Or rather, roll backwards, free.

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Stowe mountainGazing skyward at the skiers on the Stowe Mountain trails

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photo 5Stowe Mountain Lodge at the mountain’s base.

photo 5-4Bear ice sculpture!

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photo 4-3Love the fun retro packaging of Ridley’s toys

photo 5-3Beautiful vintage French inspired bathroom goodies by Barr-Co.

Black cap coffee cafeI love the red houses + white trim theme, all throughout the state of VT/upstate NY.

photo 1-7Rose de Gambrinus beer from Cantillon Brewery in Belgium, flavored with raspberries!

apple sausage cheese omeletteThe apple + sharp cheddar + maple sausage omelette from the Gables Inn. holy yum.

Overall, the scenery and relaxed atmosphere of the town &  people was refreshing and surprisingly, the extra snow we got while we were up there, didn’t bother me one. little. bit. Probably because I didn’t have to shovel it!

Until next time! =)

It’s NEVER too early to think about Valentine’s Day, especially when you’ve got someone special in mind. While surfing the wondrous site of Etsy I came across this featured shop, Little Low, that makes some of the sweetest illustrated Valentine’s Day cards i’ve ever seen. Check it out!

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageI’ll do a full Valentine’s Day gift guide post soon, but for now I’ll leave you with just a taste! Happy hump day lovies!

Happy Monday to all you guys! I had a wonderfully relaxing weekend – reading, salt baths, a visit to Trader Joe’s and some much needed time spent at the gym, and it helped reset myself mentally and physically.

This year I promised to myself that one thing (in addition to many) I would focus on, would be to become more organized all around – at work, at home and with personal endeavors/projects. In the past I haven’t fully appreciated the lengths to which organization can soothe one’s mental state. I’ve come to understand that for me personally, a messy and unorganized surrounding, contributes to an unproductive mental state. As a creative professional I constantly have a ton of ideas, half-baked project concepts and rules of composition and typography, floating around in my head, but it’s important to take control of what you are able to and to organize yourself.

I’ve complied 3 things, ahem a short list of tips, which is by no means finished or comprehensive but has really helped me keep myself neat while at work and at home.

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1. Clean out old junk folders
One thing I’ve been terrible with is throwing a ton of files into general folders, just to keep up the appearance of a clean desktop. But rather than throwing everything into general folders, I now like to create sub-folders that are super specific. This way when I’m searching for something, I can find it quickly and easily. There’s nothing worse than trying to find that picture of a pattern you need to retrace and you can’t figure out if your ass threw it into the “work”, “side projects”, “patterns” or the “work in progress” folder. For example, I have vacation photos sorted into folders by place and day of the trip. I keep old design work from college organized by the classname and the specific week of the assignment and I keep inspiration in “food”, “style”, “interiors”, “seasonal”, etc.

2. Use proper naming conventions for files
Rainboots_edit.psd is about as helpful as a porcupine in a balloon factory, and i’ve learned that the hard way. I used to save files very sloppily, but I’ve been working on ironing out these bad habits since I graduated school. You see, I’m no longer designing with just myself in mind. I work in an art department where it’s essential for anyone to be able to locate your file in case they need to make changes to it. Now I save files with the name of the job, the version of the file and sometimes the date, if appropriate. Then the files get shuffled away in proper folders for maximum organization. C’mon peeps, get on this level! It feels good.

3. Finish things you start
While this might not seem like physical organizing, it’s another important aspect of staying organized mentally. It’s important to finish things that you start. Yes I realize this is opening up a can of worms because for some creatives, having a multitude of projects/assignments going on simultaneously is essential to keeping them on their toes and creatively stimulated. However, for me I prefer to begin a project and see it through even it it takes awhile before I can truly focus my attention on another long term project. If I have a bunch of things that are half finished and sit for awhile, I lose the momentum I once had, as well as the drive to finish them. However, there will always be those projects you just fall into a rut with and it’s okay to put those ones to bed if you feel like they are no longer working. Think of it as just another creative exercise rather than a failure. Design in subjective, we hardly FAIL or WIN in this arena people, it depends on who you ask and the day you ask it.

I hope this is a lll helpful to whoever is out there reading this. I derived inspiration from my own experience, fellow designers at work, as well as this awesome article http://www.fastcocreate.com/user/rae-ann-fera

Now go out into the world and keep being your awesome selves!Image

Check this out you guys – it’s a short animated video called “Eyes on the Horizon” which combines footage of MCM products with bright geometric graphics, made by Craig & Karl.  Really clever. What I enjoy most are the transitions between frames and how graphics turn into “see through” shapes that footage is played through. She is out!

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Designer Rob Lowe aka Supermundane is an artist/designer with a portfolio site chalk full of cool stuff. His graphic work is bright and colorful and at the moment – a very stark contrast to the bleak Fall day outside my window. His graphic designs are simple yet powerful and kind of look reminiscent of 90s TV.  His painted work and murals are imperfect and repetitive. Like the stuff that gets printed onto those groovy urban outfitters t-shirts. Lots of bright colors here and overlapping abstract patterns. Personally I much prefer his hand drawn and painted work as I’m a softy for that more organic feel. Image

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Check out this super sweet Food Typography side project by the very talented Danielle Evans! If you watch the video on the site, you can see that she free hand letters each short phrase or word, and uses food as an imperfectly perfect medium to express her killer lettering skills. *applause*

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Pretty awesome huh. check out her full portfolio here.