Category Archives: Design

New Work for Loyola University Maryland

Hello! Happy Autumn! My maiden name is actually German for “autumn,” so I have a special kinship with the season. I am trying to stay on top of schoolwork this semester and keep a consistent blogging schedule, but I don’t want to give your hopes up…it might not work out as a consistent schedule, but I will try posting whenever I have new projects on the site!

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This first project is a campus notebook designed to give to prospective students as they visit various universities. It features checklists, questions to ask, a glossary, and plenty of space for notes. I made some changes from the original design, mostly changing and streamlining graphics and typography.

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A new exploration in packaging design, I had the opportunity to design a Google Cardboard headset for prospective students. The original form was a flat, mail-able package with instructions for assembly (iPhone not included!). Once a student assembles the headset, they place their smartphone inside the headset to view a 3D webpage and virtual tour of campus.

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I had the opportunity again to venture into 3D work, this time for a freestanding letter cut-out for display. The project brief was to design a freestanding Loyola “L” that features fun facts about Baltimore, Maryland, on the back flap. It was an interesting challenge to design the standee from scratch, since we had to figure out logistics with paper weight and folding technique. The finished result was very unique and professional.

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Yes, this was designed a few months ago (….) but in my defense, it was a very quick project and I have not had much time to photograph my work lately! This was a project designed for current undergraduate students to send valentine postcards to prospective students. This particular valentine card was my favorite: I had the opportunity to design calligraphy for a custom poem. We printed in 2 color ink (red and black) for simplicity. The valentines were a huge hit and I was happy to be a part of the project!

Well, that’s what I’ve got for now! Keep a look out for a new wedding project (you’ve probably already seen it on my website). I’ve also got another huge wedding project on the horizon, so you’ll be seeing some sketches soon. Thanks for viewing!

-Anne

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All About Apples!

Hello friends! For some reason, apples have become a favorite subject of mine. I had a few work projects that involved apple illustrations, and I had some ideas for fabric prints with painted apples. I have a few different versions I have been working on, and all are very different from one another.

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One of my projects involved drawing a woodcut-style apple for a logo. I was inspired by 17th century German woodcuts.

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Another iteration from this project involved a different version of this apple.

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And for my personal project, I wanted to design a fabric print of 4 different apple varieties. I have a Golden Delicious, a Pink Lady, a Granny Smith, and a Fuji. My personal favorite for eating is a Granny Smith.

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I hope to have time to clean up these paintings and design a print. I’d love to have aprons, oven mitts, potholders, or tablecloths with this design!

-A.

Asian Nature Motifs

Hello friends. I’ve got a little sneak peek for you! I’m working on some new t-shirt designs, and one of them includes Asian-inspired nature motifs. I drew a tree, clouds, and waves. I’m going to be honest, I was inspired to draw the clouds from the opening sequence of Disney’s Mulan (do you remember the ink drawing at the opening sequence?). I found some ancient illustrations of waves and trees and drew my own versions.

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I’ll show you the finished products when they have been printed. So far, so good!

-A.

Valentine’s Day Card: Moon & Stars

Every year, I try to do a little personal Valentine’s Day card on time. It almost never works out. I always start too late on them, and barely finish them in time for the holiday. I’m lucky if I’m able to send a handful. I have my ideas and sketches done way ahead of time, I just can’t get them finished, printed and mailed. So this year I’m doing something a little different.

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I’m going to design a card just to give to my sweetheart. My husband is not mushy or sentimental, and I don’t think he would really like the “you’re the peanut butter to my jelly,” offbeat Valentine’s Day cards. Over the years I have seen some interesting valentines, but a lot of them are what he would describe as “twee hipster silliness,” and I would have to agree. It’s difficult to find a valentine that is short and sweet, funny or actually heartfelt. Sometimes modern cards feel too forced, awkward, or “ironic.” So this year, I’m taking an inside joke from the both of us and turning it on its head.

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So when we first started dating, I jokingly asked my husband, “How much do you love me? More than the moon and the stars?” And he laughed and said that was an absurd question, because he didn’t really have feelings for the moon and the stars. It became a sort of “romantic comedy” absurd phrase we’d say when we were joking around. I decided to letter “I love you more than the moon and the stars,” and to make it really sweeping and romantic. The funny thing is, it could actually be romantic, and I can see an audience looking at that and saying, “Oh wow, that’s exactly how I feel.” I actually love the moon and stars, and think it could look very beautiful. But when I give this card to him, I think he will chuckle. He will know how much I love him, but he’ll appreciate the sweeping look of the letters and know it’s supposed to be a bit tongue-in-cheek.

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I used gold and silver metallic Sharpies in the final version. I attempted to use colored Sharpies (yellow, pink and blue) but it did not look right at all. I ended up doing 4 different versions. Maybe someday I’ll vectorize this and actually make it look good, but this is what I could do for today! Anyway, Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you can find the perfect card, because that is a rare treat!
-A.K.

New Brush Font

Hello! I’m diligently working on some infographics, and decided I wanted to use a very specific brush font. So, on Sunday, I played around with my Sumi black ink and bamboo brush and designed a quick font.

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I’m going to scan them in and make sure all of the letters are the way I want them. It was really fun and spontaneous to do this little project, and I’m hoping I can have more creative bursts this year. I still need a name for this font…Let me know if you have any ideas! Since this is for a food/taste related subject, I like Acerbic, Savour, and Tincture. I purposefully used the British spelling of “savor,” because I think it looks more elegant. 🙂

-A.K.

2015: A New Year

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I’ve seen quite a number of blog posts about the new year, and what people plan on doing with it. I’ve read a few, and a lot of them are more of the same: achieve some small business goals, “focus, balance, breathe…,” spend more time following a new passion or any number of vaguely positive things. I usually don’t really participate in new year’s resolutions because I don’t like waiting until an event, like January 1st, to come around before I decide to make a change. If I want to make a change or a goal, I usually prefer to make a plan immediately, because I lack patience and I often busy myself with work at any time of the day. I also don’t like feeling like I’m jumping on some productivity bandwagon that may be destined to fail, because more often than not, resolutions are forgotten or given up by February. I want goals that stick!

But after reading a few posts on resolutions, goals, and ways to keep up motivation throughout the year, I decided to think about the things I am hoping to achieve. I love writing down my to do list and crossing things off, so I am hoping to apply this behavior to achieve some greater goals this year. More than anything, I want to grow my freelance business and expand my portfolio. This is always my top goal, even if I feel like I am failing at it from time to time. I know I have the time to devote to this goal, it’s just the everyday things that I tend to use as excuses to procrastinate that seem to “get in the way.” I spend a lot of time doing lots of little things. I tend to sign up for extra responsibilities when I really shouldn’t (don’t we all do this as modern women? I feel like we are expected to do everything all the time. But that’s another conversation). So I have lots of little goals that I’m hoping all tie together into one “resolution.” Here they are:

1. Draw or illustrate something at least once every other day!
I miss just drawing or sketching for fun. It’s a great way to relax, practice, and figure out my style. I rarely do this anymore, and instead fill my day with reading articles or wasting time online. I want to prioritize drawing time and drastically reduce aimless internet time!

2. Be featured on a big design blog at least once this year.
I submit all of my latest work, even if I’m not proud of it, to different design blogs hoping I will be featured. I want to get the word out there about my work more. The first step to this is, of course, creating better work to submit! And that begins with drawing more, and creating more personal work. A lot of my recent work is not “feature worthy,” unfortunately, and I want that to change. I need to push myself creatively, even if I have work that is extremely limited and may not be something I am proud of.

3. Practice Spanish at least once a week.
My husband and I are most likely going to Spain in March, and I would love to be more conversational in Spanish. I am rusty at best, and I know learning a new language would be fun and something I can add to my resume. Win!

4. Start that (other) blog I have been meaning to…
I have been meaning to start a certain blog for quite some time now. I have a lot of interest and passion in this area, but I haven’t quite nailed down all of the details of the blog. Specifically, I need a good name for it! I have been wracking my brains for months to no avail. Once I have the name, I will unveil the blog and you all will be the first to know!

I have other resolutions, but I don’t know if it’s realistic for me to keep going. If I’m doing good on these goals, I may add later goals later in the year. This may be crazy, but what’s life without a little crazy?

-A.K.

Holiday Card Wrap-Up 2014

I know, I know: I am way late in the game on this! I can promise you I meant to post this on December 19th, before I left for the holiday break. I even had all of my photos edited and ready to go. But holiday madness being what it is, I just did not get this post ready in time. So here I am, on January 6th, posting about my two holiday cards I designed for the year. Please enjoy them anyway! I am hoping with the new year I will become more organized and keep this blog going at least on a semi weekly basis.

My first client card of the season was for my dear friend Heather Yeager. Instead of sending out birth announcements in the fall and then a separate holiday card right after, she decided she wanted a birth announcement/holiday card combination. I thought it was a great idea, because I had seen some very adorable cards like this and was excited by the opportunity to design something new. Heather is a talented photographer, and provided me with the photo of her newborn baby Penelope to use for the card. I designed the baby’s full name in calligraphy, and then decided to add snowflakes and “my first noel” to signal that this was a birth announcement as well as a holiday card. To match the baby clothing, I used unexpected, yet feminine pinks and purples. She was delighted with the result!

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For my holiday card, I knew I wanted to do some hand lettering, but I really didn’t have any other ideas for a while. I wanted to include a photo of my husband and I from our trip to Europe this summer, but I did not necessarily want an overly European holiday card. I chose a photo we took at the Hotel Sacher in Vienna, Austria, because it had incredible lighting at the interior of the building was stunning. From there, I designed a thick, festive “season’s greetings” lettering motif, and decided to add checkered snowflakes to the edges of the card. I was very happy with the result, but this reminded me that I need to keep working on my hand lettering technique. I also seem to run out of time to actually finesse the curves in Adobe Illustrator. And, me being me, I took on the extra task of doing red ink calligraphy for each and every envelope. The result was beautiful, but there were definitely some late nights furious cleaning my calligraphy pens so that I could go to bed!

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This is going to be a more organized year for me. I’ve got my resolution(s) set, and I will be posting about them hopefully later this week! Thanks for looking and I wish you a happy, healthy, and harmonious new year!

-A.K.

Tis’ The Season: John Early Society Christmas Party Invitation

It’s getting to be the happiest time of year! I’m just starting to get into the holiday spirit now that it’s December. This project included a save the date card and invitation suite for the John Early Society, a donation organization for Loyola University Maryland. We began the project in August, with a goal of mailing the invitation in October.

My client asked to have a “traditional Christmas” feel, with a festive wreath or ornament. I sketched 3 different types of wreaths: an ornament wreath, a citrus fruit and leaf wreath, and a pine and holly wreath. My client selected the pine and holly wreath, and requested that the ribbon include Loyola’s logo. I painted the wreath in watercolor, and digitally added the logo, so that the integrity of the typography would remain intact. The client loved the wreath, and we agreed to have a close up of the ribbon on the save the date, and wait to reveal the full wreath on the invitation. The save the date turned out beautifully.

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For the invitation, we still had extra green square envelopes in stock to use, so the invitation itself needed to be square. However, I did not realize that the RSVP card and envelope needed to remain a rectangle, so that our audience would not be expected to know and add the additional $0.21 in postage. Thankfully, the RSVP card fit well inside the square invite, so there was not an issue with fit; but sadly the whole suite could not be square. To add an extra layer of prestige, we decided to print the invitations on metallic Stardream Crystal paper. The result was stunning and eye-catching. The suite includes a square folded invitation, an RSVP card and envelope, and a square enclosure envelope. The save the date was printed digitally on Mohawk Superfine UltraWhite Smooth, and the envelope was Mohawk BriteHue green.

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These types of projects are my favorites because of all of the wonderful details and possibilities. And, I was lucky enough to illustrate a portion of the invitation. In fact, my illustration caught the attention of another coworker of mine, who asked for me to design and execute chalkboard lettering for an upcoming event. I’ll be sure to include that project for next time!

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-A.K.

Colorful World Travel Wedding Suite

Hello! I have always said I love to do unusual, unique projects, and today I have a good one. I have for you a wedding suite that was inspired by travel, bright color, and modern style. Marrying many design ideas together can be tough, but the result was truly unique and beloved by the couple and the wedding attendants.

When two of my friends became engaged, I was so thrilled with the opportunity to design wedding stationery and signage. This project consisted of guestbook signs, menu card, program, table cards, thank you cards, and a welcome sign. The palette consisted of saturated violet, orange and teal, with clean sans-serif typefaces. The bride had a world map outlined in colorful paint splatter, and wanted to incorporate that visual style into the travel-themed wedding. I designed signage (not pictured) that included a “Come Travel The World With Us!” sign encouraging guests to sign a guestbook, a small instructional sign guiding guests to pin where they had traveled from, and a “Choose a seat, not a side…” chalkboard style sign. The thank you cards featured “thank you” in different languages, and the table cards featured illustrated landmarks from cities that the couple had traveled to. The menu card, program, and escort cards all continued the colorful travel theme, with hints of the paint splatter and hearts inscribed with continents.

The thank you cards, programs, escort cards, and menu cards were printed digitally on Cougar White Opaque #70; and the table cards on Cougar White Opaque #100 cover. The signs were printed on canvas, vinyl, and Cougar White Opaque paper.

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I’ll add photos of the signage if I can get it. The biggest challenge was definitely the table cards: finding and creating notable skylines from cities of all sizes was difficult, but I managed to create vectors out of whatever imagery was available. It was a bit of challenge finding different typefaces to represent “thank you” in multiple alphabets too. But I learned that the best way to tackle these large scale projects is to prepare and schedule extra time – I always end up using it!

-A.K.

Rustic Yellow & Gray Wedding Suite

Hello again. I’m here to share a wedding stationery suite I designed for a family member who recently tied the knot. The ideas for the aesthetic were eclectic: she wanted a rustic, country feel, in yellows and grays, with Art Deco shapes. I took some time to explore some typographic options, knowing the bride liked script typefaces, but wanting to choose just the right one. The full suite included a save the date postcard, an invitation suite, and a program.

For her Save the Date, I designed a simple postcard featuring her engagement session photos, simple typography, and a mini-calendar on the front with her date highlighted. For her invitations, I designed a typographic card with yellow ornamentation that combines rustic charm with a touch of art deco. The program also features the ornamented shape, with an emphasis on clear hierarchy of typography. The bride loved the full suite, and was so happy to have it for her special day!

The Save the Date postcards were printed digitally on Cougar Opaque White Cover #70. The invitation suite was printed two color on Cougar Opaque White Cover #70, with bright yellow A7 envelopes. The programs were printed digitally on Cougar Opaque White #80.

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We were so happy with the result; and the wedding was wonderful. Thanks for looking!

-A.K.