Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Letterpress

After Minted's holiday photo card challenge ended, I thought I was all tapped out of inspiration and was prepared to take a break. But then they had to go and launch a letterpress challenge and I just couldn't resist giving it a try. I started off just reworking a couple designs from the holiday challenge to be letterpress-ready and from there my ideas kept rolling. I ended up submitting 11! I've never hit double-digits before so these all feel really special to me. The design brief called out for holiday photo cards and birth announcements but given that I was tapped out of any holiday inspiration, I focused mainly on birth announcements.

First up is Geo Frost

& Season's Eatings renamed For the Foodie. I beefed up the line-art and the dots in the lettering.


For Floral blooms I used a falling sakura graphic I created for a project years ago but never ended up using it. This layout was inspired by Minted's design brief looking for faux full-bleed photos. The idea behind that is that they can't letterpress on top of digitally-printed things so the idea here is to "fake" a full-bleed photo with a white gradient. 



Starburst was inspired by this vector pack & the phrase "merry & bright". I created my own starbursts/light rays and played around for quite a while (this is what my work area looked like in the process)


before I landed on this.

Framed foliage was a reworking of this old design, which I was really hopeful for before (and I still think it's so pretty) and now I'm hoping people will see it in a better light this time! 

Hello sunshine was me trying to continue with those starbursts (because it seemed a waste to only use one of so many that I created!) and I ended up seeing a sun. And then I thought, "hello, sunshine!" which seemed like a cute phrase to welcome a baby & then I thought "ohmygosh, how cool would it be if clouds were blind-debossed" & then this happened. I tried using a blue background, which I really liked, but the polls seemed to really favor the white-on-white. The yellow bits and the clouds are meant to be letterpressed, but the yellow could also be digitally printed to reduce costs. 


Graph paper was inspired by its namesake and the idea that if it could be letterpressed, it would have a really cool feel to it. I gave it a classic schoolbook feel to go with the graph paper theme.



Continuing with the inspiration from blind-debossing, the idea for this started off with the clouds I created in Hello sunshine, which I then thought would work perfectly if little lamb limbs were digitally printed around the white fluffs. And then Little Lamb was born. The yellow bits are also meant to be letterpressed, but again could be left digitally printed if needed.


Evidently I became obsessed with creating something that had a lot of texture if letterpressed. So for In a Galaxy I started off just thinking of blind-debossing again with a moon-texture, but a little poll online revealed that my moon texture didn't make everyone immediately think of a moon, but rather just generic space-stuffs. So I embraced it and went as far as to hand-paint that watercolor wash for the deep-space background. The stars were created with the symbol sprayer tool in Ai. I have to give the 老公 props for helping me figure out the transition between the moon (or planet) and the background. For the longest time I was opposed to doing a background at all because of the awkward/harsh transition. The feathering effect was looking really cheesy so 老公 suggested a gradient on ring just slightly larger than the moon, which turned out perfect (in my eyes). 




Framed Dewdrops was, again, the result of playing around with an old pattern I started to create for another project years ago but never used. I felt like they would do well surrounding a rounded out photo, which led to this oval shape that gave me a bit of a vintage-y feel with the type & layout, yet it's combined with a fresh dewy pattern and color. Again, I think it would be really cool as a letterpressed card.


Watercolor Butterflies was inspired by this Kate Spade clutch. I sometimes look to my favorite stores for inspiration and Kate Spade often delivers with their bold graphic pieces. I loosely followed a similar pattern to theirs for my butterfly. It started out on top of just a plain faux-full-bleed photo fading out to white, but it was looking pretty boring, so I pulled out the paints again and created another watercolor wash. After a lot of playing around with the scale of the butterflies and the watercolor gradient, I ended up with this:



Thank you to everyone who lent me their eyeballs & gave their input: it was immensely helpful!
*fingers crossed" for some good news this summer/fall =)


xoxo







Thursday, June 11, 2015

Christmas in June

I don't know about you guys, but I'm super excited for Christmas this year! I know, summer JUST arrived: what am I thinking?! Well this year I decided to create some stuff for Minted's biggest challenge of the year: the holiday photo card challenge! I participated once many years ago and was completely intimidated and overwhelmed by all the amazing entries and also found it challenging to get in the holiday spirit in the springtime. But this year, with the crappy weather we got at the beginning of spring (note-to-self: don't plant anything until after Mother's day >.<), I found it easy to get in the Christmas-spirit and decided to participate.

First up is Geofrost. I borrowed the "jewel" shape from my Geo Wreath Thanksgiving card to create a frame for this one with a foil finish.



Season's Eatings was inspired by the feast of the holidays. I ended up creating the lettering for "season's eatings" because I couldn't find a font I liked for it. Once this Minted holiday madness ends, I plan on turning that into a full display font so keep your eye out for that!



Holly and Pine is the result of a few watercolor painting sessions. A simple illustration with clean text to frame out a large photo.


Newborn kisses started out in a very different place than where I ended up taking it. It began as another lettering exercise:
While I really love how the ribbon"holiday" turned out, I found it too be too scripty for the look I was going for, so then I went & started to create another font. And yet again, no matter how I worked it, I just wasn't liking it. So I turned to my trusty condensed sans serif favorite and ended up with this:


So the only element I kept was the slant. And while I didn't intend to channel an 80's color-scheme, apparently I couldn't help it. 

Ribbon of Joy was a last-minute design that I put together as a challenge to myself: what can I do in 10 minutes? And then plus another 20 in editing time ;) To be fair: I already had the basics of the ribbon done as a draft for something else that didn't get used. 


I have always greatly respected designers who were hand-lettering and type geniuses, but after all this: I have a whole new level of appreciation for this craft! So much more to learn! But this has all inspired me to try my hand at hand-lettering Chinese characters (speaking of which: you MUST watch this). I've got so many things I plan to create and want to create that I'm super excited for the next few months (years, even!). Stay tuned =)

But back to the point of this post: I hope you all take some time to vote! There is SO much great stuff out there that deserves to be seen, you guys! I'm just trying to ignore the fact that there are 4661 entries O_O You know..... my little bunch of 5 out of all those... not intimidated at all...  But hey: better odds than the lottery...? Though I seriously don't know how Minted can choose: there are SO many amazing ones!

You can vote through the challenge submission gallery page. Scroll down to see the submission gallery and hover over the "rate it" button below each piece. You can also click on each of my submissions to vote on larger images and it will advance you automatically to another randomly selected design after you rate each piece.

In the mean time, I'm going to go get started on voting myself. It closes June 22! Happy June everyone =)

xoxo