Category Archives: Design

Sewn Business Cards

I realized these bad boys never made it to my current website when I created it a couple years ago!

Design Process for the Wild Bird Emporium website

CLIENT OVERVIEW

Steve and Nina are the owner and manager (respectively) of the Wild Bird Emporium, an independent store in northern New Jersey that sells supplies and gifts. They had never had a web presence before and wanted a place where people could find contact and location information, as well as possibly shop for some specialty items online.

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Don’t use green! The default color for all things nature. I just couldn’t do it. I was excited to capture the quirky, outdoorsy spirit of their customers.

THE BRIEF

“Do whatever you think is best.” Seriously. This can be a blessing or a curse, but Nina and Steve were really open to any ideas and didn’t have any existing branding. The main goal of the site was to deliver the most basic information to people looking to visit or call the store, with a secondary goal of pointing them to their online shop.

INSPIRATION


I initially looked at things like scientific field notes, catalogues, and diagrams of different species. This kind of imagery was a little too scientific for their main audience, people who just like to feed and watch wildlife in their backyards. They’re generally not hardcore birdwatchers. But there were gorgeous etchings and woodcut illustrations that accompanied these field notes, and those had a quaint feel.

I wanted to hit the nature feel in a more organic way, not with cliche green colors and leaves. I compiled things with soft beige and brown colors, and focused on textures like burlap.

Steve and Nina wanted incorporate a design that their daughter, a jewelry maker, had made. This ended up turning into their logo.

 

DESIGN

The design came together quickly, and Nina and Steve approved, giving helpful feedback. We adjusted some aspects to cater to a large elderly customer base, making sure text and headlines were large and prominent.

I also set them up with a BigCartel account online, so they can upload and manage their products and online store easily.

REFLECTIONS

I admire the hard work Steve and Nina put into running their store. They even set up a special mini homemade photo studio in their home so they can take beautiful light-controlled images of the products they’re selling online.

They smartly converted articles they were sending out in newsletters into blog posts that live on their website, drawing customers back to their site repeatedly.

Overall, I think the design nails the aesthetic of their wildlife-appreciating customers in an original way, without resorting to the stereotypes and cliches of nature imagery and colors.

Weekly Finds 4

New York Fashion Week Poster


I obviously melt for anything handcrafted in design. These posters for New York Fashion week by Jiin Kim are gorgeous, combining stitching and paper, the visual gives an urban grid-like feel that definitely represents New York City. (via designworklife)

 

F*ck You, Pay Me

Notorious Twitter personality Mike Monteiro sounds off at his talk, “F*ck You, Pay Me”. He covers the importance of having a tight contract with clients for everyone’s protection, common contract items, and even brings his attorney on stage to explain some common scenarios where contracts can save a designer.

 

Continue reading

Weekly Finds 3

10 New Year’s Resolutions For Designers


Written by Twitter’s well-known potty-mouth Mike Monteiro, this article inspires designers to take themselves seriously by doing better work, taking more responsibility, and my very favorite, arguing better.

 

The Nicest Place On The Internet


Feeling down? Know someone that could use a hug? Yeah, apparently these guys did too. A great page to return to when your client asks you to make the logo bigger.

 

Continue reading

Weekly Finds 2

Pantone Christmas Ornaments


I’m sure every designer wishes these Pantone Christmas Balls were hanging on their tree this year. I believe that pre-orders were taken earlier, but that you can no longer order them until the new year. Plan early for next year!!

 

WordPress Status Dashboard


One place to manage all of your clients’ WordPress installs. You can even see which plugins need updating on each site. Enough said.

Continue reading

Brooks Brothers Packaging Design

After graduating college, my first design job was at a global fragrance manufacturer, Givaudan. They employ the perfumers who create many of the fragrances for companies, designers, and celebrities like Calvin Klein, Victoria’s Secret, Marc Jacobs, Britney Spears, and Tom Ford.

My job there was a lot about creating mock packaging for the client meetings, kind of like really sexy frosting in order to sell a cake recipe. I created this packaging concept for Brooks Brothers, inspired by perfumer Rodrigo Flores-Roux‘s collection of antique perfumer bottles.

This is the actual photo I took of our mocked up bottles for their meeting.

Brooks Brothers
The client ended up using my design almost exactly, which is thrilling! After leaving the company to start my own studio, I had forgotten about this product until I stumbled upon it recently.

Here are the unisex splash colognes that you can buy at Brooks Brothers, created by perfumer Rodrigo Flores-Roux.