Last week, Chelsea kicked off our PAPER topic by showing us how beautiful embossing can be. This week, I personally wanted to explore creating a custom design on a massive piece of yummy paper! When it was my turn to decide what to make, my mind instantly went to a few pieces of watercolor paper I have been saving since college. They are thick, textured, heavy, & screaming to be turned into something special. This seemed to be the perfect occasion.
I used to be really into carving my own rubber stamps so I decided to resurrect my tools & dive back in. I was inspired by Yellow Owl Workshop, a wonderful San Francisco based co. that is all about hand-carving! They actually have a great how-to video right here if you plan to try this and need more visual help.
So where to start? Well since our current topic is about paper, lets start there! I used a paper called Arches – you can easily find this at stores like Blicks or Michaels. It is deemed watercolor paper but is also known to be used for drawing, calligraphy, gouache, printmaking, acrylics, and even digital printing! You have a few choices if you plan to work with this specific paper – you can go with hot press, cold press, or rough! Hot is smooth, Cold is moderately textured, and rough is extra well, rough. I went with cold press, pictured below.
The next step was to draw out my pattern and start carving. This is super simple. All you have to do is draw your design on a piece of paper with a pencil. Then transfer it over to the carving block by rubbing it with your hand. I used the Speedball Linoleum Cutters & Carve Block. Or you can just buy it all in one kit. Once you’re done carving, its time to start stamping. I’m telling you – this project couldn’t be more fun and easy.
The obvious choice would be to use an ink pad for your impressions – mine was running low so the marks were extra faint. I had invisioned this piece being very black so I decided to experiment with using acrylic paint. I just brushed a light layer of paint and voila, it looked great. I obviously did a ton of tests before I started the real deal. Note – always do a test run, always.
The rest was smooth sailing – paint, stamp, repeat! It takes a while but hey, it was totally worth it. I experimented with leaving areas blank and turning the triangle different directions – this allowed the lines to play off each other and create interesting effects. Once I was done, I framed it in a simple silver ikea frame. I was going to hang it up in my new office but it ended up coming home with me. I hope you guys give this a go – there is nothing like a new piece of artwork to freshen things up. If you do make one, Chelsea & I would love to see & hear from you! Happy stamping + paper loving! Also, thank you Loren Crosier for taking some of the photographs.
COMMENTS ( 21
TAGS : Design Guide
Good morning friends!! Chelsea here, happy to announce Emma & I are BACK ( please forgive our hiatus ) with our second topic of the series, Design Guide — PAPER! There’ll be four posts dedicated to tools, resources & tips on how to use paper thoughtfully in your design projects. I’m kicking things off with a fun project anyone can create—a paper embosser. Enjoy & feel free to ask me anything about embossing in the comments section.
An embosser is a tool that creates a raised design on paper, often seen as a seal on official documents. ( ss opposed to debossing which sinks into the paper ) Luckily, you can easily and cheaply order an embosser online for your own use! What I love most about this tool is that it immediately creates a luxe and unique feeling. You don’t see raised type and graphics on paper that often so when you do, it’s no doubt going to get attention. For my embosser, I went with my return address. I embossed gold labels but it would work just as well on the back of an envelope.
» My Handheld Embosser ( good if you’re using from time to time )
» Desk Embosser ( if you’ll be using it often… easier to punch )
» Pre-Designed Embossers ( if you’re not designing your own )
Other Materials Pictured
» Gold Labels
» Grid Envelopes
» Vintage Stamps
Stay tuned for the second post on paper from Emma in two weeks!!
COMMENTS ( 9
TAGS : Design
, Design Guide
CMYK, PMS, RGB… Oh, brother. Today I’m going over all the tricky color terms a designer uses day in & day out. These definitions are crucial for a practicing designer to know & helpful for clients working with a designer to learn. And since so many of us are visual people, why not add images to help us all easily remember the terms? Now, keep in mind, I’m not going into the nitty gritty details of these topics. Just a simple guide to reference when you or your client needs a color lesson. And don’t miss Emma & I’s top online color resources at the bottom of this post! Thanks for your support & enjoy the tips. –Chelsea
COLOR ON PAPER:
CMYK / An acronym for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (AKA process color and four color). When printing a project with many colors, like a photographic based project, CMYK is a common color model printers use. These four colors combined in print, make any color combination under the sun. Fun fact! Mixing just CMY is theoretically supposed to create black but instead, it only creates a dark muddy color. So, they added black to the three color combo.
Spot Color / A single ink color used in print. If you’re printing a job with say 1 to 3 colors, you would choose the Pantone (see below) spot colors and specify them to your printer. Emma and I both used spot colors to print our brand materials, seen here.
PMS / An acronym for Pantone Matching System (AKA Pantone). Pantone is a company that created the most popular spot color system in the world. You can buy Pantone books right here. In addition to basic color books, they also have metallic, fluorescent and pastel color books, which are colors that can only be created using a spot color.
If you’re not ready to invest in Pantone color books (they’re pricey), you can pick up paint swatches from Home Depot and have your printer match a color based off those samples. When working on a print based project, it’s good for you and client to both have a record of the spot PMS colors chosen for each color used for the project. Fun Fact! In 2000, Pantone started picking a Color of the Year. Check out those colors here.
COLOR ON SCREEN:
RGB / An acronym for Red, Green and Blue. Together, these three colors make up every color you see on a display device, like a computer, tv or phone. Each of the colors has a number between 0 and 255. Example: R=255 / G=0 / B=0 is pure red. R=0 / G=0 / B=0 is black. R=255 / G=255 / B=255 is black.
HEX Number / (Stands for Hexidecimal Color) This six digit number represents a color used for anything on the web. Example: #FF0000 is pure red. #000000 is black. #FFFFFF is white. You’ll often see an option to type in your own HEX number while customizing a blog or twitter.
And just as you want to record Pworking on a web based project, it’s good for you and client to both have a record of the RGB mixes and HEX numbers for each color used on the site. Also, if you have an RGB mix and want to find out the HEX Number of that color, click here to use a ‘color calculator’ we found.
COLOR INSPIRATION ON THE WEB:
Some of our Favorites /
Palettes by Creature Comforts
Do you have a favorite color resource or tip?
Be sure to tell us about it in the comments section below. Emma and I would love to hear about it!
And be sure to check back in two weeks for our next Design Guide topic… PAPER!!
…and the Design Guide continues!! If you guys follow Chelsea & I on Instagram, then you saw that we went to Palm Springs for a Design Retreat last weekend. We spent 3 days with a handful of really talented female designers – poolside! ( we had a tiny bit of structure in there but for the most part we just enjoyed each others company and chatted about our businesses ) I definitely left feeling charged and challenged. Chelsea & I decided to let the trip inspire this next COLOR post. Check it out – as soon as we got home, we selected all of our favorite Instagram images from the weekend and pulled color palettes from them! ( hence the type up top screaming PALM SPRING PALETTES ) We felt like this would be a really interesting way to show you guys how easy it can be to pull inspiration from daily life – and then apply it to design!
…and now – I invited Eva to pick her favorite palette and apply it to this weeks Top Notch Type Design!! She went with #03! ”The various natural sceneries, bright sun and the shimmer from the pool, bring these colors to life. And this week’s typeface is another great one from designer, James T. Edmonson, for Lost Type Co-Op, Edmonsans. This sans-serif comes in three weights and has a few special features that gives this font it’s Top-Notch quality. You can’t go wrong using this one!” -Eva Black
This week’s font : Edmonsans
Number of styles : 3
Classification : Sans Serif
Designer : James T. Edmonson
Get it here —> : Lost Type Co-Op
Three cheers for Chelsea & I’s second installation of Design Guide. I love how enthusiastic everyone was when we kicked the column off with a non-traditional color wheel. We are still focusing on color as it’s one of our favorite aspects of the design process. I’m going to walk you through our brands palette’s & share tips on how we consistently and successfully use them. It’s amazing how much color choices control the outcome of the design – so pick carefully!! Cheers & Enjoy -Emma
COLOR HARMONY :
In visual experiences ( in this case – graphic design ), harmony is something that is pleasing to the eye! It engages you and creates an inner sense of order & a balance in the visual experience. When something is not harmonious, it’s either boring or chaotic. One extreme is that a visual experience is so bland that you’re not engaged – the brain will reject something that is so under-stimulating!! The other extreme is a visual experience that is so overdone, so chaotic that the viewer can’t stand to look at it!! The brain rejects what it can’t organize, what it can’t understand… Color harmony delivers visual interest and a sense of order so in the end – it’s crucial!! To get really technical : Extreme unity leads to under-stimulation, extreme complexity leads to over-stimulation. Harmony is a dynamic equilibrium!!
Some people have a natural eye for this harmony – some do not!! If you find yourself struggling with this – the color wheel is an incredible tool to understanding what goes well together – trust me!! There are also lots of other great resources out there to help put together a successful palette. Chelsea and I will be sharing some of our favorite resources in our last color post so stay tuned for those!!
EMMADIME : I gave my brand an update a little less than a year ago and am still adding to it and changing it everyday ( I designed a few new pieces specifically for this post, yay! ) One of the largest challenges for me, as I expand my brand is designing for myself – I’m sure lots of other designers would agree. Since it’s MY brand, I feel like it needs to be perfect – I feel like the materials that I pass out are a walking example of my potential as a designer! That’s a lot of pressure huh! WELL – with lots of hard work, some personal insight, and a tiny bit of money – I am at a place where I am proud to show off EMMADIME in all it’s colorful & printed glory. My colors are a good example of a complementary palette that is a mixture of cool & warm colors. I wish I had a more insightful answer as to why I chose these specific ones but the truth is – yellow is my fav!! So I took the time to pair yellow with different complementary colors and decided on which one grabbed at me more! Voila, there you have it – the Emmadime palette!!
From here, it’s all about consistency. As you design more and more pieces for your brand, strictly stay within your palette – and when I say strict I mean be psycho about it. Here are some examples from my experience : 01. My tape & my ink pad color are almost exactly the same color- this took multiple trips to different craft stores to hunt it down. 02. I worked with my letter-presser to make sure the yellows were as close to each other as possible! She hand mixed the inks so this took some extra time and energy. 03. I don’t stray outside of using white or gray paper! You get the point!!
…and now for Chelsea’s brand!! When she first launched Go Forth, I saw some Instagram pictures of everything that’s pictured below & LOVED it. I emailed her requesting that she snail-mail some of it to me so that I could appreciate it even more in person. I love how bright and vibrant her colors are and how bold all the type is. It screams life & energy!!
GO FORTH CREATIVE :
“I launched Go Forth Creative in March of this year and what a fun ride it has been! As it is for every business owner, it took some time for me to come up with a name for my studio. After doing so, I chose bold and upbeat colors that encourage folks to GO FORTH and take the next step in making their business great. Anytime you’re creating a palette, try your best to choose them with purpose by keeping your story or concept in mind.”
COMMENTS ( 18
TAGS : Design
, Design Guide
Hello E/D readers! I’m thrilled & honored to be sharing some design knowledge & tricks alongside Emma with our new column – Design Guide. We’re starting the series off with one of our favorite & most important design elements: COLOR! And the first post on color is dedicated to the basics. Whether you’re a new to design or a seasoned professional, check out the definitions & diagrams below to help refresh your memory on the fundamentals of color. Cheers & enjoy! –Chelsea Fullerton
THE COLOR WHEEL :
The color wheel is a basic yet super handy tool to remind us how colors relate to each other. It all starts with red, yellow & blue, or the primary colors. Secondary colors are created by mixing two primary colors together. ( yellow + blue = green ). Tertiary colors are the combination of one primary & one secondary ( red + orange = red/orange ). As easy as it is to create color combinations on the computer, I encourage you to go old school with your colored pencils or paints on occasion.
TYPES OF COLOR PALETTES :
When it comes to creating palettes, there are no rules. But using the below three palette tricks is always a good place to start when picking a set of colors that will compliment each other nicely.
Monochrome / A monochrome palette uses just one color (hue) in a range of light and dark shades. In the example above, I used the lovely red/orange as my base color.
Analogous / This set of colors describes the use of hues that are close to one another on the color wheel. Analogous palettes are great for clients who need to deliver a calming message, like a yoga studio or spa.
Complimentary / This palette is the mix of two colors opposite one another on the color wheel, such as purple and yellow or red and green. The effect is dramatic and eye catching.
MORE TERMINOLOGY :
Hue / Another word for color.
Warm / The red, yellow and orange colors found on the color wheel.
Cool / The blue, green and purple colors found on the color wheel.
Tint / A color made lighter by adding white.
Shade / A color made darker by adding black.
COMMENTS ( 38
TAGS : Design
, Design Guide