Category Archives: Graphic Design

Printable 2015 12-Month Office Calendar

Oprah Winfrey New Years quote

Happy New Year! I hope everyone is having a joyous and festive holiday!

I’ve been fairly quiet on the blog the last several months. But, that’s because I’ve been working on my biggest project to date—my husband and I are expecting a baby girl in the spring. Woo hoo! Up until now I’ve been too pooped to work on anything besides the basics (and even then…). But, this is going to open up a whole new world in sewing and craft projects for babies and kids! I’m definitely not going the mommy blogger route, but just adding some new crafty things to the mix.

So the first post for 2015 is a practical one—a free printable 2015 12-month calendar PDF that fits on 8.5” x 11” paper. While I was organizing my desk at work last week I realized that I needed an at-a-glance 2015 calendar. Looking online for a free printable, I didn’t see anything that I really liked—they were either too Microsoft Office-looking or too kooky. I needed something that would both brighten up my office space and look professional.

The Stitcherati 2015 Calendar

Download free printable calendar PDF here.

Posted in Graphic Design, Original Designs | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Printable Valentine’s Day Matchbook Covers

 

Whenever I go to a fun restaurant or bar, I keep a lookout for matches. They’re nice little mementos to take home and I like keeping a small collection.  So, I thought, maybe it would be cool to make classic rock-inspired matchbook covers just in time for Valentine’s Day.  And with my husband being a huge Bruce Springsteen fan, of course I HAD to include our wedding song, “Fire.”

DIY Matchbook Covers

If you like these matchbook covers, you can download a PDF of the Classic Rock Matchbook Covers here.

Or you can design your own—perfect for wedding or shower favors. To create your own matchbook covers, flatten the matchbook and measure it around from the strike strip to the edge of the flap. Then, in your design program, enter the dimensions and create something fun!

I found these matchbooks in bulk in my grocery store

Next, print your design or the PDF in this post on 8-1/2” x 11” sticker paper. Trim the cover using the crop marks in the PDF and then align the sticker on the matchbook with the shorter end of the sticker flush against the strike strip. The side of the matchbook with the flap is a little longer. Press the sticker firmly, then fold and tuck the matchbook flap.

I dare you not to sing these songs while you’re making the matchbook covers!

Free Printable PDF: Classic Rock Matchbook Covers

Posted in Crafts, Original Designs | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

When Your Creation Doesn’t Match Your Vision

photo by Nige Harris, via Flickr

photo by Nige Harris, via Flickr

So I’m in the midst of changing careers and I gotta say, it’s tough. But what doesn’t kill you, makes your stronger, amiright? I am going from a very straight-forward career that was based on processes, numbers and schedules to a creative, color-outside-the-lines-type of career in graphic design.

Lately, some of my designs have been a little ho-hum. I have this vision in my head of what I want something to look like, but the end result looks nothing like it. So that’s frustrating… It also makes me question, “Am I good enough?”  Thankfully, I’m married to a writer, who understands these doubts and assures me, these thoughts are completely normal.

Then today, I came across this video gem from Ira Glass. It was exactly what I needed.

 

 

So I am just going to keep designing. It’s all part of the process. And if I need to step away for a bit, I’ll read a new book. Or find a cool design blog. Or go for a run!

Signing up for a class helps me through creative slumps too. Today, I signed up for a free online class on Aquent Gymnasium, called “Coding for Designers.” I come from a print background, so I understand how to design for printers. But web design, or at least how to execute web design, is much more elusive to me. And this class is quick! There are only 6 lessons and they’re bite-sized enough to do one every day. At the end of the lesson, there’s a short quiz and an assignment. I’ve only completed lesson 1, but I’m loving this class and I definitely recommend it if you are a print designer wanting to know more about web design.

So what do you do when you have self-doubt?

If you want to sign up for the “Coding for Designers” class, please click here. Enrollment is open through September 2.

 

Posted in Graphic Design | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Printable Tennessee Williams Quote

This past weekend, I wished a dear friend good luck as she embarked on a life-changing move from New York to San Francisco. So, even though I am down one less partner-in-crime, I cannot be happier for her. I wanted to make something fun for her and since she is also one of my New Orleans travel buddies, I felt this quote by Tennessee Williams was particularly apt.

What do you think? No offense to Cleveland or anywhere else, but I am 100% in agreement! Do you have any city quotes that resonate with you?

This downloadable PDF fits beautifully in a standard 5” x 7” frame.

download-and-print-button

Posted in Graphic Design, Original Designs | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Open for Business!

Gummy candy packaging project

I realize I’ve been pretty quiet on the blog lately. I’ve been working on my graphic design portfolio–mostly making tweaks and setting up photo shoots for finished projects. Well I finally got my portfolio site up and running on Squarespace, and I really love it! Woo-hoo!

To complement the portfolio site, I’ve also started a graphic design inspiration blog on Tumblr. You can visit the portfolio site and the Tumblr blog here and here. I also added these two sites to the categories on this blog.

As they say, I am now open for business! If you have any freelance design needs, I design logos, business cards, stationery, posters, wine labels–you get the gist. On to the printed version…

Let me know what you think!

P.S. For the gummy candy packaging project, the assignment was to choose a well-known type of packaging and use it for something else. In this case, I repurposed a coffee can and designed labels and logos for a series of gummy candies–Fish in a Barrel, Can of Worms and Barrel of Monkeys. Keeps your gummy candies fresh!

Posted in Graphic Design | Tagged | 2 Comments

Loving Typography

Photo by splorp, via Flickr

So I know I’ve been a bit quiet here on The Stitcherati lately. As my sister says when she’s been on a small hiatus, it’s usually “life stuff.” I’ve been hard at work at putting together my graphic design portfolio. Exciting yet so scary at the same time. My original goal was to spend the month of December putting the portfolio together after I finished my last design class (snort!). Yeah, that didn’t happen. So after the new year, I knew I had to buckle down and get to it already! The last two weeks I’ve been all about 24/7 graphic design. I’ve been making, reading, thinking, even dreaming about design…you get the gist.

This morning I came across this video gem on typography. It’s nearly 30 minutes, but the speaker, Matthew Wyne, is so engaging, that if you’re a type enthusiast like I am, you’ll hardly notice the time. I believe he’s speaking to a group of high school students about the Typography Design program at Cooper Union. It’s a 5-week intensive program in which you come out of it with your own type design. Sounds easy! Oh no…

 

Are you inspired yet? I know I am!

P.S This week I also came across a website called, Flipping Typical. The site lets you preview all of the fonts you have loaded into your computer. It’s such a time-saver when you’re looking for the right font for a project!

Posted in Graphic Design | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Graphic Design Inspiration at The Cooper-Hewitt

Aerial view of Governor’s Island, by Danny McL via Flickr

You know how you make a mental list of things you want to do during the summer and then you realize in late August that not only summer has passed you by, but also you’ve done practically nothing on that list? That totally happened to me last week.

Thank goodness it was a long Labor Day weekend– I knocked two of those items off the list! The first was tubing in the Delaware River (so fun!) and the other was visiting the Graphic Design – Now in Production exhibit on Governor’s Island, co-sponsored by Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum and the Walker Art Center.

While I’ve been working on my graphic design portfolio, I’ve been entering logo design contests on 99designs.com. I was working on a restaurant logo and hit a creative wall. Everything I was coming up with seemed too boring. Visiting the exhibit was the perfect way to get some inspiration.

The installations were mostly print and film-title based and all of the work was created since 2000. The exhibit closed after September 3, but below are some of the highlights.

Iconic TV Posters

From top right: The Wire – phone, Weeds – dime bag of pot, Friends – Central Perk coffee cup, 30 Rock – NBC logo colors

From top right: Homer’s hair from The Simpsons, Charlie’s Angels speakerphone, the scrubs on…Scrubs and glass of Scotch on Mad Men

Austrian designer, Albert Exergian designed these reductive, minimalist posters of well-known American TV shows using a mid-century Swiss modernist sensibility. By using one basic image, he conveys the essential theme of the show. It’s a tough call, but my two favorites are the posters for Friends and Weeds.

If you are interested in seeing more of Exergian’s work, you can visit his site here. He is also selling these poster prints at Print-Process.

Graphic Gig Posters

Aesthetic Apparatus posters

These screen-printed posters were designed by Minneapolis-based studio, Aesthetic Apparatus. What’s interesting is that they used printed test versions of the posters and then overprinted different posters on top of them. Each poster you see above is a collage of multiple posters. Some of these are sold as limited-edition prints on Gigposters.com.

Behind-the-Scenes Magazine Design

This is a making-of video of The Church of London’s movie magazine, Little White Lies and their special Black Swan issue. Cool stuff!

Visual Identity System

17th Biennale of Sydney visual system, by Jonathan Barnbrook

Designed by Jonathan Barnbrook, this was the visual identity of the 17th Biennale of Sydney, an international festival of contemporary art.

Typography

Apercu and Liza fonts

Posted in Graphic Design | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Live-Action Interpretation of Famous Poster

While looking for some graphic design inspiration for a project, I came across this video on theinspiration.com (very fitting website name, right?). Wouldn’t you know, it’s a live interpretation of the famous A.M. Cassandre poster for Dubonnet wine in 1932.

Last year for my graphic design history class, I wrote my final paper on A.M. Cassandre. His work was incredible. Not only was he a noted Art Deco poster designer and changed the way posters were designed, but he also designed his own typography. He was an amazingly talented graphic designer.

Posted in Graphic Design | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment