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Lavender Farm Family Photo Shoot

Lavender Farm Family Photo Shoot

Hi hi! These images are a few months old by now, but I wanted to share them anyway! We spent our morning on Father’s Day frolicing around at Carousel Lavender Farm, and Emily Wren was kind enough to chase after us with her camera. Emily and I have been working together on a bunch of design projects through the summer. I redesigned all of the print materials she gives out to clients and helped her design a new website too, so I already knew that our aesthetic styles were in sync. When she suggested a lavender farm for our family shoot, she got an enthusiastic YES!

We were there pretty early in the morning at the very start of the blooming season, so we had the place to ourselves! It’s a pretty enchanting place, you almost feel like you’ve made a wrong (or very right) turn and found yourself in Southern France. By the end of our shoot, Eva and Emily had agreed to start saving their pennies so that we could buy the farm. If you’re in the Philadelphia Area, I suggest a visit next summer!

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holy expletive, we bought a house!

ournewhouse

It feels like I’ve been keeping this secret forever. I am so excited to finally share that we purchased a home, this home!! We’re only moving about 25 minutes away from what has been my neighborhood for the past TEN years, but life is about to change immensely for the Stone family. We are technically leaving Philadelphia and taking on this project of a Tudor. It’s about 1000 square feet more than what we’ve had, in a neighborhood we absolutely adore. Our house was built in 1944 and has so much character (more pictures of that soon). It needs a lot of work, but already has a ton of charm and natural light. I hope you’ll follow along as I add home improvement to the list of topics covered on this blog. And now, back to packing!

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pinterest perks and perils for designers

pinterest perks and perils for designers

I will be the first to tell you that I looooove pinterest. This post isn’t meant to be an assault on pinterest, but rather just a few considerations for use as a designer and/or clients of a graphic designer.

I use pinterest for work a lot. Every time I start a new logo/branding project, I create a secret pinterest board and invite my client to pin with me. We share inspiration, color palettes, patterns, existing logos they love, etc. It’s an efficient way to interact with clients spread out across the globe in a way that makes me understand what they want to accomplish aesthetically. It works really well, BUT…

Pinterest creates unrealistic expectations. I don’t think this is a problem exclusive to the graphic design community. It’s a problem for moms trying to plan the perfect birthday party, families who hire an interior designer to spruce up their space, etc. etc. 10 years ago in design school, I would buy Lurzer’s Archives or Print magazine and drool over the high quality creativity and design featured on each page. I aspired to be that great, knowing that sleepless nights and  and an army of design professionals were likely behind that work. Your clients just can’t appreciate how much time, thought, effort and research goes into such a project, yet pinterest shows them that caliber of design with the click of a button.

Expensive print techniques are the norm on pinterest. I find that my clients usually aren’t aware of the cost of print production techniques. It’s not that I expect them to be well versed in the differences between embossing and letterpress, but people are often disappointed when you explain to them that they can’t get the same effect from their office inkjet printer.

Styling and exquisite photography play a big role in what clients see on pinterest. The carefully arranged props and photo editing might be playing just as big of a roll in your client’s adoration as the design itself. If they’ve spent months admiring business cards on pinterest before they hire a designer, It’s hard to make a design comp emailed via pdf seem nearly as exciting. It’s difficult for non-creative people to imagine the final result when they’re staring at a flat document on their computer screen.

My main advice is to be sure that when a client send you inspiration found on pinterest, you’re clear on what it is they like about the images. Communicate with them early and often about their expectations for the project, and how much they intend to budget for printing. If there’s a technique that you’d really love for them to see in action, mock it up! Pixeden has some great cheap or free mock up tools for you to use. Pinterest can be a very valuable tool for understanding your client’s vision, but make sure your client understand what’s realistic for their project and what isn’t. Have a great weekend!

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NakNak Amazing modern house numbers

modern house numbers GAH! I have the heart shaped cartoon eyeballs for these modern house numbers! I love their color offerings and quirky design. I think the twists in the metal make them feel modern, but not that capital “M” snooty kind of modern. Aren’t they so cool?!

I guess this is as good a time as any to tell you that we’ve been starting to tiptoe around the idea of moving out of Philadelphia! We found a town just outside the city that we love, a great realtor, and maaaaybe even the perfect house. Nothing is set in stone, but it’s fun to dream about a big change. Click through to see these lovely Swedish house numbers in all their glory, from NakNak.

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Ronan’s birth announcements

baby birth announcements It is safe to say that anyone who received Ronan’s birth announcements already knew of his birth. But, I figured most people still like to get something special in the mail. I got most of these out a little over a month ago, but actually still have a handful to send  (insert anxious emoji here). I’m warning you now, that mother-of-two-too-busy-to-do-it-all theme is probably going to come up a lot from here on out.

baby birth announcements I designed them a few weeks before his arrival, and then took my time coming up with photos and actually having them printed. The originally dummy copy I used before I knew how much he would weight said 8lbs 4 oz. Ha…if only I was so lucky!

I knew I wanted to do a tri-fold style, so I could include more than one image without the design feeling cluttered. I went square to make it a little different and selected teal envelopes to compliment the card design, they also happen to match Ronan’s nursery. I included a thank you note insert for those who sent us gifts…I’m all about consolidation and efficiency at this point in my life!

baby birth announcements Pinhole Pro was nice enough to print these up for me. They offer a lot of options as far as shapes and sizes, so you can basically make whatever design you imagine into a reality. They have two high quality paper choices, and very nice printing. You have to be a “pro,” meaning a photographer or designer to get a membership, but once accepted, sky’s the limit as far as options go.

As I do any time I send something out to our family and friends (mostly around the holidays), I referred back to my trusty InDesign address label template. I updated the master page to match this design, and bam, mailing labels for my peeps without looking up or printing a single address. I like how the custom labels make anything I put in the mail feel a little more branded and special. So what do you think, were they worth the wait? Have a great weekend, friends!

baby birth announcements baby birth announcements

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Salute the sketch danish colorful textile art

colorful textile art

Isn’t this image just SO beautiful?! These colorful textile art studies come from a workshop called “We Salute the Sketch,” done by textile designers Helle Gråbæk and Maria Kirk Mikkelsen. This work was done in conjunction with Gemakker Studio, in the heart of Denmark. I love the mix of color and pattern, and the addition of what looks like watercolor. More captivating images from this project after the jump! Happy almost weekend!

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Hello and a design update

design update

Oh, hello! Remember me? Gosh, it’s been a long time since I’ve written here…the longest break since I began blogging, actually. If you scroll down to my last post, it should be pretty clear why I’ve been MIA. Being a mama to an infant and kindergartener, AND running a small business is significantly harder than I ever imagined. It’s been a struggle to keep up with life and general, and honestly, I’ve just been too damn tired to share anything worthwhile on this little blog.

But, it’s time to change that! I’ve recently made some modifications to the design, including a shiny new mobile update. If you’re reading this on your phone, the blog should be significantly easier to read. There are a few tweaks that still need to be made, so please bear with me. I’m planning on getting back to blogging on the regular. No promises on how often that will be, but definitely more often than never! It’s good to be back, I’ve missed you! XOXO!

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introducing our boy

Ronan_Luka Introducing our son, Ronan Luka Stone, born August 10th, TEN (!!) lbs. 6 oz, 21 in long. I truly can’t believe how much time has passed since my last post, but the photo above should explain it all! This little big guy entered our lives 5 weeks ago, and life has been a bit of a roller coaster ever since. Truthfully, the last month of pregnancy and the delivery did not go at all as I’d hoped, but that all seems far away and forgotten now.

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lessons learned: how to keep clients from wasting your time

how to keep clients from wasting your time

The past 3+ years have been an incredible learning experience for me. I’d gone from working at ad agencies where I had little to no direct exposure to clients (account executives and creative directors were always the go between), to a world where I’m the one and only person doing the designing, billing, project management, and client relations too! I’ve definitely made some mistakes along the way, and continue to refine my process (and contract) as I go. I hope you can take advantage of this experience and avoid making some of these mistakes on your own. Mind you, the vast majority of your clients will not waste your time on purpose, but setting clear expectations and boundaries can really help. Without further adieu, the cleanline studio list of time saving client tips, after the jump…

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color me monday: papaya, sky and berry

color-me-monday_papaya,-sky-and-berry1

Summer, it’s officially here! While my swollen ankles and general pregnancy heat intolerance are getting in the way a bit, but summer is still my favorite season. School’s out, the neighborhood pool opens this week, and everything in my garden is starting to bloom. We’re trying to enjoy these last two months with Eva before the new guy shows up. Our weekend was relatively low-key. Yesterday Eva and I made a special breakfast for her Dada, played with the sprinkler in the backyard, and ended the day with smores. It was nice to chill out after several busy weeks and weekends in a row.

With the start of summer comes bright, fun colors! I love how these fit together for the hottest months ahead. I hope you are staying cool and having a nice week so far!

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