Category Archives for Design
It’s official! I’ve finally got my new Waterfall Creative site up, with a totally different structure and process.
Let me tell you a little story. In a frantic spur of the moment decision earlier this year I took down my portfolio site and placed up a splash page saying something to the effect of, ” stay tuned, something cool is coming.” I knew I wanted to take a different direction with my graphic design business but just wasn’t sure how to go about it. I worked on Yellow Conference stuff and I worked on graphics, with most of my projects taking longer than they should have, with really no consistent process – as all of my clients were so different. This left me and my clients tired, confused and feeling more scatterbrained than usual. I knew there had to be another way!!
Bring in the new Waterfall Creative. I’ve finally taken what I do best and taken out what I’m not so good at. I’ve streamlined my branding process so I can still create awesome looking brands for clients, but going into it, the expectations on both sides are much more clear. I really have a heart for startups, the people who are starting their dream business. So this is who I’m targeting with this new model. I honestly believe deep down in my designer soul that visual branding plays a HUGE part in the initial success of a business. It shows the world that you are legit. You’re not here to play games and you take yourself and your business seriously. You only get one first impression, and you want it to be a good one. It fills my heart to help others pursue and live out their dreams. The new Waterfall Creative is here to make that happen.
So, with that, I’m working on specific terms. I want to get your branding done affordably and quickly. Here’s how we’re going to do it:
1 / Three logo Options. Two rounds of revisions. That’s it! I have you fill out a detailed questionnaire, as well as create a Pinterest board filled with visuals you want your brand to emulate. We will also have a Skype session to chat about what you’re looking for before getting started. This is so I can do my best to NAIL it the first time. I will send you three logo choices, so you do have some options. But ideally, you won’t need any changes as we will be SO on the same page before visuals have even started to be created. So two revisions should be plenty
2 / Deadlines. For you, and for me. If I send you 3 logos, and don’t hear back from you for a month, the project loses a lot of traction, and it’s really hard for me to pick back up where I left off creatively. So… you have a deadline on when you can get back to me, and vise versa. This keeps both my head and yours in the game, continually moving forward.
3 / For Websites, I’m using WordPress Templates only. In today’s digital age, there are so many amazing templates that have been created by awesome programmers. I’ve made the decision to only use templates for client websites for 2 reasons. 1- They are much less expensive and go so much faster than creating a custom site (perfect for startup budgets!) 2- They are easily customizable so you can continue to update your site on your own after we are done working together. All it takes is some basic WordPress knowledge (no html required) and you can feel full ownership over your site, without the hassle of going through a middleman and paying extra bucks to make small changes. So, it’s cheaper, easily updateable, and much faster than creating a completely custom site. Now, this isn’t for everyone- some sites might need to have custom functions and a template won’t work. But for most of the small businesses that I work with, it’s the best way to go.
So there you have it! I cannot wait to get started! If you’re interested or have any other questions, shoot an email over to firstname.lastname@example.org. Looking forward to chatting friends!…
I recently finished up a new blog / brand design for the adorable Lily Schlosser. Lily is a fashion blogger who has a cute/casual style which I am so drawn to. This girl can dress up a vintage sweater with some boots and jeans like no one else. Her natural look and approachable style made me instantly drawn to her- I was so excited when I got her email and started looking through her blog. I knew we had to work together!
Lily needed a brand to match her style. Being that she is approachable and embraces imperfections, I knew a hand done logo would be perfect for her. Something simple and elegant without needing to feel perfect.
We came up with a monochromatic color palette, with a hit of mustard yellow to get her personality in there. The flower petal marks on each end of the logo represented the light hearted spirit of her blog- and have the ability to be used elsewhere throughout the brand.
After creating the brand, we brought the look onto her blog. We wanted to really show off her photos, so bringing in the simple and clean look to the site was very important.
Lily really wanted her blog to feel personal, and the small boot icon I created really was a signature mark of her style. We decided to incorporate the boot and her signature into a small icon that is now used at the end of each of her blog posts. To give her posts the approachable and personal feel that she writes with. I think it turned out really cute!
You can check out the live blogsite here. And definitely keep following Lily’s blog- she’s got some awesome things going over there! We maaay even have another project in the works… stay tuned!!!
Happy Friday Friends!!!
It’s Friday! TGIF people, am I right??! I thought I’d share with you some new web design work for the amazing Alex Evjen of A.V.E. Styles. (If you guys haven’t checked out her Pinterest- go NOW. So much goodness.) Anyways, this project was an extra fun one. Alex had a brand created by the fab Promise Tangeman but needed a new website design. So I got to take the awesome logo and colors that Promise had come up with for Alex, and turn it into a just as awesome website for this lovely lady. Not an easy task, but Alex was such a delight to work with and she made the process SO enjoyable.
You guys will have to check out Alex’s blog for some great fashion advice, and to see more of what this talented lady is up to.
Thanks Alex for being so amazing to work with! You truly are a gem.
Happy Friday friends! Enjoy the weekend. Cheers!…
It’s finally here! Now no one can get mad at me for dancing around the house to the Amy Grant Christmas album…. (we all have our guilty pleasures!) I’m a real sucker for this time of year. Christmas trees all over, sparkling lights, people baking treats and wanting me to eat them… What could be better than that??
In respect to decorating the house for Christmas, I had to decorate my computer too. Afterall, it is the thing I spend the most time with on a daily basis. I hand lettered this “Merry Christmas” and placed the words “SPREAD LOVE” on the bottom. Just to remind us all about what’s really important this season
Also, I’m fully aware that this hand-lettering trend maaay be a bit overdone. I mean, take a look at Pinterest and you’ll see enough to last you for awhile. But let’s be real- it’s SO pretty! I think that as we spend our days on the computer our eyes are drawn to things that remind us that we are humans and we can create with our hands. We crave it. And as much as I tried to avoid it this little trend, I could no longer stop myself. It’s too fun. And this blog is the space where I can do what I want and have fun with it, right?? So here it is friends, from my blog to your desktop- a little Christmas hand-lettered cheer.
I hope you download it and enjoy! Pick out what size works best for your computer OR your mobile device. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays friends!!
We all have our things. You know the things I’m talking about- the things we do when we’re nervous. Some people pick at their fingers, some people twirl their hair or blink funny. Some people hide behind their phone. And me? My thing? Hiding behind my coffee cup. It’s like a security blanket. Don’t get me wrong, I love coffee, a lot. But I’m not one of those real coffee people. I put too much cream and sugar in my cup (something I often get dirty looks for) And I can’t taste much of a difference between light and dark roasts. I’m sure it’s there, but with the massive amounts of cream and sugar in my cup, it’s all the same to me. (Please don’t hate me coffee peeps!)
What I actually love about coffee, what makes me keep coming back to this caffeinated drink time and time again is how it makes me feel. The smell, the warmth coming through the cup and onto my hands, the way it looks, the routine of heading into the coffee shop in the morning and small chatting with the friendly baristas. That’s what I love. It’s this whole coffee culture that I’m a fan of.
So being that my husband and I were going to be up in Seattle, a city known for it’s delicious coffee (and the ability to cultivate the coffee culture experienced the world over) I was excited to visit the cute coffee shops that litter this place. I had heard about one in particular that recently opened up in Pikes Place, one of my favorite areas of Seattle. I was excited because although I love Pikes Place, I felt like I had seen all there was to see. I had already purchased my “First Starbucks” mug, seen the flying fish, and tasted far too many apple samples. So a new coffee shop sounded perfect.
So we headed to Storyville Coffee Co. to see what this new place was about. Long story short- I loved it. So much. I think it showed all over my face being that one of the guys working there commented on how excited and happy I looked when I walked in. So much for a cool poker face.
You guys, this place was branding perfection. I mean, just take a look at their website and you’ll get it. The way they designed the space is so welcoming.You walk in, and instantly see coffee grinders. The counter is circular, so you don’t feel like the baristas are incredibly separated from you. It more seems like they happen to be making delicious coffee while hanging out with you in the space. Their tagline, “Love Everybody” shows through every detail.
My husband and I were instantly greeted by a young fellow with a friendly smile and a handlebar mustache. Super hipster – but really, did you expect anything different? It’s a hip new coffee shop in Seattle… I mean… Anyways, he showed us around, asked what I normally drink. I confessed that I drink coffee with massive amounts of cream and sugar. It was like word vomit- he was the last person I wanted to tell about my non cool coffee person drinking habits. I was expecting to get a dirty look and be told something like, “our coffee is such amazing quality that you don’t need any cream or sugar.” To which I would pretend to agree while inside thinking how I really don’t care how good it is, I still want cream and sugar… But I received no snarky remark from smily mr. handlebar. He simply smiled and told me that they had really good handmade syrups with some great tasting flavors that he thought I would like. He also told us about the variety of warm, freshly baked treats they had for sale. As if I wasn’t sold already.
I ordered a non-fat latte. Nolan ordered an iced Americano and a cinnamon roll that I may or may not have made him order…
We sat down on a comfy seat near the fire place. Did I mention that it was cloudy and cold outside? It was, and this California girl was in heaven. They have these large windows that overlook the Elliot Bay and let in just the right amount of natural light. My latte was of course, Instagram worthy and the cinnamon roll was near perfection. It was gooey and warm – just the way it should be. I did put some Sugar in the Raw into my latte, but I tell you what- there was nothing I could do to ruin that thing. That was one of the best lattes I’ve ever had. I could actually taste the difference. If it wasn’t so expensive (for a cheap-o like me) I would have bought another one to take with me.
We finished up our meal, chatted and shot the breeze with mr. handlebar. It was such a relaxing environment that I really wished I had brought my laptop so I could spend the rest of the day working there. But after about an hour of hang time in the shop we had to head out.
We said our goodbyes and thank you’s and headed down stairs, back to the bustling streets of Pikes Place. But even after leaving the shop Storyville was still blowing my branding mind. I looked over about a quarter mile down the road and saw the Storyville logo repeated on the side of a large building. No words, just symbols. “They are just too good,” I thought to myself.
So, needless to say, this girl, who is in love with how coffee makes her feel is hooked on Storyville. I highly recommend going there if you’re ever in the Seattle area. Here’s their website. Here’s their Twitter. My one piece of advice? Order your own cinnamon roll. You won’t regret it.…
Earlier this week, I had spent the entire morning working pretty hard. My brain was tired, there was more to do, but my head was in a fog. I didn’t feel like I was producing anything good so I took a little walk. I work in a little studio located in Downtown Burbank where there’s a variety of shops and restaurants. My plan was to head to this little furniture place, but when I walked past “Movie World” (as I do almost everyday after grabbing my morning coffee) something came over me, and I decided to go inside. The moment I looked around, I was stunned. The last thing I expected “Movie World” to have was walls full of books and retro posters. I got really excited and walked down the thin aisles and started pulling books off the shelves. I went through fashion magazines from the 1920s, chuckled at the “Microwave Cookbook” from the 50′s. (What a contrast to our food culture these days!) And being that Burbank is right in the center of the film industry, I found old movie scripts, press kits, and even stills taken on sets- like this Mary Poppins photo. It was magical.
I love this pic. It in an odd way reminds me of who I want to be. I like being a lady, I like fashion and looking nice. But I also LOVE getting messy. I love the feeling that comes from having charcoal all over your clothes and face after a night spent drawing. I’m not naturally clean, organized or polished. And I feel like this photo reminds me it’s ok. To let loose and be myself. Mary Poppins, the woman who was “practically perfect in every way”, also got messy and had fun doing it.
I left the store spending just over $20 in used books and photos. I gathered inspiration for upcoming projects and bought some things just for myself. But I really left with an excitement knowing that this place is just a few doors down from my studio. So whenever I want a burst of inspiration, or need to clear my head- instead of heading to Pinterest I’m heading to Movie World!
Doing this made me think about the amazing things / places / people that surround us on a daily basis, but we never experience because we either don’t have the time or the bravery to. As I’ve written about before, going to new places and experiencing different things really brings a new perspective to your work and your life. Just this week I realized how easy it is for us to find these experiences without even leaving home. Pretty awesome!!
So my challenge to you is to explore your daily surroundings. Do you see the same person at your local coffee shop every morning? Say hi! Get to know them! Go into that random store by your office and see what’s inside. Head to the other side of town or visit a restaurant you’ve never been to. The possibilities are endless. But the point is to get out of your “zone” – and see the magic happen. Now go! Then come back and tell me what you did. I’d love to hear!!
Happy Wednesday friends!!…
This past weekend I had the opportunity to head out to the desert with a bunch of lady graphic designers for Design Vaca. It’s a weekend where women from all over the country get together to relax, talk design, and get to know each other. I had the opportunity to go last year and learned so much. This year was different, but I still learned a ton and left feeling very inspired.
I compiled my pics from the weekend to show you some of the things I did while there.
As I mentioned before, I was able to hang out with friends that I had made last year. It was so great to see what people are doing and how far they’ve come in just one year. I think one of the best things about events like these are the people you meet. So many talented ladies. Also, these two “mature” women were sitting outside near our hotel room every morning in their robes drinking coffee. They invited us to come sit with them and chat. These ladies were 80 and 81 years old- it amazed me how sharp they were and full of life. I want to be them when I grow up!
Each day of the vaca we had a few panels get up and talk about different subjects. Promise asked me to be on one about work/life balance. And oh man was I nervous! I’m always very nervous leading up to things like this, but once we got going, I realized it was fine. I was happy to be able to share my thoughts on the subject and also hear what the other girls had to say about it.
I had already been eating so much the days before being in the south. But the Ace and Palm Springs has so much yummy food, that I really couldn’t stop! Meg Long and I drove home together, and she introduced me to the “date shake” at Hadley Fruit Orchards. She told me it was a tradition for her to stop and get one on the way home from Palm Springs. I think it just might have to become mine as well.
The whole trip was really inspiring. I loved meeting new friends and hearing about the awesome things everyone is up to. We talked about next steps in our careers, fears we had, and what we had learned this past year. I am so excited to see where life takes each and every one of these ladies. We’re all just doing our best out there, faking it along the way.
Have a great rest of your week friends!
Hey guys!! So Summer is really over- (even though it’s still in the 90′s) And I’ve decided to come back to blogging on a regular basis. My goal is to be blogging here once a week- no promises that it will always happen, but I’m going to try!
Life lately has been good busy. The kind of busy that inspires you, not burns you out. (Let’s hope it stays that way!!) I thought I would share with you a couple things that have been happening lately.
1 // I got some awesome creatives to share with me in my new work space! Woo Hooo! I feel so blessed and really think that God has His good hand over this one. Can’t wait to be spending my days with real life human interaction.
2 // A project I had the honor of doing branding and packaging design for has finally launched! It’s called Cafe Pour Deux and being the coffee lover I am it’s really right up my alley. It’s a coffee brand created especially for pregnant and nursing mothers. Here’s the thing- a lot of times doctor’s tell pregnant and nursing patients to drink decaf coffee- but what they don’t understand is that decaf is created by using a ton of unhealthy chemicals that are really not good to be feeding your little one- it would really just be safer to drink regular! So Cafe Pour Deux is created as an alternative to the chemically induced decaf. It’s completely organic, made with no chemicals, and has amazing taste. Pretty cool, right? It’s really awesome even if you’re not a mom- it’s just plain good organic coffee. I truly believe in this product – and it’s been awesome to work on. Head over to their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter, or better yet, buy a bag of coffee! Cause they’re really great.
3 // I’m writing this post from my hotel room in Dallas, Texas. I’m at the Circles Conference this weekend! This is an inspiring conference for creatives in the design field. There are amazing speakers like Lotta Niemien, Carlos Whittaker, and my friend Megan Gilger. It’s always great to get out of LA, and experience new people and places. One of my favorite quotes today was from Carlos, who said that “the more moments we create, the more moments we receive”. His whole talk was about living a life that you design, instead of letting your life design you. Honestly it just inspired me to live life to the fullest. Getting out and making the decision to come to this conference was creating a moment for me, and in turn, I’m receiving so many amazing ones. After Dallas I’m headed to Alabama to see a dear friend of mine, and after that I’m headed to Palm Springs for DesignerVaca! It’s a busy 2 weeks of travel but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.…
Wowza- it’s been a long while hasn’t it?? I haven’t posted once all summer and to be perfectly honest- it’s been amazing. Being away from this blog has made me realized how much pressure I was putting on myself to get blog posts up. Not only that- but I came to realize how stressed and nervous I was about what people would think of each of my posts. Which is really not cool. It caused me to lose touch of that creativity and spark I love so much about what I do. These things were really brought to my attention after stepping away- which is one reason I’m so glad I did. I feel as if I’ve gained new perspective.
I know I’m never going to be a professional blogger- I just don’t have that desire or determination to make that happen. But I do love connecting with you readers and am so thankful for the relationships I’ve been able to find through blogging alone. It’s really awesome! And I have missed you guys! So I’m just going to bask in that for a bit- focus on the good parts of blogging, and not feel stressed about it. There’s enough of that in everyday life- right??
So if you’re reading this- thanks so much for sticking with me. I have some cool news- during this time I’ve taken off from blogging I’ve FINALLY created a new portfolio site! It’s seriously been over a year since I’ve had a proper one. How does that happen?? This process has helped me have a bit more mercy for my indecisive clients… It’s hard to decide on a look to go with and stick with! I probably came up with 3-4 different concepts over the course of this year and thrown all of them out. Don’t follow my example- because when it comes down to it- done is better than perfect, and I really wanted (& needed) to have this thing done!!
So check it out friends! The new portfolio site of Waterfall Creative! —> waterfall-creative.com
I hope you all enjoy skimming through it. It’s funny how I felt as if I didn’t know what my style was- or if I even had one until I looked at my work all together. I definitely have a style that inherently comes out of me. We all do. Isn’t that weird? But so cool! I’m sure it will continue to evolve through the years.
I have tons more to catch you guys up on from the summer- but this was the main thing I wanted to share. That being said- I can’t say that I’m back to blogging consistently- cause I really don’t think I am. But I can say that I will try to be more active on here. So check back, ok?
So you have a logo. Maybe you had it done professionally, maybe you have a friend who created one for you or you made one yourself! Whatever the case may be, your logo does not make up your brand, infact it is a very small part of your visuals. What makes your visual branding great is seeing all of the small components come together, creating a consistant look and style. That means your website, your business cards, packaging and your social media platforms. So what do you after your designer has handed you your final logo files? Or you need to make your own business cards in a pinch? A lot of times companies don’t have an in-house designer and a lot of materials like blog posts, email blasts, etc, are up to someone who isn’t trained in design to create. Sound familiar?
I experienced this a lot when I first started designing for clients. I would create a beautiful logo for them, hand it off, receive final payment, all was good in the world. Then I would head over to the client’s website to see the beautiful logo I designed for them on top of a completely incohesive website!! EEKK!! All of a sudden my pride and happiness with my work turned to cringing, not wanting to direct anyone to the website to see the logo I did. This is one reason why I stay away from projects that are just logos (there’s always an occasional exception) and try to focus on the branding as a whole.
SOOO all that being said- here are three tips to help keep your visuals looking good across all platforms! They are the basics, and there are tons more I could write about, but these specific three will be the foundation for any work that you are creating and can really make your designs go from zero to hero.
1 // Keep your fonts and colors consistant.
With fonts and colors- I normally group them both into a general rule: don’t use more than four. With fonts, you want to stay away from using the exact same font that is used in your logo, to allow the logo to stand on it’s own and not to get lost in the crowd. Throughout your visuals, choose a font that you will use for your body text, your headers, sub-text, and a highlight font if needed. Try to keep these consistant throughout all your visuals.
For colors- I wouldn’t stray too far from the color palette of your logo. Don’t forget to stick with the 4 colors rule of thumb! I’d go with a light color (for backgrounds and fills), a dark color (for headers and body copy), a neutral color, and a punch color (for the areas that need to stand out). Or just stick to different tints and shades (adding white and adding black) of the same base color. Whatever you do- keep it consistant. I often use the color guide on Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, but if you don’t have those programs, some great ways to choose consistant color palettes are websites like Kuler (created by Adobe), The Color Collective, and Design Seeds.
2 // Stick with a grid.
Whatever you are working on, be it a letterhead, a blog post, or a business card, I can’t stress enough how important it is to keep text and images aligned, as well as consistant borders and margins. This can make or break your design.
If you have an inch border on one side of your letter head, make sure all the sides have an inch border. If you have 25px in between images and text, keep it that way throughout all your blog posts! Keep the end of all visual
3 // Keep it simple!
I can’t stress this enough. Don’t be afraid of negative space. Instead- EMBRACE it! The key to good design is knowing how to use space, not filling every inch of it up. White space is good. It’s great actually. With so much to look at on the internet, so much competition for our minds and time, people want something that has a clear, consistant message. Simple and easy to understand. With breathing room. Don’t crowd, oversaturate or confuse. Keep. It. Simple!!!
And YES YES I KNOW- there are many examples where people have broken these rules and made it work- but you have to know the rules in order to break them! So stick to these three simple steps and as you get better, you can start to experiment and break them! Woo Hoo!!
PS- hiring a designer means you don’t have to worry about any of this! wink wink..