Friday, October 21, 2011

Design Tips:  The New Calling Card

I recently came across the newest calling card. It is something we take for granted, we view them everyday as we surf the web, look up our favorite websites or blog pages. Every time we type in a http or www address, it is the first thing we see; the images, colors and shapes at the top of the page.... the HEADER!

These days the most successful blog pages and websites don't just use a generic template or stock photos provided by the hosting company, they have created themselves a look, a branding. They have taken a logo, text, photos & images and created something that you will remember. No matter where you see these uniquely grouped visual cues, you will always think of that one company, person or product. And what better way to get yourself out there then by utilizing the most popular social network, the world wide web.

This new calling card of sorts has also become a new avenue for me to explore within my design capabilities. It has given me the freedom to design something for a client that really combines all the basic elements needed when trying to brand oneself to the world. I can now create a logo or name for a company or product and give the client an expanded visual affect that has less limitations then printing a business card and more space then a 3.5x2 inch card can give. But don't get me wrong... a business  or calling card that is printed and ready to be left in some one's out stretched hand is still VERY necessary. I am a HUGE fan of the printed word and literature necessary to run a business or promote a hobby, but why not utilize what is free and out there for all to see at any given moment.  If you are going to put yourself on the web for millions to view, do it right!

There is no reason why you can not customize the FIRST thing people look at when they type http://www. a b c.... But make sure that what people see at the top of your web page or blog page is memorable and represents what you are saying, selling or promoting.


Here are two of my favorite blog headers that I had the pleasure of creating for some of my newer clients.


http://buttonsbowsbling.blogspot.com



http://mooncalledprime.blogspot.com


The header designs have been so successful that one client turned his blog header into his signature image for whenever he posts a comment or opinion on another site. The other client has been able to utilize her header in a variety of ways and now has it as a place holder on her website, www.buttonsbowsbling.com while it's under construction, as the main focus on her blog calling cards and looks great as a header when she prints her fliers. It is just a great all around collage of images, text, photos and colors that represents her and what she loves.

So in the near future, while you dream about that new online business or want to publish your most cherished thoughts, also think of me.

Contact me today at Jolenemc08@gmail.com and lets create Something Great Together.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so let your Header say it ALL!

Monday, October 17, 2011

My Creativity in Many Forms

As I get back into the swing of my computer design work, I have also been reorganizing my craft projects within a new work space. For if the work space doesn't provide you with the right amount of storage and table top space, no projects ever get finished.

When we re-worked the office space, we brought in some of my old craft space elements into the other half of the living room and made me a respectable table top space with cabinets to store the pieces to my most favorite projects.

With all these things I love to do, a proper craft station was necessary. And with the extra space still available under the windows, my oldest girl can sit beside mommy to work on all her craft projects. Such a win, win!


See I love to hand stitch details into holiday Sampler Quilts. And its been a year since I worked on my last one, (look to part two of the "A Little More Fall"  post to see my first ever autumn quilt) So I'm past due to prep and start on my next holiday quilt. I also like to dabble in scrap-booking, which transitions well into creating Invitations, Baby Announcements and Greeting Cards for my clients, family members and friends during this time of the year. Let alone fixing and sewing items for the two little girls in my life. And the graphic design jobs can lead to large production projects that need more space then even my new office work station can give me. (Visit the "Re-Working the work space" post to see how that turned out.)

So now, all my creative hobbies have the space they need for me to finish them. From the Business Literature for that small local business to the newest holiday quilt, I can provide the best quality workmanship for all!



Looking forward to sharing some new design work in my next few blogs; gift cards, blog headers, company logos and so much more! See you soon!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Little More Fall: Part 2

I am a Graphic Designer day to day for my clients, but I also love to dabble in scrap-booking, hand stitching on sampler quilts, and home decor in my spare time. Decorating my home for the seasons is definitely one of those things I love to do when time allows.

As I posted in Part one, I was in need of finishing up with my autumn decorating. The table was set but the entry way and walls were still bare. Well, not any longer! With a little staging, I could give the landing to my stairway the look of an outdoor porch setting with leaves, pumpkins and some wrought iron candle holders.
Here's my first Autumn sampler quilt, that I hand stitched, 
on my large living room wall. 
I'm usually a Christmas quilter so this was a nice change of pace.

And a little floral arrangement within a spider web basket on my bookcase.

So the first floor of our condo is now ready for the Autumn season, and some Halloween lights will be added to the windows when the holiday arrives, so the little ones can enjoy them, as they trick or treat.

Can't wait to decorate for Christmas!  :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Reworking the Work Space!

There comes a time when you have to not just take you and your work serious but the space you use just as seriously. And I was in desperate need of some seriousness.

When we moved into our new condo before my second daughter was born, I thought I could share a small but antique desk with my husband. It was to house two computers, my printer, the bill paying center I had created and some essential supplies and paperwork. I used a filing cabinet to hold the printer up and store the supplies & paperwork, and we would share the one office chair since I was home during the day and him at night..... Man was I wrong!


My graphic design clients were starting to increase again, and we were fighting for the chair at night, once the children went to bed. Let alone the need for desktop space and elbow room... it was getting bad.
Then it hit us... we had extra furniture in storage and a gorgeous kitchen table that we could re-purpose as a work station, since it doesn't fit in the kitchen for two adults with two small children.




This wonderful bar top table is actually 54x54", but has this great design to fold down to 27x54" which turns out to fit the space reserved for the office.

With a custom glass top, this great wood table will stay in great condition while we work, without the wear and tear that it's bound to see.

As we add the five foot tall corner shelf unit, all the supplies I need have a home and still look great and organized. And with the two shelves on the under side of the table, I have room for boxes and my bill paying center, while the printer and a CPU can hide away behind the brand new chairs on the bottom shelf.  Thank you Target (www.target.com) for having the 29" chairs we needed for simply $49 each.

Now add a few accessories and we can work side by side at anytime with all this new space. Its been a great transformation and is leading to other great projects around the house that need to be reworked and re-purposed.


So keep your eyes open for the before and after photos of my craft area, which should help me with all the invitation and greeting card requests that come along during the holidays, and I hope to get some new post up soon; all about Blog headers, the rest of my autumn decorating and so much more!

In the mean time, have a great weekend!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Little More Fall!

Well since everyone is in the spirit of Autumn & Fall with their blog post.... I might as well join the group!

With Autumn here and Halloween fast approaching I finally got a little of Fall placed around the house. With some help from Pier 1 Import last year, I had a gorgeous Thanksgiving center piece and flatware for the table.



So this year i have taken some of the same pieces from the center piece and decorated my much smaller table (due to a much smaller kitchen this year) to help bring the lovely colors of autumn into our eating space.



Though I am a designer on the computer for work, I also love to dabble in scrap-booking, hand stitching fabric sample quilts, and home decorating in my, very limited, spare time. Sometimes these things cross over and other times they are a thing all their own. Decorating my home for the seasons is definitely one of those things I love to do when time allows, again a mother of a five year old and a two month old. And though I haven't gotten as far as I would have liked this year, the table is set and is enjoyed at every meal.

More Fall home decor pictures to come this week as I finally pull all the boxes out of the garage and get into gear!


Stores I love to buy seasonal items from:
Pier 1 Import: www.pier1.com

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Fall & Headcolds

Besides being an independent graphic designer, I'm also an at home mom to two beautiful girls. One five year old and a two month old. And with the new school year in full swing, the colds and flus are making themselves known. We are fighting a nasty headcold and even went thru the 24 hr stomach flu. So please stay tuned in for new posts to appear. I hope to be back on track by end of weekend. Thank you and hope you are all in good health.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Autumn Has Arrived!


With Autumn now upon us, many people get whimsical. Whether they take photos, write poetry, decorate their porches and homes or write that one unforgettable post on their blog page.

Over the past decade as a graphic designer I have been given the opportunity to create many wonderful pieces of literature that go along with this crisp Autumn theme. But the opportunity to write during this time of year or any season, has been minimal. Graphic Designers rarely need to write the content that goes in the business literature a company needs. The client knows their products and services the best and are great at providing such content to us to design that brochure, catalog, post card etc.... We may give advise when asked, create a byline or caption on occasion but writing full paragraphs is a rare thing.

And for me that is a good thing. For writing is like a second language to me, still learning.

I have perfected how to make a small phrase look like a piece of artwork at the top of a page; how to make a long body of text flow from subject to subject without losing the clients attention, visually. But my writing is still in progress and I'm constantly working on making my own words flow from sentence to sentence, from topic to topic. So my posts may be a little weird to read at times, they may get a little lost in thought and it may have a few ERRORS in grammar/vocabulary (Gasp... errors. No it can't be!) But that is the thing about myself and many other graphic designers, we are artist and did not get degrees as an English major but as an Artist!

So I hope you enjoy my work in progress with the written word and continue to enjoy all the artistic elements I share with you over the months to come. For I have much to share and hope I can be of help to you with your next business, or personal, piece of literature.


Pieces of Literature that I can create for you:
Greeting cards • Invitations • Baby Announcements
Company Logo • Business cards • Brochures • Catalogs
Post Cards • Calendars • Price Sheets • Letterheads 
      and so much more!
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