England How I Love Thee

It’s no secret that I love pretty much anything English. Especially design-wise. There’s something about it that I can’t quite put my finger on. I guess there’s this idea in my head that anything English is automatically more refined, or more elegant, or just better. I know that’s not really true in my head, but if I let myself just go on auto-pilot it’s full English.

One of my favorite examples of this is…please hold your judgement….the Keep Calm and Carry On poster. I get it, EVERYONE has a print, a mouse pad, a coffee cup, or an iphone case with that phrase or some permutation of it printed. I also get that it is the most cliche brittishism on the planet.

None the less, I love it. So, for your viewing pleasure, a short film about the re-discovery of the beautiful little gem. 🙂

Brought to you by AIGA and Barter Books via twitter:

Keep Calm And Carry On

ImageUntil Next TIme,

RachelAnn

I’m Back! With some logo options

Hey guys! I know it’s been a while, but here I am and I finally have some logo options for a new client. H&M Real Estate Services is a San Antonio real estate company that is looking for an updated logo and some new marketing materials. They’ve already built up some equity in their old logo, so they really just wanted to give it a fresh modern re-boot. So, for your viewing pleasure I give you the new H&M. Which is your favorite?

Here’s the original so you have a frame of reference.

 

 

 

 

 

And here is what I presented:

1. Just a new type face

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. New colors, new typeface, new stack

 

 

 

 

 

3. New typeface, new stack

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. New colors, new typeface, new stack

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. New typeface, new stack, but still similar to the original with the arch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Original colors, new arrangement

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. With a gradient (I think he’s leaning toward this one)

 

 

 

 

 

And these are all completely different. My client had a different designer come up with some ideas a while back and wanted me to play with some of the ideas and shapes he had done. I re-worked one of them in particular into a couple of different configurations.

8. H&M with house silhouettes inside, but kept the buildings

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. Houses but no buildings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looks like my next project will be to incorporate houses where the buildings would go for the instances where H&M needs to sell houses instead of commercial space. After that I think it’ll be some brochures, mailers and that sort of thing.

 

In other news, these and a new Ameraguard postcard mailer are up on rachelanndesign.com and I’ll soon be adding some defender pieces which is a project that has been on hiatus for a bit.

So check back soon!

Until next time,

RachelAnn

Merry & Bright Gifting for the Creatives in Your Life Part 4

So! Sorry I skipped a few days, but with Holiday travel and recovering from my turkey coma, it has taken me a bit to get back on track. BUT, here we are back again with a gift guide or the foodies! I hope you find some inspiration from them!

1. Ingredients

If your foodie is the type to make their own the following are a wonderful place to start. First up we have gourmet popcorn salts!

These popcorn salts come in a variety of flavor combos and are great for the foodie who likes to fancy up their humdrum snacks. This is also a great one for the cineophile who enjoys a fun twist on the movie night staple.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the same shop, and a couple of others in the etsy community, I found a really cute gourmet tea set. Definitely worth a gander for your tea lover 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Wiliams-Sonoma we’ve got a cute little gift set of infused gourmet olive oils. They’re great for dipping, and for cooking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Utilities

If you’re foodie is a romantic, loves the great outdoors, or both this cute picnic pack disguised a briefcase is a winner. It’s even prepacked with fully compostable dinner ware!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another Williams-Sonoma find, this gadget is for the foodie who loves that rich smokey flavor, but doesn’t have the time, or maybe the space, to smoke and cure meats the old fashioned way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If your foodie is tired of breaking the stemware in the dishwasher, and the sink doesn’t do much better, give these a look. They are a very reasonable price, and the site is worth a look around as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Treats

If you’re foodie isn’t really the DIY type some of these treats will definitely put a smile on their face.

Cupcakes are all the rage these days. It’s hard to ignore some of the creative ways people are reinventing the sumptuous sweet. This shop is one of those. If you’re foodie likes to be daring, and loves the influence of asian flavors, this is the cupcake to try.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Again, if your foodie is a little adventurous, take a look around this truffle shop. They’ve got  the more adventerous flavors like  Salted Rosemary truffles and a some more traditional ones like Dark Chocolate Cocoa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re at least semi-competent in the kitchen you could always try making something for your foodie. There are lots of easy recipes on Food Network, All Recipes, and Recipes.com. Here’s one from Paula Dean that looks like a pretty simple and tasty, it’s a Spanish stand-by, and a favorite for the holidays in lots of latin homes: Chicken Empandas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Resources

Creatives almost always enjoy great photography and inspired writing. That’s why a subscription to a  food magazine for your foodie creative might be just the ticket. There are lots out there, but I’m told the favorites are Bon Apetit, Gourmet, and Food & Wine. If your foodie has a particular bent toward maybe the Food Network, or Cooking Lite, they also offer subscriptions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If your foodie has a favorite chef, or a favorite style of cooking you could always check out a cook book. One of my favorites is Todd English, his Olives cook book is below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. For the table

If you know your foodie loves a good table scape to go along with their fantastic meals, consider getting them something for the table.

Again, etsy has some great centerpieces for the holidays, or everyday.  Or if you’re crafty, you could consider making your own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A table runner is always a nice addition to a table scape as well, and the functionality can’t be beat. Don’t want to burn your antique wooden table with hot platters and serving trays? Try a table runner. This one from Pier 1 is a little out of the ordinary and can be a holiday addition or just an everyday staple.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lastly, no holiday table scape would be complete without a nice set of dinner ware. These are on clearance at Target, but they’ve got some other really nice sets too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s it for the foodies. In fact, that’s all I’ve got for now. Leave me a comment if you’ve got a different type of creative and haven’t got a clue what to get them. I’d be happy to help!

Until next time,

-RachelAnn

Merry & Bright – Gifting for the Creatives in Your Life Part 3

You’ll find as the gift guide progresses, or if you’ve read through some of my other posts, that I LOVE etsy. It is a treasure trove of amazing finds. Don’t get me wrong you’ll find some stinkers too, but I’d say they are in the minority – especially if you know what you’re looking for. So, forgive me if I use too many etsy links, but I just can’t get enough of it.

And now – ON TO THE GIFTS!

Today we’re looking at gifts for the popculturists. These people have an intense love for all things Hollywood, small screen or silver screen, and they probably search out good tunage as well. So, if this is the kind of creative you’re working with – proceed.

1. Costume madness

For the creative who likes a little cosplay, or just melts over a well executed costume this shop has some serious contenders, especially for the Disney fanatic in your life. They also have some serious prices, but it looks to me like they are worth every penny.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Trinkets

First we have a vintage TV salt and pepper shaker….I’m not kidding

 

 

 

 

Second – TV lamps. If your creative hungers for mid-century design, and loves the nostalgia of what now seems like a useless knick-knack, the TV lamp is a great start. What is a TV lamp you ask? So did I  read about them here. Then go buy one here. Get ready for the kitsch factor!

 

 

 

 

 

Third if it’s decoration they need, these film reels are the perfect addition to any wall or shelf that needs a little Hollywood glamor. If they are really into reels, you can also find some vintage reels made into lamps with actual film still on them at Anthropologie (check your local store) or try any of these super awesome housewares with reel film.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If your creative is anything like me, tidyness is an issue. But, they’ll want to remedy the rings on the coffee table with these awesome record coasters! I think I’ll get a set for myself actually.

 

 

 

 

 

3. Art

I can’t think of a single creative person who doesn’t appreciate well made art. Though we may all have different styles and tastes, if you can find a subject they are passionate about – and the popculturists are easiest to target – you’re in. Below are a few of my favorites, but don’t limit yourself.

This shop is one of my favorites. This artist has a beautiful aesthetic, and I love their take on these movie posters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every time I see one of these I want to buy it. I used to see them all the time at Kerbey Lane, and I ALWAYS wanted to get one, but never had the kind of cash they were asking for. These, however, are totally reasonable, and this shop has a good mix of music, movie, and TV images.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Multimedia

One of my personal favorites as far as music goes will always be The Beatles. Check out the Anthology DVD set at Amazon

In that same vein, the 40th anniversary edition of the Woodstock Blu-Ray is only $45 at Amazon

Or if your creative is more the West Side Story type check out the 50th anniversary Blu-Ray boxed set.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.  Stationery

One thing I never get tired of is pretty stationery. It could be the print lover in me, but i think reviving the lost of art of letter writing, or note writing in the very least, is quite the noble cause. If your creative shares my love of the epistle try some of these options.

This shop specializes in rubber stamps! They have everything from KISS to the Beatles to Monty Python!

You could make them a mixtape, but these mixtape and 8 track stationery cards give you, or them, more room to say it like it is than that thin strip of tape on the cassette.

I know I linked this shop before, but the stationery here is really cute, and perfect for the Dr. Who fans out there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s all for today, I hope this series is giving you great ideas, or a jumping off point at the very least.

Tomorrow we tackle – The Foodie!

Jr. Justice League Vintage Flashcards!

First of all, I am a nerd, my husband is a nerd, and we will someday have a little nerd family that loves comic books, Lord of the Rings, and all things dorky. I also love vintage/retro almost anything. SO when I saw these posted on memebase (ugh, I know, but I told you I was a nerd and so is my husband) I had a slight heart attack.

!!!!!

Not only are they superhero flash cards, they are BEAUTIFULLY illustrated, they are super retro looking, AND they are adorable baby versions! I cannot see how these could be better. So I of course scoured the interwebs looking for these precious pieces of vintage design, but to no avail. I got this photo from flickr posted by a woman in 2007, who says the cards are as old as she is, but doesn’t know where to get any. They have been endlessly re-blogged and liked on tumblr and such, but I can’t seem to find a single place to actually buy them.

Sooooo, if you run into these beauties – PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let me know so that I can have them for my very own, I’ll even include a smart little finders fee for you 🙂

Until next time,

-RachelAnn

Autumn and Me

Autumn, or Fall, is my absolute FAVORITE season. This’ll be my first in sunny So.FL. so we’ll see if there’s any change at all in the actual weather, but the lack of a real change never stopped me from loving the stretch from late September to late November in good ole TX either.

So get ready for pumpkin spice lattes, apple cider, and butternut squash! And what would fall be without yet another round of fashion changes, and Halloween costume planning?

Here are a few of my favorite autumnal findings so far.

Fashion:

1. Anthropologie

2. ModCloth

Design:

1. Mondo

2. Fil Dunsky

Food:

1.  Pumpkin

2.Butternut Squash

3. Cranberries

4. Mushrooms

Just a side note about food – I recently finished watching The Vanishing of the Bees. It’s a documentary about how our nations honeybees are disappearing. This is serious because bees pollinate our produce – aka no bees no fruit and veg. I seriously recommend you watch it. Along with Food Inc. and Forks over Knives. They all give a great idea of what our nation’s food system looks like and what we can do to help ourselves and each other.

Also, I’m using Slide as the slideshow prgram here, and I don’t love it, so if anyone has a better program that will allow multiple slideshows in a post – do tell.

Until next time,

-RachelAnn

Someone Please Teach Me to Write a Real Letter

In the past few days  I have been cultivating a little garden of obsession.

It all started when the lovely, and ever internets-aware B-mac sent me over to a blog full of letters. As in correspondence…you know…snail mail? It’s called letters of note and the curator Shaun Usher has compiled hundreds of images and transcripts of some of the coolest letters ever. So far I’ve seen letters from Johnny Cash, Ken Keasy, Roald Dahl, and a host of others. I have barely scratched the surface of the collection he has amassed online, but I was hooked from the start. He also runs a site called Letterheady, but it has been experiencing technical difficulties as of late and is offline. Check back there to see some awesome vintage stationery and letterhead.

After scrolling through quite a few visual tasties at letters of note I started wondering what happened to the good old art of handwriting, and when we stopped using the expressive language and vocabulary that people like Jane Austen used in the ever-debated epistolary novels. When did we become a world full of dullards? I stumbled upon a few sites that offered tips on writing letters in the victorian style, or tips on writing letters in general, but none of it was really worth linking here. I even went so far as to order a book on letter writing from Amazon – but I don’t recommend it, and I only ordered it because it was cheap with free shipping on our almost-expired amazon prime account.

Despite my failure to find some sort of guide to writing letters like a victorian, I am still intrigued by the idea that letters offer us a way to tangibly leave behind part of ourselves. I’ve seen tons of blogs that lament the “lost art of letter writing”, and get all kinds of nostalgic for post cards, and decorated envelopes, but I’ve found very little useful advice for actually doing something about the problem. Not only am I still intrigued, I actually started practicing my cursive again. The first day of my self-inflicted penmanship lessons I actually made my right thumb go partially numb for several hours.

In spite of the looming break down of the USPS, I still find a handwritten letter endearing, and there’s something exciting about getting an actual piece of mail. So, if anyone can find me a reference or guide on how to use flowery language a la Jane, please do let me know. In the meantime, enjoy some eye candy, brought to you by Brain Pickings.

Until next time,

-RachelAnn

A Word About Letterpress

It is a shame that I do not own my own letterpress. If I did, not only would you see really cool things in my etsy shop all the time, I would also be a much happier person. Alas, my tiny apartment and my tiny budget would never allow it. Nonetheless, I am still hopelessly obsessed with the loveliness that is letterpress.

I would say, in general, I am a textural person. Texture means a lot to me. Whether it’s food, or paper, or an image – if the texture isn’t right, I’m not going to like it. I think this is probably true for a lot of people. We thrive on texture because we like to gather that kind of tactile information from the things around us.

This is why letterpress is so cool. It gives you an extra dimension. It gives you form, color, line, spacing, content, AND texture. Maybe you want to know a little history about letterpress (or maybe you don’t, in which case you can skip right on down to the eye candy.)

From wikipedia: Letterpress printing is relief printing of text and image using a press with a “type-high bed” printing press and movable type, in which a reversed, raised surface is inked and then pressed into a sheet of paper to obtain a positive right-reading image.

So, you’ve got your letter forms (or fonts, which are the metal stamp like pieces that are backwards – not to be confused with typefaces which are the actual letter form designs themselves) and any graphic elements that you have a press piece for, and you lay them all out how you want them. Then you ink all the metal pieces and lay your paper on top. Then the press literally presses the letter into the paper. On most things it doesn’t press it in too deeply, which is why in books and things that used to be made on letter presses there wasn’t a very deep indentation, however the coolest stuff is pressed deep and leaves an awesome level difference from ink to paper.

These days letterpress is mostly used for things like invitations, business cards, and art. There’s definitely been a resurgence in its popularity, but it is very expensive because it is much more labor intensive. However, if you have the means I highly recommend it – it is so choice.

As your daily dose of eye candy here are some awesome letterpress pieces and some links:

And some links:

Vertallee Press

The Hungry Workshop

Paper Mill Designs

Some of my favorite Etsy finds:

InvitedInk

ShopSaplingPress

SmockPaper

Enjoy!

-RachelAnn

Captain Propaganda

If you hadn’t gathered from yesterday’s post on the Art Deco district and the Wolfsonian in Miami Beach, I love history. Especially American history from the turn of the century to about 1969. Each of those decades had such a definite style whether it was fashion, print, or film, or all of the above. That being said, one of my favorite design mediums of this period is the propaganda poster.

I heart those prints. The colors, the illustrations, the genuine texture of ink on paper – it’s awe inspiring. I also really love the resurgence of this medium today. It seems like everyone’s got a propaganda poster these days, but some of the best are from an artist that my husband and I actually own a print from. His name is Eric Tan and he blogs here. We have a wood print that he did of a  Breaking Bad scene (one of our favorite shows). This is it on our living room wall:

He’s done propaganda style posters for tons of things including Disney’s Wall-E, Cars, The Incredibles, and UP, and other things like Lost, Back to the Future, and the most Recent Captain America. Wired Magazine released his and two other artists’ posters online just before the movie came out. You can see them here.

Among other things, these are awesome. I just saw the film last night, and I seriously wish I had seen these earlier, so that I would have gone to see the film earlier. Not only do they do a wonderful job of giving you a sense for the movie, and it’s time period, but they’re also just great art. Perfect color combos for the style, nice ink wear at the edges, great shadowing/shape work, and excellent typeface choices. Eric Tan does it again.

For your daily dose of eye candy I chose some of my favorite Eric Tan pieces:

good.stuff.

Until next time!

-RachelAnn