Category Archives: Design Inspiration

Design Style: Girl’s Girl

I picked up my cap and gown about a week ago. Graduation just became real. We’ve been having tons of conversations in class about branding, what kinds of work we want to do after graduation, who we want to work for, and who we want to ultimately be. These are huge life questions that don’t always have easy answers.

I am a girly girl and my design style usually sways on that side. I love a nice stationery set or pretty gift wrap (seriously, I buy gift bags with no intention to use them for gifts). I am aware that I tend to gravitate towards girly designs, but have never thought I could really make a career out of my love of all things pretty and girly. Until I realized that I would be happiest designing girly things, I sort of sequestered my girly nature. In the back of my mind, I would always think What if an employer thinks I can’t design for a male-oriented client? But would I be happy designing manly trucks and beer? Probably not.

There are plenty of designers who have embraced a feminine style of design (Jessica Hische and Joy Cho are a couple of my faves). Not only do these designers not shy away from feminine designs, they actually have made successful brands and identities embracing it. They also have translated their styles beyond products and brands driven towards women. These two designers offer daily inspiration for my design style and I hope to follow in their shoes.


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Wedding Fever

My wedding dress. Photo by Nicole Cottom.

Confession: I love weddings. And I pretty much had my wedding planned before I ever met my husband. Yes, I am one of those girls who had been dreaming of her wedding since she was 15. So, it should come as no surprise that wedding blogs and magazines are consistently at the top of my daily inspiration list.

Most weddings mean big money and the wedding industry generates much income for our economy. Brides and grooms pay top dollar to have the best and most original items and themes at their weddings, so trends are always emerging from the wedding industry. As a designer, this can be a cue into some fresh ideas and in the very least knowing what trends are coming and going.

When my professional practices class discussed mood/inspiration boards, I was the only one who had used a mood board outside of class…it was for my wedding. I love to follow the inspiration boards on the blog Snippet & Ink. Every bride and groom have different personalities, so every wedding is going to have a different feeling and mood. Check out Snippet & Ink’s recent inspiration boards to compare the feelings of each.

I keep trying to convince my husband we should renew our vows every year so I can plan different receptions every year. But, until I come up with a convincing argument, I will just peruse beautiful weddings online and take a little inspiration for my design work.

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The colors of fall fashion

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I was on the Pantone website today, doing some research for class and came across this Pantone Fall Fashion color report. I love fashion and I love color, so this report of prominent fashion designers discussing their  inspiration for their fall collection and their prominent color palette is just plain yummy! It was really interesting to read the different inspirations each designer had and how they are incorporated those influences into clothing. Several designers named specific artists and/or paintings or specific locations they had visited. Fashion is big business and often sets the trends for many other design-related industries, so be on the lookout for these colors to make it to the mainstream.

Guilty Sunday Pleasure

As a student, most of my week is consumed with projects, homework, research, thumbnails, revisions…well, you get the point. My feed reader is usually the victim of neglect during the week. So when Sunday comes around, I usually like to reserve a few hours of non-homework time surfing my feed reader. I love fashion and I often find myself dreaming of walking the streets of Manhattan in designer threads, going to fashion shows and chatting up with Anna Wintour. In reality, I must get my fashion fill from one of my favorite photographers/bloggers, Scott Schuman, the man behind The Sartorialist. This week’s posts are especially exciting because it’s New York fashion week. This site is often the source of inspiration and constantly a cue for trendy color combinations for my own designs. The fabric, the makeup, the shoes, I love it all!

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Disclaimer: Lamps do not actually levitate

An email I received today from an unnamed big box home furnishing store. I just thought it was interesting they felt the need to point out the obvious. Perhaps it was a marketing ploy?

Talented Classmates

As I’ve mentioned before, my classmates often push me to be a better student. They are all extremely creative and talented and because their work is so awesome, I can’t slack whatsoever. They make me a better designer! So, I’ve included some class pics of our ligature color exploration projects…photographed by my talented classmate, Robert.

Design Inspiration

In design history today, we learned about Marian Bantjes. I love her work!! Here is a YouTube video where she explains some Valentine’s Day designs she has created over the years. I want to get on that mailing list!

Simple Pleasures

There are times (like this afternoon) when the creative juices just aren’t flowing. I feel restless, unconfident, lacking in skills and think that my classmates’ talents are light-years beyond my own. This post is for future creatively dry days. To read, and reread, and remind myself of the things I love about design. This list is not made up of the great ideals of design, but the small things that make me smile. It’s the artistic equivalent of finding out at the register the shirt you’ve already decided to buy is on sale.

Happy accidents. Great design solutions that just happen upon themselves. I didn’t plan for that solution…heck, I may not have even thought it that direction, yet somehow it just works. Love that!

The breakthrough. I don’t mean to get all Oprah here, but it’s that “ah” moment when you get an idea and run with it. Usually most fulfilling if it follows said creatively dry moment.

Learning a new shortcut/key command/trick that I know will save me HOURS worth of work in the future. I know this may not apply to everyone, but I’m a student. This is huge.

Experiencing other’s passion for design. Seeing someone else so passionate about design makes me more passionate about design. It’s like a yawn…but in a good way!

Reminding myself that not everyone is creative and artistic. I am surrounded daily by people who are creative and imaginative and produce images, pieces and ideas where there was nothing before; artists who make beautiful pieces of work that conjure emotion and discussion. I sometimes forget there are those in the world who lack this quality. Not everyone can paint, or sculpt, draw, or create, and that makes those of us who can unique.